---- WELCOME TO THE HANGAR ----

The stories that get told among pilots in the hangar are often the best parts of aviation.  This page is dedicated to those great stories and will provide all SimSamurai pilots with various important information not contained on other pages.   This will include new product updates, freeware guides and tutorials, things of general interest, odd personal rantings, and other related items.  Please visit the HOME page and click on the subscription links for our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube pages. 

Once again…welcome to the hangar!


—- SIM-SAMURAI VIDEOS —-

All SimSamurai website videos, DIY tutorials, and more can be seen on our YouTube channel at:

http://www.youtube.com/user/SimSamurai

You can also check out the Builder Tips page and Samurai Flight Videos page for our top “sticky note” videos.

While we would love to do more routine video blogging about the professional cockpit building process here at SimSamurai, things are rather busy these days and so for now those efforts must wait until we have some time in the year ahead. 

In the meantime, please check out our Facebook page for any other recent information or videos and don’t forget that our top most important DIY builder tips videos can normally be seen here on the Builder Tips page!


—- SUMMER 2016 UPDATES —-

As you may have already read on the Specials Page and the article on the right column of this page, we have had to indefinitely delay the final 2.0 UGTAFS edition for FSX due to a copyright infringement lawsuit as well have terminated what was going to be a raffle of an XS-1 Cockpit.  In short, a customer, and for whatever unknown reason, thought it was ok to upload the UGTAFS to a file sharing website where it received over 600 free downloads before we discovered the thievery. 

Because of this and continual slow sales of all our products, we have not been able to continue putting a lot of time and effort into this business and if this trend continues we will likely close our doors entirely by the end of 2017.  It’s been a fun 9 years but the reality is that it takes a vast amount of time and effort to do what we do for very little return on our investments.  While we truly love this business and our many customers to date who do respect our rights, the unfortunately reality is that even in the good times it has rarely paid the bills.  

In efforts to re-tailor ourselves toward more desireable markets we do have some unfinished plan sets and other small product launches that we hope to release by Christmas 2016. So while we are trodding ahead, we are still doing our best to keep SimSamurai alive!  If you wish to help out in some way please order something or we also take donations of any amount via PayPal. 

As always, please do not share our works under any circumstances and DO NOT ever upload our works anywhere, especially cloud sites that often by default share data publicly! A  lot of cloud storage sites automatically share data publicly without you even realizing it.  If you are wanting to back up your electronic data online somewhere you must make sure the account and or folder is set to PRIVATE.

Finally, we ask that you try and help us grow.  We have been so busy trying to keep the business afloat each month that we have not had the time or money to put into much needed marketing.  If it’s not too much to ask, please forward our website to every pilot or flight simmer you know.  Encourage them to get flying with us and if you can find it in your hearts to make a purchase or small donation to help keep us going we would GREATLY appreciate it.   You can PayPal any donation amount to our PayPal email address of simsamura@gmail.com

Lastly, if there are ideas you may have of products you would like to see or if there is anything you think we should be doing better, please do not hesitate to tell us!

Warm Regards,

Jeff Chartier / chief pilot

—- CUSTOMER TESTIMONIALS —-

There are several thousand SimSamurai  customers worldwide who have purchased the UGTAFS manual, a DIY blueprint package, the In-Flight Bible and of course the amazingly fun Globetrekker GT-1000.  All of these elite simmers both new and seasoned have given a huge thumbs up to our products and the airworthiness of SimSamurai. 

Many folks have already built out their DIY sim cockpit and have only had great things to say about the building process…just as we expected!

Customer Comments are available for review on the Testimonials page. If you want to leave a new comment please make sure your comments are relevant to your product purchase and email it to us at simsamurai@gmail.com

—- DIY SIM COCKPIT BUILDER TIPS —-

For those of you who need extra help building your sim cockpit please check out the Samurai Builder Tips page.  It has many videos which are both general and specific to building a SimSamurai cockpit and all of our video library can be found on our YouTube channel.  We also offer a free 33 page guide to cockpit carpentry which you can grab HERE.

—- SAMURAI FLIGHT TRAINING VIDEOS —-

In addition to the many videos and article links on this page, the Samurai Flight Videos page showcases some  local flights around southern California and also contains various favorites from some of our cockpits.

Rather than upload the typical boring stuff you may see on our YouTube channel the Flight Videos page will contain the best of the best from our real world flights as well as many tricky landings from the Globetrekker GT-1000.

—- SUCK – SQUEEZE – BURN – BLOW —-

The remaining column below will  be filled with a rotating “video blog” each quarter.  This may be aviation related videos, or image slideshows, or anything else of a “hangar talk” nature.  If you find any current aviation or sim videos (news, jokes, articles, etc) that you feel are worth posting please shoot us an email with a link and we will post it here!

simsamurai@gmail.com

HANGAR TALK

If you have a question not answered on this page, please send it to:

simsamurai@gmail.com

 

---- SIM SAMURAI HEADLINES - SPRING 2016 ----

We want to thank everyone who has helped make SimSamurai a growing “grass roots” success in flight simulation.  Each year we receive a vast number of exciting emails from customers across the globe stating how satisfied they are with our unique products and designs for affordable flight simulation.  We’ve helped a lot of people get off the ground!

In case you were not already aware, like many small businesses in the flight sim community, we are a very small “mom-pop-and-son” business located in sunny Southern California, USA.  Our chief pilot and owner is a commercially rated multi-engine aviator who has a deep love for flight simulation which started with the Microsoft Flight Simulator franchise some 15+ years ago in 1999.  He is also an experienced industrial designer, home remodeler and carpenter.

We also have a few other pilots, engineers, and tradesmen onboard that  contribute their time and skills to help keep SimSamurai moving along.  While a small team, we always strive to do big things!

Thanks for flying with us and as always, Onward…Upward…Beyond!
---- THE FUTURE OF FLIGHT SIMULATION 2015 and BEYOND ----

While some simmers have made a move to X-Plane 10 after having constantly experienced the troubles associated with Flight Simulator X and Direct X 10, Lockheed Martin has come to market with a commercial simulator called Prepar3D which was first released in 2010 without any marketing whatsoever and only a very small websitePrepar3D is built off the same software engine as Microsoft’s FSX (ESP – Environmental Simulation Platform) but it is now fully optimized for quad core computers and modern video card hardware.  The latest versions of Prepar3D (version 2.5, 3.0 and beyond) exclusively use Direct X 11 so all computer hardware must also be Direct X 11 capable to run these titles. 

If you were not aware, in 2010 Microsoft sold licensing rights to Lockheed Martin for the ESP software engine which they have been continually re-developing into the much more modern and more efficient simulator software which it is today, a sim now fine tuned and well oiled for modern computer CPU / GPU hardware.   Prepar3D is currently offered as a $10 per month “developers subscription” or as an “Educational License” for $60, or as  ”Pro License” for $200. Most people purchase the educational version as Lockheed does not check your credentials and the educational version is no different from the professional license, only it’s terms and limits of use are. Both of those versions are the same but there is also a commercial military grade weapons capable version which is high priced for the commercial military market only.

Since the Prepar3D v2.5 release, SimSamurai began to make a more permanent migration to Prepar3D starting first quarter of 2015. Our goal for 2016 and beyond is to create a totally new UGTAFS manual for Prepar3D V3+ as well a migration of all previously existing SimSamurai FS9 / FSX Maxscreen VIP Panel sets into Prepar3D.

Because the ESP platform is the same “mother” of FSX, many people have already proven that nearly 100% of existing FSX add-ons will work inside P3D, especially FSX Sp2 aircraft.  Additionally, many top add-on developers such as OrbX, REX, PMDG and many others have already released P3D add-on software or P3D installers for former FSX titles.  Many more addons will undoubtedly continue to be released in years to come and Lockheed has stated they plan to continue redevelopment of Prepar3D long into the future which should certainly be a heads-up to all weary pilots that this is THE sim software worth owning.   Most importantly, Prepar3D v3.0+ has numerous major improvements over v2.5 the main one being the upgrade in the realm of Virtual Memory which greatly improves frame rates and smoothness of the sim because of how it loads and unloads data (think airports and scenery sets) as you fly in, out, or through any area.

Over 2016 and 2017 SimSamurai will begin creating new custom made full 1:1 scale, highly realistic 2D panel sets for professional flight simulation.  Lastly, because of our future goals surrounding Prepar3D we have decided that as of January 1st 2016 we are no longer supporting FS2004 nor FSX, nor FSX Steam in any manner.   In our opinion Prepar3D is the true future for serious cockpit builders and serious pilot training.   And while X-Plane is also a great option, we would rather focus all of our efforts on one platform rather than attempt to spread our efforts across several platforms.  However, we are also working with a new and unique gauge development platform that allows gauges and panel sets to be used in both Prepar3D as well X-Plane.

While we had really hoped to finalize an UGATFS 2.0 edition for FSX / FSXse over 2015 we now feel that FSX, in any form either old or in new packaging, is legacy software.   Unfortunately FSX was always half baked software rushed to market with Windows Vista.  Due to its code limitations it has never been a stable platform for serious cockpit builders and was always geared more for single monitor desktop users, but even then it still came with a vast host of problems.   Furthermore, FSX is no longer supported by it’s own creators (Microsoft) and FSX Steam has shown very little improvement.  Even now that Dovetail games has picked up the torch and has created a little resurgence via the Steam app platform we strongly feel that no amount of any code tweaking or massaging  will ever allow it to catch up to the vast horde of major improvements which have been encoded and will continue to be encoded into Prepar3D through Lockheed Martin, a major USA defense contractor.  In short, you will not find any organization with more money for research and development anywhere on the planet. 

That said we feel it’s much better to cut all losses with FSX and fully embrace a future with a much better piece of software, one that is already refined as of today and will continue to be for at least the next 5  to 10 years, if not longer.

Regardless of these timelines, Prepar3D is now the obvious choice for professional pilots and fortunately for us all, Lockheed says they will continue to support it long into the future! 

That’s good enough for us to give it our full support!
---- GENERAL PRODUCT NEWS AND UPDATES ----
SimSamurai has been delivering both BareBones and Complete RTA kits since the beginning of 2008.  Much like a Samurai sword, each kit is hand crafted to perfection using both ancient and modern tools.  We extend our thanks to all of our past kit cockpit buyers and to our DIY plan set buyer / builders.  We are sure that you will love your cockpit as much as we loved making them for you!   If you have photos you would like to share please send them in so that we can boost our website content. We will also be uploading much more product images and videos as time allows.  If you are building a SimSamurai DIY kit please send us pictures!  And please don’t forget to like us on Facebook.  We greatly appreciate your help of spreading the word to new potential customers via social media outlets. 

Please help us grow!

Lastly, if you are a current or returning customer please take a moment to send us an email and tell us about your simming experiences so that others can learn what we have to offer!  Our goal is to always improve ourselves while also sharing skills and knowledge with the sim community at large. We now post customer comments on our Testimonials page.



PRODUCT UPDATES, RELEASES AND RETIREMENTS

Check out the SIM FLIGHT SYSTEMS page and the main dropdown menu below it for new product details and links to all SimSamurai flight simulator cockpit designs!  We also have a new 33 page Guide to Cockpit Carpentry to help all DIY builders. This booklet provides a lot of added help not included in the standard step-by-step builder manuals. You can grab the new (free) guidebook HERE.

As of 2016 we released some new designs such as the AirlinerX and the CS-2 Pegasus.  We also released the CV-1 Chariot which was a custom one-off design modeled from a Cessna Caravan.  It is currently being used by a Canadian airline for fire fighting training.  We will be offering this design as a BareBones and RTA kit but have no plans to take it through the long, exhaustive process of making a DIY plan set and builder manual. 

We have retired some of our other older, non-popular designs such as the original XS-1 Sora, the AX-1 Astro, and the LX-1 Orion. They are still available as DIY plan sets but until we re-polish them they are not in our main feature list.  We felt it was time to put these back in the hangar and replace them with either similar upgrades like the AirlinerX or offer other unique designs that can keep our line up fresh while also filling a wide variety of needs. Our focus with cockpit enclosure designs has always been to provide a good spectrum that will cover many different needs.

We also have a few other plan sets in the works, mainly for a two-seat helicopter, an open cockpit (dual seat) and single seat fighter jet but they will probably not be released until sometime in 2017 simply because we never get asked about helicopter and fighter cockpits.  We actually have at least 5 other cockpit design concepts in the works but because we have never made much off the plan set sales it is very hard to justify the time and expense to offer any new concepts as it takes a great deal of time to refine a design and release it to market as a DIY plan set.

Over the past few years we have also considered designing both a single seat and dual seat Boeing 737 style cockpit design that would be very specific to that aircraft alone.   We have often wondered if this was something we should have done years ago as for whatever reason a very large percentage of simmers seem to want to build a 737 sim yet our thoughts are that 95% of those people who routinely fly the 737 (via software such as PMDG or iFly or ProSim) will most likely never actually have the vast amount of money required to build a 100% realistic 737 simulator.  Even a detailed single seat panel set up with realistic equipment easily costs over $5,000 (not including computer and monitors) and a full scale dual seat 737 cockpit with all hardware can easily cost $40,000 or more to finish out.  Some DIY builders spend over $60,000.

In short, our experience has shown that less than 1% of simmers worldwide will ever go to this expense and most that do will mix and match various components together to save costs.  Add to this fact that there are already many vendors who sell 737 equipment and it makes for an extremely narrow market.  And because of the high costs most people just build the main panel and then never wind up enclosing it in a realistic shell.  And for those very few who do, they commonly either build their own shell from various free plans and drawings scattered across the internet or they are one of the lucky few who are able to buy a real aircraft surplus cockpit shell. 

Because of these reasons we have always steered clear of the 737 cult following as there are just too many variables and too many competitors in the marketplace, all of whom must compete for a very very small amount of customers world-wide.  So while the demand for 737 products may be one of the highest of all sim products, the reality is that the market is already saturated.  Add to this fact that to build a 737 shell alone would take several months and this is a very high cost item which the customer or builder must endure.  So yeah,..no dice!


UGTAFS UPDATES / REVISIONS / DISCOUNTS

The current FS9 / FSX UGTAFS is offered as a tab – chaptered PDF file for only $22.00.  And for the vast amount of information that is included within it, this is an amazing deal.  The low cost 300+ page.pdf file was also made to help all the foreign customers who cringe at the high overseas shipping costs for the 3lb print version.  For more information on the UGTAFS please see its own product page and the Specials page.

We are still on schedule to release a totally new UGTAFS for Prepar3D only in late 2016.  The cost for new customers will be $28 and there will be a 50% discount for all previous FS2004 / FSX UGTAFS customers.


IN-FLIGHT BIBLE UPDATES

If you are a previous In-Flight Bible customer you can buy the current IFB Upgrade 3-pack for $15.00  or for $6 each.  They all include many more pages of rules, regulations, charts, and diagrams. Also offered is the new Multi-Engine Bible which is an additional 35 pages!

That’s all the updates for now folks. Go fly..and be safe up there!

---- SIM SAMURAI's FREEWARE HANGAR ---

The remaining section contains several tips, tutorials, and freeware PDF guides that can help you get started in the world of advanced flight simulation.  As with all of our documents these are for your own sole personal use!  DO NOT share these and DO NOT upload them to any cloud storage or hosting sites which may publicly share them.  We reserve the rights to do that ourselves and prefer that people download them from here as it greatly helps drive traffic to our site and helps keep our ranking in Google.  Thank you for respecting our copyrights! 


FSUIPC Controller Assignments and Calibration Utility Guide

This free guide helps you use the FSUIPC Registered Payware “CACU”  to assign FS functions to your hardware controllers (Yoke, Thottle, Rudder Pedals, Combat Sticks, etc, as well many, many other things like an overhead panel on a jet simulator) . This version 1 tutorial was written back in 2010 but it still works  very well for both FS9 / FSX and even Prepar3D.   We hope to update it one final time in late 2015 so please check back then after the UGTAFS 2.0 is released.

http://www.mediafire.com/view/ngb22ffte8dj3e4/SIMSAMURAI+FSUIPC+TUTORIAL.pdf


VATSIM Connection Utilities Guide

The next freeware document is a set-up guide for FS-Inn / FS-Copilot which will allow you to connect to VATSIM and or IVAO or other online server based ATC (Air Traffic Control) environments.  An expanded edition of this document is included in the UGTAFS.  WARNING; these utilities may only work for FSX and or FSXse.  The new VATSIM client to explore for Prepar3D is VPilot.

http://www.mediafire.com/view/a733u8l79fncq30/SIMSAMURAI_VATSIM_TUTORIAL.pdf


Basics of Cockpit Carpentry Guide

The final freeware document currently offered is the SimSamurai Guide to Cockpit Carpentry.  This is a simplified tutorial guide on the basic use of common home construction tools and details how to use them in a very skilled manner like professional carpenters do.  Even if you are not ready to build a home cockpit you will find that this guide will quickly help to fix some things around your home!

http://www.mediafire.com/view/rp2abw2do44l3qm/SimSam_Cockpit_Carpentry.pdf



FSX and FS9 Video Visuals Tune Up Tips

If you are not totally happy with your sim performance we highly recommend our UGTAFS manual as it reveals a veritable ton of information that will help smooth out every aspect of your flight simulator.  It’s all in there!

One of the tune up tips in the UGTAFS is to try and use an external video card management tool which among other things will control things like Anti-Aliasing.  Anti-Aliasing is a feature which smoothes out the edges of textures.  For many years Nvidia based video card users turned to the well known / well respected program called NHancer but as of May 2013 this program did not see any further editions.  For folks who are now using the latest video cards and latest drivers with Windows 7 this program will not even open!  The newest option for video card tweaking is to use a newer program called NVidia Inspector.  You can download it from the link below or simply find it on the internet yourself. The second link shows you how to set it up for both FS9 and FSX.

Grab Nvidia Inspector  here:

http://www.guru3d.com/files-details/nvidia-inspector-download.html

(the actual download link is near the bottom of the page)

Learn how to set it up here:

http://forum.avsim.net/topic/291720-how-to-set-aa-in-fs9-and-fsx-for-nvidias-2xxxx-drivers-now-with-working-transparency-aa/