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X-Plane Reviews Visits: Cosford 2014 Flight Sim Event!

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X-Plane Reviews visits: Cosford 2014 Flight Sim Event!

 

Once again the Flight Sim event at Cosford took place and this time it was bigger, and better than ever! Showcasing the latest developments for X-Plane 10 and Flight Simulation in general with exhibits from Aerosoft, Just Flight, Flight 1, PC pilot and many more it was an event that couldn't be missed, luckily X-Plane Reviews paid a visit!

 

What is Cosford 2014?

 

For those of you who don't know the Cosford Flight Sim Event is a flight sim event that takes place at the Cosford Museum every year. The event consists of many companies with exhibits set-up showcasing flight sim technology, software or live demonstrations of hardware. Software included boxed products where some were set-up on a 'try before you buy' basis. As well as that most exhibits have hardware set-up where you can test the latest flight sim hardware, this year hardware such as the Oculus Rift and Saitek equipment where on showcase for testing. As well as that there are live shows about different things, this year there was two shows: Behind the scenes with Quality Wings and The future of X-Plane.

 

 

On the day

 

Arriving at the museum and heading to hangar 1 in the great british rain wasn't my most enjoyable part of the day, however, once inside it was flight sim at its best. The majority of flight sim companies where present with exhibits setup with computers hooked up to flight sim hardware for anyone to test their aircraft. As well as their exhibits the people behind the addons where present as well, ready to answer any questions. 

 

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At the event I did not purchase any software as the majority of software was for FSX, although I do own FSX I simply couldn't chose an addon as a favorite. I did however purchase the Saitek Rudder Pedals to complete my setup with my Pro Flight Yoke, the hardware was at  a slightly discounted price but however not as much as I anticipated it to be. Software however was flying off the shelves because of discounts, however again most software was for FSX.

 

The Oculus Rift

 

The first exhibit I went to was showcasing the Oculus Rift, a gadget that I and many other X-Plane enthusiasts are waiting for! For those who are very confused the 'Oculus Rift' is a head mounted display which gives you a sense of virtual reality by tracking your head movements and moving a sim correspondingly. So I sat down and placed the rift on for the first time, before this I had only seen the rift on videos, wow pretty much sums it up! I found myself in a Eurofighter Typhoon within Prepar 3D placed at the end of a runway, what did I do first? Look around in amazement! Looking around and not seeing your legs kind of gives away the illusion but that did not effect the illusion when I was concentrating conducting a complete roll! So the next thing I did was throttle up the engines and released the brakes, shooting down the runway and lifting off the ground does actually make you feel as though you are at that height. Looking out at 800ft I really felt as though I was at 800ft, the only thing missing was the geforce felt when flying a fighter jet! I also conducted an upside down inverted turn, maintaining the upside down angle of attack. Looking up in the rift and seeing ground below the clouds is a very weird experience, it's something you have to experience it for yourself to see if you like it. Me, I loved it! It gives the feeling of flying around in a fighter jet and it's something that I love.

 

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I did also try the Oculus Rift a second time at Aerosofts exhibit, this time it was the default cessna 172 SP at 7'000ft. For some reason I think the rift in x-plane was much better, this time I actually tried to grab the door handle! Moving around in the 172 and moving close into the panel really gives a sense of depth of field, the only thing xp developers will need to do is make sure there is a pair of legs in the 3D cockpit because that is a big part of the oculus illusion. In all rift tests I was using the Dev Kit 2, DON'T BUY IT! You must wait for the consumer rift as oculus still have many more improvements to make. For example the screen resolution needs to be better, if you look closely you can see individual pixels. One thing I did like was taping on the front of the rift will re-calibrate the head position, a great feature I found out!

 

Live Shows

 

I use the term 'show' openly, it's not quite a 'show' in a sense of watching acting but an informal gathering hosted by the company at the front talking. Unfortunately I missed the first showing of ' The Future of X-Plane ' as it was confusing where the show was being hosted, even asking show coordinators didn't help. Eventually after some museum wondering i found where the shows where being hosted, when i had found it the Future of XP show was finished however the second and last was 'behind the scenes with quality wings' so I attended that showing.

 

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Quality Wings is a company who develop aircraft for FSX, it was very interesting to see their upcoming 787 and see how they made it however they made the comment "at the moment we don't have any plans to develop aircraft for x-plane, but it may be a future possibility".

 

Exhibitor List

 

  • Mutleys Hangar
  • Aerosoft
  • Flight store
  • Alpine Systems
  • Pro Sim Ar
  • Just Flight
  • Chillblast
  • PC pilot
  • Bristol FS Group
  • North west FS group
  • Sherburn FS Group
  • PC Pilot Ireland
  • 85th Virtual Fighter SQD
  • VFR Poland
  • Gatwick FS Group
  • Wired2fire
  • PC Pilot Stand 2
  • Virtual - Fly
  • Flight Sim PM - UK
  • Southwest FS Group
  • Midland Computers
  • Just Flight Stand 2
  • Buffalo Airways Virtual
  • North east FS Group
  • Flight 1
  • DHL virtual Cargo

As you can see there where many exhibitors all showcasing something different. 

 

Some Museum Pictures

 

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Event Floor Plan

 

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Summed Up

 

The event was great, a little unorganised in terms of the live shows however what's not to love about a flight sim event! If you couldn't make it then that was a shame, but you can always look forward to it next year. If I didn't attend the event then I wouldn't have got the chance to test out the Rift! Visiting the event just for that would have even been worth it. As I have already said the event was mainly based around FSX and Flight Sim in general, it would have been great to see many stands just dedicated to X-Plane. To my surprise however the Aerosoft stand was mainly aimed at X-Plane, probably because they publish content more than they produce it. It was a shame that I missed the 'Future of x-plane' showing however it was very confusing where that was happening, one person from chillblast pointed to an oculus rift set up a few meters away when i asked where the future of x-plane show was!

 

Was it worth the visit?    Most certainly! It was great to see the faces behind flight sim and hear them express their views and opinions. Also if you are looking for discounts the cosford event is the place to be, you could even purchase discounted downloads from the Just Flight Stand! For those who didn't make it, maybe next year. Flight Sim is constantly changing, the next year Cosfird show may even be showcasing the consumer rift if it's out by then! And not forgetting the constant conveyer belt of software being released, that will be showcased next year as well!

 

The rest of the museum is also available to view for no additional cost if you attened the flight sim event, the museum is fantastic! The entry fee was £11 and I would urge you to book your tickets as soon as it's possible for next year, obviously only the real flight simmers attend ;)

 

 

I hope you now have a great understanding of the event, feel free to ask any questions below. On behalf of X-Plane Reviews, I hope our visit gave you an insight into the event!

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