Microsoft Flight Simulator Handbook

by Jonathan M. Stern

Controlling the Simulator

In this chapter, you review the components of a single-engine airplane, basic aerodynamics, the instruments found in a single-engine airplane, preflight operations, and airport and traffic pattern operations. Before delving into these topics, however, you need to know more about how the simulator is controlled. There are so many potential configurations for controlling Flight Simulator that it is quite impractical, if not impossible, to describe them all.

Flight Simulator can be controlled with the computer keyboard, a variety of joysticks, cockpit mockups, a computer mouse, and so on. In this book, I describe various maneuvers as though you are using the actual flight controls found in the real airplane. You may need to refer to Table 2.1 to translate those control inputs to computer inputs.

If you are using a joystick, you need merely translate counter-clockwise movement of the yoke to left movement of the joystick and vice versa. The keyboard layout with function keys across the top of the keyboard is most common, and I will occasionally describe keystrokes on such a keyboard. For those readers who have a keyboard with function keys arranged vertically on the left side, the following table should be of assistance:

Table 2.1 Keyboard Controls and Equivalents
Control Keyboard (F keys on top) Keyboard (F keys left side)
Left Aileron* Keypad 4 Keypad 4
Center Ailerons* Keypad 5 Keypad 5
Right Aileron* Keypad 6 Keypad 6
Up Elevator* Keypad 2 Keypad 2
Down Elevator* Keypad 8 Keypad 8
Up Trim Keypad 1 Keypad 1
Down Trim Keypad 7 Keypad 7
Left Rudder Keypad 0 Keypad 0
Center Rudder Keypad 5 Keypad 5
Right Rudder Keypad Enter Keypad Enter
Flaps Retracted* F5 F1
Flaps 10°* F6 F3
Flaps 20°* F5
Flaps 30°* F7 F7
Flaps 40°* F8 F9
Spoiler (Lear and Schweizer)* / /
Throttle Increase* Keypad 9 or F3 Keypad 9 or F6
Throttle Decrease* Keypad 3 or F2 Keypad 3 or F8
Throttle Closed F1 F10
Throttle Full Open F4 F4
Propeller Increase RPM* Ctrl+Keypad 9 Ctrl+Keypad 9
Propeller Decrease RPM* Ctrl+Keypad 3 Ctrl+Keypad 3
Propeller Low RPM Ctrl+F1 Ctrl+F10
Propeller High RPM Ctrl+F4 Ctrl+F2
Mixture Enrich* Ctrl+Shift+Keypad 9 Ctrl+Shift+Keypad 9
Mixture Lean* Ctrl+Shift+Keypad 3 Ctrl+Shift+Keypad 3
Mixture Idle Cutoff Ctrl+Shift+F1 Ctrl+Shift+F10
Mixture Full Rich Ctrl+Shift+F4 Ctrl+Shift+F2
EGT Bug Right U+Plus Sign U+Plus Sign
EGT Bug Left U+Minus Sign U+Minus Sign
Calibrate Altimeter* B B
Calibrate Heading Indicator* D D
Calibrate Joystick K K
Pause/Resume P P
Landing Gear Up/Down* G G
Brakes* Period Period
Differential Brakes Left F11 F11
Differential Brakes Right F12 F12
Parking Brakes Ctrl+Period Ctrl+Period
Carburetor Heat On/Off* H H
Magnetos On/Off* M,+ or - M,+ or -
Lights All On/Off* L L
Instrument Panel Lights On/Off Shift+L Shift+L
Landing Light On/Off Ctrl+L Ctrl+L
Strobe Lights On/Off* O O
Autopilot On/Off* Z Z
* Indicates items that can be controlled with a mouse.

Table of Contents
Previous Section: The New Flight Simulator Pilot's Ground School
Next Section: The Airplane and its Components