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Due to financial impediments (other priorities in life) I had to postpone my PPL. While browsing the questions on the site here, I was having a look at this question: Can Microsoft Flight Simulator help me learn to fly (or make me a better pilot)?

In that question there is an answer by abelenky where he posts a picture of his old simulator rig. I was wondering about the process to put a similar simulator rig together.

What hardware and software would I need? I've heard about joysticks, but is it necessary to have pedals to move the rudder? To make things as specific as possible, here's how I imagine using it:

  1. The purpose of the simulator

    I would like to practice the use of the instruments while enjoying myself. Maybe flying some of my favourite second world war planes for instance, if possible.

  2. What types of planes and flying is it for?

    I would see what is available. I have been flying only Cessnas so far. I would love to fly a Focke-Wulf Fw 190 if it's possible.

  3. What types of training or practice?

    Navigation, landing, instruments, anything to help with the PPL.

(This is a similar question; it has been closed because it was too broad, since it asked about all possible solutions. I'm only asking which are the essential components to make a basic simulator for PPL-level skills.)

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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is essentially asking about sourcing of items, which does not meet our on-topic criteria. $\endgroup$ – SentryRaven Apr 15 '16 at 12:25
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    $\begingroup$ I think this is too opinion-based. Everyone has their favorites. $\endgroup$ – GdD Apr 15 '16 at 13:20
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    $\begingroup$ Have to agree, this is very opinion based on not a great fit for this particular site. That being said, if you do some google searches you can find some great answers to this question. Also, check out "The Jay" by Redbird, it has most of the stuff you need in one nice neat little package: simulators.redbirdflight.com/products/jay $\endgroup$ – Jay Carr Apr 15 '16 at 13:51
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    $\begingroup$ It has been edited to remove the opinion-based part well before it got closed. I don't see why, in its current state, this would not be a good question. $\endgroup$ – Federico Apr 15 '16 at 16:41
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    $\begingroup$ I still see a lot of opinion going into what exactly "suitable" or "decent" would mean. It would help to be explicit about exactly what the purpose of the simulator is. What types of planes and flying is it for? What types of training or practice? $\endgroup$ – fooot Apr 15 '16 at 17:17
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(first off, I need to post a new picture of my sim rig soon. It's improved since then)

1. Yoke vs. Stick

Try to model it after a plane you're actually going to fly.

  • If it's a yoke-controlled model (like a Cessna), then you should have a Yoke.

  • If you're working towards a stick controlled plane (like a Piper Cub), then you should get a simple joystick (not a fighter-pilot-styled super fancy one).

I have this model: Pro-Flight Yoke But I want to upgrade to: enter image description here

2. Throttle

After that, I think a throttle is important. Making the throttle precisely mirror your chosen airplane is not as important. (pushing a lever is pretty similar to pushing a control rod).

The three-lever model comes with the Pro Flight Yoke. Or you can get a a Push-rod version like this: Throttle Prop Mix controls

(more updates when I have time)

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  • $\begingroup$ I have pedals, but they aren't a key-piece of equipment for most of the basic flying I do. $\endgroup$ – abelenky Apr 15 '16 at 13:25
  • $\begingroup$ Can you expand on why you want to upgrade to the Cessna yoke? I too currently have a Saitek so I'm curious of the differences. $\endgroup$ – fooot Apr 15 '16 at 19:44
  • $\begingroup$ I'm trying to model a Cessna 172, so the Cessna Yoke would be more accurate. Also the green-backlight on the clock in my current yoke doesn't work right, and flickers a lot, which is annoying. I bought the original yoke before the Cessna model was available, and it is (admittedly) a minor tweak. I can't really justify the expense, but I still think about it. :) $\endgroup$ – abelenky Apr 15 '16 at 19:47
  • $\begingroup$ Well, if you aren't really using the clock anyway, you could just place a layer or two of duct tape over it... That should remove the distraction from the flickering, at a significantly lower cost. :-) $\endgroup$ – a CVn Apr 15 '16 at 19:57
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    $\begingroup$ Why do you say the rudder pedals are not essential? If you're modeling an airliner with a yaw damper I could see, but it seems like if you're modeling a 172 you'd want them. $\endgroup$ – TomMcW Apr 15 '16 at 23:30

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