Learning to Fly with Flight Simulator

by John Rafferty

Reality Mode

If you enter a 1 instead of 0 for Reality Mode on the Edit Page, the simulator is put into Reality Mode. (On the 68000, see also Appendix 3.) In this mode, there are special features that add further realism, as described below.

Magnetos. The magneto switch is basically like your auto ignition switch, but it has more position—off, right, left, both and start. The indicator showing the switch position is just beneath the digital clock; consult your manual for the keys that select these positions on your version. In normal operation in Reality Mode, you start the engine by selecting the Start position, and then switch to both mags; you kill the engine by selecting off.

Throttle. Reality Mode forces you to treat the throttle gently: If you try to gun the engine too rapidly, it may quit.

Elevator Trim. In Easy Mode, the elevator stays put, while in Reality Mode it will drift to whatever position is natural under the prevailing flight conditions. To keep the elevator stable, you have to adjust the elevator trim, which causes the nose to rise or fall slightly. The elevator trim indicator is just to the left of the digital clock.

Taxiing off the Pavement. If you wander off the pavement, the landing gear may get bogged down in mud or snow.

Gyro Compass (Heading Indicator). The gyro will drift, as it does in actual flight, and must be reset periodically using the magnetic compass. Get the magnetic compass stabilized first, and then use Control-D to reset the gyro.

Altimeter. An altimeter is basically a barometer (it measures barometric pressure), except that the face of the instrument is laid out to read in feet of altitude instead of inches of mercury. Since the barometric pressure is always changing, the altimeter must be reset to the current barometric pressure from time to time. You do so by simply pressing Control-B.

Panel Lights. After dusk, you have to turn on the instrument panel lights; if you leave the lights on during daylight hours, however, you may burn out a bulb. Burnt-out bulbs are replaced automatically whenever you refuel—which you do by taxiing to a gas pump; the gas pumps at each airport are shown on the overhead radar view.

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