Reader Question – Intermediate GA Aircraft Recommendations

As I’ve been doing more VFR GA flights in the last few weeks, I felt I would turn this latest reader question into a blog post for all to learn from.

Hello Jerry.  Another new reader of your awesome blog.  I’ve learned so much and truly appreciate the level of effort you put into your tutorials and your willingness to help so many with our questions.  I’m fairly new to Microsoft Flight Simulator.  Many years ago I enjoyed Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 and spent a few years in FSX then life got in the way.  I retired last year and bought myself a copy of MSFS and have been slowly getting back into the hobby. Anyway….
While I’m interested in simulating/flying all aircraft types, I’ve really been concentrating on flying the default general aviation aircraft in the sim.  But I think I’m ready to take things up a notch and would like to dip my toe into a little more complex GA type aircraft and was wondering if you had any recommendations for me?  Also, what are your opinions of Carenado? Thank you for your time and I look forward to your response.  Thomas

Well Thomas, I absolutely applaud your desire to take a step up in your GA or General Aviation fun.  The timing of your email couldn’t be any better as I have just taken a similar step in MSFS and made a purchase which I can highly recommend to you.  But before I do that, allow me to make a few points for other readers that might be nearing the conclusion as yourself.

For most who are new to any flight simulation platform (MSFS, P3D, X-Plane etc.) I always recommend spending time flying the default aircraft before spending any additional money on payware aircraft.  While I’ve enjoyed this hobby for well over 40 years, some people may quickly lose interest after a few months and go to something else.  When MSFS was released back in August of 2020, I even spent the first year only flying the default GA aircraft while I still spent the majority of my time in P3D.  But if one continues to keep an interest in flight simulation, it’s natural to want to take things to the next level and that is where payware aircraft comes into the picture.

For Microsoft Flight Simulator (MSFS 2020) the absolute best general aviation aircraft available at the time of this writing is going to be the A2A  Comanche with Accu-Sim.  While I don’t own this aircraft just yet, I have owned several A2A aircraft back in my P3D days including the Cessna C182 Skylane, Cherokee 180 and the Comanche 250.  All three were amazing aircraft.  So I have no doubt the new Comanche for MSFS is just as good.  For GA aircraft, A2A is what PMDG or Fenix is towards tubeliners.  These are highly detailed and somewhat complex aircraft to fly.

As you specifically asked about intermediate GA aircraft, I really think you can’t go wrong with the JustFlight Cherokee family of GA aircraft or more specifically the PA-28R Arrow III.  The reason I said the timing of your email couldn’t be any better, is just a few days ago I wrote a somewhat light review of my most recent GA aircraft purchase and that was the JustFlight PA-28R Bundle.  I’ve been flying these aircraft almost exclusively the past week and really love them.  While I still tend to spend 75% of my time flying tubeliners in the sim, I truly do love the “low and slow” element of flying with a single engine light aircraft.

From my experience over the past few days, the JustFlight PA-28R offers a lot more immersion than what you’ll find with the default GA aircraft or even something like a Carenado payware aircraft which you asked about.  In my opinion, while Carenado creates some truly stunning exterior models the flight dynamics are going to be fairly basic and comparable to any of the default aircraft.

But bottom line and please understand that I am saying this from my own opinions and not being paid or influenced by JustFlight in any way.  But I’ve really been impressed with what they have done with the Cherokee PA-28R family of aircraft.  I’ve owned a few other JustFlight aircraft dating back to FSX and P3D and was not as impressed as what I’ve seen in the PA-28R for MSFS.  It’s a truly fine general aviation aircraft and I’m truly pleased with my purchase and highly, highly recommend it to others.

If you have a question you would like my help with, please drop me a message.  You can easily do this by clicking Information at the top of the page and then click “Ask Me A Question“.  This will open up a form where you can submit your question to me.

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

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