Wycliffe

X-Plane Fan
  • Content count

    27
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    2

Wycliffe last won the day on February 5 2015

Wycliffe had the most liked content!

About Wycliffe

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Not Telling

Recent Profile Visitors

1494 profile views
  1. FS Instant Approach PRO for XPlane 10 Jeff Preston John Paul Jones www.FSInventions.com Reviewer: Wycliffe Barrett What do the developers say? Features of FS Instant Approach PRO for X-Plane 10 Set up an approach in seconds! Put yourself on approach to any runway in the world in about the time it takes to read this sentence! Different types of approaches! Fly straight in on final, or intersect final from any angle you choose, or set up on the 'Downwind Leg' of a left or right traffic pattern. Your choice! Try an approach to a random airport Travel the world in seconds as you let the program select random airports for you to approach. Fly only the ones you want and browse through hundreds in minutes. Filter by geographical region, elevation, runway length and more... Introduction Since I first got XPlane 10 I have always enjoyed the 10 mile and 3 mile approach function. Great fun but sometimes you can set a ten mile approach to an airport and be on the other side of a mountain with little or no room to gain height to get over it. That can make for some tense moments. One of my favourite approaches is into Chambery LFLB, a nice alt of 5000 to capture the ILS and threading your way between mountains to fly over the lake to the runway. Through trial and error and judicious use of the XPlane local map I have been able to create a situation where I am on a heading to capture the ILS. Whilst not an ideal method it does work although if you use a high end study level aircraft it might not work because of the need to make sure the POS INIT has been completed correctly as well as numerous other factors. Now we have FS Instant Approach Pro developed by those nice people in Caerleon, S Wales who brought us FSFlyingschool for XPlane 10 , www.FSInventions.com I met Jeff Preston some years ago when I organised South Wales First Flight Simulator Show in Cardiff, and I thought then what a thoroughly decent chap he is. FS Instant Approach is a curious application and I have to say at first glance one wonders if it’s really necessary or is it just a vanity product, but the more I used it the more I could see the value of it. I think where it comes into its own is that you can practice approaches at airports you might be flying into for the first time and you want to practice the approach beforehand, especially useful if say you’re doing a group flight online on the VATSIM or IVAO networks. Installation Installation in the xplane environment is getting easier and easier and FSInstant Approach PRO has an installer making it easier again. Don’t forget of course to run the installation as an administrator by right clicking on the installer and selecting compatibility mode and then administrator. You just point the program to where your XPlane installation is and away you go. One thing you do need to do is download an application/plug-in from Sandy Barbour for the whole thing to work but the developers have made that simple also. You just click on a button the program seeks the plug-in and installs it for you and when I say it only takes seconds to do this it really is only a matter of seconds. So now it would appear we are good to go. Just one final thing and we can set up an instant approach. The final action at this point is to allow FSIApro to create a database of runways but once again this is done very quickly and simply by clicking a button. Creating an Instant Approach First you have to set up your aircraft either on the grd or in the air. I used my Flight Factor 757 at EGFF, I chose the 757 because it is a systems complex airliner and I wanted to see if FSIAPro would work with such a complex aircraft. So I loaded up on the threshold of rwy 12 and began to program the aircraft as if I was doing a flight up to the BCN Vor with a Standard Instrument Departure (SID) and back to EGFF. I set the MCP for 3000ft alt with a speed of 180kts. Finally I inputted the ILS frequency of 110.70 and the course of 121. So my aircraft was all set up and then I made sure I saved that in my FMC. The next thing to do is load up FSIApro and begin configuring it for your instant approach. I know at this point it’s not sounding that instant but for anyone who has flown high level aircraft, you well know it is hard to just throw them up in the air where you want and expect them to fly, in the main the systems are to complex and the aircraft needs programming for flight. Once you open FSIAPro all you need to do is click on the Flightplan button and begin inputting data, as you can see the flightplan dialog is laid out in a logical manner and the order in which you input your data is ICAO Start NM out from runway Speed Intersect from Nautical miles back You’ll notice a button that says Show Approach Types Available, I haven’t mentioned this yet but you can actually setup different approaches: On final, a straight in approach Intersect Final, which would be commonly used for an ILS approach Downwind, which would be commonly used for VFR flights or ILS approaches. Unfortunately there is no ability to create an approach such as a NDB/DME procedural approach. Fly the Approach Once you have everything set up, which can be quite quick once you have gone through the process a couple of times its time to fly. Let the fun begin. This next bit is a little cumbersome and if I have one niggle it is this. I am sure this could all have been achieved with a one click process but instead we have a process that is in my view a little clunky. The process now is a simple case of returning to Xplane (alt tab or however you do it) and - Press Ctrl Shift C to open the 'Position Aircraft' Control Panel within X-Plane. - Press Ctrl Shift Q to quick load the approach file you created into the Position Aircraft plugin. - Press Ctrl Shift P to position the aircraft ready to fly the approach you just created with FS Instant Approach. Beware though because when you make that final key press your aircraft will be moved to the position you created and flying, it happens rather quickly and if you’re not ready it can take you by surprise to suddenly be in the air approaching your airfield of choice. I must admit the first time I did this is did catch me by surprise and because I hadn’t got the 757 set up correctly there where bells and lights flashing and ringing it was all rather disconcerting, also I hadn’t realised that the real world weather would also be loaded so it was rather grey and with vis quite low. These are things we might be used to when flying into an airfield from some distance and you have had time to check weather et, but when it happens instantly before your eyes it can be a little stress inducing. So a perfectly executed ILS approach into EGFF rwy 12. Conclusion I started this review by saying that I wasn’t to convinced that this is a vital piece of software to purchase but on reflection and after using it several times I have to say I have changed me view and I think for the cost and at a just under £10 why would you not buy it. The ability to set approaches into any airport in the world (xplane world) whether it be ILS, VFR or Downwind is unique in the flight sim world. I do have a couple of complaints which I mentioned earlier and that is the initiation process of actually loading the Instant approach once you have configured everything, I’m still convinced that could be done via a one click process and also the actual configuring of an approach under the flightplan button can be a little confusing. It is not an insurmountable problem and as I say after a few uses of the program it all becomes second nature. Jeff Preston and John paul Jones with the help of Ole Andreason and Joe Minellono have produced a package unique in the flight sim world, I can think of no other program that achives this either in Xplane or FSX the addition of Sandy Barbours Position Aircraft Plugin is inspired and shows how the best way of developing is to get a team around you, who can help achieve your vision. Well done all, it’s grand job well done, as we say up North. (I was born in Bolton Lancashire) and after many uses of this application I highly recommend it for the Xplane user. Wycliffe Barrett Yes! the Instant Approach is now Available from X-Plane.OrgStore : FS Instant Approach Price is US$14.00 Windows only! - not Mac compatible FSFlyingSchool Reviewer PC Intel Core i5-2500k CPU @ 3.30ghz 8GB RAM nVidia Geforce GTX 660Ti 2048GB 2x 300gb Hard Drive 1x 200gb Hard drive 1x 2tb Hard drive Minimum Requirements required System Requirements FS Instant Approach PRO recommends a PC well equipped to run the version of X-Plane 10 you have selected. If the PC can run X-Plane 10 at a good pace, without problems, FS Instant Approach PRO will run fine with it. If the PC is struggling to run X-Plane 10, then FS Instant Approach PRO will be unable to give its best performance. Because X-PLANE 10 requires a high performance system, we recommend the following minimum specification: 3 GHz multi-core CPU (multiple processors preferred) 4 GB RAM DirectX 10 capable (DirectX 11 preferred) graphics with 2 GB on-board dedicated VRAM 18th June 2014 copyright@2014: X-Plane Reviews 2014
  2. World2xplane is a stunning new development for creating an even more "plausible world" for Xplane 10. This new application uses OpenstreetMap data but in a new an unique way which will provide greater complexity of buildings than before, not only that it will be able to generate sloped roof's and also correct height buildings. It has only been in dev for a few months but already it is showing some very promising results. It is still only in alpha phase which means it can be unstable and may not produce results as you desire but it is a WIP and so can only get better. A number of high profile developers from the xplane world have become interested in this project and are offering help to the developer so I feel that this application will soon gather a pace and become a must have for developers and users a like. being a thin application it doesn't need a huge high end machine to run although iw ill say I can't find any min specifications indicated anywhere on the site. Developer Notes World2XPlane is an application under development which can be used to generate scenery for X-Plane (www.x-plane.com) using data from (OpenStreetMap). World2XPlane will add forests, regional houses and landmarks using a list of highly configurable rules. The model library used for regional buildings is opensource and available here world-models. The application currently supports the following features: Placement of forests, parks, orchards and other OSM data using X-Plane forest files. Wrapping of facades around OSM buildings, including complex buildings (i.e. OSM multipolygons). Placement of X-Plane 3D models into OSM building footprints. This can be used to create very realistic looking towns and villages Regional rules, e.g. Placement of regional houses or forests based on country/county codes. These regions are configurable. Advanced rules for parsing OSM data. Rules can be chained together to produce convincing scenery. e.g. All buildings inside a landuse=residential zone can use only house models, and industrial other rules. Random placement of objects using collision detection. e.g. Trees placed inside residential zones or cattle inside fields. Line rules for surrounding items with 3D objects. e.g. Surrounding fields with trees or hedges. .. and more features to come. As you can see the developer has a fairly comprehensive list of features and with help from friends I think that feature list will grow. There are a number of comparison shots on the web site so rather than reproduce pictures here I will simply place the link to the site and suggest that you have a jolly good look around. http://world2xplane.com/ Wycliffe Staff Reviewer
  3. Hi I have flown this aircraft almost exclusively since first getting it. I have some superb aircraft but when I go flying I am drawn to the 757. Why? It's simple really, it is quite simply one of the best aircraft available in xplane. Now of course we have this new update which is to be frank the largest update I have seen on any model be it xplane or the other sim. I think Stephens comments and response to the question why release an aircraft that is not complete is spot on. The released version of the 757 received a platinum award from PC PIlot, I know the editor Derek and most of his team and they don't give out Platinum awards easily. I have quite a fair amount of time on this type and being a Boeing simmer for many years I didn't find the conversion at all difficult especially having flown the leveld 767 and the QW 757, but there is really no comparison. The leveld 767 for many years was the benchmark standard for others to meet but now many have surpassed that and with the new updated FlighFactor 757 for xplane we are really pushing the outside of the envelope in terms of aircraft development. That said I still think there is some way to go and in the next few months we will see some incredible work. So onto the plane, as Stephen said everything just seems smoother, tighter and more reliable although one can still have maintenance issues due to the failure routines. Which honestly is brilliant. I have been having HYD pressure issues on the right engine for some reason, most probably just HYD fluid needing replenishing. It was my birthday last week and my daughters bought me a Saitek Yoke and throttle quadrant so as well as trying to get used to the 757 I have also been getting used to the new flight controlling method. Last night I flew to EGCC from EGFF and I was able to fly the SID all the way upto 6000 ft and to BCN using the yoke and throttles. The 757 handles like a charm and once set up on approach is rock solid. There have been so many bug fixes and corrections it's hard to mention them all in relation to the flight model as it all just feels even better. I have found the lighting system a bit of a nuisance and I am still waiting to see the three altimeter QNH setting at to sync, I still had to manually adjust all three of them last night. I'm actually deaf in one ear witha. 90% loss, so sound sets etc have never really been high on my list. If it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck it is generally a duck, but I have found the subtle changes in the engine sounds between the RR and PW quite remarkable and I think I might even put the xplane sounds via my speakers rather than all sound including ATC coming through my head set. There is so much more I could say but I think, Stephen has covered everything very well, I just wanted to add my two pence worth. This is not an aircraft for the new user to jump in easily, it takes a lot of study but the satisfaction of completing a certain task is reward enough for the time spent on learning. I am finding out new things each day the complexity of systems and depth are stunning. I almost forgot the iPad FMC, this is just sheer genius it was on the initial release but now with the exec light working it's sheer brilliance. If you haven't got this aircraft then why not, also when you buy it get ready for some reading. Wycliffe
  4. Hello my fellow simmers, Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat and this means a number of things to me, one I'm wrapping presents two my bank card is getting hammered and three I can look forward to at least one days piece and quiet, but more than any of that it means I have very little time to fly, control or write reviews. I do have time to let you know about a brand new flight planning tool that has been released just in time for Christmas. EFASS . This freeware package is stupendous I have been using it for the past week and it is superb. There are a few bugs but nothing that would stop a galloping horse and updates have been happening at the rate of almost one a day. Unfortunately for some this is a Windows based only package, as yet I have seen no idication that it will be recompiled for Mac's or Linux based machines. EFASS is so chock full of features I would need a lot more time than I have right now to do it full justice, but put simply it is a Moving map Flight planning tool Fuel and payload tool Weather station Database of all your flights A chart repository It's vatsim or IVAO compatible It works with all known sims including xplane Amongst the many features you can export your flightplan to your aircraft FMC and as well as that it will even create a passenger list with name, gender and age, all made up of course, but still adds that level of immersion that helps you to suspend your disbelief. The list goes on and on it's probably easier to look at the website http://froom.de/efass/ which you have to register at to get the free download. A friend of mine downloaded it and immediately said to me this is as good as if not better than some of the packages that you pay a lot of money for, I agreed. The amount of coding that has gone into this package just be a lot, ok a lot of it might just be parsing algorithms, but I couldn't write one let a lone the number that must be at work here. So before I dash again to the store to buy another turkey let me say to you all, support the developer and go and get your free copy now. Wycliffe
  5. I'll post them later
  6. X-Plane 10 HD Mesh scenery v.2.0 by Alpilotx Last week I mentioned that I was downloading this incredible freeware package and that it was taking a little bit of time to just download Wales, in fact it was an overnight download taking 5 hours. since then I have bought a membership to one of the sites hosting and the downloads take only minutes now which is a lot better I can assure you. As I now have had a chance to spend a little more time with the mesh I thought i might write a little more than just the announcement that I made last week. Here is the product information from the Alpilotx website:- X-Plane 10 HD Scenery Mesh v2 is an update to the older v1 HD Mesh (and a replacement of the default Global Scenery) and brings a lot of improvements in many areas: It is a much higher resolution base mesh (more, smaller triangles) compared to the default Global Scenery which ships with X-Plane 10 (one could say: approximately 2-3-times more dense) The higher resolution mesh allows for a much more detailed representation of the elevation profile of the landscape The higher resolution mesh allows a much more detailed/exact representation of the underlying landclass data (because of the smaller triangles, which can follow landclass changes in the raw data more closely) It is based on a completely new Openstreetmap (OSM) data (approximately end of September 2013), which brings (compared to default Global Scenery) a lot of improvements in: water features (lakes, rivers, coastline) – many previously missing water features are now finally there roads railroads power lines urban park areas It includes line rivers from OSM (not just polygons as before) tagged waterway=river which improves the landscape in most regions quite a bit Uses improved urban zoning (thanks to improved algorithms in the scenery generator) Many smaller and larger landclass data improvements completely replaced the landclass data for Canada (big improvements) improved forest density representation in Europe (changed the sparse / dense classification) some new classes added (in many regions), like: moraines, riverbeds, mining/dump sites added differentiation between ice (perennial) and snow (more temporal) to have an even more detailed representation of mountains. There is a nice description of this by Albert (the texture master) on x-plane.org: follow this link added differentiation between irrigated / non-irrigated crops (in some regions – like the USA etc.) Completely replaced the elevation data with viewfinderpanoramas.org (if yew have a few cents, donate to that guy!). This doesn’t changes much in areas which were already great, but fixes some which were really hosed. Latest airport data (2013.10) boundaries used, to have up to date airport areas. Alpilotx. Andras Fabian, has been working with xplane for a number of years now and has been responsible for the default terrain mesh, in a recent interview he gives some insight as to what motivated him to do scenery work ad if I recall it was the fact that Xplane8 could portray real forests that sparked his interest. http://www.flightsim.com/vbfs/content.php?13946-Interview-With-Andras-Fabian/view/1 I'm happy that he did start tinkering (his word) with the program because that has led us to the happy state we find ourselves in now, a terrain mesh which nearly covers the whole world for free. Created using the most up to date and reliable geodata available, and Andras is very good at locating the best data there is. I believe that total download is close to 55gb of data which is a huge amount and unless you have a very fast broadband connection with unlimited bandwidth it is going to take a while to download. Already some individuals have downloaded the whole package and placed them on torrent sites. I prefer not to use torrent sites as I really don't trust them to offer clean downloads. If you trust the torrent site then of course use that method. installation is very easy and instructions are included with each package you download so you cant go wrong, what I particularly like is that you simply install the packages to your custom scenery folder, you don't have to delete or over write the default scenery because of the way that xplane manages custom scenery it always becomes the first scenery installed. If you decide you don't like the terrain mesh simply delete it restart xplane and the default terrain mesh will be there. After installation you don't have to do anything else, it's just load up and fly. Andras does say on his site that you might have to adjust settings because the terrain mesh can have an effect on FPS but to be honest I saw no hit at all. These images do not do justice to the scenery at all, the problem with taking screenshots is that everything looks flat and xplane is not flat and this fantastic terrain mesg is not flat either, I took only a quick flight around LOWI during which my wife walked into the study/mancave/flightdeck and you know what even she said "WOW that looks good, how much did you pay for that" when I said it was free she gave me a kiss and walked out. Now that is well worth the download time alone lol. Whats more she came back with a wee dram of my finest single malt. I know it's coming up to christmas but i have to think she is after something. Whichever way you look your monitor is full of WOW moments especially when you fly over somewhere mountainous, I did do a flight over Snowdon in North Wales, and once again this took my breath away especially as I have the UK photoscenery. So my friends I suggest you get downloading, but as I said in my intro piece just download one or two areas just to get yourself going. I haven't downloaded any of the America's but I have got all of Europe, I mostly fly in Europe so there is little point in getting the mesh for across the pond, although the lure of the Rockies might be to much and I will download it after all. Wycliffe Developer Site : X-Plane 10 - Alpilotxnet ©X-Plane-Reviews 2013
  7. Hi everybody I'm going to tell you a tale, a cautionary tale. This story starts approx 3 weeks ago and it would seem it only applies to those who have a windows based os machine and a nVidia GFX card. So about three weeks ago being the good and stout fellow that I am I decide to update my nvidia gfx drivers, it's not something I normally do as I try to live by my own adage which is, "if it ain't broke don't fix it". But I was seduced by the dark side and thought what the heck what harm could it do. So I dutifully entered the dark zone known as the nvidia Gforce experience, its all green and black and looks very harmless as it asks you what card you have. I clicked on the button and wonderous things began to happen without me having to do anything or enter anything or submit credit card details or anything. I was liking the experience, it appeared that not only was it downloading drivers but even some new software to look at within the experience. Well I thought this is all rather nice and painless and as fast as you like the experience finished and all was done. It was late at night so off I went to bed safe in the knowledge that all was right with my PC and the nvidia gfx card had new drivers that promised me some type of Nirvana/Shangri la in the world of gfx. I fired up xplane the next day and things didnt seem right, my fps had gone down a bit, and then whilst flying it went down even further. What the devil is happening. So Like any decent tech guru what did I do, iI went to look at my settings in Xplane. Nothing seemed changed. Back into xplane and the fps had gone down even further again. I must have changed something In the settings I'll look again. And so I did for most of the evening I fiddled and messed and still couldn't seem to get my fps back to normal. I did a flight with a buddy of mine online, It was awful he kept getting away from me and we was supposed to be flying at roughly the same speed and mach number at one point he was a good couple of hundred miles a head of me. This is silly whats going on. Two weeks later I had an epiphany! A eureka moment if you will. I went into my control panel and found the nvidia performance application, not the gforce experience just the normal configuration tool. Everything relating to my xplane config was knocked out and reset to default. AHA, I had found the problem, it was all wrong it was as if xplane and the experience where fighting each other. With a few clicks here and there I had my xplane back to its normal 50/70 fps and the world was right again. So the moral of the tale is . If it ain't broke don't fix it and if you do a download make sure you go into the nvidia control panel and set everything to as it should be. All the best Blue Skies. Wycliffe
  8. Excellent review, well done. regarding the annoying little fps counter there is a way of getting rid of it. I did have to write into the jardesign support forum to find out. It would have been much better to have an off on switch as I find FPS counters the bane of most simmers lives as they try desperately to increase FPS into the high hundreds or some such ridiculous number. Anyway this is how you do it. delete only font12.fnt file at \Custom Avionics\fps_ind\ folder Make a backup copy or as I did just rename the file to font12.backup Wycliffe
  9. Good Morning/Evening Pilots this is the big one, it's taken a year for this to be developed and when I say this is the big one it truly is. This will change the way you look at Xplane beyond your imagination. Alpilotx has finished his work on the extremely high detailed scenery mesh. It's a massive amount of data and any one with any semblance of sanity would only download one tile at a time. I downloaded the UK last night and it was reporting 5 hrs to download. So I went to bed and installed it this morning. You must follow the install instructions very closely or you will be in trouble. I'm on the runway at EGFF and the hills to the North do look very different, cant wait to have a dash through the S Wales valleys. Enjoy guys and have a look at the screen shots he has put up. http://www.alpilotx.net/downloads/x-plane-10-hd-scenery-mesh-v2/ for the download * Europe Screenshots : https://picasaweb.google.com/101666907909842492197/XPlane10HDMeshSceneryV2EuropeFINAL?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCNKp646D4Ynscw&feat=directlink Wycliffe
  10. Just in case our many forum members missed this in the past 24 hrs, the world of Xplane is very busy, xsquawkbox64bit v2 has been released. This has fixed the bug that was causing some crashes if you had the Gizmo plugin on your machine. You can get it from here http://www.xsquawkbox.net/xsb/ Have a good day/evening Wycliffe PS I had a private email from someone this morning saying that I was blaming GIZMO as being the cause of the bug. I have written numerous apologies about this, but at first everyone thought the bug was caused by GIZMO, including Wade. The bug was in the xplane sdk and headers, it was the use of GIZMO that identified the bug. So that clears that up.
  11. Hello Some of you know me and probably more of you don't, my full name is Wycliffe Alan Barrett Jnr but I mostly drop the Alan and Jnr and as some of you know I am a reviewer here at Xplanereviews. I have been around flight simulation in some form or another for the past 20 years and my first experiences of flight simulation where mostly confined to space based games and then military sims. I moved to commercial flight with FS5 but didn't really enjoy commercial flight simulation until FS2002 upwards. I stopped using FSX last year 2012 and finally removed it from harddrive in MAY2013 having made my full conversion to Xplane, I have never looked back since. It occurred to me that with any luck some readers of this site might actually be new to flight simulation and perhaps a short essay on flight simulation and where we are, at the present time and what is happening might be of some help. Flight simulation as a hobby can be a quite a lonely pastime, we sit in our studies, mancaves, sheds, spare bedrooms, garages with our computers humming away sometimes in the darkness trying to suspend our disbelief in attempts to capture the magic of flight whether it be in a Glider, Cessna 172 or a leviathan of the air in a Boeing 747. What ever we fly on whatever types of systems be it a single monitor PC or a full scale replica 737 NG cockpit for a brief short time we are the masters of all that we survey and are in total oblivion to the rest of the world until of course we land, the wife/girlfriend/partner/mother calls us for dinner or in my case my cat jumps up on my desk and walks across my keyboard as I am on final approach and dispels the moment. I do quite a lot of work here in the UK promoting flight simulation and Xplane whether it be in forums or at Flight Sim shows like last months RAF Cosford, PC Pilot, Flight 1 sponsored show and I can honestly say that the buzz around Xplane is growing steadily and in many respects in a better and more interesting way than ever there was with FSX. Why do I say that you ask, well when FSX first came out it was designed for machines that didn't exist and in the tens years since machines have progressed to a appoint where they have surpassed the best that FSX can do and are ready for something else. That something else is XPlane. Frooglesim over on You Tube has released a high level detailed review of Xplane and he comments why he thinks that Xplane is the simulation of choice right now. The first and most compelling statement from Frooglesim is that Xplane is designed for the high end machines available now, right now and for the foreseeable future. His second most compelling point was in his assertion and I agree is that FSX is dead, it is not being developed further and will not ever be. That doesn't mean that Xplane is the be all and end all, but it is the only 64bit flight simulation platform in the market place at the moment and that does bring some benefits with it. I do find myself explaining what 64bit means an awful lot but it's worth repeating here. Having a 64bit application such as Xplane means quite simply that it can access all the ram on your PC whereas a 32 bit application is restricted to 3gig of ram no matter how much you have. What does this mean in reality and with Xplane, well, it doesn't mean that you will see frame rates increasing hugely beyond what your main CPU or GFX GPU can deliver but it does mean that you can increase your settings to a far greater extent without losing those frame rates. I comfortably see FPS in the 50/70 range no matter what aircraft I am using. Xplane also ustilises all of the cores of a multicore machine which means it is spreading the load across all of the cores rather than on a 32 bit application it using only one core to drive everything. Aircraft as we have seen from some of the recent reviews on this site are getting better and better with each new release, developers are pushing themselves to the limits in terms of what they can put in their products, as to whether Xplane itself is being pushed to the limit is debatable and many of us are awaiting the much heralded 10:30 update of Xplane. As recently reported on this fora Xsquawkbox64bit pilot client has been released which means we can now fly our 64bit Xplane on VATSIM online with other pilots and real ATC. This has been something that many VATSIMmers have waited several months for and at first it seemed no one was interested in progressing this important aspect of flight simulation even to the point of it having a detrimental effect on sales, but all that is a distant memory and as of a few weeks ago is no longer an issue. All of my flights are conducted online in the 64bit environment which is to be frank really quite wonderful. Finally I would just like to make a comment about the demographic of flight simulation, I am one of the founder members of The Bristol Flight Simulations Group and last week when we met for our monthly meeting I had a good look around the room. I was quite shocked because what I saw was a group of predominantly white middle class older men from a particular income bracket, mostly retired. Myself and one other member are what you might call visible ethnic minorities and there were trwo young people in the room, one 15yr old and a 13yr old. Of course not a woman to be seen. The recent PCPilot Flight1 sponsored show at RAF Cosford was one of the best shows I have ever attended in terms of numbers, it was very busy indeed, but once again predominantly visited by men although the age range was a lot better than the monthly attendance at Bristol. Flight simulation, as gaming is predominantly male, and this it would seem is a simple fact of gaming law, of course there are some women but pitifully few, somehow we have to change the demographic of flight simulation if we want it to grow as an entertainment platform, although thankfully I think this is a problem for the industry rather than just myself although I do try my best. There is only one factor that I can see in the way here and that is cost, those young people who do fly seem in the most part have o rely on the good graces of parents to either provide the hardware or to let their children use the family hardware, not always the best practice. I know of one young aircraft developer who had all his work deleted by his mother because she doesn't like him playing Xplane. If she only realised he could become and aero engineer or even an aircraft designer of the future. I do think all of us involved in flight simulation in whatever way have a responsibility to this community even in a small way, mine is to create relatively reasonable sceneries free, and to offer help and advice where I can, I also promote flight simulation at every opportunity I get, perhaps we could all do the same. So what does all this rambling mean, well IMHO Xplane is the only flight simulator of choice, that it is a system that can provide you with the most realistic flight model to date and in a 64bit environment. That any commercial developer of aircraft has to really step up their game if they are going to join the party, and that the demographic of flight simulation does need to change to keep what was a niche pastime moving forward I hope this short essay has been helpful in some way, I'm always about somewhere on the net so your sure to see my name pop up. Blue Skies Wycliffe
  12. Hi The system fidelity of this aircraft is such that you cannot just jump in push the throttles to the bulkhead and fly. You do need to program the aircraft correctly, which means in the most part making sure you have the FMC correctly configured. The early problems I was having on day one with the FMC have gone now that I understand the conventions. I first thought that I was encountering a bug but knowing flightfactors propensity to model accurately, based on real world data and functions, it was clearly not a bug. Let me explain. I will use the flight of EGFF to EGCC to explain. This is a simple route BCN N864 MONTY, lets assume the winds are from the west so it will be BCN1A DEP from rwy 30 and a MIRSI1A STAR to rwy 23 at EGCC. When one first puts the DEp and Dest airport into the FMC EGFF EGCC with rwy it will put in the first part of your route EGFF 30, trying to build the route from there on causes problems . so looking at the FMC route page it will look something like this EGFF 30 BCN N864 MONTY MIRSI1A This loks all wrong but you will be able to activate it and on departure your aircraft will just do left hand orbits over EGFF. Not satisfying at all. So the solution is quite simple and that is when you have entered your DEP and DEST and you go to enter your route make sure you CLR that top line EGFF 30. Your route should look like BCN N864 MONTY Then enter the SID And STAR and everything will link up correctly, you will have a discontinuity and the end of your flightplan which is correct and would happen in the real world which you need to clr. Simple. As I say the B757 form Flight Factor is a brilliant aircraft and as yet I have not fallen out of the skies with it. All my flights are conducted online in VATSIM at 64 bit with Xsquawkbox64bit and I have no issues whatsoever. To be honest it doesn't get much better than this, and if you haven't bought it yet all I can say is why not. Wycliffe p.s if you want to enhance your learning and fill out the experience then get Mike Rays Excellent Boeing 700 Series of Books from www.utem.com The 737 book of his was the book that finally made me understand FMC's and how they work, he has a unique writing style plus his books are humorous and filled with some outstanding illustrations.
  13. Aerosoft : Lugano Airport Reviewer - Wycliffe Barrett Product description: The airport Lugano is a small international Swiss airport in the canton Tecino. Its location is between the three towns of Agno, Muzzano and Bioggio. The fascinating part of this airport is surely the breathtaking approach, probably one of the most beautiful approaches in the world. Landing on 01 takes you across the picturesque Lake of Lugano where you get the most out of the reflection and shadowing techniques in X-Plane 10 Global. The most frequent aircraft in Lugano is the Saab 2000 operated by Darwin Airlines offering Code-Share flights with Alitalia to destinations like Rome, Cagliari and Olbia. The most important route though is the flight to Zurich for Swiss International Airlines. 2010 saw the airport handling more than 170.000 passengers taking off from the 1.350 m long runway. I love flying at 38,000ft in a chunk of heavy metal, there can be no greater satisfaction as when you land your aircraft after completing an IFR flight from one airport to another, having programmed your FMC with SIDS route and STAR. Sometimes though I yearn to fly close to the ground and look at the scenery, but the world is a big place so how do I choose where I want to fly. VFR means visual flight rules which also means if you do it old style looking out of the window. I tend to gravitate towards mountains and valleys, perhaps because I live in South Wales only a few short miles from the South Wales valleys. So where better to go than Switzerland, Xplane's terrain mesh is astounding just in the default vanilla installation but when you add a better mesh and some good scenery well it comes alive and it is no better represented than with the Aerosoft Lugano Airport in Switzerland. So lets Load up and take a VFR flight around the valleys and lakes of the area departing from the beautifully located airport by the lake. Lugano Airport is a regional airport located 4 km west of the Swiss city of Lugano, in the municipalities of Agno, Bioggio and Muzzano. It lies closer to the village of Agno than to Lugano itself, and is sometimes known as Lugano-Agno. All Approaches into Lugano are from the south to rwy 019 and has one of the steepest glideslopes I have ever come across at 6.65 deg which is due to the terrain and the ILS approach chart advise you start your descent at 6000ft. On final approach you will be flying over the lake for approx 3 miles so make sure you have your life jacket on just in case. Installation Aerosoft have begun to use installers for many of their Xplane products and whilst I prefer the extract to Custom scenery folder method from a zip file using Aerosoft's installer presents no hardship whatsoever and Lugano Installs itself by just locating your Xplane custom scenery folder. When you purchase the software you can opt for instant download or have the CD shipped to you. There is even an option to purchase the download and have a disk back up for an extra $4.95. whichever you choose the file is approx 245mb zipped. When installed it creates two folders one for the airport 282mb on disk and the other is the Lugano Scenery 31mb on disk, which is not a huge amount of space being used. As with all Aerosoft airports you get a PDF manual in English and German and a set of high quality PDF charts as well. One great aspect of the manual is a screen shot of the settings screen in Xplane with some recommended settings I can see this being of great help to some Xplane users. The one thing I didn't like is that the main picture of the manual shows the main building and tower of Lugano with snow on the ground and on the hills behind and as we well know winter textures are not depicted in Xplane well not yet anyway. You can get an add on that gives you winter wonderland but I haven't tried it so I have no idea to how effective it is. Airport and Surroundings One of the main aspects of payware scenery for me is how well the orthophoto's blend in with the surrounding default scenery, some developers can get this wrong and the orthophoto work can look out of place and in some cases as if the image has just been dropped on top without any consideration as to how it looks. Get it right and it can make all the difference between poor and excellent. This orthophoto work at Lugano blends in almost seamlessly and I found it difficult to spot where the orthophoto ended and the default ground texture started, I think the addition of the Lugano treeline by the canal that runs the length of the airfield really helps in masking the join. The market garden opposite the terminals and on the other side of the canal are really well done with some pretty spectacular buildings including greenhouses and long sheds. There are a number of businesses all along this side of the airfield and I suspect they are doing good business in these very pleasant surroundings. The elevated road which is beyond the market gardens and other businesses is a little overdone Looking towards the ends of the runways it's hard to tell whether the broken and cracked concrete is orthophoto work or drawn by the developer, what ever it looks very good as do the ground markings. I especially like the stand numbering which is all cracked and chipped as you would expect There are over 20,000 grass polygons and I have to say this is some of the best grass I have ever seen in any scenery, as you can see from the images it does look quite something. Coming back to the terminal side of the airport all the buildings have been really well built (modelled) I particularly like the World Trade Centre with the sign around the top of the central part of the building very well done indeed and when we move into darkness the lighting looks spectacular. The main terminal area and control tower are brilliant, as a 3rd party dev myself I have always tried to get the airport clutter just right sadly here its just a little to bare but what it lacks in clutter it more than makes up for in the myriad of little details. I really like all the blue steel work just below and up the tower. The guard rail on the outside of the ATC room at the top of the tower is fantastic work and looks just right. The buildings in the main terminal area look as if they have been built over a number of years with additions being made to the airport at various times, I must admit to being a little confused as to why the tennis courts are inside the airport boundary, must be terrible playing tennis there when a an ATR is coming into land, we all know how noisy they can be. The one thing that is lacking from the airport, and can make it look a little sterile is the lack of any people, I have had a good walk around and considering the number of cars that are parked all over the place, I would have thought I would see at least one person wandering about. well I can tell you there is not a one. It reminds me of a post apocalyptic film where everybody has gone. Even the playground at the front of the airport is empty and believe me where there are swings and slides there will be children and parents watching them. I even had a look through the restaurant windows and couldn't see anybody. That ok it means more cake for me, lol VFR Flight So lets do a quick flight around the area and see what it looks like from the air. The charts soon tell you there is only one way in and one way out so lining up on rwy 19, I open the throttle and start off down the runway looking forward to a nice quick flight around the lake. Almost as soon as you take off and leave the end of the runway everything changes and your flying over default scenery, whilst the surrounding hills look great and the water of the lake looks pretty there is something missing. I fly down the lake for a few miles and then turn right to fly around a hill that juts into the lake creating a small harbour where the village of Ponte Tresa is dissected by the Italian Swiss Border, here the default scenery tries it's best but to be honest it doesn't look that convincing, turning right I head north back towards the airport flying over Caslano heading to wards the middle of the lake in preperation for lining up on the centre line. The approach to runway 01 is lovely and as you reach the mouth of the canal you can see a football field and the Via Lugano, a few more yards and your over the threshold all very nice. Night lighting throughout the airport is excellent and of course the Global lighting system and HDR setting is used to full effect. The lighting of the interior of the terminal restaurant is good but I have seen better in some freeware that is available. Conclusion Lugano is a beautiful area of the world and this airport is very good. The work on the main terminal and ATC tower looks fabulous I especially like the World Trade Centre and the market gardens on the opposite side to the main terminal. I do have some reservations and that is for your money your not getting a lot and by comparison the freeware version of Lugano has far more to offer with details like people around the airport, sail boats on the lake, and even the smaller villages I mentioned on my flight being depicted to some degree. I also have to say that fps was slightly better in the more detailed freeware than the payware version of Lugano. the orthophoto of Lugano in the Aerosoft version is better and the market gardens green houses and other buildings opposite the main terminal are excellent. I think I would be hard pressed to say which one you should get. Perhaps an update to the Aerosoft version could be forthcoming with some extra attention paid to those areas I mentioned, if this was the case it would be a simple recomendation, the cost makes it a viable option at only 19:99 euros. So I might say make a decision on that basis at that price it is actually good value for money. Aerosoft : Airport Lugano is Available in the X-Plane.Orgshop now : Airport Lugano Price is US$21.34 System requirements: X-Plane 10 Global Windows XP/Vista/7, MAC, Linux Processor (CPU): 2,6 GHz Core 2 Duo RAM: min. 2048 MB RAM Video card: 3D Video Card min. 512 MB Optionally: DirectX: 9.0c or better Download-Size: 100 MB Installations-Size: 330 MB Wycliffe Barrett 15th November 2013 ©Copyright2013 : Wycliffe Barrett reviewer system spec: intel i5 2500k cpu @3.300GHZ Asus MOBO Nvidia Geforce GTX650Ti 2gig Vram 8 gig RAM Win 7 Xp10:25b3
  14. So I have heard just lately what was thought as GIZMO issue is incorrect it's actually something to do with the XSB and xplane sdk, its being fixed and a new release will be along ina few days. The bug only effects a small number of users but enough to warrant a fix being found. Wycliffe Wycliffe
  15. Hello Apparently there appear to be some problems with Gizmo, this seems to effect aircraft purchased from xaviation, some people have reported a crash when using the CRJ when purchased via xaviation. If you have said issues write to Gizmo as it is their issue not Xsquawkbox although the devs at Xsquawkbox are aware. Also win 8 users might have some problems aswell. Wycliffe