Jump to content
  • Posts

    • Scenery Review : NWWW La Tontouta Noumea - New Caledonia by Cami de Bellis   Positioned just above New Zealand and 1,210 km (750 mi) east of Australia in the South Pacific ocean is the French outpost of New Caledonia. New Caledonia became an overseas territory in 1946 and by 1953, French citizenship had been granted to all New Caledonians, regardless of ethnicity. A recent independence vote resolved to keep the hundreds of French bureaucrats from Paris in place and that basically keeps the island afloat with French Euros, and so the population 278,500 simply went back to their normal french lives in a paradise certainly far removed from the French Capital. And what a life it is... don't for instance arrive in Noumea (the capital) on a Sunday, because in reality nothing happens, the only action is at the odd bar or cafe where the madame will smoke her Gitanes with passion while sipping from a weak wine, and giving you the evil eye of being a customer. I know because I have been there, twice.... and twice only on a Sunday.   But you don't come to New Caledonia for the shopping either (as there isn't any, or any bus services as well) but certainly come for the outstanding natural beauty of the islands with a French accent... find the right area and you would break down at the sheer immense beauty of the planet earth we exist on, as New Caledonia is in reality Tahiti-lite without the huge expense required to stay there.   This is Cami de Bellis's second payware scenery after her "VQPR - Paro International Airport" late last year. It was a very good first introduction into payware for de Bellis, but a difficult first choice to do as well. Cami is highly known for her extensive detailing and the sheer object placement in numbers. Which is very good in freeware, but it can also overwhelm a scenery of simply too much placement...  but they were all freewares, and payware is a very different game altogether in finding a balance and more importantly authenticity.   NWWW La Tontouta Noumea La Tontouta International Airport is the main international airport in New Caledonia. The airport is in the municipality of Païta, approximately 52 km (32 mi) northwest of Nouméa. La Tontouta International Airport serves international flights, while Noumea Magenta Airport, located 38 km south-east within the city of Nouméa, serves the domestic flights. The airport is regularly served by four airlines, including Aircalin which is based at the airport.   Tontouta International Airport Aéroport de Nouméa - La Tontouta IATA: NOU - ICAO: NWWW     11/29 - 3,250m (10,663ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL 52 ft/16m       Note: First up on the review is a note. Make sure you have or download v1.1 and if you have downloaded the original release then to go and redownload the new version. The update fixes a bad mesh join line (below right) directly in front of RWY 11, and now it looks far better. The mesh join elevation hole is still there, but now not as noticeable as with the original mesh line. This issue is a Laminar mesh issue and cannot be resolved by the developer.     La Tontouta is a split airport with the commercial area on the central northeast that includes an extended terminal and a Aircalin maintenance Hangar...       ...  and across the 11/29 RWY is a military zone that was originally built as a WW2 (small) US Airforce Base, now named Nouméa Air Base "BAN Tontouta".       La Tontouta Terminal NWWW airport's terminal extension was completed in 2012. The completed project resulted in a significant increase in the terminal's size and included a new arrivals area, a larger check-in area and the installation of two jet(air)bridges. The terminal now has five stands capable of handling commercial jet aircraft, two of which are served by the new airbridges and three of which utilise stairs to access the aircraft. In addition, the airport has several more stands designed to handle smaller prop-regional sized aircraft.   Sensationally modeled, this one of the best terminals I have seen in a while. The La Tontouta terminal is very detailed with a huge amount of intricate detail, and it looks extremely realistic...     ....  the highlight is the terminal's latice work. It is to reflect the same design as the sails of the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre, that was designed by the famous Italian architect Renzo Piano on the narrow Tinu Peninsula that celebrates the vernacular Kanak culture, the indigenous culture of New Caledonia. It was obviously most important to get the latice work and style correct, and the result here is excellent. The remarkable Cultural Centre is well worth a visit.   In the extension they added in two airbridges, and they are both well defined here, they are active as well (marginal plugin required), but your parking position has to be perfect to get them to activate because of the long angle.     Building detail and clutter is excellent, both on the roof of the terminal and in the receiving trolley bay and baggage area.     Landside is exceptional as well, with a well laid out carpark, and huge clutter detail (This is after all Cami de Bellis!)     The large Aircalin maintenance Hangar is very prominent and well recreated with fine weathered detail. Two static Aircalin aircraft fill out the scene.     Service yards, freight buildings and administration areas are plentiful and thoughtfully crafted and cluttered, with great detail.     Several new buildings are all glass, and really well modeled, but the over reflective effects are from most angles set too high and need or require a more less saturated natural look and feel.     The Control Tower is set up on a hill to the east is excellent with great quality detail. Tower view is set and both approaches are easy to see, but at certain angles you get railings that intrude into the view.     Northwest of the Terminal is the Fire Station that is very well detailed and runway facing building.   Tontouta the village is well represented with authentic buildings, but not with an over population of housing, but there is still enough in here to give the area that right fill and appearance feel. The housing detail is very good, but in areas the fencing goes a little wayward here and there, and also missing is the fencing around many areas of the boundaries of the runway.     All vehicles are French to add into the authenticity and many are animated, I love the little Peugeot 307 police car that rotates around the aprons, with the Cofely branded animated food truck.   The airports Pacific history is well represented with the disused Douglas abandoned on the airfield.     Nouméa Air Base As airbases go "BAN Tontouta" isn't very large, it is just really a collection of hangars and barracks... but it is well done and well detailed.     Authentic is the word that comes to mind.   Textures Runway, taxiway and apron textures are first rate, with excellent detail and worn in treaded tyre wear detailing. Linage and signage is also top notch and highly realistic. There are some 3d grass (and plants) inserted, but not in a large area ground coverage way.     There is however a lot of hard different ground elements that are not blended in to each other or are cut sharply to match? It gives the scenery an oldish earlier X-Plane scenery feel that we have now moved on from, you do sort of ignore it, but this is payware and you have seen and expect better.     Lighting Lighting of NWWW is overall excellent...     All approach lighting (RAIL on RWY11) is well defined and nice to use. Taxiway lighting and lit navigation signage is also all well done. The latice is well lit... but is it a bit too bright or blue oversaturated? The real latice structure is as highly lit so the effect is debatable, but my gut says just a little less oversaturation would just tone it down enough to make it realistic.     The airbridges are debatable as well, because the real ones are clear at night, where as here they are shades of green.   The Terminal itself looks excellent and has a nice feel with image window/glass night textures.     Ramp lighting is excellent, with great coverage and different lighting tones. Landside and housing lighting is again top notch, with plenty of fill and down lighting.     BAN Tontouta's flightline is again well done, as is the internal military hangar lighting that looks very authentic externally.     Summary La Tontouta International Airport is French New Caledonia's main airport. There is another called Noumea Magenta Airport that is located 38 km south-east within the city of Noumea, but that airport serves only domestic flights.   Overall this NWWW - La Tontouta from Cami De Bellis is an excellent scenery, with great modeling and as expected also great, but thankfully not this time filled with overwhelming clutter, the balance here is lovely. Detail and especially the terminal is expertly done, with the iconic Kanak culture latice frame that is central to the look of the airport, with the texturing and quality building look that is excellent. Lighting is overwhelmingly good, except for the oversaturated latice frame.   There are a few notes...  The newer (Glass) buildings are over-reflective in their effects, different ground visual elements are also a bit too cutout and not blended in with sharp lines defining the shapes and some of the fencing is either, not where it should be or not there at all mostly surrounding the runway boundaries, and the airbridge colours at night and even in the daytime are also debatable. But mostly this is all a nice to fix than essential.   This NWWW certainly the best work yet from Cami and she is certainly getting into her stride in completing quality payware scenery. The most important thing here is that she has captured the Frenchness/South Pacific feel of New Caledonia as well as the reproduction of the Island's main airport, and that is hard to do, but also very essential in conveying the essence of the area and place. So a big yes as an addition to your South Pacific Airport collection, and certainly a great destination for any flying in this Oceania part of the world, Highly Recommended...  but just don't fly to Noumea on a Sunday.   ______________________________________________________________________     Yes! NWWW La Tontouta Noumea - New Caledonia by Cami de Bellis is Available now from the X-Plane.Org Store here :   NWWW La Tontouta Noumea - New Caledonia   Price Is US$22.40   Features Highly accurate scenery for NWWW with all buildings modeled  Animated airport vehicles (GroundTraffic) Autogate by marginal Mesh of airport corrected exclusively for this scenery, created by Matthias Seewald/Maps2Xplane and expressly authorized by Austin Meyer Photoscenery for the entire Airport area    Detailed airport objects and vehicles Custom textured taxiways, runways and apron Custom surroundings buildings  Custom airport lights  High resolution ground textures / Custom runway textures  High resolution building textures – all in 2K and 4K  Excellent night effects  World Traffic 3 compatible Manual included    WT3: Ground routes are set in the scenery and will generate a set of routes. They do however focus on more to the GA aspect than AFRE routes. There is a set of custom routes provided by ysfsim: Ground routes for NWWW La Tontouta Noumea but they don't create much action with the AFRE selected.   Requirements X-Plane 11  Windows, Mac or Linux 4Gb VRAM Minimum. 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended CDB-Library v.2.4 is required Version and Review copy is v1.1 (Dec 9th 2018)   Installation Download scenery file size is 397mb. With the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder as:   NWWW_Noumea_La Tontouta N. CALEDONIA (1.12gb) yxz_CDB_Mesh (95mb)   Total scenery Install is : 1.13gb   The developers note you need to adjust the X-Plane "scenery_packs.INI" so the loading order is correct...  and that the ysx_CBD Mesh is below the Airport files.   The updated CDB-Library v.2.4 Library is Required for this scenery   Documents La tontouta_manual.pdf ______________________________________________________________________   Review by Stephen Dutton 10th December 2018 Copyright©2018 : X-Plane Reviews   (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)   Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD  Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.26 (tested in X-Plane 11.30b6) Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin :  US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free Scenery or Aircraft - Boeing 737-800 - default X-Plane by Laminar Research (Free)    
    • Scenery Preview: GCRR Lanzarote, Canary Islands by MK Studios   FlightSim developers discovering X-Plane has been one of the stories of the 2018 year in scenery. We call them conversions, it is taking the original FS/P3D scenery, stripping them out and then rebuilding them from the ground up to the X-Plane laws and layouts, and then you add in the X-Plane11 dynamic features as the icing on the cake, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. The main reason it doesn't is that the original scenery used as the host is usually already out of date, so the conversion is behind the 8 ball already, but with many conversions were as the host is already a quality and successful scenery the conversion to X-Plane and can and even be an enhancement of the original.   MK-STUDIOS was founded back in 2008 is a Polish based studio, so they are already an established scenery developer in FS land, and this is their first foray into X-Plane with this GCRR - Lanzarote scenery. The conversion is courtesy of Emma Bentley and Ashley Jones of Windsock Conversions, and Emma who is a well known established X-Plane member. GCRR - Lanzarote (also known as Arrecife Airport), is the airport serving the island of Lanzarote and is located as part of the Canary Island chain . The airport is located in San Bartolomé, Las Palmas, 5km (3.1mi) southwest of the town of Arrecife.   GCRR - Lanzarote
      Lanzarote Airport
      Aeropuerto de Lanzarote IATA: ACE - ICAO: GCRR   03/21- 2,400m (7,874ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL14 m / 47 ft   First to note is the large size of the scenery, altogether (four files) and it is a whooping 7.54gb of mostly photographic terrain that covers the whole island of Lanzarote.       The runway 03/21 looks newly laid, as does the taxiways and aprons. The real 03/21 is more darker grey than the darker brown here but it is a darker texture than most runway surfaces, but it looks and feels nice close up...     ...  textures are nice and so are concreted areas and the markings are nicely worn in as well. Note the excellent RAIL approach lighting on RWY03 Approach and the only runway at GCRR with an ILS (IRR - 109.10) installation. Many pilots note it as a difficult approach, but it looks like an easy over-water approach to me, my guess they are confusing GCRR with Fuerteventura airport on another nearby Las Palmas island.     The aprons are well done and with good navigation signage, so it feels nice on the ground. Lanzarote is a very white airport in a moroccan sort of way...     ...  so the only way to break out of that 3d blank modeling feel is to have some clever texture detail. There is some here but not enough raw detail to overcome the modeling aspect, so it feels of what it is and that is an FS/P3D scenery.     Control tower is well done, but you don't get to feel that depth of realism. Glass is not see-through, but looks good and brings a lot of life to the buildings. Tower view is set and gives excellent coverage of both 03/21 approaches (below).     Landside car/coach arrival and carparks ground textures are a bit of a mess...  over-saturated, low resolution they look totally disconnected from the terminal and surrounding photoscenery, and it doesn't even try to matchup, twice?      The original passenger terminal (1946-1970) which is now Aeronautical Museum, is well presented. The newer (above) terminal was opened on 3 March 1970 and international and domestic flights began using the airport on that date.     Clutter is very good and correctly branded, not too much and not too little, gives the airport the right coverage. There are no animated vehicles (traffic) and the airbridges are solid.     Custom buildings There are provided custom personally placed 3d buildings to cover Arrecife  and the surrounding Lanzarote area...     ....  custom building design is quite generic, basic and only a few different styles. But there is an issue that the objects have a very poor LOD (Level Of Detail) distance at X-Plane's Field of view setting 73º. And even on final approach to the runway the mesh can be flat one second and start filling out (popping up) of 3d objects the next....  but closer to the ground level and the flat bland ortho textures do tend to flatten everything out?     From an altitude point of view the islands features are however very good photographic wise.     You get the same LOD issue at the airport itself, noted here by the airbridges that pop-up even when you taxiing in on the taxiways and aprons. So all round the LOD's are quite poor.     GCRR Lighting The scenery lighting is actually quite good.     03/21 approach lighting is good, but the off runway taxiways don't have any green taxi navigation lights? The Main taxiway R (sections 12345) does have the green navigation lights, but they are rather dim and hard to see from the cockpit.   Ramp lighting is excellent and highly workable, with the old original terminal (Aero Museum) and north cargo area the best.     Landside lighting (different tone) almost hides the over-saturated textures, almost... but it all looks good.     The night replica glass is very good, certainly on the welcoming original terminal, that almost glows. Tower glass is lit, but doesn't need to be or needed just a little lighting to make it realistic.   Preview Notes: Any new to X-Plane user from the FlightSim world would probably feel right at home here. It is a classic early FlightSim scenery crossed over to X-Plane complete with over-saturated textures as well. Modeling is very basic and a throwback to the good olde days of early FSX design. You do get the full island photographic scenery, which could be seen as a bonus (if you like that sort of thing) or a backward step as it flattens out the landscape at ground level. LOD (Level Of Detail) for custom scenery and airport objects is poor in a few areas (objects pop up). All custom buildings are quite generic with no local landmarks, if you don't count the revolving pylon generators. Ground runway textures are very good (if a little too brown and not dark grey) with great signage, and have X-Plane dynamic runway features to represent different weather conditions in say the rain, but you won't get to use the feature a lot as Lanzarote only has seven days of rain a year. Dynamic night lighting is very good, with nice glass lighting features.   Features noted are: High quality rendition of Lanzarote airport and ALL island, Accurate and detailed airport infrastructure based on real sizes and dimensions High resolution ground textures, Photo real terrain coverage of all island Hundred thousands of custom placed autogen buildings all around the island 3D night lightning, Very realistic airport night lighting, based on real pilot’s point of view Optimized to take advantages of X-Plane features.   WT3: No WorldTraffic GroundRoutes are provided, and the ground routes are not built into the scenery either, hence the lonely B738 on the ramps. MK Studio's note the ground routes are coming soon.   Positives: Very FSX, if you like FSX scenery in X-Plane, full island photographic coverage and extensive custom buildings and nice lighting and good branded clutter. Negatives: Very FSX in a X-Plane world, so it feels a little dated in design and textures, LOD is poor and custom buildings are very generic with no customised Lanzarote landmarks. Landside textures are over-saturated and poor resolution. Not many X-Plane11 dynamic features including autogates and animated traffic.   ____________________________________________________________________     Yes!...  GCRR Lanzarote, Canary Islands by MK Studios is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :   GCRR Lanzarote, Canary Islands   Price is US$19.99   Requirements : X-Plane 11.26+ Windows, Mac or Linux 4Gb VRAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 5Gb and installed is 7.54gb Warning: The download size is indeed 5Gb. If you do not have a fast, stable internet connection, please do not buy.   MKStudiosLanzarote1Airport MKStudiosLanzarote2Overlay MKStudiosLanzarote3Ortho1 MKStudiosLanzarote4Ortho2   Extras and Documents: - Manual ______________________________________________________________________   Preview by Stephen Dutton 8th December 2018 Copyright©2018 : X-Plane Reviews   (Disclaimer. All images and text in this preview are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)   Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD  Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.26 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free Scenery or Aircraft - Boeing 737-800 - default X-Plane by Laminar Research (Free)    
    • Yes it is THAT time of the year again. Carenado's "I must have that before Christmas" sale is now on and you can get up to 50% off most lovely Careando aircraft.   Some nice biggies are available here (and for X-Plane11 as well) including the Beech 1900D, King Airs B200 and C90B and the XP11 Caravan.   All deals are available till December 16th, so update your hangar now, and have a "very Happy (Carenado) Christmas"...   All the deals are here on the X-Plane.OrgStore.   ________________________________________   News by Stephen Dutton 7th December 2018 Copyright©2018: X-Plane Reviews    
    • News! - Coming! -  C172SP SkyHawk HD XP11 from Carenado   Carenado have been publishing images of their next XP11 release which is the Cessna C172SP. This is not a totally new release from Carenado as their was the X-Plane10 version of the C172SP SkyHawk ll     There are a few significant differences between the earlier XP10 version and this release. One this C172Sp XP11 is a single variant with no wheel/float/ski option (it was the N version), but it does come with the full G1000 (X-Plane default) avionics suite package.     All Carenado XP11 aircraft comes with these features*:   Features Optimized for X-Plane 11 State-of-the-art configurable FPS-friendly logic system Largely VR compatible  Full PBR (Superb material shines and reflections Specially designed engine dynamics for X-Plane11 Flight physics optimized for X-plane standards Ground handling adapted for X-Plane 11 ground physics Physically Based Rendering materials and textures throughout PBR materials authored with industry-standard software used by the film and gaming industries X-Plane GNS530 (FPS friendly) Support for RealityXP's GTN750* (integrated into 3D cockpit, when available)   *features noted are not official to this aircraft, but generic to all HD XP11 branded Carenado releases     No release date or specifications are noted yet, but mid-next week would be a good guide. Price, my guess is around the mid-30's USD$. But already X-Plane already has a few good C172SP's available, with the Laminar (default version), Airfoillabs and the Alabeo C172RG Cutlass, so it better be good or above average to compete.     Images and text are courtesy of Carenado ________________________________________   News by Stephen Dutton 6th December 2018 Copyright©2018: X-Plane Reviews    
    • Great read, Stephen. As a relative newcomer (since mid-2016) I really appreciate the evolution to payware that has taken place. It is a just reward (and I hope profitable) for those who paid their dues in the early days, giving so much to the XP community, in which we all have a role to play. Mine may not be to create content, but to happily help support those who do as the products just keep getting better and better.
    • Dear Stephen, thank you for the great article, but I was left very surprised with you totally ignoring Hotstart’s TBM900, which to my humble opinion stood out this year with its innovation and total design. I don’t know if there is some “bad blood” between .ORG users to X-Aviation products that causes this treatment to the above product, but as an unbiased reader (and real world pilot) I’m expecting a true journalism integrity when reading professional reviews. Again thank you for the great (and rare) website.
    • This is the craft John Denver was flying when he fatally crashed here in Monterey where I live. In his version the fuel tank selector and gauges were oddly positioned behind the pilot and nearly impossible to reach (without turning one's body 90 degrees and stepping on the right rudder pedal) which led to the crash.
    • Sorry no... it uses the new layout of the WebFMC plugin folder (introduced by X-Plane 11.10) ...  no harm in trying the free version?   WebFMC 1.07 to check anyway. SD  
    • Hello, Does this app work for X-Plane 10 ???
    • Behind the Screen : November 2018   It is almost a decade now since I discovered and joined X-Plane. And over the course of that time I have come to know many developers through their work, and obviously the impact of their work on the simulator.   Ten years ago the X-Plane scene was very different (X-Plane9®) than the familiar feel and look we use today. For developers it was even a more arcane age. Back then 95% of X-Plane aircraft were "PlaneMaker" based with 2d flat panels. but don't get me wrong as developers were very inventive and clever, and the aircraft were actually very good. X-Plane developers back in that age were mostly friends or groups of buddies developing their love of aircraft for their hobby, and the word "hobby" was or is significant.   X-Plane is a hobbyist playground and that aspect is still very highly encouraged today. The areas to be explored and created are boundless, and all have the one single aim in creating an interaction to create one of the best simulators in existence outside of the professional aviation arena, and even then those boundaries can be crossed as well. But for a commercial product or simulator to survive it has to grow beyond the hobbyist realm, this area is probably caused the biggest conflict of all aspects of X-Plane. For FlightSim users it was not an option, it is a commercial industry based on business more than the hobbyist angle that X-Plane created, and to a point these forces have almost created a war between them inside of the simulator, this area has become more apparent no more than in this 2018 year in the "free" aspect to the "pay" position of enhancing the simulator.   My point is taken here. The one major fundamental highlight of this 2018 X-Plane year have been aircraft. With the shear leap in detail and design and features that have been created and delivered. As X-Plane11 and its more advanced effects and features have moved on to a more mature stage then the developers have used these elements to create some of the almost outstanding work and deliver some of the most excellent aircraft in any simulator.   But here is the significance of the point I want to make. All the developers that delivered this outstanding work, are all original early or foundation developers of X-Plane and all of them came out from that original hobbyist era. You could say it is because of their early induction of being X-Plane developers that they have an advantage, but in reality the opposite is the case.   Most current forces should in fact reduce the potential of these developers from delivering the product they do. For mostly they are all disadvantaged by the fact they are mostly all still single entities. Most developers in the business market are now teams, mostly between three to five specialists that come together under one studio to create a product. Their gain is that the work can be parceled out to each specialist area, either in the modeling, coding, art or special effects, and recombining to create the product and test it. The huge advantage here is time, as most projects can be completed as a team within a 12 month cycle and in scenery project even on a 4 month cycle, were as for a single developer it is usually 16 months or longer to create an aircraft. I will note that of course single entity developers do have external input of work on their projects, but they are not teams as such as they and they alone create all the main aspects of the project's creation from the modeling to the coding and art.   But right from the get go, 2018 in X--Plane it has been a seminal year. First off the rank was Jack Skieczius's (FlyJSim) Boeing 732 TwinJet, and admittedly an update, but the aircraft was very far removed form just being an update, it was and still is in reality a completely different aircraft than the original.   At this point the TwinJet is still the front runner for aircraft (airliner) of the year by our calculations, but the 2018 year is still not over. The really odd thing is that the aircraft is known more for it's cabin than anything else, but the flying and system features are up there as well. Developers as a rule see cabins as "left-over" items on a project's grand list of agendas. But here it shows that if you deliver a supremely developed cabin as it was delivered here (with independent cabin lighting, airstair control, overhead lockers and window blinds) it creates a totally complete immersive airliner, and in what should be an addon, then becomes it's major feature... yes the rest of the aircraft is sublime as well and the quality is off the planet, but it was the TwinJet's completeness as an all round machine is what totally resonates with you, and that it delivered a complete new level of simulation involvement, not only on the flying practical level, but also on the sub-conscious emotional level as well.    Second developer noted is Daniel Klaue. His work has been mostly the developer in creating the Carenado brand in X-Plane, all excellent machines. But Klaue is restricted to the Carenado design boundaries in that the X-Plane version has to be almost a replica of the FlightSim version, but Dan does in a few areas throw in a few notable ideas and features that are X-Plane specific. But lately through his own Thranda Design, Dan Klaue has released his own projects but also now does conversion aircraft for Just Flight. Just Flight give Klaue more flexibility in the designs, with their excellent GA aircraft in the Arrows, Tobagos/Trinidads have all been high-quality, but it was the seminal Hawk Trainer T.1a that showed us all the skill and sheer design that takes X-Plane to another complete level of realism and high-quality of aircraft available now in X-Plane. The aircraft is breathtaking in design and has a curved glass (canopy) in absolute brilliance, yes it is a copy of the FlightSim, version... but in reality they couldn't be more different.   Torsten Leisk is another legacy developer. More for his Airbus systems than modeling. His release this year of the Airbus A319 brought a new high in extremes of the way an airliner handles in the simulator, and also brought to X-Plane new and clever features we only dreamed of a few years ago. The aircraft gives you real world airliner handling that you could only dream of a few years ago. It is an astounding feeling that was very present from the very first landing I had in the aircraft. Again that moment was one of my flying highlights of the year.   Walker Guthrie is vFlyteAir. All projects coming out of vFlyteAir are personal, or the actual developers know or own the aircraft they simulate. True to a point vFlyteAir are a small team. But it is the modeling skill and work of Walker Guthrie here that elevates the aircraft to higher heights of quality and design. This year it was the VLC Comco - Ikarus C42 C. Here is another breathtaking advancement of design, with material and complex modeling (Internal aircraft frame) that delivered another advancement of X-Plane design and quality. Again it was an aircraft that the more you looked closer then the exploring brought out the sheer advances the aircraft was making to realism in modeling and feel... the C42 C flew very nicely as well.   Just when I really thought that X-Plane in design and the already delivered sheer detail was at it's peak.... then along comes Javier Rollon and the SIAI-Marchetti SF.-260 trainer. This release was even more breathless than anything I have seen before in the X-Plane simulator. On the surface it looks very good, but dig deep and it is an almost mind-blowing experience on detail and and quality... and yes the level was raised another higher extreme level again, so you can't say anything or see anything that puts a line of how high X-Plane can go in depth and quality.   I am not going to absolutely discount the brilliance and work of Rotate, Aerobask, Dreamfoil Creations (no releases this year, but my guess he would have easily joined the above elites) and X-Trident.   The point of this month's Behind the Screen is that all of the above developers are original and still are single project developers. They come from the period I joined X-Plane in nearly ten years ago. Not only has their work been totally outstanding this year, but they between them brought an absolute new and even extreme level of quality, new features and a higher breathtaking depth of realism to the X-Plane simulator.   In reality they should all have been easily consigned to history to the reality of advancement and high-quality (well funded) development studios, they "should" be relics of a past era... but as 2018 has shown, they are all very far from that position and even showing that their craft is of a certainly very, very high standard.   From my point of view (besides being totally in amazement of their achievements) was that I was also very proud of them all, for their devotion to their craft, their skills and the supreme quality of their work. They are as they say "still hitting the balls out of the park" in delivering outstanding product and even could be the very best overall developers in simulation... above all they are our developers and we should support them.   Which brings us back the same "free" aspect to the "pay" position of the simulator...  free was very good for X-Plane, it was back then all mateship and buddies and all focusing and delivering on delivering great designs for the simulator. But as all of the above elite developers started out in the same arena, they had to move forward as well. Not only just to personally to make a living to carry on doing what they do. But because like everything, X-Plane has to move forward as well, if the free economy worked a decade ago, it doesn't today as X-Plane has grown up, it is now a serious tool. As if these developers don't make any returns on their work, they will simply have no other option but to go elsewhere to use their talents and craft. So take 2018 and delete all the projects from the above developers and what would you have left, certainly a stagnation of quality and design...  but also that missing vital element of forward progression and advancement for the X-Plane simulator.   So it is vital to support their work and craft, and also be very proud of their achievements... because simply and more so is that they are our own developers as well.   Notes I noted back in October that I was doing a full update on the X-Plane 11.30 version release. Yes I started the assignment, but then the v11.30 at around b4 went backwards, as betas do. It seems more stable now and with more features delivered as well... the indepth coverage will still be released for when X-Plane11.30 goes final...  unless it goes backwards again. December in the X-Plane year is a short month, and the yearly round up of the simulator and "best of..." awards will be soon released before the Christmas/New Year break...  so happy flying to all till then   Stephen Dutton 1st December 2018 Copyright©2018: X-Plane Reviews    
    • Thanks for the review Stephen, I enjoy your reviews.  I've been a fan of Reality Expansion Packs for a while but hadn't realised just how good J Rollon's work was up until getting this plane.  I enjoy the short videos that he uploads on the SF260 as well. You mention the GTN750 though Stephen.  I don't think that can be used with this aircraft?  (Shame, if it could be fitted in without ruining the look of the instrument panel it could be really useful)      
  • Who's Online   0 Members, 0 Anonymous, 30 Guests (See full list)

    There are no registered users currently online

  • Member Statistics

    1431
    Total Members
    514
    Most Online
    enuk
    Newest Member
    enuk
    Joined
×