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And that's why I never became a real pilot.....


WWCephas
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As a kid I dreamed of being a fighter pilot, but I was gifted with poor vision, a big build, and worst of all an extremely weak stomach for motion sickness.  So I eventually I figured if I could not really fly them I could at least work on them and so I did for many years.

My current rig is pretty state of the art except I do not have VR like several WW's have been talking about.  My current 40" 4k monitor is great but it has a couple dead pixels and a tiny nick that are getting very distracting now that I am back into IL2, I always need to do a double take before I think I spotted a bandit now.

So instead of replacing an entire monitor I thought why not try VR?  The Oculus Rift S is way cheaper than most good 4K monitors, but I thought I would test it out first.  Luckily my son has an HTC Vive sitting around, and while it is not the best it would give me a good feel for it.

Getting the whole shebang working was a bit of a hassle but I finally figured out the SteamVR install and a driver issue and after several tries was in the cockpit and chasing Sturmoviks in instant action mode.  The 3d effect is flat out amazing, and even better was the rock solid head tracking that put my Track IR pro to shame, I was able to track the target planes as they passed over and behind me so much easier, it was seamless.

Right away I was also making deflection shots with much more precision now that I had good depth perception, I mean a lot better.  The negatives to the experience was the much lower resolution, fuzziness, and pixel graininess even though it was 2560k res. supposedly.  Spotting targets was harder at a distance and the plane dots jittered quite a bit in the grainy image.

So I am sitting there with a big grin on my cyborg face thinking how much better a player I could be and it might be worth the graphics trade off, and maybe even the Oculus unit would negate a lot if the image issues of the Vive.  Then as I came up on the tail of a IL2 a little too fast and did a big wingover to bleed speed and circle back on his tail to give him another blast, my foot pressed the rudder pedal left and non virtual stomach went hard right.

Instant nausea, NOOOO!  Why me???  doomed to stay in the old tech world of fixed monitors by my poor brain that cannot handle motion issues.  Well at least I wont be needing to pay for a chiropractor and neck surgery down the line from wearing that headset all the time in the future.

For those of you that can use these things I am jealous!  Enjoy!  but I fear it will never be me.....   :)

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Hey Cephas.  Excellent summary of the advantages of VR.  It's hard for me to fly in IL2 now (at least while dogfighting) without VR.

You almost certainly will get over the motion sickness if you stick at it.  And one big advantage to motion sickness in VR over a real airplane is that you don't have to find a place to land first to throw up!  🙂

 

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Motion sickness, as I understand it, has everything to do with the cilia in your inner ear, and the mis-match between the motion this cilia is feeling (or not) and what your eyes are seeing.  You don't by chance have a slight cold? This would gum-up the cilia, making the on-set of nausea associated with motion sickness much more acute.  It would also be  made worse if your head is looking down, or sideways.

When I did my aircrew training, we did extensive training on how to combat motion-sickness, and I found the most effective thing to do, apart from wanting instant and complete death to take me (especially during sea-sickness trials, seriously, you just wanna die), was to find a horizon, and look at it with your head more-or-less stable, to reset the mis-match between your inner ear and your eyes.  It was quite effective, for me anyway.

Having your head in a weird position and then moving also can cause the fluid in your inner ear in a thing called the (cochlea? where the inner-ear cilia is) to move differently.  The cilia feels this fluid motion, bends in accordance with the fluid motion, and if this is different than what the brain expects, the mis-match happens, and boom... nausea.  Essentially, this fluid allows us to know which way is up, it is our natural gyro system. This phenomenon is the same mechanism that causes dizziness.  We used to get something called "the leans", especially at night or in thick cloud, when you are staring at the instruments (head is down).  The artificial horizon is your only "truth data", but often, your head would cock off to one side as your idea of "up" got screwed up with no visual reference other than the thin horizon line on the AI.  It is VERY dangerous, and has been the main cause in many aviation accidents.

So, head up, look at the horizon.

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So we went to our dear friends home for Christmas dinner and their son who is an F16 pilot was there.  So I happened to mention the story to him and he says they have a system to "cure" most cases of this in what he called the spin chair.  It is pretty much what it sounds like apparently, they keep spinning you until you get used to it.  Three sessions is generally enough to cure most pilots according to him.  So I might give it a try and see if I can over come this life long weakness but it is rather daunting knowing it is going to make me wish I was dead for several hours (or spray my ofiice with vomit).  Maybe I can just barrel roll my way past this. 

Do a barrel roll! Do a barrel roll! Do a barrel roll! Do a barrel roll! Do a barrel roll! Do a barrel roll! Do a barrel roll! Do a barrel roll! Do a barrel roll! Do a barrel roll! Do a barrel roll!

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Hey Cephas, you're not the only one. Dubya bought in early on the VR thing and had similar, if not more severe, issues with it. He eventually sold his VR set (to one of us, I believe) and now does things the old fashioned way - with TIR and flat panel monitors. 

I've never tried VR, and only recently built a machine that will handle it (aside from the video card ... which I may yet eventually update if the RTX 30-series cards ever become available to us mere mortals.) But I'm not in any hurry to switch to VR. Yes, it has advantages. But I'm not ready to completely disconnect from real life to do my flight-simming. I like having tactile input from various doo-dads on my desktop ... the MFD's especially are really useful. And could easily become useless if using VR ("Gee, I thought I hit the 'switch channel' button, but instead hit the 'dump ordnance' button, dangit!")

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So the explanation that always made sense to me is that in our evolutionary past, any time the world seemed to be visually moving in a way our inner-ear or other kinesthetic senses tells us we are not moving was probably due to the effect of poisoning, so the body ejects whatever it last ate just in case.  🙂

When I started flight lessons when I was 14, I had a number of instances of motion sickness.  I thought I might have to quit lessons for a while.  But I pushed through it.  My first glider flights (where we just kept circling at a 45 degree bank to stay in the thermal) made me pretty queasy as well.  My son threw up the first few times I took him flying.  But I got over it, and so did my son.  The body adapts to the new and strange inputs.  It takes some people longer than others.  I never really ever got sea-sick, but then I've only ever been on smallish (<30ft) sailboats. 

When I first started VR, there were some moments of queaziness again, but they soon passed. 

I think looking at the horizon is an excellent strategy.  It's what I tell my passengers to do when flying.  It seems to help.  I don't know if that translates into VR, but I don't see why it wouldn't. 

 

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We used to take severely sea-sick sailors flying for a few hours just to give them a break from constant puking on the ship. Usually, after just a few minutes of the horizon matching what their cochlea was indicating, they felt much better.  We then gave them food, and by the end of the flight at least they had some nourishment, and were able to keep it down.  I remember one guy, we had to take him up every other day, just to keep him fed and nourished.  He inevitably chucked some of it back up when we got back to the ship, but not all of it.

Some of our training involved the spin chair.  I have NEVER wanted to die quite as much as when we finished that particular evolution...

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I have never gotten sick from flying or VR, but the sea kicks the shit out of me. When I moved to the PNW, I knew I’d be doing a lot more fishing, and it gets rough on the Sound in some spots. Dramamine works ok, but I ended up buying a Reliefband, and that thing works like a champ. Went salmon fishing in September and I started to feel queasy. I turned the band to 11, and that feeling went away immediately. I was pleasantly shocked. Might be something to look into. 
 

https://www.reliefband.com/

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well I got the Relief band and gave it a whirl, and still wanted to hurl.  Kind of figured it wouldn't work.  If only TrackIR would track as smoothly and accurately as VR goggles.  It was a fun 15 minutes of flying though. not so much the tow hours of recovery though.

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Yes Chunk to both questions.  Perhaps it made me last longer than I would have.  I was doing instant action dogfights with unlimited enemies in a Fokker and by the time I had fought 4 in a row the motion sickness was too much to go on.  Granted that is a lot of wheeling and turning and it is the first couple of big maneuvering loops that are the worst part of it but the thought of a gaming session being ruined by nausea is not something I look forward to.  The VR did have some drawbacks as well, the greatly reduced graphics quality and crispness vs a 4K monitor is a big loss, especially for spotting, and while the VR tacking stability is fabulous it is really hard to look over the shoulder as easily as it is with TIr.  I really wish Naturalpoint would release a TIR 6 with that same level of tracking.

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Well.....just saying.........perhaps you want to just fly around a bit for a while to get used to it.  Starting in hairy-ass furballs against multiple enemies is certainly a "deep end of the pool" way of approaching a cure!  🙂

The looking over the shoulder part is the only thing I miss about TrackiR.  I've gotten used to the loss in resolution, which isn't really too bad in IL2 compared to some other sims.  And I can't dogfight worth a darn now in TrackIR in IL2.  I still use TrackIR in DCS, and prefer that.  But in IL2, I'm VR all the way. 

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As I have gotten older my tolerance for aerobatics have significantly diminished. I was never a fan of negative gees to begin with but I have learned to become an expert at puking in a bag with one hand while recovering the aircraft in the other. Something about our inner ear fluid getting thicker etc. I'm flying MS Flight sim these days on the computer and thought about VR, but the best one out there is Oculus and they now require an FB account--which my years in computers tells me is a horrible, hrrible idea.

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I also wish VR gave me the same pretty picture that I get on a monitor, but it’s not even close. Once I’m able to upgrade both the rig and the headset, I’ll give it another go. Nothing even comes close to the immersion it gives you, minus the nausea, which I haven’t experienced myself. 

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Well, I am the guy that ended up with Dub's VR goggles. 

I can clearly remember going to the state fare as an adult, buying a ten ride coupon and the first ride was the viking ship ( just a simple swing up down, up down)  I was immediately sick, gave my tickets away.  I have been on half a dozen vintage plane flights, a Stearman, a T8. a TigerMoth......always having to psych myself into it.  I remember on the T8, the pilot pulling into a slight right turn, calling out "that's one G" than he flipped into the other direction, pulled the other way, "that's two G" as I felt myself being pressed into my seat.   "Thank you sir, thankyou very much, no need to demonstrate anything else"

My wife was hoping to go to lunch after, I was smiling from ear to ear when I told her,....."it was great, but no no, we are not going out to lunch".... I spent the long ride home in the car looking at the floor boards to avoid not looking out the windows and seeing the ground whizzing by on the freeway, making me sick as a dog.

VR has never bothered me.  I almost lean into it.  The head spinning and the ear canals do me in, but purely visual cues don't seem to get me going. I feel blessed because the immersion flying that way, even in low resolution is hard to compare to anything.  Being able to judge the ground plain, the 3d cockpits, the pipes coming out of the engines on the 110.  (Waiting one more generation to come out with higher res).

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Good reason not to buy the new model.  I guess Oculus decided to get out of the serious VR game.  I'll probably keep the Rift S, as I've read it's as good for MSFS as the new G2, and maybe better in some ways.  But, I won't ever get a Facebook account...

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