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Old 08-16-2008, 10:51 AM
"Dotan Cohen"
 
Default flight simulators

2008/8/16 Mario Spinthiras <spinthiras.mario@gmail.com>:
> Dear Fellow geeks,
>
> It is not until recently that I have become obsessed with aviation (this can
> be seen from my last blog post ). In the spirit of a good linux user my
> first search was for a flight simulator. Though I have found 2-3 I felt
> morally compelled to seek feedback on any flight simulators in linux that
> you have used or use at the present before diving into any of them. Any
> recommendations , pros and cons are more than welcome.
>

Google Earth has a flight simulator. I have not used it, but I do have
it installed.

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Dotan Cohen

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א-ב-ג-ד-ה-ו-ז-ח-ט-י-ך-כ-ל-ם-מ-ן-*-ס-ע-ף-פ-ץ-צ-ק-ר-ש-ת

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Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?
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Old 08-16-2008, 11:02 AM
Vincent Trouilliez
 
Default flight simulators

> In the spirit of a good linux user my
> first search was for a flight simulator. Though I have found 2-3 I felt
> morally compelled to seek feedback on any flight simulators in linux that
> you have used or use at the present before diving into any of them. Any
> recommendations , pros and cons are more than welcome.


If you really want a "simulator" (not a game), then you have X-Plane
(www.x-plane.com).

IT's the best (most accurate) flight sim for desktop computers, and
enjoys very active/commited developpers.
It's not so bad as a game either, since sometimes making it an accurate
simulator sometimes converges with the goal of a game.
For example you can have hordes of birds around, and if you fly into
them you may ruin your engines and crash. They also refine the way
birds remains/blood crash onto the windscreen, or how the rain drops
spill on the windscreen, or many tiny details like that.

Downsides ?
- Since it's not meant to compete with games, I find the
graphics quality quite poor overall.

- If like me you like helicopters, you will not find many available,
actually I found only 2, and they are not free. (about 10 dollars the
aircraft).

- X-Plane is developped on Apple Macs, ported to Windows, and only
fairly recently (3+ years ago) to Linux. Problem is that the Linux port
is a kind of afterthought, has some little bugs I found (nothing major
though) that the X-plane crew clearly don't care about. You can
nonetheless get some help on the x-plane forum (x-plane.org), where
there is a Linux specific section.

- it's not free software, though in practice it's not that big a
problem, since the overall quality of the program is quite good/mature,
and they give you tools to easily create of modifiy aircrafts, scenery
etc, so it's not that big a "black box" as one might fear at first.
As for the monetary part of the "free" term, it's not very expensive
(got it for 60 Euros including delivery), which includes 7 DVD discs for
the worldwide scenery, as well as free updates (as I said development is
very active, so you have a new beta pretty much every other week if you
fancy so) for the life of the current release. for example version 9
has recently been released, which will likely last for 2 or 3 years
judging by past experience, so you get free updates for that long.



Plusses ?

- When you buy X-Plane you get the Mac, Windows and Linux version all
on the same disc, so you can install it on other platforms too if you
like.

- Although not free software, you can still easily reach the small dev
team to submit bug reports, they do reply. Unfortunately the public
doesn't have access to a bug tracker, so once you have e-mailed
them a bug report, there is no way to track progress on it, it's one
way process.

- If like me you like accurate helicopter simulation, then X-Plane is
the only choice. MS Flight Simulator is more of a game in that respect,
and Flight Gear is... well just forget about helis in FG unless you
want an arcade game/toy rather than a simulator.

So in short, if you prefer planes, and are not very critical about
physics, then you can consider Flight Gear or MS flight simulator
(via Wine or VMware presumably) along X-Plane.


HTH,

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Vince

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Old 08-16-2008, 11:24 AM
"Michael Haney"
 
Default flight simulators

I've noticed that "real" Flight Sims are starting to become a rarity
these days. Back in the day there used to be a great deal of them,
and they paid a great deal of attention to realism. Joystick
manufacturers made controllers which looked and worked like the
authentic controls from F-15s and F-16s. Whatever happened to those
days?

Now everything is being made more arcade like and dumbed down. Gamers
aren't stupid yet the industry is treating us like we are. More and
more PC games are being made like console titles ... and sometimes
that works and other times it doesn't. Now ever game makers is
pushing out console crap on the PC (cough, cough ... EA, LucasArts,
Activision ... cough cough) but too many are going that route because
it supposedly makes more $$$. And before you say "well thats the
point, it makes them money", consider this ... PC games have always
had a leg up on console games because of their depth and complexity.
Now that playing field is being leveled flat and there is little
distinction. Don't give something like "Crysis" as example that I'm
wrong because fancy graphics don't make a game great, its the
gameplay, story, and the overall experience. A game can have the
greatest graphics in the world but if it plays like crap, has a crappy
interface, and the controls are crap then all it is a really neat
looking pile of shit. I'm not saying Crysis isn't a good game, it is,
but I'm using it as an example ... the game could have easily have
been done on one of the consoles. Despite its graphics prowess the
game doesn't really bring anything new to the table that we haven't
already seen in other FPS games for the PC before. Oh, and then there
are games that just get abandoned for no reason at all which were
great. One game in particular was the Freespace 2, an excellent
first-person space combat sim game. The game was dropped like a bad
habit all of a sudden, you couldn't find it in the stores anywhere,
and you couldn't get it online either. Now its been made Open Source
and is being maintained by a community of programmers who have made
improvements to the game. www.hard-light.com I believe is the URL.
There is a Windows, Mac OS X and Linux version of the game including a
port of the first Freespace to the new graphics engine.

That's my 0.02$ on the subject.

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Old 08-16-2008, 11:59 AM
Vincent Trouilliez
 
Default flight simulators

> I've noticed that "real" Flight Sims are starting to become a rarity
> these days. Back in the day there used to be a great deal of them,
> and they paid a great deal of attention to realism.

X-Plane is probably the last one of them, so let's use it ;-)

> Joystick manufacturers made controllers which looked and worked like the
> authentic controls from F-15s and F-16s. Whatever happened to those
> days?

They are still available, but obviously not mainstream due to their
above average price of course:

http://www.chproducts.com/


> Now everything is being made more arcade like and dumbed down.

All so true. :-(


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Old 08-16-2008, 01:01 PM
Knapp
 
Default flight simulators

I thought Flight Gear was very good but you need to use the CVS version and you need to do a lot of reading to learn how to turn on all the cool features.
On ease of use of advanced features it gets an F but once you have the thing installed and you have the right command line to start it the way you like, it is very good.


Don't know about using it for hellis though. I would bet that was an after thought for the designers.
--
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Old 08-16-2008, 01:23 PM
Vincent Trouilliez
 
Default flight simulators

> I thought Flight Gear was very good but ...
>
> ...Don't know about using it for hellis though. I would bet that was an after
> thought for the designers.

Yes, back when I tried FG and saw how pathetic Heli simulation was, I
asked on their mailing list about it, and the devs explicitely
admitted that the simulation engine used by FG was not at all designed
to cope with Helicopters...


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Old 08-16-2008, 01:36 PM
David Vincent
 
Default flight simulators

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

Michael Haney wrote:

> One game in particular was the Freespace 2, an excellent
> first-person space combat sim game. The game was dropped like a bad
> habit all of a sudden, you couldn't find it in the stores anywhere,
> and you couldn't get it online either. Now its been made Open Source
> and is being maintained by a community of programmers who have made
> improvements to the game. www.hard-light.com I believe is the URL.
> There is a Windows, Mac OS X and Linux version of the game including a
> port of the first Freespace to the new graphics engine.

http://icculus.org/freespace2/index.php

and on my way here looky what i found:

http://playubuntu.com/linux-games-/3338.html
http://playubuntu.com/index.php

- -d
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UnNlCu23kNW/v+z0uQOgk/Y=
=zH7+
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Old 08-20-2008, 04:05 PM
Pastor JW
 
Default flight simulators

On Saturday 16 August 2008 04:59:09 am Vincent Trouilliez wrote:
> > Now everything is being made more arcade like and dumbed down.
>
> All so true. :-(

They focus on windoze users so of course they have to dumb them down. They
have to match their audience. Could be worse, they could have designed for
vista users...


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Old 08-20-2008, 11:48 PM
"Chris Mohler"
 
Default flight simulators

On Wed, Aug 20, 2008 at 11:05 AM, Pastor JW
<pastor_jw@the-inner-circle.org> wrote:
> On Saturday 16 August 2008 04:59:09 am Vincent Trouilliez wrote:
>> > Now everything is being made more arcade like and dumbed down.
>>
>> All so true. :-(
>
> They focus on windoze users so of course they have to dumb them down. They
> have to match their audience. Could be worse, they could have designed for
> vista users...

Easy enough - just add an ejection seat! Preferably one that may or
may not work...

Chris

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