pricelessppp wrote:What are some good immersive study level aircraft for FSX? That aren't at PMDG prices though. And also what would you recommend for upgrading the sims weather engine & would y'all recommend Rex sky force or something similar?
The thing is, if you want quality/realistic aircraft, you have to pay a certain price. You won't get study-level addons for bargain prices, that doesn't exist.
It also depends what kind of aircraft you are looking for. Let me make a small list here:
1- For modern airliners:
Beside PMDG, you have very few choices for study-level planes. FlightSimLabs (FSL) would be the first one. Their Airbus is the best you can get. It even surpasses PMDG in some aspects, if I understand correctly. However, it is also very expensive and very heavy on the performance of the simulator. If you want something a bit lighter, you may want to check the Airbus packages made by Aerosoft. These are not study-level, but they are already quite realistic and quite immersive too.
There is also another "top of its class", which would be the Majestic Dash 8 Q400. It is definitely study-level, and the best turbo-prop aircraft you can get at the moment. I read it's also very FPS-friendly, and the price is also less expensive than PMDG, so you should definitely consider that one.
Aside from these, I think there is some very interesting MD-8x, but I cannot remember the exact name right now. Maybe something like "Fly the Maddog"... I hope somebody else can correct me on this.
2- For vintage airliners:
You'll have basically two choices: the PMDG DC-6, and the A2A Constellation. Both have received very good reviews, although the DC-6 is not on the same level of details/realism than their modern liners, if I understood correctly.
3- For GA aircraft: I'm not sure there are any "study-level" planes in that category, but I would aim for the various aircraft made by A2A with the Accusim technology. They all have excellent level of details and realism, both for the flight model and the avionics. They are way above other makers. Two exceptions: the DA-40 Katana from JustFlight (has a similar tech as Accusim from A2A), and the (turbine) Duke from RealAir, which also received very good reviews for their realism.
4- For military planes: There is at the moment only one study-level plane at the momet: the Super Hornet by VRS, with its TacPack extension. Price is high, unfortunately. But the quality is excellent.
There might be a few others, but I don't have everything in mind right now...
The best thing I could recommend you is to ask questions directly here on the forums. If you are interested in an addon but you don't know if it's good or not, better ask us prior to wasting your money
Concerning the weather engine, the "ActiveSky" product is the current best.
But this is just a weather engine, it doesn't bring new sky/clouds textures (maybe the ASCA extension does, not sure anymore....). For these, you might want to check some dedicated addons, both freeware or paywares. REX products are the ones who give you the most detailed choices, but I like the freeware set named HDEv2.1.