It’s a new year and it’s time to do some goal settling for my flight simulation experiences this year. There are so many good simulation experiences out there and this year I want to add some new things to those experiences. Here are some of my goals for 2021!
The bus driver
On the list of things that I like to do in flight simulators, flying around airliners wasn’t high on my list but more recently I’ve been drawn into the idea of some longer haul flights in Microsoft Flight Simulator and while I love the business jets that I’ve really started to get into in that sim, I like to challenge myself and so I’m going to spend some more time this year with the simulators three airliners (the A320neo, 747-800 and 787 Dreamliner). Aerosoft’s CRJ release sometime early this year is also high on my list of third party efforts to check out as it may be one of the highest fidelity releases we see in this sim in the short term and that’s worth looking into.
I’ve got some learning to do and I’ve been looking to YouTube to see what MSFS related tutorials are out there. One series that looks particularly good is from 320 sim pilot who is apparently an A320 pilot and has put his knowledge of the aircraft into MSFS tutorials so the rest of us can come to grips with the sim’s aircraft.
I realize that MSFS airliners still have challenges in accuracy and simulation so part of the journey over this year will be to document how approachable the aircraft are right now and what Asobo Studios is able to do with the types as the year progresses.
It may also be an opportunity to check out some of the popular modifications including FlyByWire’s A32nx project which is a community project aimed at creating a high fidelity version of the base A320. Some of that mod’s features may end up filtering their way into the base simulation as well so this should be an interesting area to watch!
The level bomber pilot
It isn’t the first time I’ll be doing these kinds of missions but most of the time when I load up a bomber in IL-2, I usually fly it as a dive bomber or low level attacker and this year I want to do a bit more in the level bombing style. It requires more patience, more knowledge, and a bit of luck but I want to put my skills to the test this year working with that type of flying.
One of the aircraft I want to work with and spend some serious time in is the Wellington bomber. This aircraft is one of the standout new aircraft added in the IL-2 Sturmovik Desert Wings – Tobruk expansion. It’s a fully modeled bomber that I don’t think too many have talked about too much yet but I do want to change that. Team Fusion did a recent live stream with a live tutorial that I intend to reference for my own learning and I recommend to other folks as well.
The helicopter pilot
This next one is likely to make Sergio at HeliSimmer.com happy. I’m intent on making 2021 the year of the helicopter! I’ve already done some helicopter flying in 2020 and while it hasn’t all been good and wasn’t always enjoyable, the more exposure I get to them the more I’m finding myself enjoying the challenge. It takes a while to get your mind wrapped around the physics of flying a helicopter and while airplanes are much more intuitive to me, helicopters are starting to get there.
It’s going to be a good year for combat sim pilots who are helicopter fans as the Mi-24P is due in for DCS World, the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior is likely to release, and we’re likely to see Eagle Dynamics make some more information on the AH-64D Apache Longbow project.
Although I’m one year early for Microsoft Flight Simulator (which should see helicopters arrive in 2022), I am intent on getting into some more helicopters in X-Plane 11 this year and expanding beyond the Cabri G2.
I also want to spent more time on the DCS Search and Rescue (SAR) server which is a non-combat server where you fly helicopters on rescue missions around the map. It’s really good and, for helicopter pilots, worth loading up!
More fun with the things I love too
All of the above are new things that I’m challenging myself to but I also will be spending plenty of time with the other things that I already like to do although even there I have some new challenges.
In DCS World it’s the F-14, F-16C and JF-17 that I’m intent on spending some more time flying and learning. I’m also going to be flying more DCS WWII when time allows as I want to dig deeper into many of those aircraft – especially when the Mosquito comes out.
I’ll be doing plenty of flying around in Microsoft Flight Simulator this year as well. I’ll be touring the UK once the new world update for that area is launched later this year and I also want to spend some more time checking out Alaska and do a tour of that area of the world flying into some of the small airports in the region on my own bush plane tour.
And of course there’s much more to fly and drive in IL-2: Great Battles and IL-2: Desert Wings – Tobruk.
What are your goals in simulation this year?
That’s enough about my goals. What are your goals in simulation this year? Learning a new aircraft, trying out a new sim, upgrading your hardware, or just holding on to the little time that you have? Love to hear from you! Let me know in the comments.