Sometimes the Small Details Are the Most Impressive

 

Last weekend, I picked up a copy of Microsoft Flight Simulator. The best way I can describe it is jaw-dropping. There are some problems, especially when looking at natural wonders.  Take for example Devils Tower.  I’ll let you make your own Close Encounters jokes.

However, it is still great for visiting places you haven’t been in decades.

Sometimes, it’s finding a small farm in the middle of nowhere that is most impressive.

That farm may only be significant to a few people, but it is that level of detail and the knowledge that it covers the entire world is the most impressive.

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 22 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Sam Rhody The Insane:

    I’ll let you make your own Close Encounters jokes. 

    As you wish:

    “This is important.”

    • #1
  2. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Nifty neat.

    • #2
  3. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Are we talking about “the” farm?? 

    • #3
  4. OldDanRhody's speakeasy Inactive
    OldDanRhody's speakeasy
    @OldDanRhody

    Yup, I’ve been to all those places, although I don’t remember Devil’s Tower as being that color.
    How does it fly closer to the deck?

    • #4
  5. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member
    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw
    @MattBalzer

    OldDanRhody's speakeasy (View Comment):
    How does it fly closer to the deck?

    I’m relatively certain it won’t end with 10-15 million killed, depending on the breaks.

    • #5
  6. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    When my wife started flying in the USAF some of the simulators still used terrain boards for low level flying – like in the picture.  They were mounted vertically so the camera could move over the board freely.  The two things I remember her telling me was one day a building came unglued and shot sideways across the terrain in front of them.  The second one was a student yelled “ vehicle on the runway!  Abort!”  It was one of our typical Mississippi prehistoric roaches walking around on the board.  

    • #6
  7. EB Thatcher
    EB
    @EB

    Sam Rhody The Insane:

    Last weekend, I picked up a copy of Microsoft Flight Simulator. The best way I can describe it is jaw dropping. There are some problems, especially when looking at natural wonders. Take for example Devils Tower. I’ll let you make your own Close Encounters jokes.

     

    And a TBM900, woo hoo!  My husband was at one point marketing vp for this line and he got to fly these periodically.  Wish we could afford one for ourselves.  Although it’s a French manufacturer, we were based in the US because 80% of the TBM’s are sold here.

    • #7
  8. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    The need for modeling precision varies with common interest. For cityscapes, the developers only needed to reproduce general architectural styles. Likewise, mountains and fields can be imprecise. But landmarks — the things people seek out — the devs must craft individually and carefully.

    For most things, it seems enough to get the proportions and relative positioning right to make it enjoyably familiar. Most people don’t often see these things from above anyway.

    I wonder how much more critical real pilots are of simulated landscapes. Microsoft Flight Simulator has game options but was made to be a true simulator — able to recreate many of the real challenges of flying particular aircraft in real conditions. I expect pilots like GLDIII would notice more of the non-visual conditions it simulates.

    • #8
  9. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    I wonder how much more critical real pilots are of simulated landscapes.

    One time, long ago, there were going to be some Australian pilots futzing around with our helicopter simulator. Somebody had the idea that we should provide the Aussies with a little taste of home. Somebody else noted that we could modify the models for enemy infantry to resemble kangaroos. The simulated troops would scatter and run for cover, just like kangaroos would, so the change was implemented.

    It worked great. Somebody should have checked further down on the script, though. The pilots were amused to see the ‘roos scattering before them. They even more amused when the first wave of RPGs came up from out of cover.

    “Where did the skippies get those?”

    • #9
  10. Hank Rhody, Badgeless Bandito Contributor
    Hank Rhody, Badgeless Bandito
    @HankRhody

    Sam Rhody The Insane:

    Sometimes, it’s finding a small farm in the middle of nowhere that is most impressive.

    Looks like a rough year. Think they’re trying to sell crop dusting service?

    • #10
  11. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    OldDanRhody’s speakeasy (View Comment):
    How does it fly closer to the deck?

    I’m relatively certain it won’t end with 10-15 million killed, depending on the breaks.

    Enthusiasticaly: “Tops!”

    • #11
  12. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    My friend used to have a flight simulator on his computer but it looked like this

    Yeah, I’m old. The new one seems like it is as much for sight seeing as it is for understanding how to fly a plane (which, if you are serious, really requires more than a laptop)

    • #12
  13. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    My friend used to have a flight simulator on his computer but it looked like this

    Yeah, I’m old. The new one seems like it is as much for sight seeing as it is for understanding how to fly a plane (which, if you are serious, really requires more than a laptop)

    Most of those steam gauges have been replaced with multi function displays.

    • #13
  14. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    My friend used to have a flight simulator on his computer but it looked like this

    Yeah, I’m old. The new one seems like it is as much for sight seeing as it is for understanding how to fly a plane (which, if you are serious, really requires more than a laptop)

    That’s pretty high tech compared to my first one.

     

    • #14
  15. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    I preferred Train Simulator.

    • #15
  16. Roderic Reagan
    Roderic
    @rhfabian

    I may have to try the new Microsoft Flight Simulator.  

    I played the much older version years ago.  It wasn’t much on scenery, but it was good for learning the flight controls and basics like taking off, turns, climbing, descending, landing, stalls, spins, etc.   You could get a feel for flying on instruments.  The version I had simulated a Lear jet among other types.  It was surprising how far out you had to start descending to land the thing.  

    My father trained Naval aviators on Link Trainers during WWII.  He was impressed.

     

     

    • #16
  17. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Roderic (View Comment):

    I may have to try the new Microsoft Flight Simulator.

    I played the much older version years ago. It wasn’t much on scenery, but it was good for learning the flight controls and basics like taking off, turns, climbing, descending, landing, stalls, spins, etc. You could get a feel for flying on instruments. The version I had simulated a Lear jet among other types. It was surprising how far out you had to start descending to land the thing.

    My father trained Naval aviators on Link Trainers during WWII. He was impressed.

     

     

    One of my favorite games on my C64 was Kennedy Approach, an ATC “simulator”.  (It was a game, not a simulation).

     

    • #17
  18. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Roderic (View Comment):

    I may have to try the new Microsoft Flight Simulator.

    I played the much older version years ago. It wasn’t much on scenery, but it was good for learning the flight controls and basics like taking off, turns, climbing, descending, landing, stalls, spins, etc. You could get a feel for flying on instruments. The version I had simulated a Lear jet among other types. It was surprising how far out you had to start descending to land the thing.

    My father trained Naval aviators on Link Trainers during WWII. He was impressed.

     

     

    I almost took a job with those guys after they were acquired by Singer and became Singer-Link.

    • #18
  19. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    I used to play the Chuck Yeager Advanced Flight Trainer.  That one had no forgiveness whatsoever; it was designed such that if you could fly the plane in the software, you had a realistic chance of flying the real plane.

    I could land a Sopwith Camel about 9 times out of 10, even if I was frequently on the grass next to the runway.  For a P-51, it was about 4 of 10.

    • #19
  20. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    I went to YouTube and watched some trailers etc of MS Flight Simulator.

    My first thought was, “This may be the most extraordinary piece of software I’ve ever seen.”

    My second thought was, “What is this going to look like in 10 years?”

    • #20
  21. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Another astonishing point about this astonishing software:  It costs $59.

    • #21
  22. Jack Yates Member
    Jack Yates
    @JackYates

    Take off from Santa Barbara Municipal runway 33,  turn north climb to about 3,500 feet, then follow the ridge of the Santa Ynez mountains.  When you pass the end of the large lake (Cachuma) to the east and just to the west of the ridge, you’ll pass over Rancho del Cielo (house with red roof and Lake Lucky adjacent.)

    • #22