Flight Simulation

Several years I'm using my computer to simulate flying to improve my flying skills.  All those years I have used different simulation software like Aerofly FS2, Digital Combat Simulation and finally Microsoft Flight Simulation 2020.  I'm using this last one most for General Aviation IFR training,  Warbirds,  Gliders and Helicopters.  Just beginning to study airliners now with the PMDG 737-700. More than a decade ago I have already used the first versions of the Microsoft Flight Simulator to try get a better immersion of Real Life Flying. Only a few years ago Virtual Reality succeeded more or less to bring this VR Immersion. Today with Third Generation Hardware and Software we are slowly getting there. The quality of VR flying in Warbirds, Gliders, Helicopters and other Planes is becoming acceptable on a Windows 11 2H22 platform with fast hardware (CPU Intel i9 11900 and GPU Asus ROG RTX 3080Ti TUF ) and a HP reverb G2 Headset using Microsoft Flightsimulator 2020 SU11 Beta  with there own Virtual environment and Aerofly RC 8 for RC-flight  Simulation and for training RC-helicopters my favorite is now Heli-X. Specific in RC helicopter flying it has proved to be a great help and saved me a lot of money due to avoided crashes.A fast PC is important because a VR environment need a lot of graphical power. A lot of this power will transform in heat so cooling of your CPU, main board and GPU card is really important! In my PC I have 13 controlled fans and a water cooling for the CPU. The Maximus XIII Extreme motherboard  based on the Intel Z590 chipset, and is loaded with the latest and greatest ROG features. The Intel Core i9-11900K @ 3.4 GHz processor capable of achieving stable overclocks of 5GHz. 32 Mb G. Skill DDR4-3600 SDRAM and Samsung PRO M.2 Pcie 4 SSD's are completing the main board. Important for the VR experience is the Graphics Card. End last year I have upgraded to a ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 3080Ti TUF 11GB card. Compared to the founders edition from Nvidia this product has improved on performance with roughly a 3% to  5% average, it has low noise levels and nice cooling levels To control Airplanes and Helicopters in VR I was using Trustmaster T.16000M FCS HOTAS joystick and Throttle together with the TFRP T.Flight Rudder Pedals, but then I switched to the Trustmaster HOTAS Warthog Stick and Throttle and Trustmaster Pendular pedals. Now I'am using the Honeycomb Apha Yoke af Bravo Throttes and I am very satisfied with this upgrade. The controllability improved considerably. See the new Photo's on the bottom of this page. Oculus Rift S - detailI started exploring VR some two years ago with the Oculus Rift. Then I upgraded to the Oculus Rift S and now I'm using the HP Reverb G2. For me the quality improvement is worth the upgrade price. There is less Screen Door effect and also very little Halo,Glare, Flare with the new Lenses. The inside out Tracking is easy and works well when you have other Input Devices nearby. The Halo-Style Headband is very comfortable. Instead of the low quality Hidden Speakers in the Headband I'm using a Marshall Major III headphone direct connected in the mini jack output on the VR Headset and connected with a very short cable. These small but qualitative Headphones are fitting perfect. The VR sound is send to Rift output and to a soundcard output connect to subwoofer with the AuraSound AST-2B-4 Pro Bass Shaker Tactile Transducer mounted under my chair. This sound experience (with Simshaker software ) makes the VR Immersion even better.

Simulation Software

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020: https://www.flightsimulator.com/ Youtube: https://youtu.be/l_F20n8BwME

AeroFly FS2:  www.aerofly.com/   Youtube: watch?v=FhzIGh5oRYc

Digital Combat Simulator: www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/ Youtube: watch?v=y0zMt1pc6Bc


Flying in MSFS2020 EBAW Antwerp Airport and surroundings

Flying in MSFS2020 EBAW Evening Tour around Antwerp

Flying in DCS with Mustang at Las Vegas

Flying in DCS with Spitfire MKIX at Normandy


Weathering – To get a real Warbird Look

 Concepts, Plane, Scale, Visualisation Aerial Concepts Belgium, Patric Dietvorst, Eflite, P-47D, Thunderbolt, Vallejo

P-47D Thunderbolt Weathering - detail

These washes from Vallejo come in medium size 35ml Bottles. There are 12 different colors. For this model I have used 505 (Light Rust), 515 (Light Grey) 517 (Dark Grey), 519 (Olive Green), 521 (Oiled Earth). They are water-based and so thin with water. The wash itself is made with an acrylic resin so that the surface tension of the wash behaves like a solvent-based material, but it has the benefits of clean-up and dilution with simple water. The wash itself dries in around 15-20 minutes depending on the temperature and humidity of where you are working with them. You can also layer washes on top of each other as well. You could suffer some light deterioration of the original coat of paint.

I started with the panel lines. With a small paint, the 517 and brush carefully fill only the panel line. Let 2-3 minutes drying, then use a cloth to wipe away some wash. Wipe carefully in the direction of the panel lines. The idea is, less weathering is better and you can always add some more in a second layer.

The second step is washing the olive green surfaces. With a brush paint the  519 and apply this wash on the surfaces. After 30 to 60 seconds wipe most of the wash gentle with a cloth. Repeat if you like more wash. In the middle part of bigger areas, you best remove more to get a lighter effect. If the wash is to dry to remove use a little water or isopropyl alcohol to remove more. On the lighter surfaces at the bottom of the plane use the 515 wash with the same technique.

The third step is to add some details like dark gun strips (517), rust areas, add some chipping with silver acyl paint. Most details you do not wipe with a cloth. Just apply a little and let it dry.

The fourth step is to paint some elements, like paint the machine guns silver, and dry brush the motor part behind the propeller with some silver strips. You can paint the cowl internally black. I have added I yellow tape inside the front of the cowl and use some varnish to fix the tape.

Fifth step. If you finish the weathering and you are satisfied with the result, you can apply a clear varnish by aerosol. Do not overdo because this only adding weight to your model.

Led Lights – Improve the In Air Visibility

 Concepts, Electronica, Plane, Visualisation Aerial Concepts Belgium, Patric DietvorstAS3X, Fun Cub, Mutiplex, Spektrum

Fun Cub Led Strips - detail

In daylight, you can improve the visibility of an aircraft by using different colors or patterns on top of the wing versus the bottom of the wing. But when sunlight is limited in the morning, in the evening, when it is heavy clouded or there is some fog all colors faint and become gray or black.

Because the battery for the Fun Cub is 3S you can use the balancer connector to get approximately 12 Volts. led strips are available in multiple colors.  I have used short strips with 6 Led green, red, and white to create navigation lights left, right, and in for of the wings. The cables are hidden in the wing with a small cut in the foam and can follow the main spar. Central you can use some simple connectors so you can keep the wings removable. You can cover the electrical wiring with a transparent white tape.

Finally, you have to protect electrical connections and the led strips against humidity. I have used a transparent shrinking tube and used a plastic coating spray from Kontakt Chemie to cover the PCB components.

Oracover – Ironing Film on Foam

 Concepts, Plane, Visualisation Aerial Concepts Belgium, Patric Dietvorst, AS3X, Fun Cub, Multiplex, Spektrum

Fun Cub Look - detail

Changed the look of this plane with Oracover ironing film on top of the foam. Cut more than a hundred separate squares 30×30 mm of Oracover film. This film gets sticky without shrinking at a temperature of 70-100 °C. Do not overdo it because the foam can expand a little under the film if you heat too long.