Since flight simming can be quite an expensive hobby I think it is important that everyone in the community contributes with their opinion about products they have experience with. These are my contributions regarding products I’ve bought and used extensively.
A2A PIPER J3 CUB WITH ACCUSIM (6/6)
I’m not gonna waste much space on this review. The A2A Piper J3 Cub is the best aircraft I have ever used in a desktop flight simulator. It is the only aircraft that manages to fool me into thinking that I am flying for real – ’nuff said! http://www.a2asimulations.com/
NATURALPOINT TRACKIR 4:PRO (6/6)
TrackIR is by far the most essential hardware for flight simming in my opinion. I simply can’t fly without it. It’s super easy to install and use. Just remeber to pause it ever so often to avoid straining your neck. I use it with a visor and the Track Clip, but the Track Clip Pro is probably the way to go if you use a head set. http://www.naturalpoint.com/trackir/
SAITEK PRO FLIGHT YOKE AND THROTTLE QUADRANTS (3/6)
I’ve been using the Saitek yoke and two throttle quadrants for several years now. They are very easy to install and mount easily to your desktop. They can be configured perfectly with FSUIPC to work in FS2002, FS9 and FSX. I haven’t tried them with other sims yet. The TQs can easily be reconfigured for single or multi engine aircraft. Overall I find usability great. However the quality of the products aren’t very good. I had my first yoke replaced after just a few months because of an electrical failure. While the yoke and levers all were thight and solid the first few weeks they soon became loose and troublesome, and unless you’re the handy man type it can’t be fixed. The peripherals are reasonably priced, but personally I’d pay a little more for better quality, or some kind of tightening mechanism. Bottom line: The Saitek yoke and TQs are improvements over the CH yoke and TQ they replaced, but build quality is very poor. While they don’t have the feel and range of real aircraft controls, they do add abit more realism and immersion for the simmer on a budget. http://www.saitek.com/uk/prod/yoke.html
FSXAIRPORT BY JUDY COLLINS (1/6)
FSXAirport lets you view airport data and diagrams, and gives you information about runways. What could have been a handy app is sadly nothing more than a poorly designed database of useless info. The problem is that a lot of vital airport information is missing. For instance, it only lists runways in one direction. For ENTC there are two ILS frequencies listed for Runway 1. Surely one of the ILS frequencies are for RW19, but which? The database doesn’t include other handy information like tower, ground, ATIS, VOR or NDB frequencies. The diagram is also totally useless. While it shows the layout of the airport it contains no other data than the placement of the PAPIs. As such the ability to view a Google sattelite image of the airport is a nice feature, sadly the only one. Bottom line: On paper the app seems like a good idea, but execusion is sloppy at best. If someone else find this app useful, please let me know.