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  1. NEWS! - Scenery Released : KAST - Astoria Regional Airport, Oregon by Skyline Simulations KAST Astoria Regional Airport for X-Plane is a civil and military airport in Warrenton Astoria (Oregon). The airport is owned by the Port of Astoria and is the home of Coast Guard Air Station Astoria. Astoria Regional airport has no airline flights. Flights to Portland International Airport were most recently provided by SeaPort Airlines from March 2008 until Spring of 2010. Until 1974-75 Astoria also had flights on West Coast Airlines and its successors. Astoria Regional Airport covers 870 acres (352 ha) at an elevation of 15 feet (5 m). It has two asphalt runways: 8/26 is 5,795 by 100 feet (1,766 x 30 m) and 14/32 is 4,996 by 100 feet (1,523 x 30 m). In 2010 the airport had 38,721 aircraft operations, average 106 per day: 60% general aviation, 36% military, and 4% air taxi. 48 aircraft were then based at the airport: 79% single-engine, 6% multi-engine, 4% helicopter, 4% ultralight, and 6% military. The airport houses a United States Coast Guard station with service and controls for three HH-60 helicopters and three motor life boat rescue stations located on the Oregon and Washington coasts. Features: Designed with the latest airport updates UHD Realistic Custom Textures Detailed HD Ground with PBR and decals Landmarks. Bridge, Column, Super Detailed 3D modeling PBR Materials on every building Thousands of 3D custom static objects Amazing and detailed night textures FSEco-subsystem Accurate City using original OSM data Ground Traffic Airport data: Runway Material Asphalt Runway 8/26 Length 5,795 feet Runway 14/32 Length 4,996 feet Service Civil - Military Airport Type Public __________________ Images are courtesy of Skyline Simulations KAST - Astoria Regional Airport, Oregon is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore, for US$20! _____________________ Yes! KAST - Astoria Regional Airport, Oregon by Skyline Simulations is currently available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : KAST - Astoria Regional Airport, Oregon Price is US$20.00 Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows , Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum. 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Download size: 3.3 GB Current version: 1.0 (May 16th 2022) ________________ News by Stephen Dutton 17th May 2022 Copyright©2022: 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) All Right Reserved.
  2. Classic Aircraft Review : Short Stirling Mk1-4 by Virtavia The Short Stirling is a World War 2 era four-engined bomber that entered RAF service on the eve of WW2. It was originally the RAF's primary bomber, but with a few short falls in the design it then relegated the aircraft into a secondary role behind the Avro Lancaster and the Handley Page Halifax. Short Brothers or "Shorts" are a Northern Ireland based company known famously for their "Empire" Flying boats in the 1930's, that were also a good basis for a tactical bomber. The S.29 design was a derivative design of the Sunderland Flying boat, the wings and controls were the same, the construction was also identical and it even retained the slight upward bend at the rear of the fuselage, which had originally been intended to keep the Sunderland's tail clear of sea spray. So as originally designed, the S.29 was considered to be capable of favourable high-altitude performance. But in the RAF's short sighted guidelines in that the wings must be shorter than 100ft (to fit in the current hangar size of 112 ft (34 m)) it restricted the Stirling's range and even worse ruined it's altitude capabilities. In it's relegated roles it was converted into a troop/parachute carrier of which it was highly successful, and in it's glider towing capability the Stirling also had a significant role in the D-Day Landings, sadly no Short Stirlings have survived to the current day. Virtavia are known in X-Plane with the association with Dawson Designs. Most Virtavia aircraft are a cross platform conversion from their FlightSim counterparts, but since Dawson Designs has now departed the developer scene from many a few years back, a lot of the original Virtavia aircraft like the B29 Bomber, S-61 Seaking and the GlobeMaster C-17A are now mostly seriously dated or compromised in their access in the X-Plane Simulator. Oddly here is the Short Stirling by Virtavia, and it is not currently known if it is FlightSim conversion by Virtavia directly or again a third-party conversion of the aircraft (the email address is for Virtavia), more interesting was why either party don't fix up the older aircraft to at least a usable current usability in X-Plane, in that is a strange orthodox, and would be in either party interests in if they are in continuing supporting the X-Plane Simulator if they are still in wanting releasing newer product? Short Stirling Mk1-4 by Virtavia There are three versions supplied of the Virtavia Sterling, which are the Mk.1 (W7451), The Mk.3 (EF411) and the Mk.4 (LK117) and all are based on real aircraft. This is the Mk.1. It was powered by a Bristol Hercules 14-cylinder, two-row, supercharged, air-cooled radial engine, at 1,356 hp (1,012 kW) at 2,750 rpm at 4,000 ft (1,220 m). The Mk.1 had the XI version and the Mks.3/4 had the XVI version. Mk.1 (W7451). Main features : FN.5 front turret, FN.7 mid-upper turret, FN.4 tail turret. The engines have smaller type intakes, no lower oil cooler intakes. No cowlexhaust ring covers, shorter-type exhausts on outer engines. High number of fuselage portholes. This was due to the original design brief requirement for use as a troop transport, which was not realised in the production variants until the later post-war Mk.5. Mk.3 (EF411) Main features : FN.5 front turret, FN.50 mid-upper turret, FN.20 tail turret. Engines have larger type intakes above, with circular oil cooler intakes underneath the cowl. Cowl exhaust ring covers commonly fitted, longer- type exhausts on all engines. The Mk.3 also had a reduced number of fuselage portholes. The Mk.3 was the main variant of the Stirling, many earlier Mk.1 airframes were later converted to Mk.3 and Mk.4 variants. The rear windows of the main canopy and the fuselage portholes were partially painted over to reduce interior light visibilty to enemy aircraft. The porthole vertical stripe is often misinterpreted as a physical divider, whereas it was actually a stripe of black paint. The Mk.3 also had more powerful Bristol Hercules XI 14-cyl. radial engines, these being the 1,650 hp improved version over the original Hercules II units which produced 1,375 hp. Most Mk.1 Stirlings were eventually upgraded with the XI engine and this simulation assumes this engine in all variants. Mk.4 (LK117) Main features : Plexiglass fairing in place of front turret, no mid-upper turret, FN.20 tail turret. Engines/cowls/intakes are the same as Mk.3. Front set of fuselage windows faired over, 'bubble' type window employed each side. 'Rebecca' aerials mounted on front fuselage. Number of fuselage portholes depended on whether the airframe was a conversion from a Mk.1 or Mk.3, or a new-build Mk.4. Fitted with glider towing bridle and hinged stop guard frame aft of the ventral supply drop hatch, used to prevent the attached parachute lanyards of dropped canisters from whipping and damaging the aircraft. Stirling Detail The first commercial-quality simulation of the Stirling bomber was created by AlphaSim (Virtavia's old name) back in 2002. Since then the aircraft has been remodeled in FSX, P3D and now in X-Plane, so although an upgraded aircraft it has a long history. First impressions are actually very good, but you immediately notice the absence of NML normal mapping, or the Dot3 bump mapping, a requisite feature today, as it can instantly make the aircraft feel dated, as it does here noticeably. But the highly detailed textures are very good and well detailed, and it sorta helps, but the reality is that 3d bump mapping is required to highlight the minute details, and certainly in a pre-war WW2 bomber. Cockpit canopy and all three (MK.1) gun turrets are excellent, high detail and comes with nice glasswork, and they feel nicely authentic. The glass feels slightly frosted, which gives it that era feel as the glass/perspex quality was not as high as it is today, so it looks good. The highlight is the forward landing gear, the complex array of struts and supports are really well done modeling wise and the gear wrap-doors are excellent (and great to watch in action). Again it signifies the era's undercarriage technology and worth studying. Internal wheel bay is also well detailed and authentic. Tailwheel(s) are very unusual in being a pair, in a twin gear taildragger style which is something I have never seen before, and again the inner gear bay in detail is well done. The Bristol Hercules engines have been faithfully recreated with great internal detail. The different exhaust and air inlets between the types are sometimes very subtle but are different, and all well done here. Wing shape is good and bulbous, and they come with working aileron control rods, and nice realistic oil wear over the top of the wings is very authentic. Interior The Stirling's cockpit is quite spacious and airy compared to most WW2 military cockpits (does that mean vulnerable as well?), but remember this the Short Flying boat cockpit redesigned for a bomber... but it is excellent. The aircraft does feel new or restored, and not very war-torn, but well done it all is. All the construction of the canopy is excellent with the different frames all connected together with bolts and screws, the moment you sit in here you go "wow". It is pure modelling of course with not a lot of textures, but in a strange way it all works out very well... You really like it here. The navigator sits behind and on the lower deck, with access to the forward gun turret or bomb observer. The instrument panel is quite small, and for the pilot only in flying instruments, the right seat is for a monitor or backup pilot only. The super nice metal yokes can be hidden by pressing the "Y" key. Basically you have your flying instruments on the left and your engine readouts/gauges centre and the dials only show "boost' and "RPM" for each engine. The green colours are the gear position (down, and red up), which actually look LED modern, not the view of an aircraft that was flying 80 years ago, but it again in here it works very well. Bomb door switches are lower right, and a lot on the left side is fake, but well done. But note the huge compass and the "AUTO CONTROLS" which is a very basic autopilot. On the right it is just the hull frames of the cockpit, but again it feels all very realistic. In your face central is the "Flaps" Panel with position and selection switch... Above are the huge "Trim Handles" for both pitch and rudder trim... magnificent! Lower is the very lever filled pedestal. Throttle levers (x4), Mixture levers (x2), RPM levers (x4), Parking Brake left, Landing Light right. Notable is the settings for the levers. I only have a x56 Rhino throttle, which is only two levers. I use the left one for the Throttles (all), and the right lever for the Mixture (all) which is very much like I fly a GA aircraft, the lower RPM levers are a bit of a problem, in that there is no setting to use? or can you not (easily?) move then manually, although they do have hotspot actions... .... the detail is really well done, and feel just like the bomber controls should look like. The Rudder Pedals are also very nicely recreated as well, and are animated very realistically when you use them. The side windows can also be opened via "hotspots". The front side is opened via touching the base screw, and the pilot's side window via the handle, the rear Navigator window can also be opened. But the hotspots can be tricky to use unless you get your position correctly in the aircraft... ... the pilot's chair armrests can also be moved upwards (animated), In the menu there are notes to hide the excellent bomber crew (shift-F1), but it doesn't work, neither does the rear crew door with ladder (shift-F2). There are no menus or other features. The Stirling carries in Guns; 8 x 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns: 2 in powered nose turret, 4 in tail turret, 2 in dorsal turret, and a payload of up to 14,000 lb (6,350 kg) of bombs, it was however restricted to carry only 500 lb bombs. The Bomb compartment doors are controlled via the panel right side centre with two panels covering "Bomb Doors" and "Bomb Doors Wings". Left panel opens the main fuselage doors with racks of 500 lb bombs, the right panel opens the inner wing bomb doors which is really well done here. Full load is 15-500 lb bombs. Selecting any Bomb door switch will produce again in your face a "Bombers" panel. Here you can "Arm" the bombs and "Release" them. You can release them in four options, "Salvo, Ripple, Pair or Single". ________________ Flying the Short Stirling Time to taxi out to EGCN - Doncaster Sheffield's Rwy 20 or RAF Finningley that earlier hosted Vulcan Nuclear Bombers. The Strirling is nice to taxi, heavy, very heavy, but you are loaded with bombs. One quirk is that the Virtavia Striling has a tendency to change liveries for no reason, very odd... The droning sounds of the Bristol Hercules engines that have been nicely recreated here and it all comes with doppler fly-by sound effects, and they are deep and throaty and feel very WW2. They were recorded from the real Bristol Hercules engine sounds, and that is highlighted here. As a class, the large and heavy four-engined tail-wheeled bombers such as this Stirling, Handley Page Halifax, Avro Lancaster and Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress could be a real handful on takeoff and landing, more so for the relatively young and inexperienced new pilots who formed the vast majority of the expanding Commonwealth and American air forces. Later heavy bomber designs such as the Consolidated B-24 Liberator and Boeing B-29 Superfortress used a nose-wheel (tricycle) configuration which was far more easier to control. The same is applicable here, put the power up and the Stirling will earlier track very nicely, but then start to pull progressively right, the small rudder does not have much effect either, so you have to work at the controls to stay straight, it can be done, but is quite hard to do. Notable was that in the real Stirling they learnt adjust the engine power (right throttles) to compensate for this effect, but unless you have a four-throttle system to find that power imbalance, then it is impossible to do with a twin-throttle setup... At around 95 Knots the Stirling will lift (Flaps 15º), and you then get more physical control... Climbout is around 1,000 ft/min, and recommended is the rate of climb of 800 ft/min but I found that around a 1,000 fpm is basically the best lifting speed without any loss of speed and still have some power in reserve. Watching the gear animations is well worth the time to clean up the aircraft, and to gain far more climbing speed. Odd though is the "Auto Controls" or sort of Autopilot. It only works in the vertical or pitch mode. You turn it on when in a level flight, then switch the "Spin" in, then engage the "Clutch". The pitch is determined by the handle in degrees of minus or positive... ... but the turning selection handle is mostly impossible to use? There needs to be an increment or mouse wheel setting to make it more accurate. The point is "Why", because the the pitch trim can and does the same job far easier? In the air the Stirling does look very good, but without the NML normal mapping and in the bright light, the shiny slab sides show easily the age of the modeling design, even feeling a decade old in simulation terms. But once trimmed out the Stirling is very nice to fly, as was the real aircraft. You could drone on like this or at night for hours, of which they did in the Second World War. The Maximum speed of the Stirling was 282 mph (454 km/h, 245 kn) at 12,500 ft (3,800 m), with cruise speed of 200 mph (320 km/h, 170 kn). Range was actually very good at 2,330 mi (3,750 km, 2,020 nmi), but the service ceiling was restricted to 16,500 ft (5,000 m). The Stirling's maximum bomb load could however be carried for only around 590 miles (950 km). On typical missions deep into Germany or Italy, a smaller 3,500-pound (1,600 kg) load was carried, consisting of seven 500-pound (230 kg) GP bombs; this payload was in the range of that which was already being carried by the RAF's medium bombers, such as the Vickers Wellington and by 1944, the de Havilland Mosquito. Perhaps the biggest weakness present in the design was that, although the bomb bay was large at 40 ft long (12 m), it had a pair of structural dividers that ran down the middle, limiting the bay to nothing larger than the 2,000-pound (910 kg) bomb. As the RAF started using the 4,000-pound (1,800 kg) "cookies" and even larger "specials", the Stirling became less useful. Lighting As this is a WW2 aircraft, and a night bomber, there is basically no real internal lighting to speak of. Panel illumination is via two overhead red spot lights, that can be turned on/off, but not the red glow from the lights... the only other lighting in the cockpit is a light over the compass which again you can switch on or off. The only other single switchable light is above the navigator's table, set down below you. Externally it is pretty basic as well, with two left wing landing lights and navigation lights, and that is it. You tend to curve the Stirling more than bank it tight, as you just feel your way around the turn, it handles very well though. Powering low over the ground at 2,000ft is exciting with the droning engines, a bombing run, not this time, but you can feel what it must have been like in those past dark days. Flap 15º reduces your speed to 105 knts, and there is a balloon as you drop them, 30º flap and your at 90 knts, but then dropping the gear creates even more drag, and your at 88 knts. But go below this or 45º "Down" and the Stirling tends to yaw, weave or swing, even at 30º flap you get this, but nothing as bad as the flap full down position... ... there isn't a lot of rudder authority to counteract the yawing, and it makes the approach a very, very skillful exercise... ... the Sterling is just not very happy at low approach speeds. But this is where the challenge kicks in, and getting that landing right becomes addictive. You need 80 knts to get it right, but I couldn't go under 85 knts-88 knts ish, if not you simply drop out of the air, which is another real life Sterling foible that has ruined many a flying career, known as a "dropped" landing, and it could cause serious structural damage. During its service life, it was not unknown for "dropped" landings to render Stirlings or other large four-engined bombers write-offs and suitable only for parts. But here is the other side of the problem, get the speed too fast and you then turn yourself into a "Dambusters" bomb, and then bounce your way right down the runway, or mostly off it? It is a horrible feeling with no control of the aircraft until it stops or winds itself out. Then once the tail drops the right yaw then kicks in again, so you have to quick to catch that as well. If you get all right then the Stirling will slow down quite easily, but I do recommend foot brakes to control the direction, and by slightly touching them in the way to stop the aircraft moving left or right off the centreline. Grass landing are very much easier, because they take out a lot of the initial landing bounce and create more drag to keep you in a straight line... landing on grass is actually pretty easy compared to hard surfaces... but you really have to feel for those novice pilots. As I mentioned the Stirling is highly addictive, get it wrong and it is very quickly; "Let's do that again, and try this, this time"... ______________ Summary The Short Stirling is a World War 2 era four-engined bomber that entered RAF service on the eve of WW2. It was originally the RAF's primary bomber but a few short falls in the design of restricting it's wingspan to 100ft relegated the aircraft into a secondary role behind the Avro Lancaster and the Handley Page Halifax. This aircraft comes from Virtavia, with a quite sporadic record in X-Plane. Originally cross-platformed from FlightSim by Dawson Designs, they have lately released revised their older aircraft back again into the X-Plane Simulator, with this Short Stirling and the Handley-Page Hampden as releases. There is a lot to like here though. The modeling is very, very good, and World War two feel comes though very strongly. Sounds are not totally top notch, but still recorded from a real Bristol Hercules engines and in that have been nicely recreated here and come with doppler fly-by sound effects. It is challenging in a realistic way to fly as the real aircraft was apparently a difficult beast until tamed by the pilot's skills. All bomb doors open and the bombs are active, but mostly the aircraft was used as a troop carrier or glider pulling aircraft. Three versions in the Mk.1, Mk. 3 and Mk.4 are all included, including the different details between the versions. No NML normal mapping (raised rivets and external detail) shows the age of the original design in the simulator, there is not a lot of textures either, but the detailed modeling does sort of covers a lot of these aspects. There are a few animations in, armrests, windows opening, bomb doors, but mostly there is very little in specialist features like no menus or static ground elements to add into the simulation, this all mostly just a focus on the flying. I was surprised the Short's Sterling was or is as good as it is, considering its dated simulation and FlightSim history, it is old and you can't ignore that fact. But I like the feel and challenge the aircraft represents, and I like to be surprised. In fact with just a bit more development, it could turn a simple basic simulation into a much more very, and more modern one, not just being an older aircraft updated, but already there has been four updates since the release, so it is certainly proceeding in the right direction. So do I like the Virtavia Short Sterling, well yes and actually more than I would really like to admit! _____________________ Yes! the Short Stirling Mk1-4 by Virtavia is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Short Stirling Mk1-4 Price is US$25.95 Features Aircraft variants included : Stirling Mk.1 : W7451. 7 Squadron, RAF Oakington, Cambridgeshire, England, early 1941. Manufactured by Austin Motors, Longbridge, Birmingham. Stirling Mk.3 : EF411. 149 Squadron, RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk, England, late 1942. Manufactured by Short Bros., Rochester, Kent. Stirling Mk.4 : LK117 570 Squadron, RAF Harwell, Oxfordshire, England, 17 September 1944 Manufactured by Short & Harland, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Features : PBR materials/textures used throughout VR config file included, 3 cabin teleport hotspots FMOD sounds package with multi-stage engines, pilot's slide window muting, switch clicks and other unique cockpit sounds very detailed cockpit with numerous animations and mousable controls working Automatic Controls (VS hold only, limited to 235kts) working Lorentz Indicator (uses DME/NAV1 LOC) working Beam Approach Indicator (uses NAV1 LOC) crew ladder togglable crew figures 6 separate animated cockpit windows with unique sounds, animated bomb bay doors in both wings and fuselage togglable bombs animated cowl flaps authentic flight model with checklist 22-page illustrated User Operating Manual Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 80 MB Current version: 3.0 (May 10th 2022) Installation Download of the Virtavia Short Stirling is 76.1Mb and it is installed in your Aircraft Folder as a 116 Mb folder. There is no Auto-updater by Skunkcrafts for updates, so currently you have to redownload any updates via the X-Plane.OrgStore. Documents Provided are two documents Included with the package. A 24 page Manual that covers the aircraft's layouts and systems, and a "Checklist" with Normal Procedures. A version changelog is also provided. Virtavia Stirling Checklist.txt Virtavia Stirling Pilot Operating Manual.pdf _____________________ Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton 14th May 2022 Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications:  Computer System: Windows -S1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo M2 2TB SSD - Sound : Yamaha Speakers YST-M200SP Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.55 Plugins: Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99 Scenery or Aircraft - EGCN - Doncaster Sheffield by Fly X (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$17.99 (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) All Rights Reserved
  3. NEWS! - Scenery Released : EHRD - Rotterdam Airport v2 by RDPresets Rotterdam The Hague Airport, (IATA: RTM, ICAO: EHRD) is an international airport serving Rotterdam, the Netherlands' second largest city and The Hague, and the Dutch administrative and royal capital. It is located 3 NM (5.6 km; 3.5 mi) north northwest of Rotterdam in South Holland and is the second busiest airport in the Netherlands. The airport handled over 2.1 million passengers in 2019 and features scheduled flights to European metropolitan and leisure destinations, Transavia being the largest operator at the airport. It is also used extensively by general aviation and there are several flying clubs, a skydiving club and a flight training school also located at the airport. RDPresets have released v2.0 of their Rotterdam scenery for the X-Plane Simulator. V2 is new to X-Plane and coming soon for FS2020. v1 of the Rotterdam scenery was released only for P3D. Features: Highly detailed version of Rotterdam the Hague Airport. Handcrafted 3D Objects Accurate night lighting. Accurate vliegclub area and new aeroclub building. Hoog-Zestienhoven Industrial area modelled. Airport Hotel Rotterdam Brand new Fletcher Hotel in front of the Wings Hotel modelled. Simple terminal interior. Optimized performance. Custom highly detailed ground textures. Accurate area in front of the airport, featuring billboards, monument, flags, fuel station, full car parks. Accurate taxiway, runway and apron featuring the recently added (Q) parkings. PBR Materials throughout. All images are courtesy of RDPresets _____________________ Yes! EHRD - Rotterdam Airport v2 by RDPresets is currently available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : EHRD - Rotterdam Airport Price is US$21.99 Requirements X-Plane 11 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 2.7 GB Current version : 2.0 (May 12th 2020) ________________ News by Stephen Dutton 13th May 2022 Copyright©2022: 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) All Right Reserved.
  4. NEWS! - Plugin Released : ProCam XP by Aerosoft The built in X-Plane (keypad) views system is quite powerful if you know how to use it, including some silly tricks to go through the wall boundaries with the internal view. But for video editors they require something far more powerful and a more flexible tool to use. The default go to tool currently is X-Camera by StickAndRudder Studio's and that sells for US$15. And it is powerful, but also has a complicated user interface, but there is a free version in that you can't save the settings for the advanced features, in meaning you can't save your views, which is a big handicap unless you buy the Pro version. There were however a few other camera/view tools available, DynamicCam, IZICam and lately ChaseView Deluxe. But the overwhelming issue was always the complicated interface. So now Aerosoft in association with FSS-FlightSim Studio's have released a new Camera plugin in ProCam XP that has a more accessible interface. You can create stunning tracking shots in and around your own aircraft or in the scenery of your choice, and also uses effects such as simulated breathing to create a realistic pilot view. For the developer, they can also create ready-made presets for custom scenery views and show customers the best spots in their product. In other words it is a global view system and not just restricted to Aircraft. Features: Presets for cockpit, exterior and world category Optional 3D camera object in cockpit/exterior Presets for XP default aircraft included Different view types Cockpit: static Cockpit: human Cockpit: cam Exterior: static Exterior: cam World: fixed World: free World: follow aircraft Manual camera control Key combination / joystick / controller mapping are possible Various effects Head rotation based on control inputs Simulated breathing (pilot view) Gimbal control (horizon/tilt) Invisible clickspots Individual clickspot overlay setup Cinema Mode for each aircraft size category Presets can be included in add-on sceneries Cinema presets can be included in add-on sceneries Notable is that ProCam is Windows only at this point as the MacOS operating system is currently not supported, and If you are also using OpenGL, there may be an offset when placing the 3D camera object. I really like the idea of putting your own GoPro camera on the aircraft, and anywhere you want to position it, clever! This is the simplified interface... If you are a ProVideo maker, it is probably worth checking out... _____________________ Yes! the ProCam XP Plugin by Aerosoft is currently available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : ProCam XP Price is US$16.99 Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, and Linux. (MAC OSX not supported at this time) Serial Number sent in a separate email, a few minutes after order is placed Current Version: 1.0 (May 11th 2022) ________________ News by Stephen Dutton 12th May 2022 Copyright©2022: 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) All Right Reserved.
  5. NEWS! - Scenery Updated : LIMJ - Genova COMPLETE 5 - The Revolution by BCSceneries BCSceneries have released the next (final?) installment of the Genova, Italian city and airport mega scenery. This version is called the "COMPLETE 5 - The Revolution". A huge collaborative project (version v4.0 was covered here by Jude: Scenery Review: Aeroporto Cristoforo Colombo LIMJ by BCSceneries) and the extensive city and airport scenario is now larger and denser than ever. The version v4.0 release was an upgrade, but this one is a update, and free to all older v4.0 purchasers. Mostly the scenery update v5.0 is focused on making icons (mostly bridges) more realistic and true to life, with changes to LIMJ-Genoa with now an more high defined model for the New Terminal. In version 4.0 there was already an expansion included, but the administration of the airport had chosen a new different project than that of 4.0 release. So the new expansion is different than that of 4.0 release. Also there are now (walking) people (with natural movements) to give the terminals more activity. Notable is that a lot of the buildings including the LIMJ Control Tower are now of a far Hi-Res quality texture, a weakness of the scenery before and most of the Genoa city buildings are now far higher in detail and resolution. LIMJ-Genoa is a very large download of 4.2Gb (5.91Gb when installed), but it is still quite light on performance, and it comes with both Sea and Mesh options. The v5.0 update includes: Version 5.0 (May 9th 2022) The Genova 5.0 scenery "use" default or third parties roads and railways in the city and in the outback of Genova. So in this fifth release you have the default cars traffic. Further in the city there are 3d modeled elevated roads and the San Giorgio Bridge (former Morandi Bridge). On these 3D modeled roads there is custom traffic (using Ground Traffic by Marginal - no need to install any plugins). In the airport (only near the Terminal) there are custom moving ground services. Also in and out the Terminal there are moving (walking) people (with natural movements). In this 5.0 release we've redone the facades textures (more coloured) for the residential areas of the city. Now there is a new Terminal. It is now an high defined model. The new Terminal include the expansion in project (in the reality the works will start at the end of 2022 year). Already in version 4.0 there was an expansion but the administration of the airport has choosed a new different project than that of 4.0 release. So the new expansion is different than that of 4.0 release. The Terminal with the expansion has partial prerendered generic interiors (the tunnels and the areas of the Terminal near the external windows). Also there is, in the new airport, a new high defined control tower which has prerendered generic interiors (the control room). Marco has drawed a new mesh for the city and the airport. Now the whole area of the airport is raised above the sea. Between the runway and the sea there is now a connecting wall. The same must be said for the docks of the harbour and the Ancient Port. The new mesh also works in the area of San Giorgio Bridge and its motorway junction. Under the bridge now there are new high defined factories. All the skycrapers in the city has been redone in high definition. Now the windows of the skycrapers are 3D modeled (no more pictures applied on the flat facades of the skycrapers model). The new scenery features new high defined models for boats, ships, and cranes. Height new models for the ships and six new models for the cranes. The marinas in the city are full of Laminar Research boats. The new airport include two new areas filled with factories and high defined cranes. The scenery has a totally new night version (photographic) with new night textures for ground and buildings. In the airport beside the Terminal and the control tower, there are some redone buildings in high definition and new textures for the other buildings of airport. In the scenery there are now new textures for almost all the landmarks of the city. The Acquarium area has been edited. The docks has new texture (no more photoreal). We taked care of the textures of the acquarium (better than 4.0 release). We added people (static) in the area of the acquarium and new boats (with two new models for the yatchs) at the docks. Now the outback of Genova has 1 m/pixel ground textures (the 4.0 release had 4 m/pixel ground textures). Marco has drawed a new ultra high detailed model of the San Giorgio Bridge (former Morandi bridge) with its motor junction. The bridge include car traffic. Now the scenery (not like 4.0 release) features the sea from photoreal textures. New realistic textures for apron and runway and taxiways. Further there is the volumetric grass near the runway from photoreal textures. New "De Ferrari" square. The Genoa scenery covers an area of 243 squares kilometers with the LIMJ-Genoa airport, the Harbour, the ancient port, the fair and industrial areas with hundreds and hundreds of buildings and architectural complexes, and several thousands of objects like ships, cranes, containers, trucks, parked cars, parked trains and so on. Further, there are the residential areas. The scenery features both city areas and forests (hand placed) on the slopes of the mountains (1100 squares kilometers in total). LIMJ-Genoa Night Lighting Only big words come to mind here... Extensive, massive and huge, the area and detail covered in the scenery is well... massive! To update to COMPLETE 5 - The Revolution, then go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account and download the new v5.0 of the scenery, you can purchase the COMPLETE Genova scenery below. _____________________ Yes! the LIMJ - Genova COMPLETE 5 - The Revolution by BCSceneries is currently available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : LIMJ - Genova COMPLETE 5 - The Revolution Price is US$32.00 Requirements X-Plane 11. 4 GB RAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download size: 4.5 Gb Current Version: 5.0 (May 9th 2022) ________________ News by Stephen Dutton 10th May 2022 Copyright©2022: 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) All Right Reserved.
  6. NEWS! - Aircraft Updated : McDonnell Douglas MD-11 v1.03.9 by Rotate This is another big update in v1.03.9 to cover a lot of bugs and fix a load of areas for the new McDonnell Douglas MD-11 by Rotate. You can now only currently download the update by the X-Plane.OrgStore as there is currently no updater used with the aircraft. There is no doubt that the Rotate MD-11 was one of the most controversial aircraft releases in X-Plane, if ever, certainly in the time I have been in the simulator. Talk about a firestorm, it was actually quite embarrassing to watch from the sidelines. Several things are to be noted here, one is that any X-Plane user should know that any release of an aircraft, then it will come with release bugs, certainly with one of this complexity and it's deep systems. It is the speed in which the developers (in this case Rotate) reacts and covers those fixes and bugs, and in the speed in how they do that, and in this aspect Rotate has more than delivered. They don't know the bugs sometimes until they can see them. So what went wrong. To a point both sides had to take some of the blame. For one the hype and buildup was off the chart, nothing released could live up to those sort of orbital expectations. We found very early on in the beta testing this was not a normal aircraft to fly and learn, it was on another level again, and you must readjust to another skill level of flying with these very complicated machines. I took me a week to do so (an early warning in there that this was not going to be an easy release), early versions were extremely buggy and that did not help, but in the last beta we received it was really very good and everything fell into place, yes I crashed, yes I fell into the ocean (I have the pictures to prove it), yes I had to double-click actions, but gradually we mastered it, then the MD-11 really started to shine. Then I really fell in love with this very confronting aircraft, when it worked it really was sensational and challenging. So I had my serious concerns that way before the release the MD-11, seriously over hyped, seriously difficult to learn. Rotate didn't help the situation by holding the release version from everyone and too close to their chest, including the beta testers. We had noted the fixes required, but didn't actually know what had been until the release version RC was put up for sale, that aspect was a mistake by Rotate, beta testers would have seen earlier that the bug list had not been totally covered in the release, and that left Rotate exposed. The Vloggers didn't really help either. In their rush to beat each other to air (more numbers means more clicks) they made serious mistakes in setting up the aircraft, creating errors that users picked up on early, the vloggers again should have had advance copies to sort out the minute of the aircraft before broadcasting. Then came the release, and it turned into a firestorm of pure juvenile inadequacy, I was ashamed and even offended by some of the vitriolic comments made about the developer and the product, Basically there was a few areas that the users just couldn't work out (It took me a days to work it out as well remember), the odd one was the ILS setting, I admit it was an odd way to set the ILS Frequency (no course degree) but that just threw everyone, second was the power settings for takeoff, another tricky way of setting up the aircraft, but again you had to set the aircraft up correctly, to fly it correctly, then the odd LNAV the biggest annoyance which was one I just couldn't get my head around, as the Rotate MD-80 does exactly the same thing? Then to relate the Rotate MD-11 to a MD-11 release from Flight Simulator, and one released over a decade ago was sheer lunacy... seriously no two releases are exactly the same anyway. Most wanted their money back, but you had to step up to the aircraft and not the other way around. It showed a lot of users were almost illiterate in their flying, and their weak skill base was exposed. I admit the release aircraft was not perfect, far from it, I never expected it to be. Once the users got a handle on the systems the forums settled down, they still complained of course but their comments were meaningless as the experienced users got their heads around the aircraft, and even the real world pilots noted how good the aircraft is compared to the real deal and recommended it. And Rotate has also quickly updated the aircraft to compliance. Overall it was seriously embarrassing episode for the X-Plane simulator. This update covers a lot of the minute details, and should have been by all accounts been the release version, so you can say the MD-11 is now stable, even though there will be a still a few gripes. And yes the LNAV/VNAV has again been adjusted and so have the FD Bars. Version 1.03.9 (May 8th 2022) - Fixed deceleration predictions computing VNAV profile. - Improved T/D detection. - Adjusted transition to descent phase. - Fixed a bug in VNAV flight-path calculation causing too steep descent at high altitudes. - Fixed speed restrictions and deceleration schedule below transition altitude. - Fixed issues crossing the 180º meridian. - Fixed 2D menus in multi-monitor setups. - Adjustments to Flight Director bars response. - Tuned engine thrust at high altitudes. - Tuned cabin climb rates. - Prevent LSAS/CWS PIDs from resetting on AFS disconnect. - Support tiller with mouse. - Give hardware throttle priority when ATS servos are off. - Ignore hardware throttles when ATS servos are engaged. - Fixed engine 3 rotation issue. - Fixed gear lights logic. - Fixed center gear deploying on landing when commanded up. - Support reversers with throttle commands. - Fixed cabin pressurization rate. - Fixed AP DISCO transition to LSAS/CWS guidance. - Fixed a bug in F-PLN page time fields. - Fixed arrival airport/runway symbols in ND. - Fixed T/C and T/D calculation in some routes. - Tuned descent performance predictions. - Fixed descent flight path calculation in power-on-path descent legs. - Fixed reversers N1 limit. - Improved thrust reversers command logic. - Fixed ILS tuning of some navaids. - Fixed clearing of VOR2 CRS in NAV RADIO page. - Fixed transition to early descent using V/S. - Fixed EICL messages colors in EAD. - Fixed wind indication in PROGRESS page. - Removed sign of STAB setting in TAKEOFF page. - Tuned fueld burned/predicted data. - Fixed AFS speed target logic during takeoff. - Fixed CTD when entering duplicate lat/lon names F-PLN page. - Show dialed frequecies correctly in radio heads. - Fixed aileron indications with deflected aileron configuration. - Tuned brakes heating/cooling rates. Note: the Rotate MD-11 has now been tested in X-Plane12 and will be fully supported when the new X-Plane version is released, no news if that aspect will be an upgrade price or a free update to users, personally I think it will be free as the time difference between both releases (MD-11/XP12) is small (in months). A full MEGA X-PlaneReviews review on the Rotate MD-11 is here : Aircraft Review : McDonnell Douglas MD-11 by Rotate _____________________ Yes! the McDonnell Douglas MD-11 v1.03.9 by Rotate is currently available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Rotate MD-11 Price is US$83.95 Requirements X-Plane 11 (Fully updated, non beta version) Support for X-Plane 12 when available Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM recommended Current version: 1.03.9 (May 8th 2022) ________________ News by Stephen Dutton 10th May 2022 Copyright©2022: 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) All Right Reserved.
  7. Scenery Review : PAWD - Seward Airport, Alaska by NorthernSkyStudios Owing to its position at the southern terminus of the Alaska Railroad and the well-developed road links to Anchorage and the rest of the Kenai Peninsula, Seward City is both a major northern end-port for several major cruise ship lines that host Alaskan cruises, such as Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, and Celebrity Cruises, and a common destination for general Alaskan tourism. Huge glaciers flow from the Harding Icefield into the local coastal fjords and the township itself is surrounded by peaks, the adjoining fjords are also a whale and porpoise habitat. To the west, a trail leads to the summit of Mount Marathon (1,471 m). The Mount Marathon Race is a famous mountain race that is run every Fourth of July up the mountain. NorthernSkyStudios are alternating between scenery based in the Hawaiian Islands and Alaska. In Hawaii the releases lately have covered PHMU - Waimea-Kohala, PHOG - Kahului and PHJH - Kapalua Airports. In Alaska the last release was so much a favorite of mine in that X-PlaneReviews quickly covered it in a review; PAEN - Kenai Municipal Airport, situated just west of Anchorage. Here is their next scenery in PAWD - Seward Airport, which is directly on the other side of the same Kenai Peninsula (Dena'ina: Yaghenen) from Kenai, and a really great companion scenery to the earlier NorthernSky PAEN - Kenai Municipal Airport... so we will start there, and fly over to the newer PAWD - Seward scenery. PAEN-Kenai to PAWD-Seward Airport My aircraft today is the excellent Thranda Design C208B Caravan. In taking a little bit of cargo out to the more eastern and remote Seward airport. There is no doubt the NorthernSky Kenai is still a deeply impressive scenery and well worth exploring, certainly a must have if you love your remote bush flying escapades. So what is the trick or the value of good scenery? If an addon scenery can recreate the exact look and feel of a place, in other words, place you in an another completely different environ but a real representative of that actual place. Then it is doing of what you want you want that scenery to achieve, then that also in return gives the scenery value in it's usefulness and purchase. That value aspect certainly works here at PAEN, so the newer PAWD-Seward scenery is already creating high expectations of the same. Departure is from PAEN Rwy 02 and PAWD is directly 120º to the southeast which is 104 miles or 167 km, so I initially turn to that heading... ... and directly now ahead are the The Kenai Mountains which are a large mountain range in this eastern Alaska. They extend 192 km northeast from the southern end of the Kenai Peninsula to the Chugach Mountains, and they have an average elevation of 3,000 to 5,000 feet. So I set my altitude at 8,000ft to go over the top. But once heading west I saw a gap in the mountains that would take me almost directly to Seward. The entrance to the valley is over Skilak Lake, taking in the Upper Russian Lake (Not to be confused with the "Russian River" as that is further north), that in then forms into the Resurrection River that flows down an estuary at Seward itself. It is quite a straight forward route. You are in the correct valley if your going directly east, and if you see the Skilak Glacier to your right, and it is quite impressive even in this default X-Plane texture guise. You just then just follow through the valley, again there is another Glacier to your right, and this one is the "Exit Glacier"... Notable is that around this point the custom NorthernSky orthophoto textures are now part of the scenery, but they really have been so well blended in with the default textures, as it is hard to find the blending line between them, NorthernSky have done very well to create this seemless transition... ... by now you are almost through the valleys, and you should see the Resurrection Bay water ahead, and Seward is sited at the top end of the inlet, it is also time to descend down from the 8,000ft altitude. As you come out of the valley, then Seward is directly below you. PAWD is highly visible because of it's twin V shaped runway arrangement. The longer runway is 13/31 at 4,240ft (1,292m), the shorter one is the 16/34 runway at 2,279ft (695m) and both are asphalt, for the Caravan the 16/34 runway is too short, or too tight to get into (most pilots will laugh off this aspect and say the Caravan is a STOL aircraft, and so should easily land on this shorter runway), but I'm finding the Thranda Caravan currently a bit too fast on approach. (I later tried the landing and had to go around), so Rwy 13/31 it is or Runway 31. I drop down to 2,000 ft and do a circular 8 pattern to line up Rwy 31. As a good sight guide there is a small port to your right called Spring Creek (actually also the Spring Creek Correctional Center! shown here but not not in 3d, but as burnt in images). This visual point then gives you a direct line into Runway 31 at 31º. The phototextures are very good on the approach in determining the estuary at Resurrection River to your right, also strewn around are logs for a 3d effect. Over the threshold of 31, and note the great tundra style foliage. Nice also is the runway surface that is well worn, cracked asphalt with the worn out edge markings, it looks all so very authentic, I loved the ground textures here a lot, and they are as good as back at PAEN. The landing was GOOD!, then it wasn't... about a quarter of the way from the threshold there is a slope to a level line that flipped the C208B back airborne, then it came back down awkwardly... ... so it took more time and more runway to resettle the aircraft, thankfully the runway is long enough to do this. You can easily see the offending line on the approach, so I recommend to aim the landing just past it, so I will remember that for next time, as the runway is long enough to accommodate this aspect. Basically there isn't a lot at Seward Airport, as it is just really a motley assortment of cabins, portable buildings and hangars. One thing you can't miss is the welcome, certainly you know you are at "Seward". And it has a great feel here, as the buildings are nicely weather worn and rustic, everything feels very authentic to Alaska, a shame the flags are not animated though. The C208B is shutdown and it is time to unload the freight and you really like the feel here, what is the right word, "Frontier!". PAWD - Seward Airport Seward Airport is a state-owned, public-use airport located two nautical miles (2.3 miles; 3.7 km) northeast of the central business district of Seward, a city in Kenai Peninsula Borough of the U.S. state of Alaska. This airport is included in the FAA's National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a general aviation facility. Seward Airport IATA: SWD, ICAO: PAWD, FAA LID: SWD 13/31 - 4,240ft (1,292m) -Asphalt 16/34 - 2,279ft (695m) - Asphalt Elevation AMSL22 ft / 7 m Seward is to be really noted as a small regional airport, because basically it is what it all is, a few buildings and an aircraft parking area. Turn down Airport Road and the first airport building is the AA Seward Air Tours office... you can't really miss it could you, the glacier airtours are quite reasonably priced as well i'm told. The internal office of AA Seward Air Tours has also been very nicely fitted out and with Alaskan decor. Next down the road is the Dogsled Tour Office, helicopters this time but with the same scenic glacier tours... For pure creativity you can't go past the next tour operator (again helicopters) with Marathon Tours, as they have an office created out a ISO shipping container in the longer 40ft length, it is very well reproduced here with a viewing platform above.... "very creative". Next is one of the four larger hangers here, this one is for TedStevens. Hidden behind it is the airport's GA Refueling tank and pump, again very well done in detail. Next is the "Alaska Civil Air Patrol" hanger with another portable office set behind, then a blue storage hangar. Note on most buildings (hangars) are some great solar panel arrangements. The next large hangar is the most interesting one... this one is represented with the door open, and in showing the hangar's excellent internal detail. Certainly highly usable as a parking hanger on your next visit. Next door is a slightly larger hangar but in the same design for "Seward Aircraft Storage" which is again nicely represented, with a large GA parking apron next to finish off the lineup of the airport. Not just with the actual buildings is all the detail very, if brilliantly done, but the ground (clutter) detail is simply realistically excellent as well and there is a lot of this detailing... and that is "Seward Airport". Seward City The city of Seward itself is modeled, but not to a perfect building and street to street perfect though, but still well recreated by generic design. The city is dominated by the harbour's obsolete conveyor-belt fed coal loading crane, they are keeping it in case they need it again... ... the Seward Boat Harbor is well represented as is the Seward Cruise Ship Terminal and wharf (a cruise ship would have been very nice here to fill it in?). To the rear are the city's facilities and a large animated wind turbine. As noted most of the building here are just generic, but they still all provide a nice backdrop and fill... but in areas it is just basic detailing. Recreational and baseball diamonds are all represented, and the whole city is covered with custom buildings... the only odd notes are that the graphic textures sometimes climb the mountains and cars move totally horizontally on their sides, it is sadly quite noticeable. Ground Textures As noted the ground textures are excellent, highly realistic and exactly what you would expect at this "Northern Exposure" sort of area. I can't fault them anywhere, but note that runway 16/34 has a same sort of nasty gradient slope (but lengthways this time) as runway 13/31. Grass and fauna is first rate, can't be faulted... lush, and you wish all of the X-Plane grasslands was like this. Another note are the background custom mountain textures... I'm not really sure about them? They are photographic, but they all seem a little artificial to me, or too light in colour, so I am not really taken with them, but these things are personal choices. There is the option provided to use the default X-Plane textures or your own custom ortho, details are provided. The Ortho4XP is default with the scenery. Lighting This Seward airport is not going to be like landing at Anchorage, there are no bright lights out here. Just a strip of street lights and the lights from the buildings is it. Runway 13/31 has lights, so a dusk landing is actually possible, and there is taxiway lighting to the apron. Again both highlights are the AA Seward Air Tours office and the very nice open door Hangar. Even the western style wheel lights are really well done done internally in the Air Tour office, the rest is all window and drop down lighting. ______________ Summary PAWD - Seward Airport, is directly on the other side of the same Kenai Peninsul in Alaska from Kenai, and a really great and companion scenery to the earlier NorthernSky PAEN - Kenai Municipal Airport. In scale this is a small frontier style Alaskan airport, but small means it is also highly detailed. Seward is just really a motley assortment of transportable offices and hangars, with a focus on local area glacier tourist air tours. So being small the scenery detail and minute is excellent, all buildings, hangars and ground clutter are all of a very high and rustic standard. Runway textures are also extremely good, but have nasty slope gradients, so be careful! 3d grass is also perfection and Seward City is also generically well represented with it's iconic conveyor-belt fed coal loading crane front and centre. Lighting is very basic, but still well done, the only comment is about the photo-graphic surrounding mountains, they are too your own taste or not, personally I would like better for the quality of the scenery itself, and a few of the graphic textures also climb these same mountain sides in not very realistic ways. So if you have NorthernSky's excellent Kenai then you must then have this great double act, and it comes at (for the quality here) also in a very good value price of only US$14.00. What more could you want! Recommended. __________________________________ Yes! the PAWD - Seward Airport, Alaska by NorthernSkyStudios is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : PAWD - Seward Airport, Alaska Price is US$14.00 Features The most detailed replica of airport buildings and vehicles High resolution ground textures / Custom runway textures High resolution building textures Handplaced custom autogen buildings and forest Compatible with X-Plane 11 features Custom mesh for the airport area (Ortho4XP) All materials created for full PBR Shading and occlusion (texture baking) effects on all airport buildings High-resolution building textures Custom orthophoto for the airport and surrounding areas World Traffic 3 compatible Compatible with with Ortho4XP and default mesh Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1 GB Current version : 1.0 (April 4th 2022) Installation and documents: PAWD-Seward is a twin download of the scenery and the separate (optional) Ortho4XP mesh NSS_PAWD_v1.0.zip (1.08GB) zOrtho4XP_+60-150.zip (2.44GB) That is then translated into a 6.83Gb install in your Custom Scenery folder. The above two install folders must be put in the order of the "zOrtho mesh" below the main "PAWD_Northern_Sky_Studio" scenery folder. The scenery is set to the zOrtho setting as default. You can also use the standard X-Plane textures, or use the provided patch for any custom ortho textures you wish to use Documents There is a Windows Word and pdf installation and requirements, and a description of the PAWD scenery. decription.txt PAWD-Installation.docx PAWD-Installation.pdf ________________________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 7th May 2022 Copyright©2022: 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) All Right Reserved  Review System Specifications:  Computer System: Windows - IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1TB SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane v11.55 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick, Throttle & Rudder Pedals : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 Scenery or Aircraft - Cessna 208 Grand Caravan DGS series by Thranda Design (X-Plane.OrgStore) - $US44.95
  8. No, it is GHD or Ground Handling Deluxe an addon... US$11 from the X-Plane.OrgStore 🙂
  9. Scenery Review : YSSY - Sydney International Airport by Taimodels As I live in Australia, you want the best quality scenery to reflect your local environs, yes you want to fly around your own country, but Australia as is with a lot of the destinations in Asia quite dire. There is Australian scenery but most is currently and mostly freeware. The ISDG Group headed by Chris K covered 10 Australian destinations, including the majors in YSSY-Sydney, YMML-Melbourne and YPAD-Adelaide, otherwise you were left with the mega Barry Roberts VOZ scenery. The ISDG scenery was very good, it is but now six years old, and now feeling very dated with the now disbanded ISDG team and no new updates forthcoming. So you are now really starting to feeling the dire situation over here. Currently there are only five quality sceneries for Australia. YPPH - Perth International by Axonos, YBCG - Gold Coast International Airport by Zero Dollar Payware and two from Orbx with YBRM Broome International Airport and YMEN Essendon Airport and a strange scenery out at YAYE - Ayres Rock - Connellan Airport by RIM&Co Most of the quality scenery with Orbx YBBN-Brisbane and YBCS Cairns Airport, and even FlyTampa's excellent YSSY-Sydney never got the transfer treatment, as they are all in the Flight Sim world. It is enough to make you want to cry... Australia deserves far better. So here came the surprise that Taimodels have released their YSSY-Sydney for the X-Plane Simulator. Bigger surprise is that it is actually very good. Regular patrons to this site will note I was always in the past not in being a big supporter of the Taimodels style of scenery. In fact one user noted their work as only scenery fillers, but even then they were gaudy at best. Scenery was rushed with limited detail and the night lighting was so unrealistic to be even credible, in time I even stopped announcing any new scenery from Taimodels as I felt it was not worth the time to download and check it out. But Sydney is well, Sydney and it was worthwhile a punt. YSSY - Sydney International Airport Sydney International Airport is known by several names; Kingsford Smith Airport, Sydney Airport or mostly as Mascot Airport after the local, Mascot suburb. Mascot is located 8 km (5 mi) south of the Sydney central business district. And the airport is owned by Sydney Airport Holdings. It is the primary airport serving Sydney and to a point Australia, and is a primary hub for Qantas, as well as a secondary hub for Virgin Australia and Jetstar, as well as a focus city for Air New Zealand. Situated next to Botany Bay, the airport has three runways. Sydney Airport is one of the world's longest continuously operated commercial airports and the busiest airport in Australia, handling 42.6 million passengers and 348,904 aircraft movements in 2016–17. It was the 38th busiest airport in the world in 2016. Currently 46 domestic and 43 international destinations are served into Sydney directly. Before we delve into the airport it is important to note the need to install a secondary scenery to cover the Sydney CBD and the City's highlights. X-Plane does give you the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge by default, but not much else. A good Sydney city scenery can be found here Sydney City CBD City Scene 2020 1.3 by haydo83. The CBD scenery is required because it is on the approaches to runways 16R/16L, even departing from the same 16R/16L you usually loop around to go north and the city is to your left. It is quite rare to use 34L/34R for departures (noise restrictions), but again the city is on your right and a focal point on the departure. The CBD scenery itself is very good, but missing is the important Circular Quay Passenger Terminal. Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport IATA: SYD- ICAO: YSSY- WMO: 94767 07/25- 2,530m (8,301ft) Asphalt 16L/34R - 2,438m (7999ft) Asphalt 16R/34L - 3,962m (12,999ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL21 ft / 6 m SYD has two separate areas for it's terminals. Northwest of the large cross is Terminal 1 or the International Terminal, northeast are the two Domestic Terminals of T2 and T3. There are plans to mesh together all the terminals by airlines (Qantas of course taking the majority share), and merge both the Terminals into both servicing International and domestic activity in one terminal, but the idea has gone quiet over the last few pandemic years, it feels like an odd idea anyway as this separated arrangement already works very well, but does require a bus trip between the International and domestic terminals if you are transiting. Terminal 1 Terminal 1 was opened on 3 May 1970, replacing the old Overseas Passenger Terminal (which was located where Terminal 3 stands now) and has been greatly expanded since then. Today it is known as the International Terminal, and it has 25 gates (thirteen in concourse B numbered 8–37, and twelve in concourse C numbered 50–63) served by aerobridges. Pier B is used by Qantas, all Oneworld members and all Skyteam members (except Delta Air Lines). Pier C is used by Virgin Australia and its partners (including Delta) as well as all Star Alliance members. There are also a number of remote bays to the south which are heavily utilised during peak periods and for parking of idle aircraft during the day. (for instance the British Airways flight BA15 arrives at SYD 6.10 a.m, but does not depart again until BA16 leaves at 3:50pm for LON). The Terminal 1 layout is very similar to older Heathrow (now Terminal 3) in being higgledy-piggledy and add a pier on here sort of development outwardly, and all are hanging out from the central Y shaped main terminal. But having been there it sort of all works, again like Heathrow. North is Pier A in an L shape (top), Then Pier B and to the west the large Pier C (bottom). Modeling is very good (Brilliant by old Taimodels standards), with great glass and wear on the buildings, the terminal area details are good as well with terminal architecture flourishes well done. There are tons of clutter but sadly not QF branded, but the ramps feel cluttered and like real working areas. It is not overall the best I have seen in detail, but very good in this context. Landside detail is very good with the prominent Rydges and the two large carparks. The Taimodels YSSY-Sydney uses the animated SAM system here throughout all the airport's terminals, and tailored to use even the three gate Airbridge docking arms for Airbus Cat 5 A380's, and a lot of A380's use SYD... more than most airports including Heathrow. (I counted 13 A380's once at SYD!) Some of the airbridges are branded as well (HSBC), and the various different airbridge layouts are also well catered for throughout all the different terminal areas. Terminal 2 In reality T2 is the heart of the domestic SYD complex and the main terminal that you would use in a transition on a domestic flight. Terminal 2, located in the airport's north-eastern section, was the former home of Ansett Australia's domestic operations until 2001. It features 16 parking bays served by aerobridges and several remote bays for regional aircraft. It serves FlyPelican, Jetstar, Regional Express Airlines (REX), and Virgin Australia. There are lounges for Regional Express Airlines and Virgin Australia. I have spent many an hour here, even longer when the unions go strike, which they do often. Basically T2 has two main piers and the third is basically stands for walkon/walkoff regional flights. Sydney Airport previously had a fourth passenger terminal, east of Terminal 2. This was formerly known as Domestic Express and was used by Regional Express Airlines, and the low-cost carriers Virgin Blue (now known as Virgin Australia) and the now-defunct Impulse Airlines, during the time Terminal 2 was closed following the collapse of Ansett Australia. It is now used as an office building. Gates (bays) are extremely good, and very lifelike to the real areas, glass is perfect in the colour and style. The arrival (and departure) zone for T2 is excellent. The terminal has been faithfully reproduced in great detail, signage is very good as well. Terminal interior modeling is very basic, but still modeled, but the entrance to the security area is a glass wall? Textures at the airport can be a bit heavy handed, here the ramp and ground textures are so heavy it looks like moving water? not very realistic. Connecting corridor to DOM 2 however is excellent. Terminal 3 Terminal 3 is another domestic terminal, but here serving only Qantas with QantasLink regional flights having also moved their operations from Terminal 2 to Terminal 3 on 16 August 2013. Originally, it was home for Trans Australia Airlines (later named Australian Airlines). The current terminal building is largely the result of extensions designed by Hassell that were completed in 1999. This included construction of a 60-metre roof span above a new column-free checkin hall and resulted in extending the terminal footprint to 80,000 square metres.[39] There are 14 parking bays served by aerobridges, including two served by dual aerobridges. Terminal 3 features a large Qantas Club lounge, along with a dedicated Business Class and Chairman's lounge. As with Terminal 2 the Qantas Terminal is hugely impressive. The detailing and quality is excellent in getting the right feel and look of the buildings. Note iconic access roadway support pylons that signify the area. Terminal concrete textures are also excellent as are the large floor to roof window panels. Again the Terminal interior is basically modeled, not much to see here, but the bright and airy style of the building is very evident and realistic. The Terminal 3 support latticework is really, really good, and best seen for a fair while, the whole building is masterful. Again the signage is very good. Qantas Engineering The very large Qantas Engineering "Jet" base is again very well detailed and covers the iconic site with distinction. Build like a lot of old legacy airport facilities it has a large assortment of buildings and hangers to make up the site, and all are covered here really well. With the "96" building were Qantas do their famous arrival or announcement media. A QF aircraft in the hanger though would have taken up the large empty space would be however been welcoming. Nice are the large QF parking pads, and the open aircraft cover which again is highly affiliated to the "Jet Base". But the burnt in photo texture of aircraft tails are highly visible, and not very realistic? Qantas Cargo Mascot is a major hub for freight transport to and from Australia and in handling approximately 45% percent of the national cargo traffic. Therefore, it is equipped with extensive freight facilities including seven dedicated cargo terminals operated by several handlers, the facilities are positioned north of the Terminal 1 complex on the outer ring road. For the cargo hauler it is a long ride out to SYD, but worth the distance as the facilities here are very good, note the large fuel depot set behind. Control Tower Again like Heathrow, YSSY has a very iconic control tower set very central field off taxiway C. The curved (stair) entrance and pod design is very easy to see visually from all parts of the field. And I really like the authentic reflective window design. You pass the tower regularly if using the southern part of the field, and in particularly Rwy 16L/24R. The roof mounted radar is also nicely animated. Tower Views are also excellent and you can see all the approaches and all parts of the field. Infrastructure To the east and northeast of Mascot there is a fair bit of infrastructure. The modeling is not detailed, detailed, but the important aspects are done like the Domestic carparks (very good) and the hotels with the Mantra, Ibis and Stamford Plaza. But to complete a quality scenery you have to detail areas that are very significant to the area in creating that realism vibe, FlyTampa are well regarded because they they think out of the box like this... but here it lets the SYD scenery down significantly? Port Botany is the main port for Sydney, and it is positioned directly besides Rwy 16L/24R... but there is nothing, not even a single crane or warehouse to view? The very visual Kurnell Oil Refinery opposite is missing in action as well... both are huge omissions important to YSSY. Southern Cross Drive (M1) taxiway bridges are done here in 3d, however the cut down gradient sides are not pretty, in just being dropped photo textures, and stretched at that. Lighting Most of Taimodel's earlier lighting was mostly simply horrible, with very gaudy window textures. I had a big fear at YSSY that in that aspect it would continue on here. But to my surprise the lighting is actually pretty good, the gaudy panels are still evident in T2, but again thankfully not to the extreme as before... Terminal 3 has the best lighting overall, more subdued and detailed, it works really nicely. Terminal one is also the most less brighter as well, except for the office and hotel buildings. The highlight is again the domestic entrance, a different tone makes all the difference for realism... nice. Navigation signage is very good and needed here as YSSY can be difficult to find your way around correctly, certainly from Rwy 16L/24R . It looks nice at night in not being totally overbright and having realistic lit panels. Textures The ground textures are a bit head scratching... the actual textures with built in Burnt-in ambient occlusion effects are "really, REALLY" good, but the surface texture (knobble) is simply far to large to be wholly realistic... ... if they had been pared back just even a little bit, it would have been perfection. Lineage IS perfect, worn, cracked and realistic... you can't ask for more in runway detail. Apron areas are also excellent, with repaired areas highly visible and all have lovely different textures gradients. There is no 3d grass, and required here with the almost usual wild nature reserve on to the outrigging runways, you always noticed that from the cabin windows on departure or arrival. Stone walls around the same are very basic images, they deserve better. _________________ Summary YSSY- Sydney International Airport also known as Kingsford Smith Airport, Sydney Airport or mostly Mascot Airport. Is Australia's most prominent introduction to the country and the most busiest. And oddly unless for some very good freeware scenery, there has never really been a quality scenery created for this important gateway. Plenty for Flight Sim, but zilch for X-Plane. This YSSY scenery came from an unexpected quarter in Taimodels. In the past Taimodel's are a "turn them over fast and average quality factory", but this Sydney scenery was a sudden reminder, that yes they can do good quality scenery if they really wanted to. The three terminal quality is actually very good, with a lot of detailed infrastructure to give you a very detailed layout of the Sydney Airport. Highlight is Terminal 2 Domestic, but Terminal 1 (Qantas) is very good as well, with the sprawling Terminal 1 International harder to define, but all terminals come with great textures and realistic glass. The scenery comes with the SAM gate animation system, and it has up to three pier airbridge connections, great clutter and animated ground traffic (not branded) creates a very realistic apron and ramp activity. The iconic twirly base, pod top control tower is also well done with all the required areas of Qantas Engineering and Qantas Cargo all featured. All building textures are very good, and night lighting is also in the "far, far better" than usual class from Taimodels. It is however not a totally perfect SYD. Ground textures in areas (roads) look like water more that asphalt, and the same taxiway and runway textures are far too knobbly for my liking, a shame as the texture quality and ground detail here is very good. No 3d grass on the field is another missing element and the rock walls are image flat and crappy. Oddly the biggest missing elements here are the Port Botany facilities (cranes, warehouses) and the missing Kurnell Oil Refinery, both are significant visual aspects of the southern approaches to the airport, and solely missed here to complete the scenery of to which could if added can give the scenery a (very) high quality rating... it is so close in this aspect, but fails on these important missing elements. With the very limited quality scenery for Australia, then any YSSY Sydney International Airport scenery would be highly welcomed, that it came from Taimodels is for sure a surprise. If they continue to produce scenery in this context (YMML, anybody) then they would prove that "doing less for delivering more" would give them more if high quality sales. This SYD airport seriously points them into that direction and is well worth the purchase. Recommended! ___________________________________ Yes! the YSSY - Sydney International Airport by Taimodels is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : YSSY - Sydney International Airport Price is US$28.00 Features - 4k textures - Completed inside - High detail models - SAM amination jetways - High quality pbr texture on object and ground - High performance - Completed autogen around airport - Ground traffic plugins Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1.5 GB Installation and documents: SYD is download of 1.44Gb download that is translated into a 1.84Gb install in your Custom Scenery folder. YSSY-Sydney-Taimodels (1.98Gb) YSSY-Sydney-mesh (12Mb) The above two install folders must be put in the order of the "mesh" below the main YSSY scenery folder. A "Flat" option mesh version is provided for those that don't want the 3d layout. The Sydney city scenery Sydney City CBD City Scene 2020 1.3 by haydo83 is highly recommended with the Taimodels YSSY scenery, it fills out the skyline and the approaches nicely. Documents There is a 2 page "Instruction" page for installation and requirements YSSY_Instruction.pdf ________________________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton "May the 4th Be with you" 2022 Copyright©2022: 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) All Right Reserved  Review System Specifications:  Computer System: Windows - IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1TB SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane v11.55 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick, Throttle & Rudder Pedals : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 Scenery or Aircraft - None-
  10. After downloading the new WT3.5 version you run both the installers (App and Aircraft), remember you still have to transfer your registered "WorldTrafficKey.txt" in the WT3 Resources/Plugins/WorldTraffic folder to the updated v3.5 same, if you have dumped that by overwriting it, then you will have to go and get it again from the X-Plane.OrgStore, so it is best to pull the key out before running the installers.
  11. Plugin Update : WorldTraffic v3.5 by Classic Jet Simulations (Ascend Tech Simulations) Although the X-Plane Simulator comes with it's own built in traffic system (A.I.). It is by all accounts quite a very basic way of bringing traffic into your airport environment and is limited in it's scope. Let us be realistic here in that empty airports are really boring, and don't reflect the hustle and bustle of the real world environment, unless you are in the middle of a pandemic, but we are (almost) now back to normal. Basically in the X-Plane Simulator you have three choices. One is X-Life Deluxe by JARDesign. This application expands on and hitches a ride on the back of the default X-Plane A.I. System, it is clever, but never really took off (no pun intended) with the users. Second version is a basic newcomer, although now about exactly three years old, and this application is Traffic Global from JustFlight. I'm a big fan of Traffic Global with features of almost zero impact on your frame rate and a wide variety of aircraft. But it is very expensive of over US$50 (US$52.99), and the aircraft also fly quite strangely if even a little weird... with their dive-bomber tactics, and the very poor takeoff and landing animations, TG is however a nice background filler application and in reality nothing more. The original and the best is WorldTraffic by Classic Jet Simulations (Now called "Ascend Tech Simulations"), or Greg Hofer, but for now we will still refer it to it's old distinguishable name as CJS. The original World Traffic (WT) plugin was released in early 2013, by Greg Hofer of Classic Jet Simulations and is a concept by Francesco Missarino of Aircraft3D. Basically WorldTraffic is a plugin to create a dynamic world around your flying aircraft, this is in the form of other aircraft in which you can interact with and create a visually dynamic environment in that it fills up airports and its gates and has real form routes that the aircraft will fly between with it's own built in ATC (Air Traffic Control) system which is quite good. It all sounds quite simple, but then the machinations of creating this environment are extremely complex on top of an already complex simulator. The early versions of WT were that extremely complex and had all their own home made groundroutes and parking allocations. Only a few really mastered the complex ideas, it was very good, don't get me wrong, but also very laborious to use and maintain. The bonus was you could edit almost every area to match the correct airport layouts and (Gate) bay allocations, and the pushback element was also extremely good with start up timings. But there are a lot of very different airports and groundroutes to cover out there, so it had it's limitations. When Traffic Global was released it took a different path into automating the groundroutes on the fly, and in using X-Plane's built-in ATC ground-routing system. To be honest it was a very efficient and a far better system to use, and the WorldTraffic update v3.0 (WT3) reflected this idea with a new built in autogenerator to build the same ground routes off the ATC routes, but you could still edit and change the routing details within the application. WT3 also changed the aircraft download system from a multi-download 9 Gb set of aircraft files, to then install just to a single file aircraft download of 1.49Gb. WorldTraffic v3 was then a huge step forward from the earlier more manual input context, and for the users of whom revelled earlier in this sort of complex minute, then they absolutely loved it. But for most of the rest of us, it also created a sort of barrier of access and the ease of use that you could get easily from Traffic Global. So the v3.0 version upgrade significantly closed that user and accessibility divide. The quality however really shines in realism of WT3 in operation. It fills out your airports with very high quality aircraft, and it creates dynamic layouts of airfields. Full "Flight Display" and "Aircraft Info" boards means you see all the activity live. WorldTraffic Radar is a separate install... used to track the departing or arriving aircraft, or even the aircraft enroute passing in your area. So here is the next significant update to WorldTraffic in version v3.5, personally it should have been noted as v4.0 as it has quite a lot of changes from the already drawn out v3 development run. Here is the extensive update v3.5 list. ATC supports IFR and VFR flight requires that users use valid ATC frequencies with frequencies listed on display has auto-tune option for frequencies user may be required to make speed changes or enter holding patterns to maintain separation gives taxi paths to and from runways has interface for other 3rd party ATC products allows for user-defined VFR airspace exit points so ATC can vector VFR flights to these positions Particle effects for contrails (wing/engine), tire smoke, afterburner flame Aircraft base file format modified to include particle placement x/y/z fields for particle emitters Labels for AI aircraft which you can turn on and off to identify aircraft near you Color/brightness options for arriving traffic, departing traffic, or transiting traffic Can turn labels on or off as well for planes on the ground Can set min and max draw distances for labels Can set data you want in the labels like telemetry info, airport info, aircraft type Airport Operations File Changes DynamicTaxiRoutesOnly field added - normally set to 1 (true) but can be set to 0 if the airport creator still wants to use some custom ground routes. It will use whatever is defined or create them dynamically for parking defs without fixed ground routes. I think the dynamic ones work pretty well now though. I plan on letting the airport author specify an alternate apt.dat for specific parking spots in the next update if you want planes to follow a very specific route for 1 or more parking spots. This should get rid of the need for ground routes entirely. option to specify if touch and gos are allowed on a runway, default is true for airports with not much traffic and false for airports with lots of traffic but can be changed. add option to write out default airport ops file added new fields for airspace dimensions (used by ATC), VFR airspace exit points (for vectoring VFR traffic), taxi bridge definitions, and exit waypoint for STARs for STARs used for multiple runways added fields for approaches to specify weather minimums add support for bridges for some scenery packages that have bridges that planes can taxi over which sometimes aren't defined correctly causing the AI planes to drop through them Diversions now supported - if weather is below minimums for an airport, it will close to traffic and aircraft will fly to alternate airports. If the weather is marginal, some planes will attempt approaches but will divert if minimum conditions aren't met. GA Traffic Improvements Allow specification of visual approaches for GA traffic (others too) which are often used in mountainous areas. Examples are included for LOWI. Added support for custom routes so GA planes can follow these on out and back flights instead of flying a random pattern. Also allows the user to create specific routes for airliners instead of auto-generated flight paths. GA traffic will avoid mountainous terrain much better GA planes will now often do touch-and-gos at airports that aren't busy GA planes especially light props will often not fly in IFR weather. About 85% will stay parked. Created auto flight schedules for GA flights between airports for better realism Better parking spot allocations - parking spots for bigger planes will be reserved for those when a smaller plane is looking for a spot unless there are no available spot for the smaller type. This improves problem with bigger planes not being able to find parking spots on landing - most noticeable for spots shared between light props and light jets Added support of Navigraph approach transitions New separation logic (3.2) Interception - probably not included Follow me truck Back-tracking logic improved Wind gust modeling Auto-push-back logic so that AI planes push back to the taxi route path so no parking def customization required Prevent AI planes from running into user in flight or on runway if the user is not using WT ATC Support for ABC Camera plugin Added support for user defined text files for custom arrivals and approaches especially useful for GA planes flying in mountainous terrain Added support for simultaneous runway operations for intersecting runways so planes will wait for other planes taking off on an intersecting runway before departing Auto-throttle traffic at busy airports so traffic does not back up in holding patterns Planes will taxi faster on landing until they get to their exit Planes will brake harder to make runway exits to avoid back-tracking Handle drive-through parking spots Flip planes around in parking spots at a random time after landing if they enter and exit the parking spot from opposite headings check for runway name mismatches between navigraph data and x-plane data so when a runway name changes due to drifting magnetic north from say rwy34 to rwy35, it is still recognized as the same runway add parking def option to test dynamic taxi routes ___________________ ATC The ATC in WT3 was always very good. It works better here because it only focuses on your route and not in a global context like it does in X-Plane... so it it easy and quite realistic to use. The v3.5 update makes even better in that it now supports supports both IFR and VFR flight, and requires that the users use the valid ATC frequencies with frequencies listed on display, a built in auto-tune option for frequencies means it is also independent of X-Plane. More complex commands now require users to make speed changes or to enter holding patterns to maintain separation, and it gives you your taxi paths to and from runways and has interfaces with other 3rd party ATC products. This also allows for user-defined VFR airspace exit points so the ATC can vector VFR flights to these positions... Overall a very big revision of an already good ATC, I like it very much. Aircraft Over the years WT3 has been far more ambitious than the other Traffic tools because it has a very large but talented community base behind it. So aircraft are far more up to date and are modeled with mostly the newer NEW-GEN aircraft and far more aircraft types including GA and Private Jets, and the quality detailing is far better of all the three traffic applications. Over the years particle effects for contrails (wing/engine), tire smoke and afterburner flame have all been added into the basic aircraft designs... ... and the aircraft lighting effects are just as good as (and in areas even better) than your payware aircraft, with fine tuned realistic lighting. So all of the aircraft look brilliant and highly realistic when passing enroute, and the aircraft also show on your TCAS screens. Labels Labels are new. You still have the original "Flight INFO" data in the left lower screen, but now also you have more label information in the air and on the ground... .... these labels are set in three colours, and in that you can also choose any other colour to cover... Arrivals, Departures and Enroute aircraft labels if you desire, and these colour options and other parameters are controlled via the menu selections. Diversions Diversions are now supported. So if the weather is below minimums for an airport, it will now close to traffic and the aircraft will then fly to other alternate airports. If the weather is marginal, some planes will attempt approaches but will then divert if minimum conditions aren't met. That is a great feature, and just wait until we get X-Plane12 and it's new seasonal system, then the diversion feature will come into it's own... note WT3.5 has already been tested and passed ready for X-Plane12. General Aviation Earlier WT didn't focus much on GA Traffic, the aircraft were in there, but only at a basic level. Then gradually over the versions (or years) the GA aspect has had a lot of development from CJS, and here in v3.5 another big step has been taken forward. WT3.5 now allows the unique specification of visual approaches for GA traffic (others too) which is often used in mountainous areas. Examples included are for LOWI. There is now also support for custom routes GA within the application. So GA planes can now follow these routings on "out and back" flights, and this is instead of the GA aircraft just flying around in a random pattern. This then allows the user to create specific routes for GA aircraft to follow instead of auto-generated flight paths. This auto function will still happen if you choose to as there have been created auto flight schedules for just GA aircraft flights between airports for better realism. GA traffic now not fly into mountainous terrain as bad as before, and for a bit of fun then go and search out for GA planes that will now often do "touch-and-gos" at airports that aren't busy. Finally in bad weather GA planes especially light props will often not fly as often as in and about 85% of them will stay parked or grounded. Again related to seasons. Better Parking There is now better parking spot allocations. The parking spots for bigger planes will now be reserved for those when a smaller plane is looking for a spot unless there are no available spots for the smaller aircraft type. The aircraft mix should also be far better between the Heavies, Jet, Light Jet and regional allocations as well. You can of course still custom stipulate of which gate takes what aircraft type you want. And you can still designate a particular gate at an airport on arrival for your own flight, so no more hunting full bays for a bay or gate to park at. WT3.5 is also now far better in separating the different airport areas, like putting cargo aircraft correctly into their separate cargo facilities. So now no more Cargo aircraft at terminal gates. Navigraph You can use your account Navigraph data (separate download) to keep all the navigation data totally up to date (recommended), but now also added in is the support for Navigraph approach transitions as well. Another clever fix is that WT3.5 will check for runway name mismatches between the Navigraph data and the X-Plane data, so when a runway name changes due to drifting magnetic north from say Rwy34 to Rwy35, it is still recognised as the same runway. This actually happens a lot more than you think it does, and this is a well thought out idea to cover the discrepancy. Separation Logic WT3 always had a few fobiles that it struggled to dial out. The biggest was trying to sort out the order of the landing sequence. WT3 would usually tie itself into knots trying to work it all out and mostly in then placing aircraft in eternal holding patterns. If you had the time, it was brilliant fun to watch these patterns eventually sort themselves out. Usually it would take an hour or so to work itself through all the traffic build up... and you would be just about to give up on an aircraft in a forever hold, and it would then be given clearance to land... a sort of brilliant time-wasting but animated screensaver. So again there is new separation logic (3.2) to try to order the aircraft into the landing phase more realistically and "Auto-Throttle" the traffic at busy airports so the traffic does not back up into the dreaded holding patterns. Also there is also the need to keep the realistic separation distances between the larger and smaller aircraft types. And it looks like it is far, far more better overall in this aspect, but there are still too many go-arounds in my eyes as there was before, another curse to refine. Back-tracking logic is also improved. There is now also "Follow me truck" and "ABC Camera" plugin support. NOTES The biggest change is the not officially noted area in this v3.5 update... framerate. I changed to TrafficGlobal for several reasons, even though being a total WT convert. Traffic was created instantly in TG, of which you still have to manually generate the traffic here in WT3.5, and that is still a slow process. In fact when you generate your route it will take a good few minutes (even up to 5 Min) for all the traffic to spurn all their departure and arrival routes. So don't take that initial empty view as if it was all you have in active traffic, as the airport will soon become very busy as the spurning takes effect. Certainly I would still like an instant on with WT, but the setup probably doesn't allow for that, but it should be able to select your current airport and generate directly from that to sort of animate the startup process, with you adding in your route later. WT was also poor in timeshifting, say if you wanted a different day or night (essential in reviewing) time, it usually froze, were as TG doesn't care what you do. Timeshifting in the application now is certainly now far better and I haven't had any freezes (yet). So that is far more impressive as well. Framerate was poor back then as well. There was always a niggling stutter on all the traffic, it drove me nuts, it felt like cycle or loop thing, but it was so annoying it felt the application was a bit unrefined. The stutter in v3.5 is gone and so has the framerate loss of around 5 fr, that with added in of the xEnviro pull of another 10 fr (average), created in using both applications, it caused an overall worse performance, again that was another reason I moved to TG, which had zero effect on the frame rate... okay then 0000.5 effect. But I'm more than happy here with the far better performance of v3.5, a big if not again another huge improvement on before. Last note is from the developer "I've tried to make things be as automatic as possible now in WT 3.5 so you shouldn't need to define ground routes. And you shouldn't need to define parking defs unless you want to give them priorities or assign some as for international terminals or modify push-back but even the latter should mostly work now in this update. I defined special cases to deal with the taxi network lines extending to parking spots or cases where the plane just has to back up to the taxi network." Summary Traffic is essential in any Simulator, and in X-Plane you have a choice of Laminar Research's default (A.I), or three payware options, X-Life Deluxe, Traffic Global and WorldTraffic. WorldTraffic is the oldest here, released almost a decade ago, but was always the best. Early on it was a serious complicated beast, but since version v3.0 it became a more accessible and far more easier to use traffic application. Here is the next major update in v3.5 (really should be noted as v4.0 with the extensive list of changes). Again ease of use and more refinement are the orders of the day, and that goes across to even the far more easier installation and setup aspects of the plugin. Including one download for the application and one download for the aircraft (plus your latest Flight Schedules). In v3.5 the main areas that have been refined is the built-in ATC, highly upgraded aircraft and quality with new particle effects for contrails (wing/engine), tire smoke, afterburner flame and better and more modern lighting. Label feature is new to give you more on the screen information on the placement of aircraft and the phase they are in (Departures, Arrivals and Enroute) data. General Aviation also gets a major upgrade with real routes, better awareness of mountainous areas, and doing touch and go's at quiet airports. Better parking logic sorts the big aircraft out from the small ones and allocates them to the right gate or stand. Navigraph is more supported with the newer up to date data and the support of Navigraph approach transitions as well. Separation Logic both in the air and on the ground has again been revised to v3.2 and you will now get Diversions if the airport is closed to the weather. There is now also a "Follow me truck" and "ABC Camera" plugin support. Every Simulator needs a Traffic application, as the default A.I. is not going to give you the atmosphere of a busy airport to make your flying realistic. WorldTraffic is the best, better yet again in it's v3.5 refined form. It gives you the high quality in aircraft and all the custom features at a value price, it can also be easily and regularly updated with the latest Navigation and AFRE (real world routes). Overall it is as realistic with creating a real world traffic environment as you could wish for... Highly Recommended. _________________ The World Traffic 3.5 by Classic Jet Simulations (Ascend Tech Simulations) application is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : World Traffic 3.5 Price is: $29.95 (US$10 off!) This version upgrade version is free to all current WT3 users. Features v3.5 Automated Installers Flight Setup Window Auto Ground Route Generation Auto Flight Plan Generation Airport Operations File has expanded functionality Parking Assignments Window Flight Information Window Updated Aircraft Definition Improved Traffic Separation Diversions now supported Particle effects for contrails ATC supports IFR and VFR flight requires that users use valid ATC frequencies with frequencies listed on display has auto-tune option for frequencies user may be required to make speed changes or enter holding patterns to maintain separation gives taxi paths to and from runways has interface for other 3rd party ATC products allows for user-defined VFR airspace exit points so ATC can vector VFR flights to these positions SID/STAR/Approach improved Requirements X-Plane 11- Support for X-Plane 12 (when available) Windows, Mac and Linux. Standard X-Plane requirement apply Current version: 3.5 (April 29th 2022) Designed by Greg Hofer @ Classic Jet Simulations Support forum for World Traffic (and a ton of resources). _________________ Plugin Update Review by Stephen Dutton  30th April 2022 Copyright©2022: 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)
  12. Behind the Screen : April 2022 "The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry" (Robert Burns) and he goes on to say "No matter how carefully a project is planned, something may still go wrong with it". This saying is adapted from a line in “To a Mouse,”. April was like that... In my last March "Behind the Screen" edition I documented the overhaul of my main X-Plane Windows computer to a new (faster) processor, and in readiness for X-Plane12, and the upgrade OS move to Windows11. The whole process was worked out, costed and put into operation with a military zeal, it came out as a perfectly executed plan in the transition from the old to the new, perfect and done well in time before X-Plane12 could hit the downloads. We only had to do a little (overclocking) tuning to hit the sweet-spot a week later, and I was as "Happy as Larry" as the system was operational ready and totally perfect in it's timing. My set up comprises however of not one computer but two. The Brutal Windows runs X-Plane uncompromisingly, that is all it has to do, a sort of pure Simulator engine. My second computer does all the rest, the site editing, image editing,downloading, filing, storing, email, and general browser work, and the two computers are connected together by an ethernet cable. Press in the Simulator for an X-Plane screenshot and it pops right up Adobe's Bridge Application for editing in Photoshop on the other one, I am very proud of the idea and the system. It is also extremely and highly efficient when you are editing between 300 to 500 images a review. The machine that does all this background work is a trusty workhorse in a decade old (2009) Apple Imac 27" the one in the Behind the Screen header above... and you now have probably already guessed where this article is going. It is not like the Windows upgrade had broken the bank account, but it was designed not to put much financial pressure on the ongoing year, as the problem with 2022 is summed up in one word "Chaotic". What with currently in that we have just come out of a pandemic (sort of), Mr Putin has decided to invade Europe, and almost everything is going up in price as you watch the prices change as dramatically as you watch the change of the prices on a daily occurrence, with the petrol prices... well just don't go there. So again I was feeling smug in that I had done a perfect upgrade to a very good value price, and with not a lot of over due credit sitting on the system. When you have a 12 year old computer they are like a 12 year old car, they still run very well, but they have their odd moments of idiosyncrasies, in the IMac's case it is the dropping out of the WiFi (at the wrong moments), slow, won't connect to your bluetooth mouse all the time, dropping out the connection to the bluetooth mouse all the time, dropping out of keyboards, even if the keyboard is connected by a wire and not airy fairy bluetooth, and so on. I know the IMac is getting old and yes it was getting tired in it's own way, but for the day to day work it was perfect and believe it or not very reliable. To believe that how much better value you got 12 years ago from Apple, it had even for back then a 2560x1440 display which was impressive, certainly not in today's 8K era, but the quality is still very good. Apple Computer in their extinction ethics however had written the machine off years ago, So I was stuck on 10.11.5 or El Capitan, with no further upgrades. If you have used a computer for years, you keep them because the applications will still work with that same era OS System, I have some old (2000 era) FCP (Final Cut Pro) software that works fine on the same computer (with the older but far better timeline version), which is far more efficient for editing on... as sometimes the newer software will mean a worse workflow because they add in far to many helpers or duplicate too many of the same actions that counteract each other out. So sometimes a clean and simple interface is faster in the busy work place, and not have a load of "bells and whistles" that you would barely use any. Okay I admit it is old school, but a lot of the modern software could learn from some of the great software ideas of the past, newer is not always better, certainly in Software. Feeling my age... in the old days you bought the software which even today was seriously expensive, but you owned it lock, stock and barrel. Once purchased it was yours to use, and for as long as you wished, which again is good for computers with old OS Systems. The subscription model has been around since the 1600s by newspaper and book publishers, so nothing new there, but in the computer age software companies want to make more money by selling you more software. As noted the purchase of good quality software is (or was) extremely expensive, so the subscription model actually sells you the same software, but monthly in subscriptions, which is good as it is in affordable chunks, but they also throw in any new upgrade free (back then you had an upgrade price). It is a good model, but it also has one very serious cache, they also own and control the software and not you, and bit like Spotify. I have a bundle deal with Adobe, mostly for Photoshop (with Lightroom) and the free Bridge, I used to have the full Creative Cloud series of tools, but the prices went stupidly expensive, and for to have all the tools I mostly didn't use. Adobe force you to take (for greedy more money of course) to have only all of the applications (Creative Cloud) or just very expensive separate packages of their software, which means you can't bundle the only applications you actually want to use and subscribe only for them alone, it is a totally unfair system, and it is designed to pull the most money out of their customers. Before you say, "there are free cheaper versions out there". I have used Photoshop since CS was commercially released in October 2003 (version 8). The tools are my trade so to speak, but Photoshop does have one tool that is extremely important to processing 300 to 500 images in a review session. The "Actions" tools. This is a tool that can set up a set of actions, say crop, lighten, resize, brighten or darken an image with just one press of a button, so that means not doing the excessive repetitive single actions for each image... it is an indispensable tool. Without the Photoshop Application and the action tool the X-PlaneReviews site just can't function... end of. If you wanted bad timing, then this was the "Almighty god" of bad timing, on the 30th March Adobe pulled the subscriptions on Photoshop (my version was CC 2018) from older computers, Adobe were not going to support the software any more, even though I was still paying for the software that I now couldn't actually use... worse was the software still worked perfectly on my IMac, but no I was out. I actually got in an extra weeks activity by using a "Trial" of Photoshop (on four year old software?), but once the 7 Day trial was up, my software died or then became extinct, and in reality so was the time of the usefulness of my trusty IMac. The only (expensive) option was to upgrade my Mac System, I Iooked at the new Mac Studio, but hey at AUS$3,000 that idea died on the spot, and at this point the site was not operating, sorry about that... but my perfect system was now half-broken in two. Yes I can use the Photoshop software on the Windows, it is installed on there, but it also required flipping screens around consistently to process images. No the fix had to be long term and not a short band-aid solution with X-Plane12 sitting on the immediate horizon (no pun intended). Option was a Mac Mini. I had already had one a decade ago, and actually it was the first computer I ran X-Plane9 on when I first started in X-Plane. Second hand iMacs also were the same price as a new Mac Mini but were already five years old, so I didn't want to get clobbered by the same out-of-date problem again, and "ew" someone else had already pored their horribleness all over that computer. The Mac Mini it was, but I would also need a monitor as well, I found one for AUS$200, the same model as I had on Windows, brilliant, but I was faced with a financial blowout of AUS $1200, on top of all my Windows expenses. The Adobe timing had stank, truly at the worst time. I got the Mac Mini... but it took two weeks to sort, as it wouldn't work well with the monitor? The problem is that it is a 1920 x 1080 monitor, yes it worked on the Mac Mini, but everything was like a child's toy set, Photoshop was scaled huge! and totally unworkable, my older iMac had the screen resolution fixed in, no problems. So that monitor was sold (more time) to buy a 4K monitor to get back the correct 2560x1440 display scale I had before, the cost? you don't want to go there... but it really hurt the bank balance no end. The system was thankfully now up and running again, I had Photoshop "yeh!", so I was back in business or reviewing. But ten years of working on the older Mac also mean't I had built up a large number of tools (font's and so on) and settings like my preset .psd actions and other Photoshop presets to move over, plus there was the huge amount of work of just setting up the Mac Mini to be a working computer with all the required applications with new really annoying Photoshop features (so everything had to set back to "Legacy Settings"), and their internet settings... worse problem was recalibrating the monitors to work with both computers. I had refined the settings on the Windows for X-Plane over years of twiddling. There are two settings. Nvidia is a global adjustment, but xEnviro can be also adjusted for just the lighting with-in the Simulator, so you really have two sets of settings fighting each other for the same output. The balance between the two applications has to be totally correct or you can get really shitty images coming out of the Simulator. Again there are apologies.... sorry, but the problem was that the images coming out of the Simulator were almost black or darkened contrasty out, and you can feel the problem with the Thranda Caravan review, my skills dialed out most of the nasty lighting issues, but it was again a very drawn out process to make the images look even half-way realistic, and the all wasted time in between spent in twiddling settings to get better images out of the Simulator. I'm still twiddling, but I feel I have got the settings now closer to the earlier look and feel before the complex changing over the computers. Overall I now have a complete new computer system(s), not only the flying Simulator machine (Windows), but the new not planned site and editing computer as well (Mac Mini). Nice to have but I still yearn for my old IMac, as the screen colouring is far better than the new starker 4K Monitors, and they really are harder to gauge the colour and brightness (I still check the images coming out on the old IMac via WiFi, wonderful thing is WiFi), but don't ask me about the total blowout of it all, once everything was finally under control, to myself to now be totally and absolutely burnt out by the past months events. It was a wild ride, as April 2022 is simply a month I don't want to relive again. Life is like that... everything is at once "Hunky Dory" then it is not, but it affected the X-PlaneReviews site no end for the whole month, it is nearly two months with the Windows upgrade thrown in as well, but life happens and you have to deal with it. See you all again next month. Stephen Dutton 1st May 2022 Copyright©2022 X-Plane Reviews
  13. NEWS! - Scenery Released : SBGR- São Paulo/Guarulhos International Airport by GlobalArt GlobalArt has released SBGR - Guarulhos International Airport in São Paulo, Brazil. This airport is not to be confused with SBSP - Congonhas Airport, which is also in São Paulo as that scenery was also released by GlobalArt last year. Where as Congonhas is very central inside the city of São Paulo and restricted by local infrastructure, Guarulhos International Airport, is positioned on the northeastern outskirts and 25 kms from the city. São Paulo/Guarulhos or Governor André Franco Montoro International Airport is the primary international airport serving São Paulo. It is popularly known locally as either Cumbica Airport, after the district where it is located and the Brazilian Air Force base that exists at the airport complex, or Guarulhos Airport, after the municipality of Guarulhos, in the São Paulo metropolitan area, where it is located. Since November 28, 2001 the airport has been named after André Franco Montoro (1916–1999), former Governor of São Paulo state. The airport was rebranded as GRU Airport in 2012. Guarulhos Airport is still the busiest in Brazil in terms of transported passengers, aircraft operations, and cargo handled in 2019, placing it as the second busiest airport in Latin America by passenger traffic after Mexico City International Airport. GlobalArt is no stranger for X-Plane scenery collectors, with a focus on his home country of Brazil. Filling out the country with SBDN- Presidente Prudente Airport, SBRJ- Rio - Santos Dumon, SBGL- Rio de Janeiro International and SBSV - Salvador / Bahia International Airport, but still not yet oddly my favorite in SBBR - Brasília International Airport. Scenery Features include: ü Accurate replica São Paulo International Airport, Guarulhos, updated 2022. ü Precise modeling, based on original references, plans and other studies. ü Fully customized pavement, with ambient occlusion included in textures. ü Custom Jetways compatible with SAM plugins. ü Auto Gate Marginal Compatible Custom Jetways. ü Standard VGDS system. · Controlled by Dataref Marginal Plugins. · Controlled by Dataref SAM Plugins ü Static objects, vehicles and aircraft are present in the scene. ü Avenues and streets with custom and standard vehicle traffic. · Controlled by the Marginal Ground Traffic Plugin ü HDR lighting with custom night textures. ü Custom textures with ambient occlusion. ü X-Plane standard animated traffic service. ü Standard Approach Light Systems (ALS). ü Included taxi routes for aircraft, “taxi route". ü Compatible taxi routes configured for World Traffic (WT3) and other plugins. ü Ramp Start set for airlines. ü Terminal 2 and 3 with rendered interior. ü Compatible with Mega São Paulo – Paulo Ricardo. ü Compatible with SBSP Congonhas Globall Art. Mega São Paulo by Paulo Ricardo is highly recommended with this Guarulhos Airport scenery. Images are courtesy of GlobalArt. __________________ Yes!... SBGR- São Paulo/Guarulhos International Airport by GlobalArt is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : SBGR- São Paulo/Guarulhos International Airport Price is US$24.95 Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows. Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum. 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 830 MB Current version: 1.0 (April 28th 2022) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 19th April 2022 Copyright©2022: 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) All Rights Reserved
  14. Yep I burnt out my Mac graphic card. I checked up on the new Mac Studio here (Australia) and it costs AUS$3,000, plus a monitor. Price to performance the Windows can't be beaten. I was an Apple devote (Job's disciple), but to be honest Apple hasn't made the strides that Windows have in the last decade... there is not much between them now, but Windows can still be configured in parts as you can afford them, The Mac it is still a huge investment for less.
  15. Aircraft Review : CRJ-900 by AD Simulations/Delta Wing At Christmas 2021, AD Simulations a new developer studio released their version of the CRJ-700 for the X-Plane Simulator. X-Plane has long needed these excellent regional jets, that grew out out Bombardier's already successful Private Jet Challenger range. Modeling and features are exceptional, all the better for the high value price of being under US$50, but being new and straight out of the box the aircraft's performance and it's flight characteristic areas was at the time a little lacking. The CRJ project had started earlier with Supercritical Simulations Group banner (SSG), but a breakup a year earlier saw the development teams all take off in all their own different directions, and that aspect showed a little on the development front on release. AD Simulations was then joined up with an old experienced X-Plane developer by the name of DeltaWing, and he quickly brought a lot of his developer talents to the aircraft to sort out the important better flight performance and give the aircraft the Kudos it really deserved, hence came the quick succession of those five updates since that late 2021 release to this late April date, and to bring the -700 aircraft to the successful product it now is, and all those aspects have been transferred directly to this newer release, so -900 should be good straight out of the box. That is a lot of story for just only a few months, but more was offered in that AD Simulations has now released the larger CRJ-900 (type certified as the CL-600-2024), and the even larger CRJ-1000 is also promised in the future. It is not hard to imagine if you already own the earlier CRJ-700, on what the -900 version has to offer. For basically it is the same aircraft, with just the bit longer 12ft twin plug longer fuselage than the CRJ-700 Series. The -900 however has the more up-rated General Electric CF34-8C5 powerplants with 14,510 lbf (64.5 kN) thrust each with APR. The earlier GE CF34-8C5B1 had only 13,790 lbf (61.3 kN) available. The seating capacity goes up as well to 76–90 seats compared to the -700 66 to 78 seating layout. Externally the -900 Series is very much in the same high quality modeling and the detail driven aspect as the earlier -700, no surprise there as they are only months, and not years apart in design and development. It is an odd business, the original design (in this case the -700) was proportioned correctly, but add in a plug or two and in making it longer, somehow makes the -900 look even more perfect, the CRJ-1000 will probably look a bit too over long and out of proportion, so it is a bit of a goldilocks thing of the -900 being or looking "Just right". The only area different externally from the -700 (besides the length) is that the winglets are taller and more raked, again nicely done here with that same excellent metal leading edge detail. Landing gear, GE CF34 Engine Pods, leading and rear edge wing quality and all that detail is still stupendous, the quality delivered here is certainly far better than some of the aircraft in the higher and far more expensive catagories, from this value price. Cockpit window tint, was and still is a bit too dark for me (other users are not crazy either), but it is well done, as are the side windows in quality and reflection. All doors, including the main left stairs, Twin mid-fuselage Baggage holds, Rear high Baggage hold and right side Service Door all open and are extremely well and are highly animated and detailed. Like the -700, don't go looking for the extreme features here, like you will get on the Q4XP. There are no static elements, loading animations, but there is a nice GPU (Ground Power unit). I expect the GHD plugin will as with -700 make up a lot of those missing elements, however the stair rails drop down for the use of an Airbridge. Cabin The biggest area of difference between the -700 and the -900 is in the cabin, not the obvious longer length, but in the slightly different feel and style inside. Business forward seats have a seat back blue pattern design that is really classy, and far, far better than the light tan in the -700 . The main economy section has another blue design, but cloth this time instead of the black vinyl seating that made the -700 cabin a bit dark, it all works extremely better in this cabin.... And I really like this cabin. On the -900 there has also been added in new cabin animations (I expect the -700 to get the same treatment in a future update?). The seatback trays can now be lowered (always a favorite of mine) via the tray catch and the so you can also lower the window blinds, however you have get very close to the shade to make it work, as they can't be one by one adjusted from a distance?. Overhead bins also now open as well (very nice) via the handles and the overhead panel detail is just sublime. With the CRJ-700 in it's 1.01 update there was a highly detailed and animated rear bathroom (See CRJ-700 Review). It's here in the -900 version as well, but I found a boundary layer didn't allow me inside like on the -700?. But it is there. With the extra length however of the -900 you also get an extra toilet forward, it is as detailed as the rear installation. With toilet flush, animated seating and clever door latches and closed door lighting. Handy to use just before landing than walking to the back of the aircraft. The front galley area was sensational on the -700. It is the same here (with a few new additions) in the -900... and it is a very highly realistic working area. Again both the rear and front crew jumpseats can be animated out for use. Lighting On the -700 the cabin lighting was two crude lighting adjustable knobs on the rear cockpit bulkhead, we always knew they were there just as a temporary fixup job. One of the main features on the CRJ-900 is the cabin lighting panel forward upper left. In fact there are two lighting panels, one for the Cabin and one for the Galley. With all the lighting switched off, you get this nice blue aisle emergency strip lighting, There are a few overhead central lights, but they are quite if very weak and non-adjustable which feels like a wasted opportunity? The emergency EXIT lights are on and look great.. There is "Door Assist", that lights up the entrance area, and the lights in the stairs (but again they are not very bright). The "Ceiling Lighting" which switches on the main reflective ceiling lighting, comes in two options "Full" and "Dim". But the "Dim" option is not that much lower than the "Full" option? Next you have the "Sidewall Lighting", that gives off a very blue "Atmosphere" style of lighting, again in "Full" and "Dim" modes. Combining both the "Ceiling" and "Sidewall" options with "Full" and "Dim" it can give you four different types of light pastel purple colour gradients... Last lighting option is the "Entrance Lighting", again in "Full" and "Dim" but again the contrast was not as wide or felt realistic between the settings. On the Galley Panel there is the "Galley Lights", again in "Full" and "Dim" modes... The ceiling Galley Lights and their reflections don't look very realistic or even plausible at all here, it feels like the wrong sort of idea for the lighting? You understand what the developer is trying to achieve, but it doesn't work at all in this context, mainly because the light reflected is the wrong tone of the light fittings, plus the lighting fittings are really awful and look just as horrible. Oddly the same idea worked so well in the -700, but not in here. Notable are the excellent "Potable Water System" lights, which are switchable on/off. There are "Reading Lights", Test and Reset (that all don't work) and "AFT ATT Reading Light" that I also couldn't see how it worked either or where the light(s) was... All the panel lights also don't light up to their setting (on/off) either. Turn on all the lighting options, and it does look really very effective... .... but overall the individual elements don't work separately enough to be totally realistic when used in their own context. And you lose those really nice down passenger seat lights that were in the -700, and to pick I liked the -700 cabin lighting more that the -900. So overall the lighting needs more far work to be really realistic and the tone needs to be... well "Toned down a bit". For currently it is feeling it is falling a little bit short of its potential or it could be still a WIP (Work in Progress), of which in non-working areas stand out as the main reason. A small note is that the boundaries are very tight in here, I have already noted the rear toilet, but also manoeuvring around the galley area and cockpit entrance was almost impossible, I didn't have that tight experience on the -700. Cockpit The cockpit is identical to the -700, so if you are used to that aircraft, then everything will be perfectly familiar here. Cross Crew Qualification (CCQ) or common type-rating between the three different sized CRJ's is minimal here, as that was focus of Bombardier's design brief. The cockpit looks and feels quite exceptional, because it is all so beautifully done, with just the right amount of wear and tear for ultimate realism. There was a full cockpit description in the CRJ-700 Review. So there is no reason here to double that aspect up... But there are some differences between the versions. All the switches now support new manipulators with Above/Below click for UP/DOWN movement and mouse wheel scroll, and they are certainly far better to use and sound (clicky) far better as well. One new feature noted was that there is now a display knob on all the displays. This will turn on/off each individual display and adjust the display's brightness, but it still didn't work in my current v1.0.1 version, but expect that functionality soon in an update. Tablet Menu AD SImulation's Menu system is still currently quite basic and again almost a replica of the -700. There is however now two tablets on each of the pilots side. And like the window blinds you can still move it left and right along a track for the right position that you personally like.... and the tablet can also be stowed downwards (via the top little stick). You turn the tablet on via the button hotspot, and if you press the AD Simulations logo you get the window pop-out option. There are SEVEN icon menu options. The first icon box is the default blank screen and not counted here.... in order; DOOR HANDLING, COCKPIT, PASSENGERS, (ICON not currently active?), FUEL LOAD, SETTINGS and INFO. DOOR HANDLING : There are four doors on the CRJ-900 that can be opened from the menu. Passenger Door (front left), Service Door (front right), Cargo Centre Door and the upper Aft Cargo door. COCKPIT : In the cockpit menu you can select to start up "COLD and DARK" or "READY to TAXI" or the aircraft completely shutdown or completely powered up and ready for flight. Missing again is the wanted state of "Turnaround", which remembers the last situation of the aircraft and an aircraft state option I mostly use? A lot of settings are kept to use from flight to flight, but not the important ones (Fuel, Passengers.... etc ). "USE EXTERNAL POWER" places a very nice and connected GPU (Ground Power Unit) outside to the right of the aircraft. PASSENGERS : You can load the amount of passengers via the central slider which is/was totally impossible to use. Thankfully rectified in v1.01 of the -700, AD Sim then gave you the option to input the passenger count directly... again a big improvement of a critical loading tool in the new aircraft, but there are still no Cargo or Payload options. FUEL LOAD : Unlike the early -700 version, you can now add in (thankfully) the Fuel numbers directly for each wing and the centre tank, and that input is shown in the lower right of the menu screen, this area can also be used directly to put in the "TOTAL FUEL WEIGHT" if you want a quick and easy option. Both Lbs and Kgs are available as your fuel load options via the INFO Page. What there is still missing however really is a quality BALANCE and FUEL page for both the PASSENGERS and FUEL weight inputs, as for what is shown here is still all very basic and the weights come with no Centre of Gravity graph or numbers like ZFW (Zero Fuel Weight). SETTINGS : The SETTINGS menu page has three menu selections; GLASSES, SOUNDS and MISC. GLASSES; changes the tint and reflection options for both the cockpit windows and displays. SOUNDS and MISC; The SOUNDS page gives you five sliders covering; EXTERIOR ENGINES, INTERIOR ENGINES, WIND EFFECT, WEATHER & EXT ENV (Environment) and finally Cockpit and Cabin (sounds). The sliders can again be tricky to use and mouse scrolling is the best way of using the sliders, otherwise the settings will jump to the wrong choice? MISC is the only menu option change between the -700 and the -900. Gone are the "FLY BY WIRE" or "SIMULATION" options, to be replaced by three new options of; PDF ARROW ATTITUDE INDICATOR, USER'S VIEW (Captain, First Officer or Observer) and if you use the Alpha Flight Controls Honeycomb Yoke, as it needed a separate input connection for the aircraft, the developer also noted to, "to turn on all avionics switches, otherwise it will not power the avionics". INFO : The menu "Information" page shows you your WEIGHT with Left Wing/Centre/Right Wing Fuel quantity, TOTAL FUEL, PASSENGERS and the TOTAL WEIGHT (TOW) lower. This will compute your Takeoff and Landing VRefs and STAB TRIM, and you can load these parameters directly into the system. You can also here change from Kg to Lbs. No doubt the Tablet Menu still has a lot lacking for such an important tool, for instance there is no AviTab intergration, which is a must have on and for aircraft of this category. Flying the CRJ-900 I am going to fly the same EKCH (Copenhagen) to EGLL (Heathrow) route as I did in the CRJ-700 and compare the differences. Time for pushback... I have never gelled to the fuel shutoff levers, got used to them, but never really loved them... no, not at all. You just don't feel that click, clacky switch feel, and you don't know if they are locked (down?) or up or not... really I still don't like them. Your also still stuck with the really laborious to set up and not very exact Laminar Default FMS, a poor PLAN Mode setting in the MAP/MFD does not help you no end either. AD SImulation's notes that a custom FMS is going to be done for all the Ad Simulations CRJ versions, the sooner the better. A late but welcome addition on the -700 and also now on the -900 is a working Clock/Chronometer, here it is finally nice to log your flying time. I tested the updated CRJ-700 in the v1.1.2 update just a week ago. Personally I was not over thrilled with the Tiller steering. The -700 wandered all over the taxiway, even without moving the tiller wheel? Here however I find the nosewheel far more better at staying and tracking to the centre line and far more to my liking, it is a marked improvement over the other aircraft... does the longer fuselage length help? Maybe, but it is certainly far better in tracking straight. Ready to go and the clock (is finally) running... Push up the throttles and "Boy" do you feel that extra thrust... yes I am in a bigger aircraft, yes I am a heavier weight, but the upgraded CF34-8C5s with thier 14,510 lbf (64.5 kN) of thrust will give you a right kick in the back, and your soon at the rotate speed of 181 knts. Calling out "Positive Climb", and your powering up very quickly... climb rate is the same 3500 fpm maximum, but on average you will initially still do the 3000 fpm, reducing down to 2300fpm at around 12,000ft... just like in the -700, but you get there faster. I am going to admit, I love the -900 version a lot, it feels the more balanced and comes with a better feeling in it's handling than the -700, that extra length make a whole lot of difference were it counts... that is behind the controls and the way the aircraft behaves in the air. The CRJ-900 looks nicer in the air as well... and you notice that extra length. The CRJ900 can cruise 8–10,000 ft higher with a slightly higher fuel burn and with an average true airspeed of 450–500 knots, which is a significant improvement over its predecessor. So altitudes of 40,000ft are easily acquired, full service ceiling is still 41,000 ft / 12,479 m. Today I am going for FL400, 40,000ft (via SimBrief) and the CRJ doesn't flinch at climbing hard up to that high altitude. First FL360, then steps of 1,000ft to to FL400, "Easy". Maximum speed is 0.82 Mach (470 kn, 871 km/h), actually slightly slower than the -700 at 0.825 Mach (473 kn, 876 km/h), but around 0.76m or 0.78m is your usual Cruise speed depending on the weight. Range is 1,553 NM / 2,876 km (LR)1,622 NM / 3,004 km. It is nice up here at FL400... Internal lighting is basically the same as the -700, in other words very if extremely good in the cockpit... The ten dropdown lights for the side panels and the centre main instrument panel are still glorious, and so are the two animated spotlights either side of the OHP Console, which are animated and adjustable... but they are still very hard to actually manoeuvre with your mouse (moving left to right is via your scroll). There is also the rear spotlight over the cockpit entrance. The DOME lighting only covers the front section of the cockpit lighting, very nice, but still quite dark for working inflight. If you want a brightly lit cockpit then the each far side LIGHTING panel gives you that per side lighting option and all very good is. The cabin is really to your taste, in the dark it looks a bit lurid, even at all the low "DIM" settings. Switching off the sidewall lighting does make it look and feel more realistically softer. Externally the bight tinted hues show as well, in creating a very bright cabin externally, otherwise all the external lighting is all very good in tail, wing, navigation, (nice) strobes and some great looking landing lights to complete the perfect detail. Time to go down... I will use most of the English Channel to descend from 40,000ft (FL400) to 6,000ft (FL60) as it is a long way down, so you need the space to descend, so my descent starts at IDRID, at a minus 2,300fpm. I can now assign the landing vRef speeds from the INFO part of the menu into the PFD for landing. What would London be without soft foggy cloudy conditions, it lives up to it's reputation... again. Coming into Heathrow from the west (Rwy 27R) is always a messy approach,it is a lot of fiddling and twisting to miss the central city part of London.. ... so it is always going to a full on manual approach, the FMS routing is too complicated to edit to get perfectly right. Get in the groove and it is a thrilling thing, but getting your speeds and flap settings done as early as possible is extremely important, in other words "get the aircraft sorted". In the final approach phase it is all about the speed, speed and speed, not dropping too fast or going in too slow, it is harder to do than what you think it is... ... 110 knts sounds slow, but it feels very fast in this aircraft. Steady, steady... you have to get the landing just right in the flare, and then the need to BANG the rear gear down HARD on to the runway, if you don't the thrust reversers won't engage. And you are also very aware of that higher longer nose than with the -700. the length is noticeable on turning as well and in the taxiing manoeuvres.... Welcome to London. Liveries There is not as many liveries with the CRJ-900 as there was with the CRJ-700 and also only a few odd different airline changes. So there is here only eleven to the seventeen provided with the former aircraft. But like with the -700 we are quite sure the painters will have a field day in providing most liveries that you will require for the -900 version. These like on the -700 are excellent. __________________ Summary Just a few months ago at Christmas 2021, AD Simulations released a Bombardier CRJ-700 for the X-Plane Simulator, now only in April 2022, along here comes the longer CRJ-900 version, and a CRJ-1000 is also promised coming later. The CRJ-900 is a 12 ft (Twin-Plugged) stretch of the CRJ-700, with a bigger seating capacity of 76–90 seats. It has the uprated CF34-8C5 powerplants as well to fly higher and in most aspects faster. The AD Simulations CRJ-700 was and is sensationally modeled and designed, and there is nothing lacking in that department here either. The cockpit and it's intricate details are almost exactly the same, except for a small change on the INFO page in the menu. Externally the modeling is totally superb, and highly detailed, but there are few ground features except for a GPU. A note that in the changes or extras It is in the rear cabin that we find the biggest differences between the two aircraft. The Seating design is different and nicely coloured, and far better than the darker -700 version, and you get a forward detailed toilet now as well as the one at the rear. You also get animated sliding window blinds, opening baggage lockers and drop down meal trays. There is now also two new lighting panels, one for the cabin and one for the galley. The lighting panels will give you lighting options including the "Atmosphere" look of a pastel purple flavour in "Full" or "Dim" modes, and the original roof grey colouring is still there if you prefer that style. The Galley lighting is not as successful and is far better on the -700, but the galley itself is excellent. A note that in the changes or extras installed in the -900, will also be developed into the -700 version as well, including the animated cabin fittings and lighting. I find the CRJ-900 a more sweeter aircraft to fly than the -700, it climbs faster as well, and I think the extra length is a major bonus and not ungainly at all... In other words I like it far more to fly than the CRJ-700. But my guess is that most users will purchase both aircraft anyway and enjoy not only the small differences, but the slightly different styles as well. As CRJ-700 customers can get the CRJ-900 for 30% off the CRJ-900 via a discount coupon. What you you don't get a lot of extra or features like you do with say FlyJSim and others, but then again this is a sub-US$50 aircraft and in a lower category, and for what you do get here it is simply brilliant value. Current users already are devoted to the AD Simulation's CRJ Series, and this -900 version just adds into the fun... Recommended. _____________________ Yes! the CRJ-900 by AD Simulations/Delta Wing is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : CRJ-900 Price is US$49.95 Features General Notes Basic Systems are programmed based on CRJ-900 aircraft. In subsequent updates we are making systems deeper and adding new ones. CRJ real life pilots and few simulator enthusiasts are helping us to develop and make them work properly Flight Control Panel knobs support fast scrolling via left mouse button press and hold and precise scrolling via mouse wheel scroll All switches now support new manipulators with Above/Below click for UP/DOWN movement and mouse wheel scroll Mode Control Panel SPEED and other modes simulate the real Autopilot modes on the CRJs. Implemented Electrical System Circuit Breakers are all animated and ready to perform certain actions accordingly to their function in future updates Tablet/EFB on Captain and FO sides Functional Audio Control Panel with lit buttons and animations Rectangular and Arrows Flight Director Command Bars as an Options Center Glareshield All Center Glareshield Knobs and Pushbuttons animated and functional Displays Displays are exceptionally crisp and with letters and symbols easily visible PFD Primary Flight Display Modeled and functioning exactly as real life counterpart MFD Multifunction Display can display following modes HSI The horizontal situation indicator shows the compass card with overlaid selectable navaids, bearing and course pointers NAV SECTOR Navigation display with compass card and a background map. The navigation display shows course pointer and deviation bar. VOR bearing and DME distance information is shown FMS MAP Flight Management System Map shows the track and waypoints programmed in the CDU (Control Display Unit). FMS MAP shows the aircraft heading. TCAS Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System investigates the air traffic control transponders of nearby airplanes and identifies and displays potential and predicted collision threats. FMS PLAN MAP shows programmed waypoints of the route. Shows north at the top of the display. Waypoints can be selected by using UP and DOWN arrows on CDU (Control Display Unit) RADAR- to be implemented in future versions EICAS (ENGINE INDICATION AND CREW ALERTING SYSTEM Displays. Following displays can be shown using ECP (EICAS CONTROL PANEL) PRI STAT ECS HYD ELEC (AC and DC) FUEL F/CTL A/ICE DOORS CAS (not implemented yet) MENU = UP + DN STEP PopUp Displays (movable, scalable able to be dragged to multiple monitors) Tablet/EFB Captain and FO PFD (Primary Flight Display) Captain and FO MFD (Multi Function Display) Primary EICAS Secondary EICAS Left and Right CDU (Control Display Unit) Skunkcraft Updater To be implemented in the future Cockpit and Cabin Lighting There is FULL lighting implemented, FLOOD, INTEGRATED and DISPLAYS with animated knobs and switches You can adjust the intensity of displays, panels and light in any combination you like In addition, CABIN LIGHTS and STAIR LIGHTS are also adjustable via corresponding switches in the back of the cockpit STERILE Cockpit Light working (visible from inside the cabin when cockpit door is closed) AD Simulations CRJ-900 Cabin is using the option called “Atmosphere”It provides Button to adjust DOOR ASSIST, CEILING, SIDEWALL and ENTRANCE Lights. Using combination of different lighting conditions creates different look You can adjust Cabin and Stairs lights using Buttons on the right wall looking toward cabin External Lighting FULL external lighting is available via animated corresponding switches Tablet/EFB and it's corresponding Pop Up DOOR HANDLING PASSENGERS LOAD FUEL LOAD SETTINGS (COLD AND DARK, READY TO TAXI, EXTERNAL POWER) INFO (Loading Take Off Speeds, Landing Speeds and take Off Trim) Sounds FMOD Custom sounds are implemented using FMOD Engine sounds Cockpit sounds: Avionics, Gyro, Relays, Fans (Packs), Controls (Buttons/switches, levers) Warning sounds: Take-off GPWS (Too Low Terrain, Too Low Gear, Too Low Flaps, Terrain Caution, Bank angle, Sink rate, Don’t-sink, Pull Up) Autopilot, Fire, Alerts Cabin sounds: Galley, Cooling Exterior sounds: Gear Roll/Touch, APU, GPU, Flaps, Hydraulic and Fuel Pumps, Wind drag, Packs Weather sounds: Wind, Rain, Thunder, Wind Gust (on the ground only) Cabin and Cockpit muffing effect caused by Cockpit Door closed/open Flight Model Flight model has been carefully adjusted to match the real life CRJ-900. Real life CRJ-200/700/900 pilots were involved in the process. Realistic wing flex Wing Flex has been modelled and adjusted for realistic aircraft behavior FMS FMS and it's Pop Up is customized as far as look but based on the Default X-Plane one. Note: Default XP FMC is based on the Collins FMS-4200 and CRJ is using that one, no Honeywell and Thales types. 3D Modeling and Textures Almost all maps are 4K High Resolution Exterior is modeled with all details existing in real aircraft. Pilots are visible in external views and turn their heads slightly to ward camera view Interior modeling has been made paying attention to details in the real life CRJ-900 cockpit. Cabin and Stairs have adjustable lighting, see above Liveries included in the package are listed below Aegean Airlines, American Eagle, CRJ, Delta, Horizon, IBEX Ana, Lufthansa, Scandinavian 1, Scandinavian 2, Spirit Unique Package Features Stairs Rails can be raised and lowered (per customer request) Cockpit shaders slide and rotate as you need them All Windows Shades, Overhead Bins and Seat Trays are animated and functional VR Compatibility Package is VR compatible but future enhancements will be added Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1.1 GB Current version: 1.0.1 (April 25th 2022) CRJ-700 customers can get the CRJ-900 for 30% off. Please find the discount coupon in the original CRJ-700 invoice at the store Installation Download of the CRJ-900 is 1.07GB and it is installed in your Airliner Folder as a 1.57Gb folder. Activation is via the standard authentication Key. There is no Auto-updater by Skunkcrafts for updates, so currently you have to redownload any updates via the X-Plane.OrgStore. Documents Provided are two documents Included with the package. A "QuickStart" Manual that covers the aircraft's layouts and systems, and a "Checklist" with Normal Procedures. A version changelog is also provided. CRJ-900 Changelog.txt AD_Sim_CRJ_Checklist.pdf CRJ-900_Quick_Start_Guide.pdf CRJ-900 Changelog.txt _____________________ Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton 28th April 2022 Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications:  Computer System: Windows -S1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo M2 2TB SSD - Sound : Yamaha Speakers YST-M200SP Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.55 Plugins: Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99 Scenery or Aircraft - EKCH - FlyTampa Copenhagen XP (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$31.00 - EGLL - Airport London-Heathrow by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$29.95 (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) All Rights Reserved
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