|There are a lot of customer reviews of F-SIM Space Shuttle on the AppStore, thanks a lot to everyone who took the time to write a review or rate my app!|
The vast majority of the reviews are very positive and there are a lot of 5- and 4-start ratings (again, thank you so much!)
Some reviews are critical or negative though, and since I can't answer there, I thought I'd sum up the criticism here and try to answer:
- No takeoff, no ISS docking, no full re-entry
F-SIM Space Shuttle is a flight simulator, and it simulates the only part of a shuttle flight that is flown by hand. Both ascent and the reentry are fully automated, although the commander or pilot could take over manual control.
I'll maybe add the ascent, a full reentry and perhaps even ISS docking in a future version, but I can't promise anything.
- No compass, no VSI, etc. in the HUD
The HUD in F-SIM Space Shuttle is a faithful replication of the HUD in the real orbiter. Compare it to videos of shuttle landings. It shows everything a shuttle commander sees (and needs to see) during approach and landing. The guidance system in the simulation uses the same algorithms as found in the original flight control software.
- No ILS
ILS (Instrument Landing System) is used on most civilian airports, the Space Shuttle however uses MLS (microwave landing system) and TACAN (tactical air navigation) for navigation. The shuttle approach involves two glideslopes (a 20 degree outer glideslope and the 1.5 degree inner glideslope) and the HAC (heading alignment cone). It is thus much more complex than a normal airliner ILS approach. Guidance and navigation is fully simulated (OGS, IGS, flare reference markers and the guidance diamond in the HUD). Visiual aids (the PAPIs for outer glideslope and the ball/bar-system for inner glideslope reference) are simulated as well. Please read the manual or at least the landing tutorial to learn how these systems work.
- The other instruments on the flight deck are not working
True, but all the instruments needed for landing are shown in the HUD. Screen size on the iPhone/iPod touch (and to a lesser extent on the iPad) is limited and most of the time the HUD fills the entire screen. I did not want to sacrifice frame-rate for rendering instruments that most of the time are not even visible on screen.
That said, I'll maybe add some of the MFDs in a later version, they are needed to fly the full re-entry for example.
- Controlling by tilting the device doesn't work well, is too touchy, etc.
It takes getting used to. The aerosurfaces in the orbiter are moved by hydraulic actuators and are rate-limited, thus they move rather slowly. Try to make only small control inputs and plan ahead. You might want to experiment with the "tilt with device" setting and the pitch and roll sensitivity sliders. The next version will also feature (virtual) analog-stick controls (like those used to control RC planes).
- Can't control speed, gear, etc.
Per default speedbrake, gear and chute are controlled by the autopilot. You can set them to manual in the autopilot settings and gain full control over the vehicle.
- No sound.
Well, the astronauts wear headsets and helmets, and F-SIM uses a lot of calls (from the commander and pilot and from mission control). I'll add more sound effects (wind, gear deployment, tire squeak, etc.) in a future version though.
- No external view.
Coming soon with the next update. Check out these screenshots.
- Just two runways
These are the two shuttle landing facilities used by NASA. I'll maybe add Whitesands and perhaps one of the transatlantic emergency landing sites in a future version (can't promise that though).
- Just one aircraft
Well, it's a space shuttle simulation. I'll maybe add the Enterprise approach and landing tests in a future version, where you can start off the shuttle carrier aircraft (a modified Boeing 747) and choose between tailcone on or off configurations.
- No engine sound, throttle control, spaceflight, moon- or mars-landing, etc.
During descent the orbiter is an unpowered glider. During a mission it operates in low-earh-orbit, it cannot fly to the moon or other planets, let alone land there.
If you're lost, please take a look at the manuals (they are also available in the game via the help menu) and take a look at the autoland-demo. I'll also prepare some video tutorials for future versions.
If you've got a question, a feature request or have found a bug, please use the forum to communicate it - it's the only way I can answer to you - and I really appreciate your feedback!
Those who know F-SIM Space Shuttle from version 1.0 also know that I've continually improved the app and added lots of new features with every new version - and there are many more updates yet to come...