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Stephen

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  • Birthday 11/08/1956

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  1. I have a Saitek X56.. that is throttle unit and yes I set the flaps, gear and airbrakes via the front switches (up/down) if it is a continuous flap than you just hold the switch down, or flick once (up/down) if it is slotted selection. SD
  2. I didn't know either?... thanks for the tip, and video SD
  3. News! - Plugin Release : Hi Fi Simulations releases ActiveSky XP A quality stalwart brand in FlightSim Hi Fi Simulations have released their premier product ActiveSky for X-Plane11... features include: Active Air Effects: Replaces internal X-Plane turbulence and air effects, providing enhanced turbulence, drafts, thermals, terrain-based wind effects, surface friction, gusts, variability, wake turbulence, microbursts and more High-Performance Weather Depiction: Uses internal X-Plane 11.2x/11.3x cloud depiction for maximum performance and smoothness, with multiple weather depiction modes including theme cell “real weather” mode and global static mode – VR compatible and optimized! Active Sky Weather Engine: An evolved version of the Active Sky platform brings the core features that made Active Sky the leading weather engine for other platforms: Advanced weather synthesis and interpolation, high-resolution global winds aloft, realistic air and atmosphere effects, a comprehensive weather data network, integrated visual mapping and planning, and much, much more Voice Weather Delivery: Active Sky ATIS and Flightwatch are available at any time by listening on 122.00, 122.02 or 122.03 for closest station, actual/current interpolated conditions and destination weather reports, respectively Surface Crosswind Attenuation: Optional, for better ground handling in crosswind conditions while preserving headwind/tailwind component for performance accuracy Mobile Companion App: Use any device/browser to connect with Active Sky over your network and view and control the weather There are a few notes to take in below before consideration of a purchase. Not a complete visual cloud rendering replacement We have put our previous X-Plane visual cloud rendering replacement efforts on hold (until next year) due to performance considerations and changing API environment/tools that are not yet finalized We expect our visual cloud rendering replacement technology to debut in Q4 2019, subject to change based on many factors ASXP features high-performance cloud depiction with a focus on conditions accuracy, utilizing the X-Plane internal cloud rendering via a hybrid API approach, with two different modes available ASXP also features an optional high-performance photo-realistic cloud texture replacement with a simple texture installation wizard Windows 64-Bit (v7 or later) Only Mac, Linux and 32-bit X-Plane/Windows versions are not supported In a networked environment, the ASXP application/client may run on Windows 32-bit (7 or later), but X-Plane must be 64-bit on Windows 64-bit (7 or later) We hope to bring additional OS/platform support in the future X-Plane version 11.26 or later (64-bit for Windows) is required Requirements: X-Plane v11.26 or later, 64-bit Windows Version (Mac and 32-bit Windows versions are not compatible) Windows 7 or later, 64-bit Version Active and stable internet connection (broadband recommended)* 500mb available hard drive space 1GHZ+ CPU 2GB+ RAM OpenGL 3.3 graphics device (nVidia GTX500 or or equivalent, or better) 1024×768 minimum available screen resolution to display all user interface features I would note that the plugin uses the default X-Plane11 cloud system for now... and obviously Hi Fi are waiting for the full implementation of the Laminar Research Vulkan API changes before adding in the more custom visual cloud rendering replacement (3d clouds) for speed and efficiency of course. Hi Fi note that the full product with visual cloud rendering will not be available till the end of 2019, and that any charges to upgrade to the visual cloud rendering is to quote... "work to maintain and enhance our products, with several free updates planned. The details of what would be included in such updates are yet to be determined." ActiveSky XP is now available from HiFi's website for 35.99 EUR. (US$40.78) Images and text are courtesy of Hi Fi Simulations ________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 12th December 2018 Copyright©2018: X-Plane Reviews
  4. Scenery Review : NWWW La Tontouta Noumea - New Caledonia by Cami de Bellis Positioned just above New Zealand and 1,210 km (750 mi) east of Australia in the South Pacific ocean is the French outpost of New Caledonia. New Caledonia became an overseas territory in 1946 and by 1953, French citizenship had been granted to all New Caledonians, regardless of ethnicity. A recent independence vote resolved to keep the hundreds of French bureaucrats from Paris in place and that basically keeps the island afloat with French Euros, and so the population 278,500 simply went back to their normal french lives in a paradise certainly far removed from the French Capital. And what a life it is... don't for instance arrive in Noumea (the capital) on a Sunday, because in reality nothing happens, the only action is at the odd bar or cafe where the madame will smoke her Gitanes with passion while sipping from a weak wine, and giving you the evil eye of being a customer. I know because I have been there, twice.... and twice only on a Sunday. But you don't come to New Caledonia for the shopping either (as there isn't any, or any bus services as well) but certainly come for the outstanding natural beauty of the islands with a French accent... find the right area and you would break down at the sheer immense beauty of the planet earth we exist on, as New Caledonia is in reality Tahiti-lite without the huge expense required to stay there. This is Cami de Bellis's second payware scenery after her "VQPR - Paro International Airport" late last year. It was a very good first introduction into payware for de Bellis, but a difficult first choice to do as well. Cami is highly known for her extensive detailing and the sheer object placement in numbers. Which is very good in freeware, but it can also overwhelm a scenery of simply too much placement... but they were all freewares, and payware is a very different game altogether in finding a balance and more importantly authenticity. NWWW La Tontouta Noumea La Tontouta International Airport is the main international airport in New Caledonia. The airport is in the municipality of Païta, approximately 52 km (32 mi) northwest of Nouméa. La Tontouta International Airport serves international flights, while Noumea Magenta Airport, located 38 km south-east within the city of Nouméa, serves the domestic flights. The airport is regularly served by four airlines, including Aircalin which is based at the airport. Tontouta International Airport Aéroport de Nouméa - La Tontouta IATA: NOU - ICAO: NWWW 11/29 - 3,250m (10,663ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL 52 ft/16m Note: First up on the review is a note. Make sure you have or download v1.1 and if you have downloaded the original release then to go and redownload the new version. The update fixes a bad mesh join line (below right) directly in front of RWY 11, and now it looks far better. The mesh join elevation hole is still there, but now not as noticeable as with the original mesh line. This issue is a Laminar mesh issue and cannot be resolved by the developer. La Tontouta is a split airport with the commercial area on the central northeast that includes an extended terminal and a Aircalin maintenance Hangar... ... and across the 11/29 RWY is a military zone that was originally built as a WW2 (small) US Airforce Base, now named Nouméa Air Base "BAN Tontouta". La Tontouta Terminal NWWW airport's terminal extension was completed in 2012. The completed project resulted in a significant increase in the terminal's size and included a new arrivals area, a larger check-in area and the installation of two jet(air)bridges. The terminal now has five stands capable of handling commercial jet aircraft, two of which are served by the new airbridges and three of which utilise stairs to access the aircraft. In addition, the airport has several more stands designed to handle smaller prop-regional sized aircraft. Sensationally modeled, this one of the best terminals I have seen in a while. The La Tontouta terminal is very detailed with a huge amount of intricate detail, and it looks extremely realistic... .... the highlight is the terminal's latice work. It is to reflect the same design as the sails of the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre, that was designed by the famous Italian architect Renzo Piano on the narrow Tinu Peninsula that celebrates the vernacular Kanak culture, the indigenous culture of New Caledonia. It was obviously most important to get the latice work and style correct, and the result here is excellent. The remarkable Cultural Centre is well worth a visit. In the extension they added in two airbridges, and they are both well defined here, they are active as well (marginal plugin required), but your parking position has to be perfect to get them to activate because of the long angle. Building detail and clutter is excellent, both on the roof of the terminal and in the receiving trolley bay and baggage area. Landside is exceptional as well, with a well laid out carpark, and huge clutter detail (This is after all Cami de Bellis!) The large Aircalin maintenance Hangar is very prominent and well recreated with fine weathered detail. Two static Aircalin aircraft fill out the scene. Service yards, freight buildings and administration areas are plentiful and thoughtfully crafted and cluttered, with great detail. Several new buildings are all glass, and really well modeled, but the over reflective effects are from most angles set too high and need or require a more less saturated natural look and feel. The Control Tower is set up on a hill to the east is excellent with great quality detail. Tower view is set and both approaches are easy to see, but at certain angles you get railings that intrude into the view. Northwest of the Terminal is the Fire Station that is very well detailed and runway facing building. Tontouta the village is well represented with authentic buildings, but not with an over population of housing, but there is still enough in here to give the area that right fill and appearance feel. The housing detail is very good, but in areas the fencing goes a little wayward here and there, and also missing is the fencing around many areas of the boundaries of the runway. All vehicles are French to add into the authenticity and many are animated, I love the little Peugeot 307 police car that rotates around the aprons, with the Cofely branded animated food truck. The airports Pacific history is well represented with the disused Douglas abandoned on the airfield. Nouméa Air Base As airbases go "BAN Tontouta" isn't very large, it is just really a collection of hangars and barracks... but it is well done and well detailed. Authentic is the word that comes to mind. Textures Runway, taxiway and apron textures are first rate, with excellent detail and worn in treaded tyre wear detailing. Linage and signage is also top notch and highly realistic. There are some 3d grass (and plants) inserted, but not in a large area ground coverage way. There is however a lot of hard different ground elements that are not blended in to each other or are cut sharply to match? It gives the scenery an oldish earlier X-Plane scenery feel that we have now moved on from, you do sort of ignore it, but this is payware and you have seen and expect better. Lighting Lighting of NWWW is overall excellent... All approach lighting (RAIL on RWY11) is well defined and nice to use. Taxiway lighting and lit navigation signage is also all well done. The latice is well lit... but is it a bit too bright or blue oversaturated? The real latice structure is as highly lit so the effect is debatable, but my gut says just a little less oversaturation would just tone it down enough to make it realistic. The airbridges are debatable as well, because the real ones are clear at night, where as here they are shades of green. The Terminal itself looks excellent and has a nice feel with image window/glass night textures. Ramp lighting is excellent, with great coverage and different lighting tones. Landside and housing lighting is again top notch, with plenty of fill and down lighting. BAN Tontouta's flightline is again well done, as is the internal military hangar lighting that looks very authentic externally. Summary La Tontouta International Airport is French New Caledonia's main airport. There is another called Noumea Magenta Airport that is located 38 km south-east within the city of Noumea, but that airport serves only domestic flights. Overall this NWWW - La Tontouta from Cami De Bellis is an excellent scenery, with great modeling and as expected also great, but thankfully not this time filled with overwhelming clutter, the balance here is lovely. Detail and especially the terminal is expertly done, with the iconic Kanak culture latice frame that is central to the look of the airport, with the texturing and quality building look that is excellent. Lighting is overwhelmingly good, except for the oversaturated latice frame. There are a few notes... The newer (Glass) buildings are over-reflective in their effects, different ground visual elements are also a bit too cutout and not blended in with sharp lines defining the shapes and some of the fencing is either, not where it should be or not there at all mostly surrounding the runway boundaries, and the airbridge colours at night and even in the daytime are also debatable. But mostly this is all a nice to fix than essential. This NWWW certainly the best work yet from Cami and she is certainly getting into her stride in completing quality payware scenery. The most important thing here is that she has captured the Frenchness/South Pacific feel of New Caledonia as well as the reproduction of the Island's main airport, and that is hard to do, but also very essential in conveying the essence of the area and place. So a big yes as an addition to your South Pacific Airport collection, and certainly a great destination for any flying in this Oceania part of the world, Highly Recommended... but just don't fly to Noumea on a Sunday. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! NWWW La Tontouta Noumea - New Caledonia by Cami de Bellis is Available now from the X-Plane.Org Store here : NWWW La Tontouta Noumea - New Caledonia Price Is US$22.40 Features Highly accurate scenery for NWWW with all buildings modeled Animated airport vehicles (GroundTraffic) Autogate by marginal Mesh of airport corrected exclusively for this scenery, created by Matthias Seewald/Maps2Xplane and expressly authorized by Austin Meyer Photoscenery for the entire Airport area Detailed airport objects and vehicles Custom textured taxiways, runways and apron Custom surroundings buildings Custom airport lights High resolution ground textures / Custom runway textures High resolution building textures – all in 2K and 4K Excellent night effects World Traffic 3 compatible Manual included WT3: Ground routes are set in the scenery and will generate a set of routes. They do however focus on more to the GA aspect than AFRE routes. There is a set of custom routes provided by ysfsim: Ground routes for NWWW La Tontouta Noumea but they don't create much action with the AFRE selected. Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4Gb VRAM Minimum. 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended CDB-Library v.2.4 is required Version and Review copy is v1.1 (Dec 9th 2018) Installation Download scenery file size is 397mb. With the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder as: NWWW_Noumea_La Tontouta N. CALEDONIA (1.12gb) yxz_CDB_Mesh (95mb) Total scenery Install is : 1.13gb The developers note you need to adjust the X-Plane "scenery_packs.INI" so the loading order is correct... and that the ysx_CBD Mesh is below the Airport files. The updated CDB-Library v.2.4 Library is Required for this scenery Documents La tontouta_manual.pdf ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 10th December 2018 Copyright©2018 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.26 (tested in X-Plane 11.30b6) Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin : US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free Scenery or Aircraft - Boeing 737-800 - default X-Plane by Laminar Research (Free)
  5. Scenery Preview: GCRR Lanzarote, Canary Islands by MK Studios FlightSim developers discovering X-Plane has been one of the stories of the 2018 year in scenery. We call them conversions, it is taking the original FS/P3D scenery, stripping them out and then rebuilding them from the ground up to the X-Plane laws and layouts, and then you add in the X-Plane11 dynamic features as the icing on the cake, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. The main reason it doesn't is that the original scenery used as the host is usually already out of date, so the conversion is behind the 8 ball already, but with many conversions were as the host is already a quality and successful scenery the conversion to X-Plane and can and even be an enhancement of the original. MK-STUDIOS was founded back in 2008 is a Polish based studio, so they are already an established scenery developer in FS land, and this is their first foray into X-Plane with this GCRR - Lanzarote scenery. The conversion is courtesy of Emma Bentley and Ashley Jones of Windsock Conversions, and Emma who is a well known established X-Plane member. GCRR - Lanzarote (also known as Arrecife Airport), is the airport serving the island of Lanzarote and is located as part of the Canary Island chain . The airport is located in San Bartolomé, Las Palmas, 5km (3.1mi) southwest of the town of Arrecife. GCRR - Lanzarote Lanzarote Airport Aeropuerto de Lanzarote IATA: ACE - ICAO: GCRR 03/21- 2,400m (7,874ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL14 m / 47 ft First to note is the large size of the scenery, altogether (four files) and it is a whooping 7.54gb of mostly photographic terrain that covers the whole island of Lanzarote. The runway 03/21 looks newly laid, as does the taxiways and aprons. The real 03/21 is more darker grey than the darker brown here but it is a darker texture than most runway surfaces, but it looks and feels nice close up... ... textures are nice and so are concreted areas and the markings are nicely worn in as well. Note the excellent RAIL approach lighting on RWY03 Approach and the only runway at GCRR with an ILS (IRR - 109.10) installation. Many pilots note it as a difficult approach, but it looks like an easy over-water approach to me, my guess they are confusing GCRR with Fuerteventura airport on another nearby Las Palmas island. The aprons are well done and with good navigation signage, so it feels nice on the ground. Lanzarote is a very white airport in a moroccan sort of way... ... so the only way to break out of that 3d blank modeling feel is to have some clever texture detail. There is some here but not enough raw detail to overcome the modeling aspect, so it feels of what it is and that is an FS/P3D scenery. Control tower is well done, but you don't get to feel that depth of realism. Glass is not see-through, but looks good and brings a lot of life to the buildings. Tower view is set and gives excellent coverage of both 03/21 approaches (below). Landside car/coach arrival and carparks ground textures are a bit of a mess... over-saturated, low resolution they look totally disconnected from the terminal and surrounding photoscenery, and it doesn't even try to matchup, twice? The original passenger terminal (1946-1970) which is now Aeronautical Museum, is well presented. The newer (above) terminal was opened on 3 March 1970 and international and domestic flights began using the airport on that date. Clutter is very good and correctly branded, not too much and not too little, gives the airport the right coverage. There are no animated vehicles (traffic) and the airbridges are solid. Custom buildings There are provided custom personally placed 3d buildings to cover Arrecife and the surrounding Lanzarote area... .... custom building design is quite generic, basic and only a few different styles. But there is an issue that the objects have a very poor LOD (Level Of Detail) distance at X-Plane's Field of view setting 73º. And even on final approach to the runway the mesh can be flat one second and start filling out (popping up) of 3d objects the next.... but closer to the ground level and the flat bland ortho textures do tend to flatten everything out? From an altitude point of view the islands features are however very good photographic wise. You get the same LOD issue at the airport itself, noted here by the airbridges that pop-up even when you taxiing in on the taxiways and aprons. So all round the LOD's are quite poor. GCRR Lighting The scenery lighting is actually quite good. 03/21 approach lighting is good, but the off runway taxiways don't have any green taxi navigation lights? The Main taxiway R (sections 12345) does have the green navigation lights, but they are rather dim and hard to see from the cockpit. Ramp lighting is excellent and highly workable, with the old original terminal (Aero Museum) and north cargo area the best. Landside lighting (different tone) almost hides the over-saturated textures, almost... but it all looks good. The night replica glass is very good, certainly on the welcoming original terminal, that almost glows. Tower glass is lit, but doesn't need to be or needed just a little lighting to make it realistic. Preview Notes: Any new to X-Plane user from the FlightSim world would probably feel right at home here. It is a classic early FlightSim scenery crossed over to X-Plane complete with over-saturated textures as well. Modeling is very basic and a throwback to the good olde days of early FSX design. You do get the full island photographic scenery, which could be seen as a bonus (if you like that sort of thing) or a backward step as it flattens out the landscape at ground level. LOD (Level Of Detail) for custom scenery and airport objects is poor in a few areas (objects pop up). All custom buildings are quite generic with no local landmarks, if you don't count the revolving pylon generators. Ground runway textures are very good (if a little too brown and not dark grey) with great signage, and have X-Plane dynamic runway features to represent different weather conditions in say the rain, but you won't get to use the feature a lot as Lanzarote only has seven days of rain a year. Dynamic night lighting is very good, with nice glass lighting features. Features noted are: High quality rendition of Lanzarote airport and ALL island, Accurate and detailed airport infrastructure based on real sizes and dimensions High resolution ground textures, Photo real terrain coverage of all island Hundred thousands of custom placed autogen buildings all around the island 3D night lightning, Very realistic airport night lighting, based on real pilot’s point of view Optimized to take advantages of X-Plane features. WT3: No WorldTraffic GroundRoutes are provided, and the ground routes are not built into the scenery either, hence the lonely B738 on the ramps. MK Studio's note the ground routes are coming soon. Positives: Very FSX, if you like FSX scenery in X-Plane, full island photographic coverage and extensive custom buildings and nice lighting and good branded clutter. Negatives: Very FSX in a X-Plane world, so it feels a little dated in design and textures, LOD is poor and custom buildings are very generic with no customised Lanzarote landmarks. Landside textures are over-saturated and poor resolution. Not many X-Plane11 dynamic features including autogates and animated traffic. ____________________________________________________________________ Yes!... GCRR Lanzarote, Canary Islands by MK Studios is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : GCRR Lanzarote, Canary Islands Price is US$19.99 Requirements : X-Plane 11.26+ Windows, Mac or Linux 4Gb VRAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 5Gb and installed is 7.54gb Warning: The download size is indeed 5Gb. If you do not have a fast, stable internet connection, please do not buy. MKStudiosLanzarote1Airport MKStudiosLanzarote2Overlay MKStudiosLanzarote3Ortho1 MKStudiosLanzarote4Ortho2 Extras and Documents: - Manual ______________________________________________________________________ Preview by Stephen Dutton 8th December 2018 Copyright©2018 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this preview are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.26 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free Scenery or Aircraft - Boeing 737-800 - default X-Plane by Laminar Research (Free)
  6. Yes it is THAT time of the year again. Carenado's "I must have that before Christmas" sale is now on and you can get up to 50% off most lovely Careando aircraft. Some nice biggies are available here (and for X-Plane11 as well) including the Beech 1900D, King Airs B200 and C90B and the XP11 Caravan. All deals are available till December 16th, so update your hangar now, and have a "very Happy (Carenado) Christmas"... All the deals are here on the X-Plane.OrgStore. ________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 7th December 2018 Copyright©2018: X-Plane Reviews
  7. News! - Coming! - C172SP SkyHawk HD XP11 from Carenado Carenado have been publishing images of their next XP11 release which is the Cessna C172SP. This is not a totally new release from Carenado as their was the X-Plane10 version of the C172SP SkyHawk ll There are a few significant differences between the earlier XP10 version and this release. One this C172Sp XP11 is a single variant with no wheel/float/ski option (it was the N version), but it does come with the full G1000 (X-Plane default) avionics suite package. All Carenado XP11 aircraft comes with these features*: Features Optimized for X-Plane 11 State-of-the-art configurable FPS-friendly logic system Largely VR compatible Full PBR (Superb material shines and reflections Specially designed engine dynamics for X-Plane11 Flight physics optimized for X-plane standards Ground handling adapted for X-Plane 11 ground physics Physically Based Rendering materials and textures throughout PBR materials authored with industry-standard software used by the film and gaming industries X-Plane GNS530 (FPS friendly) Support for RealityXP's GTN750* (integrated into 3D cockpit, when available) *features noted are not official to this aircraft, but generic to all HD XP11 branded Carenado releases No release date or specifications are noted yet, but mid-next week would be a good guide. Price, my guess is around the mid-30's USD$. But already X-Plane already has a few good C172SP's available, with the Laminar (default version), Airfoillabs and the Alabeo C172RG Cutlass, so it better be good or above average to compete. Images and text are courtesy of Carenado ________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 6th December 2018 Copyright©2018: X-Plane Reviews
  8. Sorry no... it uses the new layout of the WebFMC plugin folder (introduced by X-Plane 11.10) ... no harm in trying the free version? WebFMC 1.07 to check anyway. SD
  9. Behind the Screen : November 2018 It is almost a decade now since I discovered and joined X-Plane. And over the course of that time I have come to know many developers through their work, and obviously the impact of their work on the simulator. Ten years ago the X-Plane scene was very different (X-Plane9®) than the familiar feel and look we use today. For developers it was even a more arcane age. Back then 95% of X-Plane aircraft were "PlaneMaker" based with 2d flat panels. but don't get me wrong as developers were very inventive and clever, and the aircraft were actually very good. X-Plane developers back in that age were mostly friends or groups of buddies developing their love of aircraft for their hobby, and the word "hobby" was or is significant. X-Plane is a hobbyist playground and that aspect is still very highly encouraged today. The areas to be explored and created are boundless, and all have the one single aim in creating an interaction to create one of the best simulators in existence outside of the professional aviation arena, and even then those boundaries can be crossed as well. But for a commercial product or simulator to survive it has to grow beyond the hobbyist realm, this area is probably caused the biggest conflict of all aspects of X-Plane. For FlightSim users it was not an option, it is a commercial industry based on business more than the hobbyist angle that X-Plane created, and to a point these forces have almost created a war between them inside of the simulator, this area has become more apparent no more than in this 2018 year in the "free" aspect to the "pay" position of enhancing the simulator. My point is taken here. The one major fundamental highlight of this 2018 X-Plane year have been aircraft. With the shear leap in detail and design and features that have been created and delivered. As X-Plane11 and its more advanced effects and features have moved on to a more mature stage then the developers have used these elements to create some of the almost outstanding work and deliver some of the most excellent aircraft in any simulator. But here is the significance of the point I want to make. All the developers that delivered this outstanding work, are all original early or foundation developers of X-Plane and all of them came out from that original hobbyist era. You could say it is because of their early induction of being X-Plane developers that they have an advantage, but in reality the opposite is the case. Most current forces should in fact reduce the potential of these developers from delivering the product they do. For mostly they are all disadvantaged by the fact they are mostly all still single entities. Most developers in the business market are now teams, mostly between three to five specialists that come together under one studio to create a product. Their gain is that the work can be parceled out to each specialist area, either in the modeling, coding, art or special effects, and recombining to create the product and test it. The huge advantage here is time, as most projects can be completed as a team within a 12 month cycle and in scenery project even on a 4 month cycle, were as for a single developer it is usually 16 months or longer to create an aircraft. I will note that of course single entity developers do have external input of work on their projects, but they are not teams as such as they and they alone create all the main aspects of the project's creation from the modeling to the coding and art. But right from the get go, 2018 in X--Plane it has been a seminal year. First off the rank was Jack Skieczius's (FlyJSim) Boeing 732 TwinJet, and admittedly an update, but the aircraft was very far removed form just being an update, it was and still is in reality a completely different aircraft than the original. At this point the TwinJet is still the front runner for aircraft (airliner) of the year by our calculations, but the 2018 year is still not over. The really odd thing is that the aircraft is known more for it's cabin than anything else, but the flying and system features are up there as well. Developers as a rule see cabins as "left-over" items on a project's grand list of agendas. But here it shows that if you deliver a supremely developed cabin as it was delivered here (with independent cabin lighting, airstair control, overhead lockers and window blinds) it creates a totally complete immersive airliner, and in what should be an addon, then becomes it's major feature... yes the rest of the aircraft is sublime as well and the quality is off the planet, but it was the TwinJet's completeness as an all round machine is what totally resonates with you, and that it delivered a complete new level of simulation involvement, not only on the flying practical level, but also on the sub-conscious emotional level as well. Second developer noted is Daniel Klaue. His work has been mostly the developer in creating the Carenado brand in X-Plane, all excellent machines. But Klaue is restricted to the Carenado design boundaries in that the X-Plane version has to be almost a replica of the FlightSim version, but Dan does in a few areas throw in a few notable ideas and features that are X-Plane specific. But lately through his own Thranda Design, Dan Klaue has released his own projects but also now does conversion aircraft for Just Flight. Just Flight give Klaue more flexibility in the designs, with their excellent GA aircraft in the Arrows, Tobagos/Trinidads have all been high-quality, but it was the seminal Hawk Trainer T.1a that showed us all the skill and sheer design that takes X-Plane to another complete level of realism and high-quality of aircraft available now in X-Plane. The aircraft is breathtaking in design and has a curved glass (canopy) in absolute brilliance, yes it is a copy of the FlightSim, version... but in reality they couldn't be more different. Torsten Leisk is another legacy developer. More for his Airbus systems than modeling. His release this year of the Airbus A319 brought a new high in extremes of the way an airliner handles in the simulator, and also brought to X-Plane new and clever features we only dreamed of a few years ago. The aircraft gives you real world airliner handling that you could only dream of a few years ago. It is an astounding feeling that was very present from the very first landing I had in the aircraft. Again that moment was one of my flying highlights of the year. Walker Guthrie is vFlyteAir. All projects coming out of vFlyteAir are personal, or the actual developers know or own the aircraft they simulate. True to a point vFlyteAir are a small team. But it is the modeling skill and work of Walker Guthrie here that elevates the aircraft to higher heights of quality and design. This year it was the VLC Comco - Ikarus C42 C. Here is another breathtaking advancement of design, with material and complex modeling (Internal aircraft frame) that delivered another advancement of X-Plane design and quality. Again it was an aircraft that the more you looked closer then the exploring brought out the sheer advances the aircraft was making to realism in modeling and feel... the C42 C flew very nicely as well. Just when I really thought that X-Plane in design and the already delivered sheer detail was at it's peak.... then along comes Javier Rollon and the SIAI-Marchetti SF.-260 trainer. This release was even more breathless than anything I have seen before in the X-Plane simulator. On the surface it looks very good, but dig deep and it is an almost mind-blowing experience on detail and and quality... and yes the level was raised another higher extreme level again, so you can't say anything or see anything that puts a line of how high X-Plane can go in depth and quality. I am not going to absolutely discount the brilliance and work of Rotate, Aerobask, Dreamfoil Creations (no releases this year, but my guess he would have easily joined the above elites) and X-Trident. The point of this month's Behind the Screen is that all of the above developers are original and still are single project developers. They come from the period I joined X-Plane in nearly ten years ago. Not only has their work been totally outstanding this year, but they between them brought an absolute new and even extreme level of quality, new features and a higher breathtaking depth of realism to the X-Plane simulator. In reality they should all have been easily consigned to history to the reality of advancement and high-quality (well funded) development studios, they "should" be relics of a past era... but as 2018 has shown, they are all very far from that position and even showing that their craft is of a certainly very, very high standard. From my point of view (besides being totally in amazement of their achievements) was that I was also very proud of them all, for their devotion to their craft, their skills and the supreme quality of their work. They are as they say "still hitting the balls out of the park" in delivering outstanding product and even could be the very best overall developers in simulation... above all they are our developers and we should support them. Which brings us back the same "free" aspect to the "pay" position of the simulator... free was very good for X-Plane, it was back then all mateship and buddies and all focusing and delivering on delivering great designs for the simulator. But as all of the above elite developers started out in the same arena, they had to move forward as well. Not only just to personally to make a living to carry on doing what they do. But because like everything, X-Plane has to move forward as well, if the free economy worked a decade ago, it doesn't today as X-Plane has grown up, it is now a serious tool. As if these developers don't make any returns on their work, they will simply have no other option but to go elsewhere to use their talents and craft. So take 2018 and delete all the projects from the above developers and what would you have left, certainly a stagnation of quality and design... but also that missing vital element of forward progression and advancement for the X-Plane simulator. So it is vital to support their work and craft, and also be very proud of their achievements... because simply and more so is that they are our own developers as well. Notes I noted back in October that I was doing a full update on the X-Plane 11.30 version release. Yes I started the assignment, but then the v11.30 at around b4 went backwards, as betas do. It seems more stable now and with more features delivered as well... the indepth coverage will still be released for when X-Plane11.30 goes final... unless it goes backwards again. December in the X-Plane year is a short month, and the yearly round up of the simulator and "best of..." awards will be soon released before the Christmas/New Year break... so happy flying to all till then Stephen Dutton 1st December 2018 Copyright©2018: X-Plane Reviews
  10. Scenery Review : Everest Park 3D by Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini All my life there has been a connection to a mountain, and it is the largest and most formidable piece of rock on the planet. The mountain is Mount Everest or Sagarmatha (सगरमाथा) and in Tibetan it is noted as Chomolungma (ཇོ་མོ་གླང་མ). The monolith straggles both the borders of Tibet and China and dominates the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas. The mountain's full height is 8,848 metres (29,029 ft), but that estimate changes from year to year, but extremely seriously high is close enough. As I was born in the United Kingdom in the 50's then the conquest of the mountain in 1953, with a ninth British expedition led by John Hunt was a national empire success story. Hunt selected two climbing pairs as then as the first pair failed just 100m from the summit, it was the second pairing of the New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, a Nepali Sherpa climber that the feat was finally successful when they reached the summit at 11:30 local time on 29 May 1953 via the South Col route. With this conquest it was rallied and celebrated thoughout my childhood, so you couldn't really ignore the celebration, I knew more about a damn mountain on the other side of the world than my own family sometimes... Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini As in all areas of life then also as in X-Plane it tends to break up teams into specific categories. For the names of Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini it is in the specialist area of mountainous regions. It started with the their excellent "Dolomiti 3D" Scenery, then there was the excellent Matterhorn Park 3D as reviewed earlier this year... now it is the turn of the largest mountain range on earth with the Everest Park 3D scenery. The Everest Park 3D scenery is noted to cover territory of about 1000 square kilometers in the Himalayas along with another eight thousand in a lower resolution and situated along the border between China and Nepal. Other famous mountains included here besides Mt. Everest (8,848m) are the Lhotse (8516), Makalu (8463), Nuptse (7861), Pumori (7161), Ama Dablam (6812), Taboche (6543), Baruntse (7129) ...The scenery area included here is in the degrees +27.086 +27.087 + 28.086 +28.087. Airports and Helipads included are VNLK - Lukla airport, VNSB - Syangboche... Helipads Base of HELK - Lukla, Base of HENB - Namche Baza and coverage of Lukla and Namche Bazar, Everest base camp, Tengboche which is home to an all important Buddhist monastery and Gorak Shep. Noted as well is the Pyramid of the CNR (Italy) at 5050 mt. Laboratory and Observatory in the Khumbu Valley, it is a center of study and medicine on the reactions of the human body at high altitudes. Mount Everest Folklore of my childhood was the trek from Katmandu to the fabled mountain. You walked for three weeks carrying mountain gear along Sunkashi River, then up through the Khumbu Valley via the Dudh Kosi (Kosi River System) with names like Namche Baza and Tengboche then Dingboche and finally the Village of Gorak Shep at 16,942 ft (5,164 m) which was the last stop before reaching the Everest Base Camp. It was treacherous, dangerous and the survival of the fittest and required rest days to acclimatise to the altitude. It was exotic and a world away from today's consumer travel expeditions that make the same trek almost like going to the South of France. It still isn't easy to get to Everest Base Camp, but it is now just a rubbish tip like everywhere else we populate. I have seen Mt.Everest in X-Plane before, I used to route regularly over the area when returning from Shanghai, China to Bahrain on my criss-cross of the globe with my F1 Racing freight in the rear. There are no air routes over the Himalayan area and for a very good reason. Mt. Everest is nearly 29.000ft high, so at 35.000 ft at altitude the mountain's sheer size can be still frighting to be passing only 6000ft below the aircraft's belly, do that in bad weather and it can go seriously wrong, but on a clear day the view was excellent, if to the limited capacity of X-Plane's early standard mesh. But note that FL290... that is a normal flight height on any short main route around the world, say in Europe, and with that aspect in mind you can feel the sheer size of the mountain. The hard part is getting up to that flight level, and that is just to gorp at the mountain. Another aspect is the type of aircraft to use up there in that thin air, A jet is more than capable but it is too fast, and there are not a lot of props with the power to operate in the area, most will use a helicopter, but be aware of the aircraft's limitations at these altitudes, so my choice (quite wisely) was the Carenado Do228. It is a very popular aircraft for this area, and used by all the local operators, but it still has a 7620m (25 000 ft) ceiling and here you are going to use every inch of that. I am going to show the X-Plane local Map of the route, it has to really be all VFR, you could create a FMS route, but I don't think you would have enough waypoints to make it safe, there is a lot of directional changes you will be doing anyway to try to automate the route. I worked out the fuel required by time and distance, I wanted to find the best balance in having more than enough and I ended up with 4500kg or 9900ibs, without the weight of full tanks for safety. But flying into areas like this is a bit like going out over the sea, as once airborne there are limited areas or places to land or to find safety, and that has to be taken into account for margins of error. I dug out a very old VNTK - Kathmandu Tribhuvan Intl. But I have absolutely no idea where it came from? but there is a global airport version built into X-Plane. There is also a rumor that Cami de Bellis also did a VNKT? Even sitting on the apron at VNKT, you can see the Everest 3D Park scenery as the Himalayan range is very visible to the north. VNTK is tricky as well. It sits at 4400ft, but Katmandu is sitting almost like in a crater, and you need to climb almost straight up out of this hole to clear the surrounding walls of mountains, hills are maybe a bit of a stretch, as you need to climb at least 12,000ft straight up in a short distance, I am going to 18,000ft. An early note is you have to choose if you are either going to fly to Everest the mountain, or to VNLK - Lukla at 9,334 ft/2,845m instead because the differences in altitude between the two are quite substantial. So all you do is climb, climb and do more climbing at a steady rate of around 1000fpm. In climbing up higher and higher then the sub-range becomes even more visual, even at this distance it looks very realistic, even against the foreground default mesh. The view out was starting to get exciting, as you felt you were nearing something special.... .... the crawl up to 18.000ft was a slow and steady climb, but finally the gap to Khumbu Valley finally opened up. It can be very hard to find as it looks just like every other valley opening, but a clue is the airport VNPL - Phaplu Airport as it gives you a position to turn north. Once in the valley... you just start climbing again, but now you are targeting 25,000ft. The outside temperature is plummeting as well as you go higher, and already it is below -20º and by the time you get to Everest it will be -40º, and simply that is why you die out there. As soon as you move into the valley then Lukla is on your right far below (arrowed)... Note that distance in altitude? Namche Baza at 3,440m is set higher and not too further down the valley on your left, note the grass/gravel runway that is set above the village. Finally Sagarmatha fills the windscreen. The mountain is very impressive, as it should be, it is biggest block of rock there is on the planet. You are then trying to put every thing into perspective as the detail allows you to do that... The valley floor, the immense Khumbu Icefall... and the twin peaks of Lhotse and Everest itself. ... the area covered is huge and very spectacular. Looking through the aircraft's windows gives you a more high feel of the detail available here. All the scenery is 3D and according to the DEM data (digital elevation model) and further elaborated with many structural details. Many textures (over 40) are based on 4K (4096x4096) extreme quality images. Moving around to the north (Chinese side) and it the visual aspect changes quite significantly, you could call it the "back side of the mountain", it never was as very photographic or dramatic as the Tibetan side, and could be noted as just mountainous. Lhotse (8516) (arrowed below) is right next to Everest, but to the east is Makalu (8463) which is just as dominating as the main attraction. I feel I am just a little too close to the peak of Makalu, but the weather today is fine, but I wouldn't try this in poorer visibility. Heading south again you are looking for the doorway between Tobuche (6543) and Ama Dablam (6812). And with one last look left at Everest I turn back down Khumbu Valley with Ama Dablam just glazing to my left. Moving away from Everest and you are making trails back to Katmandu, there is only one thing to do now... and that is to go all the way down again, and at least it will be far, far faster than when you were clambering and coming up here. Mount Everest Detail Go to ground level and the very familiar images of Mount Everest all start to appear. The Everest Base Camp is reproduced here. I always thought that the base camp always looked like a moonscape, and to an point it does here also.... ... a view of the mountain that many climbers have seen, and know they will be going up there tomorrow. The usual route up was via the Khumbu Icefall or icefield. Which is really a river of deep frozen snow. It was in many ways it still is the most treacherous parts of the ascent, with open crevasses, rock falls and the odd Avalanches. Camp 1 and camp ll are simulated as is camp lll (arrowed), then get up to the South Col and one of the most photographed views in the world comes into view, the aspect is looking east towards Makalu and Baruntse. The South Col is also known as the "Death Zone" or the depletion of oxygen at 8,000m (26,247ft), and many climbers are still here buried in the snow, like Rob Hall from New Zealand who was leading the1996 Mount Everest expedition in which he died trying to save a customer climber. There is another camp called camp IV at the southern pass, and three climbers are sited at the higher Hilary Step... The mountain's detail is exceptional, certainly in the different layers of time built up rock, this is the certainly the most authentic representation you will ever get of Everest, and you can feel every niche of this formidable rock face. It has been hard to assemble the actual rock faces because there is no actual satellite images available, this representation came completely from photographic images. On arrival at the summit you will find that two other climbers have already beaten you to the apex of the mountain... ..... the view up this high is however well worth all the effort. Streaming and falling back to earth, as only you can in X-Plane11.30. VNLK - Lukla airport - Tenzing–Hillary Airport This airport is one of the most famous in the world and easily holds the title of "the most dangerous airport in the world" and the attraction for any simulation is just to take on the "the most dangerous airport in the world"... it is a no brainer there. The strip (if you can call it a strip) was built by the great man himself Sir Edmund Hillary back in 1964, it was only paved in 2001, and so earlier on it was only a gravel strip. The runway 06/24 is 527 m (1,729 ft) × 30 m (98 ft) with a 11.7% gradient, and the airport's elevation is 9,334 ft (2,845 m). It sounds easy but when you see that gradient in stu, then you can see the challenge, add in high winds along the mountain sides and with absolutely no go-around procedures, you have to land or do an early missed approach, once committed, your really committed. Certainly you are restricted to the type of aircraft you can use here and VNLK is accessible only to helicopters and small, fixed-wing, short-takeoff-and-landing aircraft such as the De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter, Dornier Do 228, L-410 Turbolet and Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter. There are only four parking slots at VNLK and space is at a premium, and so the aircraft can get seriously busy at peak Everest trekking periods, then add in the weather factor. Most services are VNKT - Katmandu to VNLK - Lukla, and mostly it is a ferry service, but no doubt a brilliant experience. Fares are USD $161 each way and the flight lasts for 30min, which is a bargain really considering the significance of the route. VNLK - Lukla as scenery has been in X-Plane for some time, but what we are looking at here is an authentic approach and a perfect representation of the runway and it's famous gradient. This aspect is not to taken too lightly as it is incredibly hard to model the scenery perfectly, in other words it needs an expert in mountain modeling to get the modeling right, that to a point it is what you are paying for here, the perfect experience of the hardest airport in the world to land in. The developers do provide a chart for the best approach to RWY 06, and note the altitude numbers carefully, as to get them wrong is not just hitting something really, really hard... but to be in the wrong altitude in being too high or too low to get the correct approach path. I have tried landing at VNLK a few times, and it is incredibly hard to get it right, you are looking for a speck on a mountain side, so a sort of dummy run is always the go if you are flying this challenge for the first time, the advances in the X-Plane simulator help a lot now as well, the aircraft are far better tuned to do what you want the aircraft to do... My choice of Carenado's Do228 was perfect and I recommend it highly with this scenery. Height and speed are obviously critical. Speed is as low as you can get away with, without stalling down into the valley. In the Do228 it is at 70 knts on the red line, full flap. Lukla is 9100ft above sea level, so you need to be just slightly above that at 9300ft... and your aiming for the mountain side on your left to land at VNLK on your right. Once past that outcrop you begin a nice steady approach curve to the right. A critical point to make is that the 06/24 RWY can look flat on approach, but in reality it isn't as it has that 11.7% sloping gradient. That can be useful as well, as you can sort of... if the aircraft positioned correctly use the gradient to come to you, rather than you landing on the ground, bringing up the nose in a slight flare can also help in that effect... I started out with the perfect approach path, but once closer to the runway, the wind was very blustery and I was suddenly fighting the rudder to stay in a straight line... ... this is were the real skill comes in, and it can get very, very tricky. You are holding your breath, almost at stall speed at 60 knts, and fighting the aircraft... then that nice flare that has to be absolutely perfect. A carrier landing, yes absolutely, but with no arrestor wires... Your on the hard stuff but not out of the woods yet... as you have to time perfectly more power and thrust to not only stop the aircraft sliding backwards back down the slope (and off the side of the mountain), but to keep the momentum moving forward perfectly correct as well... ... get that right and now all that thrust is now a liability as you kink over lip to the flat area on the top of the runway. There is not much space between you now and a hard wall! The pro's are amazing to watch on YouTube videos as the get all these sequence of actions perfectly in line to swing right into the small ramp area with four slots. It is very tight squeeze in here, and the poor turning circle that Carenado only allows you at low speeds, means I couldn't do the full 180º parking turn. Note the strong windsock, and up here when the engines are shutdown and the propellers are feathered, they still keep on turning at a high windmilling pace. Tenzing–Hillary Airport तेन्जिङ हिलारी विमानस्थल IATA: LUA - ICAO: VNLK 06/24 - 527m (1,729ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL 9,334 ft / 2,845 m The reproduction of Tenzing–Hillary Airport at Lukla is very well done and authentic, but the resolution of the textures are a bit low unless you can run your texture resolution at full settings, and that is tricky, because even if around the airport the textures are quite minimal... there is the huge amount of custom textures covering the actual Everest Park area adjoining. It is the same sort of feel and quality as the Matterhorn scenery, detailed, but not extremely detailed in a walk-around fashion. As a rule Lukla is only a small village, and although a major tourist hub, it is in most cases quite small. The area around the ramp is the most complex, and the airport terminal and ramp is very well done and highly detailed with some great clutter. Note the largest hotel in Lukla is set directly behind the airport terminal. There is a static Do228 set on stand 4, but the rest of the stands are empty for your use. There is a helicopter landing area set just down the runway to the left... ... there is space to land two helios on the top level, and two with a static set on the lower, but there is no set X-Plane H landing pads? The control tower is more of a ramp tower, and in my version the tower view was not set (I has been done for the release version), but the tower is basic, but workable in a Tibetan sort of way. The famous Shangra -La Lodge and cafe is well done at the end of the runway, and the rest of the area is covered with Tibetan housing and small lodges with a lot of shrines thrown in. There is a very alpine feel to the village, but in a good way, but don't look for highly detailed Tibetan housing, it looks good, but it is still basic and well fitted well into the landscape. Lighting at Lukla is very moderate. Obviously night operations are out of the question, but there is a set of green taxiway lights up the runway is you want to have a suicidal try at it. But the lighting does reflect the sort of feel you would have being up here surrounded by the mountains, watching dawn or dusk is a sublime moment, in a feel sort of way the scenery is very good. Namche Baza - VNSB - Syangboche - Tengboche All three areas that cover Namche Baza, VNSB - Syangboche, Tengboche are close together. The village of Namche Baza is by the airstrip of VNSB - Syangboche, which is set out just above with the Khumjung small settlement set out on the flat level just behind. Tengboche and its famous Buddhist monastery is just across the valley further north. Namche Baza is just a typical if very famous Tibetan village and the layout is very similar to Lukla, but thankfully the all important shines were not forgotten. VNSB - Syangboche (IATA: SYH - ICAO: VNSB) Runway 1,312ft - 400m /Elevation AMSL 12,402ft /3,780m is an unpaved runway and is the closest landing strip to the Everest Base Camp, so it is a vital point to deliver to. Most rescue operations are flown from here of the injured or for the required elevation acclimatization. The Hotel/Terminal is basic, and there is a static helicopter and a little clutter to make it a worthwhile stop. Up behind is Khumjung Village and the aptly named "Hotel Everest View"... Again there is sort of alpine feel to the area. Tengboche and its famous Buddhist monastery is across the valley further north. Tengboche and the Tengboche Monastery complex which is built around the village is considered to be the oldest Sherpa celibate monastery in existence. The rebuilt monastery is large and an impressive structure with a camping area in its front and with a number of lodges and shops.Tengboche is surrounded by the ancient mani stones (flat stones inscribed with the mantra, "Om Mane Padme Hum"), prayer flags flying atop the high peaks (flags are flown in 5 colours denoting the five Buddhist elements: earth, wind, fire, water and consciousness. The courtyard and storerooms are large to facilitate the monks' religious rites and activities. The main building has the mandatory Dokhang, the prayer hall, where a large statue of Shakyamuni Buddha is deified. The statue extends to two floors of the monastery and encompasses the "Ser sang lha khang", the first floor shrine room. Sakyamuni Buddha is flanked by Manjushri, the deity of wisdom and Maitreya and of the future Buddha. The scriptures of the Kangyur, the original teachings of the Buddha translated into Tibetan are also part of the sanctum. In small areas set around the scenery are other resting lodges to cover the trek route to the Everest base camp, and these are represented as well. The only thing missing is that plume of icy wind from the peak of Everest... maybe that with the new 11.30 particle effect generator that could, be done as well? even so it is still all very dramatic.... the "Roof of the World". Summary It is a strange feeling... If you have invested in Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini's spectacular sceneries and they are part of your X-Plane scenery, then you get this sort of completeness. No airport, maybe a large city scenery, but not on a scale like this do get that feel your X-Plane world is more complete, fulfilled and realistic. Dolomiti 3D Scenery and the excellent Matterhorn Park 3D scenery covers the Alps, there are few areas like Monument Valley as well that are covered, but this scenery with Everest Park 3D now covers the "Roof of the World" and the Himalayas. The scenery covers territory of about 1000 square kilometers in high detail, and 8000 square kilometers in lower quality detail, and DEM data (digital elevation model) are modeled on 4K (4096x4096) extreme quality images. The results are of course spectacular, but the main thing to remember is that the most important areas are the ones you don't see. Any mesh can be molded to shape, but to get accurate mountain modeling you have to create the actual mountains from scratch, it looks easy... but it isn't and that is what you are investing in here, pure geographical layouts to replicate the real mountainous chains and individual mountains that make up the areas ranges, in other words total realism. Other highlights include the "Most Dangerous Airport in the WORLD" and that is big announcement, but that is what VNLK - Lukla is, and a huge challenge for any X-Plane flyer of distinction, VNSB - Syangboche, Namche Baza, Tengboche and the famous "Everest Base Camp" are all in here if you want to follow the footsteps of some of the greatest climbers that ever climbed. The quality in context is extraordinary, but you will need full resolution texture settings to bring out the best of the textures, if not they look a little low res... One of my journeys in X-Plane has not just been the flying or the learning of different aircraft and their systems. It is also exploring the planet in the many ways that you never expected before... the mountains on the coast of Oman, the sheer beauty and vast expanse of Greenland, the vastness of Australia to the mountains of Afghanistan, sheer beauty all and with high quality mountain ranges like these from Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini' it again brings the scenery of the simulator up to another higher level of realism and immersion... Highly Recommended. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Everest Park 3D by Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini is Available now from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Everest Park 3D Price Is US$28.95 Features Area Included Everest Park 3D includes a territory of about 1000 square kilometers in the Himalayas along with other eight thousand, on the border between China and Nepal. Other famous mountains include the Lhotse (8516), Makalu (8463), Nuptse (7861), Pumori (7161), Ama Dablam (6812), Taboche (6543), Baruntse (7129). Airports included The Lukla airport (icao VNLK) is considered by the pilots, one of the most difficult especially in the landing phase, the track is just over 500 meters long. and has a significant change in slope in the initial part during take-off (12%). Syangboche (icao VNSB) in clay ground, just over 400 meters long, secondary airport but officially coded. It is located just above the village of Namche Bazar, a mandatory stop for hikers to the Everest base camp. 7 Helipads: inserted in the most important points of the scenery, normally located in residential areas, scattered at various points along the route to the base camp. Ultra-High Definition Scenery Pack The main mountains of the area have been rebuilt with 3D models. DEM data was used and further corrected with 3D graphics programs. Later the textures were applied, mostly in 4K, taken from high definition photos. The positioning on the modified mesh was very accurate, respecting the dimensions and the main morphological characteristics of the terrain.\ Summer only scenery Manual included. Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM (absolute minimum) - 4 or 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 500Mb Installation Download scenery file size is 512.10mb. With the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder There are a lot of elements to installing this scenery. And more importantly it has to be installed in the correct order as listed below. The developers have provided with the scenery an INI list to directly insert into your X-Plane "scenery_packs.INI" so the loading order is correct... install sizes are noted on each scenery 3D_Everest_Park (407mb) Himalaya_Scenery (249mb) Mesh_Himalaya (236mb) MHimalaya_lib (332mb) Full installation is 1.19gb It is a bit messy in your custom scenery folder, but it is what it is.... Documents 3D_EVEREST_Manual Scenery Features INI_Scenery Configuation ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 30th November 2018 Copyright©2018 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.26 (tested in X-Plane 11.30b6) Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 Scenery or Aircraft - Dornier Do 228 100 HD Series by Carenado (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$37.95
  11. There is lot to get through here? the full Beta 11.30 process and then the aircraft upgrade for 11.30 and then the VR refining... it will take some time to sort it all out. It should be fine in Xp11.26.
  12. I think this was resolved because you used the XP10 acf folder and not the XP11 acf?
  13. Aircraft Update : ToLiSS319 v1.2 by ToLiSS Many updates come at set periods throughout the year, and some come regularly. Mostly the ones that come in the second category are interesting projects covering areas of updating the aircraft up to a full standard, were as the first category are mostly reactionary to global X-Plane changes and a significant version update. The ToLiss319 certainly falls into the secondary category. When released earlier back in January this year, it was stated that the aircraft was completed to a standard, but wasn't finished to full completed standard. When you purchased the aircraft you took that on as a sort of "Gentleman's Agreement" that the developer will deliver consistent updates to bring the aircraft up to the full standard that you have paid for... it is a trust thing, a handshake agreement between you and the developer on the fact you get the aircraft earlier, but not to the fully completed aircraft with every i dotted and every t crossed. This is the third update of the year, and again it clears up a few bugs, but again it mostly adds in a lot of new (if small detail) features to keep the project going forward very nicely. As a reviewer, you enjoy these updates as you can see a significant movement forward in the developing process and there are certainly a lot of very nice little new features in here to explore. Although this update is noted as v1.2... you need to make sure your release version is v1.2.1 as there was a significant bug in the MCDU that was fixed in the .1 change. Update v1.2.1 When taken into context the changes from the original release version of the ToLiSS319 to this current version are quite significant. This update focuses more on detail than the overall larger changes, but they are all quite pronounced when they are added in together. Visually externally there isn't much difference, except for one item... and maybe your eagle eyes out there see it above? It is a Wi-Fi SatNav dome and it is about as ugly as ugly as it could be... ... the Lufthansa system is called FlyNet® which is Lufthansa Technik's own system, but I suppose we will have to get used to them ruining the clean dynamics of our aircraft as these domes are here to stay. This version is done by Matthew MD, and he adds in a few other small visual tweaks on the wings, engine blades, windows and the strobe lights, and a few texture updates. ECAM The main focus of this v1.2 update is on the ECAM or to be specific on the ECAM status messages. They are not all here, but the main majority status messages and alerts are now implemented... and very good it all is as well. It will of course also go hand in hand with the failure system (Fault Intervention) that was implemented back in release v1.1. You are now starting to get more of the direct feel of how deep the aircraft systems that are available to you now on the A319. First are the temporary alerts (like the HYD PTU) which is the power transfer unit 'barking dog' that comes into action when the hydraulic power from one of an aircraft's hydraulic systems is transferred to another system (arrowed above right). Here you can also see and resolve the systems logic and see the condition of the aircraft... there is an automatic call of system and status pages (the ECAM displays the system page of the alert), and EWD (Engine/Warning Display) overflow logic. The arrow notes (below left) that there are more alerts or status items lower to be addressed... .... Airbus logic notes that you work from top to bottom in fixing or addressing the faults, so to access the lower alerts you then clear (CLR) the list top down via the CLR button on the lower ECAM control panel (arrowed above right). The system depth now is now matching the A320 Ultimate, or study grade in operation. You could of course already pop-out the ECAM panels (also with the PFD & NAV)... however now they have the more modern X-Plane11 design surrounds that makes it all look a bit more professional. Aircraft doors open alerts are now also implemented. It was promised from ToLiSS very early on at the original release for the feature of instrument panel display switching, and now here it is... ... the console far right ECAM/ND XFR switch (arrowed) will switch the ECAM to either the left or right and replace it centre with the ND (Navigation Display). The PFD/ND XFR (arrowed below) on the left LT CTL (Light Control) panel switch will swap over the PFD and ND displays and both pilot positions are independent of each other. Any display switching will cause the displays to go blank then show the new display positions, and it looks highly authentic. You can use the two sets of switches together to get the instrument layout you require. The TERR ON ND select pop-out has also been refined to the X-Plane11 panel design and the detail made more sharper, and it looks great and you get far better terrain detail in the smaller and larger form. To round off the faults the actual displays can now fail as well... via the failures menu. The failure does not take effect until you close the TISCS screen... the restart "test" notice looks great as well. There is now full synchronisation of baro settings between the Captain, Copilot and ISI, and that is set in the TISCS/Settings page (below left) Installing realism is an area that most developers don't do, others try but fail. Let take one action to highlight this point... starting up the APU (Auxiliary Power Unit). Many times you click on the switch or button to start the APU, and instantly it is there working and producing power... is that realistic, no not really. But getting the feel and timing just right can add into the simulation experience. In that frame the APU has had a lot of attention in that now it is not the actual startup that takes the right amount of time (that is already correct), but the APU now runs for another 120s after switches it off to cool down as in real life. (Generator and bleed not available during this time.). There is also now the possibility to start the APU off batteries when in mid-air and... a new battery model allowing the proper charge/discharge procedure to allow the APU start in the air off those batteries. It is total realism 101. More fine tuning allows PACK 1(2) OFF ECAM messages now have a 60 second delay to allow the pilot to switch them off after thrust reduction. There is a lot of these fine tuning elements now in situ in the aircraft with this update version including Probe and Window heating to the electrical bus loads. One last note is the "Resume from last time" setting in the "Positions Situation" feature. This new setting can be used to restore the last autosave (in case of crashes) or the last aircraft state when X-Plane was shut-down/with the ToLiss unloaded. In other words if you load up the aircraft at the same place you shutdown X-Plane, the A319 is restored itself to it's last flying condition, another lifesaver from an already very clever and usable feature. The replay mode can do strange things to the aircraft, one was the stutter gear movement... so the Gear animation in the replay mode is now much smoother, and the non-linear stick-to-command mapping for the FBW control laws to approach the real-life implementation is now even closer... ... and this aircraft was already one of the best handling airlines in X-Plane, and another area more finely tuned is the custom ground effect model to make landing flare even more realistic. You can make the Airbus A319 as easy or as difficult as you want. That is the flexibility you have at your disposal here. The good news is that if you want to access that system depth then it is all built in here, and to an almost perfect Airbus simulation. And the differences between the FlightFactor A320 Ultimate and the ToLiSS319 are closing closer every day. Like I said earlier in the year, it is that one Airbus or the other is not a better simulation, but in reality they compliment each other depending on the route you want to fly... both are excellent simulations. Summary Like most previous updates this year since the initial release back in February earlier this year, the v1.2.1 is full of new features, nice tweaks and the cleaning up of some bugs. With the introduction of a failure systems in v1.1, here in v1.2 we get the ECAM failure alerts and system diagnostic status with EWD overflow logic on the centre displays, and a very fully indepth system it is now. It will be an interesting scenario with the inclusion of the X-Plane11.30 features when sorted later (Engine fire anyone!). Systems including electrical and APU have had serious attention, as the Baro setting is now global and not singular. All instrument displays are now switchable, including PFD, NAV and ECAM screens. All pop-out screens are now in X-Plane11 layouts (3d cockpit only). Fine tuning covers tuned cruise-fuel consumption, mapping for the FBW control laws and manual flare. And visually the addition of a Wi-Fi SatNav dome. Every update just adds in a little more in features and fine-tuning, but overall from the original release aircraft it all starts to add up to a full and comprehensive simulation, this is the third and although it has taken for most of the year to get here, there are no backward steps, but just good development going forward, and that is in reality all you can ask for to cover your investment. I'm not going to shout again how great a little airliner this ToLiSS319 is as I am getting raspy in doing so, but it is brilliant.... and if you already don't have the aircraft, then Christmas is coming.... so go on and treat yourself, as you won't regret it. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the ToLiSS319 (A319-122) v1.2 by ToLiSS is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : ToLiss A319 Price is US$69.00 Note make sure you have v1.2.1 when downloading, All previous purchasers can now update via your X-Plane.OrgStore Account IAE Sound Pack for Toliss A319 Price is US$9.95 TSS IAE Sound Pack is activated by inserting the key activation code in the "ADDON" tab on the ToLiSS Interactive Simulation Control System panel. Features Include: Highlights: FMGS with SID/STAR, Airways alternate flight plans, performance prediction, etc. Out of the box with TSS (Turbine Sound Studios) custom sounds for the CFM engine Realistic FBW with Alternate and Direct law reversions Fault injection interface with support for roughly 90 different failures and probability-based random failure injection Choice of CFM and IAE engine, and wingtip fences or sharklets. Choices affect aircraft performance and FMGS predictions. Detailed list of features: FMGS: Support of SID/STAR, including all leg types (Arc, course or heading to intercept, Radius to Fix, Holdings, etc.) Temporary and alternate flight plans Full VNAV guidance with TOC, TOD, Deceleration point, speed limits, fuel prediction, etc. Altitude and speed constraints as the real aircraft deals with them Ability to change the selected STAR while already in the STAR Support for go-arounds and diversions Step altitudes Airway support 2 independent MCDUs and autopilots Top-notch aircraft systems ToLiss uses the QPAC Fly-by-wire and autopilot module, augmented to support Alternate and Direct Law Unique feature: Control Surface hinge moment modelling allows the surfaces to float to the appropriate position after loss of all actuators on a surface. Fault injection interface allowing to inject custom selected failures, or randomly selected failure based on fault probabilities. Custom TCAS with resolution advisory function. Terrain on ND and Weather radar available (WX radar works with default X-plane weather engine) Brake temperature model based on the detailled physics of heat transfer between the individual brake components Hydraulics model in which the pressure is dependent on usage. This is most notable when dropping to RAT mode Detailed model of each ADIRU including alignment, small pressure sensor differences between the units, switching of sources for PFDs Custom air conditioning model supporting high altitude operations at airports like Cusco in Peru or La Paz in Bolivia without spurious warnings Flight warning system with ECAM actions supporting numerous system failure scenarios, e.g. engine failures, generator failures, hydraulic failures. Eye- and ear-candy Detailed 3D cockpit 3d exterior model with CFM and IAE engine Choice between classic wingtip fences or modern sharklets (controlled via livery names) Custom sounds from Turbine Sound Studios (TSS) included for the CFM engine. IAE engine soundpack available as addon for a small fee. Usability features Situation loading and saving. It is possible to save the flight at any point in time and resume it another day. This can also be used, e.g., to save the position just before approach and practice just the approach many times. Autosaving allows recovering where you left off, should the X-Plane session end unexpectedly. Jumping waypoint-to-waypoint through the cruise phase: Shorten your flight to focus on the more interesting parts as you like. Integrated takeoff performance calculator supporting the use of flex temperature. Requirements X-Plane 11 (or X-Plane 10) Windows (64bit) , Mac (OSX 10.11 and up) or Linux (tested on Ubuntu 14.10) 2Gb VRAM Minimum - 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Version 1.2.1 (Nov 24th 2018) Installation Download of the ToLiSS319 is 488mb and it is installed in your Airliner Folder as a 1.30Gb folder. On start up you will have an activation screen presented to enter your Serial Number (Key), and then press the "Activate" bar to authorise the aircraft. I recommend to restart the aircraft from your desktop to realign all your plugins and load the aircraft cleanly. There is extensive full instructions on how to set up the aircraft to your X-Plane settings (commands) and addons (Joysticks/Throttles) and other 3rd Party items in the ToLiSS A319 V1.2_SimulationManual. Documents There are Three Manuals Included with the package. All are extensive and well laid out with great details Simulation manual : Describes installation, and setup of the model as well as usage of the “Interactive Simulation Control System”. Tutorial flight, which provides a step-by-step description of a complete flight from cold & dark to aircraft shut-down after landing. This is the best manual to learn flying the aircraft. Aircraft manual, which is primarily intended as a reference after the tutorial has been completed. It provides a reference for standard operating procedures, as well as a more in- depth look into the different systems of the aircraft. Extra Airbus system information is highly recommended and SMARTCOCKPIT is a great place to start. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 27th November 2018 Copyright©2018: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.20 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free Scenery or Aircraft - EDDF - Airport Dusseldorf XP11 by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$32.99 - EGCC - Manchester Airport by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$22.00 Full v1.2.1 Update list: Changes from build 971 (V1.2) to 973 (V1.2.1): Bug fixes: - Fixed the "Crash during loading of city pair" crash - Removed the spurious "Gravity feed only" Status message during startup from cold + dark - Improved sequencing for SD pages when more than ECAM message is shown at a time - Improved representation of Terrain on ND for the popup windows. Changes from build 939 (V1.1.1) to build 971 (V1.2) Major new features: - XP11 style windows for the popup displays - you can move your MCDU or your popup to another screen now. - ECAM rework: Automatic call of system and status pages, and EWD overflow logic. - Implementation of the majority of ECAM status messages. - You can switch PFD, ND and ECAM around like in the real aircraft. (3D cockpit ONLY) - Added display units as failure modes to the Fault injection screen - Custom ground effect model to make landing flare more realistic. (You will have to retune your flare technique!) Minor new features: - Added option to synchronize baro settings between Captain, Copilot and ISI - APU now runs for another 120s after switches it off to cool down as in real life. (Generator and bleed not available during this time.) - Warnings for DOORS open is triggered now if you forget to close them before takeoff. - New battery model allowing proper charge/discharge procedure and allowing APU start in air off batteries. - The different engine types now also have the appropriate individual oil pressure, EGT and fuel injection time during startup. (Besides N1, N2, Fuel consumption and thrust which were already different in previous versions.) - Addition of non-linear stick-to-command mapping for the FBW control laws to approach the reallife implementation even closer. - Ice detection system to warn you of the impeding performance degradation if you don't switch on Anti Ice. - Some visual tweaks from Matthew on wings, engine blades, windows and strobe lights plus addition of a SatCom Antenna. (Thanks!) Bug fixes: - Fixed the QNH reset to zero when popping up the ISI - Fixed the spurious MCDU resets during power transients. - Fixed issue that rotating the BARO knob in mode STD had an effect on altimeter. - Added Probe and window heating to the electrical bus loads - Fixed possibility to start APU of batteries when in mid-air. - Fixed saving of the XPDR compatibility preference setting. - CVR ground control switches off now, when starting the engines or being off ground. - PACK 1(2) OFF ECAM messages now have a 60 second delay to allow the pilot to switch them off after thrust reduction. - Retuning of the volume levels between TRU and air conditioning in the cockpit. - Fixed the bug that SIDs are not available if the runway designator in the apt.dat file and the procedure file are off by 1. - Fixed the import of altitude constraints that are stored in the CIFP file in the format FLxxx instead of altitude in feet. - Improved pitch trim wheel mapping between animation and actual stab position. Changes from build 936 (v1.1) to build 939 (V1.1.1) Minor new features: - ESC key can now be used to close the ISCS. - Improved CI-Mach relationship - Implemented an external volume slide to adjust external vs internal volumes to users preferences. - The default x-plane commands for EFIS mode change and Map zoom in now work on the captain ND - "Resume from last time" - can be used to restore the last autosave (in case of crashes) or the last aircraft state when Xplane was shut-down/the ToLiss unloaded. - Gear animation in replay mode is now much smoother. - Texture updates from Matthew Bug fixes: - Fixed the issue with Crashes on Take-off when random faults are enabled - Fixed automatic Sharklet/Winglet selection based on livery string. - Fixed the crashes occuring when scrolling through the flight plan with ND set to mode PLAN - Made display of AUTO BRK Memo more accurate - Added performance parameters to the list of parameters to be cleared on FMGS reset after landing - Increased park brake pressure to value listed in AMM - Some FMGS bug fixes for particular SIDs/STARs/VIAs. - Fine tuned cruise-fuel consumption. - Fixed a FMGS bug leading to the program hanging in the vertical prediction under certain circumstances. - Fix for Transponder issues with third party traffic/ATC add-ons. - Increased lighting distance for landing, taxi, and runway turn-off lights.
  14. Plugin Update : WebFMC Pro v1.07 by Green Arc Studios Green Arc Studios have updated their WebFMC Pro to v1.07. This update adds in more FlightFactor aircraft with the Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft (latest releases only). New Features are! support for Boeing 757v2 by FlightFactor (all variants; requires 757 2.2.13+) support for Boeing 767 by FlightFactor (all variants; requires 767 v1.2.6+) new glow/fade effect configuration options (757/767 only) updated for 739 Ultimate Pre-release 1810 fixed the bug where WebFMC would stop working after connecting with an old web browser that doesn't support web sockets standard RFC 6455. new layout of WebFMC plugin folder (introduced by X-Plane 11.10) All aircraft now in v1.07 supported are: FlightFactor 757v2 NEW! FlightFactor 767 NEW! Rotate MD-80 FlightFactor A320 Ultimate Toliss 319 JarDesign 320 IXEG 737-300 EADT x737 (with x737FMC only) Zibo Mod 737-800 737-900 Ultimate And the coming 739 Ultimate v1810 WebFMC works If your aircraft has a pop-out FMC (Flight Management Computer) or not... in creating an active FMC panel of then which can be reproduced with active buttons on a internet browser and used via your wifi network on your Computer/Tablet and even on your phone. I personally is a HUGE fan of this plugin. I use it regularly and it makes the programming of FMC's actually a pleasant experience rather than a tedious one. This update gives the FlightFactor B757/767 a better remote FMC that is actually far better than the default version, It looks far better and comes with nicer new glow/fade effects and is easier to use. I compare the two FMC's together with the default FlightFactor Boeing 767 remote FMC to the new WebFMC Pro version here : Aircraft Update : Boeing 767 Professional/Extended v1.2.7 by FlightFactor/VMax Review A version (Demo Really) is available as a free plugin that you can use with the Zibo Boeing 737-800 Mod and the associated 737-900ER Ultimate. That version is available here on the X-Plane.Org: WebFMC 1.07 X-PlaneReviews release review is here: Plugin Review : WebFMC Pro by Green Arc Studios _____________________________________ Yes! WebFMC Pro v1.07 by Green Arc Studios is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : WebFMC Pro Price is US$19.99 The v1.07 update is free to previous purchasers of the plugin, go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account for the new version. ______________________________________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 22nd November 2018 Copyright©2018 : 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)
  15. real feedback is always a good thing... 👍
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