Goals in flight simulation for 2021

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.

15 Comments Add yours

  1. Awesome post. Great goals as well. I am just getting back in to flight sims seriously, and now more seriously than ever. I finally have the foot pedals and HOTAS for both civilian and military set-ups. 2021 is going to be great for flight sims with all of the additions coming! Happy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Thanks! Seems like a lot of people are getting back into simming this year. What drew you back in and what are you most excited about for 2021? 🙂


  2. ClannK says:

    wow – that’s quite the list of things to do! It’ll be great to read about it here – your articles always make me want to try out whatever you’ve just written about 🙂

    Looking forward to more installments of your helicopter journey, too (get Black Shark while it’s still on sale!).

    As far as MSFS, I’ve found that the less I depend on the autopilot, the more fun I have. I still program the FMS and use it, but now I EXPECT the autopilot to fail in some manner. So I just pretend it’s some system malf, which then requires me to hand-fly through that phase of flight. Who ever thought that actually flying the plane yourself could be fun 😉

    For myself, I’m surprised to find i’m finally getting into the “hard core” airliners. P3D v5 is so much faster now that I can crank the graphics settings up to nearly MSFS levels while still getting to learn Study Level flying.

    In a somewhat relate vein, the advanced nav functions in DCS Black Shark have really caught my attention, along with the new targeting systems in DCS Tank Killer and Hornet.

    Finally, I’m going to work more on stick and rudder flight & fight skills in the A2A sims, DCS and IL2 war birds. Which also reminds me what a terrible Tomcat pilot I am…sigh.

    Thanks for all the excellent content in StormBirds – it’ll be great to continue reading in 2021!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Thanks for all of the comments Clannk! Sounds like you’ve got some great plans laid out for the year ahead as well. I’ll be sure to document my progress as the year goes on!


  3. Dan (Crewen) says:

    Awesome list! As usual, I have too long of a list, not enough time: F/A-18 Hornet + Supercarrier, Huey (+helicopters), Tank Crew, and overall flying skills/etiquette like formation flying, taking off/landing in the correct direction, more terminology and communication.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      All of those come with time. Join us on some flight soon and we’ll get you going!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Gretsch_Man says:

    Looks like you are going to be a busy man in 2021. But you know what – so am I!

    I still have a few modules in DCS (Mirage, Harrier, Hornet among others) that I need to dig into deeper.
    And the upcoming Hind and Kiowa are already on my have-to-buy list. So even more stuff for me to learn.
    I will also start playing around with the dynamic Liberation campaign.

    As for MSFS, I haven’t bought it yet but since it’s now supporting VR, I guess sooner or later I’ll just have to check it out.

    And who knows when the new BON campaign for IL-2 will come out.

    I can’t help but feel it’s a good time to be a flight simmer!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      I like to set ambitious goals and it looks like I’ll be stuck inside for a while anyways. Good to keep busy! 🙂

      Sounds like you have some fun things planned out as well. Hind and Kiowa are going to make for very interesting modules in DCS World.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. juurikas says:

    Goal is to stop supporting Early Access modules in DCS. But I am a sucker and buy in first hand Mi-24P, OH-58 and something else too like MiG-23MLA.

    The Mi-24P is a safe bet for quality, but there will be some problems.

    But anything from Razbam and Polychop will be high risk of dissatisfaction for quality for next 3-5 years if not even further (a la Harrier, Gazelle).

    But I am sucker.

    I am going to upgrade my CH Pro Throttle and TM.16k Throttle to VKB in couple months (February 24th or something was deadline to release), something that I have waited since 2017. I have plans as well to build own collective, for that I just need a day or two to build it as I need to weld the base and build the hydraulic dampening system with possible electromagnetic trimmer for my Gunfighter.
    So couple weekend goals there.

    One thing I am sure that I will enjoy from day one, it is Kamov famous KA-50 upgrade that ED should be releasing soon. It should bring new major upgrades like actually working Shkval filters for low and bright light, fixed Shkval with contrast detection, Vikhr fragmentation warhead and proximity fuze. And of course IGLA-V missiles as well.

    2021 will be helicopters year. It is time to learn respect those who serve the ground troops.

    And one goal too, hope in that ED could finally start making tutorials from start with proper process so when later on updates comes, you don’t need to unlearn your muscle memories of non-working procedures.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kelly Hrdina says:

    My goal for this year is definitely a PC upgrade, which should happen in a few weeks (it’s on order). Then I’ll be able to get into MSFS VFR at the level of some of the videos/images I’ve seen online. I also want to spend more time in IL2 career mode. Hopefully I’ll get a career mode option for FC2 as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. harryvoyager says:

    I’m sort of going back and forth on flight simming and VR in general at the moment. Actually got fairly deep into Star Wars The Old Republic, which has ended up being most of my gaming time lately. Was really waiting to get the hardware upgraded so I could do VR at high resolutions and high frame rates, but that’s at a standstill until so least February.

    I’m thinking for Flight simming, I want to get through a complete Bristol F.2B campaign. To do that, I think I’m going to block out a chunk of time to fly one mission every week. Either Friday afternoon or Saturday afternoon, not sure which.

    Once that’s done, I’ll figure out what I want to do next.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. boxcarleader says:

    I offer my knowledge as a vet that was a helicopter crew chief and gazelle and huey pilot if you would like no worries either way

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Have you tried any of the helicopters in War Thunder? I’m thinking of giving those a go as I’m a beginner.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      I haven’t. I’ve been so busy with other sims that I’ve not done anything with War Thunder in a while. My understanding is that they are approachable but not very representative of helicopter flying.

      In the last year I did a little helicopter flying with the Cabri G2 in X-Plane. That seems to be the best environment to learn a helicopter. If its a combat sim you’re after, the UH-1H in DCS World is really exceptional and relatively approachable. I’m still crashing it but less often than when I was trying to learn the Mi-8.

      Liked by 1 person

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