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  1. 3 points
    Aircraft Comparison : Boeing 777 vs Airbus A350 As you can see by the title, today we are going to compare the Boeing 777 and the Airbus A350 for X-plane 11, both Boeing and Airbus biggest twin-engine aircraft. The Boeing 777-200LR Worldliner is the long range variant from the 777 family, with a maximum range of 8,555 nm (15,843 km). This variant has increased MTOW, three optional auxiliary fuel tanks and wingtips. Equipped with GE90 engines it produces up to 230,000 pounds of thrust combined. Exactly 60 have already been delivered and its main operators are Delta Air Lines and Emirates, with each one operating 10 aircraft. The A350 XWB is Airbus newest aircraft. The A350-900 has a maximum range of 8,100 (15,000 km) and a MTOW of 280 tons. The -900 was designed to compete with the B777-200ER/LR and 787-10, and eventually giving airlines the option to replace their older A340-300/500 with a newer and more fuel-efficient aircraft. It is equipped with two Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines each producing up to 84,200 pounds of thrust. The A350 family is considered to a success, with 930 orders and more than 360 already delivered, being its main operators Singapore Airlines (48) and Etihad Airways (54). FlightFactor Aero is well known for their study level aircraft, with system depth being their main focus, and the A320 Ultimate and 767 Professional being a good proof of that. With that in mind you would expect a high-quality add-on from FlightFactor with great systems, so in today's comparison we are going to discover if that is true when we talk about the B777 and A350. Now we are going to decide which long-haul aircraft is the best for you Exterior modeling Both aircraft will be using custom Delta liveries that can be found in Xplane.Org Boeing 777 Worldliner Professional At a first look the exterior model is quite nice even though it needs some improvements. The fuselage may look strange with that lines, however you won't notice them most of the time. The windows are transparent, showing the 3d cabin inside. Probably the best part of the exterior modeling are the GE90 engines, they look awesome. The fan blades have a very nice glossy touch. The engine running animation is very good too. The landing gear and wings are nicely modeled. In general, the exterior is good, even though some improvements are welcome, especially in the fuselage and empennage. However, you won't find many problems if you don't search for them. Airbus A350 XWB Advanced You will notice that in many cases the A350 is the opposite from the B777, and exterior modeling is one of them. Usually the first thing you notice when looking at the outside of a plane is the fuselage, and the A350 fuselage is well done, it has a glossy and reflective surface (due to the livery I am using, the fuselage doesn't appear to be glossy), transparent windows and very nice wingtips. Instead of having very good modeled engines like the 777, the A350 engine modeling isn't that great, in fact it is not good or bad, it is the minimum you would expect from a 50 dollars plane. The animations are very nice and realistic, but the engine modeling, especially when it isn't running, is far away from perfection. The wings are nicely modeled and they look very good from the outside, however, they look a bit strange from the inside. The landing gear is great and doesn't appear to have any modeling problem. As you can see, the exterior modeling is good, even though it has its pros and cons, and you won't be disappointed. Like the 777, the A350 also needs some improvements. Extra features In this section we are going to talk about other extra features like doors, ground services and many other things. Starting with ground service. Both aircraft have this functionality, with one being better than the other. You can use the 777 ground service by clicking the menu icon in the top right corner. There you will find the ground services vehicles and objects as the doors open/close buttons and many more. Note that the ground service is very simple and only the doors indicated by an arrow can be opened. The ground service feature is more extensive in the A350, even though it is a bit simple, and can be accessed through the Cpt Outer OIS. It is important to note that all doors can be opened, a great advantage over the 777 which increases the realism. The plane at gate option sets a stair at the 4L door. There is one thing that looks strange in both planes, the wing flex. In the 777 is a little bit weird in some situations, like deploying the speed brakes after landing, resulting in some strange wing moves. The A350 wing flex problem is different and you will notice it while taxing and applying brakes. Another problem from the a350 is the wheels animations, which appear to be too slow. The 777 has a kind of engine shake, which is very nice to see from the cabin. Cabin Both aircraft have a 3d modeled cabin, divided in economy, business and first-class. Usually a 777 economy class is configured in a 3-4-3 configuration, which isn't the case FlightFactor 777, equipped with a 3-3-3 configuration. The business class seems very old, and the first-class has a nice bar. The A350 cabin is more modern than the 777 one. The economy is also equipped with a 3-3-3 configuration, with every seat been equipped with IFE screens. Configured in a 2-2-2 configuration the business class has wider and more comfortable seats. The first-class in the A350 is also equipped with a bar, providing great luxury to the passengers. There is a very nice detail in both aircraft, which is the crew resting compartment. This is a place that pilots and flight attendants rest when it's the other crew members shift. The first photo is from the 777 and the second from the A350, respectively located in the front and back of the aircraft. As you can see, the cabins are pretty well modeled and look nice, but in the end, the A350 cabin looks a bit better. Cockpit Probably the most important section in this comparison, it's in the cockpit that everything happens. While reading this part of the comparison, you will notice that most of the similarities and opposites are here, starting with the cockpit door, only the 777 has a close/open animation. Boeing 777 Worldliner Professional Possibly your first thought about the 777 cockpit will be: It seems very outdated. Yes the textures and some of the 3d modeling aren't great, you can't deny that, but when you start flying the plane they don't seem that bad. The overhead panel is very nice, as well as the aisle stand panel, where the 3d modeling is good and textures aren't bad. The night lighting is very beautiful and distinctive in 777, making it a very nice aircraft to fly at night. Its green color isn't common between other planes. It has many light knobs, this way you can try many lighting configurations before finding the best one for you. Airbus A350 XWB Advanced At first glance, the A350 cockpit may look better than the B777, especially using textures replacement mods, which will be linked at the end of the comparison, however, there are many better-modeled cockpits out there. Everybody knows that the A350 is a very modern plane and all its 6 big screens will attract your attention while flying it. It has the Airbus style overhead panel, but its pedestal is different from any type of aircraft, having some similarities with the A380. The autopilot panel is almost identical to the A380. The night is very well done, and gives the plane a modern touch, more than it already is. Systems FlightFactor says that what sets their models apart is the system depth, so we can expect good systems, we can't compare the A350 ou 777 with the A320 due to the price difference, so good systems is the least we should expect. Boeing 777 Worldliner Professional Starting with the FMC. It is fully functional, you can plan your route, insert SIDS and STARS and make performance calculations. The FMC is well done and you shouldn't have problems with it. The only thing that could be improved is individual screens, so you could leave one FMC in the LEGS page and the other at the VNAV page. As you can imagine, all knobs and switches at the overhead panel work. All the essential switches are working in the aisle stand panel. Last but not least, autopilot, it has some small issues like not turning off the disconnect alarm, but it still manages to take your plane from A to B. Another improvement that needs to be done is adding individual NAV screens, with this feature you would be able to set one screen with map and the other with app, using different ranges. With that in mind we can conclude that the 777 systems aren't perfect, but still in a high standard just like expected. Yes, they need some improvements, but still manage to have the hard work done. Airbus A350 XWB Advanced Probably the most known issue in the A350 systems is the FMC, where you can't insert SIDS and STARs. This is the main problem involving the A350 but there is a tool that solves this problem. It is named SimpleFMC and when used in conjunction with Simbrief flight planning tool, will give you the ability to completely program your route. As you can see, the A350 has some issues involving route programming, even though it can be simply solved and FlightFactor announced an update to fix that (will talk more about this update later). However, performance calculations and weight configuration is very complete in the A350. The best way to do that is by using the Cpt Outer OIS screen. Almost all switches and knobs work, both in overhead panel and pedestal. The autopilot works perfectly and you shouldn't expect any problem related to it. It is important to note that the taxi camera isn't working. We can conclude that none of the aircraft systems is perfect. At the moment, the 777 systems are slightly ahead, which gives you the feeling of a more complete aircraft. However, the A350 is a newer plane, leaving many opportunities to improve and add many new features, and if this happens, the A350 systems may get better and more advanced than the 777 systems. Sounds Each aircraft has its particularities. Generally we can assume that the 777 are better than the A350 sounds, especially when you talk about the engines. Starting with cockpits sounds. Both aircraft have nice sounds here, probably the A350 ones are a bit better, even though none of them is bad. However, when we start talking about the cabin sounds, you may get disappointed. They are the same all the time, it doesn't matter if you are in the front or back of the plane, they won't change. The flaps and landing gear operation sounds are nice, just what you would expect. The engine sounds are the ones you will most notice while flying a plane, and they are the reason for the 777 have better sounds than the A350. While you are in the cockpit or cabin, both planes have good sounds, even though they could be way better. But when you change for the outside view you will instantly notice the difference. While both engines are idle you already can tell a difference, you may think that this is obvious because they are different engines, but the difference is already there. However, things start to get better when you accelerate them, both sound nice, maybe a little better in the 777, but when the engines are at full power you will notice that the A350 isn't very nice, emitting a low and kinda soft noise. The 777 is the complete opposite, at full power the engines are screaming and give you the feeling that you flying the real aircraft. Blue Sky Star, most known as BSS, provides a sound pack for the 777 at the price of 20 dollars, increasing your immersion with the aircraft. Will be linked at the end. Other features Here I will list things I didn't mention yet. Checklist: Both aircraft have a checklist that tells you exactly what you should do. Cabin Announcements: You will find this feature in both aircraft. There are more than 20 default announcements. Pushback: This feature is implemented in both planes, however, I recommend using the Better Pushback plugin. Conclusion As I said earlier, we would find the best long-haul aircraft for you. After reading my comparison you may have already decided the best one for you, but if you still can't choose one I will help by listing the main features. Boeing 777 Worldliner Professional -Very well modeled engines -Fuselage is good, but needs improvements -Has 3d cabin -Cockpit a little bit dated -Good systems -Better sounds (BSS package available) -Price: $59,95 Airbus A350 XWB Advanced -Better modeled fuselage -Beautiful 3d cabin -Better cockpit textures (using texture replaceament mod) -Ok systems -Good cockpit sounds, engines could be better -Price: $49,95 Note that FlightFactor said that would release an update for A350 this month and it would include the implementation of SIDS and STARS as well as a huge graphical improvement. This update would make the A350 way better. It would be nice to see BSS making a sound package for the A350, it would take the aircraft to a pretty high standard. If after all this you can't decide yet, you should take my advice. Both aircraft are equaly good, each one has pros and cons, and the best thing you could do is: buy the one you like more in real life, it is simple. Notice that you won't be disappointed with these two great aircraft by Flight Factor. I won't tell my personal choice because that may induct you. Greetings Thank you for reading this comparison! Feel free to leave your comment. This is my first review for this incredible site that has been making the best reviews for X-plane for a long time. I want to thank Stephen for giving me this incredible opportunity and providing everything I needed to make the comparison. ______________________________________________________________________ Both aircraft are available in X-Plane.Org Store here: Boeing 777 Worldliner Professional Price is US$59,95 Features: Officially licensed By the Boeing © Corporation Accurate dimensions based on 2D and 3D drawings supplied by Boeing © Professional systems - Fly the 777 like a pro Systems designed to work like the thing - Accurate flight model tuned by pilots - Comprehensive Manuals Fully Functional FMS - Plan your routes like a real pilot Custom designed Flight Management Computer, integrated with other plane systems Custom programmed LNAV logic for terminal procedures Custom designed Navigation Display Tterminal procedure database with RNAV approaches and transitions VNAV managed climbs and descends Takeoff and approach speed calculation Custom autopilot modes for autoland Optimum cruise performance and step climb calculation True-to-life radio navigation with procedural-, route-, and navigation support auto-tuning Custom programmed FMC navigation using GPS-, radio- or inertial navigation with individual position errors and management of actual and required navigation performance Magnetic, true and polar grid course reference Alternate airports, diversion and arrival management Ground proximity warning system using real sounds FMC can be used on external touchscreen or tablet, optimized for the new iPad Incredible 3D modeling - the best eye-candy Amazing virtual cockpit with crisp details - Dynamic reflections Custom 3D sounds and Announcements Add-ons: Push-back truck, Fuel Truck, Passenger bus and Emergency slides ... On-Screen Menus: Configuration and loading menu, Quick Zoom Superb night lighting in cockpit. Requirements X-Plane 11 or X-Plane 10.50+ - 64 bit required Windows, Vista, 7 / 8/ 10 (64 bits) or MAC OS 10.10 (or higher - OSX 10.9 will not work), Linux Ubuntu 14.04LTS or compatible (older versions are not supported) 2GB VRAM - (4GB VRAM Recommended)- 1Gb available hard disk space Current version : 1.9.12 (last updated Jan 30th 2018) ___________________________ Airbus A350 XWB Advanced Price is US$49,95 Features: Superb 3D Modeling Complete Virtual cockpit in high-resolution Fully animated in and out -High-Resolution Textures Ground equipment support including stairs, loaders, passenger buses, GPUs etc. 3D people inside and outside the plane - Nicely modeled cabin Scroll wheel support for switch manipulation Advanced Systems Fully customized aircraft systems: electric, hydraulic, air conditioning, ADIRU Fully customized ECAM monitoring system with all screens and functions included Fully functional airbus style alert system with multiple status and procedural lists Fully functional interactive airbus electronic checklist system Airbus A350/A380 unique interfaces with dozens of screens and hundreds of function Fully customized and unique MFD (multifunctional display) system with most of flight planning pages implemented in a new graphical interface, as well as FCU and radio backups just like on the real plane Full OIS screen system with options, ground equipment control, passenger and cargo loading, and even a full user's manual inside the plane. Old style MCDU and fully functional aux instruments as backup Custom failures Advanced Fly-by-Wire and Flight systems Full FBW with Highly realistic implementation of the Airbus normal laws by QPAC -the most realistic fly-by-wire implementation for desktop flight simulation. Basic SID/STAR implementation using X-plane fms-files that you can create yourself and share with the community. "What you see is what you fly" flight path indication on the ND (i.e. curved trajectories with the turn radius properly computed based on speed and angular turn distance.) Implementation of all Airbus AP modes, except some non-precision approach modes (Selected and managed modes, speed constraints respected, "at or below" constraints in phase climb, "at or above" constraints in phase descent.) Full PFD and ND displays with fully independent display and different data sources for the captain and copilot displays. Independent autopilots Custom 3D Sounds Custom 3D stereo engine sound system Hundreds of system and in-cockpit sounds Interactive flight attendant helper Seven Liveries included in the package Airbus Carbon, Air France, Airbus House colors, Qatar, Lufthansa, United Airlines Requirements X-Plane 11 (latest version) Windows - Mac - Linux - 64bit Operating System Required 1Gb+ VRAM Minimum, 2Gb+ VRAM Minimum. 8Gb RAM Version : 1.5.2 (last updated Apr 24th, 2019) ________________________________________ Aircraft Comparison by Bernardo Casa 21st April 2020 Copyright©2020: X-PlaneReviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: Intel Core I5-9600K 4,30GHz / 2x8 Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 3200MHz - Gigabyte RTX 2070 - Z390 Aorus Master - Kingston A1000M.2 SSD 240GB Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.41 Addons: Logitech Pro Flight Yoke/Pedals/Throttle Quadrant - Logitech Extreme 3d Pro Joystick - Sound: Samsung Home Theater System J5500WK Plugins: Environment Engine v1.13 by xEnviro US$69,90 -Scenery Review : Seattle City XP by Drzewiecki Design - Scenery Review : Seattle Airports XP by Drzewiecki Design -KLAX - Los Angeles International 1.01 by MisterX6 (X-Plane.Org) Freeware -SBGL - by AxScenery (AxScenery) Freeware -A350 cockpit textures replacement (X-Plane.Org) Freeware -Better Pushback (GitHub) Freeware (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)
  2. 3 points
    Hi Bob, Thanks, I am really happy to know that you are liking my articles. Both aircraft are extremely good. Personally, I like the A319 more, especially with the IAE sounds, don't forget that you need the CFM too. Independent of your decision, you will be extremely happy.
  3. 3 points
    Totally. Even though they look similar, each aircraft has its characteristics.
  4. 2 points
    Aircraft Updates : Airbus A319 and 321 by Toliss A few days ago Toliss released updates for both A319 and A321, changing and improving many things in the aircraft. Systems were the main focus, adding new features and usabilities. Let's check out what changed. Airbus A319 v1.4 by Toliss The A319 is ToliSS's first add-on for X-Plane 11, which was released in early 2018. This update brought some improvements for the aircraft, like the addition of the Secondary Flight Plan, Fix Info page and a complete rework of the flight path. This last feature resulted in a more accurate computed path. The A319 received other new features which made the aircraft even more realistic. The most noticeable are the cockpit door, which can be opened now, and the addition of a standby whisky compass. This compass is very well made, giving you now the option to show or hide it. Another great change was the ISCS, it was reorganized to be more intuitive. Now you can change the performance calculator between the Active and Secondary, as well as use TOGA thrust. Most people that own the A319 already used the ToteDeMacs textures, so Toliss decided to include them as default in the new version. They are pretty nice, even though I prefer using a grey cockpit texture replacement which will be linked at the end of the review. The PFD colors were reworked, as well as the landing symbology, increasing realism. Toliss also made a few minor additions and changes. For those who don't use the incredible BSS sounds, Toliss reworked the sound balance for better immersion. Brake pedal function with a single axis is now allowed, Pause at T/D now pauses the simulation one minute before T/D, FD and AP now have smoother behavior in managed descent. Small changes to make your simulation better. Airbus A321 v1.03 by Toliss One of the most popular and awaited add-ons for X-Plane now receives its third update, which includes a few minor improvements to make it a better aircraft. Most of the new features are the same as from the A319, smoother FD and AP, reworked PFD colors and a warning, to prevent you from using Experimental Flight Model. The A321 received a few exclusive features like the Tailstrike Warning, which shows up in the PFD during landing. The Engine EPR indication was improved (IAE engine), as well as many other improvements related to the engines. Summary Toliss proved to be one of the best add-on producers for X-Plane, first with the A319 and now with the longer A321. Updates are very important, they prevent the aircraft from getting outdated, at least buys you more time, and always improves it. Both A319 and A321 both received mostly very similar features and improvements in this update, and even though they weren't big or many, they manage to make the add-on better. Probably the main additions in these updates are for the A319 to reflect the changes on the more modern A321. Opening cockpit door, functional compass, better textures and the systems changes that were were awaited for a while, and the wait was certainly worth it. All these features are very nice and make the overall simulation more enjoyable. Now that Toliss has been around for a good time and proved to have very high-quality products, there is no reason for not having one of these incredible birds in your hangar, they are 100% recommendable. ________________________________________________________ Both Airbus A319 v1.4 and Airbus A321 v1.03 by Toliss are available in the X-Plane.Org Store here : Airbus A319 Price is US$69.00 v1.4 Changelog A319_changelog.txt Airbus A321 Price is US$79.00 v1.03 Changelog A321_changelog.txt ______________________________________________________________________ Aircraft Update by Bernardo Pierdoná Casa 19th May 2020 Copyright©2020: X-PlaneReviews ToteDeMacs - Grey cockpit mod for A319 and A321 (Threshold) (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)
  5. 2 points
    Hi, I would get the A330, even though the A319 is way better. I don't have the A320, and won't get it in a while. Payware add-ons here are almost 6x more expensive. But I have the A330, which is one of my favorites. If I was you, I would get the A330, because it is different from both A319 and A320, which are very similar. One thing is for sure, you need to buy the BSS sounds, independent of the aircraft. Your simulation will get WAY better.
  6. 2 points
    NO, it isn't? The user had, had effects on by using the rain effects, when he turned them off and made them equal and they were exactly the same, it is fundamentally the same aircraft just a little longer... different users have different setups that effect their frame rate, plus in most cases they don't know what they are actually doing, then react and basically broadcast crap. As a reviewer we test everything in a set, set of conditions to get the right results, we mostly always ignore these wildcard idiots and their wild statements. Framerate is basically different to everyone in X-Plane on your system set up.
  7. 1 point
    Helicopter Review : Bell UH-1 Iroquois "Huey" by Nimbus Simulations It may be just a simple coincidence that tonight I am going to see another version of Francis Ford Coppola’s "Final Cut" edition of the 1980 seminal film "Apocalypse Now" on the big screen with full dolby surround-sound. A film about the excess of film making, but also about the excesses of the Vietnam War (Ken Burn's "Vietnam War" documentary series is highly recommended viewing). The main star is not the brooding Marlon Brando in semi-darkness, but a machine that signifies the war itself, a helicopter and the Bell UH-1 Iroquois nicknamed the "Huey" and no film shows the magnificence of the Huey in full flight than does Apocalypse Now and certainly in dolby surround sound. I can still hear and remember the "whop", "whop", "whop" start of the film with The Door's "this is the end" transfixing you to screen and created the feeling of the era... if you were there in the 1980's then that is the moment. Of course many of you have far different memories, and of the war itself... and those sounds and feelings are of course are in a totally different context, but the"Huey" will still count as a seriously significant part, to a few veterans here in our own X-Plane world the recreation of the UH-1 is far more than just another aircraft to fly in our collection, it is their life and soul as well... the point is as a simulator you can't just recreate an aircraft, as the "Huey" is much more than in that all it's many contexts. The UH-1 is a utility military helicopter powered by a single Lycoming T53-L-11 turboshaft engine, 1,100 shp (820 kW), with two-blade main and tail rotors. It was the first member of the highly prolific Huey family, it was developed by Bell Helicopter to meet a United States Army's 1952 requirement for a medical evacuation and utility helicopter, and first flew in 1956. As a note the three prototypes were built and equipped with the Lycoming XT-53-L-1 engine of 700 shp (520 kW) and the Bell 204 and 205 are Iroquois versions were developed for the civil market. While earlier "short-body" 204 Hueys were a success, the US Army wanted a larger version that could carry more troops. Bell's solution was to stretch the HU-1B fuselage by 41 in (104 cm) and use the extra space to fit in four seats next to the transmission, facing out. Seating capacity increased to 15, including crew. The enlarged cabin could also accommodate six stretchers and a medic, two more than the earlier models. In place of the earlier model's sliding side doors with a single window, larger doors were fitted which had two windows, plus a small hinged panel with an optional window, providing enhanced access to the cabin. The doors and hinged panels were also quickly removable, allowing the Huey to be flown in a "doors off" configuration. The Model 205 prototype flew on 16 August 1961, and seven pre-production/prototype aircraft was delivered for testing at Edwards Airforce Base starting in March 1961. The 205 was initially equipped with a 44-foot (13.4 m) main rotor and a Lycoming T53-L-9 engine with 1,100 shp (820 kW). The rotor was lengthened to 48 feet (14.6 m) with a chord of 21 in (53 cm). The tail-boom was also lengthened, in order to accommodate the longer rotor blades. Altogether, the modifications resulted in a gross weight capacity of 9,500 lb (4,309 kg). The Army ordered production of the 205 in 1963, produced with a T53-L-11 engine for its multi-fuel capability. The prototypes were designated as YUH-1D and the production aircraft was designated as the UH-1D. UH-1H is the most-produced Huey version, and is the representative of all the various types. This aircraft was the improved UH-1D with the uprated Lycoming T53-L-13 engine of 1,400 shp (1,000 kW) and overall 5435 UH1H's were built. This is not of course the only Bell "Huey" family aircraft in X-Plane as there is also the X-Trident Bell 412 twin-engined version, but this Nimbus version is the first of the original iconic twin-blade aircraft. Iroquois UH-1 "Huey" First impressions are of the iconic stubby nose and long tail configuration of the aircraft. In an odd context the original far shorter bodied 204 version looks really quite odd, were as the longer fuselage 205 aircraft looks almost perfect in proportion. The one thing that keeps coming back to you with this aircraft and most likely it's reason for it's outstanding success is really just the machine's overall simplicity. Many of the ideas built in here into the aircraft are so simple but highly effective in operation... Like with just the basic reinforced roof and floor created a wide open space for an effective aerial platform, the engine is on top and out of the way, with only the complex transmission intruding into the cabin. The number one focus on any reproduction of a helicopter is in the elements of the rotor designs. How helicopters fly is mostly by small movements at joint positions that you can't really see. So to have that perfect replicated animation of the workings of a rotor design in going to show you more than just a load of pretty good 3d design element work, and so it is just not enough in detail that the basic 3d work matches the aircraft perfectly, it also has to move like the real linkage system as well. The heart of the system is the lower swashplate that surrounds the mast that holds the main assembly, there are actually two swashplates in a solid one to hold the control levers and the flexible one that moves the control rods connected to the control horn of which is then connected to the blades. On the main rotor it is the pitch and on the tail rotor it is the yaw. It is fascinating to watch the moments control rod movements as you move the controls, the pitch by a lot of movement to the minimum of the roll. Of course there is the secondary movement of the collective that angles the blades to the air (you could call it bite) in more angle then the more bite of the air for lift... ... to see all these elements working so well together on the main and tail rotor defines how well designed, developed and animated are these components by Nimbus. Modeling is also exceptional, as the Nimbus Huey has been two years in development and the work shows... paneling and rivet work is exceptional and it all comes with very highly crafted normals (NML's are the raised or sunken elements of the modeling, i.e. rivets)... .... the UH-1 shines were it should, and is semi-matt were it should be, and put the right lighting on the aircraft and it looks simply excellent. Nice details of vents, lovely steel exhaust outlet and that excellent mesh detail exposing the inner Lycoming T53 turboshaft engine. One area of detail that does stand out is the exceptional rubber, plastic and other items like cables as we shall see, note the mast joint rubber boots. Glass is overall very good with excellent reflections and shape and they do a great service in seeing the fuselage framework and internal details, but the only area that I wasn't at all particularly taken with was the green overhead cockpit panels... ... for one I feel they are simply too light and don't look very authentic, secondly is that they are not actually green inside either, but clear? You can't have a shade colour set on one side and it be totally clear on the other, it just does not feel or look right... Menu There are six menu tabs lower screen left, they consist of: Checklist, Maintenance, Controls Position, CoPilot, Weight & Balance and Doors & Accessories All pop-up panels are 2d and can be moved around the screen, they cannot however be scaled, and as a few are quite large they can be a bit of a viewing hindrance. The six tabs can't be hidden either, so they will always show up on your screen, which is something I don't like even if they are this small. Checklist: The checklist is small at around one and a half pages, but effective. Maintenance: You can keep your chopper in flying order by watching and either filling up or repairing areas of the machine that are noted with condition and fluid levels. You can turn off the servicing via checking the "Always Like New" checkbox. CoPilot : The Huey has no autopilot, so Nimbus has provided a fake one by using the flying skills of the CoPilot, we will look closer at this feature when we fly the aircraft. Controls Position: There is a small box bottom right of your screen (arrowed) that shows you your position of the cyclic (joystick), collective and pedals. This is a great learning tool to fly the aircraft and some of the settings are spot on for certain manoeuvres like taking off, hovering and landing, and I personally think a learning tutorial with these settings shown would be invaluable to the vertical flight newcomer. Doors & Accessories: I will cover the Doors and Accessories before the W&M. There are two choices with the doors, and first you can open them via the menu with the pink "open" tags, or directly with the door handles. When selecting the actual door or panel and it will disappear, a great and simple system. Wire cutters top and bottom can also be selected... ... and so can dthe oor mounted guns, and the guns are mounted in a way you can fly with the doors shut, which a lot of developers don't do.... the guns work as well! Weight & Balance: The Weight & Balance sheet is excellent. It covers Pilots & Passenger weights, Fuel weight, Cargo weights in Kilograms (kg) or Pounds (lbs), Total weight and Autonomy (flying time at set full weight). All Pilots and passengers can be selected or hidden and their weight either added in or removed from the aircraft's total weight. All crew can be shown internally or just externally as well... ... if you have the pilot flying in view internally then he can be seen in your vision? But you can hide him and keep the rest of the crew if you want, so it all works very well, but be aware you lose the pilot weight from the total, but you could always balance that with say the cargo weight. Finally there is the all important CofG (Centre of Gravity) limits, which are noted on a scale with flying limits marked, and again it is surprising how many developers don't show this vital tool. Both pilot's heads are animated, but a few crew members do have the odd green arms? Internal Cabin and Cockpit As noted the Huey is a basic flying machine, as there is no first class frippery in here. With rubber mats on the floor, metal piping and canvas for seating, this is basic cattle class flying. The detailing in here would even make Hawkeye Pierce cry. It is a worn, battle scarred and a mission heavy conceptualised scene and it is all surrounded by that so familiar diamond soundproofing padding material. I personally love the realistic worn floor detail. Into that very familiar Huey cockpit, and yes it all looks glorious... ... but there are a few glitches that are very quickly and highly noticed? There are to blue sky areas on the front door panel that can be seen from some angles, and the collective has space under the base when at full up position? But just look at those armoured seats! as they are totally brilliant in detail, materials, shape, wear and tear... a real highlight. Rudder pedals are of course basic, but it is overall very well done in detail, ditto the windscreen wiper motor housing and protecting covers Instrument Panel The instrument panel facias come in two versions, with the steel exposed face or the black... I would automatically assumed that the black would have been the default version and it does look the better of the two versions. But the original plain facia would probably really be more authentic when you think about it, I know the Marine version used the black, so the debate will be which is the original? The different facias are set via the different liveries, so if you want to customise your Huey you can change the panel.png file in there. Like everything else on the UH-1 these Viet War machines are incredibly basic in their instrumentation layout. We have to look at the right side panel as the main pilot position as it is on all helicopters.... a huge ball Artificial Horizon dominates the panel, with a heading horizontal instrument with built in VOR1 pointer. Far bottom is a CDI (Course Deviation Indicator). left top is the Airspeed Indicator and bottom is the Turn & Slip Indicator. Right top is the Altimeter, Vertical Speed Indicator and bottom a clock. In a nice touch the magnetic compass is tagged on to the right of the main instrument panel. Left pilot position has only the basic five flying instruments... Airspeed, (small) Artificial Horizon, Altimeter, Vertical Speed Indicator and the same heading horizontal instrument with built in VOR1 pointer. Centre panel right has the single engine dials (top to bottom) RPM, Torque, GPT (Gas Producer Tach), EGT (Exhaust Gas Temp). Six centre left dials cover Fuel Pressure, Fuel Quantity, Oil Pressure, Oil Temp, Transmission Oil Pressure and Transmission Oil Temp. Four dials lower left cover the electrics with... Main Gen (Generator), Standby Gen, Volts - DC and Volts AC. Compass can be switched from DG or Mag and you can test the Fuel Gauge to make sure it is working correctly... There are also a row of warning lights top panel with (LtoR): Master Caution, RPM Warning, and Fire Warning. Pedestal The pedestal is really just a large box set out on the floor with all the instruments set out on the top surface... ... and pedestal detailing is excellent and highly authentic. You really have to love the click, click switchgear in here, it is excellent. From top left you have a AN/APX-72 Transponder, AN/ARN-72 VHF NAV with the AN/ARC-134 VHF COMM Radios both below. Miscellaneous Control panel right with an excellent Caution Lights panel below... There is the noted Engine Control panel, but it is also the main fuel panel right middle. Continuing down the left rear pedestal you have a AN/ARC-51BX UHF Radio, C-1611AIC Signal Distribution panel and bottom the Armament panel. Right rear pedestal is AN/ARC-131 FM Radio and a AN/ARC-83 ADF Radio. Obviously if you want to find your way around these military panels you are going to have to study and use them, they are complicated, but the click setting knobs and dials are very authentic and realism 101. You can use and test the Caution Lights panel in "Bright" or "Dim" modes, again it looks excellent. Both the collective and the cyclic stick are well done, but not very interactive, the important "Force Trim" switch does not work and you can't hide the cyclics either? Overhead Panel The simplicity of use is overwhelming on the Overhead Panel (OHP). Those amazing square lighting knobs are excellent to feel and use in the dark... Panel layout is again quite simple, left top is the rear dome lighting, with Pitot Heating, External Lighting, Wipers, Cabin Heating, and NVG Position lights brightness (I couldn't see these working?). Right OHP are those six Instrument lighting knobs, AC Power panel and DC Power panel. The rest of the OHP is the rows of circuit (non-working) breakers. There is an external Temperature gauge Cº on the top of the windscreen. There is the choice of either or both pilots to use their wipers, but the wipers sadly only work together which is a missed feature, in saying that I still love the selector switch. Lighting Turn up the panel and instrument lighting and you get this lovely green glow from the instruments... again it is more effective on the darker panel. At night the differences in the panel tone can make a difference to your tastes, again the darker is better. In the cabin you have a choice between normal or green lighting. The bulbs don't look very bright, but the effect is very good. Externally the interior lighting looks absolutely excellent... Above you in the cockpit are two movable spot lights, and note the excellent coiled power cable, they are both animated for total shake realism as well.... ... but the spot lighting idea is not fully formed. One you can only have both lit, and not individually, and two they are hard to adjust to the place you want the Illumination to show... there is no light effect in the actual light either but just the dark lamps, and like with the cabin lighting when on the actual lamp brightness needs to be better or even there at all. Navigation lights (position) can be set in STEADY or FLASH, BRIGHT or DIM, there is a nice beacon and a landing light under the nose (a full added on external light would have been nicer) and a white tail navigation light, again the lighting is already very good, but you feel it still needs some refining. Flying the Huey First a few notes is that Nimbus recommend you set your "Flight Models per Frame" (Menu/General) to four (4) and the experimental flight model to "off". Another point you have to have control of the aircraft's "Throttle" on the collective. I have a twin throttle system and so the throttle setting just slipped right in for adjustment, if not you will need control of the throttle slider in the joystick or Key settings? X-Trident used just a manipulator adjustment on the Bell 512 and that work very well and I think the same idea should be added into this version, but if you can use the actual throttle lever, then it gives you more control in flight... a mouse scroll wheel can be used as well. One of the first things that confront you when the Huey is running is that the aircraft shakes like "Bloody Hell", mine was worse because my SimCoder "Headshake" plugin was activated... you can sort of adjust the headshake to match, but for now I would turn it off. It is also debatable if the shake is just too much at idle, yes you only have an unbalanced single twin-blade rotor above you, but it just feels like there is a bit too much movement... One thing that totally grabs you at idle is the "chhhhe", '''chhhhe", "chopp", "chop" that moves into the familiar whop", "whop", "whop" as you increase the RPM. Sounds are taken from a real UH-1 and they sound excellent and are simply highly realistic. You have to add in Wagners' "Ride of the Valkyries" yourself as it will have to added in from another aural source, LOUD of course, very LOUD.... Notice the RPM goes up as you increase the throttle on the collective, if you are game, you can also increase the "governor" switch on the top section of the collective that is now very realistic in operation. Laminar now gives developers more control over governors since the v11.30 update, as before it was most done automatically... now you can adjust it yourself, but like I said only with care and try to not to overload the transmission. Particle effects will now swirl up the dust and power out of the exhaust, and it all works extremely well here, and takeoff on any dusty area and it is very and highly realistic... I am not going to hide the fact that helicopters are hard to fly, because they really are... more so here with the UH-1 as the helio pilot's want them as close to the realistic realm as possible. So that makes them very unforgiving, very touchy in movements and the single twin-blade arrangement makes them also a little more unstable. But practise and master the "Chopper" and the rewards are extremely high... I am pretty good after a lot of right seat flying, but still not a total master of the realm. And so the control position monitor is a great way to check your flying situation, but overwhelmingly chopper flying is totally about feel, and one thing I have learnt is that fine, fine control movements between the cylcic and collective are the secrets to helicopter flying, don't take any notice of the crap you see in the movies or the "wow" dramatic manoeuvres that they show, chopper flying is all about being slow and promoting smooth flying... The one thing you realise is that the UH-1 acts slightly differently is several areas, so you have to be aware of it's performance and boundaries, it is after all a utility machine, and so it is very basic and quite brutal in areas of it's flight envelope, you find them and have to master them to be aware of the limitations, but get it right and the aircraft is actually very nice to fly. One nasty one is if you pass or get near the red line speed 125 knts, the whole machine then shakes quite violently and it can easily throw you into the ground... ... so once the shakes start then lower the speed and keep control as quickly as you can (note.. ignore the "Master Caution" warning as the aircraft is in the replay mode). As we have already noted the Huey has no autopilot, so Nimbus has provided a fake one by using the flying skills of the Co-Pilot called "COPILOT". It is found under the CP tab in the menu. To use just press the "Hand Over Control" selection and the aircraft will just then fly on the current settings... press the top box selection to make the aircraft follow the current heading direction, if you want to turn then press the left or right spiral and you can set the bank angle below in degrees.... .... the panel heading works as well if you prefer that as I do and if you want manual control back, then just press the "Take Control" selection. Overall the feature is excellent, but I found the Huey shook violently under the COPILOT control, and after a while it got annoying, going back into your manual control is as bad as you think it will be, but I have mastered that now with other choppers being even worse in the between the auto and manual joystick positions. The M-60D flexible 7.62 millimeter machine guns are excellent in both the high detail and features... they can also be moved to any firing position and can be set to fire via a key command. The guns shake with vibrations for realism and the gunners door visual position is excellent. The most significant part of flying an helicopter is the transition from forward flight to the hover, it is called the "translational lift", and usually it is around 40 ft to 50 ft above the ground. translational lift can be seriously tricky, but with practise you can get the dynamics pretty smooth. The point here is the Huey is pretty dramatic in two areas in this phase of flight. One is that if you get the transition phase wrong the lift goes away pretty dramatically, in other words you simply stall and fall out of the sky... but again you soon learn where those severe limits are, most pilots use the 30/30 approach of 30 degrees at 30 knots, try it as it works. Secondly is that those twin-blades as one will cause the aircraft too tilt harder to the left than usual (direction of the rotating blades), so you are sort of fighting the aircraft more to keep it level, and you use far more yaw to correct it... ... this is not the very light or small helicopter effect, but the style and type of machine you are flying, so a bit of skill is needed here, yes the Pro's make it look all so easy, but fine movements and staying in front of the machine (anticipating what the aircraft will do next) will put you in good steed. The view down is excellent in gauging the distance and movement to the ground, but again keep total absolute control until you are hard on the ground, if not the Huey will quickly snap back at you. It is all in that fine, fine balance between the collective and stick movements that you find the best control conditions. There is no doubt the real guys (including our own X-Plane Brett Sumper) will absolutely love the flying capabilities of this Huey, and as they should as they have spent months refining the perfect dynamics of the aircraft to a high level of realism 101... the point is you have to match the pro's feel and their skills. I am not saying that is an impossible task, but you have to be aware of the skill required here. I just past the test and can fly this Huey fine, but I do find it very challenging to refine to the higher skills required here. So as a pure simulation of flying a Huey, it is certainly one of the very best and the most challenging to date. Liveries There are ten liveries provided and all are good, with a blank white and base green, but overall you would want far more variety than what is really on offer here, as some like the SAR is pretty basic and an Air America, and for myself a "Death From Above" version would have made me smile... but I suppose it will be the painters that will eventually fill in the blanks. Army Green is the default Summary The Bell UH-1 Iroquois "Huey" is of course one of the most iconic aircraft we know, and certainly with it's association to the 60's Vietnam War. So any simulation of such a significant aircraft has to deliver solidly in many areas. Those important points have certainly been delivered here with exceptional modeling and detailing, it is close but overall it is not yet absolutely totally perfect as we shall see, but it is currently certainly a very solid and highly authentic featured and very aural aircraft. Yes the machine has been recreated with loving care and the "NamViets" will be very if even emotionally thankful. The flying dynamics are also first rate, but they need skill and practise to perfect, so dig deep and the rewards are very high. Points to be made are to be also taken in context of being very marginal fine tuning than issues. The green overhead plastic panels need work? they are too lightly coloured, but also only green on one side and clear transparent on the other, a rethink is certainly required here. Lighting need still more refinement in showing better light sources and separated spot lights in the cockpit, ditto the windscreen wipers, and librain rain effects would be a great addition. And there are a few blue sky gaps in the bodywork and space gaps on the collective. The CoPilot and control position monitor are both good, but more in one less heavily shaking and the other in a more detailed flying tutorial in how to get the best out of this feature. In features there is a lot going for the aircraft here, menus are excellent, but you can't hide them or scale the pop-ups... but I love you have a lot of control over the choices of pilots and crew, weights and the basic aircraft setup. Overall it is what is missing that gets you wanting a little more. A medical version would be very nice and an under the nose light would be lovely as well. More armaments in rockets and cannons would help with the jollies, and a sling load would be fun as well... I personally think all these features will certainly come. A last word on the shaking, in that I found it got better (more realistic shakes) the more I used the aircraft and the effects at the 125 knt limit could mask the heavy shaking issue of the autopilot as well, but I think again a little more refinement on the movements could not help. In stating that the movement effects and the excellent aural sounds are extremely brilliant when working together and when flying the machine. So this Nimbus Simulations UH-1 "Huey" is certainly now the definitive classic machine we have craved for in the X-Plane simulator, yes there is a few refining areas, but overall it is a masterpiece of such an iconic aircraft. And in the film "Apocalypse Now" you see this incredible aircraft in all it's glory... yes the film like this aircraft live up both to their historic legends, for the record seeing the film again (on the big screen) is still an overwhelming event, flying battle forward in those Hueys was still as thrilling as was all those 40 years ago, the flying is supremely majestic, and now you can fly here the same extraordinary machine.... "this the end... my beautiful friend, this is the end, my only friend... the end, of our elaborate plans, the end.... "whop", "whop", "whop" _______________________________ The Bell UH-1 Iroquois "Huey" by Nimbus Simulations is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store Nimbus UH-1 Priced at US$37.95 Features: High quality 3D model PBR textures High quality 4K textures VR ready Black and also white panel and interior Usable side mounted guns Nothing beats the sound of a helicopter sound in real live so we are using High quality professionally recorded sounds to give you a realistic experience, every switch and knob, doors, guns, blade slap, engine and rotor sound is there. Vibrations play a big role on helicopters, the Nimbus UH-1 is full of animations and vibrations. Accurate systems simulation, fuel, electric and hydraulic systems are simulated, all the logic of switches, warnings and annunciators is present. Accurate handling and flight characteristics Accurate performance based on performance charts. Realistic night lightning with custom lights and textures. Particle system. 9 liveries including a military green and a white one for repaints. SASL powered Menu Windows for managing maintenance, weight and balance, doors and accessories, joystick position, copilot and checklists. Maintenance module: if you want a more realistic experience you can choose if you want the helicopter to require maintenance with time and usage, depending on how you fly and engine exceedance the mechanical components will degrade and performance will be affected. Copilot: We created a "copilot" module that will allow you to hand over control and forget about flying so you can move to the back, enjoy the view, the sound or even use the side mounted guns. Weight and balance: A graphic interface gives you the chance to modify the cargo, passengers, fuel and CG, handling of the helicopter will change depending on the CG lateral and longitudinal position. Doors and accessories: Guns, no guns, doors opened or closed, wire cutter or not.....customize it as you want. Checklist: Checklist are easily accessible through the menu on the left, This window will also allow you to see some performance charts. Joystick position indicator: A small window on the right bottom corner will show the position of your controls, it seems simple but is a very good way to refine your flight technique. Requirements X-Plane 11.30+ Windows, Mac or Linux 4GB VRAM Minimim - 8GB VRAM Recommended Download Size: 830MB Current version and Review Version 1.0 (Sep 2nd 2019) Installation and documents: Download for the Bell UH-1 Huey is 1.57 Gb and the unzipped file is deposited in the aircraft "Helicopter" X-Plane folder at 1.67 Gb. Different instrument panel colours can be created in the liveries to suit your preference in either the metal or black. Documentation: One manual that is pretty basic for an aircraft like this, the aircraft requires a tutorial as well... Nimbus UH-1 manual ______________________________________________________________________ Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton  8th September 2019 Copyright©2019 : 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 1Tb gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.35 (v11.30 is required for this aircraft) Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.9 Scenery or Aircraft - KNPA - Naval Air Station Pensacola - X-Plane Global Airport - Free
  8. 1 point
    Behind the Screen : Laminar Research... X-Plane 4Ever! The Coronavirus killed a lot of normal events that post out your X-Plane year. In this case was the Expo Simulation FlightSim event that was set to be in Las Vegas in June 12-14 2020. With the event cancelled you also lost the exposure of the main yearly Laminar Research demonstration but worse was their forward announcements on the future or the roadmap of the X-Plane Simulator. The timing couldn’t be worse as the simulation community is now also getting closer to the FS2020 simulator release from Microsoft, due around the third quarter of 2020. Would the Expo have brought on a FS2020 vs Laminar Research first shot of conflict in on how each of these currently dominant simulators will be ongoing in the future of the best simulator experience, a lot of users have already made their minds up in that camp, but have they? But certainly at the Expo, would have then Laminar Research had to face up to the inevitable questions on how their roadmap going forward was compared to the coming FS2020 onslaught… we will probably now not know because the event was cancelled. But a podcast just recorded recently had X-Plane’s founder Austin Meyers finally put in the hot seat on those very future of the simulator questions and the answers were not as you would have expected, which is typical Austin Meyers. Overall, his comments on which direction and the expected confrontation with FS2020 are actually not very dissimilar to my own feelings which come as a relief and my thoughts were closer than even than I actually expected. But the results are extremely interesting and finally some sense from Laminar since their silly drunkgate debacle back in December late last year. Overall Meyers was quite upbeat about the future of X-Plane and didn’t feel the threat of the coming Microsoft product, that to a point is to be expected. But there was some extremely interesting comments on the where and in what direction X-Plane is now going to go, obviously nothing noted here is to be seen as gospel as Austin Meyers noted that everything is still “on the table” and not locked down yet, which is understandable considering the ultra-long Vulkan/metal beta program that is still in motion. But the main points put forward were still solid… There will be no photorealistic scenery mesh? An interesting one in that the new FS2020 system is built upon that very basis, Austin Meyers doesn’t like photo scenery and personally I can second that after reviewing a thousand or so airport and city sceneries and their horrible burnt in buildings, offset buildings and vehicles. So, the current detailed mesh system will be retained but totally updated from it’s initial X-Plane10 format with better autogen. It is a very big risk to do this direction, but also an interesting one, and a bunch of new Eastern-European scenery artists have been brought on board to achieve this high goal, which is something I have campaigned for simply years in that Laminar needed a much more larger art department as one or two artists even if they are talented artists are simply not going to cover that much detail in a year or even a decade. To be honest the whole mesh system was highly constrained by the processing power, but more so via OpenGL, the API was great thirty years ago, but that is a point as the it was based on a application of THIRTY years ago and the newer Vulkan/Metal API changes that game completely, and so will the systems and the detail of the mesh can be significantly more detailed with far more modern and powerful force of better processing behind it. So once the current Vulkan/Metal conversion is installed then Laminar can then move in the directions it was restrained by before. The prospect of the new direction of staying with the current mesh is certainly an interesting one to deliver than a more photo-realistic rendition of the world, and a hard one to pull off than just using Landsat photographs, but Laminar has surprised us a lot of times in the past in this aspect as well. I have even with our current mesh in place with good foliage coverage, great weather interaction and great lighting effects that this photo-realistic look and feel can already be achieved, some images coming out of X-Plane currently are already breathtakingly good, so it is not overall an impossible goal. The tough angle is the reproduction of the actual man/woman-made context in 3d cities and infrastructure, this is an advantage that Microsoft has via their Bing mapping, but I am still going to say it will be more restricted than mapping the whole actual globe and restricted to certain high-visible zones. How Laminar covers that 3d mapping equation will make or break the idea between the simulators and just creating far more Global Icons is just not going to cut that immersion realism factor. Multi-player online flight is coming soon to X-Plane-mobile (now in beta testing), but also it is a big target feature for the desktop version as well, yes we do sort of have a multi-player experience, but not in a fully connected and detailed one with a high mass appeal online presence in that everyone is totally connected together, seeing each other and interacting with each other. It is an interesting dynamic area to be explored, but personally I don't want a thousand other X-Plane users flashing around my nice approach path, but I also know that a lot of users love the interaction of others in their world and yes I would be likely to even give it a try... for a while. Austin Meyers also noted large changes to the weather, as he wants a more dynamic moving weather and a more realistic representation in what Meyer notes as “location and time”, in changing or challenging dynamics between your departure point and your arrival destination, my point would be the same aim as exciting dynamic weather changes are also important to that factor in feel and for the visual look of the simulator... we always want and need better weather. Although not actually set in stone yet is the subscription factor for the X-Plane simulator, personally this is going to be a change we will have to “subscribe” to.. as in the pun. X-Plane will go to subscription for several reasons, one the cost of $US80 to buy X-Plane and yes there are more free demo users out there than more than they will actually admit, as the cost factor against say a US$5 a monthly subscription to FS2020. But mostly it is the bigger factor for Laminar in the fact that the ongoing income is restricted to the same one off payment (although a large one initially) which is then spread out over four or five years of ongoing development, as a monthly subscription then changes that aspect in that it delivers income consistantly for Laminar and with that it was noted we may see the disappearance of the current X-Plane versions to say a subscription version of “X-Plane-Global” or as Meyers noted “X-Plane-Forever” in a subscription model. The reveals here do not cover all aspects of the future of X-Plane as a simulator as for like for still where still is our ATC system? But it does sort of give you a sort of a few glimpses of the direction X-Plane will take in the shadow of the coming release of FS2020. As Austin Meyers noted is that X-Plane as a simulator goes to the core of what the real dedicated users actually want in a simulator, in true flying dynamics and the availability to test your own theories of any aircraft you personally want to create, even established aircraft manufacturers also use the simulator to test out aerodynamic theories and that is still basically the core of what X-Plane is and still does well. Meyers does not even with it’s newer dynamics in seeing FS2020 in becoming an experimental application like X-Plane is, as ultimately FS2020 is and always will be a game based simulator more than a pure one. Yes FS2020 will move a lot of users to it’s platform, but how many will come back to X-Plane and the more deeper and fundamental basis for realism in flight, more so is the factor of doing actual personal changes to the simulator as a whole, the tinkerer will soon bore of the constricted game world of FS2020, and that is what Austin Meyer bases his beliefs on and to a point his business... but it is also what I feel also deep down. However X-Plane as a simulator still has to develop and match any competition in features and more importantly in the realism experience… in that area it still up to Laminar Research to deliver and expand their product to and match the expectations of users demands.... but now soon it will be on a monthly basis more than a multi-yearly basis. Stephen Dutton 24th June 2020 Copyright©2020 X-Plane Reviews
  9. 1 point
    Let us get this absolutely straight!... all my reviews are not so called "Official", they are unbiased but are aimed at two major directives, One that I present my position in the position of the purchaser not the store or the developer... Two comments are directed at the developer in fixing and refining products to meet the price and quality expectation of the purchase. I certainly don't think I was bias on the SAAB 340, in fact there are many areas I criticised the aircraft in what was not up to standard... menus, throttle speeds etc, but in the main aspect this was an excellent product that I fly regularly and I do revisit my initial thoughts on what I liked and didn't like... I personally think your assessment is wrong, and being a Carenado customer you should know what to expect, I have been personally disappointed by current Carenado products as they are feeling more and more older, but also having more issues that is not living up to the Carenado standard, that said the F27 and SAAB 340 is not part of those aircraft, as value they are some of the best Carenado have produced... Stephen Dutton, X-PlaneReviews
  10. 1 point
    Aircraft Review : Britten Norman Islander BN-2 by Nimbus Studios As a young boy around 10 years old with a fascination with aviation in the mid-sixties, there quite often in Flight International and the newcomer Aircraft Illustrated the glowing reports of a British built (ready to take on the world!) nine passenger utility aircraft called the Britten Norman Islander or BN-2, it was a twin-prop STOL (Short Takeoff and Landing) aircraft that had built in simplicity to take the rugged day to day operations of remote fields or servicing coastal islands. My particular interest is that the early aircraft were constructed by Fairey Marine, obscure to most, but the most beautiful and fastest cruisers ever built were the Fairleys on the Isle of Wright in Southern England... and so the BN-2 became etched into my childhood of the most desirable of boats and aircraft. It was actually a shock that I found out that coming into X-Plane that my beloved BN-2 was not readily available and except for a few cardboard freeware versions, and the aircraft has not had a lot of presence in the simulator, as even ten years later was there not any BN-2 available to fly, then suddenly in typical X-Plane fashion you get two of them together, one is by TorqueSim and the second one is by Nimbus Studios. Nimbus was originally a scenery developer, but lately has also produced the odd aircraft and even an exceptional helicopter in the UH-1 "Huey". So I was very much in wanting to experiencing the BN-2 of my childhood for the first time. The Britten Norman was never developed to be an attractive aircraft, it is a practical machine to serve a particular role, but I always like the low-slung cabin hung on to a very simple high-wing cantilever monoplane wing, with the two Lycoming O-540-E4C5 6-cylinder air-cooled horizontally-opposed piston engines of 260 hp (190 kW) each slung below. Overall the BN-2 is a boxy shape of practicality. Overall the Nimbus design is very good, even excellent... but there are a couple of quirks. The mapping is excellent in showing the aircraft's construction, with all the panels and rivets being perfect. Fuselage shape and modeling is very good... .... but the wing construction detail is really, really good, and you have those lovely tapered wingtips, note the well done navigation light and flap test handle. Lycoming engine housings are also very nicely done with visible air-cooled cylinders and nice inlets out front and exhaust heat panels behind. Note the yellow spinner, unusual but nice on this livery. Nice Hartzell twin-blade propellers are however not adjustable for pitch or feather and sit rather flat. Main twin gear assemblies have that aerodynamic shroud and all are excellent in detail and realism, the Goodyear rubber is excellent. Single front strut nosewheel is also well done with nice linkages and chrome/cast strut, but the internal area is not boxed in? so you can see through to the sky externally, internally in flight and this is a highly noticeable oversee... ditto the lower engine air-intakes that have a bad internal join? Glass is very nice as are all the windows and surroundings (again note the excellent rivet work). If you look there are a few nice dents and crease marks of wear and tear in the fuselage and on the wing leading edge to give that aircraft frame a nice touch of authenticity. Elevator and tail are very simple aerodynamic profiles, but they are well done here... ... wingtip landing lights are debatable in that Nimbus has tried to recreate a perspex aging, it does work, but doesn't either if you know what I mean. Internal The Islander has an unusual seating layout. It consists of four bench seats for eight passengers or nine is you count the right front seat. Access to the two front bench (and pilot) seats are via a door on the right fuselage and another door rear and the middle two rows are via a door right fuselage. Note the headlining that bends over/under? the main wingbox. Each seat has a nice set of headphones (hint the close and loud engines) and the seating is very well done, if a little cramped. Seat detail has very nice detail with creases, stitching and realistic seatback pockets... ... pilot's and front passenger seats are the same style but individual. Not very happy though with the huge gaping holes under the instrument panel? again there are missing cover elements, but seeing through to the sky in a huge gap internally is a no, no. Cockpit The instrument panel is quite basic in design and layout. Instrument panel background is blue, I found most BN-2 panels were black... but the blue shade here adds in a little colour. Rudder pedals on the floor are nicely reproduced, but were not originally animated to the yaw, but fixed in the v1.05 update. Roof front panel has magneto switches, starter, fuel pumps/fuel shutoff knobs and fuel gauges (35 Gal each tank). Ammeter and a very large rudder trim knob. Yokes are Britten Norman branded (the left yoke usually has a clock in the centre?), but they can both be hidden (but only both together). All electrical switch gear is lower panel, and circuit breakers are right lower panel (static, non-operable). Pilot's headset is usable in that if you click the headset it will disappear and lower the sound volume. Standard Six main instruments are mostly in position with the Artificial Horizon top centre with the Airspeed (Knots) left and Altimeter right. The Turn Indicator is set out far left with the ADF/VOR magnetic pointer next. Centre is Horizontal Situation Indicator and right is the Vertical Speed Indicator, below centre is the OMNI Bearing Selector (OBS). There is a backup Artificial Horizon far left lower and Gyro Suction (Vacuum) indicator bottom. Pilot left centre is top a set of eight warning annunciator panel lights (testable) and with Bright or Dim settings. Below is a clock. There is also a very basic Century 2000 2-Axis Autopilot panel. There are twin group sets of gauges to cover both engines left/right... with from top to bottom RPM, Manifold Pressure, Fuel Pressure (PSI), Oil Temp/Pressure, CHT (Cylinder Head Temperature) and EGT (Exhaust Gas Temperature) and bottom Carburettor Temperatures. Avionics are quite simple with top a KMA 24 radio panel, then a large (XP default) GNS 530 which of course pops out. Bendex/King KR 67 ADF tuner, then bottom a Bendix/King KR 71 transponder. Far right are two Bendix/King KX 165 tuners that cover (top) COMM 1/NAV 1 (lower) COMM 2/NAV 2. Centre pedestal is nicely done, with Twin-throttles, Twin-RPM levers and Twin Mixture levers... the RPM levers are actually the PROP levers for feathering? Not to be confused with the PROPHEAT levers front console. TAILTRIM (pitch) wheel is on the right which makes it hard to use. Flap lever is a flip motion switch with three positions in UP - T.O. - DOWN. and like the Parking Brake lever left both don't work via XP commands? and only by manual action only (really annoying). Internal Lighting Instrument lighting is excellent as is all of the internal lighting. There is a main instrument lighting knob lower panel and all the instruments are bright and clear, but the avionics are on a separate bus, so they have their own switch (arrowed). There is lit footwell lighting that is on all the time, but it looks very nice. There are two swivel lights set into the roof, they are animated but of limited movement... The swivel lights do a great job of lighting up the roof instruments and the even the main instrument panel but are not very good for say map reading... this is not too big an issue as the over the door lighting is excellent and does that map reading job better. All cabin lighting is exceptional with eight switchable side lighting panels... ... only blight on the copybook is that the "Passenger Notices" doesn't work? it could be the "EXIT" sign? Overall the BN-2 has one of the most inviting cabins for a fair while. Menus There is a set of menu tabs left lower screen, they are quite small, but cannot be made transparent. The five tabs cover; Maintenance, Controls Position, Performance/Speeds, Weight and Balance and finally Doors and Accessories. Maintenance The maintenance menu covers all items that can wear or be consumed on the BN-2, this includes; Alternator, Filters, Oil, Engine condition, Tire Condition and Brake Pads... all out of 100% perfect. You can choose if required to turn off the "Always like new" tickbox (arrowed) off if you want these active conditions working or not or that the items condition then deteriorate, to fix then just press the item box to go back to 100%. The point of the menu is the way the item when degraded interferes with your aircraft's condition more that just showing a wear or use item. It gives the aircraft over time a more tired or worn realism. Controls Position This is a visual control guide that is shown lower right screen, it covers the Yoke and Throttle positions. Performance/Speeds Two menu items that cover the Performance and Speed charts for your information. Charts can be resized for use. Weight and Balance There is an excellent "Weight and Balance" menu. Options include Fuel, Cargo and Passenger weights and all changes are shown on a CoG (Centre of Gravity) graph and also a CG location slider. Total Weight (Gross Weight) and Total Fuel loads are also noted, with also the choice of Lbs or Kgs. Notable are the weights of the passengers and you can click on each passenger to make their weight count but they then also to appear in the aircraft, you can also show the pilot and passengers visible from the internal or external views. Pilot and Passenger modeling is not too bad, but they are all unanimated. Doors and Accessories Final menu option is the "Doors and Accessories" menu. You can open all the staggered doors and small rear cargo hatch. Static elements are good, because you can set them as you want to... Chocks, Engine Inlet covers, Pitot Cover and rear Tail Lock. There is an external power source via a switch on the main instrument panel, but no external power cart (source), which I think is a an omission. Overall the menus and static elements are top rate and very well done but mostly very versatile in how you use them. Flying the BN-2 Islander I flew the BN-2 Islander from EGPB - Sumburgh Airport (Shetland Islands) to EKVG - Vágar Airport (Faroe Islands) to give the aircraft a feel through, now it is time to fly back... Two things became very apparent on the flight out... First was a lot of the switchgear and levers don't work with the X-Plane Keyboard and Joystick commands... Not a big problem in most cases, but here there are placed in very hard positions for simulator actions. Take all the lighting switchgear lower panel, impossible to use so low down while flying manually, ditto the parking brake, flap handle and other important switches and controls. Second aspect was far more worrying... the flaps set at UP are still 2º in the down position? This was felt in various ways all through the outbound flight. First in the case of drag which related to the higher cruise speed of the aircraft through the air, because the wing is simply not clean... second was that the Islander has a pronounced nose down attitude when flying at it's cruise speed, again caused via the flap drag/position... the whole affair is a real scratch your head moment in that how could a developer even get such a situation that wrong... I hoped the situation would have been cleared up in the update (v1.05) but it was not (the nose now sits pitch higher?), the switchgear I can live with, but the flap setting I can't, so that will affect the review in any performance case? Lower engine sounds are excellent, start up and lower idle thrumming is highly enjoyable, but the visual aspect of the rotating props look a bit old fashioned and even cheap... mainly because the props are actually flat and not cutting into the air. Landing lighting is a bit weak as well, you would not want to rely on the illumination on landing in poor or dark weather. With the Twin Lycoming O-540-E4C5 engines idling away, you notice a lovely shake, mostly via the windscreen and the vibrating shades... I actually thought it was the effects of the XPRealistic Pro plugin which was reviewed just before this BN-2 review, but it wasn't and actually you need to turn the XPR effects off as they over shake the effects. More so is the shaking effect on the rear fuselage and tailplane, as more throttle thrust applied will create more tailplane and rudder movement... it is huge effect, brilliant and very clever, I love it. A last quick check and it is time to leave the awesome scenery of Vágar and the surrounding Faroe Islands... Taxiing can be done at a fast pace, because you have the space here to do so, but those lower note throbbing sounds of the engines are excellent. Power up and Whoa!... there is a huge difference in performance between my fully loaded aircraft coming out, to this three passenger lighter aircraft going back as the BN-2 just powers off the line, were as it was very sluggish back at Sumburgh Airport, so you have to prepare yourself for that. The BN-2 is not a high performing sports aircraft and it shows that... 860 ft/min (4.37 m/s) at sea level is the maximum climb to a service ceiling of 11,300 ft (3,400 m) is not going to win any Red Bull air-race awards. I am tracking out of Vágar's Rwy 30 north just to see the sights! The visual northern Vágar (Island) coastline show is staggering... is this only a simulation? The Century 2000 2-Axis Autopilot is as noted earlier is quite basic, it will hold your heading and altitude, but that is about it. To climb or descend it just adjusts your trim UP or DN (Down), simple yes very. You can't climb more than 600 fpm max, if not you lose speed, this is at a light weight, but heavy you will climb at under or lower than 500 fpm and crawl your way up slowly to even a low 4,000ft altitude. So a weight loading is critical on how you want to use the BN-2. At speed you get a sort of eeeehhhh sound from the engines more than a brrrrh sound, it is okay but considering the engine distance factor (close) you actually expected a different sound at cruise, you feel the drag, and the speed is constrained to under 120 knts. Cruise speed is around 139 kn (160 mph; 257 km/h) at 7,000 ft (2,134 m) (75% power), I am 6,000ft at 90% power and running at that 120 knts? Max speed is 148 kn (170 mph, 274 km/h)... Range is 755 nmi (869 mi, 1,398 km) at 130 kn (150 mph; 241 km/h) at 12,000 ft (3,658 m), but a ferry range is a doable 1,216 nmi (1,399 mi, 2,252 km) at 130 kn (150 mph; 241 km/h). Cruising along I really like it up here, the shaking is very authentic and realistic, with the vibrations of the aircraft's frame and the shaking movement of the shades... .... is the tail vibration movement just a gimmick, no it is not, I really love it. Of course the BN-2 is famous for flying the Islander services Loganair's Westray to Papa Westray flight, which is the shortest scheduled flight in the world at 1.7 mi (2.7 km); the scheduled flight time including taxiing is just two minutes. Both the Westray Airports are promised as part of this BN-2 package, when released I will add in those scenery additions when they become available. Out of the murk comes the Shetland Isles, the approach into EGPB's Rwy 09 is quite difficult as to the runway's position, also high winds flow around the headland and pushes you around, today however I can live with a 5 knt crosswind. The trick to getting into Rwy 09 is to get well prepared before you start the approach, get the speed and height down ready instead of "too late, last minute" but in the BN-2 I found in that quite hard to do, the first flap position is under the white band, but even set at 80 knts at first flap I was actually losing height? I dare not go over the flap limit, but I was grabbing at the sky, pitch high trying to keep the altitude, but also in not stalling the Islander? it was all very uncomfortable. More flap to FULL-DOWN, but still I needed a lot of power to keep me airborne and STILL sitting on just under 80 knts to keep the aircraft in the air? My gut says I should be around 60 knts - 65 knts, but I am not? This is a STOL aircraft right? and all I feel is a sinking feeling at a high power setting. I get the speed down to 60 knts via a nose up pitch, but at this phase of the landing I should be down into the 50 knts zone.. official notes are 50 knts (58 mph; 93 km/h) flaps up and 40 knts (46 mph; 74 km/h)... flaps down says that at full flap setting at 60 knts feels and is too fast, and I am still losing height? With contact with the runway the BN-2 screws or twists.... the park brake is on? my fault? not sure, but the park brake placement and no Joystick connection it was impossible to see or react to the wrong setting while focusing on a fast sinking aircraft. In any aircraft you need confidence that the changes you make and feel are reflected in the aircraft, if that does not happen then you can't fly the machine well. I flew the BN-2 very well, that is why I am actually sitting on Sumburgh's 09 runway, but my skill factor overrode the capabilities of the Islander... in other words I had to overfly and not fly the aircraft realistically... that is not to say the BN-2 is really bad as it isn't and very far from that context, but it still needs some more development to get the performance closer to the aircraft. But that flap setting of 2º out certainly does not help in overall context either. A final performance note is that I landed in Vágar Airport in version v1.0 and the aircraft felt pretty good under flap, this second landing in Sumburgh is under v1.05 and there is note in the update the "Maximum flaps speed too low"? So what went wrong? Liveries There are eight liveries with the BN-2 and all are excellent... They range from Winair (default), Air America, Belgium Coast Guard, British Airways Express, Highland Park, OLT, A brilliant RAW version in bare metal and the Scottish Ambulance Service in the vivid yellow scheme flown here in the review. Summary The Britten Norman Islander BN-2 is a UK produced aircraft from the mid-60's and still in production today. A brilliant nine seater + pilot aircraft it is renowned for it's superb STOL (Short Takeoff and Landing) characteristics. It is a basic utility aircraft and a welcome new addition to the X-Plane simulator. Nimbus Studios started out in designing scenery but has recently moved into aircraft, and this BN-2 is their third aircraft after a Aero Commander 500S and the sensational Bell UH-1 Iroquois "Huey" last year. X-Plane users have waited a long time for a decent BN-2 and yes this Islander from Nimbus is well worth the wait. Modeling is excellent and so is the high-resolution detailing, internally it is all very good as well with some of the best cabin lighting for a while. Sounds are very good as well, but a bit plain at cruise. Excellent effects gives very realistic vibrations and the tailplane and rudder assembly shakes very realistically as well, All menus provided are excellent with very good Weight and Balance settings, Doors and Static elements, highly detailed wear and tear maintenance menu and in all areas the detail are all very, very good. But the BN-2 still overall feels a little under developed. Since starting the review with release version v1.0, there has already been a significant update with v1.05 and this update cleared up a lot of areas that needed attention in the release version like the non-animated rudder pedals... but there are still issues? Bad (sky) gaps in the front wheel well and under the instrument panel are highly noticeable? Propellers are bland in motion with flat spinners and don't have pitch or feather animations. Most switchgear and levers are not X-Plane command mapped so your joystick or keyboard inputs don't work? Landng lights are just pathetic and the flap is set at 2º at full UP position resulting in odd performance with speed and aircraft performance, landing speeds under flap just don't feel right either. So a childhood dream to fly the iconic British aircraft of the sixties, overall the results are I love the aircraft as it is very good in most areas and even excellent in many areas, but still needs more refining to be a totally fully quality aircraft, but with the past record of Nimbus that will come quickly. However it does come back to the situation of releasing too early than ready. Maybe the TorqueSim release caused an off balance in waiting. Overall the Nimbus BN-2 is very good, in a few updates it will be perfect.... recommended. _______________________________ Yes! the Britten Norman Islander BN-2 by Nimbus Studios is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : BN-2 Islander Price is US$34.95 Features: Highly detailed 3D model 4K textures Full PBR Textures for quality refection 3D Custom Sound System Animated switches Rattling and vibrations Accurate handling and flight characteristics Accurate performance based on performance charts Realistic night lightning with custom lights and textures VR ready (includes yoke manipulator) Ice buildup visual effect 8 liveries and more to come Nice Comprehensive Menus Windows for managing maintenance, weight and balance, doors and accessories, controls position and performance charts. Maintenance module: - If you want a more realistic experience you can choose if you want the aircraft to require maintenance with time and usage, depending on how you fly and engine exceedance the mechanical components will degrade and performance will be affected. Weight and balance: - A graphic interface gives you the chance to modify the cargo, passengers, fuel and CG Doors and accessories: - Open and close doors, add or remove wheel chocks, engine and pitot covers or controls lock. Performance: - This window will also allow you to see some performance charts. Controls position indicator: - A small window on the right bottom corner will show the position of your controls. Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4GB VRAM Minimim - 8GB VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1 GB Current and Review Version : 1.05 (June 16th 2020) Installation and documents: Download is 1gb and the aircraft is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 1.10gb Installation key is required on start up and is supplied with the purchased download file. Documents supplied are: Manual.pdf _____________________________________  Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton  18th June 2020 Copyright©2020 : 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 - 32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1TB SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.41 and X-Plane 11.50b10 (fine in the beta, but the Librain effects don't work?) Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: None Scenery or Aircraft - Faroe Islands XP by Maps2XPlane (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$45.99
  11. 1 point
    Yes you can believe that, but it shows that updates and changes are the lifeblood of any aircraft, for everything the A320neo is still quite flyable so a lot of credit to JARDesign, hopefully the other two can be given a new life and a future.
  12. 1 point
    Aircraft Review : Embraer ERJ Family by X-Crafts There is almost a year in that our friend Stephen posted a quick overview of the ERJ Family. Today I will make a complete review of this fabulous aircraft developed by X-Crafts, which had an update a few days ago. The Embraer Regional Jets were the first jet engine commercial aircraft produced by Embraer. Continental Express took delivery of the first EMB 145 (later renamed ERJ 145) on December, 27 1996. With more than 2200 units delivered, the ERJ family is considered to be one of the most successful regional aviation aircraft ever. Today, its main operators are Envoy Air and ExpressJet Airlines, with respectively 108 and 96 aircraft. An interesting fact is that even being a Brazilian aircraft, no commercial ERJ is operated by a Brazilian airline. Powered by two AE3007 turbofan engines, producing from 7,201 to 8,985 lbs thrust each, the 135 variant can carry 37 passengers, up to 50 in the 145. The 145XR variant has the biggest range of all five aircraft (2,000), it also has an MTOW of 24,100kg and can fly at M 0.80, faster than M 0.78 from the other three commercial aircraft. The business version named Legacy 650 can fly up to impressive 3,900nm, at M 0.80 and a maximum operational altitude of 41,000ft. I will base my review in the ERJ 145, which is the most popular variant. 3D Modeling and Textures Probably, one of the main qualities of the X-Crafts ERJ. Unparalleled visuals, that's what X-Crafts says about their products, and I can't deny that, the textures and 3D modeling are exceptional. Exterior The ERJ 145 from x-crafts has one of the best exterior modeling of all aircraft available for X-Plane 11. The fuselage, wings and engines are full of details, the 4K textures are incredible, especially in the fuselage, and impressive reflections. The landing gear is very detailed, as well as the antennas and lights around the aircraft. Pitot tubes, door handles and windshield wipers have a really good 3D modeling, giving the aircraft even more details. Interior With such a good exterior, the interior 3D modeling and textures couldn't be bad, and that is true, the interior is very impressive. The overhead is simple but very well done, one of the best 3D modeled overhead panels in all X-Plane. In the cockpit almost every button and knob works, both windows can be opened, the screens have awesome reflections and the textures are incredible. X-Crafts has done such a good job with the textures that they may be the best in all X-Plane, being a great difference when compared to most aircraft. Even with those high-quality 3D modeling and textures, this add-on won't take many FPS from your system. There is a 3D cabin in the unusual 2-1 configuration. The fact that you can turn the ceiling lights on and off in the control panel located next to the main door is very cool. Flying the ERJ Even though it is a smaller plane, the way it flies isn't very different from a 737 or E195. In this short flight from Chicago ORD to Louisville SDF I will tell you my experience while flying the aircraft. The startup process is very simple and x-crafts implemented a complete and detailed checklist to help you. The first thing you should do is turn both batteries to auto position, connect the GPU and press both avionics master buttons. This will start the electricals and automatically align the IRS. After this you can switch the emergency lights to armed. After turning on the electricals, the next step is programming the FMS. X-Crafts uses the Tekton FMS created by Steve Wilson, which at first glance appears to be very confusable and tricky. Even though the FMS needs some improvements, it manages to create a useful route and performance calculations. Take note that I will show you the way I program it and there are many other ways to do it. The first thing you should do is insert your callsign, which today is Envoy Air 4076, your initial and final altitude, 31,000ft in this short flight, and press initialize FMS. After that you can head to PERF 1 page by pressing MCDU INDEX and PERF. There you will set the number of passengers, payload weight and fuel. Now you need to insert your departure and arrival. Go back to MCDU INDEX and press DEPARTURE. On that page you will select your departing runway, SID and transition. Then press ARRIVAL and insert your runway, STAR, approach and its transition. The next thing you need to do is head up to the route page. There you will need to add any waypoint required in your route, it is very easy, just insert the required waypoint and its altitude. After all that your route should be ready. Note that if you will use airways the process is a little different. Now that your route ready, go to your PERF 2 page. You will need to set your cruise speed, make sure that both altitudes are right, and last but not least, insert the average wind. After that, press the EXEC button, this way you will validate all the information you've inserted and activate the route. To check your progress simply click in the progress and flight plan button. At this point the FMS is ready, so the next step is to turn on the fuel pumps, start the APU, turn on the A/C packs and APU bleed, and lastly the windshield ice protection. Now that the APU is running, the GPU can be disconnected. It is very important to set your altitude and heading in the autopilot panel, hit the NAV and FMS buttons, and set the altimeters. Everything is ready, so you can call the pushback truck and start your engines. Packs off, beacon on, hydraulics auto and engine selectors start position. Wait until the engines finished the startup process to turn on the bleeds and packs. Don't forget to turn off the APU and its bleed. Set your flaps and thrust rating to T/O position, and you are now ready to taxi. Chicago O'Hare is a very big airport, so taxing to runway 10L should take a while, this means more time to admire this aircraft. After entering the runway, set your power to about 50%, wait a few seconds and then increase your throttle to T/O power. Note that this plane doesn't have any kind of autothrottle, just a power limitation, so you will need to check the power during all flight. V1, VR, V2 and here we go. Due to the fact it's a smaller and lighter plane it should take off at slower speeds and climb faster than other aircraft. Right after taking off you should bring the gear up, select climb thrust rating and turn YD on. If you want, the AP can also be turned on. As we start to gain speed, the impressive O'Hare starts to get smaller. Right now we just need to check the power and wait until the aircraft reaches cruise altitude. Again, we can use this time to admire this beautiful aircraft. We've reached cruise flight level, now we just need to set our thrust rating to cruise and wait for the TOD, in few minutes we will start our descent to Louisville. The weather in Louisville isn't very good, drizzling, a little strong winds and very low clouds. This won't be the easiest landing, but the ERJ will handle this. A few feet from the ground we reduce the power to idle and just wait for the wheels to touch it. The shell-type reversers aren't very common these days, giving the aircraft a nice distinction from others. And now I want to welcome you to Louisville International Airport, most known as UPS hub. Other Features X-Crafts made a very complete add-on, this means it includes things like checklists and interactive menus. Checklist The aircraft comes with an exntensive and complete checklist. All procedures are listed there, from the first to last step. FAQ This is a very useful tool, especially for people that are still learning how the plane works. Even though this is very very, X-Crafts is one of the few designers that included this feature with the add-on. Ground Ops This is a very nice feature implemented by X-Crafts. It comes with beautiful engine covers, pitot tubes and antenna protectors, cones, GPU and chocks. Pop-outs Personally, I don't use pop-outs during flights, but if you want to, X-Crafts implemented an FMS pop-out, which can be accessed by clicking in the modeled one in the cockpit, or the fast menu in the bottom left corner of the screen. The cockpit screens can also be popped-out, revealing a unique 3D pop-out. Lights The interior night lighting is very beautiful. The characteristic Embraer All-White lights give the plane a modern feeling. One nice thing is that you can dim or brighten the cabin lights in the control panel next to the main door, just like the real aircraft. Sounds One of the things you most notice while flying an aircraft is the sounds, and the ERJ sounds are one of the best in X-Plane. The first thing you normally do before entering a plane is opening the door, and this simple animation very good sounds, recreating the hydraulics very well. After reaching the cockpit and turning the batteries on, you will hear the avionics, electricals and alarms working. The APU startup sounds are very nice and accurate, giving you a lot of immersion. After the APU reaching 100% you can turn on its bleed and turn of the packs, this way you will hear the nice A/C sounds. If you connect the GPU, you will hear it starting up and running, which is very nice when you have your window opened. Another nice thing is that types of knobs, switches or buttons have a different sound. A good example is the landing lights switches, which have a different sound from the navigation lights switches. Probably the most important sound of an aircraft is the engine sounds. They are very accurate and recreate the real sounds very well, especially in the cabin, where they get louder and clearer. We can easily say that the are extremely good, especially when compared to other planes. Take in mind that a single plane costs only US$50, so the sounds are exceptional for this price. Variants The aircraft comes with 5 variants. The one I've been showing you is the 145, the most popular one. It has a longer range version, the XR, and a shorter version named 140. There is an even shorter variant named 135, which can carry 37, instead of 44 from the 140 or 50 from the 145. There is a fifth variant named Legacy 650, which derives from the ERJ135. The Legacy 650 is Embraer biggest business jet, excluding the Lineage 1000(derived from the E190). This is one of the most beautiful business jets in the world, which can carry up to 14 passengers and fly 3,900nm. X-Crafts modeled a completely different interior for this aircraft, giving you the maximum immersion you could get from one of the best business jets for X-Plane. Liveries The included liveries are the same from the release. Blank, Alitalia, American Eagle, American Eagle Stripes, ExpressJet and United Express. Update The ERJ family by X-Crafts had a major update (v1.3.0) at the end of April, and a small update (v1.3.10) containing some fixes a few days ago. I will list in sections the most important things from the major update. Note that the changelog will be attached at the end of the review. PFD • Airspeed and altitude indicators further debugged and enhanced to more closely represent the real aircraft. Digital displays have been corrected and the overspeed zone modified to adapt to be correctly sensitive to altitude and Mach number. • Glideslope indicator presence now reactive to source selection as well as NAV radio frequency selection. MFD / EICAS / Stanby Instruments • Further updated, revised and debugged displays to be closer to actual aircraft. • All indications on the MFD should now switch between KG/LBS units where needed. Units now correctly persist from session to session. Other General Enhancements and Bug Fixes • The No Smoking and Fasten Seatbelts manipulators reversed. • Added code to match the throttle position to the reverse thrust condition when using joystick buttons or keys to toggle max reverse thrust. • Increased the size of the manipulators that are in the centers of the autopilot control knobs – HDG synch, MACH/KIAS toggle (SPD), ALT sync for easier control in VR. APU • Enhanced the APU indicator on EICAS to match video of actual aircraft display elements. • Completely reconfigured the APU startup/shut-down manipulators, and added custom systems code to reflect the way in which the APU controls are supposed to be used in the real aircraft. • APU fuel use now reflected in the MFD fuel totalizer, drawing from the right tank. Graphics X-Crafts converted all texture to .dds files, preparing the aircraft to X-Plane 11.50. ERJ Settings • Added FMOD cockpit engine volume control. • Added a temporary checkbox to disable the overspeed warning. • Added a check box to hide the Easter Eggs that appear in the cockpit. FMS The FMS had many fixes and improvements, making it a more complete and better system. The version 1.3.10 brought improvements to prevent crashes in many situations, as well as solving the inability to load the Linux version of the aircraft. Summary The ERJ family by X-Crafts is an incredible add-on for X-Plane. Very nice textures, 3D modeling, sounds... For sure one of the best aircraft available in the X-Plane.Org Store. The Tekton FMS may be the only downside, even though it manages to make the aircraft work perfectly, it could be more realistic which would recreate a fabulous simulation of the Embraer Regional Jets. The updates brought some improvements, as well as many fixes. The textures conversion to .dds is very important, preparing the aircraft to X-Plane 11.50. The FMOD cockpit engine volume control is a nice addition to the plugin. X-Crafts did such a great job with the ERJ family, and even though it needs a few improvements, you will be very satisfied with the aircraft. ______________________________________________________________________ The Embraer ERJ Family v1.3.10 by X-Crafts is avalable at the X-Plane.Org Store Embraer ERJ Family by X-Crafts - Includes all five variants Price is US$89.85 Embraer E135 by X-Crafts - Includes the ERJ135 Price is US$49.95 Embraer E140 by X-Crafts - Includes the ERJ140 Price is US$49.95 Embraer E145 & E145XR by X-Crafts - Includes both ERJ145 and ERJ145XR Price is US$49.95 Embraer Legacy 650 by X-Crafts - Includes the Legacy 650 Price is US$49.95 Features: UPDATER - You can easily check for new updates right inside of X-Plane and you will automatically get the latest version. It literally takes 3 clicks of a button! On-screen CHECKLIST plugin On-screen HELP SHEET with FAQ and useful info which will get you going real quick and will solve 90% of issues that users usually ask on the forums. On-Screen Control menu for door control, ground objects, GPU and engine covers. Pre-configured systems like on the real plane Realistic Avionics Startup Realistic flight dynamics based on real pilot input and feedback FMS There are two FMS units installed on the pedestal: Custom TEKTON FMS© by Steve Wilson (More details below) and the X-Plane FMS by Philipp J. Münzel Please note that these are not replicas of the FMS units usually installed on the jets. 3D MODELING AND TEXTURING I'm a VFX artist in real life, so I'm used to creating photo-real assets. Although I am limited by the XP rendering capabilities and your hardware, I tried to make it look and perform as good as I could EXTERIOR 4K High resolution textures (more important is the resolution of the actual fuselage which is 75000pixels per on meter squared) Highly detailed landing gears, Flaps, lights, gauges, antennas... everything Realistic wingflex animation Pilots in external view All doors are animated and controllable from the plugin menu. Main and service doors can also be opened by clicking on the levers. INTERIOR: You'll find that there is an amazing level of detail, for example dust particles on the screens visible when light shines on them, finger prints on buttons, and if you zoom in really close to the screens you will even see individual pixels on the actual screens. I tried to make sure that the cockpit looks realistically worn out and used as it would based on how much these jets are used! High resolution PFD, MFD, EICAS displays All text around the cockpit is crisp and clear with any rendering options Intuitive cockpit manipulation - I have always taken great care to make the cockpit as easy to use as possible. This means all clickable areas in the cockpit are very big so that you can easily click on any button, knob or lever in the cockpit Each switch, lever, knob, and handle is animated All cockpit lights are controllable exactly as on the real jets, even the screens shine light on their surroundings Includes baggage bay door light POP UP INSTRUMENTS 3D (not movable, ideal for VR) pop-up panels of the FMS, Radio panel and Thrust Rating Panel. The FMS also has a 2D pop up window mode that stays on the screen and you can move it around, so you can simply choose which one you want to be using based on your preference. Pop Up screens of the PFD MFD and EICAS OTHER FEATURES Realistic Exterior Lighting: NAV, Strobe, Beacon, Left/Nose/Right landing lights, Nose taxi lights, Inspection lights, Logo lights, Courtesy lights, Baggage door light. They all cast light on the surroundings. Audible Alert System Awesome 3D sounds, many of which have been recorded on the real jets! FULLY VR COMPATIBLE These jets have been made, fine-tuned and tested for a flawless VR experience! LIVERIES There are 5 liveries included compatible with the ERJs (White, American Airlines, American Airlines Old, United Express, ExpressJet,and 3 for the Legacy. There are dozens of other liveries available on the forums. TEKTON FMS© Features Custom MCDU Interface Initialization page on system startup Easy to navigate paging system SID, ROUTE and STAR waypoint lists are treated as separate editable items Color keyed data presentation Scratchpad data entry Interactive feedback messages MCDU PopUps Both 2D and 3D popups are available for easy access. Direct Keyboard Entry (DKE) Departure and Arrival Procedures SID and STAR procedures from X-Plane stock or third party custom data Zipped “Custom Data” folder provided Altitude and airspeed constraints for procedures Automatic procedure altitude calculation Flexible STAR element selection and re-selection and editing Default visual departure and approach waypoints Ability to easily edit SIDs, Routes, STARS and the loaded FLT PLAN AIRWAYS Selection Progress Monitoring Performance Flight Planning: PERF 1 page providing preflight and takeoff data PERF 2 page allowing route fuel planning PERF 3 page for approach data Additional Features: Thrust Rating Select page (TRS) accessed from PERF 1 FMS reset function Simplified manual waypoint altitude entry Company route load and save functions FLT PLAN page now automatically advances with destination waypoint 8.33mhz tunable radios Comprehensive Status Page The stock X-Plane MCDU is also provided as an alternative for users that prefer it. FMOD An amazing 3D sound package comes with the jets. Everything from different knob sounds, door sounds to realistic engine sounds. Many of the sounds have been recorder on the real jets which makes the experience extra immersive! Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, MAC or Linux - 4GB VRAM Minimum. 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Current version: 1.3.10 (May 12th 2020) Update Log v1.3.10 Version Notes.txt ______________________________________________________________________ Aircraft Review by Bernardo Pierdoná Casa 15th May 2020 Copyright©2020: X-PlaneReviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: Intel Core I5-9600K 4,30GHz / 2x8 Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 3200MHz - Gigabyte RTX 2070 - Z390 Aorus Master - Kingston A1000M.2 SSD 240GB Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.41 Addons: Logitech Pro Flight Yoke/Pedals/Throttle Quadrant - Logitech Extreme 3d Pro Joystick - Sound: Samsung Home Theater System J5500WK Plugins: Environment Engine v1.13 by xEnviro US$69,90 Traffic: Traffic Global by JustFlight US$52.99 Scenery and Aircraft - KSDF by Zero Dollar (X-Plane.Org) - Free (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)
  13. 1 point
    Thank you very much. So now I have zibo 738, FFA320U, ff 767, and now jd 330! thank you!
  14. 1 point
    Scenery Review : Belluno-Southern Dolomites by Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini This is the third of five sceneries that will cover the Dolomite Mountain Ranges in the eastern north of Italy. This new area covers the Belluno- Piave River Valley and Val Agordina areas, that are positioned directly south and west of the Drei Zinnen National Park, and then the Cortina - Cadore region. Here are the three regions... Each region backs on to the other with the Drei Zinnen (red) top east, then Cortina - Cadore (yellow) and now this new Belluno (Purple) zone, so in areas there is an overlap of one over the other, obviously you need them all in the three packages to get the whole set of overlapping views seen here in this review. Belluno Belluno is a town and province in the Veneto region of northern Italy. It is located about 100 kilometres (62 miles) north of Venice, Belluno is the capital of the province of Belluno and the most important city in the Eastern Dolomites region. With its roughly 36,000 inhabitants, it is the largest populated area of Valbelluna. It is one of the 15 municipalities of the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park. These very extensive Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini sceneries are not super detailed in a perfect reproduction of a township, the main focus is usually on the landscapes and the highly detailed mountains, but in this particular Belluno package the main focus is on the township of Belluno and the general area around it and the Piave River Valley and Val Agordina areas. All the objects in Dainese and Bellini sceneries are custom made, but are mostly generic, however there are a few items like the The Duomo (Cathedral, 16th century), with the 18th-century bell tower designed by Filippo Juvarra that are custom for this scenery as is the Belluno Railway Station. So there is a very Italian feel to the whole thing, and from a flying perspective the whole scenario does work very well. Perched high over Belluno is Schiara (2,565m) - (Italian: Monte Schiara) and the most visible of the southern Dolimites and reproduced here in great detail and is part of the National Park of the Belluno Dolomites. Far west of Belluno and the only other peak visible from the Piave River Valley is the Piz di Sagron (2486m) and close to the famous Cereda Pass. LIBD: There is only one airfield (Grass) in the Belluno scenery and that is Belluno Airport, the airport is also known as Arturo Dell'Oro Airport. There is a genuine Italiano feel to the airport, if you could call it that, as in reality it is just a collection of motley old hangers. But the signage and detail is very good. There is one grass runway 05/23 - 812m (2664ft) Grass at an altitude of 1,240 ft / 378 m ASML. HLIBD: To the east is a H Pad in front of a huge storage/maintenance hangar... Belluno - Pieve di Cadore There are several routes out of Belluno, the first one we will look at is too the northeast to Pieve di Cadore, Pieve di Cadore is part of the Cortina - Cadore scenery so of course a lot of the views shown here include that package. Also I have jumped ship to the X-Trident Bell - 512 from the Bell 407, as the 407's sound doesn't work here in v11.50 (DreamEngine). We are still in the Piave River (also known as Fiume Sacro alla Patria or the "Sacred River of the Homeland"), but now becoming a deep valley going northeast... Once above the valley floor you can see the volume and huge range of the custom objects throughout this scenery package... there are altogether 14,000 buildings positioned manually and reconstructed as in real, Churches, public buildings, soccer stadiums, hospital and even cemeteries over an area of 1200 sq. Km. The Piave River is very well represented along the valley floor, the detail is far better than earlier more basic valley floors which I didn't think were realistic enough for such high-grade scenery, but this is now really good and an excellent step forward. Looking ahead you can easily see the deeper Dolomite mountain chains with Drei Zinnen now poking up, but as you go in deeper and the valley closes in around you they disappear again. All the river side villages and comunes are represented including... Pian di Vedoia, Soverzene, Fortogna, Desedan and Provagna.... as you reach Longarone, look right as if you blink you will miss it.... the infamous Vajont Dam. The Vajont Dam was completed in 1959 in the valley of the Vajont River under Monte Toc. On 9 October 1963, during initial filling, a landslide caused a megatsunami in the lake in which 50 million cubic metres of water overtopped the dam in a wave of 250 metres (820 ft), leading to the complete destruction of several villages and towns below, and in the disaster created 1,917 deaths. The flooding in the Piave valley from the huge wave destroyed the villages of Longarone, Pirago, Rivalta, Villanova and Faè and turned the land below the dam into a flat plain of mud. the Vajont Dam is now disused. Note the village of Casso up to right of the dam, Casso has been reproduced in the scenery for the pretty village it is. The Zoldana Valley off west from Longarone is also represented in detail... Past Castellavazzo the Piave valley around Termine di Cadore and Ospitale di Cadore then the route narrows considerably, and you start to swing the chopper around though the tighter valley sides, and it is fun flying if you can hack it as the width of the valley gets narrower and more bendy after twisty bend. Snaky, snaky as you twist through the valleys, then around Rivalgo it gets really tight as the Sass de Mezzodì (2036m) towers above you ... ... finally around Perarolo di Cadore it opens out and around one final bend there is Y junction with the Monte Zucco directly ahead... ... look left in a glance and there is Pieve di Cadore with the towering Monte Antelao (3263m) behind, this is a short cut valley to Pieve di Cadore, but I am going right, it is tighter (in fact extremely tight) but it brings you out on the reservoir by Corte Longo and Domegge... .... follow the reservoir forward and it takes you up the Auronzo Valley (Drei Zinnen) and here you are now in Cortina - Cadore territory as Pieve di Cadore is left up on the hill. Note from Pieve di Cadore is now looking south it is a different perspective because the view has now been filled in and notably the Piz di Sagron, other major points from the Cadore Valley like Monte Civetta and Monte Pelmo are also very different with the adjoining Belluno package now in position. Belluno - Alleghe The main thrust into the Belluno mountain areas is via the La Valle Agordina, but there are two routes in, the main one of which we will follow through the La Valle Agordina and another route that still joins up at Agordo, the second entrance is via lago del Mis a short way east. Both entrances are framed by the Schiara and Piz di Sagron that we have already noted. Depature is again from Belluno Airport and we head west over the township of Bellluno itself... ... then you turn sharp north. The entrance into the La Valle Agordina is quite hard to see, a hint is that it is the valley without the water. It gets tight very quickly in the La Valle Agordina and you are very soon twisting and snaking between the steep walls... Not far into the valley and to your right up high is a side view of the Schiara, but your eyes need to be forward if you don't want to fly into the valley walls... ... a last turn and up and high to the left is the Pala Group of the Dolomites located near the village of Agordo which is represented on the valley floor. Note to your very far left as you come into the wide Agordo valley is another view of Piz di Sagron. Pala group and is known locally as Il Pizzòn, meaning Great Peak, And included in the ranges are some significant peaks including: Vezzana, (3,192m), Cimon della Pala, (3,184m), Cima dei Bureloni, (3,130m), Cima di Focobon, (3,054m) and the Pala di San Martino, (2,982) and Monte Agnèr (2,872m). The range also includes a large plateau (altopiano delle Pale), spanning for some 50 km² between 2,500 and 2,800 m and is an empty rocky extent. There are a few valleys to explore right around the Pala Group, but we will do that later. Directly opposite and to the east of Agordo is the San Sebastiano chain that includes San Sebastiano (2488m), Monte Tamer (2547m) and Moschesin - Moschesin Castle (2499m)... ... behind Monte Tamer further east is again Monte Antelao in the Cortina - Cadore package. Notably in Agordo is another of the significant amount of Football (Soccer) fields, and the original headquaters (now in Milan) of the Luxottica Group S.p.A. which is represented here. The Luxottica Group is an Italian eyewear conglomerate and the world's largest company in the eyewear industry with brands including Ray-Ban, Persol, and Oakley. Leaving north from Agordo there is a choice of valleys to pick from? The one to the west takes you past the base of Monte Agnèr... but fly on north and... .... up again to your right is Monte Civetta (3,220m) which is a prominent and major mountain range of the Dolomites and the north-west face can be viewed from the Taibon Agordino valley, and is classed as one of the symbols of the Dolomites. But first up high to your left is Lastìa del Framónt This is not the best view of Monte Civetta as that is from our destination at Alleghe, So it is more tunnel valleys and complex route choices north... ... until you reach Alleghe, which is situated by a picturesque lake. Note the brilliant X-Plane v11.50 reflections on the lake! There is a H Pad here HEALL at Alleghe... ... and the backdrop of the sheer north-west face of Monte Civetta while landing is astounding. Certainly one of the highlights of the Belluno package, you can only see the excellent detail in the Civetta range with the Moiazza area as the group of summits just South and East of the Civetta peak. Note in the background Monte Pelmo and again Monte Antelao in the Cortina - Cadore package, and you can see like at Pieve di Cadore the reverse view from the Cadore Valley the significance of the filling out of the view from both angles. Alleghe - Marmolada - Agordo This is a wide loop around Marmolada and the Pala Group which both represent the north and western boundaries of the Belluno scenery. Notable is that the western side of this area dips deep off the package, but I expect another of the last two of these Dolomite sceneries to cover this area of Bolzano, Departing north out of Alleghe there is an obstruction of a high set of power lines that are stretched right across the valley, so you have to gain altitude very, very quickly if not to fly through them, in fact there are loads of powerlines criss-crossing the valleys all through this scenery.... ... a lot of altitude is required anyway, as you can't stay low in the valley of where we are going to next. Not far north of Alleghe there is cross of valleys, we are going to go west along the Val Pettorina, which is a very tight left turn... ... turn right however into the Fiorentina Valley and it takes you right up to the base of Monte Pelmo (Cortina-Cadore), the valley in objects however has now been filled in and makes Pelmo now more accessable than from the east... the view of Monte Pelmo is very good as you can get far closer to the mountain... the village of Selva di Cadore is also well represented. All the villages along the Val Pettorina are represented, and the detail is very good, they include; Saviner di Laste, Rocca Pietore, Sottoguda-Palue and Malga Ciapela. But although the view is nice, you have a serious need to climb higher all along the Val Pettorina from 3,500ft to 6,500ft. Almost at the end of the Val Pettorina you have to take another hard turn left, but looming large in your windscreen is the magnificent Marmolada! Marmolada (3,343m) (Queen of the Dolomites) consists of a ridge running west to east and the highest peak in the Dolomites. Towards the south it breaks suddenly into sheer cliffs, forming a rock face several kilometres long. On the north side there is a comparatively flat glacier, and the only large glacier in the Dolomites (the Marmolada Glacier, Ghiacciaio della Marmolada). the ridge is composed of several summits, decreasing in altitude from west to east: Punta Penia (3,343m), Punta Rocca (3,309m), Punta Ombretta (3,230m)etres (10,600 ft), Monte Serauta (3,069m) and Pizzo Serauta (3,035m). The cross and memorial is represented at the summit as is the aerial tramway goes to the top of Punta Rocca. Views are sensational even by X-Plane standards as the Cortina and even the Drei Zinnen sceneries are all clearly visible, including the Fanes group and Fanes Plateau. The Lago di Fedaia is located at the foot of the Marmolada Glacier. You can of course fly around the full base of Marmolada, but in reality this is where the boundary of the scenery ends (until the next package)... You can still loop around the valleys as they are interesting and great for flying low(ish)... .... you can at Moena turn into the Passo di S. Pellegrino that will take still around the full circle base of Marmolada, but it also takes you directly back to Alleghe via the Val di Fassa. However I continued down to Predazzo and then a hard left and back into the Belluno scenery down the Val Paneveggio... the Pala Group now comes back into view but from the western aspect. Lago di Paneveggio is spectacular with the X-Plane v11.50 reflections (really loving the Vulkan reflection feature in this scenery?) But past the Lago there is really no easy pass or valley to slip though, so my choice was to get up close to the Pala Group and go up and over (it is the left turn here) to the Primiero valley ... ... from this angle the highest peak in the group, Cima della Vezzana is extremely impressive. A huge amount of work has gone into recreating these iconic Dolomite peaks, is as noted that the DEM data that is used and it is then further corrected with 3D graphics programs. Subsequently the textures were then applied in 4K resolution which are obtained from high definition photos. The positioning on the modified mesh is very accurate and respecting the dimensions and the main morphological characteristics of the terrain. And as the Dolomites are mountains with unique characteristics as they come with their large vertical and smooth walls. Heading south and on the western side of the Belluno package down the Primiero valley and next into view comes San Martino di Castrozza which is a major Dolomite ski resort... there is a H Pad located here: HSMC ... but it is time now to head back to Agordo, so bit further along the Primiero valley left turn at Fiera di Primiero puts you back in the La Valle Agordina. On the left you get another and more closer and significant visual aspect of Piz di Sagron from the Valle Agordina as the range is set to the south and close to the Piave River Valley. Further down the valley going west a familiar view opens up with San Sebastiano - Monte Tamer mountain groups as you arrive back at Agordo... Agordo has a H Pad HEAG by the Vigili del Fuoco (Fire Station), it is a tricky landing over a fence, but still doable. Lighting Overall lighting is not the main aspect of these sceneries... there is lighting of course, but it is mainly just housing (window) and the odd street lamps to create an alpine village feel, but in this package there quite a bit of it, so every major valley is lit... With Belluno being the largest township of any Dainese and Bellini sceneries there is of course far more here, and it looks quite authentic at night and works very nicely in recreating the valley effect, odd buildings or the main significant custom scenery objects and the many football (Soccer) fields are also well lit in the scenery. _________________________________ There is one airport and 11 H pads in the scenery, which is significantly more here than most other provided landing areas in Dainese and Bellini sceneries, provided are: LIDB - Airport - 46.1632024 012.2453913 – BELLUNO CITY HLIBD - HELIPAD - BELLUNO AIRPORT HELHB - HELIPAD – 46.13908690 012.2001516 –BELLUNO HOSPITAL HELLG - HELIPAD - 46.2721585 012.3034299 – LONGARONE HSMC - HELIPAD - 46.2631061 011.7960794 – S.MARTINO CASTROZZA HEPR - HELIPAD - 46.1694772 011.8224303 – VVF PRIMIERO HEAG - HELIPAD - 46.2789449 012.0309167- AGORDO HEALL – HELIPAD - 46.4119874 012.0159586 – ALLEGHE HEFL – HELIPAD - 46.3561542 011.8715286 – FALCADE HEAR – HELIPAD - 46.4957027 011.8718972 – ARABBA HERV – HELIPAD - 46.4159242 012.1566844 – Ref.VENEZIA HECFM – HELIPAD - 46.4369182 012.1221237 Ref.FIUME LIDB - Airport – BELLUNO CITY Set to the east of Belluno township is LIDB Airport. Unusually a real replication of an airport as most Dainese and Bellini airports are mostly fictional. Single grass runway 05/23 - 812m (2664ft) is complimented by some authentic designed hangars and mostly default objects. HLIBD - H Airport - BELLUNO AIRPORT Set on the eastern end of the Bellnuo Airport in front of a large service hanger HELHB - H BELLUNO HOSPITAL Great Medi helipad outside the Belluno Hospital, easily found and nice approaches. HELLG - H LONGARONE Placed next to the fancy Football Stadium and Sports Centre in Longarone, the approach is singular and difficult because of the trees and house. HSMC - H S.MARTINO CASTROZZA The most western H Pad in the shadow of Cima della Vezzana at San Martino di Castrozza in the Primiero valley. Approaches are very clean. HEPR - H VVF PRIMIERO This remote H Pad is in Primiero, which is directly in front of Pale di San Martino (Pala Group - Between Fiera di Primiero and Agordo). Approach is singlular down the valley but worth it. HEAG - H AGORDO H Pad is by the Vigili del Fuoco in Agordo, with a tricky fence and approach. HEALL – H ALLEGHE Right on the north edge of the lake, it is an extremely spectacular approach in from over the lake. HEFL – H FALCADE Deep central in the Val di Fassa between the ranges of Marmolada and Pala Group is Falcade, Trees and buildings on the approach from the west, but wide and open from the east. HEAR – H ARABBA At the northern foot of Marmolada, Arabba (Marmolada ski resort) it is the most furthest north position of the Belluno scenery, hard to find as it is in a lost valley called Cordevole valley. It is however a good place to go north or east into the Cortina - Cadrone areas. Slight incline but good approaches to the H Pad. HERV – H Ref.VENEZIA On the foothills of Monte Pelmo (southeast) this is a refuge H Pad. The H Pad is set out on an extreme slope, so it is extremely difficult to land or takeoff from. HECFM – H Ref.FIUME This Refuge is also on the foothills up the Fiorentina Valley of Monte Pelmo (northwest), this is another refuge H Pad. Note: if either HERV or HECFM Refuges don't appear, then remove the (D3H)_Exclusions folder? The folder is for x-europe or ortho4xp use. Most of all the refuges in the Belluno areas are represented, including: Coldai, Tissi, VII ° Alpini, Carestiato, Scarpa, City of Fiume, Venice Ref and more. _________________________________ Summary This is the third of five sceneries from Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini that cover the Dolomite Mountain Ranges in the eastern north of Italy. This new area covers the Belluno Valley and Val Agordina areas, that are positioned directly south and west of the Drei Zinnen National Park, and then the Cortina - Cadore region. Areas recreated in this scenery package include: Belluno city , Longarone + Vajont dam, all the many valleys including: Agordina, Fiorentina, Zoldana, Cordevole, Piave, Prmiero 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 and the highlights are Pale di San martino (Pala Group), Schiara, Marmolada, Civetta, Moiazza, San Sebastiano (Tamer), Sass Set, Sagron. 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 and the mountain ranges are of course the stars and the focal point. With this Belluno extension you do have a question that arises in that does it stand alone as a scenery by itself? That is big question to now answer unlike the former Drie Zinnen/Cortana Packages. Personally I can't see this package fully working effectively without the Cortina-Cadore extension as part of the same landscape, as the two Cortina/Belluno do heavily intertwine together at many points and boundaries, and the visual aspects from both sides of each scenery are duly both affected, together there quite outstanding in many viewpoints, and also now showing the truly huge landscape of the Dolomite area that is now visible. Hugely popular and yes I love these amazing and hugely detailed and now extensive sceneries that can change your perspective of an iconic area and allow them to come to life in your simulation world... Highly recommended, so three down and only two more Dolomites to go! ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! Dolomites 3D Belluno-Southern Dolomites by Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Dolomites 3D - Belluno - Southern Dolomites Price Is US$24.95 Customer who already own Dolomites 3D- Drei Zinnen Park or Cortina can get this new scenery for $5 off. Please go to the original invoice for coupon code Features 1200 sq. Km of scenic Mountain Scenery Belluno Airport LIDB - Extremely detailed over 10 Heliports in strategic sites. Belluno city , Longarone + Vajont dam, many valleys: Agordina, Fiorentina, Zoldana, Cordevole, Piave, Prmiero ... Over 20,000 buildings positioned, with many buildings rebuilt. 10 3D models: Pale di San martino, Marmolada, Civetta, Moiazza, San Sebastiano (Tamer), Sass Set, Sagron ... All the vegetation mapped Inserted hundreds of polygons / textures to reproduce the photo-realistic terrain Reproduced the main skilift-plants, in particular the Marmolada with 3 sections. Reproduced all the main refuges in the area: Coldai, Tissi, VII ° Alpini, Carestiato, Scarpa,Città di iume, Venice Ref. ... WT3/Traffic Global: 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: 600-950 Mb Release and Review version 1.0 (15th May 2020) Installation Download scenery file size is download 635.20mb and with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder as there are Nine install folders in the order below in the .INI File (included and the listing below also includes the Drei Zinnen/Cortina 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/D3A_DOLOMITI_3D_Part3/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D3B_CableWay_Dolomiti3/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D3C_AGORDO_ALLEGHE/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D3D_BELLUNO_Piave/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D3E_VAL_CORDEVOLE/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D3F_VALLE_PRIMIERO/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D3G_Zoldana_Fiorentina/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D3H_Exclusions/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/Dolomiti2_lib/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/Dolomiti_SIRX_VEGETAZIONE/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/MESH_DOLOMITI1/ Total scenery installation (Belluno) : 2.05gb 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 ______________________________________________________________________   Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 17th May 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 11.41 and tested in v11.50b6 and b9 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini  Plugins: None Scenery or Aircraft - Bell 412 XP11 by X-Trident (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$35.95
  15. 1 point
    Probably you won't have any problem with the 777-300er. If you can run the 767, the A350 shouldn't be a problem. Note that the 767 minimuns are 3GB Vram, and the A350 only 2GB, this way the A350 should work just fine.
  16. 1 point
    Scenery Review : KFLL - Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International by Departure Designs In my early X-PlaneReviews there one route that I used a lot and was from KLAL Kinder/Lakeland to KFLL - Fort Lauderdale. As I was flying in a general aviation aircraft then KFLL made more sense than the mega KMIA - Miami International which in reality is a bit of a light aircraft's nightmare with so much heavy traffic, in that KFLL is not lightweight in heavy traffic either as it hosts a lot of regional and even international traffic, but it is also far more general aviation friendly and accessible. So I used to enjoy immensely my little trips across Florida to visit Fort Lauderdale and the airport appeared in many a review... only issue was the scenery five or so years ago was absolute crap, and so as better scenery destinations became available then KFLL slowly but surely disappeared from my most visited list and so it was gone but not forgotten. So the chance to update to a far more modern and realistic version of KFLL - Fort Lauderdale International by Departure Designs brought forward a lot of memories, but would it be the same KFLL that I once loved and enjoyed.. there was only one way to find out, fly there. Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport IATA: FLL - ICAO: KFLL - FAA LID: FLL 10L/28R - 9,000ft (2,743m) Asphalt 10R/28L - 8,000ft (2,438m) Concrete Elevation AMSL 65 ft / 20 m In many ways the layout of KFLL is not much different than KMIA from the air, KMIA is of course much bigger and has that cross runway of 12/30, KFLL also had the same crosswind runway (13/31) but it was decommissioned on May 6, 2013. So from a distance in the air you could actually get them mixed up as the U shaped west facing terminal layout is very similar as well. Intergration into the Florida landscape overall is excellent, but there some question marks on the joins of the Federal Hwy (1) to the default scenery that passes the east side of the airport... ... fitting in to say Orbx's TrueEarth US Florida might be more perfect as I think it was designed in this aspect, but in default it looks a little messy. What stands Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood Airport out to be different and the main reason of it's existence is Port Lauderdale, which is the biggest cruise ship terminal in the world. A significant dogleg to the EFLL scenery is the Port Lauderdale aspect and it is done well... ... overall the port is basic, with a huge fuel depot set out behind... but you do get two nice cruise ships in the harbour with "Serenade of the Seas" and Carnival's "Carnival Elation", the two ships are nice but one more or even two would have hidden the basic wharf they are moored at, quality is Lo-Res as well, but on approach or departure the ships look in keeping of the scenery. The rest of Port Lauderdale is modeled, but it feels half completed in detail, and no ships in the port either only add in to the emptiness. The huge three massive central carparks dominate the scenery, along with the four terminals and the seven concourses that are set out around the U shaped parameter... Terminal 1, "The New Terminal" - (Yellow) Commonly referred to as "The New Terminal," The terminal opened in stages between 2001 and 2003, then another extension was added between late 2015 and was completed in June 2017. The noted Yellow Terminal has three concourses (A, B, & C) and 23 gates. Concourse A opened on July 5, 2017 and has 7 gates (A1-A7), Concourse B has 7 gates (B2, B4-B9), and Concourse C has 9 gates (C1-C9). Concourse A mainly serves Southwest. Glass is a major divider of developers in scenery as many get glass right, but a lot don't.... even the good ones. Terminal one is a huge span of a terminal that has a basic internal fit-out. Modeling is good, but not outstanding, however all the airbridges are SAM - Scenery Animation Manager active... The terminal building itself is not too bad, but the newer Concourse A Terminal has a highly reflective glass. From a lot of perspectives it looks okay, but the high reflection causes weird artifacts and creates an un-natural look and feel of the concourse? Internally in the terminal it looks like there is no glass in the building either? so it is all a bit weird... the real terminal glass is actually dark green. Externally the terminal thankfully looks fine. Terminal 2 - Delta - (Red) The Red Terminal has one concourse (D) and 9 gates and Delta Air Lines operates a Sky Club here, and one of six clubrooms in the state of Florida and this terminal is used by both Delta and Air Canada. The smallest terminal at FLL, Terminal 2 has a cavernous roof and again an all glass facade, the internal aspect is highly viewable, but has the same no glass look internally, so it doesn't look realistic. Terminal 3: - Main Terminal - (Purple) The Purple Terminal has two concourses (E & F) and 20 gates.This terminal is used by American Airlines, Azul, Emirates, JetBlue, Norwegian, and some Spirit Airlines flights. Terminal 3 works better because it doesn't try as hard to be realistic... no large glass areas and better green glass here make a large difference, the tired concrete facade looks good as well. Terminal 4: International Terminal - (Green) The Green Terminal has one concourse (G) and 14 gates (G1-G14) and one arrivals area for bussing operations. Concourse H was closed in December 2017 and has since been demolished. The former Concourse H was reconfigured and redesigned by the architectural firms of PGAL/Zyscovich joint venture with the newer three-story facility that was then renamed Concourse G. This terminal is used by Air Transat, Avianca, British Airways, Caribbean Airlines, Frontier, IBC, SkyBahamas, Spirit, and TAME which are all mostly International carriers. Terminal 4 is right and bang up to date in design with the old Concourse H nowhere to be seen. surprisingly the green glass is perfect here? and the terminal looks far better and the most modern design at FLL. Odd though is the clutter so well done and heavy at the other terminals is missing here? Landside is a bit boring and empty of detail with a lot of burnt in vehicles.... and the traffic does flow around the terminal is overall weak. There is a few animated traffic vehicles that go all around (I mean totally around the airport parameter?) and clutter except for Ter 4 is very good, but not FLL branded. Mid-Field Again like KMIA the control tower is far west mid-field, surrounding the tower are large (Private Jet) hangar parking (west) and various associated personal jet busnesses including: SheltAir, Bombardier (Learjet) and Signature... .... the control tower is presentable but not overly detailed, a few 3d cars placed over the burnt in ground objects (hiding) would have certainly helped, the radar on the tower is not animated either (boo) and the tower view is set right, but too low and obstructed? The far east "Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum" is present, but only as a building, I doubt the developer were aware of the Museum's significance to the area? It was NAS Fort Lauderdale that was the home base for Flight-19 the five TBM Avengers that disappeared in December 1945, leading in part to the notoriety of the "Bermuda Triangle" North Boundary Again very similar to KMIA is the north boundary of LFF with Cargo, and various aviation businesses and a catering company from left to right. Far north is the UPS depot with an abandoned static B727... followed by the main cargo with FedEx dominating the apron, and very well done the FedEx freight terminal is... Next door is called the "New Area" or a rebuilt area and National Jet is the main tenant, the building up close has some odd graphic glass, it is debatable if it works as there are no palm trees anywhere near the windows they are reflecting?... .... then next are three storage hangars. One of the biggest tenants on this north side is Spirit Airlines, incorporated in the same building is the Flightline Drug Testing facility and IBC Airways... .... Embraer have a regional service facility that is well done, then at the far east end is a few more private jet hangars and finally a SkyChiefs catering faclity far east. Interesting aspect is that at the end of each runway at KFLL is a EMAS EMAS, of which stands for Engineered Materials Arresting Systems, which is crushable concrete and it is packed into blocks about 3 feet thick and 4 feet wide. The blocks are layered in such that the farther a plane plows over the end of a runway, the more EMAS counter resistance it encounters. The affect is akin to driving a car into deep, soft sand and arresting the momentum of the aircraft. Ground Textures I find that most American airports have average ground textures, mostly in trying to replicate the concrete block approach of the way the US build's it's airports... But at KFLL and even from my first landing I realised the ground textures were really good here and very realistic. Shoulders are highly realistic and linage wear and tear is also very good. The complex different surfaces are also very well represented and you feel as a whole the field is very authentic... There is a highway (1) and runway 28L threshold crossover interchange, overall the crossover is done very well, but badly in other ways as under the overpass the roads disconnect and vehicles travel badly, the burnt in car images don't help either?.... .... but the elevations of the complex area is done really well with the mixture between the concrete and grass done extremely well. Grass is very good, but very tall were placed, but in other areas were there should be grass like with the inner field there isn't any grass? but the nature of the textures do however hide that... so overall the field aspect is excellent. Lighting Overall the lighting is below average? it also feels half-completed on release.... approach lighting is okay, but the biggest missing factor is.... .... there is no taxiway lighting or centre runway guidance anywhere? it is just a blackhole from the point you land to the gate. Central terminal area is also bleak, the gates are lit, but not by much, but with no landside or road lighting at all, it makes the whole area quite dark and foreboding. Not really it is not good enough really for a scenery in this payware category? Those poor terminal glass textures don't come across well in the dark either? They mostly come out in shades of grey.... .... the clear aspect of Terminal 1 is still debatable, many will like the open internal view, but it overall doesn't look very real? Ditto the same at Terminal 2. Terminal 3 is passable, but the ramp lighting has so little illumination throw and you will work down there mostly in the dark. Again it is the new Terminal 4 that looks the best here, it is passable but not brilliant in a "blow you away" effect. North boundary lighting is quite honest awful... as all the buildings are set in this yellow hue? I don't think there is worst FedEx building in the United States that looks like this at night, a shame as in the daylight this FedEx building looks great? .... the worst is the large windows of National Jet? it is just as horrible as you could expect them to be at a close range. This sort of photo lighting design went out with the worst of FlightSim years ago. The cruise ships look quite nice at their moorings, but the rest of both ports are in complete darkness, so you don't have much to look at on a night arrival or departure? There a some nicely lit billboards however, and they look quite good, but overall the lighting does not live up to the scale of the scenery. WT3/Traffic Global. WT3 ground routes come with the scenery, but the "KFLL-Parking Def" file is missing? This translates to yes a fully working FLL, but the arrivals don't work cleanly and the wrong aircraft are parked at the wrong gates and in the cargo areas? maybe a simple generation might do a better job than the provided files? Traffic Global works fine, but expect aircraft to mixed up at the terminal gates and not in line with their branding, and the same in other parking areas, like with an Emirates B777 at the FedEx cargo base, but the actual brand mix is very good with Spirit and JetBlue dominating. Postscript As I hinted at the head of this review I had a pretty if very basic office at KFLL for years, but this scenery wiped away the area I once staked out as my own... well I'm back and to note these items are NOT in the scenery package, but were placed there by myself courtesy of OpenScenery X. I commandeered or rather stalked out a stretch of grass outside the National Jet facility and set down my Porta-Office, with some seating, fuel and waste bins... so all set to go, and now open for business at KFLL, credit cards and PayPal accepted. _________________________________ Summary KFLL - Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airport is the second largest airport in Florida and in the mix as one of the most busiest in the USA. This scenery is by Departure Designs and quite difficult to surmise in context. It is one of those really frustrating sceneries you come across that has everything in there and required to be absolutely brilliant, but here it falls short. Overall KFLL looks and feels very good, but it is in the details and under development that really let it down. Modeling is very good, but the glass except for Terminal 3 and 4 is not very good at all, see though terminals may be to a lot of people look exciting and realistic, but I differ here... to me they just look empty and bland without any tinting, worst is that the reflective glass in that it just reflects everything and looks quite odd with strange weird artifacts at many viewing angles. The field and ground textures are very good, very realistic and so is the Fed Hwy (1) and RWY 28L crossover, but the join is not very authentic, but the elevation elements around it are well done. The external Port Lauderdale is well done but feels half-completed, and a few more cruise liners or even some cargo ships would have been nice. SAM - Scenery Animation Manager is supported and welcome. Lighting is below average... even weird in areas, but no centre-line runway lighting or the required green taxiway lighting is simply a major failure, and makes the scenery look dark at night, ditto is the missing landside road lightng that creates a blackhole in the centre terminal area, so in many areas the KFLL feels very under developed and it certainly does not live up to the expectations of what can easily be achieved here. Like in many areas in both aircraft and sceneries it is the polish, that final 10% of that 100% that creates the magic, and don't get me wrong in many areas I really love this Fort Lauderdale scenery as it fits in well with the south Florida aspect and as a great companion to the mega KMIA next door. If you want a good KFLL then certainly this scenery can certainly fill out that role, but it just needs a bit more finesse to be really good or even brilliant. _____________________________________ Yes! KFLL - Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International by Departure Designs is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : KFLL - Fort Lauderdale International Price is US$23.99 Features: Heavily optimized Airport PBR Textures throughout Airport Rain Textures SAM Jetways Accurate Elevated Runway Highly detailed Custom Animated SAM Jetways Custom WT3 support Custom Night Lighting color graded Satellite Imagery High Resolution 4K Textures Terminal layout circa Q2 2020 Compatible with all Florida sceneries Ortho4XP Compatible WT3: WorldTraffic GroundRoutes are provided and overall the airport generation functions perfectly but the package comes with no Parking Defs? Requirements: Windows, Mac or Linux 4GB VRAM Minimim - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Current and Review version: 1.0 (May 2nd 2020) Download size: 2 GB Installation Download scenery file size is 1.85gb: Fort Lauderdale Annoyingly there is a folder within a folder here? So you will need to remove... Dep_KFLL ... and then place THIS file in the X-Plane Custom Scenery folder, if not the scenery won't work? Total scenery installation is quite big : 3.90gb SAM Plugin - Scenery Animation Manager - Suite 1.0 is required for this scenery Documents One extensive manual in English with notes (1 page) but no charts FLL Manual.pdf _____________________________________________________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 8th May 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 1TB SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.41 - tested v11.50.b6 (fine) Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Traffic Global (Just Flight) US$52.99 Scenery or Aircraft - Default Boeing 737-800 by Laminar Reserch
  17. 1 point
    Welcome to the review site! This was a really helpful comparison, and I finally got the 777! Keep one making these great reviews/comparisons! Comparison idea: 757vs767
  18. 1 point
    Scenery Review : Casablanca XP by Aerosoft/FSDG You feel like going somewhere and doing something exotic! But you are also wanting to fly a route for not very long, in fact you don't want to break your two hour flying rule either? You have also flown most European connections and even ventured as far north as Iceland, but you are wanting now something a bit different, even a challenge... so what about North Africa (South Africa is too far). With all these parameters then what about Casablanca, as it is a very exotic and quite a popular destination and only a two to three hour flight from most southern European ports... in reality it is a done deal. I have been to GMMN - Casablanca - Mohammed V International Airport a few times before, and then used a quite average freeware version, But have always loved GMMN if for it's north western coastal African position, not too far from Europe but more importantly it is also an airbridge to South America as a refueling stop. So when developer FSDG or FlightSim Development Group released CMN - Casablanca I just wanted to go back there and finally to a decent full quality X-Plane Casablanca scenery. Casablanca is situated on the very top the northwest coast of Africa, and is a mere two hours from anywhere in Southern Europe. I flew from LEBL - Barcelona which is exactly 2h flying time (okay 2h - 1m give or take a minute), Frankfurt is 3h - 21m which is a bit outside the two hour rule but still doable. The distance from Casablanca (Port) to the Mohammed V International Airport is about 25km directly south, or about 30min driving time. I will note in these views I am using the SFD (ShortFinal) local autogen to give the area a local flavour... Mohammed V International Airport مطار محمد الخامس الدولي ⴰⵣⴰⴳⵯⵣ ⴰⴳⵔⵖⵍⴰⵏ ⵎⵓⵃⵎⵎⴷ ⵡⵙ5 Aéroport international Mohammed V IATA: CMN - ICAO: GMMN 17L/35R - 3,720m (12,205ft) Asphalt 17R/35L - 3,720m (12,205ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL 656 ft / 200 m Both runways 17L/35R and 17R/35L are exceptionally long at both over 12,000ft in length, they are in a parallel western layout together with all the airport infrastructure situated all to the eastern side of the field. The main apron is one huge continuous apron set into zones of parking in B-C main inner Terminals, E outer remote, J Middle outer Remote, D Cargo inner remote. There is a separate area to the east far south that you could note as General Aviation with parking G (inner) and F (outer) and far south is another remote... remote stand parking. Terminals Both terminals one and two are fused together via an S shaped design, Terminal One is north and more modern and Terminal Two is south. Terminal One: There are four main airbridge stations, but in an odd arrangement of three gates per bay. The use here is for either a narrow body or a wide body aircraft, but it does make it complicated into finding your right parking line and airbridge. In most cases two narrow-bodies will fit into each bay. SAM - Scenery Animation Manager plugin is available with both Marshaller (Terminal One) and VDGS guidance (Terminal Two)... .... but SAM does have it's quirks at CMN? Again selection of the right gate (airbridge) to the type of aircraft is important. The MD88 is a low to the ground aircraft, so on one gate with the airbridge connected the airbridge was then set at a steep angle to the low door? Another (image above) on the far right line (or third) didn't connect to the airbridge? but the position would have been perfect to connect to the low MD88 door position? The correct position was actually the first line into each bay for the MD88... your choice to the aircraft? SAM airbridges are again very good with Attijariwafa Bank branding. Clutter is good, but not too much in overwhelming way, so a pass here... but only a few are custom branded and most clutter visible comes from the Laminar collection. Terminal modeling is okay... ish. Overall it is not bad as a design, but you are missing any real or realistic detail, glass is reflective but still looks bland. Biggest issue is that the photo ground ortho-photo textures as they are all very low-res and flat. So this makes all the modeling looked like it is all placed on to the top of the flat surface, of which of course it is? Carparks are the same, a flat washed out photo base with objects placed on top, that there is a lot of objects on the surface to at least fill out the scenery, trees are horrible... cardboard and flat looking they don't relate well to the light at all, again at least there is a lot of well placed fauna to cover over each others flaws. And yet in an overview the scenery does actually work, the trick is just don't look for the close intimate detail and at the different areas too closely. Control Tower The control tower is mid-field and set back behind trees... again close up the glass is boring and flat, so the tower comes out the same way... but it is detailed well. Tower view (T) is however set perfectly with great views of all approaches. Cargo The cargo hub is huge and well represented at Mohammed V... Royal Air Maroc Cargo, operating as RAM Cargo has a huge base here. Swift-air Cargo, DHL and UPS are also represented. Airport operators including EADS and Regional Air Maroc are both shown with custom buildings and with hangars to the south.... .... to the north is is the large Royal Air Maroc's base and it comes with twin maintenance facilities. One twin maintenance hangar is set on the main apron north, but behind is another large apron with another large maintenance area, there are some nicely placed static aircraft including a RAM Boeing 747 that is done very well. Note the army surplus holding yards for vehicles. Area Infrastructure To a point the feature that saves this scenery is the large placed infrastructure landside behind the airport. The infrastructure comes with tenant buildings, warehouses, factories and general buildings to make up a pretty good visual aspect of the airport. Note the nice fuel depot. ... a lot of the buildings are very basic and repeated, but a lot are also custom made to fit into the area, and on the whole it works very well. Far south General Aviation area is good, but a few static aircraft may have lifted the area a little... Surfaces Runaway and taxiway surfaces are good, not brilliant, but good, the detail is there and I like the tyre markings.... all markings and signage is excellent (although there was a taxiway in the scenery not on the Navigraph chart?) however the surfaces and markings are all a bit too new with no wear or tear, but overall it is not too bad. All surfaces are PBR (Physically Based Rendered) and have nice reflection details, wet and damp conditions are very good (does it actually rain in Morocco?), but there is no 3d field grass or flowers in creating a very flat airfield. Lighting I was genuinely surprised by the lighting at GMMN, as it is very good. Mainly it is because there are two hues in bright apron lighting airside and a copper lighting landside, but it is visually very effective. Approach (RAIL) and taxiway navigation lighting and signage is excellent, so you won't get lost here. All apron areas are well lit, but it is the landside... .... that stands out, mainly because I think the lighting hides the poor Lo-Res photo textures, but it does all look very realistic and pleasing to the eyes. Also helpfully is fact that the street lighting is done well into the landside areas and goes out a fair way from the terminals. Again very effective from the air when departing or arriving at GMN. Terminal glass is better at night as well, as there are lit images on the glass, not even close to good, but still better than the daytime blandness, the landside images though look like a car showroom? Summary GMMN - Casablanca - Mohammed V International Airport is the main port into Morocco and a great destination that is available within the two to three hours flying time from central or southern Europe. FlightSim Development Group (FSDG) have released a good payware airport with Aerosoft for X-Plane to cover this very exotic destination. Overall the airport is very good, with a lot of features and great detail going landside, but the word that keeps coming up here is "Workmanlike", good but so close to being excellent. The scenery is let down by the usual Aerosoft practise to use very Low-Resolution textures for the scenery's base, very zig-zag blocky, washed out and no detail, the lo-res textures create a flat (boring) surface that shows up the placed above object elements, it could have been so much better with more detail, poor cardboard looking trees also don't help in the visual impact. Glass is flat (meaning bland) but better with images at night that don't help either, but still this Casablanca scenery does not give up without a fight to be good, because the (If complicated gate arrangements) SAM - Scenery Animation Manager plugin tool is excellent, and well done here. Overall I actually do like this GMMN - Casablanca, and yes I will use it and probably on a regular basis, because in the areas I want it does actually create a worthwhile Mohammed V International Airport. It works like a lot of Aerosoft sceneries do, you want them to be better and they can easily be in that aspect, but you use them anyway because they work for you well in another aspect... workmanlike, but still so close to being a very high-quality scenery. _____________________________________ Yes! Casablanca XP by Aerosoft/FSDG is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : FSDG - Casablanca XP Price is US$25.95 Features: Accurate rendition of Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport, Morocco (GMMN) Includes new ground layout Superb quality and performance Animated jetways and marshallers (with SAM plugin) Animated ground traffic Routes and positions for AI traffic and static aircraft included Manual included WT3: WorldTraffic GroundRoutes are not provided and a generation is required, and overall the airport generation functions perfectly. Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows or Mac (not compatible with Linux) 4Gb VRAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Current and Review version: 1.0 (April 9th 2020) Download Size: 1.3 GB Installation Download scenery file size is with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder with a (Windows Installer) Mac is zip FSDG-Casablanca_XP Total scenery installation is 1.3Gb SAM Plugin - Scenery Animation Manager - Suite 1.0 is required for this scenery Documents One extensive manual in English with notes (6 pages) but no charts Manual_FSDG-Casablanca_XP.pdf _____________________________________________________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 29th 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)
  19. 1 point
    Aircraft Review : Glasair Sportsman 2+2 by GHansen Glasair Aviation is one of the most known companies in the Experimental Amateur-Built Aircraft industry. Founded in 2001, the company is located in Arlington, WA. The Glasair Sportsman 2+2 is their main product, offering many customizing options. It can be built in a tricycle landing gear and conventional landing gear configurations, as well as amphibious floats or tundra tires. The Sportsman 2+2 is a very versatile aircraft, being able to carry 4 occupants, a useful load of 1,000 lbs and an impressive 140 kts cruise speed. The fuselage can be made of fiberglass or carbon fiber, and the wings and empennage are made of metal. It can be equipped with a 180 hp Lycoming IO-360 engine or a 210 hp Lycoming IO-390 engine. There is a third option that features a Thielert Centurion 2.0S diesel engine. Sportsman 2+2 The exterior modeling is very nice, being a good representation of the real aircraft. The nose spinner has very nice reflections, the props, landing gear and wings are very nice too. All the fuselage is reflective and full of details. Interior modeling The cockpit may be one of the main for buying this aircraft. It has high-resolution textures and very good 3d modeling. It is very important to note that the aircraft has both IFR and VFR panels modeled, this way you can select that best one for your flight. You can change the panels by accessing the aircraft menu, which is very simple and intuitive. The aircraft has Avitab integration. Sounds It is very important to note that the aircraft has FMOD sounds, which gives you a lot of immersion. There are custom sounds for doors, switches, engine, and many more. Note that the external engine sounds change when the doors are opened. You won't be disappointed with the sounds while flying the aircraft. Flying the Sportsman Today I am going to make a very short regional flight from Jundiaí (SBJD) to Campinas (SBKP). Starting the Sportsman is very easy, batteries on, engine start and avionics on, simply like that. Here we go for another flight. The Sportsman is very beautiful and has an outstanding performance for its category. This short flight shouldn't take more than 15 minutes. Another successful landing. This is a really fun aircraft to fly, especially when you don't use the autopilot. It gives you the feeling of flying the real aircraft. Other Features Here I will list and show you things that are included with the aircraft. Lights: The aircraft has the minimum lights you would expect, navigation, strobe and landing lights. The interior is very beautiful at night. Variants: The aircraft contains 3 variants, conventional landing gear, tricycle landing gear, and conventional with tundra tires. All three are very nice and unique. Menu: The aircraft comes with a small menu. There you can open the doors, set weight and passengers as well as the static elements. Liveries: The Sportsman comes with 7 different liveries, plus a blank one. All of them are very nice and well done. __________________________ Summary The Glasair Sportsman 2+2 by GHansen is a very fun aircraft to fly, especially when you use a joystick. It is very powerful, resulting in an outstanding performance for its size, meanwhile, it is very easy to fly. Probably this is one of the most versatile aircraft in its category, being able to carry a lot of weight, takeoff in short runways and fly in exotic locations. It would be very nice to see a variant equipped with floats and a 3-blade prop. For the price of only US$20.00, this is one of the best plane you could buy in the X-Plane.Org Store. High-quality textures, FMOD sounds, interactive menu and three different variants are its main qualities. At first glance it may seem too simple, but I can assure you that this plane is very fun and nice to fly, this way you will always want to fly it more and more. Even though it could have some little improvements, it is a highly recommended purchase. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Sportsman 2+2 by GHansen is available at the X-Plane.Org Store. Sportsman 2+2 Price is US$20.00 Features Three versions included! Conventional gear, Tricycle gear and Tundra gear. Accurately modeled Sportsman 2+2 200+ animations for an accurate simulation Fully VR compatible with preset seating locations for all four seats. Realistic modeling and texturing Ground equipment including chocks and tie-downs 4096x4096 textures to produce the high quality textures PBR (Physically Based Rendering) materials Detailed normal mapping with down-to-the-rivet precision 3D virtual cockpit, instruments are constructed fully in 3D with smooth animations Dimmable cockpit lighting Realistic and accurate flight dynamics based on real-world performance, handling and input from pilots Authentic sounds, created using X-Plane's FMOD sound system Custom sounds for switches, Doors, Engine and more, featuring accurate location placement of sounds in the stereo spectrum, 3D audio effects, adaptive Doppler, exterior sounds spill in when doors or windows are open, different sound characteristics depending on viewing angle etc. Adjust your Weight, Fuel load, ground equipment and passengers via in cockpit clipboard AviTab integration Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 671 MB Current Version : 1.3 (April 14th 2020) ------------------------------------------------ Aircraft Review by Bernardo Casa 28th April 2020 Copyright©2020: X-PlaneReviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: Intel Core I5-9600K 4,30GHz / 2x8 Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 3200MHz - Gigabyte RTX 2070 - Z390 Aorus Master - Kingston A1000M.2 SSD 240GB Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.41 Addons: Logitech Pro Flight Yoke/Pedals/Throttle Quadrant - Logitech Extreme 3d Pro Joystick - Sound: Samsung Home Theater System J5500WK Plugins: Environment Engine v1.13 by xEnviro US$69,90 Traffic: Traffic Global by JustFlight US$52.99 -SBJD - Jundiaí Aiport (X-Plane.Org) freeware -SBKP - Campinas airport (AxScenery) -SBSP - Congonhas Aiport (AxScenery) -Mega São Paulo (X-Plane.Org Store) (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)
  20. 1 point
    I am disappointed that so many users don't get the issue that although the A321 looks the same as the A319 and yes they use a lot of the same components, the actual work and time required to put each together is about the same (it is not what you see modeling wise that counts here), NO there is not going to be a discount and NO why should the developer after all his hard work do so anyway, this is just X-Plane being very mean again and not supporting the simulator or their developers. The aircraft is worth it's full value!
  21. 1 point
    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.
  22. 1 point
    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.
  23. 1 point
    well... i've never flown a real twin otter, so can't be 100% sure. don't know how the plane is in real life, but true, sometimes slowing down is a bit annoying. however, it's still a very cheap payware, only 30 bucks. probably worth it, depends on wether you are looking for 99% systems and fully accurate physics, or just a pretty good plane that has most systems simulated and good for regular ops.
  24. 1 point
    Scenery Review : Seychelles XP by Aerosoft - Maps2XPlane I love to be surprised. The biggest surprise scenery wise in 2019 was the release of Faroe Islands XP by Aerosoft, but created by Maps2XPlane. It was by all accounts an extraordinary scenery and even with some high quality competition against it, it still won my best "Scenery of the Year 2019" accolade. Basically the scenery had everything including a picturesque airport at Vágar, but overall it was the stunning high quality mesh landscapes were simply out of this world in detail and realism. I loved the scenery and to back up my love for Fareo, the scenery was then a frequent visitor on my routings for the rest of the year.... in other words I flew there a lot, and loved being in Fareo every single time. For any scenery to be that good, then it creates an even bigger issue, in that how can you top such an achievement, well we are about to find out with Maps2XPlane and with their next release in "Seychelles XP". In reality then although both sceneries are islands, then the Seychelles are about as black and white in context as you could get to the Faroe Islands. The Faroes are cold, wintery and bleak, were as the Seychelles is all tropical kaleidoscope waters, palm lined beaches and expensive huts over looking lagoons. Faroe, could be noted as remote in being situated high up in the North sea, but compared to the Seychelles they could be a set of islands just off shore with easy connections to Scotland, Denmark and Norway... and even Iceland at a push. (Navigraph) The Seychelles however are a very different set of islands. Positioned in the western Indian ocean, Seychelles consists of an archipelago of 115 islands. Its capital and the largest city is Victoria situated on the island of Mahé, which lies 1,500 kilometres (932 mi) east of mainland Africa. Other nearby island countries and territories include Comoros, Mayotte (territory of France), Madagascar, Réunion (territory of France), and Mauritius to the south; as well as the Maldives and Chagos Archipelago to the east. The Seychelles in X-Plane terminology is really in being "absolutely nowhere". You are at least a 3 to 4 hour flying time to the nearest decent X-Plane scenery and Madagascar is the closest, but how many X-Plane sceneries do you have in Madagascar, I don't think I have one. Best choices are either Dubai or Johannesburg, I picked Jo'Burg, but that airport is still 2081 nm or 4h.38m flying time from Mahé near the capital city of Victoria. So for X-Planers then the quick hop or short flight to the Seychelles is not going to be a simple morning or afternoon flight, I know because I am now flying that long route, and it is a full day's flying to get to the central part of the Seychelles. Air Seychelles flies to only 4 international destinations direct in Johannesburg, Mumbai, Mauritius & Antananarivo (Madagascar) using Airbus A320-200 equipment. Range of the A322 is 3,300 nmi (6,112 km), but the issue is that if you get into trouble and want to divert, then you don't have a lot of choices of diversion airports with Dzaoudzi–Pamandzi International Airport (IATA: DZA, ICAO: FMCZ) the closest... when you fly over Dzaoudzi, you really then feel exposed going out and into the expanse of the open Indian Ocean in only a A320. But you have to admit in being this far out, and in so far from anywhere else it does create a sort of excitement, a hope the travails to get all the way out there is worth the trip... but that does also create a certain expectancy of the scenery to live up to as well... in other words "it had better all be worth it". First sign of the custom scenery was actually about 230nm before getting to main group of islands, this is Alphonse Island, and about 30nm before waypoint OKLAB... ... the significant point here is the tropical reef view from above, and it looks excellent even from 35,000ft. As the cloud cover clears you can see quite a few of these excellent reef islands... here is Desroches Island, D’Arros Island and a lot more.... and I admit I was serious impressed by the scale of the scenery as the most remote scenery provided is Assumption Island, and this island is located 1.135 kilometers southwest of the capital on Mahé, the main Seychelles Group. A full map of the scenery coverage is provided by Maps2XPlane. A note is required here in that the scenery does require you to insert new mesh data in the X-Plane/Resources/map data/water/ folder (This is the MAIN X-Plane resources) folder, so be aware that it can be overwritten if you do an X-Plane update. It also begs the question in why Laminar Research don't provide the same tropical reefs as part of the default scenery, this would be a huge enhancement to the simulator world wide from the aspect of that view of Alphonse Island,? Finally after a flight time of 4h 30m we get our first look at Mahé, and the main Island itself... Seychelles International Airport (FSIA) or Aéroport de la Pointe Larue in French, is the main international airport of the Seychelles and it is positioned on the northeast of Mahé, and it has one 13/31, 2.997 m, Concrete runway. The Approach to SEZ is excellent, with the coral reefs and the tropical mountainous regions are spot on, I live in Queensland, Australia which is also a tropical zone and the feel here is exactly that we have in the far north (Qld) and Pacific Islands. 13/31 runway is worn concrete with asphalt headers and is also perfect... very impressive. After all those hours in the air, I was very, very happy to feel the wheels touch that concrete. Runway and taxiway surfaces are really good, and dynamic PBR reflective as well, great for those tropical storms that you would get way out here. Guiding me in is a SAM (Scenery Animation Manager, Plugin required) Marshaller... ... but it didn't feel quite right? he guided me right when I was dead straight on the line, and parked me up very nose forward and even past my ground parking marker... my nose was slightly more forward than the other parked aircraft as well? Seychelles International Airport / SEZ By international airport standards then SEZ is very small, very islander in design and detail. With just one terminal building with six gates, and three to the side for domestic services (i.e. small prop aircraft). ... I love the fuel depot and high quality detail on the storage tanks, and they do dominate the scenery. Airside and Landside detailing is very good as so is the local buildings, airport infrastructure is also well detailed with fine detail and local signage. Note the satellite dishes on the runway edge. There are two other general aviation areas at SEZ, one about a third down the runway and another with an open hangar at the threshold of runway 31 for the Zil Helicopter base... All round FSIA's detail is very impressive, but note also the quality mesh with the rocky outcrops above the airport... There is another remote parking area by the runway 13 threshold, and it has a few static aircraft, but it is a great area to park away from the main ramp areas for both large, private jets and local general aviation... ... Seawalls and grass on the field are also well done, so as an airport scenery by itself then SEZ is really, very, very good. Victoria and Mahé The Seychelles capitol in Victoria is 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) northwest of the airport. And between the airport and Victoria is a large tourist resort. The Seychelles rely heavily on tourism as it's main income, so you will find a lot of tourist focused areas all thoughout all of the scenery. This is the Eden Island resort and the replication of the resort and marinas is very good and highly detailed. Overview of Victoria will see a load of custom buildings, there are no default autogen here as every building is custom made for the local area. And not just in Victoria as the objects are placed completely all over the island of Mahé in a lot of detail. The highlight is the port of Victoria... ..... The port is well modeled with ships docked, but also with animated shipping (large and small) that transverse around and in and out of the port. Huge pylon wind generators also dominate Victoria's seafront. So city detail overall is very good, but don't look for local detail like the Victoria Clocktower as it isn't there, but overall this is very good VFR flying scenery in the locales in being a good representation of the area and it's capital. Maps2XPlane are first and foremost a mesh scenery developer, and they don't disappoint with the island of Mahé. For the scale we are dealing with here, the vistas are extraordinary, as you have about the best island scenery yet with the quality available here... .... not just in the overhead long views, but also in the small detail of rocky coastlines and outcrops, this is a very good if not a perfect coastline and no space has been spared for creating the realism of the detail available here. The Faroes was very, very good, but so are these terrains but in a very different tropical context. Praslin Island One of the most popular tourist islands of the Seychelles is Praslin Island, situated just northeast of Mahé. To get there though, we are going to go the long way around via clockwise circuit of Mahé before going to Praslin Island and our equipment today is the C208 Caravan from Carenado. Departure is from Seychelles International Airport runway 13, and then tracking south past Pointe Au Sel and finally down to the southern most point in the Pointe Du Sud, a hard bank back northwest covers the Pointe Lazare and the bay of Anse A La Mouche. This flying very much reminds me of the same feel and look as the exquisite Sint Maarten - Princess of the Caribbean scenery by AWD, so if you liked that sort of flying experience then this Seychelle scenery would certainly be a very good companion... ... the coastline along the western side here is exceptional and the islands of Therese and Conception at almost the top of the island with the aptly named Silhouette island is also framing the windscreen in the distance. Another bank to the right at Cap Ternay and you are now almost on a direct course to Praslin Island... ... once clear of L'ilot Island at the most northern point of Mahé it is then a 44km flight straight out into the Indian Ocean that connects together the two major islands of the main Seychelles group. Praslin is the second largest island (38.5 km2) after Mahé of the Seychelles, and Praslin has a population of around 7,533 people living in two administrative districts of Baie Sainte Anne and Grand' Anse that is split directly down the centre of the island. Finding the Praslin Island Airport - FSPP is actually quite hard as it is well covered from the seaward approach angle in the Grand Anse, I needed to take an overview flight to find the correct runway angle 15/33 and the correct position and the layout of my landing approach... .... the runway is 1,405m long but also has large approach stopway lengths on each end, and a very long 222m section on the RWY 15 approach. Airport reconnaissance done I decided to do another full clockwise island circuit around Praslin and first up is the famous Lemuria Golf Course and the course is noted here in the scenery. On the northern side of Praslin there are a significant number of big and small islands that stretch far to the east of the main island. Curieuse is the first and I got quite close (down to 500ft) to have a good look at the great rocky detail... .... in the distance are the Grand Soeur, Felicite and Marianne islands and remember single every island in this scenery is all custom mesh and highly detailed. One thing you have in this Seychelles scenery is a lot of areas and islands to explore or do sightseeing trips, by fixed wing or helicopter activities you can spend hours flying around and finding these great views and areas, as there are loads of secluded beaches, fantastic reefs and the water colours are brilliant... ... Praslin is split between the main island and another major tourist island area of La Digue is just to the east, here I slipped between them and headed back to the airport FSPP which also known as Iles des Palmes Airport. From 500ft and the correct 330º angle you could say that this time I had a decent shot at landing on FSPP's 1,405m runway. I really love the concrete dirty runway look, the concrete is all very weathered and very realistically done, and again it reminds me of our local airport conditions. Praslin Airport terminal is very South Pacific in design, this could be either Fiji or Tahiti, and not the western Indian Ocean. The detail of the terminal and its surroundings is simply outstanding, and in a very walk around and to be in the place of pure realism... ... every detail is covered from the ramp to the landside fauna, it is probably the best regional terminal scenery I have seen for a long time, certainly one of the best regional terminals in X-Plane currently. From the exceptional steel roof, to the balcony detail, and the reflective and again lovely detailed windows, it is all modeling art. The township of Praslin and the across the runway the control tower/fire station are also presented and detailed. That is the central focus of the Seychelles in Mahé and Praslin Islands, but as we noted on the flight into the Seychelles there is a lot more in destination islands as well, so let us quickly go through them from the closest to the most outward of the islands. __________________________________ Frégate Island Airport - FSSF, (Grass, 502 meters) is an airstrip serving Frégate Island. It is the easternmost of the granitic Inner Islands and located 55 kilometers east of Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles on Mahé. The runway is located along the northeast shore of the island next to the Frégate Island Private resort. A nice little getaway island that is not far from Victoria, and well worth the short flight as the island has some very nice rock and rock wall detail. Denis Island Airport - FSSD (Grass, 775 meters) is an airstrip serving Denis Island. It is the second north-easternmost island in the Seychelles, located 60 kilometers north of Mahé. It lies at the northern edge of the Seychelles bank, along with the nearby Bird Island. The runway is located next to the Denis Island Resort and is served by Zil Air. Denis is a perfect tourism island and is also the closest Seychelle Island to Victoria, and although the strip is only grass you have microwave and radio towers, solar farm and lovely little bungalows with the same steel roofs of the terminal at Praslin. Bird Island Airport - FSSB (Grass, 920 meters) serves Bird Island. It is a small and the northernmost island in the Seychelles archipelago, 20 kilometers northwest of Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles. The airport is served by Air Seychelles and Zil Air which both have chartered flights from Seychelles International Airport on Mahé. The runway is located next to the Bird Island Lodge. Bird Island is small walkaround in an hour island, with some nice bungalows, but the runway is small and grass. Platte Island Airport - FSPL (Concrete, 1.000 meters) is an airstrip serving Platte Island. It is part of the Southern Coral Group of islands that are part of the Outer Islands, the island is positioned 130 kilometers directly south of Mahé. Platte is fairly typical of most of these Islands with an extensive reef and inner lagoon and one concrete runway, vegetation is very lush and has a few custom buildings to make up the housing. Coëtivy Airport - FSSC (Concrete, 1.400 meters) is an airport serving Coëtivy Island. Coëtivy Island is located 290 kilometers south-southeast of Mahé. Along with Platte Island above is the nearest neighbor 171 kilometers northwest, it comprises the Southern Coral Group of the Outer Islands. Coëtivy is very long with a very extensive and beautiful coral reef, the airport strip is directly across the central section of the island. Desroches Airport - FSDR (Concrete, 1.372 meters) is an airport serving Desroches Island. It is located 227 kilometers southwest of Victoria, the island is measuring 5,5 kilometers long and 1,5 kilometers wide. The island is one of the few to have (expensive) tourist facilities along the beaches, and the airport is angled on the western point of the island. Again there is an extensive coral reef and an extensive lagoon vista to enjoy. D’Arros Island Airport - FSDA (Grass, 975 meters) is an airstrip serving D’Arros Island. The airport is located 255 kilometers west-southwest of Mahé. The island is not far and 50 km to the northwest from the nearby Desroches Islands. D'Arros is not one island but along with St Joseph Island a cluster of islands with some pretty extensive lagoons, D'Arros is the most western island of the group and the only one with the runway, note the animated golf cart that will meet your aircraft. Remire Island Airport - FSSR (Concrete, 478 meters) It is a small circular island and is located 245 kilometers southwest of Mahé, at the northern extremity of the Amirantes Bank and is 31.5 km directly north of D'Arros Island. A very small and round island that has a few houses, but it has a good concrete landing strip across the middle. Marie Louise Island Airport - FSMA (Concrete, 770 meters) is an airstrip serving Marie Louise Island. It is located 308 kilometers southwest of Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles. The runway is located along the eastern shore of the island. Mary Louise is a lovely little island but it is so small that you have to park on the beach, at least the welcoming is nice. Alphonse Airport - FSAL (Concrete, 1.220 meters) Alphonse Island is the sole island of the Alphonse Atoll. It is a small triangular island barely 1,2 kilometers wide, and is located 400 kilometers southwest of Mahé. The runway is located next to the Alphonse Island Resort and served by Zil Air. Alphonse Island is the island I saw from the A320 in flying to Mahé earlier, and of all the outer islands the one with the most facilities. There is a solar farm for electricity and quite a few nicely detailed waters edge bungalows. Alphonse is worth the long distance to get here with its world-class fly fishing and Scuba Diving/Snorkelling which are the main attractions. Farquhar Airport - FSFA (Concrete, 1.179 meters) Farquhar Atoll is part of the Farquhar Group of islands in the Outer Islands and is 770 kilometres (478 miles) southwest of Mahé. The airstrip is located on North Farquhar. The concrete runway length includes a 130 meters (430 ft) displaced threshold on Runway 31. Farquhar Atoll is huge as the total area of the atoll including the large massive lagoon is 170.5 square kilometres (65.8 square miles), and the airport is positioned tight on the end of the north island. There is settlement here and a few animated golf buggys. Astove Island Airport - FSSA (Concrete, 640 meters) is an airstrip serving Astove Island. It is a raised coral island, a single stretch of land, that measure just 1,4 kilometers at the widest part. The island is located 1.041 kilometers southwest of the capital on Mahé. Lovely coral island, but that runway is mighty short at 640m, so you need to pick the right aircraft to go out this far and be able to land on a dot in the ocean. Assumption Island Airport - FSAS (Concrete, 1.210 meters) is an airport serving Assumption Island. The island is located 1.135 kilometers southwest of the capital on Mahé, and is part of the Aldabra Group. If you are going to assume there is a lot out at Assumption Island then don't bother, there isn't really anything here except an island. ______________________ Helicopter Pads There are four Helicopter pads, but only three H Pads. Zil Air Base - FSIA The Zil Helicopter base is positioned by the threshold of RWY 31, there no H Pads are noted here which means you can't just jump to the start point? Naval Base - XHFSNB Mahé. Located on Perseverance Island, an artificial island lying 2 kilometers from the capital Victoria. Hilton Labriz - XHFSSL Silhouette Island. Silhouette is located 20 kilometers northwest of Mahé from where it is clearly visible on the horizon. It is the third largest granitic island in the Seychelles. La Digue Helipad - XHFSLD La Digue. Located 43 kilometers from Mahé and 6,5 kilometers from Praslin. Lighting Overall the lighting in the Seychelles scenery is excellent. SEZ looks great at night, but the lighting is not minutely detailed, but however still good for a scenery of this scale. The green taxiway lights can be lost in the displaced threshold approach lighting, but the aprons are excellent as is the landside lighting. Again the fuel depot tanks are the attraction at night as they are beautifully lit. Victoria The lighting in Victoria is also quite extensive. Eden Island resort is well lit and so is the port with again some nice lighting on the fuel depot. Housing and office building lighting is however a bit boring and bland, very old school flight Simulator of which is a look I don't particularly like as it doesn't look overall very realistic... but in the wide view Victoria looks very good. Praslin Island Once you get away from a major centre island communities, then there usually not a lot of island lighting... ... however the runway is lit, so you can at least fly to Praslin at night and the waiting terminal is very nice as well with a very well lit apron, landside is creative and also good, but once you move away from the airport the lighting is gets sparse except from some odd areas like football (Soccer) fields. We can't cover every island's lighting here as they are mostly the same in context and all quite dark. All runways concrete and grass are not lit, so night flying operations are not available anyway. But there are some nice details set out in the different islands that doesn't make them all look or feel exactly the same, porch lighting, tennis courts and cabins are all nicely lit as are the radio and microwave towers. But most buildings (houses) are the same one dimensional grey window colour. __________________________________ Summary We had big expectations after the last scenery of the Faroe Islands XP by Maps2XPlane (Aerosoft) as the scenery was extraordinary in scale and mesh detailing, it was easily my best choice for scenery of the year in 2019. This Seychelles scenery is the follow up and it certainly does not disappoint in any way, not in scale nor in detail to the Faroe Island experience, but compared to Vágar it is vastly different as the scale here is mega, in fact for thousands of kilometers across the Indian Ocean to cover entire archipelago of this extensive package. Central area of the Seychelles is Victoria situated on the island of Mahé that lies 1,500 kilometres (932 mi) east of mainland Africa, so you are looking at least a 3 to 4 hour flying time to get there, but it is certainly well worth the effort for what this scenery delivers. Seychelles International Airport : SEZ/FSIA is very well represented in the Seycelles scenery with an excellent and detailed airport with dynamic runways and surfaces and SAM marshaller activity. And so is the capitol of Victoria with its port and tourist resorts, Mahé lighting overall is again excellent, but most housing lighting is one dimensional and old fashioned. The other significant area is Praslin Island and the airport there is simply the best rendered and detailed regional terminal I have seen for years. Also significant is the multitude of islands and detailed reef and lagoon features, There are thirteen islands altogether spread out to a distance of 1.135 kilometers from Mahé. All are hugely well created and detailed with distinctive features to each island, most runways are concrete but many are also grass as well. Maps2XPlane are known for not the their scenery but excellent and detailed mesh, and that is the basis of all the scenery in this package. Not only is the mesh highly realistic, but rocky outcrops, rocks and all coastline detail is excellent and there is a lot of coastline in this scenery to cover with such quality and detail and those coral reef and lagoon vistas which are exceptional. The price in a scenery context is high, but you also get a huge scale and a high quality return for your money with a lot of adventure and exploring that will keep flyers happy for long periods of time, so overall there is a lot of value in the Seychelles scenery package. I have spent almost a full week in the Seychelles scenery package, and it is a very, very good experience. So much to explore across the entire archipelago and so much to even just absorb, so you have to give credit to the developers in creating a scenery on this scale. For you and me though it is just a matter of installing the scenery and getting involved with the experience, and then you just dream of if the rest of X-Plane in mesh and detail was just simply as good as this.... highly Recommended! ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! Seychelles XP by Aerosoft - Maps2XPlane is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Seychelles XP Price Is US$49.99 Features Custom terrain mesh with photo-realistic textures and vegetation Highly detailed rendition of the Seychelles International Airport Highly detailed rendition of the Regional Praslin Island Airport Renditions of thirteen additional airfields and four heliports Hundreds of custom objects and landmarks all over the islands Custom autogen with country-specific buildings and objects Road-network and sea-routes with animated, dynamic traffic Custom static aircraft and liveries by Pedro van Leeuwen Implementation of the “Scenery Animation Manager” (SAM v2) Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4Gb VRAM Video Card. 8Gb+ VRAM recommended Download Size: 3 GB Current version : 1.0 (Feb 17th 2020) Installation Download scenery file size is 3.07gb and with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder as there are nine install folders in order below: Seychelles4XPlane - Overlay Seychelles4XPlane - Airports Seychelles4XPlane - Additions Seychelles4XPlane - Terrain Total scenery installation is a huge : 7.31gb There is the requirement that the scenery does require you to insert new mesh data (provided in the Additions folder) in the X-Plane/Resources/map data/water/ folder (This is the MAIN X-Plane resources) folder. The developers note you need to adjust the X-Plane "scenery_packs.INI" so the loading order is correct. Documents One extenisve manual in German and English with notes, and one scenery area map. Manual_SeychellesXP_Xplane_de-en Map_SeychellesXP_Xplane_de-en ______________________________________________________________________   Review by Stephen Dutton 13th March 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 v1.13 US$69.90 Scenery or Aircraft - A320 Ultimate by Flightfactor (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$89.95 - C208B Grand Caravan HD Series XP11 by Careando (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$34.95
  25. 1 point
    CX looks good on the B777-200LR, yes the -300 would be nice, but it depends on how much you would use it... You do however get the CX B777F with the extended pack as well?
  26. 1 point
    I wasn't completely happy with the "lazy " comment, so that has been changed. But I disagree with you on your other comments. This "Traffic" application is priced at US$50+ and at that price then realistic approach, landing and departure profiles are a necessity, the so called "immersion" factor does just not cut with me as that makes the application a sort of plaything and not a realistic traffic environment. My biggest confusion is that in most areas the application is simply outstanding, but one of the most important and actually the most simplest procedure factors has been overlooked or very poorly implemented. As I noted in the summary "to create a realistic traffic application for any simulator is is a very complex undertaking" so I know how hard it is in creating something of this scale, but again these flight profiles are actually quite simple to implement and should be the heart of a US$50+ product and not just be an after thought. SD
  27. 1 point
    Scenery Update : KSLC - Salt Lake City International v1.5 by ShortFinal Design In April 2017 mister6x made the jump from freeware to payware with this rendition of KSLC - Salt Lake City International and also at the same time a change to the formal name of ShortFinal Design. As a debut scenery then KSLC - Salt Lake City International was a sensational release in every respect including the sub-$25 price. But in two and a half years a lot can change in the X-Plane simulator and so also has ShortFinal design. Significant was the release last year of Short Final design's EDDM - Munich which was a masterpiece (and won our best airport scenery of the year 2019), it wasn't so much the high detail, but also in the way that ShortFinal had mastered the X-Plane11 dynamic features and the same airport was also the first third party to apply in a scenery the SAM - Scenery Animation Manager to great effect. The problem was EDDM - Munich rendered every other Short Final scenery to be a little dated so an update for SLC is now required, and here it is. Overall the airport in this v1.5 you will find it's layout is virtually unchanged which is a good thing There was not a lot of the first release of Short Final's KSLC scenery to moan about, as it was all a very high quality airport, but the one area that didn't quite work was that the scenery didn't fit in to the landscape very well. There are several reasons, but the main reason is that the default mesh and textures around Salt Lake are not of what you would call high quality... fair enough. But Short Final also created many blank areas around the airport that didn't help in blending it in with the background that worked either. With this v1.5 release a lot of those blank green areas have been adjusted, but a few blank areas are still there on the north and south approaches, at SLC airport itself these blank areas are part of the salt lake (white pools of salt) and are still noticeable... .... but however one of the biggest eyesores has been addressed. The area behind the General Aviation area that connects out to the city autogen has had a photo texture fill and it works very well in reducing the isolation factor of the airport from the city and in the actual texture mesh. It is a flat ground texture with no 3d buildings, but thankfully it all works very well. So the biggest issue I had with the scenery has been addressed, I do note I am using Short Final's excellent SFD Global texture package, and that also goes a long way in replacing the original poor mesh textures of the Salt Lake area. SAM - Scenery Animation Manager The first release of Short Final's KSLC had a variation of "Marginal's" autogate and docking guidance plugin. But now the docking system has been changed to the more adaptable Stairport SAM - Scenery Animation Manager like with Short Final's EDDM, and very good it is as well... ... you get a marshaller guiding you into the bay, then the menu connection to the aircraft. I thought this would have taken away the excellent featured Docking Guidance System (DGS) at KSLC, but no... it is still here and it has been adapted over to the SAM system. The Traffic Light system is so well done and great to use, beautifully reproduced here it shows a real attention to detail... ..... bay airport information boards are still very good as well and they show current local time, air pressure (inHg) and current air temperature (ºC). PBR Dynamics Like again the dynamic Munich you now have the PBR (Physically Based Rendering) on the ground and with the building textures at SLC... ... you could call them reflections, but the process is a bit more involved than that to bring out the materials and texture feel and realism. Glass was already reflective, but now add in the terminal design with the refined PBR materials and the the WOW factor kicks in. It is the sheer realism of everything that now brings the airport alive. The process is used also the refine the textures with down-scaled normal maps so that they now are more efficient as well, so you get the best of both worlds of not only dynamic realism, but a higher framerate in scenery use as well... I think it is known as a WIN-WIN. Beautiful light spill has been added to the navigation taxiway signage, this is another use of PBR to it's maximum effect. Short Final's v1.5 has also been dynamically adjusted to use SAM seasons and the TerraMAXX concept, I use the xEnviro seasonal adjustment for the same effect, and it is exceptional... Summer and Winter versions are also available. Short Final were always the leader in excellent clutter, and SLC is one of the best and the MisterX Library is required. Everything is here, Ice deployment trucks, graders, snowploughs and all the airport service vehicles are all locally branded, not only to airlines (plural) but SLC branding as well, all the quality vehicles have also been retextured for PBR. Also included is the Salt Lake City Skyline which is untouched but still very effective. As noted the main terminal and ground layouts remains unchanged, but it didn't need any adjustment or changes anyway, but you do get the more slightly darker PBR textures on the buildings and the ground and you could call it "nitty gritty", and it does certainly enhance the overall SLC scenery to a more and higher realism. ________________________________ Summary Only released two and a halve years ago, ShortFinal's (aka mister6x) statement scenery in KSLC - Salt Lake City International was at the time the best in many areas, but ShortFinal topped themselves with the extraordinary EDDM - Munich last year 2019 and so now SLC also gets the same dynamic and feature based tools and treatment as the German airport. The focus in this v1.5 update is on the dynamics and the application of PBR or Physically Based Rendering on all the textures. This makes the ground and buildings reflective but also dynamic to sunlight and environmental lighting conditions. Add in season effects and taxiway spill lighting and you have a very effective and highly realistic scenery. Other areas have had attention including new clutter PBR textures, and the replacement of the older Marginal autogate and docking guidance plugin with the more versitile Stairport SAM - Scenery Animation Manager that is also featured with it's seasonal effects, TerraMAXX and X-Enviro season effects now also work as well. Touchup of the surrounding blank mesh has been replaced by photo textures, but there are still a few blank areas, but overall KSLC blends in the landscape far better than with the original release. ShortFinal has a reputation as one of the very best scenery developers in X-Plane. They deliver quality scenery, all the latest features and dynamics at a huge value price, and you can't really can't pass a great deal like that up... SLC is a must have! _____________________________ The KSLC - Salt Lake City International v1.5 by ShortFinal Design is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : KSLC-Salt Lake City International Your Price: US$24.95 Scenery Features: Accurate rendition of KSLC Highly accurate scenery for KSLC – Salt Lake City International Airport and parts of Salt Lake City Accurate models for all terminals, hangars, and other buildings Terminals with 3D interiors High-Resolution Airport Buildings and vehicles with PBR materials Baked Ambient Occlusion Custom high resolution ground textures High resolution photo scenery (15cm/px) Animated and populated Airport Animated airport vehicles (GroundTraffic) Animated jetways and custom DGS unique to KSLC using the Scenery Animation Manager (SAM) plugin Randomly placed static aircraft, can be easily toggled off in the X-Plane settings Weather support Summer and winter version Weather effects on the ground for rain and snow Requirements : X-Plane 11 (fully updated. not compatible with XP10) Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum. 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download size: 1.2 GB Current version and Review version: 1.5 (January 2nd 2020) Installation and documents: MisterX Library can be installed to get a larger selection of static aircraft. Stairport SAM v2.02 animation plugin is required for this scenery: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/49066-sam-scenery-animation-manager/ SFD Global is recommended Documents : Manual supplied but no charts v1.5 Update Log txt KSLC v1.5 Log.txt _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 8th January 2020 Copyright©2020: X-PlaneReviews (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 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11b15 and also used in X-Plane v10.52 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe GHD plugin : SFD Global - Global Textures : WT3 - WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : SAM Plugin - Free Scenery or Aircraft - Boeing 737-800 - (Xplane Default) by Laminar Research
  28. 1 point
    Stephen

    Behind the Screen : November 2019

    Behind the Screen : November 2019 It is great and even a relief to be back behind the computer after a very demanding house move, actually we moved just 150 meters, but it was a difficult transition. So thanks for all your patience. And then we hit the keys hard in trying to catch up the lost ground, and covering the new releases, and boy what a big month it was in November, and so much going on and even a few mis-steps as well. In another note is that we will again be missing again a few weeks in December also as with the move holding everything up a family situation was put on hold, now we have to travel to sort that out as well, so the dates 3rd Dec to 14th Dec will again mean the site will be quiet, but we will try to fill in everything happening before and after those dates. And a big end of 2019 it is. Obviously the release of X-Plane 11.50 is the BIG one and ditto the Q&A session from Laminar Research on Tues 19th Nov (or 20th Nov here in Australia). A trainwreck dosen't even come close to the session... I watched it live (the broadcast timezone actually for once worked for me) and it wasn't pretty. It was nothing that really Laminar have not done in the past, but this one was more of a group get together at the bar after work sort of affair, a lot of fun for them and not for anyone else... the video was pulled for the obvious reasons. The problem is Laminar are still actually just a very small group of developers, highly talented mind you, but still an extremely small team. So any development and certainly a very extensive change like with the API (Vulkan/Metal) can mean very few resources are available for anything else. Vulkan/Metal has been a total complete year worklog, everything in resources at Laminar has gone into translating these API's, and the benefits are huge like with the 64bit changeover... but the overriding situation now is of course Microsoft's new 2020 version of "Flight Simulator". In most cases Laminar could have just gone on in their own merry way, but the explosion of MS2020 has totally changed all of that, and that is why the Q&A session was such a debacle and why it didn't look good on Laminar Research. Overall they are trapped, as noted everything is focused on those API's but the discussion is showing all the other fatalistic areas of X-Plane that have not been covered, or have been simply left to long on the "Too Hard" development hell list for too long, devotees wanted answers and what they got was hi-jinks and waffle, but overall it just looked like Laminar are simply not prepared for the coming onslaught. Personally I will disagree with that aspect to a point. First no simulator developers have been as forward looking than Laminar, in fact most of the main features being promoted by MS2020 are the very things that X-Plane users have used happily for years, and even years, including flight modeling and dynamic PBR/HDR, but in areas like the ATC and weather Microsoft has had it far better than X-Plane. That is why over the last few years X-Plane has soared with crossover MS devotees in suddenly finding a far better simulator, now most will go back to their favorite home and X-Plane will again feel and look like the hobby outfit they all labelled us all in the first place, there is simply no loyalty in today's market. Most X-Plane leaders including Laminar are noting that "This is really good for X-Plane" but in the way of attracting more gamers or users to simulation, and yes they have a major point there as Microsoft will spend a fortune promoting their new simulator to the world, so yes X-Plane will also get a nice slice of the new action. MS users are of course all wide-eyed and fist pumping the ceiling as all their desperate prayers and that their frantic rose bead rubbing has actually paid off. But their confrontation with the new MS2020 simulator will actually be more confronting than their begrudgingly move was to X-Plane, and probably even more expensive. For one in that only a small part of their huge legacy systems will actually work in MS2020, certainly all the aircraft will not work until they are updated to MS2020 standards, and no doubt the money desperate MS developers want serious payback in delivering the new (if same) products to the users... in time yes a lot of the 3rd party MS machine will move to MS2020, but a lot if not mostly will also be totally discarded if MS want to keep to a more gamer style environment, so if you want that total experimentation and huge add-on experience then actually X-Plane would actually still be for the hard-core users the better versatile option... Hype is also everything. I will note that yes the MS2020 promo's of MS2020 are simply outstanding and yes I am seriously impressed. Calls of "hundreds" of developers are working on MS2020 and millions and millions of dollars are being spent to create it, so you can stop there in believing the truth... the team is realistically about 100 (110 was mentioned) but I would even say it is far less than that (still a huge number against three or four developers at Laminar) and not halve of the Vancouver population as recorded, but the team has had the huge advantage of creating the simulator from scratch (and stealing all the best ideas at the same time). But if you understand simulation that in reality it is one of the most complex multilayered coding than most computer programs, even if the code only runs on one type of operating system. What MS2020 will be out of the box is still covered in hype, yes the few that have access are claiming it is outstanding, but the only test is the one were we make the ultimate choice of use and not the view of a corralled few. I still think it will be subscription based, and again that will still keep many of the one payment and fly for years in X-Plane devotees stay the course, a big percentage of simulation users are also the meanest with their cash. Which brings us back to X-Plane and realistically X-Plane12, due this time next year. Ben Supnic noted that the beta 11.50 will be a long and never ending rollout, well Ben I don't think that can really happen now, in reality Laminar need to have the API beta wrapped up and done by even March, all hands on deck, move the API off the table as it has already has spent out too much time and held the focus at Laminar. I have noted over the last few BtheS about X-Plane's shortcomings, but now the points are now more obvious. Weather, that damn ATC, traffic, water and terrain are all very tired or simply out date by two versions of the simulator.... actually all can be easily fixed. Chris Serio and Tyler Young have been banging away on the ATC for years now, so there has to light at the end of this painful tunnel. Weather needs actually xEnviro? The actual X-Plane cloud formations are not too bad, but need more types of formations... xEnviro's trick is to create the highly realistic weather feel and environments, the conditions created are exceptional, but their heavy 3d cloud system is simply a mess... you can see the idea here, both systems need each other to fix both their weaknesses and to take on the MS2020 system. Realistic water has also been on the cards for years, and shown in demos. Another area to be finally fixed and released and that leaves the outdated terrain textures, certainly the orbital textures need to be seriously updated... and with the loss of alpilotx and no updated mesh for a few years now, and so that is another critical area with a need to be filled. Can all that be done in a year... personally yes I think so, certainly if Laminar bring on board a dedicated person for the terrain and mesh revamp, do that and the the differences between MS2020 and X-Plane12 will actually be quite small with X-plane actually having the advantage of the current large range of current aircraft, plugins and scenery. A lot of the forward movement currently is from Laminar's point of view restricted by the API itself, all or any new features require a lot more better and efficient processing power and the now completed API X-Plane will be finally be able to breath again and run these very heavy processor intensive features, perhaps that was the overall feel at the end of the year Q&A party, but it again came across the wrong way, either way... 2020 is shaking up already to be a huge and very interesting year for simulation, exciting as well. The release of SSG's v2 Boeing 747-8 Inter was one of the most perplexing of the year. I am always totally in full support of any developer, and certainly developers that wear their hearts on their sleeves and are simply trying their very best. But their B748 release in version 2 was simply an odd one all round. Over the years I have had my run ins with a few very inflexible developers, they have a single vision of the way things should be and will give not one knot of space to changing anything, ego is a very big part of this stonewalling inflexibility.. they are always absolutely correct and that is simply the last word on the matter.... the problem with this attitude is that some say 80,000 users see it another way, and a lot if not most of them are quite vocal with that. My job is to warn the victims in the case of the developer before they do a lot of damage to their brand and reputation, most obviously they ignore the comments and usually end up in going to into oblivion anyway, but the greatest developers are the ones that listen, tune in and fix the issues, they go on to usually being the greats and survivors in simulation and SSG have always done this. The original release of the Boeing 747-8 was a very ambitious project from the start and maybe it was a bit too ambitious for a new and fledging developer crew, but they did sort the aircraft out through the numerous updates through the years, the last (legacy) version is not actually that bad overall. But a clean page and a completely new design from the ground up was promised to be all round the things the older version wasn't. The oddness of SSG is that they have been around X-Plane for years now, so they are not an inexperienced crew, and they have been there before. The aircraft however didn't feel like a completely new design from the ground up. It was heavy frameweight wise (I found it to be 4K heavy), visually externally it didn't have the dynamic impact of more current X-Plane large aircraft releases and the most bewildering factor of all was the 3d (virtual) cockpit. All through the original versions of the B748 the virtual cockpit was the most biggest issue. It is an odd place in there, dark, no light dynamics and very dull textures. You got used to it, but it wasn't one of the most nicest of places to do 10 or 12 hours of flying. So everyone wanted a better 3d cockpit... SSG did redevelop that cockpit, but it came out exactly like the old version... you looked around you and it didn't feel or actually look any different in there... very odd. The truly sad thing thing is this factor hides all the really great work done on the systems and features, but again a 3d upper deck and no lower deck was another odd matter as well, and then considering that the doors opened out onto a missing deck? but my thoughts were that with another full 3d deck that would have put the frameweight over 6K, so it was actually a good job it was missing... final note was that all the manipulators touch zones were totally out by miles, so you were operating buttons in areas that didn't have the actual switches or buttons and the new tablet menu wasn't finished or again actually touch zone usable... no doubt SSG will fix up this Boeing 747-8 and they already have released the first v2.1 (or service pack 1) that covers a lot of the issues including the touch zones, but after years of users noting the issues, then why ignore them? And yes it maybe all new, but the aircraft didn't actually feel new, or the more forward modern design we have probably been overindulged with (or expect), and certainly not in it's complex design and weight. Like Apple with their iPhones, every year we just expect more and more from developers, but there has to be a ceiling (no pun intended). But that has also been a constant issue all year really, developers releasing aircraft as a sort of (Early Access) or beta version, in reality it is money grab and selling you an unfinished project disguised as a "enjoy the ride of development" or to beta test the hell out of it, and Colimata's lovely Concorde is a case in point, it has now finally gone to the full release version v1.10. Personally the aircraft was unfinished to fly in it's "early access" incarnation, and problems are getting worse with more and more aircraft now being released unfinished in this fashion, and if I can't fly it, then how are the new users going to be expected to sort it all out. But this sort of business deal can also seriously ruin your brand. If you read BtheS often you will know I have my beefs, mostly I repeat them often and again here I go again... the one overriding annoyance this year and was particularly bad in November is in scenery or there is actually two of them, or first in particular the "Ground Routes" or those ATC route thingys that most scenery developers have absolutely still no idea on how to do them correctly? I have had countless new sceneries this year and last year, and with most they were delivered with very poorly inserted ATC routes in WED. Yes the developers insert the ATC routes, but don't actually a) connect them up to the gates (or even b) label the gates most times) and certainly never ever complete the route flows and AirportOperation files. Yes I know they can be a) hard, b) extremely laborious to do all of these ATC points, but the scenery is crap without these items sorted correctly. A few developers have done a brilliant job with the ATC routes and their work comes alive directly out of the box, but most are downright feeble in traffic action (meaning WT3 and now Global Traffic), and of all the features this one is THE most IMPORTANT.... I hope 2020 is far better in this department, and don't get me even started on poor mismatched brightly coloured photo mesh textures... aggggh! As usual there will be no Behind the Screen December 2019, but the usual 2019 total round up of the year including our best picks of 2019 in the week before Christmas, so look out for the years grand finale post then Bye for now Stephen Stephen Dutton 1st December 2019 Copyright©2019: X-Plane Reviews
  29. 1 point
    Well I don't mind if they are this good, I mean how many C172's do we have...
  30. 1 point
    Scenery Upgrade : LEBL - Barcelona XP11 by JustSim There is sometimes no rhyme or reason of why you are attracted to certain aircraft or sceneries. You just are. And that is surprisingly in the case that the actual scenery chosen doesn't have all the features and dynamics that it really should have. But a few like EDDL - Düsseldorf (also by JustSim), ENGM - Oslo Airport, Gardermoen (Aerosoft) and EGCC - Manchester (the old one from Aerosoft) have all been very prominent in many of our reviews, added into that list is LEBL - Barecelona which is again always an outright choice for any flights to or from Spain... if looking hard there is one common theme amongst all these favoured sceneries and that is they all run the WorldTraffic 3 plugin very well, that maybe the connection, but even then JustSim's LEBL - Barcelona was always a favoured first routing choice of any Mediterranean destination. More interesting is the fact that JustSim's version of LEBL - Barcelona although good out of the box, still had a lot of areas that I would usually rally hard against as not being up to standard, truth be told then LEBL should not have even come close to being listed on my main usage list, but I was willing (why) to use it despite these in some cases high limitations, so there must be something good going on here, and when this new upgraded XP11 version popped up I was really quite excited and hoped that many of the earlier areas of missed features and dynamics had been rectified. I noted at the time "you get the feeling the scenery has been released quickly and before it is finished" as the Christmas (2017) holiday season was the point of the original release. So let us look at the changes in the XP11 version of LEBL. The original review is here: Scenery Review : LEBL Barcelona El Prat by JustSim Outwardly visually there isn't much much difference than the original, in reality it didn't need it either as it was already quite comprehensive, I will note that included and they are situated in these images here are the addon city objects of the Barcelona Skyline 2.1 by marpilot, as they add in a lot and to the feel of the Barcelona city skyline. Terminal One was really well done originally, it thoroughly looked the modern and stylish building it was supposed to represent, no issues with that aspect at all... JustSim note the terminal has been remodelled here, I think it has had improvements, but more to the finishing off stage than any major structure changes, the only physical change as I can see is on Ramp R-15, the covered walkways have been removed and the stands have been rearranged, the ground signage in front of R-15 is now different as well, your old WT3 parking is now out of alignment as well with the new layout. When you arrived at your assigned gate originally it was simply not a great experience, it was then very bland, empty and inactive (below). The XP11 version has fixed pretty well everything in this aspect... .... a huge amount of good clutter has fixed most of these barren areas, and every gate and even around all the aprons there is now a significant amount of clutter but none is BCN branded, but it is still very good. I particularly like the variations of different ground equipment, like all the neoplans (buses) that are different. There are animations now also present as well, it is noted as still a WIP, but there is enough animated vehicle activity to satisfy into bringing in some movements into the work areas. The X-Plane ground service now also works, I rarely use this because I use the JARDesign GHD plugin, but it is an additional feature for those that use the default version. VDGS - Visual Docking Guidance System Another fix is the now inclusion of the VDGS - Visual Docking Guidance System, or animated airbridges. This is the older Marginal version and not the more recent SAM plugin, and for some reason JustSim is not embracing the SAM system over the Marginal version, weird because JustSim usually use the latest ideas and features with their sceneries... One of the biggest LEBL drawbacks has thankfully now been fixed as it was very odd (boring) with those fixed old fashioned airbridges. The feature is very well intergrated into the terminal as well with a similar design and the correct see through glass. Even if they are the older system, these VDGS airbridges are very nice, but some of the pole navigation electronic displays are a little tall, I had to crouch down low in the MD88 to see the display. Terminal 2 west has the VDGS system as well and JustSim noted that the VDGS system is still a WIP... but I tested two airbridges over here and they worked fine, they are of a solid construction in design than the glass airbridges of T1 but look authentic. Like Terminal One in that Terminal 2 was a very empty place, it is now highly active and thankfully more realistic... .... I usually avoided Terminal 2 because of its blandness, but now in this XP11 version it is perfectly active enough for me to come over here, still mostly for LCC use, but that is fine. HDR active All glass in the terminals, buildings and airbridges are now HDR reflective... .... again this is another step forward in making the gates and buildings more realistic and not dull. LEBL - Barcelona now also comes with HDR ground and surface reflections, so if you have a bit of wet weather into the airport, then the effects shine. The lighting effects show off the great textures on the runways, it is really great for any nocturnal flight activities at LEBL, night arrivals and certainly at dawn or dusk were always extremely dramatic. Wet areas around the brightly lit ramps are excellent, it is brilliant down here and to note the excellent wet shine on the empty baggage carts. Tower view has been fixed... yeah. All approaches are now available, rather than an apron, still set slightly too high, but at least it is working... .... you would be surprised how much you missed something as simple as the tower view here. The control tower itself (which is really well done) has acquired a autogen traffic road around its base? and cars appear and move where they shouldn't. Lighting at El Prat was always good, at night and in use the airport is excellent, certainly from any approach or departure aspect. Terminal 1 night-lighting has been redone, but it is still slightly blueish too dark, Terminal 2 however is excellent. The only negatives are the landside terminal approach roads lighting have still not be added, so you get this very dark blank area in front of the terminal, it is an easy fix, but again overlooked. Another overlooked area is on the RWY 25R, even RWY25L and RWY 02 Departures. In the distance the Barcelona dock cranes have always been a great view filler, but also on those approaches there is a very blank area associated with the docks and it is noticeable... ' .... JustSim have added in a few low warehouses, but it is not enough for the large flat area and it creates a flat hole in the scenery and on these northern significant approaches as well. There has been a little added to the custom autogen, but there are still a few noticeable spaces, but overall the custom autogen is very good... add in the default autogen and you get a great visual feast, it is one on of the main reasons I use LEBL - Barcelona so much. Summary I really liked LEBL - Barcelona El Prat airport by JustSim from the very first landing, and even if at the time it had significant missing X-Plane active features, and as I noted at the same time it also felt a little unfinished... but this new upgraded version puts a lot of those missing features right. Terminals, aprons and buildings felt empty (because they were), are now full of great clutter, there has been added in a lot of nice vehicles and general airport ground infrastructure, you certainly don't feel lonely down here anymore and arrivals are far more realistic. VDGS - Visual Docking Guidance Systems on both main terminals is another huge bonus of interaction. More fixes includes animated vehicles (not a lot yet), ground service and a nice variation in all custom vehicles, but they are not BCN branded. X-Plane11's HDR dynamic features are also another great new added in feature here; includes HDR ground textures for wet,rain and lighting reflections, building glass reflections and even to the HDR use on static clutter (baggage trolleys and more) is very good to exceptional. All lighting is very good as well and the "Tower View" is sort of fixed (too high), but still better. Negatives are small, but notable in missing street approach lighting landside Terminal 1 and an empty flat dockland area on the northern approaches Two options are certainly to be considered at this JustSim LEBL. One is the city objects of the Barcelona Skyline 2.1 by marpilot, and the other is Classic Jet Simulations World Traffic 3 - WT3 (World Traffic 3.0). The running of WT3 is excellent here and it all works perfectly with the complex taxiway and runway layouts, WT3 is one of the big attractions to using LEBL. LEBL - Barcelona El Prat airport is in my high rotation of routing, in other words I use this El Prat scenery a lot, use the scenery yourself and you will see why, more so now as most of the niggles have been comprehensively addressed in this XP11 version upgrade, now it will be more addictive than ever, great value, upgrades from the older version is US$5.00 but it is now only for X-Plane11... A simply must have on your European routing network. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! LEBL Barcelona El Prat Airport XP11 by JustSim is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : LEBL - Barcelona Airport XP11 Price is US$21.00 Previous owners of JustSim's LEBL-Barcelona (XP10/XP11) version can upgrade for US$5.00 to version XP11 Features: New version optimized for XP11 Custom runway, taxiway and airport lights Shading and occlusion (texture baking) effects on terminal and other airport buildings Manualy placed a lot of autogen buildings High resolution photo scenery near airport and city High resolution ground textures / Custom runway textures High resolution building textures Ground service World Traffic compatible X-Life traffic compatible Optimized for excellent performance Animated jetway and airport traffic - work in progress ______________________________________________________________________ Installation The download package is 370.10mb and is 1.08gb when installed as a single folder in your X-Plane "Custom Scenery" Folder. The addition of city objects in the Barcelona Skyline 2.1 by marpilot package is well worth the installation. Marginal AutoGate plugin 1.72 Is required for use of this scenery, install in your X-Plane Resources/Plugin folder This scenery can now be ONLY used in X-Plane11with this XP11 version Documents: None Requirements : X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac, Linux 4GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Current and Review version: 1.3 (July 2nd 2019) ______________________________________________________________________ Upgrade Review by Stephen Dutton 4th July 2019 Copyright©2019: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 1Tb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.45 / Checked install in X-Plane11b6 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : Headshake by SimCoders Plugins: JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe US$14.95 : WorldTraffic3 US$29.95 : Environment Engine v1.10 by xEnviro US$69.90 : AutoGate plugin 1.72 Scenery or Aircraft - McDonnell Douglas MD-80 by Rotate ((Rotate MD-88 - X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$59.95
  31. 1 point
    Plugin Update : WebFMC Pro v1.5.0 by Green Arc Studios The latest update to the excellent WebFMC Pro v1.5.0 plugin is not a large one, but it is highly significant. This version adds in the default Laminar FMC to the usable selection of aircraft FMS systems to the user. The WebFMC is a plugin that allows you to use a FMC (Flight Management Computer) on an external screen via a web browser. That is an another computer or tablet. It is a remote tool, but a very beneficial tool and even a powerful one in programming in route and performance data and following the set aircraft route in flight and in mirroring the aircraft's built in FMS (Flight Management System). Added into the functionality is a load of features in the use of the FMC on another screen.... and yes I am a huge fan. Any plugin or tool that you use is highly valuable if you actually use it, if not it is a waste of money. So for me the value of this plugin is that I use it all the time and in fact most times that I have to programme in a route and and aircraft performance and preferences data. There are two versions available and the PRO version is now listed with an impressive 16 aircraft, but three in the list of the Zibo Mod 737-800 and the 737-900ER/700 Ultimate are also available in the Free Demo version. WebFMC Pro v1.5.0 This version is significant because it breaks the boundary in the aircraft already listed into another dimension. Before it was the actual FMC per aircraft, but here in this version has been added in the default Laminar Research FMC... that fact opens up the plugin's scope to cover any aircraft that uses or has installed the default FMC feature. These aircraft include both FlyJSim's Boeing 732 and 727 by FlyJSim, KingAir 350 by Airfoil Labs, Challenger 300 by DDen, many of the aircraft from Carenado and a lot of others - the list now is really open-ended in the use that any developer that adds in the default X-Plane FMC will now be be automatically added to the list. The full current v1.5.0 list is: The complete list of supported aircraft / FMCs with version 1.5.0: Default X-Plane FMC with all aircraft that use it NEW! SSG E-Jets Evolution Series (both variants) SSG 747-8 Series (both variants) FlightFactor A350 XWB Advanced (old style MCDU) JARDesign 330 (requires v3.1r2+) JARDesign 320 (both v3.2x and new v3.4+) ToLiss 319 FlightFactor A320 Ultimate FlightFactor Boeing 757v2 (all variants) FlightFactor Boeing 767 (all variants) Rotate MD-80 IXEG 737-300 EADT x737 (x737FMC required) Zibo Mod 737-800 737-900 Ultimate 737-700 Ultimate Default X-Plane FMC This may not sound great, but I find the current Default X-Plane FMC a bit average? Yes I will admit I have been very overindulged with some very exceptional aircraft FMC's. X-Plane as a simulator and 3rd party addons have come a long way in this area since the first in the JRollon CRJ-200, and still I am slightly flummoxed in that the same developer in Phillipp Ringlar actually programmed both the first and the default FMC's. There is no doubt the Default X-Plane FMS is extremely basic, but that aspect is fine because as there is a wide variety of aircraft it has to cover, it can't do the deeper data for aircraft performance or preferences... and I get that. But my issue is that it is currently quite average in loading in the basic and required SID (Standard instrument departures) and STAR's (Standard Terminal Arrival Route ). I create most of my flightplans in SimBrief of which I wholly recommend and it is free. And you can import the created (Flightplan) route directly into X-Plane and it's FMC. But in most cases the required SID is missing, so the aircraft usually goes direct (DCT) to the first waypoint. Worse are the STAR's in that they are usually again a very basic import with a lot of significant waypoints missing, I will note that a lot of the STAR approaches are just plain weird like at EDDM - Munich so they do require editing. Of course you have to route edit even the very best of FMC systems, that is a given, but the Default FMC is just too basic in even laying out any selected SID or STAR route, yes you can select them, but they usually are nothing like the actual SID and STAR you are loading in, and consistently they send you directly to the runway threshold. An important note at this time is to make sure all your navigation data is collated across the board with both the Simulator Nav Data and the Aircraft Nav Data are the same. Yes it costs a little to do this via either a Navigraph (recommended) account or Aerosoft's NavDataPro data cycle. I found the IXEG B737 Nav data so out of date I was landing in fields far off the runway. If short of funds then only download the data two or three times a year, but it is the collation of all the nav data across all aspects of the simulator that is important, not the age of the nav data (in other words it is all the same). So currently WebFMC Pro is just about invaluable for fixing up these nav data errors in the default FMC... here the plugin is now available in the lovely Fokker F50 by Carenado via both the Default FMC and WebFMC Pro. Style of the FMC is based on a facia of a Boeing like with the Zibo 738. Here we have a route from EGCC - Manchester to EKYT - Aalborg. Departure for MCR is actually DIRECT to DESIG via SID DESIG 1S, so even the default FMC could not get that wrong? But at the other end at Aalborg it was a mess of an arrival route, Problem is that there are no arrival STAR's for EKYT RWY 26R? but there is an RNAV chart via insertion waypoint BAKIT. First bonus of the WebFMC Pro was that I was able to input data via the keyboard directly, which you can't do in the aircraft version and even in the pop-up, second is that the data is fully accessible on your desktop, in this case set out between SimBrief (right) and the Navigraph Charts (left), so no head movements back and too from another another screen of which you would have to constantly do in the aircraft, so it is like a sort of work-desk arrangement. So inputs of the last official route waypoint of KEMEG to VABUT to BAKIT and then DCT to RW 26R, of which gives us a very nice approach route to the EKYT runway. A bigger bonus for me and I accept that you will need the Navigraph Chart Application is that the Carenado F50 has no PLAN mode? This mode allows you to check your route directly out of the FMC on usually the NAV screen of the aircraft. So if you input in the same navigation waypoints into the Navigraph Chart App you can see if you got the routing correct. You can input the full route into Navigraph directly from SimBrief, but your edits can be checked also in the Navigraph App directly. Nothing is worse in not knowing if your arrival route is wrong, and once the route is completed, a save in the default FMC will keep all your edits in place. So I found WebFMC Pro is excellent in working with this basic FMC, it actually adds in functionality, but also makes it easier to use. On the aircraft WebFMC Pro will only adjust the left FMC, the right side unit is not editable. That is the only aircraft(s) addition to WebFMC Pro v1.5.0, but there is another change to note. JARDesign A320neo This aircraft was part of the original release list for WebFMC Pro. But JARDesign have completely redone the aircraft's MCDU or Mulifunction Control Display Unit. This is from version JD320-V3.4R2, or v3.4+. The original MCDU still works, but you can use this WebFMC Pro version with the newer updated MCDU as long as you update to the JARDesign v3.4+ version. Again the advantages on the work-desk setup are excellent... however here you do now have the advantage of the PLAN mode on the MCDU as a guide to double-check the arrival route. The JAR A320 has the larger, newer PW1100G Engines as well, and don't forget this is still one of the most popular payware aircraft in X-Plane. And v1.5.0 also comes with Enhanced FMC key mappings (as an option in the menu) and Improved screen scaling for cockpit builders. Summary This WebFMC Pro is a great plugin tool that can be used in a browser on another computer or a tablet. It is a remote tool, but a very beneficial and even a powerful one in programming in route and performance data and following the set aircraft route in flight in mirroring the aircraft's built in FMS (Flight Management System). This version v1.5.0 adds in the versatility of now using the Laminar Research Default FMC on a remote screen or tablet, other changes is the addition of a new MCDU for the JARDesign A320 neo in the newer v3.4+ version, the older MCDU works as well. And enhanced FMC key mappings with Improved screen scaling for cockpit builders are also noted in this new version. By and large this is not a big update but still a significant one. The option to use your fingers directly on a tablet screen to programme a FMC is not to be underestimated, but my work-desk arrangement is a great setup to layout routes and input data, performance and routing quickly. My biggest choice here is how good it is for editing and creating routes with both the SimBrief and subscription Navigraph Chart applications, all brilliant tools to create the most perfect routes to fly with... Highly Recommended _____________________________________ Yes! WebFMC Pro v1.5.0 by Green Arc Studios is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : WebFMC Pro Price is US$19.99 The v1.5.0 update is free to previous purchasers of the plugin, go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account for the new version. Access CDU / FMC of select X-Plane 11 airplanes via any modern web browser running on your PC or mobile device over local network. Quick and easy access to the FMC Get easy access to the FMC: quickly edit the flightplan, monitor flight progress, set up your approach and do all the typical work of the pilot without having to move around in the cockpit, even if the plane doesn’t support FMC as a popup natively - on the same PC, or different monitor, tablet or phone - in fact you can use multiple displays at the same time! Make pilot tasks easy and comfortable Enjoy external views during cruise while monitoring flight progress on separate screen or take a quick look at your phone to verify calculated landing speed with just a glimpse of an eye during busy time on approach. Make flying complex SIDs / STARs easy as you can focus on the important flight parameters while having overview of the constraints all the time. Take your mobile to the kitchen as you cook a dinner during a long haul and never miss T/D again! Convenient to use Use physical keyboards on PC with extra keys such as Prev/Next page mapped to keyboard keys for easy access. WebFMC scales dynamically to fit any display or window size and can look as native app on mobiles by using browser's "Add to home screen" feature. Aircraft support WebFMC Pro supports a growing number of 3rd party aircraft starting with New: Default X-Plane FMC (requires X-Plane 11.35+) FlightFactor A320 Ultimate FlightFactor 757v2 FlightFactor 767 ToLiss 319 JarDesign 320 (both now for v3.2x and new v3.4+) Rotate MD-80 IXEG 737-300 EADT x737 (x737FMC required) Zibo Mod 737-800 737-900 Ultimate JARDesign A330 SSG E-Jets Evolution Series SSG Boeing 747-8 Series FlightFactor A350 XWB Advanced (old style MCDU) 737-800 Zibo Mod* 737-900U Ultimate* 737-700U Ultimate* * Available on the free demo WebFMC plugin Requirements: The WebFMC plugin requires X-Plane 11 running 64-bit Windows 7 operating system or newer Mac OS 10.14.x (Mojave) Ubuntu Linux 16.04 LTS or 18.04 LTS (64-bit) Web Client The CDU can be displayed on any modern and up-to-date web browser with JavaScript support. We recommend the latest versions of Google Chrome on PC or Android and Safari on iOS. No internet connection required, remote device needs to be on the same local network as X-Plane PC. Support for WebSockets RFC 6455 standard is required which implies at least iOS version 6. Current and Review version: 1.5.0 (Sept 1st 2019) Not required but highly recommended is SimBrief (Free) and Navigraph Charts (Subscription) ______________________________________________________________________ Plugin Update Review by Stephen Dutton 3rd September 2019 Copyright©2019 : 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 11.33 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : SimBrief (Free) : Navigraph Charts (Subscription) Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.07 US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : JarDesign Ground Handling Deluxe - US$14.95 Scenery or Aircraft - Fokker F50 by Carenado (Carenado) US$39.95 - Airbus A320neo by JARDesign (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$49.95 
  32. 1 point
    Aircraft Update : Dash 8 Q400 Legacy by FlyJSim It is not very often in reviewing that you actually have the chance to say goodbye to an aircraft, it is a bit like the retirement of the final flight of a design that has been the backbone of an airlines for years, and it is now happening with regularity with the retirements of aging MD-80 Series and Boeing 747-400 fleets. To note this De Havilland Canada Dash 8 Q Series is not being totally withdrawn by FlyJSim, as it will still be available to buy for X-Plane11 users and noted under the new "Legacy" moniker (from the XP11 label) to differentiate the version from the coming newer v2 Q4XP. So price wise you are going to get a good deal (currently around US$30) but to note as we shall see here it the aircraft is originally dated from 2012 and it is a full 10 Years since the commencement of the project and yes it has been well developed to keep up with the changes in that time of the surrounding simulator versions. The Dashy has weathered the years well... and in this new v2.19 Legacy version has now PBR or Physically Based Rendering textures as well. So the exterior textures now have a more believable glossiness and metalness effect and the Dash 8 shows it all off here very well. The hull and tail is now more highly reflective and note the particle effects that power out from the exhausts. Close up and the detail is still very good, with new NML's (normals) showing off the design. Those six-blade R408 propeller system propellers on the Bombardier Q400 incorporates an advanced swept blade design and optimized ARA-D/A airfoil and are still exceptionally well done here. Glass has been redone, but with no reflections, so it looks good, but could have been better. Menus have been updated to reflect the new Legacy name, both external and internal Weight & Balance menus are still here. The external is now quite simple, but the W & B menu is still one of the best out there (note the Summer and Winter weight setting). Q400's are extremely weight sensitive (most flights will require you to move seats for weight corrections in real life)... and that is highlighted here if you get the loading balance wrong... 25% of MAC is the best setting. But I will note the nosewheel now also sinks slightly into the ground... odd. The Dashy was always a tricky aircraft to fly and many users couldn't quite master it's quirky nature. For me I always found it not to bad, but it could be slightly frustrating the use and fly... just those small things that annoy you. The largest and still not fixed here is the throttle to mixture levers that are complicated to use.... so shut the Q400 down and it is hell to restart, if nigh impossible. Never fixed if the mixture levers are set to Fuel (cut) Off then you can't reset the throttle levers to idle, they need to click in again to restart, and in most cases only a full engine running restart will get the aircraft started? another issue is again the throttles and the built in beta (reverse) selection. Sometimes it works in beta mode, and sometimes it doesn't? (I use an external twin throttle Saitek system and the settings just don't like the unit) So throttle idle is somewhere, or where you sometimes have to guess... thrust reverse is like Quantum Mechanics, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Personally over the years these areas it has drove me batshit, but when it works the Dashy is a great aircraft. Cockpit detail is still extraordinary even after all these years, pure FlyJSim work of art, although a few of the switchgear items are now showing their age. New PBR reflections have lifted the cockpit to new heights, it can be gorgeous in here in the right lighting conditions, and yes the detail is almost ten years old, but it still feels as good as new. Main instrument PFD and MAP/NAV displays have been made brighter and sharper, and you notice the significant difference. The cabin however with no updates since the original release and really shows the original age, and it is not pretty back there. So for me it is the last flight of this original Q400 from LPPR - Porto to LEBL - Barcelona... ... in flight she feels as good as ever, the update has brought on some new dynamics with the newer current 11.35 flight model and with that comes some increased drag and better handling, and yes the aircraft does feel really nice (if balanced correctly). You will work hard at the controls in the Dashy, and it requires very fine throttle control to fly this of all X-Plane machines a very manual hands-on aircraft... .... speed and balance is everything, but get your balance right and the aircraft is extremely rewarding, but get it wrong and that nose can be so light. \ So you have to use your skills to the max and you will then get your high-five reward. My last landing in the Q400 Legacy? maybe, certainly for now, but it doesn't have to be your last ride in an X-Plane classic. It will be extremely interesting on the differences between the not so old and the new compare when the Q4XP arrives, and there is currently no arrival date yet for that aircraft... until then savior the legacy. Summary This is currently the last update v2.19 and a change of name to the "Legacy" for the Classic FlyJSim Q400 until the Q4XP version 2 arrives. The update brings in a lot of the latest X-Plane11.35 features to the aircraft, including better performance and a new flight model, PBR effects (glossy and reflective) and glass tweaks. The quirks including a difficult throttle/mixture and unreliable beta (reverse-thrust) are still as maddening to use as ever as is the engine start up from shutdown, and still also a very tricky aircraft to fly but ultimately very rewarding this Q400 is a long time in service aircraft and certainly deserves classic status from the simulator. Like with most and even the greatest of aircraft designs there comes a time the aircraft has to make way for the new. And so it is here for the FlyJSim Dash 8 Q400. For those that don't want to spend a huge amount of dollars, but want a quality and tried and true aircraft then this "Legacy" version will keep you very happy and test those skill levels on a the manual of manual flying by the fingertips aircraft, so there is great value to be had here. For me it will be interesting on how the newer Q4XP measures up to an original classic machine. ________________________________________________________ Yes! the Dash 8 Q400 Legacy by FlyJSim is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Dash 8 Q400 Legacy Price is US$30.00 Note make sure you have v2.19 when downloading, All previous purchasers can now update via your X-Plane.OrgStore Account Features *NEW* PBR Enabled Exterior Accurate Flight Characteristics Created from over 60 hours of flight tests with information from real world data and backed by actual Q400 pilots. Detailed Exterior Model Created from extensive research of hundreds of images and references. Everything from the airfoils used on the wings to actual tire sizes modeled with detail in mind. Includes a full set of high resolution textures including normal maps, specular maps, and night lighting. Highly Accurate 3D Cockpit Fly happy knowing what you are looking at really is to scale. 3D cockpit modeled from detailed Q400 data. Textures created from thousands of images taken of the interior. Detailed Interior & Exterior Night Light Be able to see the plane at night along with strobe and beacon lights that light up the fuselage. Cockpit lighting as well allows you to still see everything and enjoy flying in the dark. Custom Sounds Hear what the real Q400 sounds like. We have recorded real world Q400 sounds, including cockpit call-outs. The sounds alone add so much to the experience. Plugin enhanced: We use plugins to add more systems and features that would otherwise be impossible to be implemented if left to use the default X-Plane logic. Load & Balance Manager: A first in X-Plane, the Load & Balance Manager is a pop up screen which allows you to change the load-out and balance in real time. Pick from thousands of combinations of seating arrangement, cargo hold weights, and fuel amounts. See the Center of Gravity change as you load the aircraft differently and burn fuel in flight. Many Liveries available: V2.19 Changlog FlyJSim Dash 8 Q400 changelog v2.19.rtf ______________________________________________________________________ Update by Stephen Dutton 8th August 2019 Copyright©2019 : 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)
  33. 1 point
    I once had a Cessna 140 that, in the Alaskan winter, you primed 'til gas ran on the snow (carb prime rather than cylinder) then hurried around a carefully marked trail to shake hands with the prop. When the engine fired you hurried back along your carefully marked trail, continued pumping the primer 'til it ran smoothly. This was a difficult start.
  34. 1 point
    The point of this B787 of being an open development has been made very clear, and highlighted in every review, so in this respect it is not a completed project and we all expect as much, the development has been extremely good over the period the aircraft has been noted as an "Aviator" product and we all support the project as such, you have not wasted your money, just not understood the project's guidelines and in time you will get the features you have paid for, for the future in respect check out the product before you purchase if you want a fully formed aircraft.
  35. 1 point
    News! - Free payware - Embraer E-170 E-Jet by SSG With the complete new update of Supercritical Simulation Group's (SSG) E-170 Embraer's E-Jet to "Evolution" status. The original E-170 version has been released with the X-Plane.Org for a free download! Features All knobs, buttons and actuators in the same place as the real one can be performed NORMAL operations "do verify" and "Read and DO" checklists. Cold Start and Gate to Gate NORMAL procedures Virtual 3D cockpit Custom sounds Full external model 3D designed Custom aural sounds External lightning reflections - Custom lights Custom systems Almost all systems are simulated Custom FADEC logic and thrust limits Synoptic systems pages Custom MCDU console with : XP default FMS, Radio, and Custom SSG FADEC system Enhanced for the UFMC Plane preferences menu 9 different schemes included in the package Note: This version is NOT the current E-170 "Evolution" that X-PlaneReviews reviewed here.... Embraer E-Jet 170LR Evolution by SSG But the older original release version. ______________________________________________________________________ The Embraer E-170 by Supercritical Simulation Group is now available for a "free" download from the X-Plane.Org: Embraer E-170 E-Jet by SSG Download size is 226.90mb sponsored by the X-Plane.Org ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 23rd August 2016 Copyright©X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews 2016
  36. 0 points
    but i heard that the a321 has 20% better fps than the a319? on reddit ppl say this: "The frame rate is about 20% better for me in the A321 than in the A319, you might want to bare that in mind." "Yea I'm not sure how Toliss did this. I get higher framerate in the a321 than the default 747." is this true? thanks!!!
  37. 0 points
    Nothing between them as they are basically the same aircraft...
  38. 0 points
    Not even for free, they does know how to draw, guys you must learn to use photoshop and illustrator, there are best freeware.
  39. 0 points
    While I'm sure it's top quality based on owning their Mark IX but talk about diminshed expectations when they revealed this one. They were already in my warbirds niche and I expected something with 12 or 18 cylinders as their next offering. The still forthcoming F117 doesn't do much either - I think they're misdirected but hopefully will recover.
  40. 0 points
    Hi, Unfortunately this version of the B787 is a waste of money without further MUCH needed development! The FMS is not correct in configuration, the Flight modes do not work and the Autothrottle system does not work. for some reason you cannot get out of Altitude hold! No EICAS checklist available! The developer has tried to make a working aircraft of the B787, but without the basics it’s just a $45 US simple outside aircraft vision only sim! Very disapointed it have wasted my money😡
  41. 0 points
    I have to say, this developer is the worst I have experienced since using x-plane 11, and will not recommend buying any of their stuff. They all have bugs and issues, which I understand comes with new products, but these people are so arrogant about addressing and fixing it, and its so distasteful dealing with them especially when you are paying money for their products. I have purchased two products from them (The A320-200, and the Ground Handling). The A320-200 gives a multitude of problems which they take forever to address (Bare in mind its been 2 years since purchasing this plane and I haven't been able to use it in x-plane 11). The ground handling plugin does not come with any instructions on how to use it (You have to actually go in and configure where to position objects without any information as to how to do it). I would not even give this developer a 1 star on their products. I have had nothing but nightmare with them and their products. :(
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