Give Condor Sim VR a try (free trial) + getting started in condor
Bonehead has kindly provided a server on which Im running 2 condor dedicated servers now, called BFS 1 &2. Bone has started using Condor himself and seems to love it, but it would be nice to see some more familiar BFS pilots give this simulator a try, especially now that it supports VR.
Unfortunately there is no free trial version, and I understand you may not want to spend 60 euros on something you dont know you will like, but if so, send me a PM, I might be able to arrange something so you can test it.
Besides condor, you will need some other things to get the best experience.
You will need the latest patch and hangar update:
You will need to assign some controls. The ones you will need most and especially when flying VR, you will want these mapped on your joystick or hotas:
– Trim (I highly recommend you assign a slider or throttle to the trim. Disable the option “stick trim where available” in options)
– Airbrakes (2 buttons is fine, you dont need a slider for this)
– Flaps up and flaps down (again 2 buttons is fine)
– Next PDA screen
– PDA zoom in/out
– McCready up/down
– center VR or trackir (not a condor binding, but you’ll need it)
If you dont have VR or 6DoF trackir, also map “panel zoom” so you can actually read the flight computer.
Less crucial but useful:
– Miracle (repairs your plane in flight after collision or flutter if the server allows it)
– Pause. Online this is an autopilot, offline this pauses the game
Only used once or twice per flight:
– gear, water ballast, tow release, wheel brake, extract motor, start motor, ..
If you are new to soaring, I highly recommend going through the built-in flight school lessons. You shouldnt have much problems actually flying the planes if you are a flight sim veteran. Even the tow should feel familiar, its just like dogfighting and lining up your gunsight (aim for the outer wing tip). But you will need to learn about centering thermals, ridge flying and wave, and while you may know about energy management, this takes it to a whole new level and to be at all competitive, you will need to learn some strategies like McCready theory to give you an idea how fast you should fly ideally in what conditions. You have instruments to help you out, but you need to learn to use them.
You will also need to learn to fly with flaps if you fly 15m, 18m or open class planes (trainers, standard class and the current double seaters dont have flaps). To know which flap settings are ideal at which speeds, I highly recommend installing a modded ASI face plate with flap markings.
This is for the Diana2:
This is for the Antares 18m (metric only, I dont have an imperial scale one):
Make a backup, then overwrite the existing BMPs in condor2\planes\(plane type)\gauges
The indications are only valid for 1G and maximum ballast, but will at least give you a rough idea.
Once you are at ease flying gliders, make a habit out of fully loading your glider with water ballast. The high wing loading dramatically changes flight characteristics, it makes you fly a lot faster (and even further) in anything but the weakest conditions, but it also makes the plane stall much more easily and makes thermalling more challenging. In condor tasks, weather tends to range from pretty good to bombastic, so you will generally always fly with max ballast. Just dump it before landing.
Though not strictly necessary, you will also want to install extra sceneries to have more online server options and more variety in landscapes. Below some direct links to popular and excellent free sceneries:
Cascade Range (Western California):
Big Elba (Tuscany Italy)
Sud France 2 (Southern France)
(uploading, will update later)
If you want to fly in your own home area, you can check out this map with available sceneries:
More are added pretty much weekly.
You can download them too from that site, but for non paying users, it takes.. a while.