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Stephen

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About Stephen

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    Stephen
  • Birthday 11/08/1956

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  1. Never done it, but I doubt it, it comes with full instructions and an installer, it is only installed in your plugin's folder so how hard can that be... but the aircraft has to be RXP compatible
  2. Scenery Review : LFSB - EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg by JustSim EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg ( LFSB) is an international airport 3.5 km (2.2 mi) northwest of the city of Basel, Switzerland, 20 km (12 mi) southeast of Mulhouse in France, and 46 km (29 mi) south-southwest of Freiburg im Breisgau in Germany. This Franco-Swiss administered airport is geographically located within the French Alsace region, in the administrative commune of Saint-Louis near the border tripoint between France, Germany, and Switzerland, so being noted as the EuroAirport of three regions is a good definition of the position and significance of this Swiss/Franco airport. EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg Aéroport de Bâle-Mulhouse Flughafen Basel-Mülhausen IATA: BSL, MLH, EAP - ICAO: LFSB, LSZM 15/33 : 3,900m - (12,795ft) Concrete 08/26 : 1,820m (5,971ft) Concrete Elevation AMSL : 885 ft / 270 m Many sceneries are incorporated into reviews because in the their own review they are so good you just don't want to lose them again into your expansive network of destinations. Two come to mind with Luxembourg Airport (ELLX) and Brussels Airport (EBBR) that both have had extensive exposure and are use consistently in X-PlaneReviews that would have not even been considered in my normal flight routings.... and oddly enough is that both of these sensational sceneries are by JustSim. So here is EuroAirport LFSB/LSZM or Mulhouse which is again by JustSim, and is already probably destined to become another of those sceneries that in most cases would never even think of, or never mind in actually using... in which case you will from now on will probably use the scenery all the time. Intergration into the X-Plane mesh is simply sublime, with the excellent layout set within the landscape perfectly. There are a few flat areas to the south that the autogen has not covered, but it is not really noticeable in context. The highlight is the main terminal building with it's Y shaped concourse that was built in 2002. Terminal Building You cannot be anything but totally blown away by the quality of the EuroAirport terminal building, it is simply sensational in detail and design. Developers take note, this in the sort craftmanship you have to aspire to in this high level of competitive scenery, everything here is perfect, reflective glass, oh yes, and in the perfect detailing, well yes as that is all in here as well. There is no internal detail, but in reality that isn't required here, but the external detailing is perfect where needed. The terminal gates are numbered 1-2, 20-46, 60-61 and 78-87 of which gates 22-32 are used for non-Schengen flights. Seven of the boarding gates (animated/active) but are not SAM, but the highly converted "Marginal" design featured Autogates, the other gates are used for walkon - or bus-boarding. .... glass is the one area that differentiates even the very best of quality scenery, but the glass application here is simply above and beyond, yes I am gushing, this is brilliant stuff and it all comes with shading and occlusion (texture baking) effects. Control Tower mid-Terminal is faithfully recreated with nice detailing. Tower View is correct, if a little low. Clutter is also very good. Airside there is a lot of well placed clutter with some branding, but mostly they are all placed default vehicles. Landside is the same but still very well done. The photo ground textures are a bit grainy, but not the usual washed out and they are still highly visible with a few burnt into the ground cars. There is also a lot of animated vehicles spread around the scenery, the vehicle traffic is spot on with a lot of movement, but not too much to overwhelm the roadways... .... unique here is that the landside areas are uniquely divided into both separate French and a Swiss parts (Swiss customs road is arrowed) . The headquarters of Swiss International Air Lines and Swiss Global Air Lines are on the grounds at EuroAirport Basel–Mulhouse–Freiburg in the Swiss section of the airport; even though the airport is within France, the Swiss head office is only accessible from Switzerland by that same unique road connection. Older original Cargo facilities are very good with F1, F2, F3, F4 and F4A parking stands. Jet Aviation maintenance area (Maintenance Apron) is huge with some really nice static Boeing 747-400's... ... nowhere to park your private jet? well why not up on the roof, it is the perfect solution. To be noted are the excellent elevation changes within the scenery. AS there are clever gradients that are set out everywhere including (3d) below ground large channel areas. On the southern boundary is the new Swissaport Cargo facility and it is huge. There are only two cargo parking stands, but they are both category F stands in F21 and F22. Cargo operators include: ASL Airlines, DHL Aviation, FedEx Feeder, Korean Air Cargo, Qatar Airways Cargo and UPS Airlines. Southwest is a large MRO maintenance area and industrial complex (Maintenance Apron South-West)... the main tenants here include AMAC Aerospace, Jet Aviation and Airservice Basel. The whole complex is really well done with individual designed buildings and a huge amount of detail, static aircraft that are neatly packed in and well represented, overall the Southwest area is first rate. Also represented in this area is the La Comète Sports Centre. There is a fair bit of infrastructure in the Northeast along the main Taxiway B. Highlight is the older original hangers that front the General Aviation and Private Jet apron and stands G3 - G20... The huge airport Fire Station is far north. The old traditional Swiss Buildings at the entrance to the EuroAirport have also been well reproduced as is the massive undercover carpark. Ground Textures The Runway textures are excellent as the main runway concrete construction is perfectly realised, worn and in parts well rubberised, and the taxiway asphalt is also spot on in general use wear and tear, verges are perfect as is the large coverage of the airfield with 3d grass. All surfaces are PBR (Physically Based Rendered) with reflections and wet (rain) effects and they are very, very good. Lighting I was expecting the lighting to average, but it is again only exceptional. Main Runway 15/33 has significant approach lighting on RWY 15, however the approach to RWY 33 is quite different... the actual runway only starts past Taxiway D, the rest is just the runway extension... ... the boundary is made clear by the side runway red lighting before the official white lights, and here that aspect is exceptionally done, and also note the short 08/26 does not have any lighting and neither does the adjoining Taxiway P. Think that the terminal looked great in the daylight, well you haven't seen it in the night time, well it is stupendous! Lower terminal and Y concourse LIT textures could be a bit overbright and not to everyone's taste, but I like them a lot... Landside in carpark lighting is also excellent, as are all remote aprons which are also well catered for... ... all building detail and lit signage is first rate and the attention to lighting detail here is perfect. Services: EuroAirport Basel–Mulhouse–Freiburg is mostly a LLC (Low-Cost Carrier) centric airport, with a lot of seasonal sevices. EasyJet Switzerland is based here as is Ryanair, well off and on. BSL was also the old Crossair headquarters, but Eurowings are now also starting to have a significant impact on the airport as well. Summary You see a lot of scenery when you do a lot of significant reviews, and in most cases if not in all then with exception of a few cases there is always an area or that something that reduces the perfect scenery down from it's almost perfect perch at the top, to a far lower expectation... but this EuroAirport Basel–Mulhouse–Freiburg airport scenery is certainly not one of those. This is an airport that covers two countries in France (It is built on French soil) and Switzerland, but also on the boundary of a third country in Germany, so it is a pure multinational and international airport. It is really a place to it's own in being a Euroland. I'm rating this JustSim scenery Five Stars and it deserves that rare accolade, it is almost the perfect scenery with excellent mest intergration, overwhelming terminal modeling, excellent clutter and landside detail, active vehicles, glass and textures (All PBR) and airbridges (all seven of them), then the icing on this already great cake is the excellent terminal, landside lighting and night signage... only very small kink is that in some areas you get no autogen to cover the phototextures, and some users may not like the terminal lower LIT overbright textures... and that is it, otherwise this EuroAirport is almost perfect in what you require in airport scenery. Yes I was blown away by this scenery and the high quality it delivers.... and you will love it as well. Five out of FIVE stars ☀️☀️☀️☀️☀️ ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! LFSB - EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg by JustSim is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : LFSB - EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg Price is US$21.60 Features: Detailed airport objects and vehicles Custom textured taxiways, runways and apron Custom surroundings Custom autogen for whole island Custom airport lights Compatible with X-Plane 11 features Shading and occlusion (texture baking) effects on terminal and other airport buildings High resolution ground textures / Custom runway textures High resolution building textures Excellent night effects Realistic reflections on glass World Traffic compatible X-Life traffic compatible Optimized for excellent performance ______________________________________________________________________ Installation Scenery download zip package is 850.30mb, and it is installed in your X-Plane custom scenery folder in this order: LFBS_Justsim_v1.0 (1.79Gb) LFBS_Mesh_Justsim_v1.0 (20.8mb) Total scenery installation is 1.81gb Requirements : X-Plane 11+ Windows, Mac, Linux 4Gb VRAM Video Card Minimum, 8Gb+ VRAM Video Card Recommended Current and Review version: 1.0 (Feb 5th 2020) ______________________________________________________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 12th February 2020 Copyright©2020: 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 11.41 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : Headshake by SimCoders Plugins: WorldTraffic3 US$29.95 : Environment Engine v1.07 by xEnviro US$69.90 : SFD Global by misterx6 US$30.00 Scenery or Aircraft - Boeing 738 by Laminar Research - Default with X-Plane11
  3. Well Perry, the FlightFactor B777 is now very dated, it does fly fine as I use it all the time, but a highly updated XP11 aircraft is due later this year, just to note to have every Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable installed as the aircraft requires every one of them.... SD
  4. News! - Updated : WebFMC Pro v1.5.2 by Green Arc Studios The excellent WebFMC Pro plugin application has been updated to v1.5.2. This update covers the changes to the SSG Boeing 748i v2 and E-Jets Evolution Series to be active in the application, the earlier 747-8 Series v1.9+ is still supported as well. 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. So 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 so yes I am a huge fan. There are a few notes in that the application will only work in the updated SSG versions of the B748i and E-Jet Evolution via the right hand FMC unit due to limitations of the datarefs (both new version SSG releases now have independent twin FMC access), and any use of the left FMC in popup mode will disconnect the WebFMC interaction with the aircraft (I found in the SSG B747i v2 review inconsistencies when using the left hand FMC as noted in the review, so those aspects are not surprising). In doing the review I really missed this tool massively, it is brilliant to have it back, as long haul routing can be very difficult to input, notably here because of the SSG 748i 20 page FMC input limitation. My routing details are done on another computer (A Mac 27") and use SimBrief and Navigraph tools... note that the PLAN routing is done on the right side NAV/MAP SSG display and not the left side as usual.... ... otherwise it is a normal routing operation. The full current complete list of supported aircraft / FMCs with version 1.5.2: SSG E-Jets Evolution Series (both variants, requires v1.4+) NEW! SSG 747-8 Series (both variants; both v1.9+ and v2+ are supported) NEW! Default X-Plane FMC with all aircraft that use it 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 There are two versions available and the PRO version is now listed with an impressive 17 aircraft + Default X-Plane FMC, 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. Still super brilliant and a worthy tool for X-Plane routing... for WebFMC Pro it is a big YES! from me. ____________________________________ Yes! WebFMC Pro v1.5.2 by Green Arc Studios is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : WebFMC Pro Price is US$19.99 The v1.5.2 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 SSG E-Jets Evolution Series (both variants, requires v1.4+) NEW! SSG 747-8 Series (both variants; both v1.9+ and v2+ are supported) NEW! Default X-Plane FMC with all aircraft that use it 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) 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: 1.5.2 (February 8th 2020) Not required but highly recommended is SimBrief (Free) and Navigraph Charts (Subscription) ______________________________________________________________________ News Update by Stephen Dutton 10th February 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) 
  5. I flew the Archer lll and it flies perfectly (a bit touchy under brakes), but takeoff and landing was normal... So either your settings (wind) are wrong or you have the experimental flight switched on.. but the JF Archer is very nice!
  6. The BK117 is now just too old and without updates for too long 😢, Yes I tried the BK117 not long ago and it is not flying correctly in X-Plane11... and yes I miss it badly.
  7. Then why am I still looking at the Laminar facade built scenery, the payware version is far better than that? and if you have it obviously then you are not getting the full benefit of your purchase? Move the MMMX payware scenery to the top of .INI order (scenery pack order), or move the Global airport folder far down the order like mine below (cut and paste, then save) and get rid of it??
  8. THAT is still the payware version of MMMX, but the Global Airport version???? Do you actually own the payware scenery??? if not then you have been wasting my time?
  9. I don't have TrueEarth (SSD space considerations) but my gut says it would be pretty good as the boundaries are very tight.
  10. Aircraft Review : VAN's RV-10 by Digital Replica The American based Van's Aircraft RV-10 is a four-seat, single-engine, low-wing homebuilt aircraft that is sold in kit form by Van's Aircraft. It is the first four-seat airplane in the popular RV series. The RV-10 first flew on 29 May 2003, and the first kit parts were delivered to a customer in September 2003. As of October 2019, 933 RV-10s have been completed and flown so this is an immensely popular aircraft in this category. The total price of the standard-build kit is around US$46,090, which did not include an engine or any avionics. A "quick-build" option is also available at $59,530 of a fully equipped aircraft. Digital Replica released their Twin Cessna 310L last year for X-Plane11, so here is their second release in this Van's RV-10 kit aircraft, and what a surprise the aircraft is.... as of first glance it looked all of a bit ordinary. The tail shape gives you the first impression of a Mooney, in fact the RV-10 looks like a modern day Mooney if the company had survived (still debatable) and had gone into a more lighter aircraft category. Dig deep and the RV-10 has a lot of great detail as the modeling and panel detail is first rate, the pre-drilled rivet holes construction method is really well done and very authentic to the eye.... .... fuselage and wing shapes are exceptional and really well modeled, with extreme convex and concave shapes are all almost perfect, highlights are under engine air inlet (landing light) and perfect engine inlets, NACA ducts are also well done on the fuselage. Glass is extremely good as well with great shaping and reflections, only note is that the glass is a bit too newish in feel with no wear, tear or marks, or altogether a bit too thin and clear. Both doors swing open upwards, but the rear locker baggage door doesn't open? Internal cabin is really well trimmed, not up to the extreme Aerobask standards, but not far off that degree... Vinyl and cloth inserts on the seating is all really well done, the rear seats look a little square, but remember this is a home built aircraft, seatbelts are all 3d four point harnesses. Roof metal panel shaping and detailing is simply outstanding and highly realistic. Note the highly detailed headphones work if you touch them in lowering the internal noise. Fully working joystick includes CWS (Control wheel steering), AP DISC (Autopilot disconnect), GA (go Around), Trim and PPT (push to talk) buttons (via keyboard inputs)... under panel and the rudder pedals are well designed and fully functional. Instrument Panels The section heading says Panels plural, not Panel. So we need to look at the extensive Menu to see why. The menu selection is four choices lower bottom left of your screen for: Aircraft Configuration, Load Chart, Checklist and Updater. Aircraft Configuration You have a smorgasbord of options for the setup of the aircraft. First are two options for the panel are in "Analog" or "Garmin 1000" Analog gives you all dials in King KFC150 Autopilot Flight Control System with two KX155 NAV/COM and the engine management are all analog gauges. Garmin 1000 is the standard Laminar Research G1000 avionics panel with built in engine management readouts Next is the choice of :King KFC150 Autopilot Flight Control System with two KX155 NAV/COM and a EDM engine monitor system, or.... ... a King KFC150 Autopilot Flight Control System with the two GNS430 & GNS530 GPS and EDM engine control.... or G5 PFD and G5 HSI with GFC600 Autopilot, GNS430 & GNS530 and EDM engine control... ... or swap the EDM monitor system for the analog gauges? or in any combination. Also the choice of Push/Pull - Throttle/Prop/Mixture to Quadrant levers. Note the Garmin GMA 340 radio below with a matching transponder... you have to admit it is all very impressive for choice. Other panel highlights are the EDS IP system (lower left) which consists of an intelligent peripheral setup on which each of the four oxygen outlet stations has a micro-controller that constantly monitors respiratory aspects of each occupants with N - Night and D-Day modes The EDM - Digital Engine Management is a unit that monitors the engine conditions. Buttons are used to select the Lean Find mode which is used to find the exhaust gas temperature lean of peak, cycle between parameters and adjusting the brightness (more below). All contact (fuse) breakers work and shows system depth. The EDM pops-out for ease of use as does the G5 PFD and G5 HSI instruments for the cockpit builders... .... the two GNS430 & GNS530 GPS units and PFD and NAV/MAP G1000 displays also pop-out as Laminar default panels. You can also choose to have either one of two styles of panel facias.There is the Carbon or the White options, I really liked the "white" option more than the darker Carbon feel, but both are good. You have to swap the textures over for each selection in the "Objects" folder, so you can't just swap as you feel like it, so it is either one style or the other. Menu options Other menu options give you the choices of propellers with: 3 Blade Composite, 3 Blade Aluminum and 2 Blade Aluminum. Two engine choices are also available with either a Lycoming IO-540 Fuel Injected 260hp (194 kW) or the Lycoming O-540 Caburettor 235hp (175 kW) powerplants, the Lycoming engines are modeled under the cowling, but I couldn't find a way to remove the cowling. Librain Rain Effects can also be used or switched off, and they are very good internally... on the exterior however the effects can move around the fuselage, but you can ignore that aspect. Checklist There is a three page checklist, that is quite basic, but fine. I however found it hard to adjust if the window is positioned slightly off screen, but get control of the window and the checklist window can be scaled quite small for handy non-obstructed use. Load Chart The "Load Chart" is a Weight&Balance menu that allows you to place four occupants (Pilot + 3 Passengers) in different body weights that are changed randomly of Green around (60 kgs), Dark Green (70 Kgs), Brown (80 Kgs) and Red (90 Kgs), Fuel (left/Right) Max 30 Gal per tank and Baggage Max 60 Kgs.... Settings can be in Distance CM/In, Weight Kg/Lb and Fuel in Lt/GAL... Full Limits, Gross Weight, Payload and Fuel Weight are shown plus the aircraft's CofG (Centre of Gravity) position and all out of limits are shown in red. Oxygen quantity FME (Flexible Modelling Environment) is also adjusted on the Load Chart. Updater There is a built in "Updater" which is very good. It will tell you is you have a good internet connection, then you hit the red (Required) options to update, after you have completed all the updates then just re-load the aircraft. There are no static elements or aircraft covers. Flying the RV-10 Start up and the Lycoming IO-540 (Injection) sounds really good, so sounds are great from the off. Taxiing is another matter again. The RV-10 in reality has a castor loose front wheel, so you have to taxi the RV-10 like a taildragger, but with the castor at the front and not the back, in other words it is very hard to turn? You can set the left and right wheel brakes (if you have a set of toe rudders) to snap turn the aircraft in the direction you want to go, but for the rest of us it can be a bit tricky until you sort it all out via throttle inputs and big rudder swings... you get there but it needs a fair bit of practice... .... I managed to work it out and finally arrive at the runway, but the option to lock the front wheel to the rudder would be nice if maybe not authentic, but easier for those who don't have rudder pedals, note the hard over rudder to keep the aircraft going straight ahead. Because you are going in a straight line down the runway and then taking off and once with the air flowing now over the flying surfaces the aircraft is then finally giving you your directional control... so RV-10 is quite nice to power down the runway and take to the air, but you instantly feel that sensitivity of this aircraft's very light weight to power ratio, stick and rudder movements have to be fine and controlled and almost glider like in response, you'll love it of course because it feels like a real kit-made living and breathing aircraft in the lightweight class. But the Van's is so very sensitive to any trim adjustments (hard to do) and to any of your hand/feet inputs, yes it is a lovely manual aircraft to fly, but be very lithe in the air. Banking is to be taken sensibly as even any sharp stick movements can get you into serious trouble... Not just under manual control do you feel the prompt banking angle changes as for even when under Autopilot changes of direction, you still get that same sudden horizontal shift... .... but that is all in that amateur feel, and you just simply love it, because it all feels all so realistic.... in other words the RV-10 is brilliant. The 260hp version gives you a Max speed of 208 mph at sea level (332 km/h, 179 kt) and a cruise speed of 201 mph (323 km/h, 175 kt), in other words for a small aircraft of this size it is very fast, but that does depend on the weight factor of passenger and baggage as the aircraft does feel the effects any heavy weight put upon it, and that is recorded heavily in the cruise speeds, vertical speeds and the overall range which is usually around 1,000 miles at Cruise power set at 55% at 8,000 ft (1,600 km). Climb rate is 1,450 ft/min (7.4 m/s), and the Ceiling (Oxygen remember) is an excellent 20,000ft. Authentic Garmin GFC 600 is a high-performance, attitude-based, Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS) and it is very good, and is well coupled with the G5 PFD and G5 HSI displays. They are both small and quite dense with detail (certainly the G5 PFD) but it is really well done. Press the centre of the tuning knob and you get access to the PDF Menu, turn the knob to scroll the items. (note while in this mode you can't adjust the heading or other flight controls via the G5) ... there is a Setting (Configuration) Menu that is accessed in a similar way. Turn off the G5 unit and again press the knob to bring up the menu (best to do on the ground before flight) then again scroll via turning the knob. Attitude, Airspeed Configuration and Units are all accessed via the menu. Full details of the menus are listed in the manual. GFC 600 Autopilot is very good and highly detailed, but be aware that turning off the AP, as it also turns of the FD (Flight Director) and YD (Yaw Damp), and the use of an X-Plane key input to disconnect (can be custom set) as the servos don't switch off that way? The KFC 150 Autopilot does not pop-out, but it is a very effective unit in this configuration of a two-axis autopilot and flight director system partnered with a KI256 Flight Command Indicator and a KI525A Pictorial Navigation Indicator. EDM - Digital Engine Management has loads of functionality, and access to Fuel Flow data you can switch (Step) to. Used (GAL), REM (Remain), MPG (Miles Per Gal), ENDUR (Endurance HH:MM) are all switchable, and rotate in the viewer or the EGT outputs of the engine (See EGT/FF below) There is a Fine Lean mode that is used for finding the EGT peaks and when to the lean the engine for maximum efficiency and range. Notes are "the information area will start to show the EGT temperature of the highest EGT cylinder. Then start to lean the mixture about 10°/second without pausing. At this point a white box will start to flash on the hottest cylinder. When the flashing box cylinder peaks, you will see LEANEST for two seconds and the column of that cylinder will start to flash" Final right button is the EGT/FF: which will set the unit into the Automatic scan mode to ALL (showing all parameters), FUEL (showing fuel related parameters) and TEMP (showing engine temperature related parameters). Lighting Cockpit and panel lighting is excellent, Backlit instrument dials are quite bright, so you don't need the full adjustment. Better are the two each side lighting pods (arrowed) that are fully animated for adjustment... the modern colour light is excellent, the only small downside is that the lighting intensity is the same for both lights, adjust one and you adjust the other, then separate adjustments here would have been absolutely perfect. You can easily get the right feel for night flying, and the change to a lit analog dial panel is just as brilliant. Overhead cabin lighting is also excellent (love the glowing switches) with one forward cabin and one light on the rear cabin External lighting is very good, and not over bright. The Taxi/Landing light is very small, but the Navigation, Beacon and Strobes are all very good. The RV-10 is of course very nervous in wind, or weight (more weight helps, but dims performance), adjust to those factors and this is a real pilot's aircraft. Flap adjustment is continuous and not stepped between UP - 1/4 - 1/2 - 3/4 - Full, but in reality the settings are guide more than a setting. If you get the speed down into the 80 knt range there is no flap lift, and they are very effective (drag and lift) under throttle control. Approach speeds are around 80 knts (Full Flap) and your inputs have to be small as the wings have a tendency to wobble in certain conditions and wind direction, so a bit of focus is always required... but you feel the thrill of the control of the aircraft under you as you are flying like a pro and loving every minute of it. Final approach speed is around 72 knts with a nice flair around 68 knts... .... it is very important you get the softest touchdown you can achieve because the strut gear is fixed and quite hard with not much give, so a far too steep a drop and the landing can be jarring. Stall speed is set at 63 mph (101 km/h, 55 kt). The RV-10 is just a sweet aircraft all round. Liveries The liveries and Panel options (Carbon/White) are downloaded separately from the aircraft here: Digital Replica RV10 Liveries v1.13 Currently there are one white and five liveries, the Green N102DR is default with the aircraft. A few have no registration numbers and feel slightly incomplete? but the "First Flight is well done in it's shiny metal and composite panel construction. ____________________________ Summary I love to be genuinely surprised and certainly this Van's RV-10 is a huge surprise in the sheer range of configurations and personal choice you have with the aircraft, it is like pulling a rabbit out of a hat and then finding another one in there and then another, the choices are also really clever and extremely wide for all tastes, and all are also bound together into one aircraft that is a home built configuration build dream. System avionics cover really any tastes from the G1000 glass panel (Laminar) to Garmin GFC 600/G5, to the KFC 150 Autopilot with a KI256/KI525A instruments and either GNS 430/450 or KX155. More includes the choices of standard engine analog readout dials to a modern EDM - Digital Engine Management system, working Oxygen system, different injected or carburettor engine types, three types of propellers and even push/pull or quadrant controls... phew! The choices are huge, and then add that into a great kit-build light aircraft flight feel and it is a very interesting and great aircraft to fly, great lighting effects, rain effects and great all round modeling. Systems are very good with working fuses/circuit breakers, system menus (semi in areas, but still well done), great sounds and wind effects. I will note a few gripes, but we have to keep them in context to the what you do get here. The cockpit glass is a bit too clear and not overall realistic, a bit of thickness or wear&tear would make it feel more perfect (some users note the heavy reflections, but they didn't intrude too much to me). Separating the side pod lighting adjustment would make the effect perfect and the option to connect the front steering to the tail (for those without rudder pedals) would be a nice to have... the internal pilot is a bit bland, but the missing other 3d passengers would be a nice addition as you load the aircraft with weight and finally currently there is no VR (Virtual Reality) and this is an aircraft just wanting or even demading VR interaction ... all just niggles, but if updated would make the design absolutely 100% perfect. Value is excellent as well... US$40, no, US$35... no again but priced actually under US$30 at US$28.95 makes the RV-10 the bargain of 2020 or to date even of the decade. Surprised by this Van's RV-10, I was and yes it is a very interesting aircraft to use and to fly... it almost wants me to go and order a kit from Van's and start building the real aircraft itself. So overall brilliant and the RV-10 comes highly recommended. ____________________________ The VAN's RV-10 by Digital Replica is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Van's RV-10 Priced at US$28.95 Features Different Cockpit configuration from steam gauges to glass cockpit: G5 PFD and HSI with GFC600 Digital Autopilot with GNS430 and GNS430 ESP (Electronic Stability and Protection System) LVL (Return to level) Mode Auto trim Different speed and altitude units options CWS (Control wheel steering) mode GA (Go Around) mode. AP disconnect button Flight Director Yaw Damper Pitch and Roll hold mode Heading Mode NAV Mode with Radio-navigation or GPS inputs Approach Mode Back Course Mode Indicated Airspeed Reference Mode Altitude Hold Mode Working Battery behavior for the G5 HSI and PFD KC150 Autopilot with KI256 Flight Command unit, KI525A HSI and KX155 COM/NAV Radios Flight Director Auto trim Altitude Hold mode Attitude pith and roll hold mode Heading mode NAV Mode Approach mode Back Course mode Digital engine management unit EDM or analog gauges Engine monitor display Range/Endurance/Burned Fuel/Miles per Gallon/Etc. Lean Find Mode Throttle quadrant or push-pull engine command options EDS Digital Controlled oxygen System Four distribution stations Night/Normal mode Delayed mode Class-A/Fast Mask mode Different display and setting configurations Working Circuit Breakers panel Angle of attack indicator with voice warning Different engine and propeller configurations: Lycoming IO540 Fuel Injected 260HP engine Lycoming O540 235HP Carbureted Engine 3 Blade Composite Propeller 3 Blade Aluminum Propeller 2 Blade Aluminum Propeller Each of the option with their own performance and fuel consumption characteristics Outstanding 3D model High 4K PBR textures Librain rain effect by skiselkov 5 liveries and one white canvas livery for custom creations 3D cockpit light for the interior and the exterior Custom instruments and surface vibrations Particles Effects Three dimensional Sound Fmod sound engine All Custom Sounds Sound level and frequencies are modified by headset removal or doors configurations. Custom Menus and Popups Aircraft Configuration Load Chart with CG envelope, fuel and passengers configurations Checklist GFC600 Autopilot Popup EDM Popup Updater Popup Built-in Updater Requirements X-Plane 11 (Fully updated) Windows or Mac ( Linux will be available soon) 4Gb VRAM Minimum - 8Gb VRAM Recommended Download Size: 215Mb Current and Review version: 1.15 (February 5th 2020) Installation and documents: Download for the Van's RV-10 is 215.10mb and the unzipped file deposited in the aircraft "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 543mb. No liveries and panel options are in the packaged download, but can be downloaded here: Digital Replica RV10 Liveries v1.13 Documentation: There is one comprehensive manual provided. With full system details and both IO and O Lycoming engine performance charts. Digital Replica RV10 Manual.pdf _______________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 7th February 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 - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1Tbgb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.41 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.13 US$69.90 Scenery or Aircraft - KHAF - Half Moon Bay by Rising Dawn Studios (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.00
  11. Your "Global" airports are above your Payware MMMX in the load order INI, these are the built in X-Plane freeware airports. In other words It is you not the review that is wrong here.
  12. Aircraft Re-Release : DHC-3T Turbo Otter by VFlightAir If you think you are reading the same release review of the vFlyteAir DHC-3T Turbo Otter from a few months back then to a point you are. The reason is that the politics has made MilViz quit our simulation world to go back to the greener pastures of FlightSimulator, that is of course to our loss. But this DHC-3T was originally a collaboration anyway between MilViz as the aircraft's original FlightSim developer and a conversion to X-Plane that was done by vFlyteAir. Now vFlyteAir have brought out the total rights of the aircraft and it is now rebranded completely under the vFlyteAir banner for X-Plane11. In reality most of this aircraft was developed by vFlyteAir for X-Plane anyway, and so it is essentially a vFlyteAir production, so most of the original review stands but X-PlaneReviews have updated the details of the original review and of any changes and details that covers this vFlyteAir re-release and rebranding. First impressions are very impressive, this is a very nice bush style aircraft with a lot of power, so you have a foot in both camps with a rugged well developed aircraft and a modern turbine powerplant in the 750 HP PT6A-34 turbine and it is based on the typical Viking or Vazar conversion. Yes I was very impressed by the detailing externally, it is excellent work, the landing gear and strut work is first class, glass and chrome is also very good, so there is a lot to absorb and like here in the extensive details... Cabin however feels a bit dated, but you could say olde world authentic, more designed for FlightSim than X-Plane with those flat internal textures (note the flat seatbelts) and a few fuselage gaps, but overall it is a very accommodating cabin. all seats have animated passengers that vary from average to actually very, very nice, some again have light gaps (mostly in the eyes which is a bit unnerving). Baggage in the rear is provided as well. The cockpit is more of the same, but very well done... certainly there has been more attention paid to the details in the cockpit as noted by the 3d seatbelts that are not in the cabin and overall it is a higher graded and totally authentic cockpit. Details abound and all is beautifully reproduced as is the iconic DHC central throttle, propeller and mixture lever panel with it's metal facia plate, again perfect. Lower detail is again excellent with high detailing, trim wheels, oxygen bottle and (working) yoke lock are all highlights... ... lower panel switchgear is also very good, but the switches feel a bit overchromed, nice touch is the rubber band over the emergency power lever to stop it's movement in shaking loose. All the emergency power lever, power lever beta gate, safety guard on condition lever are active and usable. Classic swinging single bar DHC Yoke is highly authentic, and in this vFlyteAir re-released version the yoke can now be positioned on the left or the right... Panel layout is basic, with the standard flying instruments only for the left seat pilot, and the engine readout instruments mid-panel... ... and all the instruments are slightly on the small side that requires a low field of view, but otherwise it is all very well done. Electrical is lower left panel with nothing situated in front of the right seat passenger. One area I will note is that the DHC-3T is a taildragger, so in taxiing you have a limited view forward, so you tend to taxi visually panel low and to the side, with same view to the right, you get used to the unusual position quickly and it is actually fun to taxi this way. Menu, Features and Options Left lower screen is an authentic DHC logo pop-up menu tab, The vFlyteAir menu here is now completely new and has now also has more features built in as well. Top panel covers: Ground Elements, Covers, Ski's or Canoe, AviTab Tablet and Internal Glass (Glass Reflections). Left Panel covers GPS Option so can have the choice of three avionics options (four and five if you use the RealityXP GNS GTN750 and GTN650)... Two configurations and three choices covers Dual GPS (GNS 530/430) and this layout is installed flat against the panel... second is the Single GNS 530 and finally No GPS. Both the Single and No GPS stacks are set on a ‘kick-out’ panel for ease of use. Avionics Stacks (top to bottom) Dual GPS: KMA 30 Audio Audio, GNS 530, KT74 Transponder, KAP 140 Autopilot, KN 62A DME - KR87 ADF and GNS 430 Single GPS: Apollo (Garmin) SL15 Audio, GNS 530, KT74 Transponder, KY196A Com2/Nav2 Radio, KAP 140 Autopilot and KR87 ADF Radio No GPS: KMA 30 Audio, KX165A Com1/Nav1 Radio, KX165A Com2/Nav2 Radio, KT74 Transponder, KN62A DME, KAP 140 Autopilot and KR87 ADF Radio Options include Ski's (Floats are another aircraft selection) and the Avitab. The Avitab is small (thankfully) but has limited viewing angles, however it can be adjusted, but not by much. AviTab Plugin install is required. Load Manager: There is a load manager with a ten passenger selection and cargo (baggage) weight, or you can disable everything. But but unlike the older Weight&Balance Menu there is now a detailed loaded weight listed and CofG (Centre of Gravity) limits and current CofG position, also go above 100lbs in cargo weight and the rear five seats are replaced by a large crate and then small loaded cargo crates (over 180lbs) can be loaded to a maximum of 500lb of a full cargo load... excellent Ground Equipment is basic chocks, pitot covers and a very nice red window cover... .... all the five doors open but only directly or manually, but they are well done. Five liveries can be set from the menu. All are of high quality, Harbour Air is default, but added into the Re-Release version is an extra Harbour Air in the old style HA livery design (bottom) And the Fuel Quantity in forward (62 Gal) and centre tank (103 Gal) can be set, the aircraft has quite an interesting fuel system including fuel transfer that is well explained in the manual. Librain: The Turbo Otter comes with the Librain water effects, where they are really, really good here, in the air the water streams down and up the windows... .... cabin windows are water active as well, then add in the float water spray and it goes simply all sensational! Variants Besides the Wheel Ski variants there are two versions for water operations. One is the Amphibious version and the other is the pure Float version, the Canoe can be added or not shown via the menu. Both variants are excellent, and very realistic in the design of the floats, on water performance is really good and refined as well (Laminar Research has done a lot of updates relating to water born performance), but vFlyteAir has refined again above that. Notes include that wave height setting is crucial to get the right feel and a lot of flap helps balance. Lowering or raising the gear can be either just a standard X-Plane key setting or cockpit pumping action! To lower or raise the twin float rudders is done via a lever down by the right of the pilot's seat. Lighting The DHC - 3T's lighting is pretty basic... instrument lighting is adjustable and is very authentic in the glow of the dials. Two overhead lights provide cockpit (panel) lighting, but they are one fixed, and two not separate, so one on then all on... Cabin is dark as I couldn't find any lighting switches. External lighting is fine, but again basic... leading edge landing lights, Nav, high mounted beacon and strobes are all well done, but those two cockpit lights look like more external lights as they are quite bright? Sounds: There is a FMOD beta range set of sound effects created by specialist SimAcoustics that include propeller wash effects, squealing brakes, stall buffeting, full audible cockpit controls (switches, levers, etc.) sounds and custom weather sound effects and all are 3D sound positioned, that PT6 engine sounds pretty good as well with an authentic high turbine whine, so overall the sounds are excellent. Flight Model: This aircraft was developed by vFlyteAir Simulations an X-Plane general aviation specialist and it shows in every aspect of the flight model, the actual original flight dynamics are actually by Alan 'Rush' Shafto of AeroSim Gaming, but Walker Guthrie's hands are all over this aircraft. In the Re-Released version notably all the flight dynamics are again adjusted and re-refined with Take-offs at a fully loaded weight are now much closer to the POH published figures. Control response is excellent and remember this is a STOL aircraft, so slow or short take-off and landings are very easy and achievable. Flap position are different in the settings with - Cruise (zero) - Climb - Take Off and Landing and how all as easy as that can that be. A single flight and I had full confidence in the aircraft to do pretty any manoeuvre, balance or positioning I wanted to with the trimming very easy with the fine adjustment on the pitch wheel (rudder adjustment is on the roof), so there are no hidden quirks here except the powerful pull left of that heavy turbine and the awareness of the same forward engine weight on landing... hit the brakes early and the DHC-3T will tip nose first and break it's propeller, but otherwise this a really nicely balanced and lovely machine to fly and the words "like putty in my hands (and feet)" is very relatable to the flying experience, so even beginners or early flyers would find the aircraft a nice way to learn to fly in simulation, ditto the bushy pilot's who will really love the feel and touch of this modern version of the Otter. Prop reverse is available, but I rarely use it because of the low landing speeds. Negatives, well niggles more like it. Window reflections are very strong and over realistic, so you have to turn them off, but in time I have gotten used to them, cockpit curtain doesn't fold away but just disappears (weird), low fuel light is on all time, and even if the tanks are half full, cockpit and cabin lighting needs more creativity, it's okay but we have seen far better. Comments Overwhelmingly good. This a great and versatile aircraft that can be flown with both land and water operations. I loved the ease of which you could set up and fly the aircraft, in flight the aircraft is very, very good, so nicely balanced and a lovely machine to fly, and so it is also easy for the novice flyer. Obviously the aircraft originally came from the MilViz FSX/P3D stable but now the DHC-3T is since acquiring the full modeling rights the aircraft it is now a complete vFlyteAir aircraft. Sounds and flight model here is highly rated. Feature wise the Turbo Otter is very good as well, with passengers and cargo adjustable by weight and the redesigned menu is again excellent with more features that includes now a good Weights and Balance feature which is very welcome. The various choice of variants are also well done, and the water and water effects are sensational... manual (one) is excellent in providing aircraft information, details and performance charts. Avionic package choices are another highlight with RealityXP GNS availablity as well. I flew the DHC-3T for the Mont Blanc Group review, and the aircraft was sensational in this role, instantly loved this aircraft and under the new vFlyteAir banner nothing has changed but the update and better menu makes it all that totally better again. In the reorgiation of this aircraft from MilViz to vFlyteAir the price has been lowered to a sensational US$34.95 (milviz was $40), and earlier Milviz purchasers can upgrade this version for $7 which is an automatic discount at the X-Plane.OrgStore. So yes, totally brilliant all round and I love this excellent DHC-3T Turbo Otter and highly recommend the aircraft ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! DHC-3T Turbo Otter by vFlyteAir is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : DHC-3T Turbo Otter Price is US$34.95 Features PT6-34: 'By the Book' performance Engine model = Pratt & Whitney PT6A-34 Engine Power = 750 SHP Flat Rated up to 4000 ft. ISA conditions Propeller = 3 bladed, constant speed. Propeller model = Hartzell HC-B3TN-3DY /T10282+4 Buttery-smooth engine starts Highly authentic beta range sound effects Propeller-wash sound effects Squealing brakes Stall buffeting Audible cockpit controls (switches, levers, etc.) 3D sound positioning Realistic distance attenuation Custom weather sound effects Rain & Ice effects Included is an implementation of Saso Kiselkov's rain & ice effects librain plugin. Special Features KAP 140 autopilot now provides accurate two-axis control - greatly improved in this release! Professionally created & tuned, high-fidelity flight model including accurate characteristics specific to the DHC-3T. This release features improved performance and landing characteristics. Body Configurations - Standard Wheels, Floats, Amphibious Floats, each with individually tuned flight models. Skis can also be added to the wheels version as a visual option. Multiple loadout configurations, with passengers and cargo. Selectable cargo includes an externally mounted canoe! Weight and Balance and Center of Gravity is calculated constantly as fuel is consumed and loads are adjusted. Unique flap operation which simulates the usage of the manually operated hydraulic pump and selector on the DHC-3T. (Flaps can also be operated as normal using keyboard or joystick assignments) Realistic locked / powered / free-castoring tailwheel simulation Portable oxygen system installed in the cockpit provides crew oxygen at high altitudes using X-Plane's new oxygen systems simulation Custom menu system by vFlyteAir Simulations Richly detailed cabin with beautiful high resolution textures and smoothly animated gauges. Realistic and fully adjustable cabin and instrument lighting. Ability to completely hide yoke and column for ease of access to important switches and controls. Yoke can be "thrown over" to the copilot side. Four liveries based on or inspired by real world aircraft included. Detailed & educational flight manual Yoke Lock feature Accurately modeled pump-operated flaps Pump-operated landing gear (amphib version) Power Lever with Beta Gate and Reverse selections Condition Lever with idle cutoff safety guard Accurately modeled Fuel Transfer Switch Animated crew and passengers ______________________________________________________________________ Requirements : Windows, Mac 4GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Current and Review version : 1.0 PS: Customers who own the DHC-3 by Milviz can buy this new version for only $7 and get future updates. The discounted price will automatically show once logged in (if not contact the store at sales@x-plane.org) ______________________________________________________________________ Aircraft Re-Release Review by Stephen Dutton 6th February 2020 Copyright©2020: 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 11.41 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : Headshake by SimCoders : Avitab (required) Plugins: Environment Engine v1.13 by xEnviro US$69.90 : - KHAF - Half Moon Bay by Rising Dawn Studios (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.00
  13. There is something wrong with your load order? you have X-Plane Global airport scenery in the background image? that is not the payware scenery you are trying to fix???? unless you trying to marriage them together, which won't work either???
  14. Behind the Screen : January 2012 Happy New Decade and here we all go again. I have already noted several times the significance of this first year of the 20 twenties of simulation. MS2020 will arrive soon and X-Plane will be back in it's usual place as the clever underdog rather than the front-runner of simulation of which we have had a taste of these last few years, and were we will be at the end of the year will be the story of the year. The rule is just don't get too overconfident. Over the Christmas/New Year period though I have sat back and thought of why X-Plane is suddenly in this place. It must be said first though that the progress and changes over the last few v10/11 versions of X-Plane have been astounding, and you can't take that aspect away from what X-Plane has delivered as simulator and in the sheer mass it has grown, but suddenly it finds itself in crisis. Add to the fact that someone else (plus the huge financial investment) can start with a clean sheet and design a simulator from scratch instead of building upon building the last version to keep the punters happy, the first aspect that MS2020 users will face is that not how much of their olde world will actually be in the new simulator, so it won't be FSX+, and it will also even kill off Lockheed Martin's Prepar3D® which will have a harder battle to survive than X-Plane will and probably won't. A new modern simulator will be different, because it has to be, so the big decades of old titans of the original Flight Simulator and X-Plane platforms will now look at just in being old fashioned.... but back to the point. Currently X-Plane has three major areas of issues that have to be addressed to compete with the clean sheet design. The First is simply cash. X-Plane struggles to a point because the platform users will simply not invest into their own simulator, the dismal numbers put out by Laminar Research support this accusation, and so yes it is actually your own fault for the situation X-Plane is in. The numbers don't lie, X-Plane users are a mean scrooge lot with their cash, but they want the absolute best as well and you can't have it both ways, worse is that without that investment it is no wonder the developers are packing up and heading back to FS2020 La La Land because that is where the cash or survival money will be... X-Plane's major current failure is to generate a profit for the investment in the time and effort required and put in to the simulator, if free was a profit maker, then X-Plane would be the richest simulator by miles, I have said it before and will say it again, you are killing slowly your own golden egg. In reality the product range currently being created for the simulator professionally is dismal (what, what, what... you say) but the truth is that we have too few professional developers trying to survive, as the SSG B748i review noted it is that currently X-Plane has in reality no decent long haul aircraft at all (the new SSG B748i is now an exception) and Aerosoft won't touch our aircraft market with a barge pole, but the rest of our heavy long haul aircraft is of course dismal in their current offerings, in short and meduim range of aircraft is quite good, but not comprehensive. In GA the choice is actually very good, with Carenado, Just Flight and vFlyteAir all at the top of their game, but two of those are FSX developers are converting to X-Plane. Helicopters are nothing zero except for a few light heli's from vSkyLabs and a single Huey UH-1 in over three years, is an appalling situation for a so called high quality simulator, and you can see where we are going with all this. First I am not saying that all the offering from Ex-FSX developers was good either, because a lot of it was crap, and that our developers are not delivering truly brilliant products because they are. Third is the X-Plane simulator itself. Again I will note the extensive development over the years, but in reality in lots of ways the simulator although highly innovative, is failing badly in many crucial areas. The annoying thing about this is that they are the basic's, and the general feeling is that we are spending too much time chasing the wow factors and in that the main (the boring) but important areas of the simulator are not getting any attention, and yes Laminar are as guilty of this as much as developers. Flying the SSG Boeing 748i across the world from Singapore to Frankfurt, gives you a lot of time (nine hours) to observe and think of what is right and mostly what is wrong with X-Plane currently. Stutters, well we have a fix coming for them and soon hopefully with Vulkan/Metal, but that fix has also been a long time coming and the API has been in development for far too long. But the biggest issue (eyesore) is simply the Global textures. When X-Plane10 came out the landscape compared to X-Plane9 was a major change, and it looked at the time absolutely realistic. But forward to 2020 or eight years into the now and they look worse than X-Plane9 did back then, I'm not going to mention the water, high earth textures, restricting lighting areas or poor quality mountain ranges, yes there are 3rd party products, but the reality is that fly over any country and it currently looks simply awful and I flew over a lot of the planet on that route simulation, and this appailing aspect will soon have to compete with the mega FS2020 and it's bing world 3d texture maps. An average weather engine and of course the ATC.... always the ATC are also non-gracia. So in the past ten years the progress needed in these vital areas have been almost negligible. So the pressure in 2020 is now really on Laminar Research to finally address the simulator's real basic issues, even pull in the required resources to do so, and this is not certainly because of FS2020, although it is a major wake up call. But because these issues have not been addressed or have been left languishing for far too long anyway, yes it will cost money, yes it needs resources, but one person doing the art is simply (no matter how good his work is) too slow at this level, same with coders, yes the current crop of Laminar keyboard warriors are excellent, but they can't do everything currently that is required for the simulator. So to a point the current situation is down to not putting in resources in the good times and may be Laminar focusing more on the current than pet projects and buying up half of the Tesla dealership. Is this a rant, no not really but an assessment of the current situation X-Plane is really in, if we can be honest with ourselves then things will change as success can also bring in inertia, and change can be left behind. Change does also rely on technology as well, areas move forward only when the technology allows it to, but we currently now have had fast and powerful computers, graphic cards and cheap storage for about four years, so it is the simulator that is stuck behind the times and not the technology, but this also brings us into another important question, and that is the wide spread requirement to cover all users is also a question in that is it also in holding the simulator's forward progress back. It is a fair question. The minimum graphic card now required for simulation is 4K+, but X-Plane wants to keep the 2K and even the 1K users happy as well, this aspect means that those heavier dense global graphic textures are not going to come too soon, because maybe a third of users can't simply process them, and can the most of the above deflecting decisions be also related directly to graphic and computer power and so not to offend a certain portion of the Laminar simulation market. Vulcan/Metal is chasing efficiency, and that is a good thing, but not at the expense of just for the lower powered users who can't or mostly simply won't upgrade to a more powerful system. Yes I feel for them as I have been there with a 600mb graphic card (it blew up), but can the simulator continue to support a proportion of users trapped in systems that are simply out of date for any of the simulator's modern current requirements... I think that, in that question is the biggest one of all to answer if X-Plane as a platform is to move forward this year, it has to now let go of it's past and move forward in many aspects... 2020 and the coming decade is going to be very interesting, but more importantly it has to be about change, and finally addressing the difficult areas that are simply currently taboo, and that is even in many areas for the very survival of the simulator platform itself. On that happy note, we will see you all next month. Stephen Dutton 1st February 2020 Copyright©2020 X-Plane Reviews
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