What is so special about the greatest guide to FSX and FS2004 that has ever been written?

— Ultimate details on building and optimizing a personal “PC” computer for Microsoft Flight Simulator (2004 and FSX) and MS-ESP.

— Ultimate details on how to best optimize your hard drive(s).

— Fully tested tips and system configuration options that will maximize frame rates and get the best from both your hardware AND software. 

— A chapter on configuring all types of flight controller hardware.

— A chapter on all FS performance settings and config file tweaks.

— A chapter on internet configurations and PC-to-PC networking.

— A chapter on all the details of configuring and optimizing your PC for multiplayer environments like VATSIM.

— A chapter on mutli-monitor and projection based flight simulation which gives you all the tools and tips of how to set everything up.

— A chapter on how to best optimize your add-on aircraft installations, as well others such as scenery, gauges, etc.

— A huge chapter on how to easily build and modify virtual instrument panel sets for flight simulator aircraft.

— A chapter on how to best optimize your sim for combat ops!

— Allows you to stop wasting precious flight time in dated sim forums!

— Includes all details on config file manipulation of the master .cfg, the aircraft .cfg, the sound.cfg. and the panel config file. 

— Includes a vast horde of many other tips, tools, and tweaks that will allow you to become a sim samurai!

— Includes over 300 pages and 1,000 web links to the best resources and add-on products you will ever find to take your flight simulator to a very advanced level of fun and proficiency!

The UGTAFS is the ultimate crossroads between the home hobby world and the world of commercial quality flight simulation.

— For a low cost of just $22.00 it’s the deal of a lifetime! Please see the Purchase Page now!

2015 Revisions and Customer Upgrade Details

Currently, we are only selling the downloadable / emailed PDF version of the UGTAFS (v1.9.7) not any printed version due to the very large size of this book.  Over 2014-15 we had planned to release a final “2.0″ edition of the UGTAFS for FS2004 / FSX but due to extremely slow sales over the past two years we feel that to update this any further would only be for our own desires and not for that of profit.  

The current version itself has sold less than 100 copies since summer 2014.  Therefore if and when a 2.0 edition is ever released, it will be announced here and we will make updates on this page as necessary to alert customers to our progress.  Secondly, customers who have editions prior to v1.9.7 can still upgrade to the current edition for just $6.00 and if the final v2.0 is released it will be an added $6 for all v1.9.7 customers or $12 for customers with versions below v1.9.5.  The current edition is now 318 pages.  The final 2.0 edition was planned to be approximately 350 pages. 

Furthermore, we are hoping to re-weave the current UGTAFS into a totally new version that is only for Lockheed Martin’s Prepar3D V2.5 which was released in early 2015.  However, please know that most all of the tips and principles in the current edition can already be applied to Prepar3D so moving forward it only makes sense to re-adapt the UGTAFS for this program rather than continue to put efforts into teaching people how to maintain and manage two programs which are now somewhat old and outdated. Please see the Specials Page for more details on the UGTAFS upgrades. 

Prepare for Takeoff

Are you ready to take your flight simulation experience to the next level of realism?  Are you ready to stop wasting countless nights digging through forums?  If you are ready to learn all the practical applications of how to properly build, install, configure, control, and manipulate all of the open ended architecture that is available for tweaking within Microsoft Flight Simulator the SimSamurai UGTAFS technical manual is the place to begin …and end! 

The UGTAFS is a whopping 305 paged reference manual which truly unlocks all the keys that you could ever imagine about advanced flight simulation for the home “PC Pilot”.  While it is specifically written with the beginner and intermediate sim pilot in mind, any experienced sim pilots will quickly find that it fills in all of the final gaps of knowledge for ultimate sim mastery.  The UGTAFS is THE BEST strategy and optomization guide you will ever find for FSX and FS 2004 BAR NONE.   If you enjoy flight simulation as much as we do and want to take your home training to a much more professional level then the UGTAFS is where it all begins!

The UGTAFS is a culmination of over 15 years of experience with Microsoft Flight Simulator but more importantly it contains key experience with tweaking and tuning all of the settings and config files within the sim that are available for editing by the home consumer to gain a more realistic experience.

As you may know (or may not know) you can do a lot with Microsoft Flight Simulator just as you can see in the many pictures and videos on this website.  It took us many, many years to learn all this core knowledge as there is a vast multitude of hurdles, checklists, and challenges you must overcome on a daily basis in order to create a professional looking and more importantly a professionally operating flight simulator.  

The good news is that no single part of this process is overly difficult to master but in order to do so you have to learn from a great teacher and the UGTAFS is that teacher!  The UGTAFS was written simply because there are a ton of important small details you must know about in order to set up any advanced flight simulator cockpit just like you see on this website.

Stop The Head Scratching

Even on the best days there can still be many small problems you will encounter when attempting to create or use an advanced flight simulator for your home training goals.  In knowing that there was no concise nor precise manual that explains all the many details and facets of this process is exactly why the Ultimate Guide to Advanced Flight Simulation was written.  In short, the UGTAFS gives you all the keys you will ever need…bar none!

As a real world pilot, advanced flight sim enthusiast, and professional technical writer, I felt I had three unique skills that could help a lot of other people take their own home flight sim experience to a much greater level of realism just as I have.  Don’t just take my word for it.  Please read the comments below that my customers have left.   The UGTAFS is your path to flight sim freedom!

While there are a few other flight sim manuals on the market that specifically teach you how to use your sim for practical flight training and procedures, or are perhaps those that teach you how to build physical buttons and switches so as to wire up a grand “Level D” type simulator, the SimSamurai UGTAFS manual in contrast is a very, very important precursor to any other “how to” sim manual. 

The UGTAFS first starts you out on the ground floor with all the core basics of flight simulator software and how it interacts with the Personal Computer.  Secondly, it details how to properly build and optimize a computer for advanced flight simulation as well how to select and use the best add-on resources available.  All this core “PC” knowledge has to be known and understood long before you can take any other big steps in building an advanced flight sim or sim cockpit.  Secondly you can’t really use your PC for realistic flight training at home if it isn’t working right or won’t deliver the performance you are hoping for.  The UGTAFS tackles this subject first so that you can build a core platform that will allow you to soar to new heights.

While there are other books which teach you the “hands on” side of actually flying, the UGTAFS will get you properly set up so that you can then advance to those other types of training manuals.  As needed, it also correctly steers you into other areas of advanced interest as it provides many useful links to the absolute best resources for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 and FSX.  In a large sense the UGTAFS could be called the sim pilots “C-P-O-H”..or “Computer Pilots Operating Handbook.” 

Put simply, the UGTAFS is a tech manual no sim pilot should live without!

Hands On Flying

The UGTAFS never explains abstract concepts that you will not need to know nor does it explore any details that you will not commonly use.  Instead, it is totally meant to be a very “hands on” practical knowledge guide that helps you tackle all the many, many subjects necessary for creating a very professional home based flight simulator environment.

I guarantee that the UGTAFS puts any old default “FS strategy guide” to bitter shame and can easily be considered as the ultimate guide for any flight sim enthusiast.  As a real world pilot my own goal was one of building the best possible flight simulator while saving as much money as possible in the process and the UGTAFS will show you how as it also details a lot of great freeware available that many people don’t know about.

So…If you want to know how to build the most optimal PC for your flight sim, and want to know how to correctly configure all the latest hardware for FS, as well want to know how to tweak and edit all of the many various config code files in the sim, including the master config file, any aircraft config file, and aircraft cockpit panel config files, …then this is your book.

Flying In Cyberspace

One of the best features available to Microsoft Flight Simulator is the ability to fly in online ATC (air traffic controlled) environments such as VATSIM and IVAO.

If you are a novice pilot, or even a professional real world pilot, with no “home sim” experience I must tell you that there is a whole other world that awaits you.   Setting up all the programs, configurations and many key presses needed to operate in environments such as VATSIM can take a very long time and if you don’t know what you are doing it will become a very frustrating experience just as it was for me when I first started flying in the world of cyberspace.  To help you through this journey the UGTAFS has two full chapters dedicated to these free online services and will walk you through every last step of the set-up process and it provides many “quick start” checklists to keep you airborne!

Why Forums Can Kill You!

One of the biggest reasons I wrote the UGTAFS was due to the overabundant lack of core information being provided in one easy to find location.  While internet forums certainly have a wealth of information available (that is if you are willing to spend weeks or sometimes months to hunt that information down). The problem with them is that you often have to wade through pages and pages of endless banter, chatter, and limited opinions to get to the real meat of the answers you seek.  After having encountered this day in and day out for many years I knew the UGTAFS had to be written.

The problem with any forum is that there are endless pages full of one sentence answers from either people who know too much and don’t know how to explain things in detail the way they should be or forum threads are always mixed with a countless number of incorrect or “guess” answers from the thousands of members of the flight sim “peanut gallery”.

The other issue I continually notice with many forum threads is that aside from often leading you on a wild goose chase to dead end information, they are often old or out of date.  Most often you don’t even notice this until you’ve already wasted an hour of your time.  In the end I just couldn’t take it any longer.  Forums were just killing me!  I knew what I needed and wanted to know and knew it was all core knowledge that always needed to be regularly revisited each and every time I built a new computer for flight simulation.  Therefore with writing the UGTAFS I knew I would have all of this information in one easy to use location.

So I ask you this, … Do you want to continue spending countless upon countless hours, if not days or even weeks, trying to hunt down all the questions you want answered or are you ready to have it all in one convenient technical manual?  Wouldn’t it be so much easier to have all of your core flight simulator questions both answered and available in one convenient place? 

The answer is yes! …stop killing yourself!

Best of all, the UGTAFS also answers many, many other countless questions you didn’t even know you should be asking! Its all in here!

In every case of these key questions I have most likely taken many tutorials that would have to be correctly explained by piecing together over 10000 forum thread pages and have extracted and extrapolated the most useful data down into concise pages of the most important facts and checklists.  Thus all the data contained in the 300+ paged UGTAFS is literally like hunting through well over 3,000 pages of forum posts! …and no…I’m not kidding!

So…again…why waste your time and beat yourself up with endless web searches or why spend anymore time waiting for forum emails to be answered when all the answers you seek are right here in one convenient tech manual!

Get With The Program

I hope you will agree that time is indeed money.  I guarantee that you will save yourself from a lot of wasted time and wasted money by purchasing the UGTAFS today.  It will immediately steer you straight onto all the courses you should be on.  If you are ready to take a bigger step into advanced flight simulation …let my path become your path!

I’ve spent the past three years making sure that all of its content is very worthwhile, practical, professional, and have made sure that all subjects are fully explained in a manner that even a dummy like me can easily understand! (and that IS often hard to do!)  This is because another common problem I have encountered over the years with some of the “elite” members of the sim community is that while many of these folks are brilliant geniuses in their own field, some of them just don’t know how to put big concepts and instructions into simple laymen’s terms.   Well …I do!  I write for the common man!  Each subject in the UGTAFS is carefully explained in very clear detail so that people of any comprehension level can make sense of even the most hard to grasp concepts.

Again, this unique technical manual is an extensive culmination of 15 years of experience with Microsoft Flight Simulator as well as a blend of the real world of aviation too.  I understand where they meet, separate, and often marry inside your computer. I stand by the UGTAFS and guarantee its answers will stand the test of time!


THE UGTAFS IS OFFERED AS A TAB CHAPTERED PDF FILE FOR ONLY $22.00 OR IT CAN BE PURCHASED AS A PRINTED AND BOUND BOOK FOR $42.00. (printed version may or may not be currently offered and you can also print the PDF yourself if desired)






Feel free to leave a comment below!

However, please stick to the page’s subject matter!

If you have a question.. do not leave it here!

Send all questions to simsamurai@gmail.com

U.G.T.A.F.S. Revealed

Each chapter of the 300+ paged UGTAFS is an evolutionary process from the last. It starts you out on the ground floor with building and optimizing a computer specifically for use with your flight simulator.  It then progresses forward with a vast array of software optimization strategies which is followed by controller device hardware set-up. It then teaches you how to maintain and monitor your entire system so as to maximize the life of your sim.

The UGTAFS then progresses to more advanced principles of configuration file tweaking, and multi-monitor simulation which explores every facet of using multiple displays and networked computers. This is followed by teaching you how to properly set up a home network or PC network for FS. The UGATFS then progresses to exploring the modern world of aviation cyberspace and how to set up their key programs that will allow you to become a part of it. Once you have progressed to this stage you will learn how to set up your PC or multiple PC’s for operation within these online flight training environments. 

The next two chapters detail how to create and implement real world like VFR and IFR flight plans for use in flight simulation. This includes many various methods from which you can choose. Next detailed is how to properly communicate in these online environments and specifically details how to perform proper flight operations from uncontrolled airports as this is a common scenario often experienced in MSFS as well the real world after a control tower has closed for the night.

The next three chapters are an extremely detailed look into the vast underbelly of MSFS as it explores every facet of config file manipulation for both aircraft and instrument panels. The final chapter is a in-depth look into aircraft carrier operations for both FS9 and FSX and details how you can actually make any aircraft in your hanger become “carrier ready”!

In short, the entire UGTAFS is a highly detailed look into the amazingly vast world of advanced flight simulation for both FS 2004 and FSX. No detail or subject has been missed and once you own the UGTAFS you will wonder how you’ve ever flown without it! It’s bar none the most ultimate FS strategy guide you will ever own…guaranteed.

Chapter 1 - Sim Computer Building

This introductory chapter first explores the many key differences between FS 2004 and FSX and then provides a very a detailed look at how to build the most optimal computer platform for advanced flight simulation. It explores a wide variety of computer hardware choices and details why some choices are much better than others based on the software performance limitations of FS9 and FSX. It also details how to both format, partition, and optimize your hard drive or multiple drives for flight simulation purposes. It additionally explores the use of RAID drives for flight simulation so as to attain blisteringly fast scenery loading. This first chapter gets you flying from the ground up.

Chapter 2 - Sim Software Installation

The second chapter of the UGTAFS details how to set up and create a proper formula of software installation and how it directly relates to hard drive performance. In this chapter you will learn many unique methods and installation strategies that you should employ once you have either built or reformatted a PC for flight simulator use.

Secondly, it details every configurable setting within FS9 and FSX so as to achieve optimum frame rates.  Lastly, as you may know, there are thousands of add-on software titles and scenery products that can quickly fill up any 300gb hard drive. This chapter will tell you how, where, and why to install certain items first before others as well how to make sure they will synergize with one another. While chapter 1 details how to optimize your hardware, chapter 2 follows this with a vast array of software optimization techniques.

Chapter 3 - Sim Controller Hardware

The third chapter walks you through the process of correctly configuring common gaming controller hardware such as your flight control yoke, joystick, rudder pedals, and throttle quadrant. Here you will learn a lot of key tips and tricks that will help you set everything up right the first time. You will learn things like how to properly set up reverse thrust, push to talk commands, squawk ident, and other features that will make your home cockpit very realistic. Also included are pages which detail making your own home-made devices through use of the many different switch types you can use with MSFS.  Lastly included are tutorials about headset and microphone configuration and calibration as well as how to set up dual yokes, dual pedals, and dual headsets for creating a pilot / co-pilot cockpit environment.

Chapter 4 - Sim PC Maintenance & Monitoring

Here you will learn how to properly take care of your newly minted flight simulator PC and how to monitor all the inter-workings under its hood. More specifically it details those processes and performance items which will most greatly benefit your flight simulator so as to keep it running efficiently for years to come.

Chapter 5 - Sim Tweaking & Tuning

This chapter is the first of four which dives deep into tuning and tweaking your flight simulator software for optimal performance. It explains and explores all the core settings available within FS 2004 and FSX and then goes a step further as you will learn how to manipulate, tweak, and tune the master exe config file for ultimate sim performance. While there have been many “tweak tutorials” floating around for the past 5 years for both sim versions only the latest and most recent have been included in the UGTAFS so as to exclude old and outdated information which will not help your simulator.

Chapter 6 - Multi-Monitor Simulation

This chapter is a book unto itself as it details every facet of setting up a multi-monitor platform for flight simulation. Whether you want to use multiple LCD’s or multiple projectors, this chapter discusses both of these options in detail and will help you decide what is best for your project size and budget.  Secondly, this chapter greatly details how to network two or more PC’s together for creating the ultimate advanced simulation platform which can easily rival many FAA certified units which cost hundreds of thousands of dollars more. Here you will learn all the core secrets of the pros!

Chapter 7 - Advanced Internet Configuring

This chapter is a great lesson in home networking, internet configuring, and even home network security. All your questions about how to set up a PC or PC’s for online multi-player flight simulation will be answered here.  You will learn how to host or join a private session as well learn the key router settings and ports which apply to flight simulation. This chapter teaches you all the key details on how to access your home router and how to properly set it up for online multiplayer environments, private sessions, as well how to lock down your router from unwanted leeches and neighbors!

Chapter 8 - Aviation Simulation Cyberspace

The eighth chapter of the UGTAFS is your detailed introduction into online aviation cyberspace environments such as VATSIM and IVAO. Here you will be shown every step of how to install the three key programs which will allow you to operate within these environments all without hassle and headache. I teach you how to set up and configure all of these properly the first time! This includes mapping out many real world commands like your push to talk switch and squawk ident so that you can properly respond to ATC whenever you interact with live air traffic controllers.

Chapter 9 - FS-Inn & VATSIM Checklists

This chapter picks up from the last as it walks you through the process of flying a professional training flight in VATSIM. Here you are given all the keys from the last chapter in a more refined format which you can use for every flight in the future. This chapter applies many real world aviation techniques so that you can learn how to do it right the first time!

Chapter 10 - Advanced FS Flight Planning

Chapter ten is a detailed look at both creating and filing VFR and IFR flight plans for use with Microsoft Flight Simulator as well how to use and import these flight plans into your aircrafts GPS or flight management computer so that you may use these real world like routes in online environments such as VATSIM or IVAO. Once you have spent some beginner time as a day VFR pilot this chapter shows you all the tools of more advanced flight planning for the IFR sim pilot.  

Chapter 11 - Sim ATC Communication

Here you will learn the basics of ATC communication and what you will most commonly use in live ATC environments like VATSIM. It specifically details how to communicate and operate around both towered and non-towered airports as that is a common occurrence in both offline and online flight. Even if you are flying in an online environment like VATSIM you will commonly find that there will be many times at which you will be operating from airports with no control tower, or ones that are not manned with live ATC personnel. This is actually the case in many real world scenarios too as there are thousands of real world control towers which close after 9pm at night. Therefore, this chapter helps you to better understand how to operate in and around “non-towered” airports so as to avoid conflicts with other aircraft.

Chapter 12 - Installing Add-On Aircraft

This chapter is a detailed look at how to install freeware add-on aircraft. As you may know there are freeware aircraft available by the thousands for MSFS. The key is knowing which ones are the best and which designers to look for so as to create the best fleet possible. Secondly, all freeware aircraft commonly come with different installation methods, some of which are overly confusing for the novice simmer. Therefore chapter 12 details the who, what, where, and how of freeware aircraft installations as well details some great methods of how to tune, optimize and streamline every aircraft in your hangar for maximum efficiency during sim start-up.

Chapter 13 - Aircraft Configuration Files

This next chapter takes the last one a step further as it explores the interworking of the aircraft config file. Each aircraft you install has one of these code files and this file contains all the details which can be tweaked to install multiple aircraft liveries into a single aircraft type as well contains code for tweaking and optimizing the aircraft’s overall performance.  This chapter gives a multitude of details on how to make any freeware add-on aircraft perform much more like its real world counterpart.

Chapter 14 - Panel Design & Panel Config Files

Just like the last chapter, this chapter is a very detailed look at creating virtual instrument panels for MSFS by tuning and tweaking the panel config file.  Just like you can see in many pictures and videos on this website you will learn all my personal tips and secrets of panel design which will quickly allow you to create highly detailed full scale panel sets just like I do. I’ve perfected this process down to a science and I explain all of it in an easily digestible format. Also included are many details on the expanding world of payware gauges which in some case mimic their real world counter parts by 100% percent.  This allows for creation of life size instrument panels which can now be just as real and accurate as real world aircraft. This is where it really gets …as real as it gets!

Chapter 15 - Aircraft Combat Simulation

This final chapter is an in-depth look into the military combat features which can be implemented into FS9 and FSX Acceleration. One of the most fun features for flight simmers is learning how to launch and land from an aircraft carrier.  This chapter fully details this subject and will have you feeling “the need for speed” within an afternoon.  You will quickly learn how to modify freeware aircraft to become aircraft carrier capable through some simple modifications to the aircraft config file alongside installation of some free third party programs.  Lastly, there are many recent industry developments, which are allowing FSX aircraft to now become fully weapons capable and this chapter teaches you everything you’ll need to know about the bold new future of combat simulations within FSX.  

Appendix A & B – FSX and FS9 Key Commands

As if the 15 chapters weren’t already enough, the huge 300+ paged UGTAFS finishes off with a six page appendix that includes all the keyboard commands of both FS 2004 (FS9) and FSX.