Why would you buy ELITE?
#1
This is a question most simmers ask me when I tell them my go-to ifr sim is still ELITE.

I was attracted by this professional flight simulation in it's early stages, while reading about it at aviation magazines, and I actually was offered my first copy of ELITE ( v7 ) around 2003 when I won a contest in one of those magazines :-)

It was "love at first sight" :-), and I still use ELITE ( now XTS v9 ) whenever I am up for an IFR / IMC traning scenario.

ELITE is aimed primarily at IFR training, although it's scenery engine has always been more detailed than competing products, no longer available commercially like IFT-Pro, Jeppesen Flight Pro and ASA On-Top.

Nowadays simmers are given superb graphics, now including also the VR experience, for their simulation platforms. They have gorgeous sceneries, some really nice weather effects, can see other aircraft in the skies, even use "robotic" or online / community ATC services, but, do they have accurate reproductions of the aircraft they buy for their flight simulators, down to the details of flight handling and systems simulation?  

Let's take the prop aircraft in MSFS / P3D... Their flight dynamics can be pushed to the limits by some talented developers, but unless they make use of external flight dynamics, they will always be limited for instance by the fact that torque effects are felt only up to vs0 !  The best ww2 fighter add-on for your P3D platform will fail miserably to behave plausibly when you make power changes inflight at cruise speeds, actually above vs0, which is rather limitative. Also, the good-old leaning bug will ruin your "precise" engine management and performance calculations because instead of decreasing, Fuel Flow will initially start increasing as you lean the engine above around 3000' AGL, and the higher you go, the longer it increases during leaning.

Then, in order to have a decent moving map, with all of the details required for IFR training, you have to invest in external programs. And actually the task of adding this or that add-ons, most of it "visuals sugar" not really important for IFR training is the track most simmers end up following, spending little fortunes and countless hours in their flight simulators not actually doing flight simulation but rather PC tuning.

Now, if you're a student pilot, or a simmer simply willing to pick a good ATPL syllabus and start training IFR in your desktop, without being distracted by nice but useless details like cars on roads, flocks of birds, boats, etc... you will surely want to invest in ELITE instead.

The desktop PC required to run it is far from being as expensive and up to date as what you will have to buy to decently run P3D or even XP, and instead of starting to spend yet another fortune in an escalating sequence of hardware acquisitions and upgrades, fighting for performance optimization, and actually diverting from you initial objective, you'll be able to spend that money flying for real, and using ELITE to train in what I still consider to be, by far, the best platform available for that purpose.

Sometimes I've found myself constrained by having to consider which hardware upgrades will be required to properly use X-Plane or P3D, or even DCS and IL-2 in order to be able to play those games at acceptbale performance, like I sometimes observe in some tempting youtubes. Then I search for components, do my "maths", and find out that the total ammount required to actually be able to "play a game" is simply prohibitive, or could much better be spent flying for real in the gliders available at my airclub, and the true objective - practicing IFR which is a task I do like to practice and can't IRL since i only own a GPL - cannot be achieved in a better way with those games...

But even if you're picky about details you will like to know, for instance, that in MSFS / P3D / XP using whatever add-on or default aircraft you may use for turboprops, particularly those with a Pt-6 tubine, you will never reach the level of detail and accuracy your ELITE B200 Kingair will provide, with details like precise Fuel Flow when variation to RPM are operated at constant altitude and condition / throttle settings, and much, much more...

In it's latest version, released just one month ago, ELITE XTS v9 offers support for multiple monitors including for external views and instructor station(s), and resolution can be up to 4k for those with the necessary hardware. The simulator can also be connected with external devices using their "ELITE PIlot Software IPM" allowing for the use of handheld GPS units or EFBs.

It's in another league, and now in v9 instead of a single scenery and navaids database for your area of choice you'll get the full European databases, or USA if you live in USA, most probably the same applying to Central, Caribbean and South America, Australia and Asia databases.
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#2
Hello jcomm,

You have a long experience with ELITE as well as with many other flight simulators and your return of experience is most welcome. No doubt that it will be very useful to readers !

Agree regarding tuning vs flying for other simulators. Agree that ELITE is about flying (IFR) and not tuning. Agree that it has by default essential quality features (weather, flight planner) that would require addons on other flightsims.

For the flight planner I wish I had a bearing point feature and also a drag and drop feature to move the map instead of using keys. The menus and labels designed long time ago for low res screns can be hard to read on a 2K screen.

Regarding the flight models, I trust the Swiss accuracy  Thumbup

For the scenery, I did not expect graphics à la XP / P3D, however it could be a it more "modern". To be also honest I was amazed that during turns, the scenery stutters  Surprised (I have a 4.3 Ghz CPU and a GTX 1080). The aircrafts panels, which are one ELITE's trademarks, have definitely improved. They could however be sharper IMHO. I'm wondering if it's true native 2K or 4K or Full HD stretched to higher resolutions.




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#3
Goof observations Simicro!

I was privileged to be able to visit the ELITE FNPTs ( B200 ) at Langen ATC training centre near Frankfurt in 2015. They use P3D / ESP visuals and have full size mockups for the type. It's an amazing setup, that we can't afford at home :-)

But opening the door for using P3D at home without having to pay for the syncing service would be great for users who also own that platform and more than one CPU.
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#4
(10-17-2018, 08:52 PM)jcomm Wrote: But opening the door for using P3D at home without having to pay for the syncing service would be great for users who also own that platform and more than one CPU.

Sure it would.

Personally, either I fly one sim or the other, but I don't like too much to use one sim engine, and the other sim for the external visual because I like when things are integrated. And anyway, I have only one PC.




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