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Douglas DC-3 and C-47
Virtual Aviation
Flight Simulator
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DC-3 Airways is a virtual airline; a meeting place online for flight simulation enthusiasts around the world who share a common love of the Douglas DC-3 aircraft. Members fly the DC-3 and its derivatives in simulation on home computers using the globally available Microsoft Flight Simulator software program.

DC-3 Airways and discover the fun of sharing the experience, knowledge and friendship within the DC-3 Airways online community! Membership is free and open to all.

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DC-3 Virtual Aviation

Information supplied by SIMSA

Sim South Africa

SIMSA Virtual Aviation Club

While Microsoft Flight Simulator in its various evolutionary formats has often paid tribute to the classic DC-3 with renditions of early airliner versions, the PC Flight Simulator community has really been where the fully detailed and animated (read realistic) aircraft creations are, making them thus more interesting and challenging, right from start-up through taxiing and into flight dynamics.

The default DC-3 in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004, MSFS2004, is a pleasant aircraft for amateur Flight Simulator Pilots to acclimatise with, both in terms of being a tail-dragger as well as in its flight characteristics. With the default aircraft set up in a manner depicting accurate real-world effects like (motor/prop) torque effects on direction and level flight, mixture settings, manually co-ordinated rudder in level turns and just simply taxiing or holding direction on the runway, the FS Pilot may become reasonably aware of the aircraft’s expectations of a pilot and of what he is expected to perform, if he would like to escape from the experience unscathed!

However, if the FS Pilot would like to become really involved with the DC-3, there are a number of add-on aircraft available which make the challenge that much more rewarding. Many a real-world pilot has commented on these Simulations, and while some are regarded as gamey, many are very creditworthy in their execution. With a PC console which allows a high immersion factor, typically with yoke, throttle, rudder and ancillaries like external views on separate screens, one of these high-end products allows an exciting experience for the Virtual DC-3 pilot. Removing the tail-wheel lock, the 3-second delay when manoeuvring in the pattern, pumping the throttle control when initially starting the motors, and the diamond pattern on the sound-proofing glistening in the sunshine on a steep turn will invoke many fond memories for ex-pilots of these wonderful aircraft, with the sounds adding to the experience. The only sense left wanting remains the unique smell of the old bird. Virtual aviation has not yet been able to address this just yet. But the experience is still quite amazing.

Additionally, there are many hundreds of paint schemes available for the DC-3 and the C-47 MSFS aircraft. These range from original airliners, through military, air-force and naval versions of both, right through to later transport aircraft and special application versions. Of particular interest remain the aircraft associated with USA’s Vietnam experience, and for local aviators the SAA and SAAF liveries as well as many local operators’ versions and colour schemes. This makes the classic aircraft even more accessible when considering the real DC-3 options one has available in the new millennium.

The rather special nature of this airplane has fallen prey of the think-green brigade, with debateable arguments both ways, but the Virtual Aviator does not fall foul of environmental issues when flying either individually or on a LAN session like the SIMSA team’s monthly meets. Provided of course, the PC itself is not an environmental problem! Choosing what version to fly, with the correct livery in the correct setting make for a nostalgic, safe and cost-effective DC-3 trip, either down memory lane or simply as a challenge with an aircraft known for all the right reasons as one of the greatest man-made machines ever built!

Aspects of setting up the virtual aviator’s DC-3 can be found on various websites, but hands-on assistance can be obtained with SIMSA, locally either at the South African Airways Museum Sciety at Rand Airport or at the SIMSA Clubhouse at Protea Hotel OR Tambo.

Written by:

Steve Schwartz

1 January 2010

The SIMSA Founders:

Mauri Mazzanti   072 606 6499

Mark Boucher      076 317 5477

Steve Schwartz    072 644 0447

E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Website www.simsa.co.za


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