I am 76 years old and living in George. I have done extensive real flying as a PPL over about 50 years. As of 3 years ago I did not renew my medical, simply because of the cost of flying these days
Flight Simulator 2004 has given me lots of pleasure over many years, but I feel life only comes once and come hell or high water, it is now time to upgrade
I tried reading up of what the next step should be, but I found it confusing and shall appreciate some guidance. I hope it will be as simple as somebody saying download this and off you go
Maybe there is even somebody in the areathat I can have a chatwith
If it is not that simple then maybe you guys can point me to where to read what
Hoping for some response
- Too Tousand
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The move from FS9 to FSX is definitely worth it, the visual experience in FSX is so much better, and the aircraft are just way better, in terms of visual quality, dynamics and functionality.
Having said that, what you need first and foremost is a much more powerful PC to handle it. An Intel Core i7 processor is highly recommendable, as is a decent graphics card.
Microsoft stopped developing FSX a few years ago and sold the intellectual property and source code to Lockheed Martin, who continues to develop the software under the Prepar3D (P3D) name, and they (LM) recently launched version 4 which is a 64-bit version which enables a lot more functionality and eye candy.
Most of the top end 3rd party add-on developers (for aircraft and scenery) have now decided to release future add-ons exclusively for P3D, but rest assured, there are thousands of decent add-ons still available for FSX, and some developers will still release their latest products for FSX too, for the foreseeable future.
You basically have two choices:
a. Upgrade to FSX.
You will need at least a quad core processor like an Intel Core i5 or better, at least 4Gb of RAM and a graphics card with at least 2Gb of RAM. Then you need a valid copy of FSX, the last stock in the gaming shops were selling for around R150, but unfortunately, I doubt that you would be able to find any copies left. Check places like Incredible Connection or gaming shops, as well as online.
b. Upgrade to P3D.
You will definitely need an Intel Core i7 processor, lots of RAM and a 4Gb RAM Graphics card or better. Then also a valid copy of P3D, which is sold online.
With any of these options, you could then buy add-ons to populate your collection of aircraft and scenery. Just keep in mind, if you decide to do FSX first, and then later on P3D, you need to purchase P3D copies of some add-ons again, although some of them do provide discount if you bought the FSX version first.
Hope this helps you a bit, feel free to ask if you have any questions.
- Take off Clearance
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I recently had a similar question. I've been flying on flight sim's since the mid-90s when I was in primary school. As a result, I managed to develop a love for the genre. As a kid with no way to buy add-ons, MS Flight Sim was incredible with many free add-ons available all over the web. This pretty much meant that my FS was never complete, always something new, always something better and it was great. Endless possibilities.
I would spend most of my time perfecting my flight simulator by adding new scenery, new sounds, new aircraft (obviously) and making sure that my PC can squeeze ever frame out of the sim. The result being that MS Flight Sim became a very laborious sim to manage. It looked terrific, it ran fine, but it just became too much to handle.
When the news came that MS won't be developing MSFS beyond FSX, I wondered what would happen to the genre. Will it just die? I began reading and looking for what else was happening in the flight sim market. Thankfully I found that there were in fact companies keeping the flight sim genre alive.
Enter Prepar3d. Initially, I was elated. Here was a company that took FSX and developed it further. The problem here was that it basically took FSX and stretched it as far as it could go with 64-bit under the hood, but still used the older technology of FSX. Then there was the cost of between $59 and $199 before you've installed a single addon. No matter which version you chose, even then it still looked like FSX, but the options were endless afterwards. Now I must say, I have seen some absolutely incredible looking Prepar3d setups where you really cannot tell whether it is a sim or not. Prepar3d is a great sim, I just didn't have it in me to re-do (or pay for) all that I did with FSX to get Prepar3d to look as good again. I was looking for a simple answer that looked good out of the box without too much tweaking and for as little cost as possible. There are lots of great free add-ons for Prepar3d too, and probably a bigger community online developing and selling add-ons.
I was willing to pay $59 for the Academic license, but truth be told, I would be lying if I said it would be used in an academic context.
I looked further and stumbled upon X-Plane. When I started searching, X-Plane 10 was available, but rumours about X-Plane 11 were making the rounds. I decided to wait it out, and see what X-Plane 11 would bring. It was also priced at $59 (same as the academic version of Prepar3d).
I never tried Prepar3d, so I am definitely not someone who can comment on all its capabilities.
For me though, luckily I waited.
I bought, X-Plane 11 and gave it a shot and immediately liked it. A simple user interface gets you to your favourite airport quick. Once loaded, it is pretty much beautiful, alive with dynamic scenery, actual street maps and towns based on OpenStreetMap straight out of the box. You can actually fly VFR based on roads and towns if you want to without installing a single add-on. The aircraft physics are great, feels a lot more real (I have a PPL, so actually practice on X-Plane and compare to real life). I love it.
Then with the free Ortho4XP and World2XP, you can overlay the actual satellite images over your world, and the lines between reality and virtual become very blurred, particularly in VFR. It's as simple as downloading a program. Selecting your area tiles. Letting it do its thing. Copy a folder across, and it works. With regards to the community, it is small, but it is strong, and growing.
This is not in any way saying that X-Plane is better than Prepar3d or FlightGear etc, it is just what worked for me.
As Bluepoole alluded to, in flight simming, your only real concern is your PC. X-Plane, like any other sim, has some hardware requirements that you need to take into consideration.
Long story short, I got X-Plane 11 and I haven't looked back. Worth every single cent. Have a look at this video and see what you think.
This is how the Ortho4XP (free) and free scenery addons makes it look.
Also, check out this thread: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=181841
Good luck, hope we can keep you flying
I am very grateful for the replies. I have now got two sides of the coin, nl X-Plane and FSX and think that I shall start with the first
I have no doubt that many questions will follow and I appreciate the invitation to make contact when these questions pop up
Add-ons make X-Plane, and exploring some of the newly developed payware aircraft (Just Flight), the free B737 mods (Zibo, Ultimate) along with satellite maps, visual and weather plugins makes X-Plane a very compelling platform.