If Microsoft Flight helps spread the love of flying to the masses then that is a great thing... especially if it inspires young players to develop a desire to become real pilots. But the flying community still needs programs like FlightSim X to practice and develop real-world skills. I sure hope that Lockheed Martin decides to release a version that is aimed at realistic flying.
Amen to the hope that FSX is picked up and further developed. I have grandkids that can probably start flying as soon as they can reach the pedals based on their performance with FSX. (Ever see a 9-year old successfully land a J-3 on top of a moving bus, every time?)
Anything that adds to the excitement level and brings more people to GS will be a good thing. I look forward to downloading Flight.
I disagree. The problem is that people would rather fly an F16 on their PC's for $49 than they would an LSA at their airport for $6000 or a 172 for $10,000. Today's young people don't have an interest in learning to fly...too expensive, too difficult, and WHY, when they can fly all over the world on their PC? Giving them a better PC experience is LESS likely to create new pilots, not more likely.
Sporty's and King Schools and Jeppesen could have had coupons for free learn to fly kits in the millions of MSFS boxes over the years and never did. Or Cessna could have had a $99 demo flight coupon. But marketers in aviation would rather advertise to the declining pilot base than to millions of new potential buyers.
Remember, GA used to be for the middle class, but it has priced itself out of the middle class (which is declining anyway). An "Average Equipped" Cessna 182 cost $28,345 in 1971, according to Aircraft Bluebook. In 2011, it cost $400,000, in increase of 1311 percent, or 14.11 times as much.
My brother bought a base-model Toyota Hi-Lux pickup in 1973 for $3200. A base model small pickup now runs $17,500. That's a 447% increase, or 5.47 times as much. How many small pickups do you think Toyota would sell today if the stripped-down base model cost over $40,000, which it would if it had "kept up" with the Cessna pricing? NOT MANY. Clearly, car makers knew something plane makers can't grasp.
Let's face it, for these reasons and more, GA is a dying beast. The only people who don't know it are GA people, evidently.
I still use version 9 (FS 2004) to practice approaches, hold entries (Ugh!) and other IFR skills. Occasionally I try silly stuff like flying Boeings under bridges or "flying" aerobatics for fun. I tried FS 10 but didn't like it as much as the 2004 version, even though the eye candy was much better. From what I read, FS 10 was a mishmash of software going back to version 7 and was a serious system hog for many users. FS also does some silly things, like putting trees right off the approach and departure ends of some runways when higher levels of ground scenery are selected. That makes virtually every takeoff or landing at/from smaller airports the obstacle clearance variety.
Would I download Flight when it comes out? Don't know. It is after all barely a demo version. Microsoft were always kinda cheap and showed a sort of corporate bias when it came to the number of airplanes in FS. They favored Boeing, Cessna and Beechcraft models and seemingly ignored Piper, Diamond, Cirrus, Mooney and many others. They NEVER had any experimental aircraft, though many of those types could be obtained from FS add-on suppliers like ABACUS, Just Flight, PC Aviator and many others. Or they'd give the customer a bunch of semi-interesting theme aircraft, as in FS 2004.
Would I buy FS version 11 from Lockheed Martin? Not until: 1) all the early bugs are out of it and I'm confident my quad core system will run it at or near full capacity and;
2) Add-ons from other software manufacturers become abundant.
If Lockheed Martin produces a full-featured sim I hope the scenery look like the real world: accurate topography, roads, bridges, waterways, power lines, buildings and homes etc, plus as many airports and approach aids modeled as possible. Otherwise it is a sideways or backwards step from version 9.
So forgive me if I am underwhelmed by this announcement from Microsoft, who have a long history of releasing products not ready for prime time, brutally crushing their opposition and getting sued by competitors and governments alike.
Skymachines attempts to make a good, if not ignorant, argument but it is fundamentally flawed. In 1971, a brand new Chevy Corvette would run you $5496. Today they're upwards of $50,000. You can't simply compare numbers from then and now and say "Look! I told you it's happening." Milk, wheat, eggs and flour have all gone up exponentially in price. Can less people afford to eat? Sure, but that doesn't stop the fat people from finding ways to eat. I believe the same rule applies to GA. There are those who are content to simply look at a pretty shape and wiggle a couple joysticks and that satisfies the desire to "fly." I was never one of those. You cannot simply play a video game and be satisfied that you have achieved something. Flying to Rome, Paris, London, Sao Paolo, Moscow, Sydney and Beijing may be possible while sitting in your game chair eating cheese puffs, but it will never come close to the excitement of flying a real aircraft. There is no comparison. For lack of better comparison, that's like saying that if I play Forza Motorsports I will never have the desire to some day drive a Bugatti Veyron or Enzo Ferarri.
Is flying expensive? Yes. This is not a new fact or something plaguing the GA community. Flying has always been expensive and has always been an elite group simply because of that nature.
This game is an atrocity to the FS franchise and thankfully does not carry the name. This game does no more for the GA industry than the infamous Call of Duty franchise does for the military.
I agree completely with skymachines. As a CFI I've said for years that the reason that potential new pilots quit learning to fly is the cost. The industry has focused on instruction quality (which is a factor), but has totally ignored the math that he pointed out. What he missed, however, is that the new Toyota is a far better vehicle.
When I learned to fly in the early 70s, a new 150 could be purchased for less than $12,000, and my private license cost me less than $1,000. Today even a Sport Pilot certificate costs nearly 10 times that. LSAs were supposedly introduced as a low-cost option, but some cost in excess of $150,000. I can't afford that, and I don't know very many people who can.
A basic $4,000 car in 1975 had a carburetor, got 20 mpg, needed a tuneup every 5,000 miles, and lasted maybe 75,000 miles. My 2006 ($18,000 new) Honda (4.5 times the cost) has fuel injection, is computer controlled, has standard AC, gets 40 mpg, and looks and runs like new at 140,000 miles. In other words, it is better in every way. Compare a 1975 Cessna 150 to a new C-162... both use the same engine and carburetor with the same TBO and are built using the same materials, yet the 162 costs more than 10 times the price of the 1970s version.
The simple truth is that manufacturers have priced themselves out of the market. If someone would find a way to produce a simple small airplane at a reasonable price - and in spite of what Robert Goyer says, it can be done - students would come back. If not, GA is finished.
For the folks wanting the latest and greatest in a realistic flight sim, check out X-Plane (http://www.x-plane.com). They just released the latest version, and it looks pretty slick. They strive to be as realistic as possible. I've not purchased the new software yet, but it sure looks promising.
Hi everybody up there. Greetings from Argentina. And a Happy New Year for you all; folks ... !
Well; well; well ... I´m somehow pleased "and" confused: I see you people arguing about the (pitty) state of GA; and I agree in a 100%. But, let me remind you that aircrafts manufacturers must comply with FAA Rules and Regulations. So, one could say high prices are consecuence of more safety technology. Partially true: I say high prices are consecuence of too intrincated and "screwed" standards imposed by FAA guys.
At the very extreme: Who of you will demonstrate that a new plane is far better more reliable than a new car ? And if so; my question is "Why ?".
Because new and sophisticated materials are used in plane making ... Not so sure.
Because a lot of electronic gadgets are included in the cockpit ... May be.
Or, is it because labor costs have been rising quite a lot .
So; one alternative I´m thinking about is: send all the spare parts to China; and ask them to make the mounting; test flights; and the like.
May be in that way we could afford and enjoy a new 120.000 Cessna 172 or Piper Archer.
Microsoft Flight or Flight Simulator would have to reach to the real end of reality as much as possible; the point airlines are teaching their pilots, so the public gets the cheapest way and fast forward chance to obtain the aviation knowledge. That would rise general safety and awareness in different fields. Otherwise, it would be just another useless game for kids and I would be boycotting it from now ...
Want to make flying affordable? Do as the bard recommended and "... first kill all the lawyers."