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Newbie question - joystick/steering sensitivity?

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Newbie question - joystick/steering sensitivity?

Postby claes » Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:51 pm

Hi,

I am quite new to flight simulators. I tried the XPlane demo and now I have tried Flightgear, with the Cessna airplane. I am using the Thrustmaster HOTAS X Joystick.
I find that in Flightgear the steering is very sensitive, and it is really difficult to do the small adjustments I think is needed to control the airplane in a stable way.
It seems the needed joystick movements are so tiny that it is almost impossible to perform without overdoing it.
Granted, I have not much experience but I wonder if this is a realistic or expected behaviour, or if I should look into the joystick sensitivity.
I don't want to make it easier than it really is but I also do not want to make it harder.

Claes
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Re: Newbie question - joystick/steering sensitivity?

Postby danielHL » Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:19 pm

Welcome to FlightGear and the forum :-)

The expected control inputs are very tiny, that's correct - but realistic, in most cases. Some people say the C172 (which I suppose you are flying since it's the default aircraft) is too "twitchy", but others say that's realistic. If you want an easier novice-pilot friendly aircraft I'd recommend the "Piper PA28-161 Warrior II (160HP)" which you can get from the default hangar. That one isn't so sensitive...

Cheers,
Daniel
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Re: Newbie question - joystick/steering sensitivity?

Postby claes » Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:28 pm

Thanks for replying. If this is the correct experience, I will persist and see if I can get better at it. This is the same plane as in the Xplane demo I tried so seems like a popular one in flight simulators and maybe a good one to become familiar with. But it is harder than I thought.
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Re: Newbie question - joystick/steering sensitivity?

Postby Knüppelrührer » Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:53 pm

Welcome and good luck with getting better!
Always good to have goals :-)

It is worth checking, if your joystick is producing clean data. You can see the values in the joystick menu. Potentiometers wear out with time and this can spoil smooth flying.

Sensitivity values of the C172p are to a very high degree realistic. With a joystick you do not have the same fine input as with a yoke, which moves 1.5ft fore and aft and 180° for the aileron. And you don't have the motion feedback as in the real thing. So just looking at the screen and steering by visual input only is quite hard, but a great skill to master. Computer pilots are the best IFR-pilots :-)

From own experience it is a good idea to fly 40h plus and practice everything needed to obtain a PPL using flightgear. I second Daniel's recommendation. Also the Piper J3 is fine (and other good ones are there as well). Do as you like and have fun!
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Re: Newbie question - joystick/steering sensitivity?

Postby claes » Wed Jun 10, 2020 9:19 pm

Actually the joystick is close to 8 years old, but almost unused. I bought it with intention to play flight simulators but other things happened. When I picked it up now, the throttle did not work. But I opened it and could see that the solder was not good so I resoldered 3 wires which had almost "broken off". And now it seems in good shape.
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Re: Newbie question - joystick/steering sensitivity?

Postby LowFiveJoe » Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:40 pm

One thing that I've discovered is to calibrate my joystick and pedals before each flight. I found all the models to be "twitchy" before doing this. I'm not super computer savvy, but opening the USB controllers dialog and taking less than two minutes to calibrate make a big difference... to me anyway. The smaller aircraft (C172, PA28, J3) will seem twitchier than the bigger birds (A320, MD11) and even the reworked DHC-6 (the GitHub one). I like how the Pirate DHC-6 flys now, BTW.
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