Last year I wrote myself some goals for 2021 and I am pleased to report that I have achieved most or all of my goals that I set out for myself. Although I didn’t spend as much time with bombers as I had hoped, I did do most of the other things that I set out to do and it’s been fun to do. With all of that as my backdrop, what are my goals for 2022? Here are a few things that I’d like to do this year.
The more advanced bus driver
Last year I set out to learn the basics on how to fly some airliners. And I did! I flew a whole series with the default A320neo in Microsoft Flight Simulator and I dipped my toes into learning some features like the FMC and how to do IFR flight planning. But that’s just the beginning.
This year my goals are to expand my knowledge in both of these areas. I’d like to understand the IFR flight planning systems better including developing a better knowledge of SIDS and STARS and how you incorporate those into your plans both in the GA aircraft that I typically fly as well as with airliners.
The second piece is to dive a little deeper into some more deeply modeled airliners. Flying the default A320neo in Microsoft Flight Simulator was fun – to be perfectly honest. I know some scoff at it but if you’re just getting started, its an aircraft that you can get into without that much knowledge. It’s still a challenge when you’re just starting out in this area but now that I’ve more or less gotten to grips with what it can offer, I want to dive more deeply into other airliners.
The FBW A320neo has made big strides and is moving forward at an impressive pace and that is a logical place to go. I want to learn that default jet and take my initial knowledge a step further. Over on X-Plane, the Zibo 737 is a legendary free add-on and one that I want to spend a little time with this year as I suspect that aircraft will make the jump to X-Plane 12 and carry on.
Going along with that is the need to learn the FMC – the flight computer for most airliners and some business jets. I just don’t fully understand the system, mostly because I haven’t spent any time with it. So it will be something that I will attempt to get sorted out in this new year. If someone has written the DCS World Chuck’s Guide equivalent of that for an Airbus or Boeing aircraft, I’d like to read it.
Flying in the bush
Microsoft Flight Simulator has really made the bush plane a popular experience and I plan to spend more time doing that this year. I want to see if I can make X-Plane 12 into a similar experience when it arrives and I have high hopes for both series.
Paralle 42’s FreedomFox experience is high on my list but X-Plane 12’s new Piper promises to be an authentic experience too. Whatever aircraft it is from the default to the expanded or brand new, I want to do more “off the beaten path” flying this year.
Expanding my DCS aircraft proficiency list
Like most people, I do tend to get sucked into flying the same aircraft over and over again. While I fully intend to do that again this year, I also want to challenge myself flying some lesser flown types. I’ve already taken some steps at the end of this year to really dig in and understand the DCS MiG-21. Also on my list? Returning to the Mirage 2000C which has changed so much since I first flew it as my first full-up DCS World module. Coming back to it will be like starting from scratch but that should be fun as the aircraft itself has evolved so much.
The A-10C II is yet another aircraft in DCS World that I want to continue to learn. I’ve already made strides here in the past year but I intend to build on that some more.
We’ve also got new aircraft and rejuvenated aircraft coming online this year. There are three helicopters at the top of my list. I fully intend to fly a lot more Mi-24P Hind this year but I will also be planning to spend more time with the AH-64 and the Ka-50.
Finally, in the realm of the DCS WWII aircraft I really want to dig more into the Mosquito and the P-47. I already know these aircraft fairly well but I want to learn more and I want to take them into more combat scenarios.
More scenario fun with IL-2
This year in the IL-2 series I want to spend some more time digging into some campaigns. The newly released Flying Circus campaigns I want to fly as much of as possible with both. I want to continue my Ju88A-4 campaign and do more level bombing there too.
As the series adds new aircraft I’ll be diving into each of them with as much enthusiasm as possible. This year promises to deliver some very interesting types. The Arado Ar-234 is an aircraft I’ve long had an interest in and I’ll be flying a lot of that when it arrives. The Ju88C-6 is another type that has long been on my wishlist and is coming to both eastern and western front scenarios. I will start to sound like a broken record when I say that the Me410 is yet another type that fascinates me and I’m very excited to try out, foibles and all, in IL-2. Finally, IL-2 is also getting the Mosqutio FB.VI and I am overjoyed to have it in both major combat flight sims.
Also on my list, Team Fusion’s 610 Squadron campaign for IL-2 Cliffs of Dover. I did a Q&A with the creator last year and I really want to dig into this squadron based adventure this year. I just need to set aside some time to set it up.
Those are my goals
As usual, my goals are both deep and expansive with my interests spread across a wide range of aircraft types. It promises to be a fun year! Those are my goals but what are yours? Sticking to what you know and becoming even more proficient or trying something new? Let me know in the comments!