I have discovered that the XP mode under windows 7 does not support the use of game controls becasue they are HID devices. Would love to play these old flight simulator games again without having to format another drive into XP. Do you know of any other virtual software that supports the game HID controlers?
The DOS emulator DOSBox runs very well under Windows 7. By using cycles=64000 (as opposed to the default 3000) you can ran very satisfactorily Flight Simulator 3.0, 4.0b and even 5.1 (though all of them in a 640x480 window that cannot be maximised: resolved by simply, before firing up DOSBox, changing your monitor resolution to 800x600!) with 20 fps as a very minimum.
Needless to say, DOSBox under Windows 7 successfully emulates any sound card and any joystick (but one only): I have a Hotas Cougar and I can use the yoke and also the throttle (I cannot also use the CH Pedals, a minor issue in those legacy flightsims).