Five flight simming goals for 2023!

Some people like to call them resolutions where I prefer to call them goals. My flight sim goals for 2023 are things that I’d like to do if everything works out the way I expect them to. But I’ve learned from the last year that sometimes things don’t always go according to plan and so flexibility is good with your goals too. It’s good to share your goals and so here are mine and I hope you’ll share some of yours!

Goals for 2023

Goal one: More helicopters!

Long time readers over the years will known that I’ve been on a bit of a journey with flight sim helicopters. My first two helicopters were the DCS: Mi-8 and the X-Plane 11 Cabri G2. I struggled with them both but I also experienced quite a bit of satisfaction when I did manage to make them fly the way I had hoped I’d be able to.

Since then I’ve flown a few more helicopters including the Bell 222B from CowanSim in X-Plane 11, the Mi-24P Hind and DCS: UH-1 Huey in DCS World, and I’ve briefly dabbled with the H135 in MSFS. Oh and I’ve also flown a bit of MSFS’ Cabri G2 and Bell 412 as well. But I need to fly them some more to really get a good feel for them and I have plenty of intention to pick up a few more MSFS helicopters as they come out this year too.

DCS: AH-64D is high on the list to learn and have some fun with and so is the recently released Black Shark 3.

There’s much to learn and much fun to be had with these so that’s one of my big goals for the year.

Goal two: Learn a new Cold War era DCS World jet, really, really well!

The last couple of years have seen an explosion in interest in Cold War era aircraft for DCS World. Spurred on by community interest, new modules in development and further boosted by the launch of Engima’s Cold War server, we’ve seen the interest here really grow.

Over the last several weeks, I’ve become reacquainted with the AJS-37 Viggen. A brilliant module by Heatblur. Tackling this jet’s campaign series is one of the things I want to do to be sure, however, its a sidenote to my bigger goal of getting very proficient with at least one other Cold War era jet.

Right now I think that might be Aerges Mirage F1. An already very fun module, I want to see if I can become truly capable with this aircraft as it matures over the next year or two. I’ve also had fun with the MiG-19, MiG-21bis, and F-5 but I think it’s the F1 that might be my next Cold War jet.

Goal three: Airliners are back on the menu

I’ve watched a lot of tutorial videos over the last year trying to get my head around how airliners operate. For some reason, flying an F/A-18C Hornet just grabs me in a way that learning the different airliner flows don’t. Still, I feel like I’m on the cusp of understanding something really cool with these simulated airliners and I’d like to write something about my experience as my knowledge grows.

Flight Simulation Studio AG’s smaller E-Jet appeals to me more than some of the larger airliners do. It’s simpler avionics in early access may prove to be a boon for my learning process keeping things simple at first and then adding complexity later on. More on that soon. I’ve also got my eye on the Fenix A320 and PMDG’s 737-600 which is very cost competitive. If I like it enough, their eventual 737 MAX release would probably be a next step for me. The included A310 might also be just the thing that I need and will probably be my first actual foray into this area in 2023.

Finding the right balance between realism and the ability to jump in and have some fun is my goal. Whereas some will want maximum realism, in the airliner space I think I just want to enjoy the sights and the sounds and the overall feel of the airliner experience. My A320neo tour across Canada with the default A320 was already quite a bit of fun.

Goal four: More journeys to new places

Flight sims like X-Plane and Microsoft Flight Simulator are great at letting you explore new places. DCS World and IL-2 also offer that sort of experience with just enough detail to get you plugged into that space. Whatever the sim, I really do want to cover some new ground this year.

In 2022 I’ve flown over parts of Australia, covered many familiar places in North America, and done a little bit of flying in Europe too. This year I want to make sure I spend a bit more time in new places. Asia, Africa, and South America are all places that I’ve been too sparingly and so exploring these places sounds like something that just needs to happen. Never have we been able to so immersively visit a whole other place as we can with modern flight sims. It’s not exactly like being there but it feels like I’ve been there in my head – some of them may even be future vacation destinations.

Goal five: More of the things that I like

The thing with making goals is that they don’t have to be just one thing. The first four goals have all been expansions of my knowledge forcing me to learn new things and fly new airplanes. Flight sims are fantastic for that sort of thing as you can enjoy a wide variety of experiences.

Another thing that’s great about sims? Enjoying stuff that you already fly and like! Sometimes I think some or even many of us get caught up in the hype cycle loving the newest thing out and discarding the old. But there’s a lot to like in these now mature products that are still top notch experiences like I could have only dreamed about a few years ago.

I’ve got a backlog of aircraft across multiple sims that I intend to go back to and have some more fun with. Learning new things can actually become addictive but it also needs to be fun and so returning to some old standbys is also very much on the menu.

In IL-2, flying the old IL-2 Model 1942 is a thing that is constantly fun when I do it. And then I move on to something new. This year I’m going back to it! What about Flying the DCS: F/A-18C off carrier decks? That’s definitely going to be something I return to this year. Getting in some DCS WWII? You bet! Taking out the Carenado Mooney M20 on a few journeys across the world? Very fun and definitely going to happen! Returning to the Aerobask DA62 and DA50 RG? Yep!

These are just some of the types that I love to return to and I’m sure I will be this year too.

What about you?

I’d love to hear what your goals for 2023 are. More of what you like or venturing out into new kinds of flying or new types of aircraft. Let me know in the comments!


21 Comments Add yours

  1. Excellent!

    My 2023 flight sim goals are:

    1. Learn to fly a jet fairly well in DCS World and try a WW2 dynamic campaign.

    2. Unlock a turbine-powered flying contraption in War Thunder.

    3. Try VATSIM in Microsoft Flight Simulator and begin a new Neofly career flying bush planes.

    4. Play and hopefully love Star Field and the upcoming update to Balsa Model Flight Simulator.

    5. Continue streaming all the above to the world.

    Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Great goals! Any jets in particular that you want to tackle in DCS?


  2. CanadaOne says:

    Good article. But now I have to make a list…

    1 – Get the F15E and actually learn it in depth.
    2 – Explore the world more in MSFS.
    3 – Refine my HOTAS and Voice Attack controls.
    4 – Maybe try some MP in DCS.
    5 – Try to resist spending $1000 on a new video card just for DCS.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Seems like a good list! I’m sorry about number 5 but it might happen 🙂


  3. Glide says:

    1. Fly the AH-64D which has been sitting in the crates since I bought it. Done! I love it!
    2. Try Benchmark Sims in VR. Why not?
    3. Fly more helicopters.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Yeah I really haven’t spent much time with the AH-64D either but this year that will change!


  4. J says:

    Great post and I share a few of these for sure.

    1- Like Hypertexthero, on the MSFS side I’ve been wanting to finally get active in VATSIM for years. 2023 is it for me!
    2- Master the Mirage F1
    3- More MP A2A with the F-16/F-18
    4- More Great War era flying in IL2

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Sounds like some great goals! I wondered about getting into VATSIM but I haven’t worked myself up to that yet.

      Mirage F1 is a good one!


  5. _BringTheReign_ says:

    I love this! I’m with you on mastering a module – for me that will be the F-4E once it drops!
    I also plan on making my first fully functional 1:1 simpit of the F-4 once HB releases the dimensions as well.
    I’ve started with the grip which was recently released – (let me know if you want a unit to review)!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      New module mastering can be fun! Sounds like you have a couple of interesting projects to tackle!


  6. Jonathon Coughlin says:

    1. Build some proficiency in DCS attack helicopters.
    2. Develop *something* in the MSFS SDK
    3. Play way more VTOL VR
    4. Get back to Peshka dive bombing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Great goals Jon! Maybe some more time in the Hind? 🙂


  7. Jer Stryker says:

    This year I want get to where I can just jump into any sim and have fun. I spend most of my flight “simming” time tweaking the settings, mapping my controls, messing around with addons, and looking for and studying up on official procedures. By the time I’m done all that I have barely any time left to get to the fun part. Doing all that other leg work gives me a lot of fulfillment, but the cost is too high. The theory is that some point I will have all that other stuff “just right,” and will be able to just get in and have fun. In practice, it hasn’t ever worked out that way. I need to remind myself that this is for fun and there’s often no score in a flight sim, and if I want to just jump in and haphazardly punch holes in the sky, nobody’s going to think worse of me. At the very least I can find a happy balance between the two.

    More specifically, this year my three primary goals are to get proficient in the Heatblur F-14 (just like I wanted to last year), paint my PMDG 737 in a Chicago White Sox scheme and pretend to fly them to all their away games like I did in FS9 many years ago, and just explore the heck out of MSFS. Secondary goals are to some global flying in XP12 in the Concorde, 747-200, and A340-600, play more IL-2, and learn a second DCS module (looking at the F-15E but I have so many others still in the box). If I manage to accomplish all that, *then* maybe I’ll screw around with VR some more, but fun first, learning second, tweaking third this year.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      This is a really great goal. Sometimes you can get stuck into making the sim better but then not enjoy the actual thing that the sim is meant to do. Good goals!


  8. Davie Stewart says:

    PDMG 737…any is worth the money, more immersive IMHO than the non full fidelity and yet easy to fly. I have 700&800, looking forward bro 757-777-747. But yes lots of DCS & IL2 to master yet


    1. Davie Stewart says:

      I too spend ages tweaking, or adding 3rd party objects to give airfield life, the only had a small amount of flying time. Life is too short, so stopped beating myself up about it, I read what I need to get the a/c to respond, keep having to re-learn optical missiles, never managed LGB yet, never complete a decent refuel, but I can start taxi take off & land….can’t be bad

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ken-Dagfinn Rian says:

    My goals.

    1. Get even more comfortable in the Viggen and F1.

    2. Really hunker down and learn the F-4 when that comes out.

    3. Get up the courage to try some Air to air multiplayer instead of just going at the speed of heat at 100ft in the Viggen hoping to not be noticed.

    4. Get some more MSFS flying going. Maybe start a company in AirHauler 2….again.

    5. Get better at WarThunder. So maybe I last more than a few min…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Rynyan says:

    The A310 might be the ticket for you. I think it is for me, the BAe-146 and upcoming Fokker F28 being more in my area of interest for size and age. I think it’s because it has just enough automation to allow me to focus on the more complicated fundamentals of a jet airliner.
    A lot of things I want to do this year are getting back into things I did when I was younger.

    1: Stop flying with an Xbox controller and buy proper flight controls again. Invest in nice ones and learn them well.
    2. Start doing short-haul commercial flights again. Maybe start a VA or use an external program to keep track of it all.
    3. Get back into DCS and fly what I enjoy: ground strikes in small aircraft and logistics. Maybe try going online.
    4. Try streaming. Any games at all, really.
    5. Upgrade my PC to better handle current and upcoming software.


  11. harryvoyager says:

    Going to be trying to do a GPU upgrade in Feb to one of the 4090 models and switch to Windows 11, then want to get stuck in with one of three flight ideas, but can’t decide which.

    Option 1: DCS learn the F-14B and stream it.

    Option 2: MSFS: Do the VFR and IFR training packages and do an around the world trip in the Flying Iron Hellcat

    Option 3: Il-2: Do a P-47 campaign that starts at the earliest date and runs through the end of the war.

    Just not sure which, and it may depend on how the hardware/software upgrades go.


  12. butcher75 says:

    My goal is to start and finish more of the many campaigns I have Brought .

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Urgent Siesta says:

    The F1 is what I had always wanted the F-5 to be. Not bare bones simple like F-5, not too complex, and (imho) a more interesting flight model. And unlike Tomcat, very welcome on Cold War servers 🙂

    I can highly recommend the PMDG 737-600. Hard to believe it’s only $35, and not missing any system features of the more expensive versions. Further, since it’s small/light and powerful, it can get into and out of surprisingly small airports – it’s rather like a biz jet. 🙂
    And lets face it, it’s probably the most well-documented flight sim airliner available in terms of youtube, written, public info, etc.

    For me, though, the shine of the airliners has simply worn off. Too much work/complexity to get them off the ground, not enough excitement.

    As far as civ simming, I intend to focus on the “study level” upgrades of Asobo’s Citation Longitude in the pending AAU 1 update. Between that and the TBM, I’ll have just about everything covered: aircraft are dead simple to operate, “simple” Garmin nav systems (also good for many other addons), and thus I can concentrate on exploring the world rather than the aircraft itself.
    And I’ll keep the Top Mach Studios F-22 for when I feel like “simulating” a Concorde flight 😉

    So, probably mostly going to stick with DCS, like always.
    So far, that’s turning out to be going deep(er) on Black Shark 3 for combat, Hind for “logistics”, and both for helo air-to-air 😉

    “Serious study” of tactics & flying/BFM skills building in Tomcat, following the formal documentation I’ve been able to scrape together.

    For fun flights, I think I’m going to use Harrier to do “cross country” navigation & visit all the airfields & helipads on Syria & S. Atlantic. Also going to learn the formal Case I, II, III for Tarawa (interesting contrasts to CVN catobar ops!).


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