Flight simulator

Flight simulator buyer's guide—2021

As we close out one of the busiest years for flight simulation in a long time, it’s easy to get lost in the continuously expanding universe of options for an at-home simulator. There’s thousands of hours of video recorded online, a couple hundred live streaming personalities that have made a name for themselves within the digital flight world, and dozens of retailers offering the latest and greatest desk hardware to construct your preferred simulator. We decided to create a buyer's guide to assist the early stage flight sim enthusiast or gift buyer. 

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Thrustmaster HOTAS One - Flight Simulator Stick PIREP

The Thrustmaster brand was born over 30 years ago from a team of engineers and pilots with backgrounds in the US Air Force, Navy, and NASA. The first thing you notice when taking the HOTAS One out of the box is the design of the stick and how it’s complemented by the throttle lever. Out of the box the two pieces are disconnected, allowing you to position them for either left or right seat simulated ops.

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Microsoft Flight Simulator joins the Xbox platform

The latest version of Microsoft Flight Simulator celebrates one year on the consumer market on August 18, 2021. For a lot of aviation enthusiasts, specifically digital aviation enthusiasts, the celebration started a little early. On July 27, the vivid program from Microsoft made the migration to the Xbox platform and is now compatible with the Xbox Series S and X. Other than a mass-produced personal computer that now supports the program, a lot of gamers/simmers are wondering what else is new with the latest update of the program that’s recently set the flight sim community ablaze. Here's a pilot report.

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Logitech Flight Simulator Joystick—Product PIREP

One of the most popular flight simulator hardware controls we sell at Sporty’s Pilot Shop is the Flight Sim Joystick from Logitech. This is one of the most tenured hardware pieces in the Logitech brand of flight simulation options, which may be a contributing factor, but I believe it’s more because of the value this stick brings. Not only does this flight stick offer control of the four axes needed to fly, you won’t be able to find a lower priced flight stick (currently serviced) on the market.

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Flight sim hardware - what do customer reviews tell us?

With all the praise for flight simulators in today’s market, I decided to focus my appreciation of numbers towards the flight sim hardware we offer at Sporty’s. Through analysis of customer reviews for our flight simulator category, I believe I found a quantifiable way to gauge customers' satisfaction with the hardware they purchased. Each piece of equipment is graded on the total number of stars they’ve received, number of reviews, average review, and lastly the average amount of stars they receive each month since they debuted.

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What flight simulators mean for the next generation of aviators

Did you ever fly out of Meigs field in downtown Chicago before it closed? It’s one of those airports you will never forget if you were lucky enough to visit before the painful closure in 2003. Beyond its reputation as a scenic and convenient access point to downtown Chicago, it was just as memorable to many pilots for a different reason. Ask just about any pilot today who learned to fly in the late 90s or early 2000s and memories will flood back to the view from the departure end of Runway 36 at KCGX, preparing for takeoff in Microsoft Flight Simulator. For many, including me, this was the first introduction to the excitement and freedom of general aviation.

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Logitech G Flight Simulator Yoke and Throttle - Pilot Report

The Logitech Yoke and Throttle is the most popular yoke option here at Sporty’s, and rightfully so. Since we added it to our flight simulator line in early 2008, it’s been a staple of the digital aviation community due to some unique features, an easily configurable design, and a great price. Here are a few of the reasons we like to recommend it to all levels of flight simulation enthusiasts. 

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