The CaptainSim issue: An Opinion

March 28, 2023

In recent times, there has been growing concern in the flight simulation community about low-fidelity aircraft developers such as CaptainSim, who have resorted to default 747 files to create low-effort 767 and 777 aircraft and proceed to charge 30-40 dollars for them. This issue has sparked debate among flight sim enthusiasts and raised questions about the ethics of such practices.

One of the main concerns with using default files is that it leads to a lack of accuracy in the simulation. While the 747, 777 and 767 may share some small similarities, they are fundamentally different aircraft. Using the default files of one to create another has resulted in totally inaccurate flight models, incorrect systems behaviour, and other issues that detract hugely from the realism of the simulation. Of course in certain cases this can be okay, provided the price reflects these issues.

Furthermore, charging significant amounts of money for these low-effort aircraft is seen by some as exploitative. Many customers who purchased these early Captainsim add-ons may not be aware of the lack of accuracy and believe that they are getting a quality product. It seemed as though Captainsim, in the beginning, purposely refused to disclose the use of default MSFS aircraft systems on their product pages, in an effort to sell more aircraft. This has resulted in a sense of betrayal and disappointment from the community. This issue has been slightly rectified in recent times, such as the release of their 767-300, which now notifies the customer of the default 747 systems use, and they appear to have updated their 777 product pages in the recent past also.  

Another issue for our community that is caused by developers acting in the same manner as CaptainSim is that this practice can undermine the hard work of other developers who put in the time and effort to create accurate and detailed aircraft. It can also discourage these developers from continuing to create quality add-ons, as they may feel that they cannot compete with the speed that developers in similar situations as CaptainSim can seemingly produce an aircraft and charge far too much for it. 

Throughout the last number of weeks, I have taken the opportunity to reach out to various members of the flight sim community and ask them for their genuine feedback and opinions on the practice that seems to be becoming more and more common with MSFS. I’ve tried in this short article to highlight the issues, concerns and genuine opinions of each, and I strongly hope developers engaging in the practice of trying to sell cheap, inaccurate aircraft as the next best study-level airliner will stop.

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