A lot of people just getting into flying RC don’t know the best way to begin. I must strongly advise that getting behind the sticks of a virtual plane before you jump into the sky with a real one is the best way to go. And now, you don’t have to spend a mint to do it…..in fact, you don’t have to spend a thing. RcDeskPilot is a fantastic program that you can use to train yourself to be flight ready, and its free. Here’s the link..
So check it out already. You can fly using your numpad on the keyboard, but it is designed for use with just about any joystick config, as well as your actual transmitter, (you provide the cable link of course). I’ve found the flight physics to be very good, even better than FMS, and the software is constantly being improved, and user created models added to the line up of expansions/downloads as well. Give it a try. Here’s a vid to give you a taste.