Aerofly FS2 Flight Sim adds Touch control to VR

by: Dave -
More On: Aerofly FS 2 Flight Simulator

Aerofly FS2 Flight Simulator has always been my go-to VR flight sim for demoing VR to friends and family. It's incredibly easy to fly for beginners, it is visually spectacular, and it makes a great first impression as long as it doesn't scare them too much. I actually did have a neighbor scream out loud as I flew her a little too close to the Statue of Liberty!

As good as it already was, it just got better. In the latest free update, IPACS has added the ability to control items in the VR cockpit with touch controllers from both Oculus and Vive. I spent a few hours getting used to it this afternoon and found it to be compelling, but not universally useful.

The thing about flying airplanes is that there are many different ways of doing it. Consider as an example that there are airplanes with control yokes, and there are airplanes with control sticks. They each use different hand motions for control. The method IPACS chose to implement supports the yoke motions but not the control stick motions, so right away roughly a third of the planes in the FS2 hangar feel wrong. 

There is also the question of rudders. Not only do rudder pedals control the rudder, they also control the wheel brakes in the majority of modern airplanes. They are controlled by the pilot's feet; how do you do that with a touch controller? There is an answer to that too, but it really isn't satisfactory. Fortunately, while FS2 can be flown entirely with the touch controllers, it doesn't have to be. Existing external peripherals will still work.

HOTAS owners all just let out a deep sigh of relief, but all is not perfect. As I hinted at earlier, control stick airplanes aren't as well supported with the touch controllers as the more mundane yoke-controlled planes are, so non-HOTAS folks are going to be disappointed in a couple of ways, the worst of which is that there is no way to set the trim on an airplane that has a hat switch on the control stick to perform that function.

Still, what does work very, very well is using the touch controllers to turn knobs, flip switches, and move levers. When you get into working with autopilots and radios, that's a pretty important thing.

comments powered by Disqus