Flight Simulation - A Great Hobby!
Flight simulation has been my hobby now for a couple of years and I would strongly recommend it to anyone who loves planes!
I use software called Microsoft Flight Simulator X, which is extremely detailed and makes it feel like you are actually flying a real aircraft. You can buy this software from places like Amazon or eBay.
Microsoft Flight Simulator X (FSX for short) comes with a choice of many planes to fly, such as the Boeing 737/747 and the Airbus A321. Also, there are smaller aircraft, such as the Piper Cub or the Beachcraft Baron, but, as well as this, there is also the option to expand your simulation experience to higher-detailed planes. These do cost quite a bit of money, but they are really good to fly and you can just sit at your computer flying wherever you want to in the world, as FSX has all airports - including Cardiff!
FSX can be operated by a mouse and keyboard, but I would strongly recommend purchasing a joystick to make it easier to fly. A joystick that I'd recommend is the Thrustmaster T-Flight Hotas X Joystick. FSX is also designed for social people, as you are able to connect to multiplayer servers and you can talk to real ATC (Air Traffic Control) people, who can give you instructions on stuff like what headings to fly and clearance for landings/take-offs. FSX does require a very good graphics card in your PC if you want top-notch graphics, but budget graphics cards will also do the job.
As well as free-flying, FSX also has many missions to complete, including Red Bull air racing around a track. Check out my screenshots from my sim to get a feel for what it's like!
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