Jan 4, 2011

Pro Flight Simulator - It's a scam!

If you enjoy the hobby/passion of flight simulation then you're most likely always on the lookout for add-on's and ways to make it more realistic.  And, whether or not there's something being developed that's better than Microsoft's Flight Simulator "X" or, FSX as it's users and fan-base commonly refer to it.

In my own perusal of the 'net looking for the "latest and greatest" in FSX enhancements I came across a "new" flight simulator that's been getting a lot of web-visibility called, "Pro Flight Simulator".  At first blush it seemed like something that would trounce the current flight-sim king, FSX, what with the glossy marketing campaign and short but well-produced video teaser.  But in fact it's a wolf in sheep's clothing:  Make no mistake, this is a very well-disguised and pre-packaged scam!!

I first became alerted to the possibility that this new flight-sim offering might be more hype than reality by three very significant things:

1.  I found that every "review" was nothing more than a boiler-plate of over-hyped positive commentary - and that nearly every review posted was nothing more than a copy-paste of this same initial review - a word for word duplicate.

2.  Every review I found also had several hot-links back to the primary website for "Pro Flight Simulator" and it became clear that the review sites were truly nothing more than affiliates who had jumped on-board to try and sell it.  In fact if you look at the internal pages for Pro Flight Simulator you'll find they're actively looking for affiliates to post their "review" and subsequently offer the product for sale.

3.  One of the supposed review sites actually had the title:  Pro Flight Simulator: Is it a scam?". And then of course it went on to say quite emphatically that it was not a scam and how absolutely wonderful the software is. Really?  How stupid do they assume the general public is, anyway.  You're trying to *sell* a product by initially defending whether or not it's a scam?  C'mon people.

Alas, Pro Flight Simulator is nothing more than the freeware package that's been around for years called, "Flight Gear", of which there are both Mac and PC versions. What this company has done is to simply bundle together all the code you would normally have to compile manually to make a complete installation and put it on a DVD with an installer.  Any average computer geek could do the same thing in about 10 minutes - again, totally for free.

And while Flight Gear does have some amazing features it's nowhere close to the technology built into FSX - or even X-Plane for that matter.  And the visuals in Pro Flight Simulator are... well, several generations behind FSX both in detail and available animations.

Pro Flight Simulator comes it two flavors:  Really cheesy old-school technology for $50 or, you can add more cheese with the world scenery package for a whopping total of $140 - not including shipping.

By contrast FSX Gold Edition costs less than $20 in most national software retailers and is the latest and greatest currently available.

Or you could get all the components of Flight Gear totally FREE and compile the components and have a fully functional - and fun - flight sim.

So, if you enjoy getting ripped off by very a smart, glossy marketing campaign then be my guest.  But if you're like me and actually want something that's worth the asking price then get FSX and enjoy!