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Tuesday 2 September 2014 21:14 GMT
 
 

Online Flying Information - Fly Online: IVAO, VATSIM, Gaming Zone, IP Game, LAN

Information about Online Flying

Introduction

Online flying or flying online is flying on the internet.
But how 'on the internet'? Well, basically you either connect to another computer at which one other person is flying with flight simulator too, or you connect to a network server, to which many people are connected, all flying in FS.

You share one virtual airspace with the other players, which you can even see on your screen if they are close enough, such as on airports but also in the air.

This airspace can sometimes be very busy, especially during the frequent events around the world, organized on the major online flying networks by their divisions.

Know this: after you have flown online, you'll never want to switch back!


Large Networks

There are several networks which you could choose from, to become a member of, which is free. Three popular online flying networks are VATSIM - IVAO - FPI
(Virtual Air Traffic Simulation Network / International Virtual Aviation Organisation)

Mostly, your flight hours and ATC hours are logged and you progress in rank and so over time or after passing exams, so it may be wise to stay with one organisation.

How connecting works

Every computer at which a 'player' or 'virtual pilot' is flying in MS Flight Simulator (or sometimes other simulation software) connects to central servers using special, free pilot client software.

The computers exchange a lot of data automatically, so your exact position and speed and other facts are known on the network, and can be received by others. This way you can also see all other people (aircraft) flying online near you in the virtual airspace or on the virtual airports.

Live weather is also received from many networks, and simulated in FS. This way you can talk about the dangerous crosswinds for the active runway, or the clouds at 500 ft with other pilots online, who fly in the same weather environment.


Other Online Flying Options

You could also fly online in many other ways than on the major networks...

-- The MSN Gaming Zone, for MS Flight Simulator users:
A more relaxed environment, and allows you to create game rooms and play with any number of other people. This is never with ATC.

-- Direct connection with another player:
One player (the host) sets up a multiplayer session in the simulation software used, after which the other player(s) (the client) enters the IP address of the host in the flight simulation software, which then connects with the computer of the host. (players must use the same software version; any firewalls may have to be turned off or configured).
» What is my IP address ?

-- Local Area Network, or LAN:
Create a local network with several computers, often used on public FS events and by virtual flying clubs. The connection is very fast, as data do not have to be transferred far over the Internet.


Air Traffic Control

On most networks not only pilots, but also Air Traffic Controllers can connect, using special ATC client software, which shows a radar screen with all aircraft within range, flight plans and more.

There are many people who love Air Traffic Control (ATC) and practice this online just like you fly online. This is great, since pilots and controllers need eachother and keep one another busy, and it obviously greatly improve realism and fun.

ATC positions may cover an airport, approaching/ departing flights or an area.

ATC is also very useful on busy airports, where many aircraft are operating at the same time. ATC can bring order here. It requires a lot of practice and can be a tough but very rewarding job - you may want to give it a try some time!


Who does it?

People of all ages, men and women, from all cultures, and from around the world. In other words: nearly everyone (could) do it!

The only things needed are a (modern) computer, flight simulation software supported by online flying networks, and an internet connection (preferably a fast one).

Many people flying online intend or want(ed) to become a pilot, many are really interested in aviation and flying, and yet others love the online flying environment where they can meet people from all over the world and just have a lot of fun.

Many real world pilots can be found on the networks too. Flight Simulator is a great way to practice many flying related skills and procedures, especially in a simulated shared online environment with ATC (though it can never replace real flight).


Getting Started

Getting started is easier than you might think.

You will have to join one of the online networks (or choose another option to fly online), download any required software and install it, read any important information first, and then... connect to the network!

Be aware however that before you can fly on the major networks mentioned before, you will need a good amount of knowledge of your aircraft, basic flying and procedures of the airport you plan to fly from and to.

It is recommended to start at a smaller airport, and make short training flights. If you ever need any assistance or tips, you can always ask one of the more experienced users, including air traffic controllers at your airport (if they are not too busy).


Useful Downloads

We have created a list of downloads necessary to start flying online...
For direct multiplayer flying: what is my IP address ?


Have Fun!

Finally, we hope you liked this explanation by us about online flying.

And most important besides repecting any applicable rules and regulations on networks, and your fellow players, is this that you will now:

HAVE A LOT OF FUN !!!

© 2005 do not copy or use without permission

 
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