Flight Sim Expo Sunday recap

The last day of Flight Sim Expo has come and gone with a bunch of new things to report on today. There was the X-Plane Landing Competition, a very exciting new piece of hardware from Honeycomb that I missed yesterday. Let’s check it out!

X-Plane Landing Competition

Laminar Research hosted the X-Plane Landing Competition today with a few competing virtual pilots aiming to win some excellent prizes from Thrustmaster and Honeycomb. The qualifying challenge involved flying the L-5, a default X-Plane aircraft, into Stewart Airport in British Columbia. Check out the qualifying round for information if you want to replicate the challenge yourself.

The competition itself had the contestants step away from the L-5 and into something with a bit more power… the new F-14 Tomcat and X-Plane 12. So the landing competition was as much an opportunity to see the new sim and the new default aircraft in action as it was entertaining to watch the challengers take on the task of landing the F-14.

One of the contestants really nailed the landing while others struggled. Most of them walked away with some sort of prize which is always nice to see.

Honeycomb reveals new HOTAS

Two new piece of hardware have been announced by Honeycomb Aeronautical at the FSExpo show. The two appear to be based on the same basic template with some custom button configurations depending on the end user with one quite obviously oriented towards military combat flight sim enthusiasts while the other appears to be aimed more at the business jet/airliner crowd with something that is more compact and portable than their yoke and throttle quadrant system.

The Xbox logo also suggests that Honeycomb is dipping their toes into the Xbox market and the tremendous potential that it offers with Microsoft Flight Simulator.

We’ve also learned via responses that the stick is indeed a twist stick offering flexibility.

According to Honeycomb, via their Facebook page, the Sigma is due in Q1 2022 with a MSRP $119.99 USD while the Sigma Tau combo is aimed at arriving sometime in Q2 2022 with a MSRP $299.99. Solidly in the mid-range territory.

I’ll be keeping close tabs on the release of this hardware!

Getting started in flight simulators

A great session that I attended today was with Calum Martin from FSElite and SoFly who presented ‘Getting Started in Flight Simulator.’

Calum gives a great overview of the world of flight simulation talking about Microsoft Flight Simulator, Prepar3D, X-Plane and even mentions DCS World (although I also highly recommend the IL-2 series!). The overview talks about each sims strengths, weaknesses, options for modifications and third party support, and more. It was a good talk!

Another getting started talk was presented by Sebastian Knoop-Troullier who gave a great talk on how you can get started with online aviation. He covered various networks including PilotEdge, Vatsim and other online ATC networks. Good info!

End of show wrap up

And of course, with all good things, the show did eventually come to an end. Evan Reiter, Phil Coyle and all of the other organizers for FSExpo put this show together under extraordinarily difficult circumstances. Many of us are still faced with border restrictions and travel difficulties not to mention the ongoing crisis so that limited things and some ended up having to pull out at the last minute.

So, it’s been a tough show to put together. But, it still happened and the whole team behind FSExpo deserves a huge congratulations for pulling it off.

I wasn’t able to be there but I watched as many as I could online. FSExpo’s online sessions, for $15, was well worth the price! There were all kinds of great sessions to watch. If they do a hybrid model next year and you can’t attend in person – spend the $15. Watch the sessions live or pick them up after the fact. It’s well worth it!

Speaking of the future, Evan gave us somewhat uncertain news as to what the show will be like in 2022 or if it will happen at all. If it doesn’t, Evan did seem very certain that it would be back in 2023. I can understand the uncertainty and the challenges that the pandemic continue to place on events but with some hope that 2023 will be a much better year.

So, kudos to Evan, Phil, the FSExpo team, and all of the presenters and everyone who helped make FSExpo happen. Hoping for good things to come!

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