SIMPLE – SIMulated Pilot Learning Experience. First forays with Condor

Having ‘thought’ about purchasing the Condor computer software in the past that was as far as I had got. In this period of unfortunate enforced grounding it seemed an opportune time to revisit the idea, especially with the offer that Martin informed us about.
Being limited in my computer know how (unfortunately I am not blessed with the level of computer wisdom such as the Pike dynasty) if I can do it anyone can!
A quick check of the required hardware requirements easily found on the Condor website had me thinking this might just work on my PC.
There are 2 grades of software available a cheaper and more expensive package, the only differences being the aircraft and landscapes available (but one 3 times the cost of the other). There is no difference in the end offering save for those aircraft and landscapes, however this need not matter, I’ll explain later.
Opting for the cheaper package, it was easily downloaded to my machine, the package allows you use the software on 2 devices such as a desktop and laptop if you desire.
The guides for setting up the software and indeed hardware are easily accessed through Condor’s website and the software itself.
There is no need for any peripherals such as a joystick or pedals but to get the full experience a joystick is definitely a requirement. From studying forums etc many people (even the pundits) don’t use pedals. As I found by not being able to complete a launch just a keyboard will not suffice.
The joystick I purchased has a twist function for the rudder which adds a lot more feel.
I’ll skip over the rest of the boring bit for now and go flying instead.
So the stock landscape is Slovenia or Slovenia and I somehow found myself in a Blanik, well I pratted around in that for a while to get the ‘feel’ of the simulator and then investigated what else is on offer. I am now the proud owner of a shiny Std Cirrus with interior upholstery straight out of old BR rolling stock (Martin, Jorn I’m coming for you).
The realism is quite uncanny, definitely simulator and not game for those who may be doubtful. Winch launch or aerotow, the choice is yours.
There are training school modes from what happens on the ground to launch failures and spins and stalls. All of it frighteningly realistic.
The great thing with the joystick I purchased is that you can assign the ‘buttons’ for various functions such as gear, trim, release and airbrakes rather than fumbling on a keyboard so adding further to the realism as everything is close at hand. Of course depending on the aircraft you can throw in a bit of flap or water just to confuse the issue further.
After getting used to my shiny new aircraft I figured a task or 2 would be in order. Never having flown a ‘proper’ task it was all very new and the thought processes involved are very real. You can build your own tasks or use the standard task in free flight mode.
I mentioned earlier about the different package levels and having opened up a whole new world of the online soaring community rapidly learned where to ‘find’ things. The main community associated with Condor has loads of landscapes and aircraft freely available. The landscapes are ‘built’ by members of the community and yes the UK features well.
There are a huge number of online competitions being flown around the world and for those on social media you may have seen many tasks have been arranged recently in the UK. Delving further I found that one of these requires the South East UK mapping. These are large files and can take some time to download but even with my cocoa tin and string broadband it wasn’t too painful. There is a premium download option available for a measly 12 euro’s per year which I hastily signed up to.
Imagine my delight when I discovered that the South East mapping extends as far as Yeovilton! The Park yes, its there in all its sunny glory, the ridge, Westbury White Horse to name but a few all feature.
Well this changed things a bit could I get to Rivar Hill??????? That’s another story!
I’m very new to this and every day is a school day but I genuinely believe that this is a worthwhile investment at modest cost. I had the PC already but for £100 I’m up and running (Software, Joystick, Premium Downloads).
If anyone is interested in knowing anymore I’m very happy to share my very limited knowledge of getting going with you!

One thought on “SIMPLE – SIMulated Pilot Learning Experience. First forays with Condor”

  1. Awesome 😎.
    I need to get a new laptop first, but will definitely be on Condor with you in a week or two Chris.
    I can’t wait 🙂, I’m just excited to get back in the air in any way I can 😆.
    See you in Cyber Space fellow aviator 😎.

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