Review: FS-FlightControl for FSX, P3D and X-Plane

Jul 02, 2019 | by Sérgio Costa

FS-FlightControl is an instructor station where you can set up, plan and control flights in FSX, P3D and X-Plane by using a second computer or tablet.

FS-FlightControl

I’ve never really paid attention to instructor stations and the instructor station concept until FSE, where I tried the Elite TH22SM motion platform  and also found FS-FlightControl.

It was never one of those pieces of software that I thought I’d need, especially because a) I’m not an instructor and b) I fly alone.

But then I tried FS-FlightControl and I realized it was not only fun, it was also very handy.

Being able to control X-Plane (or FSX/P3D, of course) from my Microsoft Surface, without having to access the menus? Just select a section of the application and tap away?

FS-FlightControl FS-FlightControl

Do I want to change the weather? Load a preset? Easy.

Set the position of my helicopter so that I can try autorotations again and again without having to take off again, and set myself in position? Yep.

Set failures in a breeze, even immediate ones so that the engine actually goes off, for example? No problem.

If you’re one of those “rate my landing, plz” guys, you can even analyze your landing (instead of asking others to do it for you). But, remember this: we helicopter pilots never land; we crash land softly. So, no need to analyze it!

Jokes aside, add to all this the moving map, easiness to select an airport and position the aircraft and a whole bunch of amazing features – too many to list them here – and FS-FlightControl has become one of the most handy tools I’ve used in my simming “career”.

You can install it on a Windows machine but also on an Android tablet or iPad (iOS) and place it right next to your sim so you can, literally, control it with your fingertips.

Not that we usually need it, but you can even control our pushback (hey, we need no stinkin’ pushback – we’ll just take off vertically, see?).

Installation

Installation is not hard (just follow the installation wizard), but you’ll need to have a couple of things in mind, especially if you want to install it in a separate computer.

Using FS-FlightControl remotely

FS-FlightControl

If you take a look into the manual , a client is mentioned and this threw me off at first, as I thought we’d need the main software to be installed in the computer with the sim, and we would then get a client to connect to it.

Wrong.

Here’s how you should do it:

Step 1: install the software on the computer with the sim

After you install FS-FlightControl, you’ll have to build a database for the scenery. This is something that you’ll need to do every time you change something in your scenery library, so, you’ll need to keep it installed.

This database will then be sitting on your computer’s hard drive, of course. Usually at C:\Users\[YOUR_USER]\AppData\Roaming\FS-FlightControl.

Step 2: install it on the remote machine

Self-explanatory. Just install it on the machine you want to use.

Step 3: copy the database from the main computer to the secondary computer

Instead of building the scenery database, copy the files from the folder above to the same location on the secondary computer.

If you set everything correctly, FS-FlightControl will connect to the sim from the secondary machine to the first one and do its thing.

Failures galore

FS-FlightControl

The amount of failures you can simulate is impressive. It’s all there, even the ones that will take you some time to notice, which can add to the stress if you are doing some longer flights or getting your rotors in the middle of fjords or mountains.

Or perhaps you want to teach someone to fly and handle emergencies. That’s how I have been having the most fun with. Nothing beats the surprise of someone being caught off guard with an engine flameout over water.

In conclusion

FS-FlightControl

In its concept, FS-FlightControl is simple. It’s a software that controls your sim remotely and lets you set up flights and control a session.

Behind the scenes, though, it’s a lot more.

FS-FlightControl is a world. A whole universe. The number of things you can do with it is overwhelming. I have only scratched the surface of the software and end up using the same functions very often, but I am exploring it bit by bit and the more I learn and try, the more I like the software.

Is it a “must-have”? No. I don’t think any software is except the sims themselves. But do I recommend it? Yes. Most definitely.

If you are looking for a software that does everything I described – and a lot more – FS-FlightControl might just be what you’re looking for. I am very impressed with the ease of use, simple UI and great features.

Our rating

Positives

  • Lots of features, making it an amazing instructor station
  • Good performance
  • Simple, yet effective UI (especially with touch screens)
  • Available for Windows, Android and iOS

Negatives

  • Installation on a secondary computer takes a bit more work but it's pretty unavoidable
Installation 10
Ease of use 10
Performance 10
Total score
10
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Sérgio Costa

About Sérgio Costa

Sérgio has been a flight simulation enthusiast for nearly 25 years. His passion with helicopters developed during MSFS 2000 when he discovered the complexity of these aircraft and the challenge it was to control them. Since then he has been primarily a helicopter flight simmer, trying his best not to crash and kill all his virtual passengers. Sérgio is HeliSimmer.com's editor and writer and one of the Three Grumpy Simmers, a YouTube series and Podcast produced together with YouTubers Bel Geode and NovaWing24, obviously dedicated to flight simulation.

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