Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wing Flex.........................................

Rant/Editorial. Now, who hasn’t been halfway through a satisfying virtual flight, looked out the side window, noticed improperly simulated wing flex…and said, damn, my flight is ruined? My guess is that this has happened approximately “never” times. So, why is everyone so worked up about wing flex? For those of you that haven’t noticed, wing flex is becoming a very hot topic these days, at least here at ADX.

So why spend the time to rant about something as silly as wing flex? No idea, but I’m going to do it anyways.

Yes, I fully understand the importance of well detailed external models, within reason of course. I too spend the odd moment appreciating FSX aircraft from external viewpoints. But guess what - most of my time is spent in the cockpit attempting to actually simulate flying. For me at least, enjoyment from FSX is derived from flying fun aircraft into detailed airports, sometimes with sinister weather. I have never become overexcited after realizing the amazing accuracy of my aircraft's wing flex detail.

What’s next, a fully simulated lavatory simulation? In all honesty, I would much prefer developers spend their valuable time dealing with more critical issues such as optimizing performance, improving cockpit visuals, and of course, improving aircraft system and flight dynamics.

Sometimes, I think we focus too much on the little things and forget about the big picture. Flight simulation is about simulating flight, not about staring at aircraft. If I truly want to spend my days admiring wing flex I can always go to my local airport and watch the heavies take off. However, the odds that I ever do this are nil.

Even outside of wing flex, I think people sometimes overvalue external aircraft quality. As long as the external visuals look good for a quick glance that’s all that really matters to me. More focus internally, less externally I say.

So yes this was short, fragmented, and random, but someone had to address this wing flex craze. However, in saying all this, I will be the first to admit that the wing flex controversy is quite funny.

53 comments:

Anonymous said...

While I agree with the idea behind your post, I think it is laziness when developers don't attempt features that have been considered standard for the past decade. Yes, it's a simulation of flight, nonetheless, I think visuals are important to a large chunk of the community, myself included, it adds to the immersion, and eye-candy can be fun to look at when you're at cruise with nothing else to do but look around.

I would agree there is a point where it becomes ridiculously obsessive of some people to fuss over, as I read in a comment on here recently, the exact 'degrees' of flex or the number of rivets, etc. But I do think if it exists on the plane in real life, developers should make an attempt to simulate as much as possible from systems to visuals. After all, the community is broad and not everyone is in it for hardcore flight simulation as much as they are for casual flying and eye-candy.

Anonymous said...

Not everyone is worked up about wingflex Mark, in fact your post has probably done nothing more than let the wingflex trolls chuckle in delight at their success so far.

My suggestion is that you introduce a form of censorship and delete all superfluous posts that talk about this non-issue for the very reason that it is a non-issue and doesn't belong here or anywhere.

Max Fluth said...

The same thing, under that logic, applies to almost everything that isn't part of a Level-D simulator. I think the thing that must not be forgotten, is if you pay $80 for an aircraft, you expect them to look $80. For example, there are freeware AI A320s that have accurate wingflex.

And if anything, it's not just about the wingflex- sure it's a nice feature, but if you lack quality, detail and realism in areas such as visuals, you may question the systems. I mean, would you ever look at an Abacus aircraft exterior and say "Oh man, that's sure to be realistic.".

Maybe it is time for another ADX Poll: Does wingflex matter to you?

Anonymous said...

Agreed...wingflex becomes important on an B787, those wings really flexes, I mean we want moving ailerons, elevators & rudder coz they do move substantially, right?...but an A320 no way!
I say if wingflex is clearly visible on an airliner it should be included as it adds realism to the simulation.

Anonymous said...

I think that part of the attraction to flying into beautiful airports in severe weather, turbulence, etc. is seeing the aircraft react realistically to those elements, the lift forces, the wind gusts, etc. Lack of wing flex simply indicates a lazy developer. Why not just fly a brick if that's the case? In fact that's probably the biggest complaint with the majestic q400: it doesn't respond to turbulence, windshear, etc. because it has an external FDE.

Anonymous said...

he he. trolling successful!

Anonymous said...

In all seriousness I totally disagree with this censorship idea. Otherwise this simply turns into an AVSIM where posts critical of certain developers are simply deleted, threads are locked, etc. That is NOT what AirDailyX is about, and that is not why I visit. And frankly, I find all the wing flex hoopla sort of funny.

Anonymous said...

But an A320 does have wing flex. Is it as noticeable as a 737? No it is not. But if you are looking at it, you can tell there is flex and it's noticeable enough. You can go look at plenty of photos and videos that show the A320's wing flex. No plane I've ever seen is so rigid it has absolutely no bend or flex to it.

Of course it's the developers choice to add it or not, but like I said above, it's laziness not to attempt what has been standard on high-quality products for a decade or more since FS2002.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the NGX would have been anything near the same without the wing flex

Anonymous said...

If wingflex is not important, ailerons, spoilers, and moving parts ain't important on the external model. The wing is one of the most important part on the aircraft, why shoud it be stiff like brick?

Anonymous said...

Majestic is not in the game for pleasing the eye candy fanatics, the aim is to create a simulation that replicates the performance characteristics of its real world counterpart. Correct me if I am wrong but how will implementing wing flex improve or degrade the performance of a simulated FS model? The interesting this is you implement wing flex - now you have a group of folks who start another set of complaints (oh its too soft, its too stiff, its not frequent enough, its too frequent). Even if wing flex was correctly implemented these individuals would find something else to grip about,like the left main no.2 tyre appears to be over inflated, or the engine cowling appears to be missing 1 of the 8 DZUS fasteners, or the bag bay net is does not sway in the wind when the bag bay door is open.

Call it lazy if you want, but the Q400 or the Dash 8 100/200/300 series do not exhibit much wing flex detail in real life. Its difficult to please the complaining group as developers should start selling an optional block of cheese for the complaining consumers to enjoy with their whine.

Regarding the aircraft's response to external forces such as turbulence, windshear, etc., this is being further investigated as Majestic has clearly stated. So why don't you guys go fly some wing flex designed aircraft and go back to the Majestic when you want to fly a turbo-prop as a serious desk pilot would - whether it be for fun or whatever.

Anonymous said...

I also disagree that systems are the only thing that matter. Personally, I find the LDS 763 unflyable now because of the lack of immersion. Yes, the systems are great, but the lack of graphical realism just kills it for me.

It also depends on the price point. For $30, the Aerosoft Airbus X is great, and the lack of wing flex and non-normal procedures and systems depth is excusable. For the FSLabs A320 (probably will be priced around $80), the lack of wingflex is inexcusable.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't pointing to the Majestic Q400 lack of windflex. I was simply analogizing the Majestic Q400's lack of response to weather stimuli to other developers' excuses re not implementing wingflex.

Pirx said...

Although I wasn't very interested in wing flex until now, we must admit that wings are of the most importance for an airplane.

The behavior of the plane is in great part because of it wings. How they are, where they are, hoy long... Imagine a hard landing, a sudden drop of the plane, as in a spin, a hard turn, turbulences... We should be able to look through the windows and see what is going on.

Perhaps it's time developers give to wings the importance they have. Also they are the part of the plane that most works with the atmosphere, another issue that is not very well simulated nowadays, and it should be.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, wingflex adds a lot to the immersion into the simulation. Maybe I'm the only one, but those little things like wingflex make the experience of flying an aircraft in my FSX a lot more realitic, as there aren't a lot of other things that can visualize that the pixels on my screen are now flying... ;)

Joe Everate said...

Well time for a real opinion. I have been fortunate to fly in a few full motion simulators , worth millions of dollars. Not once did the attending trainer or real world Capt. stop and say " Geeze, it sure would be more real if they had wing flex". Airdailyx Mark is correct, it would far make more sense getting the systems correct from the flying and cockpit stance than wasting time even putting nonsensical stuff like wing flex.

Fabo said...

http://youtu.be/Rkm7PicZcnw nuff shown

Anonymous said...

A great rant - Its only the cockpit that matters to me. I really couldn't give a monkeys **** if the wings flex/bounce 2.4 pixels on Fifi!!

Mahin Khandaker said...

Wing flex is pretty much a must for me, if the plane doesn't have it then I'm not buying it.

Anonymous said...

The rivet post was supposed to be a joke to poke fun those that are all wound up about wing flex.

Anonymous said...

"Even if wing flex was correctly implemented these individuals would find something else to grip about,like the left main no.2 tyre appears to be over inflated, or the engine cowling appears to be missing 1 of the 8 DZUS fasteners, or the bag bay net is does not sway in the wind when the bag bay door is open."

Don't forget about the rivets!

Anonymous said...

When it comes to real world aircraft, all wings must have a degree of flexibility in them, or the first heavy landing or turbulence encounter will cause the wing to break. The degree of flex is the sum of a number of factors, such as materials used, wingspan, load bearing capabilities/requirements. You would be hard lushed to see any upward or downward translation on a short-wing GA plane. On a bumpy ride, I think you would be more occupied with keeping it straight and level than attempting to view any flex...
If the wing flexibility is indeed noticable without having to look for it specifically, then it is certainly a nice touch if the developer has included it in the model, particularly if done so at no major cost to performance. If not, then I would personally not see it as a dealbreaker... Now a screwed up FDE IS a dealbreaker for me...
There is indeed too much emphasis put on this feature, which has no actual physical effect on the handling of the simulation, it just looks good if done well. To say a visual aspect of this nature is a must have for any model is taking the rivet counting to extremes in my mind.
If it is doable at little time and performance cost AND is reasonable for the modelled aircraft, then please go ahead developers! :)
AE

Anonymous said...

Amen. A wing is not some solid, immutable, object. Look at a bird. A wing is curved and flexible in EVERY plane, especially one the size of an A320 and up.

Anonymous said...

Oh, sorry, a real opinion. Hey everyone, his opinion is the only one that matters, it's real!

You flew in a full motion sim, good for you. But your opinion and what you want from the sim is not shared by everyone else in the community.

Comparing a full platform sim to a home sim such as FSX, P3D, or X-Plane is utterly ridiculous, the purpose and market for home sims and commercials sim are completely different. You can't look around in spot plane view nor is there an external model in a full motion sim, so no, you wouldn't need wing flex. A commercial sim is entirely for systems and crew training. A home sim is for a much broader range of people. Some that only care about systems, and some that care more about visuals, some that are in the middle, etc.

Having said that, you can take your 'real' opinion and shove it where the sun don't shine.

Dave B said...

Why do we always see somebody stand up and demand censorship of certain topics? It really is quite simple, if you do not want to read it - move on, just like I do when this stupidity of demanding wing flex comes up. It really is quite simple!

Anonymous said...

To each dey own

Mark Smith said...

Wow, At least he has the guts to put his name on his opinion. Whether I agree with him or not, you are lost in the many anonymous people who can say want they want without having to take the responsibility for it.
AirdailyX, I hope with your new website the days of Antonymous ends.

ALX WNT said...

There are some aircrafts with their famous winglexes. Boeing 787, 777 and 747 are examples for these. Airbus A380 has wingflex as well.

The thing is, i'm flying in virtual cockpit, not from wingview, therefore wingflex is not very very important feature IMHO. I'd spend development time of winglex to VC or exterior of the aircraft.

But as i said, A380, 747,777, 787, wingflex is kinda 'icon' 'symbol' of these big boys.

So yes, it's necessary, and no, it's not that important except some aircrafts.

Anonymous said...

Personally, the lack of wing flex would be acceptable depending on the price of the addon. If is a decent, all-round 20-20$ aircraft, then I have no problem with it. But if an aircraft is supposed to be a high-end, high fidelity simulation and comes at PMDG price, then wing flex would be an absolute must. For ex. the FSlabs A320 that is suppose to DEEPLY simulate the A320 would probably carry a 70$ price tag, if wing flex was to be excluded, I would find it to be rather unconfortable.

Anonymous said...

Don't know what he expects when he posts as if his opinion is the only 'real' one in this discussion. If he wanted his view to be seen respectfully, perhaps he shouldn't have been so condescending.

Anonymous said...

Or flying on it in real life, for that matter. How can you trust a wing that is like a brick? If the wing doesn't flex it just snaps off.

Anonymous said...

I think Anonymous may be a little harsh but I agree with the sentiment. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. It is just that, an opinion. Why try to limit the free flow of opinions?

Anonymous said...

Beautifully modeled Abacus 787 wing flex on ground with parking brake on. http://simviation.com//yabbuploads/2007-6-8_17-24-48-403.jpg

Todd said...

I love how so many people claim they would never buy a high dollar add-on if it didn't model wing flex, something you almost never see unless your flying from the external view. Yet, icing effects, which you can actually see and experience from the cockpit is somehow not that important and hardly mentioned in the same breath with wing flex.

That "amazing" NGX can flap its wings all day, yet it can't simulate icing effects, something the Majestic Q400 does quite well. I'll put my money on well-simulated icing.

Todd

Anonymous said...

With FSX animations, you reach a limit to what can be done with one model. Given that this is a linear model, I have yet to hear a wing-whiner propose a reasonable subtraction. What are you gonna delete just to see the wing move a few inches?

Anonymous said...

If that were truly the explanation I think it'd be fine. But FSLabs for example never said that the wingflex couldn't be done, just that they didn't want to do it. That's very different from an impossibility, and in fact wingflex has been animated in plenty of advanced models including the NGX, and even the freeware Project Airbus series (including the A319 and A320). So why does anything have to be subtracted?

Anonymous said...

Well I don't think the two are mutually exclusive. Agreed, it would be very nice to see the NGX have icing as well. Does the Q400 icing actually affect the flying characteristics? As I understand it the ice accumulation automatically disappears with the activation of the anti-ice system even though in real life severe icing will overwhelm the AI system. Also, the icing does not seem to be related to the actual weather at all, probably because of the external model that simply does not interact with the in-game weather. In any case, I'd rather put my money on both than none.

Anonymous said...

The models have a limited number of animations. Once you hit that limit, you have to subtract something else. As an example, PMDG hit that limit with the NGX.

Simeon Richardson said...

Someone spoke of the Q400 icing system being overwhelmed by icing. The aircraft is designed to fly into moderate to severe icing conditions provided all icing systems are working, however we are unable to depart in moderate and severe icing conditions - guidelines set by the FAA.

You also stated that the ice disappears once the system is turned on, well that is the purpose of a deicing system, it breaks the ice from the boots and the heaters on the props melt the ice via a timer system, which is also accurately modeled on the Q400. The icing system will illuminate once the sensor/probe has detected icing based on the parameters set possible ice accumulation. Which if not counter-acted upon will actually affect the Majestic Q400's airframe/performance.

I do agree icing characteristics for the NGX would certainly make it much better, but the NGX is still in a class of its own, as is the Q400. Lets not speculate what the MJC model is capable of. it certainly does have its short comings, as do many other complex addons...but they will be fixed in due time.

Anonymous said...

But, wing flex has been standard since FS2002. There is no reason to not add it, and it's never been suggested to my knowledge, that it can't be done. As in the comment above, it's a matter of the developer's willpower < laziness. I have never heard it proposed that wing flex affects frame rates or memory usage in any significant way whatsoever that it would need to be excluded, 'or else.' : PMDG NGX, another state-of-the-art, full systems aircraft has the decade-long list of standard features including wing flex, they didn't have to delete it in the name of performance or limitation.

In the course of this discussion, you've seen the broad range of simming styles that are present in the community. Some are for systems only and some are for a balance of systems and visuals. This is something developers need to and will consider if they expect to sell their product, who are their target audience. But wing flex as I said before, has been standard for around a decade now and there is absolutely no reason that it needs to be excluded from a simulator-limitation standpoint. It's been done plenty of times in the past and will be done plenty of times in the future. It does not make sense to me, why a developer who wants their product to be considered mainstream would not add this standard feature. Even if you preach systems, systems, systems, this community and market is broad and diverse enough that systems alone will not sell your product. For a product to be popular across the board, you need to put in the standards that everyone else does, or you are subject to this criticism, and if you are willing to put up with that as a developer, more power to you, but don't act surprised when you get backlash from your potential customer base.

As I said in the first comment, I agree there is a line when the list of demands from the community does become ridiculous, but it's equally ridiculous to not apply the long-standing standards and expect mass-acceptance of your product. And I have to disagree with Mark that this is a 'craze.' It's not a craze, it's expecting what every other popular addon has had since FS2002. I also disagree with the statement that external graphics are overvalued. Yes, it's a flight simulation and in theory, you should spend more time in the cockpit, but that's not the entire demographic of the flight sim community. Like I said, excellent visuals add to immersion for me, and it's fun to look at awesome visuals at cruise when you've got nothing else to do. It's a standard that has been set through to rest of the computer gaming industry and it's something that does need to be addressed by developers because that's what the majority of the market expects. Whether you agree with that or not, it's up to you, it's personal preference in how you use the sim, but reality is that developers need to cater to as many people as they can to sell their product that requires open-mindedness from the developers to realize that and what needs to be done to their product to achieve that, and from fellow simmers, to be patient and allow the time to be taken to properly implement these features so that everyone is happy with the final product and the developer is more successful in their sales.

Anonymous said...

"
Anonymous May 22, 2013 at 5:48 PM

The models have a limited number of animations. Once you hit that limit, you have to subtract something else. As an example, PMDG hit that limit with the NGX."

But PMDG found a way to implement wing flex. If they had to cut an animation to do it, they found one that would not be noticed nearly as much as wing flex (opening doors for example are less important, IMO, than wing flex).

And that still doesn't address the fact that FSL said in regards to their A320, that it's not because it's impossible, it's because they don't want to take the time to do it, AFAIK. You can't lump limitation-capabilities in with laziness, there's no logic there. If they had truly hit the limitation (which they haven't suggested, to my knowledge), then they'd be better off trimming elsewhere that won't be noticed as much. People caught on to the lack of wing flex quick, but I haven't read anyone asking about maintenance mode or opening doors, and even if they did, people wouldn't be as vocal about that as they have been about wing flex. Just saying...

Anonymous said...

LMAO! Great pic! I love this topic.

Anonymous said...

Actually, to the two posters above me, you still have not refuted my point.
You have a LIMITED number of animations.

The developer calls the shots and when they've hit the limit, they're forced to stop. If you don't like it, build something yourself or develop a new sim. It's their artistic taste to include or exclude an animation. The only 'lazy' people are the ones who bitch about an animation not included in their surprisingly otherwise accurate $80 aircraft simulator.

And if you don't want to pay the $80, then keep your money and your mouth shut. Consider donating it to a good cause because obviously don't know how to enjoy something so simple as a game.

Rick Harms said...

I am one of those who are all about being in the cockpit. I never cared about wing flex per se. The odd time I enjoy a replay of a nice landing into a fancy aftermarket airport. It has never been a deal breaker in my purchase decisions.

However, since the (life consuming) NGX, being able to see the wings flex/bounce from the cockpit has benn a rather enjoyable feature. It does kind of aid in the "feel" of gravity in my opinion.

As for the GA wingflex argument, I don't feel there isa need to spend the time or performance hit (if any) on modeling this. Perhaps sailplanes and gliders can be exempt from my statement.

Just my opinion!

Anonymous said...

But you haven't proved anything either. FSL hasn't noted they've hit the limitation, only that they don't feel like including it. So if they've got breathing room, there's no reason not to add it other than laziness.

In either case, it is still something that has been considered standard and expected for many years by the community as a whole, there is no denying that. If you are a good developer, you look at what the community is demanding and expecting of you for the price you are charging. Whether you are a fan of wing flex or not, that's the market.

I understand there is a limited number of animations, but if the market expects this one, which it clearly does, you add it in if you expect your product to be as widely accepted as you hope. Sure it's their artistic taste, but if that's the card they are going to play, they've got no room to be surprised when people react negatively to the exclusion of something that was expected from day 1.

And your last sentence is arrogant. One of the points I've been driving all day is that the systems guys aren't the only ones trying to enjoy the sim. The market and community and the way people enjoy it are vast in variation. To most, enjoyment does come, at least in part, to visuals, and it's arrogant to tell people how they should enjoy their sim. That's apparent in the vast and differing opinions posted today. I'm telling you what the market expects, whether you like it or not.

What has been made apparent today, is truly how narrow-minded some people can be with the extreme attitudes of systems versus visuals. It's quite amazing how many people seem to think the sim is for them and their style only and forget that there are others out there with differing styles, opinions, and enjoyment levels. Good developers, while usually aiming their products at more precise demographic, still allow for as much of a balance as they can to please as many (potential) customers as possible. To me, that's what today's discussion has been about more than just wing flex, it's about why there's this great divide in the community where a balance is becoming harder and harder to achieve because you have people on one side who don't care about systems and people on the other that don't care about visuals, both extreme views are minorities and a balance needs to be struck. The majority expects standard features like wing flex, that's the market, that's the fact, and it's amazing how much people will belittle someone else's way of enjoying the sim because it's not their way.

Anonymous said...

As a systems priority simmer I will now apologise for making a wing flex joke comment in a post from several days ago. I had no idea how much value is placed on this item and this great post has been a real eye opener for me. This is AirDailyX at it's best!!
Gary

Sid said...

I agree with Anonymous in what he says regarding home simulator markets too. Maybe slightly harsh but self-inflicted by Joe. Opinions are just that so there's no right or wrong or absolutes or 'real' or 'unreal' ones. Perhaps the wrong choice of words Joe in maintaining mutual respect and a friendly environment within the community. Here's my name and 'responsibility' for my 'real' opinion Mark and my free choice to disclose it.
Sid. P.S. I like wing flex graphically displaying wing dynamics simulation too but this whole issue of wing flex comedy has become too funny to do anything but laugh anymore. I do think that we need to move on from such matters to what's becoming the new far more important issue and topic of the day though...RIVETS! Those damn rivets! Yes rivet simulation. AAAAAAHHHH!!!What's with not being able to see those things flying off one by one (twang.twang.twang) even when failures are on :-)Really don't think I can continue to fly anymore until this pressing issue is addressed once and for all. If you can't beat 'em, 'join 'em!

Sid said...

If we're talking about visuals from the cockpit, it would also be nice to experience better rain effects too. FSX and its damn performance issues eh?! What a love-hate relationship we have with this beast, eh guys!? Bottom line is, there's only so much resource at present.

Sid said...

Here here. Well said Gary! I happily second that mate! Now can we please get back on topic. RIVETS...:-)

Xavier R./Pict said...

I find the whole wing-flex issue to be a bit on the petty side if you ask me. FS Labs said their reasoning is that the A320 doesn't have much to begin with (just a slight hop...which from working around the aircraft i observed as well). All the pictures showing apparent wing-flex in the A320 series are all rather zoomed in, which means the apparent wing flex is more due to a phenomenon called "Spherical aberration" which happens when you use a telephoto lens or any telephoto zoom mode for that matter...if you look at side views of the aircraft in flight the wing-flex is barely noticeable (if noticeable at all).

I just find it sad that because one company makes wing-flex in it's models (even if its a bit exaggerated), another who chose to be closer to reality gets hammered because of it...all by people who probably never tried making a 3DSmax/GMAX model themselves. Look at the SimCheck A300...an excellent simulation all around but some reviewers hammered it because of the modeller's "laziness" in putting...you guessed it...wing-flex...even though the A300/A310s don't have any noticeable flex at all. I just find it unfair to just brand an aircraft as un-flyable because its wings don't flap up and down like a bird does really...

If you want a developer to make more flexible wings, how about doing a few 3DCAD courses and tendering in your resume to the company yourself, rather than just criticizing them for "Laziness".

Best Regards
Xavier R.

Anonymous said...

Well said!
My 2c:ts..if wingflex is predominant on an airplane type (A340, B747,B787), it should be present..it all depends on the airplane type.

Todd said...

Yes, icing does affect the Q400 flight dynamics. It's a beautiful thing.

Joaquin Diaz said...

For me it's as simple as this,I'm the customer and I'll pay for the product so there's nothing wrong in asking for something that is as real as the flex of a wing,and for those that say that you do not see the wings flex from inside,then is better doing a box for the model outside and just concentrate in the cockpit inside and you'll see how many will buy it.

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