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    • Its a shame that they couldn't have managed a discount for buyers of the A319.  Presumably if large parts of it are the same then it cut down on the development time.  (I know, don't buy it if I think its too expense.  Shame though, I'd probably buy it if they'd discounted it enough).   Thanks for the review.  
    • Yes, i think we expect that the main elements are done properly. This is not a down- or upgradable thing, nor should the price relate to whether things are done sloppy or professionally. At least not in X-plane. Just aim for the professional level or keep away from the stores.  Most customers have this plane in mind when it comes to steep landings like the world famous St. Bart, which you probably are familiar with. And there is plenty of similar places most and for all in the caribbean. If you are a developer, and you decide to pick this very special plane, you gotta face this particular expectation  customers have when they buy it.  To make sure, i am understood right: The plane is not bad, i like it. But there is these issues i mentioned which to tackle should be have been a next step. To people who look at it for a potential purchase, yes, i would buy it again.  I hope the developer - who as Stephen mentioned - had to be hospitalized, is recovering to well, that should be in our all minds. As there is no information on his status, here My very best wishes and prays.    
    • it has come to my attention that the group behind BHDG has splitted apart and rested out of business for 2 years.  then, mid 2019 or so, one of their developers reannounced a revival, but that attempt seemed to be of short nature.  Means: WIPs aborted, support for earlier products not available, Website and Facebook site obsolete. Since their products - like the UH-60 Blackhawk, were of considerable quality and had gained much appreciation by the x-plane community, it would be worth to aim for updates or create our own improvements. There is short list of immediate update requirements users are looking for:   1. Generators Issue: They published a hotfix which due to their website downage is not downloadable: uh602sp1.zip     If anyone has been able to gather this patch, please upload it here on the xplanereviews page.     I will upload a video on how to work around this issue during the start up procedure for the time being.  2.  Some Panel knobs and Thrust Stick not rotating: Requires smaller corrections on the 3D-model      Probably only animation to the knobs need to be added, if any user proves to be capable of doing this, that would be highly appreciated. 3. Right Cockpit door window loses transparency at certain daytime.      Not sure what causes this, but the solution must be found around the normals  definitions i guess. 4. Night Illumation for some analog instrumentation missing (speed indicator, variometer, etc.) 5. Better Night Illumation for the 3 panel sections (i have done these for myself, screenshots attached) 6. Cockpit Textures improvement (working on these myself, screenshots attached) 7. Some systems or functionalities on the lower panel and on the upper panel have not been modeled to date,     which includes squak freq setter, chaffs and flares, etc.     That would require an official update by the developer himself, so i expect we need to live without any of these.   8. Some mini-bugs include ear plug somtimes not working.  9. Artificial Horizon ball and Navigation Rose not working under certain conditions (need to investigate this further) Besides these small issues, the BFDG UH-60 performs perfectly and is a beloved asset in any x-plane user's hangar.  It is definetly worth to keep it on the watchlist for potential buyers as well as those who seek future upgrades. Personally, i hope this developer gets back on stage. 10. Fire Alarm gets on quite quickly if you don't manage power, thrust and collective professionally.   While i consider this as a great and realistic feature, i miss emergency handling procedures and tools to avoid that  beauty going up in flames and crash.  Could not find any fire extinguisher anywhere nor a topic in the manual dealing  with such incidences.  
    • News! - Released : v11.50b1 Beta - Vulkan/Metal API by Laminar Research   Laminar Research has released the long awaited, long in development Vulkan/Metal API update in a beta version v11.50b1. The new Application Programming Interface (API) replaces the decades old OpenGL.   The API is is a computing interface to a software component or a system, that defines how other components or systems can use it. It defines the kinds of calls or requests that can be made, how to make them, the data formats that should be used, the conventions to follow, etc. It can also provide extension mechanisms so that users can extend existing functionality in various ways and to varying degrees. In X-Plane's reference it is for the processing of the very highly processor usage of graphics, or what you see on the screen.   In the past under OpenGL most of the graphic processing was done on the Video Graphic cards, so the bigger and more powerful graphic card engine you had, then the more better X-Plane ran. But that aspect is not very efficient to a simulator.   Vulkan (Windows) and Metal (AppleOS) changes all that by redefining the way ALL your processors process the data and not just the graphic cards, this will also smooth out the processor calls into the urgent and the not so urgent changes you require. For instance the background in reality of your simulator does not really change much, but the aircraft and instruments do and constantly. So the newer APIs will now not just tunnel everything through the graphic card like OpenGL did, but also allow the use of the main processors to work as well in finding a better balance and of course far more efficiency in running your simulations.   Overall the changes with the API will be far better for the Apple aspect (Metal) than for Windows (Vulkan) so don't expect huge changes (i.e in your frameframe) because there isn't any. But where you will see huge differences is in stutters and far a more smoothness coming out of the simulator, I found that the weather is far, far more less intrusive as well. Secondly is that the API is very new (it is a BETA as well), so like with the 64bit changes a few years ago, the main total benefits won't be seen for a while.   v11.50b1 Beta The beta release is activated via your X-Plane Installer, just make sure your "beta" box is ticked. It is very important to use a second copy of X-Plane for the new APIs (Again this can be done from the installer, and note don't load in your Global Scenery in the second copy, but when installed then transfer your current Global Scenery folder to the new installation). This way your current X-Plane v11.40 (OpenGL) will still be available.   Important! Update your graphic drivers before installing or running the v11.50b1 Beta. Current Nvidia GeForce version is v445.75, and YES you do need to update to this driver!   On startup the v11.50b1 beta will still be in OpenGL mode. you have to tick the "Use Vulkan for faster rendering" tickbox and then do a restart...     ... when restarting the new API will then take a fair while to recompile your shaders into a new format, so you have to wait while the system does this, every time you restart the system will do this until it has covered all the shaders, but as it processes each startup the loading times will get significantly shorter, finished loading times are still not faster, in fact they are a little bit longer (shaders are now loaded at startup).   On release the current items that will not work with v11.50b1...  Current list is:   Aircraft using DreamEngine Sound Ground Traffic Flight Factor A320 JAR A320 librain SkyMaxx Pro ToLiss A319 & A321 Traffic Global xEnviro xPilot XPRealistic Pro xSquawkBox Incompatible with X-Plane 11.50: xVision (I believe that xVision has already done a 11.50 update)   Most of the above will update in the next few weeks, as they are all currently working on the changes to the new API.   Laminar notes "not all add-ons are compatible with Vulkan and Metal. In particular, when Vulkan and Metal are enabled, 3-d drawing callbacks and map drawing callbacks are not sent to plugins. If an add-on appears to not work correctly, you can disable Vulkan and Metal and restart X-Plane."   v11.50 is a BETA, not a release, so expect CTD (Crash to Desktop) and loads of other weird things going wrong, the trick is to keep X-Plane v11.50 version as basic as you can, few plugins, few aircraft, but the custom scenery folder should be fine...  then add as required and as tested. Most weather related Applications will currently not work and neither will the multitude of 3d shader projects.   Current known bugs First load time with Metal and Vulkan will be surprisingly slow. This is lots of shaders/pipelines compiling for the first time; subsequent runs will be faster. XPD-7871 Dark contrails instead of white. XPD-9729 Contrails and wing condensation missing in replay. XPD-10458 Need control of eGPU selection. XPD-10506 First run shader creation is super slow. XPD-10569 VR Right eye not working with AMD + Vulkan. XPD-10607 Null pipeline when opening skycolors. XPD-10616 Water reflection off if wave height is non zero. XPD-10617 CTD when using “regenerate icons for current aircraft (and livery)”. XPD-10619 EGPU massive FPS loss with OpenGL Drawing. XPD-10623 Panel screenshots command not working/crashing. XPD-10629 Black screen on Nvidia.   Features and improvements Can toggle between OpenGL and Vulkan/Metal in rendering settings. I will note the water effect has had attention, it is now working very well.   Full analysis of the new v11.50 version release will come next week from X-PlaneReviews, and any notable new changes...   You can get the full X-Plane 11.50 Release Notes and any new changes here: https://www.x-plane.com/kb/x-plane-11-50-release-notes/   Discussion and comment updates on current events is here on the X-Plane.org: XP11.50 beta   ______________________________________________________________________   News by Stephen Dutton 3rd April 2020 Copyright©2020: 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)  
    • hello, great review! i like doing cathay pacific flights, so naturally, i would need the planes that cathay uses. i have the jetsim a330 and ssg 747-8f (freeware). cathay also operates the 777 and a350. I am looking between the two, and wondering which I should get first – the a350 (with the april MCDU update) or the 777 extended. Which one is recommended more? the 777 extended or the a350+april updae?   btw how do the fps compare on these 2? thanks!
    • hello stephen, one more question on fps. how does the 767 professional compare to the ToLiss A319 and Flight Factor 777 extended in terms of FPS? thanks!   btw I can somehow run the toliss with my severely underspec-ed system. gliding kiwi told me to give it a try, it works surprisingly well with 20+ fps consistently.
    • Scenery Review : Cortina - Cadore by Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini   This is the second of five sceneries that will cover the Dolomite Mountain Ranges in the eastern north of Italy. This new area covers the Cortina and Cadore Valley areas, that are positioned just to the south and west of the first release in the Drei Zinnen National Park, full review is here: Scenery Review : Drei Zinnen Natural Park by Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini     First of all you need to get a location of where you are in the Dolomites. It is harder than it looks in X-plane because in reality all the mountain ranges look exactly the same. The earlier Drei Zinnen National Park (marked in red) is just above and to the side of the wide u shaped valleys of the Ampezzo and Cadore.     We will start in Cortina go west along the Fanes Group, come back and then work our way anti-clockwise around the wide U shaped valleys to the Auronzo Valley then come back again to Cortina, and then finally we will go north.   Ampezzo Valley Cortina d'Ampezzo (Curtain of the Ampezzo Valley) sits at the heart or it is really the crossroads of the Dolomites and the town (commune) itself sits in a huge wide valley at the top of the Valle del Boite...  Top two images are (left) South looking North, (right) North looking South...     ....  (left) West looking East and finally (right) East looking West.     Cortina is a major winter sport resort renowned for its skiing trails, scenery, accommodation, shops and après-ski scene, and for its jet set Italian aristocratic crowd and atmosphere. These Dainese and Bellini sceneries are all about the mountain ranges or the significant peaks in the areas, they are created to be explored and to create a significant visual aspect to the X-Plane simulator...  you could throw in a serious geography lesson in there as well.     On each corner of the Cortina township there is a significant range...  Northeast is the Croda Rossa (left image below, centre rear)...     In front is the Pomagagnon (2450m) - (right above, second left) and the lovely Cristallo (3221m) group of peaks, d'Ampezzo, Cristallo di Mezzo and Monte Crisallo (far right)...       ....  Northwest there are four peaks (left to right) Tofana di Rozes (3225m), Tofana de Pomedes (2750m) and the largest in the Tofana di Mezzo (3244m) and the Tofana di Dentro (3238m)...   the peaks can't really be seen from low down in Cortina, but the Mezzo as the highest peak in the area just pops into view. South(east) down the valley and visible is the Punta Sorapiss (3205m) and the Monte Antelao (3263m) of which we will look at closer soon.     Southwest corner is the significant Croda da Lago (below), the range was popularised in the film Cliffhanger in 1993 (other scenes were shot on the Tofane cliffs opposite the Croda da Lago), but the intro images are the Croda da Lago..     ... the highest peak of the Lago group is the Cima d'Ambrizzola (2,71 m)   Cortina In the Dainese and Bellini scenery the town is represented by the standard village objects that are situated thoughout all their sceneries, and these objects create a sort of generalisation of Cortina more than a pure replication of the township. Cortina has hosted the Winter Olympics back in 1956 and subsequently a number of world winter-sports events. And Cortina will again host the Winter Olympics for a second time when it co-hosts the 2026 Winter Olympics with Milan. A custom number of the original 1956 Olympic facilities are noted in the scenery.   _____________________   Fanes Group and West We will now fly a loop anti-clockwise around the valleys. Our equipment is again the excellent Bell 407 by Dreamfoil. Before we head south though, we need to actually head west from Cortina and climb up high...  directly in front of you is the Cinque Torri a small rock formation belonging to Nuvolao group, and it is extremely well modeled and detailed...     The Cortina scenery package extends quite a way west, and the significant ranges are on your right past the Tofana di Rozes formations... First up is Lagazuoi (2,835m), the famous cross is visable, and the mountain range is well known for its wartime tunnels and First World War mine warfare.     The views out here are excellent, and there is so much detail to absorb, the valleys below are a highlight.     Sited behind Lagazuoi is the Cimi Di Fanes and P.ta South.     The famous Cima Conturines (3064 m) or Conturines are also part of the Fanes Group and has two subpeaks called Taibun Spitze (2928 m) and Cunturines Zahn (2693 m).   The boundary of the scenery is a circular range that looks almost volcanic that is still part of the Fanes group that rises out of the Fanes Plateau, it is totally spectacular, and the rim includes the Piz de Medesc (2709m), Piz di Zuber ((2718m), L'Ciaval (2907m), Piz dle Diesc (Sasso delle Dieci) - (3026m), Sas dles Nü (Cima Nove) - (2968m), but the only way to get the sheer scale of the Fanes group is to fly away a fair distance from the mountain range to get the right perspective.     These 3D models are obtained from DEM (digital elevation model) and transformed into 3D objects as if they were buildings, with hundreds of thousands of triangles, the amount of work above is overwhelming in creating such realism and detail. ____________________________   We now head back east towards Cortina and the the Cinque Torri acts like a sentinel as you come back down into the Ampezzo Valley...     And at the Cinque Torri then Averau (2,649m) directly in your sight on your right...  and directly opposite is the Rifugio Averau (there is a H here that we will look at later)     The southwest corner of Cortina d'Ampezzo is the Torrione Marcella ( 2345m) - (rear) and the Cima Ambrizzola (2715m) and the Croda da Lago on the entrance to the Cadore Valley.     Cadore Valley On the left of the Cadore Valley now flying south is the huge wall of the Punta Sorapiss (3205m)...     ...   and the Monte Antelao (3263m) now is directly in front of you. It is known as the "King of the Dolomites". (Marmolada, the highest of all the Dolomites, is the "Queen" although composed mostly of limestone) Like many Dolomite peaks, Antelao is steep, rocky, and pointed; it also sits close to the edge of the Dolomite uplift and so has dramatic drops to the nearby valleys. Visually Antelao is one of the most dramatic mountains in this Cortina Scenery, and the township of San Vito di Cadore sits directly below in the valley.     On your right directly opposite Antelao is Monte Pelmo which is also a significant mountain of the Dolomites, The mountain resembles a giant block which stands isolated from other peaks, so can be seen clearly from the neighbouring valleys and from nearby mountains such as Antelao and Monte Civetta.     Three mountains actually make up the Pelmo formation, the main two are Monte Pelmo (3,168m) the centre formation, Pelmetto (meaning "Little Pelmo" in Italian), at 2,990m high and at the rear the Cime di Forca Rossa (2716m)...   Monte Civetta (3,220 m) is located in the background...  Its north-west face can be viewed from the Taibon Agordino valley, and is classed as one of the symbols of the Dolomites.     Pieve di Cadore You are now coming into the bottom of the U shape of the Cadore Valley, with communes of Cancia then Vodo di Cadore which are both each end of the lake, Peaio commune is then further along until you arrive at Sottocastello (lower) and Pieve di Cadore (higher) which a hilltop strategic location and the town was a medieval stronghold with fortifications, called the "walled city of the Veneto." Below is the Vodo di Cadore which is an artificial reservoir obtained from the waters of the Boite river.     The main sight in Pieve is the Palazzo della Magnifica Comunità ("Palace of the Magnificent Community"), built in 1447, and the "Giovanni Paolo II" Hospital which is represented, there is also a H Pad located here as well.     Departing Pieve you fly over the reservoir and start up the east side of the curve, passing Calalzo, Valleslla then Domegge on the left up to the Lozzo di Cadore....     ... notable here are the hundreds and thousands of objects in this scenery, every valley and hillside is filled with objects to give you the full vista of the valleys.   Further up is a big surprise around the corner as you follow the valley as it then into turns into the very familiar sight of the Auronzo Valley (see Scenery Review : Drei Zinnen Natural Park) ...     ...  with the spectacular Drei Zinnen National Park now on your right. You can follow the Auronzo Valley right around and straight back to Cortina, a note that you are deep into the Drei Zinnen territory of the scenery here with the Marmarole range and it's highest peak the Cimon del Froppa (2,932m) is on your left or to the south... The del Froppa is however rarely climbed, as it is somewhat overshadowed by its higher neighbours in the Antelao and Sorapiss.     The southern boundary of the Marmarole range connects up the two packages of the Cortina and Drei Zinnen sceneries, so make sure you have the correct connector scenery (D2G_Exclusions) and it is also set correctly in the right .ini scenery order to make a perfect transition between the two packages, the scenery join comes out between the Marmarole and Punta Sorapiss formations so as you reach the spectacular Cadini Range of mountains on your right you are now back into the Cortina territory again....  The Cadini Range (below) has four significant peaks in the Cadin di San Lucano (2839m), Cima Eötvös (2825m), Cadin Nord Est (2788m) and Cadin della Neve (2757m)...     .... note the Tre Cime di Lavaredo formation in the background behind the Cadini formations, and this range is also on the boundary of Cadini di Misurina (the lake also in the Drei Zinnen package).   Flying on westward and it will soon bring you back to Cortina in coming in from the east and then in passing the Cristallo range on my right, with the now famliar Pomagagnon formations directly ahead...     ...   a look down to the left and there is Cortina sitting in the middle of its large basin bowl..   _____________________________     North The Cortina - Cadore scenery is far larger than the Drei Zinnen package, you could say it is an extension west as much as south over an area of about 1000 sq km in this eastern part of the Dolomitesto. Flying north from Cortina you will first see the only airport LIDI (noted later) in the scenery...       ...   then you take a right following the Strada Statale 51 di Alemagna into the Braies Valley which goes around another very significant and spectacular mountain in the Hohe Gaisl - Croda Rossa d'Ampezzo in Italian (3,146m).     The Croda Rossa's summit has a pyramid shape and the detail is exceptional as the mountain's slopes glow in a deep red colour, it is a feature it has in common with many Dolomite peaks. The mountain is however rarely climbed as it is particularly prone to rockfall. It is more appreciated for its beauty as seen here.   Opposite the Croda Rossa is the Dürrenstein or Picco di Vallandro (869m), it is an odd shape but quite spectacular up close or from a distance.     It looks like the formation is still coming out of the surrounding landscape, and is being thrust into the sky...   Slightly further north than the Picco di Vallandro is the Val Pusteria (Puster Valley), turn right and you go to Dobbiaco, which was the main airport (LIVD) focus of the Drei Zinnen scenery, turn left and into the Cortina - Cadore scenery as it now extends the scenery far further west out to Valdaora.   Going west down the Val Pusteria on your left is the Seekofel-Croda del Becco (2,810m) and the Grosser Roskopf (2559m)...     Familiar? well they should be because the same mountains that frame Braies lake "Lago di Braies" as in the Drei Zinnen scenery, only now the significant mountains around the lake have now been completed...  this chain is also still part of the same formations of the extensive Fanes Group. There is a H Pad (LIBRH-Drei Zinnen) here as well. The Val Pusteria peters out around Valdaora which is the northwest boundary of the scenery, however if you are enterprising enough you could go out further west and then circle around back south to the Fanes Plateau and then complete the full circle back to Cortina.     Valdaora is reconisable by the lake (above) - Lago di Valdaora.   Lighting Overall lighting is not the main aspect of this scenery...  there is lighting of course, but it is mainly just housing (window) lighting to create an alpine village feel...  here at Cortina it works very nicely in recreating the effect, odd buildings and the many football (Soccer) fields are also well lit in the scenery.   _________________________________   There is one airport and five H pads in the scenery, which is significantly less than most other provided landing areas in Dainese and Bellini sceneries, provided are:   LIDI - Airport - 46.5829754 012.1119898 – CORTINA d’AMPEZZO HELCO- HELIPAD – 46.57413275 012.11549615 AIRPORT CORTINA HLICD - HELIPAD - 46.5567965 012.1314460 – CORTINA CODIVILLA HLCR - HELIPAD - 46.4858144 012.1059620 – CRODA DA LAGO HLHP - HELIPAD - 46.4321646 012.3760996 – PIEVE OSPEDALE HLNV - HELIPAD - 46.4952058 012.0461872 - Ref.NUVOLAU   LIDI - Airport – CORTINA d’AMPEZZO There is actually an airport in the Ampezzo Valley, but it is a very odd looking facility?      An extremely long runway that is threaded between a hangar and the apron areas...  but the details here are actually correct, but at the real airport the runway is now discontinued (surprise, surprise), the aprons however only provide helicopter services. The airport was built for the 1956 Winter Olympics. It has remained closed to traffic since an accident involving a Cessna 206 on 31 May 1976.   HELCO - H AIRPORT CORTINA  On the southern part of the apron there is a H Pad, and it is a tricky one because the fencing gets in the way of the southern approach line.     HLICD - H CORTINA CODIVILLA Very odd H pad that has a very angled slope in front of the Istituto Codivilla Putti Di Cortina SpA a sort of (expensive) health retreat. Extremely hard to takeoff and harder still to land on without tipping over?     HLCR - H CRODA DA LAGO This H pad sits by the lake Federa right next to the Croda da Lago Refuge, the Croda Da Lago then towers above you...     HLHP - H PIEVE OSPEDALE (Hospital) This H pad is situated behind the hospital on a platform, tricky because of the tall trees surrounding the H pad, but it is well done.     HLNV - H Ref.NUVOLAU Refuge Nuvolau hut is one of the oldest ones in all Dolomites as it was founded in 1883 and keeps its original aspect in all of its parts. Situated on top of the orcella Nuvolau, it is also known as the Averau refuge. it sits at 2,413m     Summary Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini create unique sceneries based on famous or iconic mountain ranges and their environs. This is the second of five sceneries that will cover the Dolomite Mountain Ranges in the eastern north of Italy. This new area D2 covers the Cortina and Cadore Valley areas, that are positioned just to the south and west of the first release in Drei Zinnen National Park   This new Dolomite scenery dovetails into the first Drei Zinnen scenery, so in reality you will need both packages to get the full perspective of this growing Dolomite spectacular landscape...  and brilliant it is.   All the numerous mountains and glaciers are all very highly created mesh from DEM data 3D graphics programs, and the Hi-Res textures are all in 4K resolution. The focus mountains are simply excellent in their 3D reproductions highlights are Antelao, Tofane, Fanes Group and the Croda Rossa.   This package is again extensive and covers the central point of Cortina itself, with all the landmark ranges surrounding it...  represented is the Le Tofane, Pomagagnon, Cristallo, Lagazuoi, Huge Dolomiti di Fanes, Averau, Conturines, 5 Torri, Lagusela, Lastoni di Formin, Croda da Lago, Sorapis, Scoton and the spectacular Antelao and Croda Rossa.   These excellent representations of iconic mountain areas of the world are for exploration, sightseeing or just plain exploring...  and you could throw in a bit of geography as well. All are highly detailed of the areas they represent, the mountain ranges are of course the stars and the focal point.   Should these sceneries come with a warning? well yes, as you can get seriously lost exploring the valleys and huge areas now at your disposal, but I do recommend the Drei Zinnen package as well as the Cortina to complete the full flow and the perfect transition between the two areas.   Hugely popular and yes I really love these amazing and hugely detailed sceneries that can change your perspective of an iconic area and in this case Cortina and it's spectacular surroundings and allow them to come to life in your simulation world...   Highly recommended, so now two down and only three more Dolomites to go!   ______________________________________________________________________     Yes! Dolomites 3D Cortina - Cadore by Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :   Dolomites 3D Cortina - Cadore   Price Is US$24.95   Customer who already own Dolomites 3D- Drei Zinnen Park can get this new scenery for $5 off. Please go to the original invoice for coupon code   Features Included in degree + 46. + 012, territory of about 1000 sq km. 1 Cortina airport (LIDI) and several heliports in the most interesting points (Alpine refuges ...) 13  3D models of  Dolomites with 4K textures All the tourist attractions of area with the queen of Dolomites: Cortina d'Ampezzo. Cortina reproduced for most part with all its ski lifts. All vegetation mapped  and reproduced. Territory totally covered with polygons / textures that reproduce the real terrain.   WT3: Your joking of course! no, you are on your own here   Requirements X-Plane 11  Windows, Mac or Linux 4GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 870Mb Release and Review version 1.0 (2nd April 2020)   Installation Download scenery file size is download 870.20mb and with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder as there are eight install folders in the order below in the .INI File (included and listing below also includes the Drei Zinnen packs):    SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D1A_DOLOMITI_3D_Part1/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D1B_AIRPORT_LIVD/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D1C_CableWay_Dolomitti1/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D1D_PUSTERIA_Comelico/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D1E_MISURINA/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D1F_AURONZO/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D1G_Exclusions/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D2A_DOLOMITI_3d_Part2/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D2B_AIPORT_LIDI/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D2C_CableWay_Dolomiti2/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D2D_CORTINA/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D2E_CADORE/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D2F_CRODALAGO/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D2G_Exclusions/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/Dolomiti2_lib/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/MESH_DOLOMITI1/   Total scenery installation (Cortina) : 1.46gb   connector scenery (D2G_Exclusions- Highlighted) is IMPORTANT in its position in the scenery order .ini to make sure there is a perfect transition between the two packages.   Documents One manual with notes ______________________________________________________________________    Review by Stephen Dutton 4th April 2020 Copyright©2020 : 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 - 32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD  Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.31 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini  Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 Scenery or Aircraft - Bell 407 XP11 by Dreamfoil (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$35.00    
    • Behind the Screen : March 2020   Are you coping? Do you need help? How are you doing in Self-Isolation? How do you want to get through this? Do you need tips to help you get through this? This is how to get through your day?   These are messages that I get every day, I am thankful that people care, I really am...  but. Well a month back in what was then looking like normal life and pretty well for a long time before this virus event unfolded this was my average day.   Get up and have a cereal breakfast, go out and buy a newspaper, have a coffee and read the newspaper, come home and have more breakfast, then do six hours with a break on X-Plane in doing the site and reviews. Now today inside the virus event then here is my same day. Get up and have a cereal breakfast, go out and buy a newspaper, get a takeaway coffee, come home and read the newspaper, have more breakfast, then do six hours with a break on X-Plane in doing the site and reviews. You see the major difference, yes I now pick up a takeaway coffee and bring it home than rather drink it at my local coffee shop.... that is it, and yet people are telling me daily that I simply can't cope with all that significant change.   Funny enough I have been doing this (now labeled WFH - Work From Home) do dah for over a decade? for myself nothing really has changed basically in my day to day structure and yet here I have loads of people telling me on how to cope and get through all of this event?   I am lucky really that I found a medium to translate the way I want to live my life. And yes X-Plane can be seriously isolating, but funny enough it also opened up my world far, far more than it actually closed it down. I am still a 63 year old child that moved with the world, I am thankful (or just smart enough) to change with the world around me through the decades as I have always been right at the front in one form of the other in technological changes, and obviously when the internet and computers collided I used this new technology to live a more easier and less forceful life, although I will admit you do work far more harder from home than you will ever do than on the outside, as there is reality no boundaries and the work is right there waiting 24/7 to be done, but again self discipline can help in you controlling the monster than rather the monster in controlling you. But the overall moniker is simple, when it becomes work then it is time to walk away from it, so the X-Plane experience is fun and exciting with a lot of learning thrown in, and if that aspect can last ten years then being involved in simulation can not be a totally bad thing.   That is the point to all these other people who really are struggling in their isolation. Don't tell me on how you are coping, because I am quite fine thank you very much because in reality very much in my life right now is actually that not very different, or even try tell me ways of on how to cope either. I hated the fact when people noted they had to adjust to WFH and are try to understand that, because I have doing this thingy WFH do dah for a decade, so is that a bit condescending their part.   People are weird...   But the X-Plane community is also a seriously modern and interconnected one, and we all share the same information, the same upward path to simulation nirvana and the same goals in just trying to get that landing as perfect as the next one, Isolation is certain not a word we use or even recognise because we are connected altogether through our computers and our networks (some users that fly together take this aspect even further), but we are singularly all spaced out but still also highly connected together with one focus and aim, and in that there is a lot of friendship as well. That is the incredible aspect of living in the current period of our technologically advanced world, we are all connected together with no boundaries or even walls around us... in our world there is no such words like Self-Isolation, that is unless you don't pay your internet account!   Vulkan/Metal API I really didn't think it would have been three months into the new 2020 decade for Laminar to release the next update in v11.50 with the Vulkan/Metal update. My first guess was about two to three weeks into January, but here we are and it is still taking that long to sort out and refine... I don't doubt for a moment that Laminar Research have not been working very hard on this and for a very good reason, that the new API HAS to be right, HAS to work well straight out of the box. So overall the wait will be been worth it.... but on release of this goodwill message then we still don't have any Vulkan/Metal API's   So confine people, promise them that in two weeks or so that the beta release will finally be active and you are asking for trouble, yes if you haven't noticed it is April Fools Day today, so releasing today would be seen as a joke, but many are starting to laugh anyway, and not in a practical joker sort of mad laugh way either, but more of a "this is turning into a big joke" sort of way. The worry is FS2020 and X-Plane needs to retain users faith now more than ever before, but in reality Laminar is caught on that question in that release a buggy beta and it all goes down badly, don't release the beta update and it still all goes down badly, either way Laminar can't win.... but then again how long can you really stretch the elastic before it breaks.   But the signs are there as already many plugin updates are already noting to be updated and are 11.50 compliant, so yes it is now very close. On those 11.50 updates then be ready for a lot of them, in fact most plugins and fair amount of aircraft will need updating to be totally Vulkan/Metal compliant. On install you WILL find a lot of areas that won't work although Laminar has reassured us that the Open GL failsafe should cover most of the issues. Personally I don't like that, I would rather let things fail and fix them than sort of cover them over and generally hiding them away in the code that is going to be disconnected soon anyway.   There will be a lot of complaining, there will be a lot of anguish...   but like with the 64bit transfer it will all settle down quite quickly, which on situation sounds like a certain virus pandemic we are also having to deal with, which is funny on how X-Plane and life can parallel in the same circumstances. Certainly you can't compare the lives of thousands of innocent people to a simulator, but I think you sort of get the same conditions.   The one thing we will be confronted with though will be a lot of updates, loads in fact, so maybe it is time like I wrote in last month's "Behind the Screen - February 2020" in doing a totally reassessment of your simulator, a fresh clean start, a more refined simulator...  if one thing that does come out out of the Coronvirus is the fact that for a few weeks we have created a cleaner and better world around us and have finally given the planet a breather from our dirty habits... we may even finally learn something to make our surrounds actually better and not worse everyday...  so again a mirror to our simulation life is that you can change, be better, throw away bad habits and choose to restart in a more cleaner and more environmental environment, will we learn anything, probably not but it is still a nice thought.   See you all out of isolation next month   Stephen Dutton 1st April 2020 Copyright©2020 X-Plane Reviews    
    • The review is presented as seen on release or with an update, yes Star-Altas has done an update, but in reality the release version should have been completed with the complete WT3 or ground routes in the first place, that was a bad oversight for them.
    • I can highly recommend this P-51. I bought it last year for my Occulus VR and became totally familiar with the cockpit (and the idiosyncrasies, like three trims) and flight caracteristics  before actually flying the Collings Foundation twin-seater last June. Because of the familiarity I was able to move right into barrel rolls and aileron loops within 10 minutes after takeoff.
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