What is it?
FS-flightcontrol is a full-feature, touch-enabled instructor station developed by Andreas Breitschopp in Germany, running on several simulator platforms and devices. The developer offers a two-week free demo and excellent customer service. The fully operational demo can be downloaded here.
This application could very much appeal to flight schools that, besides approved simulators, have a host of P3D or X-Plane based stations. These are often offered to students to practice their flying skills more inexpensively, but still want to be able to reposition the aircraft quickly, change the operating scenario or have a flight instructor or fellow student looking over their shoulder while selecting “surprises” for them (read: equipment failures).
FS-flight control works with any of the three main flight simulator platforms (FSX, P3D or X-Plane) and on PCs, IOS and Android. For this test we tried it on our X-Plane simulator.
Installation was easy even if it required, as in our case, to map the X-Plane folder as a drive in the laptop where FS-flightcontrol was installed. It took a few minutes for it to replicate the scenery database and the airports in it. Once the app is launched going to MAP will show your exact position on a zoomable map with several renderings, including satellite and street. An immediately nice feature we noticed was the overlay of PilotEdge, VATSIM, or IVAO flights info on the map.
We located our flight at KSBA, Santa Barbara airport in California, a typical destination for PilotEdge flyers. On the POSITION page you will see an immediately understandable set of “likely” initial positions for repeated approaches, or takeoff, to each of the runways specified on top. This makes it so easy to reposition for a new approach or departure.
We particularly liked how easy it is to add a preset position. Just specify distance, altitude, heading and angle from the runway threshold and you got yourself a preset. Flight schools could use this feature to input a number of preselected positions for a student’s next check ride “likely” happenings. Students can then practice them over and over until they are nailed on the simulator, and a lot easier to repeat later in the air.
The FAILURE page is very comprehensive: from fuel leaks, to nasty engine separations and Pitot blockages, I couldn’t find a nightmare that wasn’t there.
Want pushback? FS-flightcontrol offers a number of ways to get pushed back and they work on any aircraft.
Meteo conditions are also easy to manipulate. The CONDITIONS page offers Real-time weather or several other choices, including presets and all ILS categories conditions. Go to CAT IIIc only if you can autoland. Weather themes are easy to pick for a quick change of visibility.
Motion support is provided for Brunner equipment and presets for a number of third-party apps (ProSim, Magenta, Mindstar and several more) are provided.
Stats are comprehensive and flight recordings can be imported and exported as CSV files for later review.
Finally, the NETWORK page lets you add any computer that you want to control, giving an opportunity to flight schools to use a single FS-flightcontrol console to manage several flight sessions.
You can download your IOS or Android app free of charge, but you must have one license running on a PC to connect to. In our case we connected to our laptop which was, in turn, connected to the X-Plane running machine. While on IOS we run it on an iPad Air2, the choice for the android was a much smaller handheld Blue Mega. Both performed flawlessly and are much easier to use in a cockpit if your simulator has one. There was no appreciable response lag between the two or as compared to the main station running on the laptop. They communicate wirelessly through UDP.
Price: 49.95 Euros, roughly US$ 58. Download online
FS-flightcontrol is a solid tool that should make simulator training more effective for flight schools. For personal use, we think FS-flightcontrol is one of those apps that soon you cannot do without, especially if you are using your sim for instrument and emergency training.
We recommend this product.