Your First Study Level Aircraft

As a follow up to last weeks article on “Learning a Study Level Aircraft”, I thought I would follow it up with my recommendations for your first payware, study level aircraft purchase.  Because not all virtual pilots are interested in jet tubeliners, I’m going to throw out two recommendations with the first being a GA or General Aviation type and the second being a jet tubeliner.

The Fine Print

The recommendations I will provide are add-ons that I own and enjoy very much.  Neither are overly complicated assuming you approach both with an understanding that their operational characteristics vary greatly from the freeware/default type aircraft you may be accustomed to flying.  In addition, I will also just (as a reminder) encourage you to conduct your own research just to make sure your PC meets the recommended specifications to run the payware add-on aircraft.  While it really makes very little difference regarding the flight sim platform you use (FSX, FSX:SE, P3D v2, P3D v3 or P3D v4) just keep in mind that if you are running something other than P3D v4, you may be required to repurchase the add-on when/if you upgrade.  Let’s get started…

A2A Cessna 172 Trainer

I’m almost of the belief that every virtual pilot should own this aircraft.  I think it just makes sense.  After all, pretty much all the basics of flight can be learned and that knowledge finely tuned in this aircraft.  The A2A Cessna 172 Trainer is available from A2A Simulations and most will agree is the finest study level general aviation aircraft you can purchase.  Depending on your sim platform, this wonderful aircraft will run you from $49.99 – $79.99.  The A2A Cessna 172 Trainer is feature rich and designed to be flown by the book.  I’ve spent hours and hours and several more hours just flying around.  It’s the perfect airplane for really taking in all the eye candy available in Orbx sceneries.


My readers shouldn’t be surprised that the PMDG 737NGX is my recommended and truly “must have” jet tubeliner.  Much like the A2A Cessna, the PMDG 737 is one that should be in everyone’s virtual hangar.  Yes, I know it’s extremely difficult to perhaps not choose the beautiful PMDG Queen of the Skies Boeing 747-400 or the incredibly beautiful PMDG Boeing 777.  Likewise, the QualityWings Boeing 787 Dreamliner is also gaining a lot of traction in the community.  But if you’re a Boeing fan, and you are interested in jet aircraft…then the PMDG 737NGX really should be in your hangar.

Once you master the 737 and understand the “Boeing Way”, the rest of the Boeing family of aircraft will almost be a piece of cake.  The other advantage with starting with the NGX is this aircraft truly is the workhorse in the airline industry.  Just about every major airline has (or have had) a fleet of Boeing 737’s and it’s the perfect short to medium haul aircraft.

Depending on your flight sim platform, the PMDG 737NGX (-800/900) will run you $69.99 – $89.99.  The 737-600/700 expansion will run you another $24.99.

In Summary

As I often say, there’s no right or wrong way to do things.  The hobby of flight simulation is no different.  There are virtual pilots who only prefer general aviation and there are those who only enjoy flying the jets.  Of course, there are lots who enjoy both and the A2A Cessna 172 and the PMDG 737NGX are the best in class for these two flight sim areas.  Get one or get both and enjoy the experience.  Thanks for reading!

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!



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