by Jonathan M. Stern
Resources for Flight Simulator
MicroWINGS is an international association for aerospace simulations. It is dedicated to users, enthusiasts, and the aerospace simulation industry. Offering many benefits, including a subscription to MicroWINGS Magazine, discounts, services, and an annual conference, MicroWINGS stands out from typical local flight simulation clubs. MicroWINGS Magazine is of top-notch quality, with full color covers, informative articles, reviews, first time previews of upcoming software, and columns by distinguished authors (including Charles Gulick and Jonathan M. Stern).
The annual conference has become the mother of all flight simulation gatherings (to coin a phrase from Desert Storm). With close to 200 worldwide enthusiasts attending the 1994 conference in Dallas, the conference is growing and offering even more than the prior year.
The 1994 conference attendees experienced tours of the Dallas Fort Worth Airport's Control Tower and TRACON, Forth Worth Air Route Traffic Control Center, the American Airlines Flight Training Center, Southwest Airlines' Flight Training Facility, including hands-on practice with its visual simulators, and the business jet simulators at SimuFlite Training International.
Very interesting presentations were made and new products were announced and previewed. An exhibit room allowed all attendees to try the latest hardware and software. The conference helps bring together users, designers, programmers, and vendors to share their favorite pastime and offer suggestions for future versions and products.
CompuServe Flight Sim Forum
Once you connect, just use GO FSFORUM.
This is the biggest online forum devoted to flight simulation. Forum members discuss a wide variety of flight simulation-related topics, including general aviation, air transport, air combat, and space simulations. Representatives of all major flight simulation software publishers support their products in and solicit comments from this forum.
The forum's libraries contain thousands of files, including demos, screenshots, public domain and shareware programs, and aircraft and scenery files. The forum also supports "fly-in" conferences, to which the participants must fly Flight Simulator from their homes to the central location chosen for that meeting. Multi-player hookups provide ATC assistance for these very successful events.
America Online Flight Sim Resource Center
After you connect, use the keyword: pc games, and then click on the Flight Sim Resource Center button.
The center offers scenery, aircraft, other addons, product information and news, and a busy message board.
Microsoft World Wide Web Page
Microsoft offers helpful Flight Sim-specific information within its Web site:
Choose Knowledge Base. Scroll down to Desktop Applications. Choose Home Games, and type the keyword: Flight Simulator.
To get there directly:
http://www.microsoft.com/pages/kb/indexes/games.htm? Flight Simulator
This page offers a series of articles covering error messages, operational details, addons, scenery files, hardware conflicts, and version differences.
Other Web Pages
Version 5.0a page. Includes Simulator secrets, flight photos, upgrade information, mailing lists, other tips, and FTP sites:
Flight Simulator 5.0-Kenya. Offers scenery navaids, map of the scenery, runway information, ILSs, VORs, NDBs, and COMs:
Places to find upgrades, patches, Aircraft & Scenery Designer addons, and other utilities:
ftp.ulowell.edu wuarchive.wustl.edu ftp.uwp.edu ftp.iup.edu
Serious newgroup that focuses on flight and space sims and contains many discussions on Flight Simulator itself:
Covers a variety of topics about air-simulation games and includes some discussion of Flight Simulator.