Jump to content

Stephen

Chief Reviewers
  • Content Count

    1410
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    152

Everything posted by Stephen

  1. The date may be the clue? the DA42 from Alabeo is old in three years old, and it uses their own and now older G1000 system. This system has now been abandoned by Alabeo for this reason and they now use the G1000 Laminar Research version (the same as in the C172), but the aircraft has not yet had that upgrade? It wasn't a particularly good G1000 from the start? You could try setting up the full flightplan including the SID/STAR procedures in SimBrief and then importing in the completed flight plan into the G1000, it may work, it works that way with other limited FMS systems. Stephen
  2. News! - In Development : Mont Blanc Group by Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini After their excellent Eiger Park 3D, Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini's attention has moved now to the far western end of the Alps mountain range and Mont Blanc. Called "The Mont Blanc Group" this more expansive scenery will cover about 900 square kilometers between Italy and France, included also will be two very famous resorts in Courmayeur (ITA) and Chamonix (FRA). 3D modeling will include Mont Blanc, Eguille Noire, Giant's Tooth, Grandes Jorasses... and more. he main structures (buildings ...) the two locations will be reconstructed in 3D with the placement of over 8000 buildings (from 70 typical types of the area), also to be included is the new "SkyWay Mont Blanc" cable car (considered the eighth wonder of the world). From a flying point of view there will be several heliports and two grass runways inset into the scenery, with one in Chamonix and one in Courmayeur. If the new scenery is as good as the past releases (which it will be) again we will have another great dimension to our flying, to get a taste of the work then see X-PlaneReviews review of Eiger Park 3D Yes I am a big fan of these visually sensational sceneries, release for Mont Blanc Group is noted as "several months" so that should be about October to November this year 2019. Another project in the pipeline is a revisit to their very first release in Dolomites 3D to bring it into line and to the quality of the other Alp sceneries Matterhorn 3D, Eigar 3D and the new Mont Blanc Group 3D to complete the series. It is a yes from me! Announcement via Frank Dainese site on Blogger Image courtesy of Frank Dainese ________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 21st June 2019 Copyright©2019: X-Plane Reviews
  3. Scenery Review : EKYT - Aalborg XP by Vidan Design Travel any air routes south to north or east to west over northern Denmark you are usually bound to fly through Nav-Aid VORTAC AAL - Aalborg (116.7), and as I frequently route myself through from western Germany or Belgium to Oslo or Helsinki then AAL is always a major crossing point of the flightplan. From the air AAL is just a major airway intersection, but in reality AAL is also a very nice airport in northern Jutland. (Navigraph) Aalborg (AAL) is the third busiest airport in Denmark after Copenhagen and Billund with one and a half million passengers a year, but it is also a major strategic military base for the Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) 721 Squadron, and Air Transport Wing Aalborg (logistics) called Aalborg Air Base (Flyvestation Aalborg). EKYT - Aalborg XP by Vidan Design Aalborg XP is the first scenery for X-Plane11 from Vidan Design, another newcomer, but this is already a very impressive debut. Aalborg in both the military and commercial areas covers a lot of the general area of the scenery, basically the two zones are separated by the two parallel runways of 08L/26R and 08R/26L, but they are quite significant in width with 08L/26R at 8694 x 148 feet / 2650 x 45 meters (the main runway) and 08R/26L at 8366 x 74 feet / 2550 x 23 meters. Military is to the north and the commercial is to the south, but there is also another significant military area to the east as well. Impressive is the intergration of the Hi-Res Orthophoto scenery, into the background default X-Plane textures, yes this is always an extremely big deal to me, I want a pure transition from the default to the custom for a perfect simulation, and if I get it, I will be very well pleased... here at EKYT it is absolutely perfect. More help is provided by the German autogen, which is perfect here and Aalborg itself is well represented in this autogen form at the full maximum setting. Outwardly the area looks open and spaced out in both the military and commercial zones, but there is a lot of detail in here, in fact it is excellent. _______________________________________________ Aalborg Airport Aalborg Lufthavn IATA: AAL - ICAO: EKYT 08L/26R - 2,654 (8,707ft) Concrete / Asphalt / Bitumen 08R/26L - 2,549 (8,363ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL10 ft / 3 m The actual commercial terminal area is set well away from the runways to the south (via taxiway C), with just one major terminal built in 2001and enlarged to it's present status during 2007 and 2013. It is impressive, but the terminal is stand only with 1 to 8 in front and 10 a remote stand opposite, the terminal has no airbridges and is walkon/walkoff. Terminal and modeling is again very impressive, detail is absolutely first rate with real (photographic) images used in the process... .... clutter is excellent with fully branded AAL vehicles, there are however no animated vehicles, but to be honest they are not really required here, glass and reflections are also very good and to a high standard. Apron linage is excellent on all stands, but stand 10 is currently sited wrong, it will be fixed. All carparks and landside are perfect as well. The hardest trick in doing great scenery is finding that balance on providing lot of good detail, without over doing the clutter... get that equation correct and you get perfection... just like it is here, as AAL is just the perfect balance. Internal terminal detailing is very good as well... it is not over detailed, detailed if you know what I mean... but there is enough to fill out the building for authenticity and you can walk around in here exploring. General Aviation South of the main apron are remnants of the original Aalborg airfield, a large hangar and two heritage buildings that have been repurposed as the airport's technical department and small cargo building, and the airport's ground equipment it has an authentic maintenance building as well. All buildings are exceptional in creating a very Danish character feel, and have very good detail and high detail components like signage and apron equipment (flags, cones, lines). There is a very nice GA parking area and a great refueling station, so Aalborg is a great destination for that weekend flyaway. Behind the main apron in the GA area is a private parking area with service hangars, it is very authentic to the area. Airport clutter as noted is very good, and located not just around the aprons. But in every area the quality is very high as well, and there are plenty of nice static aircraft placed as well with some Lear Jets, the quality detail of the aircraft is not as high as the rest of the detail, but they are more than passable. Landside there is the Aalborg Airport Hotel, and nicely rendered it is, note the lovely detail around the base.. it feels very authentic. To the west and south there are a lot of nice support buildings.... the far south was also part of the military aerodrome but is now segregated and fenced off... ... but a lone Danish Airforce Starfighter still stands guard. Mid-field AAL is the control tower. There are two, this one is the commercial tower, and the newer of the two. Built of brick it is very authentic and well represented. Tower view is not correct, it is by coordinate position, but not in height so you see the ground and Vidan noted it will be adjusted. Excellent centre field radar is animated, and I love dynamics like this, it looks great on arrival. Military Areas There are a few different military areas that are spread well out in the scenery, all are exceptional in the different time periods, but the overall feeling is the cold war era. There is still a large facility landside in front of the main terminal building, with nice facades supporting the hangars. This area is just mostly hangars and aircraft storage with no buildings. The main area of Aalborg Air Base is set out to the north of the runways. The Airbase covers a wide area, but it is all very well detailed, from open stands to mostly hangars that are "ready to fly" once you pull the doors back... detail is again excellent, and you can easily spend time and walk around the Airbase and find a lot of nice touches of realism. It reminds me a little of post-war Britain... parade grounds, barracks and every area has a different hangar style to reflect it's era, it would have been just to easy to do one style and duplicate it, so the high detail of AAL is really in here if you look for it or look around for it. Detail goes to not only the current hard surfaces, but the past now unused areas. The focus of this area is the Air Transport Wing Aalborg apron called the "Dolphin Apron" that is along side the long taxiway N... Two large and one lower wide hangars cover the area with another standalone hangar in front, all are guarded by two static Danish "Herky Birds" C-130s. Detail is again very good. Just east of the transport wing dolphin apron along Taxiway N is the second control tower, this is the original field tower and has been here since the Germans ran their Luftwaffe raids from the airfield... again the detail is simply excellent, and it is very WW2 era. Now far east along taxiway N is the Fire Station and command headquarters. Taxiway N is significant because it is your main taxiway pathway to either end of any departure or arrival runway, so most of these building are very visible when you arrive or depart. Note the flight ready hardstands, and the general feeling here is that at this facility of AAL can survive anything... even Armageddon. Ground textures are very good and widely varied. Stand wear is very good as well with oil stains and general hard use, pretty spring flowers are spotted set out amongst the grass verges but overall there isn't a lot of grass internal field coverage. Although HDR effects are noted, I couldn't find any wet surfaces... One thing that came through while reviewing AAL is that it can be a moody place, and that is in a good way. The North Sea creates very mystical weather, with mostly a lot of fog and seasonal showers.. and I got a lot of that here. Lighting I really like the lighting here, but the aprons are BRIGHT... you may think the candle power needs to come down a notch or two, but personally I like it as I like that transition on arrival or departure when you come out of the gloom and into the bright lights.... working on the stands, no problem. No needing the torches down here, the lighting also brings out those great terminal textures.... internal terminal lighting is also very good. Slightly odd thing on the terminal though is that landside it is only two-thirds lit? some carparks are slightly dark as well, maybe a different style of lighting to compliment the full on areas for the carparks is needed. Aalborg Hotel looks excellent with local advertising. Overall great. Dolphin Apron is also excellent with lovely down lighting, again a great lit workplace... most of the military areas are obviously dark. Only thing I didn't like were the control tower windows, they looked far too bright, but bland as well. The base main tower was pretty good, but the main controllers windows I didn't like at all.... they shouldn't be lit anyway or very dull. Runway approach lighting is excellent with animated RAIL on 08L/08R... overall the field lighting is very good. Services Plenty of services, although a lot are seasonal charters and LLCs, Interesting one is the Atlantic Air connection to Vágar and a good routing if you have Faroes Islands XP - Maps2XPlane Air Europa - Seasonal charter: Palma de Mallorca (begins 29 June 2019) Atlantic Airways - Seasonal: Vágar Bulgaria Air - Seasonal charter: Burgas (begins 1 July 2019) Corendon Airlines - Seasonal: Antalya Danish Air Transport - Seasonal: Bornholm, Antalya Great Dane Airlines - Dublin (begins 21 June 2019), Edinburgh (begins 24 June 2019), Nice (begins 26 June 2019- Seasonal charter: Palma de Mallorca (begins 17 June 2019), Rhodes ,Chania (begins 16 June 2019), Varna (begins 22 June 2019) Jet Time - Seasonal charter: Antalya, Chania, Gran Canaria, Larnaca, Mytilene (begins 26 June 2019), Palma de Mallorca, Rhodes, Naples, Ponta Delgada, KLM - Amsterdam Norwegian Air Shuttle - Copenhagen, Málaga - Seasonal: Gran Canaria, Palma de Mallorca, Alicante Ryanair - London–Stansted Scandinavian Airlines - Copenhagen, Oslo–Gardermoen - Seasonal charter: Chania SunExpress - Seasonal: Antalya Thomas Cook Airlines - Scandinavia - Seasonal charter: Gran Canaria, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife-South, Phuket Vueling - Barcelona (ends 24 October 2019) WT3: WorldTraffic routes around AAL are a bit hit and miss. WT will generate the ground routes, but they are not highly refined, the complex runway and taxiway layout doesn't help out either and you will find that most aircraft will land on 08R/26L the smaller (width) of the two and not the main 08L/26R runway, and with this there is also a lot of popping aircraft that land and disappear and pop on to takeoff, if refined AAL would be excellent for WT3. What does work however works quite well and the terminal will fill and empty during the day. Summary For a first scenery debut for X-Plane11 from Vidan Design this is an extraordinary release. So much here is very well executed and designed, I loved the scenery from the moment I set my eyes on it... first releases are usually patchy, but not here. Full orthophoto scenery that blends in perfectly well with the default mesh, and great German autogen sets the scene. Terminal and buildings are all excellent with internal terminal areas, the scenery covers a lot of area with the large outlying military Airbase and Cold War response layouts, all are well done and detailed. In the object count it is very high, but not to the point of being too much, the balance on clutter with some nice static aircraft is about perfect, and with a lot of variations as well. Ground textures and lineage are also first rate as is most of the lighting. There are a few quirks that if attended to would bring the scenery up to exceptional status... WT3 - ATC refinement would bring out the full activity aspect the scenery requires, it is workable now, but it could be better, I don't like the control towers night lighting windows at all, but my only real gripe and the lighting for parts of the landside of the terminal it looks like it is missing and more fill is needed of the carpark lighting. Stand 10 siteing is wrong and two additions to be considered are HDR wet runways and maybe just a few animations. Outstanding, well yes AAL - Aalborg is great if a totally brilliant scenery straight out of the box, for a new developer coming into X-Plane this work is an outstanding achievement and AAL is simply great value as well... Yes I love it, will use it... a lot, and when I am flying now over Northern Europe and Jutland and pass through the AAL Nav-Aid, I now know there is more here now than just a marker in the sky, as there is a very nice welcome scenery on the ground as well... Highly Recommended. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! EKYT - Aalborg XP by Vidan Design is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Aalborg XP - Denmark Price Is US$19.90 Features: Highly detailed rendition of Aalborg Airport (EKYT, AAL) and Aalborg Air Base (Flyvestation Aalborg) Highly detailed airport terminal Realistic HD textures created from on-site photography Dynamic apron lightning (requires X-Plane Visual Effects set to High (HDR)) Custom modelled ground support vehicles Orthophoto scenery High quality modelled airport buildings Static airplanes featuring types unique to the airport Custom modelled vegetation, grass, trees Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 275MB Current and Review Version : 1.0 (June 17th 2019) Installation Download scenery file size is download 287.40mb and with the full single folder installation is installed in your custom scenery folder of 763.20mb  Documents Aalborg XP Manual (English) ______________________________________________________________________  Review by Stephen Dutton 20th June 2019 Copyright©2019 : X-Plane Reviews  (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)  Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 860 1Tb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.30 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini  Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.10 US$69.90 : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin : US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free Scenery or Aircraft - Embraer ERJ Family by X-Crafts (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$89.95
  4. News! - In Development : FPDS for B767/757 by FlightFactor First it was a request, then a rumor and now a reality. This is for the FPDS option or "Flat Panel Display System" which is based on the IS&S - Innovative Solutions & Support’s display units, this layout is very similar to the ProLine 21 system but with four displays covering both pilots PFD and MAP/NAV. This modern FPDS layout covers the more recent deliveries of the B767/B757 in usually the freighter variant that is (B767) still in production till 2022... Release, no date given but FlightFactor do tend to release around August, but the FPDS avionics above looks very completed... price? no idea of in a new variant or as an addon. It will however give you a very more modern and avionic detailed B676/B757 twin... Images are courtesy of FlightFactor Announcement via FlightFactor's Twitter page ________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 18th June 2019 Copyright©2019: X-Plane Reviews
  5. Scenery Upgrade : UBBB Baku and City XP v1.3 by Drzewiecki Design When Drzewiecki Design released their Baku and City scenery for X-Plane11 it caused me very mixed emotions. This was a scenery I really wanted and to use as it filled in that exotic location criteria, plus just in being on the edge of the eastern European boundary it wasn't too far away from any major European airport gateway either. In the first aspect it was a great scenery, but overall it was the conversion aspects (UBBB Baku was originally a FSX scenery) to X-Plane that just left the scenery feeling a bit too empty.... The full reference review is here: Scenery Review : UBBB Baku Heydar Aliyev Airport & City by Drzewiecki Design So here is Drzewiecki Design's v1.3 of the Baku scenery (v1.2 was a small update) and I was wondering if it would be just more of the same, or will DD now bring to the scenery more to the dynamics of X-Plane than the dullness of FSX. First views of Baku v1.3 was that it still sorta looked the same, but in reality it certainly is not. Early emptiness was created by using a lot of photoreal textures, and these were very good... from the air, but they were very tabletop flat when you got closer to the ground. They are still there, but the extra Azerbaijan whole-country photoreal is now not an option anymore, and mostly because it ruined the great original X-Plane default textures (in other words this is X-Plane and not FSX and you don't need them). Another relevation is that Drzewiecki Design has now inserted the area's autogen and in that development in also hiding the worse of the flat aspects of the photoreal from the ground perspective, and so it now works very well as it spreads right down the coastline and all around UBBB and especially on the approaches and departures from Runways 15 and 16 which are now excellent with the autogen now filling right out to the northern coastline. And another important fix is that the actual X-Plane11 UBBB Airport "Location" layout now actually exists... .... the original is on the left, and the fixed working version is on the right, and this is a great start of getting UBBB to a condition we require. With the airport's layout done, there was another area fixed as well... ATC routes! and if you have ATC routes, can also now have WorldTraffic3 ground routes... Yeah! I will admit that the biggest turnoff for me with the Baku scenery was simply no airport activity. In the original release I could have lived with everything else, but no activity mean't that UBBB was a very empty and sterile place to use and so I didn't add it in to my usual route choices. That is not the case now as you can generate those important WT3 routes, but it still comes a little quirk. If you want your Baku full and active your only choice is to use the "Autogen" flights? Yes the AFRE flights work, but because there is so little flight data on the AFRE you will get only minimal activity, it works if you want that aspect and it helps to have the static aircraft option switched on as well to fill out the aprons, but overall the Autogen option is the one to use. Tower view is sorta fixed as well... it is now set at the right coordinates, but it is still set too low? The left image is the tower view setting, and the right image is where it should be.... but it is far better than looking at a carpark. Nice tower as well. Newly added into v1.3 is the nice curvy 747-8 maintenance hangar and some static Embraers in Buta Airways livery... ... and the detailing up close is very good, and it is a very welcome addition. The extraordinary Terminal 1 (International) is now even better with now HDR effects in reflections and detailing, almost all the glass and metal framework feels more realistic, it deserved far better in the original release. Another area covered is the lack of ground clutter and animations... now there is great clutter with the correct airport branding GYB as well... ... animated truck, buses, luggage carts and vans all work across the airport, there isn't a lot, of a lot of animated vehicles but they are still very welcome. A new addition to the terminals is SAM - Scenery Animation Manager. The plugin now works here with both VDGS and Marshallers... All gates on both Terminals are active, and Marshallers are on all the remote stands. SAM has been around a few months now and you would expect the areas of gate elevation to be now sorted? Obviously not so and it is annoying... but I am still a big fan, big surprise is that DD don't use the animate hangar doors option, as the onsite Silk Way maintenance hangar is an obvious choice Besides the better HDR glass reflections, the runways/taxiways have had the same dynamic wet look treatment... ... the effects brings out the nice and realistic textures, very moody... but excellent. Another big criticism of the release version of Baku was of the airport lighting... the main Terminal one was very good, but everything else around it was to be desired. Biggest missing area of illumination was all the apron lighting (it was quite weak), and that has been handsomely rectified. UBBB at night now looks brilliant. More so is the fact you can see the airport from a distance.. and it is now not just a black hole between two runways. Terminal 1 looks glorious and simply bathes in light.. .... with Terminal two it is another transformation in that the apron lighting disguises the inadequate FSX lighting. The airport's entrance to the terminals infrastructure is now also more realistic (in other word you can now actually see it) and the cargo ramps are perfectly workable and would even now coax you all the way out here for a night time freight run. Areas are very well lit and the new maintenance hanger drop down lighting is really nice, and it is in nice contrast with Terminal 1 in the background. It is highly debatable if coming to UBBB Baku Heydar Aliyev is now best at night, certainly at dawn or dusk than in the daytime, this is now an excellent night period experience. Baku City Part of the package is the city of Baku itself... Yes we had issues with that as well. This was again the very same photoreal textures that created flat spaces around the custom city objects. I grabbed the default S-76 to have a look. Again the restricted autogen reach means that the Baku city at 25 km from the airport is what works around UBBB does not work in the city... First views are very good, with the autogen doing a very good job, even if it is SoCal housing, and you have a lot of urban industrial as well... ... but once you get to Baku city, it all sort of peters out to just residential housing (again SoCal), and so the custom Baku objects in places are islands again on a photoreal underlay... .... so it doesn't look like a capital city, and in fact looks odd with the low flat housing and the stand out custom objects, in areas it is still plain empty. So it is a real shame really as the autogen does such a great job outwards, but fails inwards of where it is also needed, and obviously the city is not that great for VFR flying, but still consigned to just being an outline on the horizon for approaches and departures. A point is that is this a Laminar Research issue or a developers issue, my guess it is an Laminar issue as I find this aspect a lot in these near city areas. Azerbaijan Airports The original six airports in regional Azerbaijan of UBBL Lenkoran (In X-Plane as UB10?), UBBG Ganja, UBBN Nakhchivan, UBBQ Qabala, UBBY Zaqatala and UBTT Zabrat. have mostly been pulled. They were very average anyway, but I still thought they could have been enhanced more rather than simply pulling them out... Two are still usable in UBBG Ganja and UBTT Zabrat which is near UBBB. The UBBG Ganja (left below) is now a global airport and quite good, but you will have to clear the apron of trees before you use it? UBTT Zabrat (above right) is basically untouched in the update. Summary My first reaction to Drzewiecki Design releasing their Baku and City scenery for X-Plane11 was of excitement as it's position globally which is great for interesting routes out of Europe and the eastern Mediterranean ports which is a growing area of X-Plane activity. First views was that this is a great airport with very interesting terminals... but overall UBBB was an empty and stale place with just a straight FSX to X-Plane conversion. Personally I had fears that this v1.3 update would be just more of the same. My negative list in the review was quite substantial, but this update has crossed almost all of them out, and added in a few nice additions that takes UBBB Baku forward immensely. The missing airport ground layout.. fixed, missing ground routes... fixed, lighting... fixed, empty photoreal textures... fixed, and on it goes. All the fixes also go forward more than that as the fixed ground routes will now support WorldTraffic3 with some amending in that the AFRE routes out here are pretty thin, so the "Autogen" is required to give you an active airport, static aircraft "on" also helps in filling the place up. The lighting fixes are the biggest improvement and the airport is now one of the best for lighting and use, and the photoreal textures have been covered over by some great autogen, although it doesn't work quite as well in the central city area of Baku. Additions to v1.3 are excellent as well. All glass and ground textures are now all HDR with reflections (Glass) and Wet Surfaces. SAM - Scenery Animation Manager is also now active and usable and there is now more branded ground clutter and animated vehicles. A new large modern 747-8 maintenance hangar also adds into the scenery. The changes here in v1.3 all sum up to a scenery that was interesting, but boring to... a huge up jump to be the one of the best in this category... in reality this should have been the original release version, but for those that paid out then, then now they get their money's worth, and for the rest of the fence sitters then why wait any longer to get a very active and interesting destination in a new and upcoming area of X-Plane activity... five stars on getting it right for Drzewiecki Design, they did really good, but more importantly they listened and changed the Baku airport to the needed requirements... (now) Highly Recommended. ______________________________________________________________________  The UBBB Baku Heydar Aliyev Airport & City v1.3 by Drzewiecki Design is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : UBBB Baku Airport and City XP Price is US$23.00 Features Extremely detailed model of UBBB Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku UBBB with 3D people, high quality static aircraft, up-to-date airport layout Advanced interior modeling (Terminal 1, tower, Silkway hangar) Baku city with hundrieds of custom-made landmarks with night textures HDR lighting, detailed markings, static aircraft Animated jetways, VGDS, marshallers (SAM plugin) Custom-made UBBB airport charts included v1.3 features - upgraded Baku city autogen - much better HDR lighting at UBBB - new animations and other details - new 747-8 hangar and static Embraers in Buta Airways livery - SAM plugin support for jetway animation, VGDS and marshallers - airport aprons with reflections and rain effects Requirements: X-Plane 11 Mac, Windows or Linux 4Gb+ VRAM Video Card 1GB HD for Installation SAM plugin is required for use of this scenery. Current and review version : 1.3 (June 14th 2019) Documents: DD Baku XP Documents Baku XP MacLinuxInstall Baku XP MANUAL UBBB CHARTS (charts are quite basic in two airport layout charts and two ILS runway approach charts) These UBBB charts are better: http://uvairlines.com/admin/resources/charts/UBBB.pdf Navigraph charts are excellent as well, but you have to have an account. ______________________________________________________________________ Update Review by Stephen Dutton 18th June 2019 Copyright©X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews 2019 (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)
  6. Aircraft Update : Diamond DA62 XP11v1.04 by Aerobask "Where did that time go?" I thought the release of Aerosbask's excellent Diamond DA62 was still earlier this year, no last year... "Middle" no it was actually "March" last year, so already the new X-Plane11 version is now 14 months on from it's release... "Where the hell did that time go?" As it only did seem like a few months ago since I was reviewing it here at X-PlaneReviews, here is that review: Aircraft Review : Diamond DA-62 by Aerobask Not that Aerobask have been sitting on their hands or not updating the DA62, because they have been very busy with quite a few changes this year alone... so this update review covers v1.0 to v1.04 or four updates. We packaged them all together here because even with the few version numbers there wasn't a lot to note as the first two updates only covered SASL (Plugin) updates from v3.4.3 to v3.5.0. Stunning the DA62 is, so XP11 in dynamics and feel... and Aerosbask do this modern age design so well. Still so different are those twin Austro E4 engines (marketed as the AE 300) which are a liquid-cooled, inline, four-cylinder, four-stroke, diesel piston aircraft engine of which the DA-62 has the 180hp AE330 version.... and both engines come with those fancy bulky cowlings. Note the deluxe paintjob, I don't think I have seen better in X-Plane. XP11 v1.04 Updates G1000 Screen brightness was a noted issue in the original version, so they have been brightened here, there is also in direct lighting as well under the glareshield... ... well certainly the G1000 displays are far better in daylight, but are also still quite high in saturation, so I still don't think they are perfect, but they are however better... at night they look really, really good. It is really nice in here... Both displays pop-out (PFD is the centre aircraft, MFD it is an area left of the radio frequencies), but it can be tricky to find the scale area. Updated here is the AP to the newer Laminar GFC700 Autopilot, although it is hard to tell as the facia plate is still the same and the changes are in the details not the display. Another change is that the SYSTEM page on MFD that has been updated and Aerobask have removed unused key inputs. More SASL updates to v3.6.4 covers some mouse and display fixes. The Oxygen system has been updated to take advantage of the X-Plane 11.30 changes, in that the oxygen is now depleted "on demand" instead of all ways on as in a continuous flow. Therefore duration may depend on the altitude you use, in someways this means your oxygen will last longer, because it is not always being used, but when it is, then it uses more... but you have a pretty big tank for supply. The fuel pump switches lighting now goes out when switched off, before they were always on. Glass reflection has been fine tuned for more realism in the different conditions, the reflections were good before, but are now excellent... .... and the cabin interior is still one of the very best in X-Plane. Somewhere between the release version and this update, then Aerobask have done a menu upgrade... mostly to add in tabs and pages. The original "Options" page is still the same, but added in now are: "G1000", "Sound" and "About" G1000: gives you options for the G1000 system... you can now disable the G1000 pop-ups (2D) for VR flying, Enable Custom Features (see review), Disable Bezels for pop-outs, Show TAS in Knts under the speed tape, Display custom engine display, G1000 Flightplan mouse features (scroll) and there is an experimental flightplan keyboard you can try out. Lower are two options in: Enable Rain Effects (see below) and keep the Pop-up screens inside the cockpit (for cockpit builders). Sound: the "Sound" panel is a duplicate of the X-Plane default sound panel and is really just a shortcut. But there is one extra option to enable/disable speech. About: Credits for creators of the DA62 One note with the "Options" is that the statics elements were not always visible in C&D, and that has been fixed. Librain The Saso Kiselkov's librain.plugin support has also been added.... very nice. The DA62 already had nice rain support and icing, obviously the librain is a better option, but I checked if the icing effects were still in there? the tests proved inconclusive. One note I will make is that Aerobask says to download the 3rd party librain plugin and insert it into the DA62's plugin folder... I have my librain plugin in the X-Plane/resources/plugin folder? and it still worked fine and here it is more global in it's effectiveness. Summary This isn't really an update per se, even with all the point version releases put together it is more of what I call a "nip and tuck". In reality the Aerobask Diamond DA62 was pretty well conceived right out of the original release aircraft. All Aerobask does here is keep the aircraft within the current standards and features (X-Plane v11.35) and that is simply what you get here. Updates include a lot of SASL plugin updates, display and reflection refinements, new Autopilot to the GFC700, Librain water effects and the menu system has been upgraded with more tabs and pages. Aerobask's standards are now always some of the best in X-Plane, all their aircraft are so well sorted on release, in quality and with clever innovated features and with that you can never really go wrong with any of their aircraft... and so it is here with their Diamond DA62... is it corny to say it is a "gem of an aircraft" maybe... but it is. Highly Recommended. ________________________________________ Yes! the Diamond DA-62 by Aerobask is NOW! available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Diamond DA62 Price is US$34.95 Features: Advanced Flight model Flight model by X-Aerodynamics, very closely matching real performance (based on public data) Aerobask Systems Suite Fully Integrated Laminar Garmin G1000 with custom EIS and annunciations (In 3D only) Customized FADEC/ECU with test procedures allows engines and propellers to deliver their documented performance with unprecedented accuracy, including in fuel usage Auto-feathering is also accurately managed, for a total immersion Simulated oxygen system Simulated ice protection system MD302: custom coded Standby Attitude Module Fully functional breakers (configurable reliability) New Laminar oxygen system New Laminar GFC700 Autopilot Saso Kiselkov's librain.plugin support Support for Avitab Plugin High Resolution Model High quality 3D model with high resolution PBR textures (4K textures) Fully functional virtual 3D cockpit, with smooth and VR-friendly manipulators Windshield effects: reflections, rain and frost Many parameters saved between flights Configurable pilots, passengers and luggage Optimized to save FPS Custom Sounds FMOD High Quality Enhanced 3D system sounds, including Doppler and Flanger effects Auto-Updater Keep your aircraft up-to-date with a convenient auto-updater Requirements: X-Plane 11 (Fully updated) Windows, Mac or Linux 4Gb VRAM Minimum. 8Gb+ VRAM recommended For Avitab, version 0.3.10 or higher is required Current and review version: 11.1.04 (last updated June 11th 2019) Installation Download of the Diamond DA-62 is 376mb and it is installed in your General Aviation Folder as a 638mb folder. Framerates are good as those textures have been highly refined for use and with my specs I got framerates in the mid-30's to the early 40's Documents Documentation is excellent. Great manual with feature details, checklists/Performance tables and MD302 manual. Quicklook views.pdf DA62 Flight Manual.pdf DA62 Checklist Normal Operations.pdf Airspeed Normal Operation.pdf DA62 Checklist Emergency Procedures.pdf DA62 Performance Tables.pdf Install_Settings.pdf Quick-Doc MD302.pdf v11.1.04 Changelog v11.1.04 Changelog.rtf _____________________________________________________________________________________ Update Review by Stephen Dutton 14th June 2019 Copyright©2019: 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)
  7. I'm still hanging in there with v1.10... the benefits outweigh the negatives and yes those clouds need a big fix, but having no issues on framerate as it is pretty solid for me, so my guess that is settings area... but I have never been greedy on my settings.
  8. Laminar Research : FlightSimExpo 2019 As another year sets on the annual FlightSim community get together it was who had won. Obviously the Expo vs Conference battle was won out by the significant attendees in Florida, but you have to feel for the original conference organisers that in reality have had their show taken away from them... it shows where the money is going, but it hurts for the small people that created something significant and only then to lose it. Vegas last year in 2018 was a big and successful show (FSExpo is going back to Vegas for 2020). Again Laminar Research had a big presence with three organised events, the first for a WED 2 demonstration of the Friday 7th June, with the big one set for 4.30pm on the Saturday 8th June... the June 9th event was a competition on landing a B737-800 at PAJN Juneau, AK RWY 08. Notably the June 7th Seminar was the focus from our point of view, but overall it was quite a light agenda compared to the extensive seminars in the past. Personally I don't think this was a Laminar issue as the allotted time for the seminar was only 45 min, and Laminar noted they had wished they have had more time for more details, above that 15 min was then allotted to X-Plane Mobile, so in retrospect there was only 30 minutes allotted time on the actual simulator, which is about half the usual allotted seminar time and it felt like it. X-Plane Mobile It is a bit like Apple with IOS and MacOS in that IOS is the portable (iPhone/iPad) operating system and MacOS is the desktop version, and gradually they have been coming together from their different realms, and so it is with X-Plane Mobile and X-Plane Desktop. Early mobile applications had to run in an extremely limited environment, so effectively it was a very basic simulator... now currently it is as functional and as effective as a desktop... Only 1º of the original X-Mobile was X-Plane in the original code, to the 73º shared code now. So X-Mobile has gone from a very basic application to a full simulation application. Personally I think X-Plane is too small on a SmartPhone, I think really that X-Plane is mostly in this guise is still aimed at the tablet/iPad market, and it works fine on there. There was one area though that X-Mobile users all wanted, and that was more than the current five airports, and so we will soon have... Global Airports. Chris Serio has been the coder on X-Mobile, and now he announces that Global Airports are coming to X-Mobile soon and it is called Glo-Mo. Glo-Mo will come with the same 3D rendered airports (WED Based only) as the desktop version, 35,000 airports altogether with 10,000 in 3D, but to note X-Mobile Glo-Mo is a subscriber application, and not a one off download. The bonus is of course constant updates as it is now only downloaded from the cloud, the downside is cost... in other words it a new Laminar cashflow stream. Noted as coming this (Northern) summer in say late August. X-Plane11.35 In the X-Plane11 roadmap the next update is v11.35... and due today 11th June 19. But not much was mentioned of any other releases later in the year (Vulkan/Metal withstanding), so it is a sort of enjoy it while you can. X-Plane11.35 will now come with 10, 275 Global 3D airports with the aim to ceiling around 20,000 airports, and for a 3 Year target that has been remarkable, but a lot of the global scenery varies between excellent to average depending on the developers skills, overall the detail is excellent and highly usable. I personally would like to see these 3D sceneries graded in stars ***** to their usability and quality. Boats: Like any art coming out of Laminar the quality of the boats are excellent, and no more of those nasty white hull extra white sail artifacts that dot a lot of the sceneries including paywares. All objects are placed in the new WED 2 application, but the detail is more than the actual boats, with marinas and pontoons as part of the new detail in sixteen choices, so from now on realistic marinas will be part of your simulation. Landmarks: The landmark caravan also continues with two new cities of Washington DC and New York now being added into the simulator... Washington DC includes a large range of objects including the Capital Building, The White House, The Mall, Pentagon, Lincoln Memorial, JFK Theatre and Dulles Airport.... New York adds in the Statue of Liberty (Island), Lower Manhattan, Freedom Tower, Empire State and all the main bridges in the Manhattan, Brooklyn, Verrazano and Williamsburg structures. I will always debate the time spent on doing these "Landmark" objects, were as the simulator still requires a lot more in the general categories, in other words leave it to the 3rd parties to do these extensive cityscapes... but New York is interesting in one point of view. The problem with NYC is that if you use a very highly detail airport, say JFK and a 3rd party cityscape it is horrendous on your graphic card, unless you reduce your texture settings right down to low or average. This NYC version of X-Plane may give you a halfway solution in a very nice NYC skyline without that nasty framerate hit, so we shall see. Sound Laminar Research has now brought on board a specialist for sound. Daniela Rodriguez Careri is from Argentina and she is bringing her skills to soundscapes in using the FMOD system built in to X-Plane11. In v11.35 the KingAir C90 and the Boeing 737-800 have had the full dynamic FMOD aural makeover, but expect all the default aircraft to get the same treatment over time. Sound detailing exceptional and now reaching payware standards (but not the specialised sound packages). All sounds including (basically noises) in opening shutting of doors, systems and switchgear, all are dynamic and give you a far deeper immersion simulation. Systems Over the last few years Phillipp Ringler has took over the systems portfolio from Austin Meyer, and that is not a bad thing as Austin has a tendency to wander away from the computer with one project or another (see below). Last update saw Phillipp concentrate on the Autopilot, Oxygen Systems and Anti-ice/de-ice systems and the Propeller governors. In 11.35 the areas again covered are extensive. Fuel System: The Fuel System has had attention (mostly because addon developers have been complaining loud and clear). In many ways the fuel systems in X-Plane have not had attention for years, even for a decade... so they are extremely basic. Biggest complaint was the restriction of the actual fuel tanks and fuel systems available, like say the tail trim tank. So the system has had a huge welcome update in v11.35 with header/feeder, AUX and trim tanks all now available. Transfer of fuel has also had attention, for auto/manual and cross feed systems. Trim fuel is also a biggie in that the centre of gravity can't be adjusted with the flight, or in flight like with Concorde that requires different fuel weights at different positions on the aircraft for supersonic flight. Fuel tanks can now also be oddly shaped (wing tanks) and the developers will now all rejoice. Bleed Air: Another system that has had no attention for years. Overall there are multiple ways to start aircraft engines and in fact the bleed air from the engines can be a significant effect on the realism of the simulation with not only the starting procedures, but with also the environment on the aircraft. The sources are multiple as well with not only the on aircraft main engines and built in APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) but also the external GPU (Ground Power Unit). Again the Bleed systems were pretty basic, but here all bleed systems have had a significant upgrade, with Pack, Anti-Ice, Starter Motors and hydraulic pumps all getting attention. And again keeping the developer happy is now they can design up to three packs and with multiple isolation valves, if any bleed air is used it also will have an effect on the engine performance... electrical systems are also affected if you use the air conditioning, fans or heaters... again in other words it will bring more realism into the aircraft's systems and also affects the aircraft's performance. APU (Auxiliary Power Unit): Early X-Plane systems of the APU were quite basic, it turned on and you got electrical power to the aircraft, and that was basically it. Certainly in expensive addons you can get the full APU treatment, but now those features are now built in as default. Now there are electrical and air bleed loads, the APU EGT (Exhaust Gas Temperature) also now responds to APU loads. Start up and cool down times and if you have an APU fire you have the loss of pressure and the instant loss of power.... and yes the APU will go on fire via the particle effects, and all these are customizable for 3rd party developers. Extra Improvements: Phillipp Ringler also adding a few extra improvements that he felt were required. A few listed are an extension of his last output in v11.30... with DME hold functionality on all NAV radios, and now you get separate audio with NAV and DME radios. Your battery condition is now affected by the use of the starter motor torque and igniters, or in other words, churn the starters too long and you will run the battery down. New autopilot modes for track, Flightpath, angle and ref speed climbs are also a follow on from v11.30 and you now get HOTEL mode for turboprops or a 'propeller brake' while allowing the turbine to run, and therefore also the generator in providing electrical power and bleed air, but the prop is stationary (see my Carenado SAAB 340 review). "DC dies while AC Lies" is related to analog gauges that has the characteristic of “lying or dying” when power is removed, that system feature is now active. And finally is the Non-Rigid nose steering that adjusts the camber of the steering as it turns. Collins 65 Not noted in the Expo seminar is the inclusion of another Autopilot system in the Collins 65 in v11.35. This Autopilot is mostly found on the KingAirs and is a nice new addition to the extensive list of default autopilots now available... my guess it will go into C90B. Images here are of the Carenado KingAir version, but they are identical. Designing AVA Austin Meyer always has a side project to keep him busy. His latest is designing an electric BETA's Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft or Ava. It looks like a huge GA drone with 8 Vermount maple electric motors wrapped in Carbon Fibre. it was designed in Plane-Maker and flown using the standard X-Plane flight model. The rotors lift the plane up vertically and and then tilts forward for flight, so it a hybrid in the sense of a tilt-rotor. X-Plane was used to create the flight model and design the aerodynamics for effectiveness... in other words if this experimental aircraft will actually fly, and if it did then how would it react in the air. So all the details were honed in the simulator and test flown... of which there was a flight demonstration. Obviously it flies, but the last image threw you completely, in yes X-Plane proved the aircraft could fly but Austin Meyer has actually built and is flying this hybrid machine! So if Mr Meyer is not at the 2020 FlightSimExpo you can safely guess he was killed in an aviation accident, if he appears, then it also proves X-Plane's dynamics are actually correct... what a way to prove something, interesting concept though. Vulkan/Metal The focus of this seminar was always going to be the new APIs or Application Programming Interface of which is the main interaction of the programming graphical user interface (GUI) components.. X-Plane since it's creation has always depended on the OpenGL API created by SiliconGraphics in 1991, even with updates you can guess that an API created in the early 1990's is going to be totally outdated by today's standards. Vulkan- Windows/Metal-Apple API is the more modern system for graphic processing in multi-threading high-performance realtime 3D graphics. Vulkan is intended to offer higher performance by having or giving you a more balanced CPU/GPU usage. Currently graphic processing in X-Plane is not very efficient, it relies on single thread chip processing and the graphic card to do all the heavy lifting (the bigger the graphic card the better). So X-Plane11 is moving over to the Vulkan/Metal API universe, but we are looking at a core section of the simulator in doing so.. so changes here are deep but highly progressive in creating a very modern and efficient simulator. The progression of replacing OpenGL (OpenGL will still be available for the XP11 run, but not for XP12) with Vulkan is pretty much the full focus of Laminar's resources right now and the reprogramming of the switch over has been going on for over a year or so. So this seminar was to see the progress and an update of what to expect when the changes happen, which will be X-Plane v11.40... and what you expected was a Vulkan/Matel demonstration of it actually running live... that didn't happen, but what you had was notes and data of the progress. Current Development This is were we last saw the progression porting of the changeover and about half of the list was then completed, currently the whole list has now been completed. With that list now all crossed out then X-Plane can now run in Vulkan/Metal... and here is the image (not a video) of X-Plane now running in the new API. Performance So what is the biggest power hungry area of X-Plane? It is the textures and mesh that creates the X-Plane environment, and although OpenGL was good, it was also slow. That slowness created screen freezes and glitches, it also created restrictions on tile loading and screen building. Replacing Vulkan with OpenGL means that that these processes are now becoming more efficient, but X-Plane now also has to work harder... but it also means you as the application creator can also have more access to the process, so you gain a little speed, but also more movement in what you can actually adjust for efficiency. So some numbers in that Nvida processors do run faster, but not significantly so, Ben Supnik notes at around 15%. The biggest gains are for AMD processors which don't run currently very efficiently in X-Plane, and what Vulkan does is pretty well level both chip designs lineball more equally with a 20% to 30% gain. A note is that an old graphic card is still an old graphic card, and it won't suddenly come to life if there is less pressure on it, and that is because it is still under the power line and doesn't use the latest processing technology. The help here with Vulkan is with good modern graphic cards (8K+) in raining in that runway GPU memory and that view is supported here with this graph, if you have that modern Graphic Card and even with a few different choices, they will pretty well all run together as a group... that older video card is really left now out of the game (the lower red line). On Metal/OSX then there are more gains for AMD processors, Ben notes even 50% faster (graph below left is "lower is faster"). Those spikes (circled) are stutters, which are plain nasty in a simulator, so the idea is to eliminate them for a smoother simulation... ... it is the same in Vulkan with the those sets of dots high up, you could call them "Stutter Dots". That is effectively where the Vulkan/Metal transition situation is right now... so what is there left to do, and there are two items with "Texture Paging" and "Plugins" Texture Paging As we noted above with using Vulkan/Metal that a lot of what that OpenGL API used to do, can can now be transferred under Vulkan/Metal to the actual X-Plane simulator code itself. Better efficiency gains are gained by moving critical areas away from the main system memory (slow) to the VRAM memory (fast). So first you need to transfer the non-critical areas that don't need fast video processing to be put back to the main system memory and then replace it with the critical areas that do need that on the spot fast processing, and a good example here are the clouds (puffs) to be moved over to the faster VRAM memory from the slow system memory. As we noted that textures are the number one roadblock to an efficient simulator, in loading, resolution and processing. So to get your graphic card to be very productive then it requires to process the pages more efficiently and for most times in the background... More textures in the VRAM however can cause stuttering unless you to write the code that resizes the textures automatically, and this then ensures that the low-resolution textures are always at a minimum and are always ready. If you can do this then this is were the biggest gains can be found. So the focus now is on the Texture Paging itself, (loading) page in the background, automatically raising or lowering texture resolution (very interesting) and having those "Low Resolution" textures always ready. Plugins A big issue is that when Vulkan/Metal replaces OpenGL, then a lot of current addons (aircraft) and Plugins will simply stop working because they are created under that OpenGL API's rules. So you can't simply fully eliminate OpenGL just yet, but OpenGL will be gone on X-Plane12. So for now to allow developers to transition to the new brighter faster world of Vulkan/Metal APIs there has to be a compromise. First OpenGL aircraft and Plugins will be still supported via an exchange through the VRAM to Vulkan/Metal, but it still has to work. My gut feeling is that Ben Supnik still expects a lot of aircraft and plugins to break as he noted that v11.40 will be a long (tedious) beta run, but in a goal Laminar is trying to minimise that painful rollover effect. In many ways it will be a mirror to the 64bit conversion of a few years ago, with "a bit of pain now" for a better future. And don't let us forget this is deep gutting of the simulator to bring it up to a world class and a future proofing of your simulation flying, and will fill in areas that Laminar couldn't attempt under the older API (water, better textures, larger tile footprints and of course extended night lighting). There are a few other areas that Laminar want to get also transitioned now, in the UI (User Interface) and 2D panels (menus) that will work still unmodified on the Vulkan/Metal API (in other words in not to redo them all) and with current Addons. v11.40 Schedule The Vulkan/Metal X-Plane version should get preview or beta this year (note late 2019) with a full transition due in 2020... Developer Tool updates include WED2.1 and others, Blender Model Exporter and Blender 2.49 updated to 2.7x with a conversion. A personal note is that Graphic Cards are feeling the strain, even if they are maxed out to 16gb of VRAM, although the current trend is to use two or more Graphic Cards together with the "Crossfire" or (SLI" (Scalable Link Interface) to create a single graphic card interface. But my current needs (I don't use a lot of custom orthos) is 12gb, so 16gb would give me a 4gb headroom. Summary In reality if you wanted a future roadmap of X-Plane development, then you would have come away from Orlando a bit short changed. X-Mobile is getting Glo-Mo or global airports away from the current five and few more enhancements and that is due end of the northern summer. X-Plane11.35 is out now, but I recommend waiting for b2 as b1 has an issue. This v11.35 has new objects in Boats and associated items like piers and pontoons, more Landmarks with Washington DC and New York, Updated systems with Fuel, Bleed systems and APU enhancements with also a new Autopilot system with the Collins 65 system. Two aircraft in the C90B and Boeing 737-800 have also had extensive FMOD sound enhancements. Austin Meyer has been working on a new project called AVA, which in reality is a full GA sized drone, created and tested in X-Plane the real version is an amazing aircraft if it doesn't kill Austin Meyer in the meantime. Big news was of course the Vulkan/Metal API transition from OpenGL. A lot of the work is now well and truly crossed off, but two in Texture Paging and current Addon/Plugin support is still under development. A preview or beta is noted towards the end of 2019 and a final is not due until 2020, the beta is expected to be long painful and focused on addons (aircraft) and plugins. For any other items on the longer roadmap the seminar was rather thin, no additions to v11.40 or notes on past the API's to v11.50 (I expect the ATC for 11.50)... or even hints of pretty well anything else... with just Vulkan and Metal shows the list is also now getting rather thin, if you discount major water, texture and weather overhauls of which I now expect to passed into the X-Plane12 release. Overall Laminar Research had a great weekend, but don't expect much now until the end of the year and the v11.40 beta release, and after the huge feature packed past last few years it feels overall rather empty. _________________________ X-PlaneReviews can't cover absolutely every change or bug fix with the version update, and so the 11.35 Release notes are available here at the Laminar Research Development pages: X-Plane 11.35 Release Notes X-Plane 11.35 is available now for download. Run your X-Plane installer application or download from Steam. ______________________________________________________________________ Analysis review by Stephen Dutton 11th June 2019 Copyright©2019: X-Plane Reviews Slide images are courtesy of Laminar Research  (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)
  9. Not happy are we... First is that JARDesign never did a manual for GHD, he did it via a video - GROUND HANDLING DELUXE by JARDesign - Build Your Own Set. Yes the A320 is not completely up to date in current XP11 standards, but it is current to fly well in X-Plane11 and I have used it regularly? There is more than enough info out there on the threads that would fix the issues (what ever they actually are) but it seems that a fresh total install would be the way to go... any issues need to go to the JARDesign site and not .Org as JAR only answers on his own site...
  10. Yes a full FMS with SID/STAR is coming for the FF A350, yes it really is... but you can get around and still use SID/STARS with the current default system... I detailed how to do that here.... Plugin Update : WebFMC Pro v1.4.0 by Green Arc Studios It is detailed in the A350 section. SD
  11. Scenery Enhancement : ALES Airport Layout Enhancement Solution by Pyreegue Dev. Co. Over the last year since X-Plane11 acquired the PBR (Physically Based Rendering) system. You have seen a more realistic environment in the simulator. This is created by metalness mapping in PBR which is just one method of determining reflectivity in surfaces. In other words you can replicate wet surfaces on runways or any flat area in the simulator (Glass is another reflective surface). So very quickly airport developers used the mapping to create more authentic surfaces to adjust to the weathers conditions, and obviously rain and wet surfaces were soon very prominent in the feature lists. But what of all the other surfaces in the simulator, or the default core textures... Laminar Research have been very slow out of the gate to adopt more authentic and wet surfaces, in fact these bitmap textures is one of the areas of X-Plane that has not changed for eons or for at least the last three or for versions of the simulator, as it is a decade or so since any basic textures were actually updated (the lines, stand markings and crossings did however have an update a few years ago). So in reality it is up to 3rd parties to fill in the gap, or to deliver what Laminar Research hasn't yet introduced to the simulator, and this where ALES or Airport Layout Enhancement Solution comes in. What ALES will do is give you options. Options to have the runway and other surfaces the way you like them and to have more active elements in the scenery. Runway Options There are three runway options with: Used Runway Worn Down Runway Freshly paved Runway First thing to understand is that X-Plane default textures are global, in other words it is the same at every airport, you can adjust different surfaces at different airports under WED or Payware airports, but the main settings are set globally. Here with ALES you can adjust those default textures in the Resources/bitmaps/runways folders, another folder "ALES LIB" is inserted into your X-Plane "Custom Folder" (you also have to change the ALES LIB/decals/Asphalt.detail file if you also change the runway bitmap textures). As noted you have change your default system bitmaps, of which I am usually loath to do, but these are tested... and I didn't have any issues (If you of course update the simulator version, then these custom textures will have to be again replaced). The textures are all taken from real world surfaces for detail, so they are highly authentic in detail, which is a big step up from the ancient Laminar versions, and all textures come in both 2K and 4K resolution quality sizes.. the 2K resolution size is the default and for lighter graphic cards, and so if you have the power then use the 4K- 4096x4096 resolution quality. So lets have a look... The Used and Worn down runways are basically very similar in shade and the visual look, but the detail is different... the lightest (slightly) is the "Used" textures and all three options have slightly different shoulder textures. Used The Used option is very similar to the Worn, But they have a stony asphalt mixture than a pattern. General wear and tear is focused on the lighter highly used tyre tracks to the darker outboard of the runway surfaces. Overall the used are the closest to the standard default textures in colour and design. Worn Down The Worn Down is different from the Used in that the surfaces are ribbed, there are other slight variations like the main runway touch down zones and it is the medium in colour brightness range of the three... and surfaces are mostly natural right across the whole surface. In areas you have oil patches and general wear and tear. The ribbed effect is very effective and the most dynamic of the two lighter greys. Fresh Paved The "Fresh" paved option is the most dramatic, but it comes with a cost... ... as the settings are global, then every single global airport is then set in the heavy darker texture setting? It looks excellent, the best of the three options, but in reality you can't use it? in certain airports yes definitely, but not in a total global sense. The surfaces are ribbed as well for maximum benefit. Reflections I was expecting in ALES for the runway and taxiway surfaces to have that PBR dynamic effect (wet), but the reality is some airports do work but most of the global airports don't... The problem again stems from the original ancient textures, they are that in being totally out of date, and can't be used with current dynamic lighting. All is not lost though. X-Plane11's dynamic lighting will generate some reflection, and the higher quality textures used here do reflect that effect (deeper) far better than the default textures. All linage is reflective and is very effective, so that is some compensation. The linage is high quality and as noted reflective. High quality linage in X-Plane from a 3rd party is not new, as FlyJSim did some a few years ago and this is just as good, it is all however very heavy, or mostly solid linage, with not a lot of wear or tear, but again it is in the global setting of one for all, a bit more of a weathered look though maybe have been more authentic, but the reflections are as noted very good. If the airport has however been recently redone or created in a current WED format and the runway and taxiway textures are concrete in the (Draped).POL format, then things are now very different... This is UKBB - Boryspil ... and KCLT - Charlotte Douglas in the US. Where the dynamic textures have been used the wet effects are excellent, and the detail with the quality asphalt is really, really good.... and all the pavement surfaces have been replaced for using the built in X-Plane11 featured PBR that delivers these effects. So the ALES can bring life and dynamics to WED Global airports when adjusted... note the nice wet foreground, but the dry areas around the working zones of the parked aircraft, even if the actual runways are not reflective then the shoulders are, so it all helps in creating a dynamic atmosphere. An interesting note is that as (global) airports in WED are updated and use the more modern (draped).POL settings then you will have the correct working tool already installed to take advantage of the changes, as every new airport comes on line then it is now now more active. Heli pads ALES has also replaced both the asphalt and concrete helipad textures... Summary ALES - Airport Layout Enhancement Solution is an excellent tool for getting some depth and quality into your Global Airports, to at least complement the more heavily detailed payware airport textures. Enhancement is the word here... You can give your runways and taxiways more depth and quality in either 2K or 4K resolution textures, reflection effects on surfaces, reflective linage and signage and runways come in three options of Used, Worn and Fresh.. or light with stony, slightly darker with ribbed and really dark surfaces. Overall this enhancement package is excellent, but the package comes with a few quirks. You have to pick the actual pack you want, so you can't mix and change, so it is one for all. The oddity there is that the Used and Worn are both good, but light, were as the Fresh is very dark but good and you seem to want number three with a more heavy Worn or Used? My pick is Worn with those lovely ribbed textures, but you just want little more depth out of it. Secondly is that the actual runways and taxiways can't use the (Draped).POL format so that means you can't use the PBR effects, this an older dated X-Plane issue rather than the developers missing it out, and they are trying to find a fix. But the rest of the surfaces and especially with the concrete and asphalt and runway shoulders are excellent when the right tools are in place. Overall this a pro tool to enhance the simulator and not a freeware hack, and well worth the investment in bringing the simulator up a level from the basic default settings. Most certainly I look at this enhancement package as a starter kit with more to come, so putting your money in there will benefit in the future as well as more features and details come on line with upgrades.. it is good as well in creating something Laminar Research should have done years ago in upgrading the basic bitmap textures, so why wait when you get that now... a nice little investment. _____________________________________ Yes! ALES Airport Layout Enhancement Solution by Pyreegue Dev. Co. is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Airport Layout Enhancement Solution Price is US$12.80 (sale) Features 2K/4K Textures Normal maps using X-Plane 11 PBR at its finest All taxilines and other lines replaced (PBR) All pavement surfaces replaced (PBR) All draped signs replaced (PBR) Asphalt Runway textures replaced (3 variants) Concrete Runway textures replaced Asphalt Helipad textures replaced Concrete Helipad textures replaced Asphalt Helipad textures replaced Concrete Helipad textures replaced Wet Textures (Can only be applied to PBR surfaces, (.pol)) Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 2GB VRAM Minimum HDR has to be enabled to unleash the full potential of the package Current and Review version : 1.2 (June 4th 2019) Download and Documentation The package download is quite hefty at 1.06GB, install is in the X-Plane Resources/bitmap folders and a folder placed in the Custom Scenery folder. If you want to change textures, then they have to be manually changed within the simulators resources. Full package is 2.74 Gb but includes 4K textures. Documents are a User guide and EULA EULA ALES.pdf User Guide.pdf ______________________________________________________________________ Enhancement Review by Stephen Dutton 7th June 2019 Copyright©2019 : X-Plane Reviews  (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.33 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : SimBrief (Free) : Navigraph Charts (Subscription) Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.07 US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free : JarDesign Ground Handling Deluxe - US$14.95 
  12. Thanks for your comment... the reply can be split into two areas. Over the last year plugins and plugin conflicts are becoming an issue, certainly with FlightFactor's A320 U, ToLiSS A319, AirfoilLabs B350 or any other plugin based complex system aircraft. No matter how good the developer then in areas there will always be overlaps... Even I have to now choose what plugin is to be inserted to fly that aircraft, if not it has to come out and be stored, annoying yes... but that is the state of the situation and it is going to get worse. My feelings is that Laminar will need to address this complex issue, but even switching off the plugin within the simulator doesn't work either, it has to physically come out of the plugin folder. As I have always constantly chanted "keep your plugins folder as light as possible" only tested and refined plugins are to go in there, so in that vein I have had no issues with the JAR A330. I flew it a few weeks ago and it is fine to me. Other point is that this design is now quite to very old in X-Plane years (2012 old), but updated, this review is XP10 and 2015, there was only an update a few months back to v3 so the aircraft is current, but another update in v3.2 for A330 is also coming soon... purchase? Well first there is no other decent A330 at this level in X-Plane, so if you want the aircraft then there is no other option, JARDesigns are a bit quirky, but overall they are a great simulation, certainly not in the current XP11 standard, but certainly well within the confines of having a great simulation, and I like the JARDesign A330 a lot, for a purchase then yes if you can get a deal... SD
  13. Plugin Update : xEnviro v1.10 DarkSpace has released an updated new version of their environmental engine xEnviro to v1.10. Yes it's finally here... sort of. The ping pong story of xEnviro is going to be one for the grandkids, but we are holding in there and the release of v1.10 is at least a step forward. I will put my hand up and say I am a big fan of xEnviro, in reality it is absolutely everything I am against in buggy software, but I still use it... well v1.07 anyway which is currently over two and a half years old... v1.08... nah crap, v1.09 even more crap with seriously bad shadows on the aircraft (greyed out)... so we waited, and waited and well waited. So here is v1.10, and it is well... still extremely buggy but at least finally workable. A note in that because xEnviro is only available with real world weather (no history or save weather conditions) then this quick overview look at the new release is bound by the weather conditions I can find, as more different conditions come up I will add them in as they become available... but we can start here. The developers also have made a very long statements about the condition of the release and in that they are still wrestling with certain conditions (as we shall see) but think that at least we should at least (after waiting years) to get a working weather engine. As noted xEnviro is not even close to being an acceptable product, but even in this situation it is absolutely brilliantly good, as it is in the exceptional feel and look that it delivers to the simulator, that xEnviro delivers almost perfect visual realism feedback... it is always the total feel and look factor that really delivers here. First Look xEnviro have wanted to move to volumetric clouds and away from the slideshow image base, the cloud image way was actually not bad, because it was extremely efficient, the problem with volumetric clouds is that they are very processor hungry, note to Laminar's famous cloud "puffs"... and we all know how they at first all pulled down your framerate. The issues with the "puffs" was they were quite large, and of course the smaller you can scale them, then the better detail that you can get, the problem here is mathematics, the smaller you go the higher in the square goes the number required, so even if the lower initial resolution is minute the sheer volume of the order of magnitude then can simply overwhelm the processor again... in other words you are back to square one. So what is required is the volumetric clouds at an smaller efficient level, or at the same efficiency you currently have... so more for the same. So the first look at xEnviro v1.10 is really a look at the current situation of the progress and in reality this is still in the experimental stage. In reality currently (and DarkSpace) acknowledge this is the fact that to get the smaller resolution and also the magnitude required for the quality, it is not going to happen in our current systems. In yes they can make it work, but only at a severe framerate cost... Users note they are getting low single digit framerate drops with installing v1.10... but the fact is that the framerate drop is only 2-3 frames and in fact I am not really seeing a major impact of the v1.10 application on my normal simulation flying (there is however a tendency to rotate around frame rates, say 34, 33, 28 and back to 34...) this is usually present in any new software that is not yet refined... we are always aware that heavier weather will use more framerate so that aspect has to be also taken into consideration. So for those with their framerate issues with v1.10 then you have the usual plugin conflicts or your just overloaded in too many different (and sometimes too many artificial changes) of the basic X-Plane simulator software. I don't or will never change the basic X-Plane software no matter what enhancements that will give me... so funny enough I never have issues with new plugins or applications when updating or upgrading or mostly single digit framerates... funny that? First view of xEnviro v1.10 (above) is that it looked extremely good, it ran well as well (note the framerate number upper left of the screen at 41 fr) at my standard normal X-Plane settings. One noticeable area was the cloud shadow ground reflections (the dark bits), they are good, but overall always too dark, so the shadows are consistent and not variable between the lighter cloud formations and the darker more dense ones, so it comes across as blotchy, it looks okay, but different darker shades of grey could give it more realism as all shadows are not created equally. Worse is the reflected clouds are set out in blocks.... so you see the nasty outlines of the cloud reflection block zones as clouds can currently create formations at high levels or squared sectors of clouds... xEnviro note this is a bug and it is on the list. ... but either fix it or remove the cloud shadows, as they are noticeably distracting. You also immediately see the artifact issue, and it is not pretty, In reality this is not good enough for a pro application, but I will note that those images were taken not adjusted and sometimes the whole window has the artifact effect... There is a "Blur Level" slider that can minimize the worst, or soften up the clouds a little but you can't really get around the core of the visual artifacts until they are addressed. With every new xEnviro version then the setting menu usually is vastly different... again this is the case. With v1.10 a lot of the original settings that have been taken away compared to v1.07. Removed from V1.10 has been: Resolution slider has been removed. Complexity slider has been removed. Reflections range slider has been removed. Detailed range slider has been removed. Maximum drawing distance slider removed. Post processing checkbox removed. Remove scenery shadows under overcast checkbox removed. Billboard clouds have been completely removed. Crepuscular rays temporary removed. Draw crepuscular rays checkbox has been removed. Camera shift slider removed. Somehow you feel too much adjustment has been taken away like the removal of the "Shadow Range". Crepuscular rays have also been temporary deleted. Not much is left in the menu really is there, but two new ones added are really interesting... Top new slider under Effects Settings is the "Maximum Ozone %" that adjusts the Ozone layers density % percentage... Below is the "Camera Blue Filter". this adds a blue tinge to the feel. Another new slider is the special feature.... Snow! xEnviro have work on the idea to create a blanket snow, in not changing the internal textures, which is a slow cumbersome and very time consuming business to simply change seasons, all we really wanted is an easy change of seasons, and snow is the most visual... they have done that effect here and the results are magnificent... the bottom slider is adjustable from 0% to 100% snow coverage. Percentages set here are 25% - 50% - 75% - 100% Around 65% it is about the best seasonal setting I have yet seen in X-Plane... totally brilliant. Landing at EGCC - Manchester of where I have some winter textures, it is very good, far better than my winter custom made ones. The effects will partly cover the runways as well, it worked some times, but not others and like the snow percentage slider itself (If we could always have the manual control of the slider, that would be a great bonus)... so that is all another WIP. How they achieve this with just software I don't know, but it covers any custom scenery, houses and traffic.... Any mountain range that requires the mountain snow effect works as well... ... currently however one downside to the snow is the snow effects on the screen and the aircraft... you get these little snowflake objects that don't look yet realistic? called "precipitation which follows the camera" (in other words static) and It looks still like another WIP, personally I think it should be dropped in the release version until perfected or fixed as it one of the biggest visual intruders... The cloud effects around mountain areas have had a lot of work done, overall it is now quite perfect, but in some instances there is a slight horizon line around the mountain shapes and on the actual horizon, but certainly not as intrusive as that nasty horizon line in v1.07... Visual effects are spectacular in the right regions, here is Innsbruck... we will compare the default X-Plane11 weather ( left) with xEnviro v1.10 (right)... The feel and mood in the valley is excellent.... twilight is sensational. One of the major things that made me dump v1.09 besides the grey out, was the airport lighting disappeared as you approached the runways, this was fixed in an update, but I didn't bother as I couldn't use v1.09 anyway... but here it is thankfully definitely fixed.... The sheer versatility of xEnviro is in situations like this, here we have a heavy summer shower, but the bright sunlight is just behind you, so you are flying into the rainstorm, but the bright side sunlight light is in there also... ... for realism in these conditions it is very, very good. Overcast cumulus that spreads from horizon to horizon is spectacular, and it comes with not a big penalty hit on your framerate as well, I lost two frames for all this magnificence so it was worth the damn two frames... New: I saw these excellent "Lens Flare" scenes so I had to add them in. Yes Lens Flare can be switched off in the settings menu, as it can be very bright in many conditions, but I love it... Note this brilliant lighting scene here (below left) at Page Field. Fl. The three sequence of images above shows the excellent lighting effects of the Lens Flare from full exposure, to partial exposure behind an object, then a full blockage of the lighting via an object.... in the very first image a partial blockage is created by the fun park wheel of just metal spokes, shows the fine tuning of the lighting detail. If you don't look to close you can't doubt the amazing vistas... No more above cloud grey-outs... yeah! and the cockpit windows now also blend in or are translucent, which was very noticable in v1.07. As noted earlier, I can only show what I can see or use currently, if any new vistas are visited and are worthy of a viewing then I will add it into this update review, so please check back for any changes. More notes... to get the best current settings with xEnviro v1.10 you need your Antialiasing set only at 4xSSAA+FXAA... if you go to 8xSSAA+FXAA you get a blank vista, lower and the clouds get far more artifacts... for Settings then the "Wet Aerodrome" selection tickbox NEEDS to be off to clear a matrix effect (Precipitation follows camera), and if you are using the Librain plugin, then the "Windshield Effects" has to be off as well. Summary To sum up there is one big notable thing to say... I'm still using v1.10, and that in itself is a huge step forward. Older issues have been (finally) addressed, but the change to volumetric clouds is still very much a work in progress. Main issues are (very) visual artifacts, poor cloud shadows (now non-adjustable), matrix screen and noticeable snow effects on the aircraft... if you can accept all that, then the benefits of this application are excellent with great atmospheric conditions and highly realistic cloud formations.... when you get the right conditions then xEnviro will blow your mind with the results... New features include the global snow effects and they are simply brilliant, Ozone and Blue filters are in there as well. It is not like the past where you sort of stepped backwards, and stepped forwards at the same time, this a step forward... but by how much is debatable. Problem is still the old problem, the developer in not fixing the basics and always going for the global scale, so we may be stuck with v1.10 for a fair while with no intermediate bug fix updates. It will be also interesting and this why I think v1.10 suddenly appeared at this point, that the Coming FlightSimExpo in Orlando at the weekend 7/8/9 June is that I think the developers here are wanting or hoping the Vulkan/Metal API improvements will be included or announced... certainly a tie-in between the power of the new API's and xEnviro may be critically important, the developer noted this in his notes, that far more processing power is required to achieve the required results. No doubt the supreme result is there, you can see it and almost feel it, but xEnviro still feels of too much an early demonstrator of the technology than the completed form. I will keep using v1,10 and see where it goes... v1.07/8/9 is free to all current xEnviro registered users, just go to the xEnviro site to update : xEnviro.net ______________________________________________________________________  Yes! the xEnviro Environment Engine v1.10 by Dark Space FZE is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : xEnviro Price is US$69.90 Sorry this plugin is Windows only at this point, But Mac is coming eventually! xEnviro Features: Load real-time meteorological data with download interval from 5 up to 60 minutes taking into account following factors: Wind direction and speed on ground and aloft, temperature, turbulence areas, icing areas and dangerous phenomena (thunderstorm& windshear) Simulate visual effects of different types of precipitations and phenomena: rain showers, snow, fog; Simulate visual raindrops effects on windshields both in 2D and 3D cockpits (if it's loaded in aircraft model); Simulate in-cloud visual effects; Simulate visual effects of shades and aircraft lightning in clouds (Strobe lights, beacon lights, navigation lights, landing lights) Simulate landing lights screen� effect during in-cloud and foggy flight; Volumetric lights effect; Simulate lightning on clouds surface from cities lights; High-detailed cloud shades; Custom cloud density and range; Simulate realistic breaking action effect; Display saturation, color gamma and cloud density, depending on weather conditions and time of day with real-time changing (automatically) or manually. Requirements Minimum X-Plane 11+ Stable Internet Connection with data Speed no less than 512Kps Windows 7/Vista/ 8/8.1/ 10 - Not Mac compatible at this time 2Gb VRAM Recommended X-Plane 11+ Stable Internet Connection with data Speed no less than 51 Mbps Windows 7/Vista/ 8/8.1/ 10 - Not Mac compatible at this time 4Gb+ VRAM Current and review version: 1.10 (last updated June 2nd 2019) _____________________________________________________________________________________ Plugin Update by Stephen Dutton  5th June 2019 Copyright©2019: 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)
  14. lower left centre console.... mostly on the ERJ is is automatic, you just set your altitude.
  15. Behind The Screen : May 2019 At the end of Behind the Screen in March we left you with the Military Visualizations Kickstarter donation of to create the ATR 72-600 and he wanted $27,000 CAD dollars before putting mouse to CAD software. The results are in and as expected they are not in or our favour, but that was always expected. The KIckstarter campaign achieved only 15.2% of its final target of CAD $27,000. And final donations came in at CAD $4,111.29 (approx. GBP £2,417, US $3,057, €2,742). Milviz, has obviously confirmed that development of the ATR for X-Plane has now been terminated.... surprise, surprise. I personally actually don't think it was the campaign that actually killed the project anyway, as the anniversary release of Carenado's FSX/P3D ATR 72-400 would mean very tough competition for your money as Carenado is giving hints that their ATR 72-400 will be X-Plane flyable before 2020, yes it is a different variant in the -400 to the -600, but an ATR is still an ATR and if it is anywhere close to Carenado's stupendous Saab 340 then it will be... well again stupendous! But there was always a lot of scepticism anyway from day one on this deal. The first and the most obvious was the figure required of CAD $27.000? It looked more like a insurance policy in case no one bought the aircraft when released, or a "Win - Win" scenerio for the developer. But CAD $27.000 to develop an aircraft? and by a single developer, maybe a team, then yes, but for one person who has been in simulation even for a few decades then I don't think so. If the developer had put the development costs of say around CAD $8500, then I think they would have had a very good chance of meeting their realistic target, he did achieve almost half of that, but I still think that number would have gotten MilViz over the line. And here is the point... overall this a great idea for a developer to get some development costs into the bank to deliver the projects we require, more so it keeps them on track to deliver and not do the usual... start hard then flake away as the project slowly progresses out to vaporware. But I think there is also something more deeper going on here than just developing for X-Plane, as personally now I don't think that developers that have been brought up in the FlightSim culture can actually develop well for X-Plane, and only a very, very few can do the crossover... but most actually don't as the differences in the development approach and the design are just too wide and different to be crossed, and the history of the story actually supports that aspect. Yes there are many great FSX based products in X-Plane with Carenado and JustFlight as notable, but both of those are converted by Thranda, which is a X-Plane developer... As Dan Klaue noted, "we have to totally gut the FSX version and then rebuild them again totally from the ground up" In reality there is not much to mirror between the two aircraft that look exactly the same. Then there are the biggies.... PMDG, Flight1 and Majestic, even Aerosoft are all not present in X-Plane and yes both PMDG (DC-6) and Aerosoft (ATR) have done aircraft in X-Plane but to only a) totally fail, or b) and walk away with only one average release each. Both PMDG and Aerosoft had the X-Plane golden eggs and bountiful profit returns in their pockets. PMDG with the Boeing 737 Series, B747 and B777 had the opportunity to make a killing, even Aerosoft had their Airbus A320 series to clean up the European flyers, but those opportunities are now simply long gone, with the ZiboMod B737 U/738/739 U cleaning up the PMDG version, the FlightFactor B777 is yes old but finally on the road to a XP11 upgrade, so that will counter out that, and the FlightFactor A320 Ultimate, is now just that in being miles ahead of the Aerosoft product with the ToLiss A319 also now a registered Airbus product, then it shows now of how high the quality and depth of the in house development of X-Plane aircraft have come to. The point is that the gate is now closed and the aircraft has departed for PMDG or any other FSX developer to get any significant ground swell of patrons in the Laminar Simulator, the point is we don't need them now either, we certainly did three to four years ago with the introduction of X-Plane11, but they all dilly-dallied around and ummed and ahhed us to death without really delivering anything, The above MilViz releases his Cessna 310 to... well nothing because it was very dated and so FSX in design (hence the forward cost of doing any business with us again). To a point it was MilViz's Cessna release that finally put the point out there that FSX developers just can't do X-Plane... period. So what got me thinking about all this? Well most of the year in my personal flying (my up time, as down time sounds odd in a flying simulator) has been with the FlightFactor A320 Ultimate, sometime around early February this year it all started to click together, add in the excellent BSS Sound pack (recently again updated) and it is now a glorious if hard in depth simulation... you now work in this aircraft, the details and checklists are huge and have to be covered, a 25 minute turnaround is very, very realistic as is every portion of the flight, nirvana... maybe and yes there will always be something in the need to be updated, but as a simulation it is now one of the very, very best... more so as the cabin is now being updated as well. For the Boeing bluffs to take their minds off the Boeing company's 737 MAX debacle, yes it is their fault and yes they deserve everything that is certainly coming to them (more below)... is the Zibo Boeing 737-800/700/900 series. Again once the ZiboMod hit it's stride I loved it, but it is a complicated bugger... But the announced and hyped release of the -900 Ultimate was for me a bit of if a huge disappointment (don't hit on your keys just yet!), so I left it in the hangar after only a flight or two... With the WebFMC Pro v1.4.0 release the newer ZiboMod -700 was added on to the list of aircraft that could use the plugin. I did expect it to be a bit like the -900 version, but was extremely surprised on how good the ZiboMods are now (hence the above bye bye notes to PMDG). Yes I loved it and shows how far again we have come lately in X-Plane, personally I see the ZiboMod as really a payware aircraft (howls of protest!), but in the same league of quality and depth. Colimata Concorde So where is the Colimata Concorde review, well its coming, but certainly not in the near future. One look and yes this is a decent development of one of the most iconic aircraft every to fly, but a lot of work on the aircraft certainly is still not completed, or refined. Concorde is a strange aircraft in that it is like no other aircraft out there, except for some military machines. Most users will light up and burn out those powerful RR Olympics to their full reheat thrust and head upwards towards flight level 400 and m2.2. Great but you won't get halfway across the Atlantic if you fly this bird like that and even with full tanks. This aircraft has to be very balanced and flight procedures have to be followed to the letter to get the maximum performance and range, so from a reviewing point of view there is a lot of detailed work to get through to get that all right, but overall it was the unsightly unfinished work that still had to be done that put me off, again just a few months more work and it would have been a perfectly acceptable aircraft to release... so overall I was disappointed. I certainly was not disappointed with X-Crafts excellent family series of the Embraer ERJ. Again like most current X-Plane developers then X-Crafts have gone up a few gears or higher levels, yes there are a few quirks, but overall it is an excellent regional jet and it comes with five variants as well... X-Crafts came into X-Plane very raw, great in the design department, but average pretty well everywhere else. But they were willing to learn, to update regularly and now after a few years you can see all of that hard graft finally paying off. There are no short cuts to being a quality developer, the only road is simply sheer hard work and persistence... and yes these products are priced to the depth of their development costs. And that is why I hate people that rip off projects (yes you Bit-Torrent) and put them out for free or steal off the work, they are the real losers in life. We are lucky that developers are willing to use their talents for our enjoyment, we can currently fly very authentic aircraft... live the dream so to speak because of their work and time, and the repayment for all that is the old simply way, in just repaying their costs and allow them to meet their real world demands. B737 MAX On the real world Boeing company's 737 MAX debacle I will say some comments. They as a company deserve everything they get in this case, but mostly for cowardice. This was the same company that took the barrel section of the Boeing Boeing 367-80, known simply as the Dash 80 and the forerunner of the B707 series and made a whole family of successful aircraft out of it. One of those aircraft is the same Boeing 737 that is now the centre of the MAX debate. What built Boeing is now going to bring then back down again. The design is nearly 60 years old, older than the Moon Landing, older than most of us on this planet... and what do Boeing do, they try to fit big engines situated forward under the low wings to make it efficient or mostly just to stop any sales going to Airbus with their more modern Airbus A320 in NEO guise, the point is even the A320 is now getting a bit long in the tooth, but the B737 is simply ancient, worse was the fact that this unbalanced aircraft now uses software to allow the machine to fly and fly around even the basic principles of flight... and worse the FAA certified the aircraft, or did they? or did they allow Boeing to certify their own unstable aircraft? In reality every one of those MAX's out there are clunkers. I was horrified that Boeing took this cowards route. Boeing had just refined whole new process of building airliners with the B787 Dreamliner? So shouldn't they have like in the past with the New B737 mid jet be a composite design of that future design proof development... but no and so they went and put engines under a 60 year old aircraft just for sales? The point is the new composite B737 would have sold far, far more than the MAX, and yes airlines would have waited if the new design delivered the same efficiency gains and modern systems to their fleets as has the B787, poor Joe Sutter must be rolling in his grave for what the company has become... but overall we lose in the chance to fly a modern efficient composite middle range airliner for years, instead of in the early 2020's (2024 was the original launch window). Now it will be late or very late 2030 before Boeing (if they survive this) will put the correct replacement for the MAX on the ramps, I bet Airbus is now two years ahead in now with their A320 replacement (cancelling the A380 was a big marker there), so who will get there first... certainly now not Boeing. It is a mess, the biggest in aviation, more so than the Comet or even Concorde.... but they deserve everything that is coming to them. FlightSimExpo The FlightSimExpo is now only next week in Orlando, Florida on the 7th/8th/9th June (Yeah!) and Laminar Research have been very, very quiet lately, which is usually a great sign that there will be a lot of nice goodies in there, obviously the Vulkan and Metal updates will take centre stage, and yes I will be very disappointed if there is not a demo, but we should get a timeline for the release and its effects.X-PlaneReviews will of course do a full analyse of the event... In a side fight the original FlightSimCon is shall we say "annoyed" at losing the title of representing the FS community in the States, they have declared the Expo "FS Greed and Piracy" as to lose the mantle... they are doing an online show here on the same dates... it will be seen on how all this plays out? Till next month Stephen Dutton 2nd June 2019 Copyright©2019: X-Plane Reviews
  16. Not yet no... Airfoil did do a custom version of the default FMS, so it may be seen if it is added in, but currently... no.
  17. Application Upgrade : Navigraph Charts v7.0 Starting out in X-Plane in v9, it usually took me two and a half hours to create a route, mostly for long haul of say London to Singapore, you had to input every three letter VOR ICAO code and every five letter WAYPOINT ICAO code into the X-Plane FMS, this is in the not the FMC we have now, but the earlier original version, no AIRWAYS, no deletes, no SID or STAR (you had to create every SID or STAR section yourself via charts), and a LON - SIN segment usually had a 50+ waypoints in the route (Including the SID and STAR segments)... at least you could save all your hard work. Route programs were hard to find or use. Goodway was the best, but it was also still very basic and buggy, but at least it had LOW and HIGH routes and was scaleable, the odd point was trying build cross Pacific routes as they never joined up? or getting the correct Atlantic cross routes working and In reality good route creation programs were very few even up to about four years ago until Google Map based editors started to appear, but they were also very slow as well and depending on your internet connection and came with the high cost in data as Google Maps are huge data munchers. If you follow the reviews here you will note that I now use SimBrief... this is an extraordinary professional route briefing software tool that is absolutely free, so please donate... as you simply don't want to lose this tool. Simbrief will build a route for you and then give you not only the notes on the route but the actual route to download (In a lot cases you still have to add in the specific SID or STAR procedure). Lately I have been also using Navigraph Charts to do those SID and STAR segments. Like most I used Navigraph originally only three to four times a year to update the AIRAC data Cycles... why? Cost. You subscribe to Navigraph on a monthly or yearly basis or EUR 8.30 / mo or EUR 74.90 / year, so you could do a month update the AIRAC cycle and then drop out again. But lately I have been leaving my monthly subscription active all the time. Now if you did do the in - out update program, you will now need to think again on that subscription... Navigraph Charts v7.0 Now Navigraph have released v7.0 (current v7.0.1) and a lot of what is in the new version was in there in earlier versions, but it is in the disintictive way the program have been intergrated together now in that brings all the elements together into one complete seemless application... a very good application. At first glace you are taken straight back to your Goodway years, as the layout feels and looks the same, and the global routes are the same in scaleable. But the ease of use is obviously years better in grabbing and moving the maps to your will, I only found the MAP in being slower in loading... .... but looking at the excellent relief detail then you don't mind a few extra seconds in waiting. LOW, HIGH (routes) and MAP are the three selections, and scale in and the sheer detail available to you is now obvious. I am here going to focus on EGKK - Gatwick in the southern part of the United Kingdom. You can select directly an Airport (EGKK) and get the details of that airport, or use the top left "Search" to do the same job. You can select "Airspace" and the details are displayed of what the area is or does... Here we have Gatwick Ground and Terminal areas. Restricted Zones are also noted, as are larger Airspace zones... FIR - Flight Information Regions are noted as well but are hard to select or in heavy route areas even to see... I would like the idea of restricted zones and FIR Airspace to be more better defined, say with different colours.... .... one feature you don't have is for filtering global items, so it is currently all or nothing, so some can overlap others in highly detailed areas. Other direct selections include NDBs and VOR/DME Nav-Aids... .... and the one area that is never used in these mapping applications is now also available here... Holding Pattern areas, This is (MAY) MAYFIELD. You can use the search function and even filter the search in: WAYPOINTS, NAV-AIDS, AIRPORTS (default), AIRSPACES and HOLDING PATTERNS to find certain required items. Charts Select the Chart logo and you will get the usual Navigraph Chart layout for Chart selection... .... I will note the charts do now load in far faster than the usual past loading and waiting time. But here is now a great new feature! You can now overlay or insert the chart directly into the main global layout, yes it is brillant and great at the same time, the only chart you can't insert is the AIRPORT ground chart, and my guess is that the scale won't go down far enough for it to do so... Insertion is via the toggle "Show Visual Overview" (arrowed above left) and on the new CHART menu selection. Route Creation You can easily create a route in Navigraph Charts. Select the "Flights" Icon to bring up a selection window (selection is also available on the selected airport via selecting the airport, then pressing "Add to New Flight" far bottom right) ... Add in your Departure (EGKK) and your Arrival (EGPH - Edinbourgh) airports and an alternate Airport in either Chart mode of "Standard IFR" or "Airline CAO". To create the flight you have a choice of inserting in your own waypoints, or by using the "Auto" function via the "Auto Generate My Route" tickbox. In building up your own route you can of course select each airport, SID, Waypoint, Nav-Aid, STAR and insert it directly into your custom route, easy... brilliantly easy as everything is very interactive. Select your runway and then your SID from the drop down lists... not sure which SID to use? then press the "Show Visual Overview" switch and you get all the SID's in glorious colour and their departure routes... brilliant! I mean how many hours have spent gong through charts to find the best direction departure route, for me it has been hours and hours... Adding in route segments is easy... select the WAYPOINT/VOR and then just add it in, it will ask you how you want to insert the waypoint, in say Before or After with an already set waypont. You can check any AIRWAY, here I am in the LOW airway selection, but there is the HIGH airway as well... I want AIRWAY N601 to (POL) Poll Hill... .... note the route construction in tabs, but you can also go to the actual route code via the TT Type Route selection... I have inserted POL, but it is noted as DCT - DIRECT, but to insert an AIRWAY you replace or edit the DCT between BPK and POL with the AIRWAY No. N601. This will however thankfully insert the whole N601 AIRWAY between BPK and POL... as noted via the arrows, and all the N601 waypoints are now noted in the route sequence. You can of course use the "Auto" function for Navigraph to assemble the route for you and then just adjust your SID Departure and STAR Arrival procedures... Use your "Show Visual Overview" to see the STARs into EGPH and RWY 06, I selected the EDN1D via PER - Perth, yes it is the long way around but you can do this if you want to... So the whole route building and editing in the application is excellent in either setting routes manually or automatically and everything is highly responsive and doesn't crash either... But the only way now to get the route into your FMS, is to copy or insert the code? As there is no download feature? All the mapping can be used in the "Day" (default) or "Night" modes. SimBrief There already was a connection between Navigraph and SimBrief. Navigraph which allowed SimBrief to be updated (as long as you have an account) to the latest AIRAC Cycle... This kept SimBrief current to all the latest navigation data changes. As noted you can create a detailed route in Navigraph v.7.0 but you can't (yet) export it, but now you can actually import a created route the other way around and into Navigraph from SimBrief.... other formats allowed for import is the PLN format. Here I am importing a created SimBrief route EGNX (East-Midlands) to CYUL (Montreal).... ... and as an cross reference it is excellent, so you can now have access to both worlds, the Flightplan and route download from SimBrief, with the charts and mapping detail from Navigraph. SimLink Another feature from Navigraph is "SimLink". this will create a pointer of the current position of the aircraft on the Map or Chart... ... you put the downloaded SimLink plugin into the X-Plane Resources/Plugins folder, it is odd because the file does not look like a plugin folder "Navigraph Simlink_64.xpl" and I think that is why most users have had issues getting SimLink to work correctly... but mine worked straight away. The design of the plugin is clever because it does not require you Wi-Fi or link directly to another computer or tablet to the plugin for it to work. It sends the data coordinates from X-Plane directly to the Navigraph server that is then downloaded back to you when you use the application, it is seemless here and far better than older Google based aircraft positioning tools, which could be a nightmare to set up or activate. When activated by the pointer arrow top right of the Navigraph app, the aircraft is shown via it's position on the chart or map. For the chart application it makes it very easy to find your way around an airport via taxiways and which stand to use. The pointer will follow your position and you get a good scale on the Airport layout map... ... the amount of route data available now is outrageous. Combine the SimBrief detail with the Navigraph mapping and it is a geeks nivana. as all the Segment and AIRWAY detail is all fully in there Press the center button lower left corner and the map will centre on the aircraft, but also you now move with the map on your coordination position. MAP mode is excellent for relief and area details. FIR (Boundaries) and MAP zones are also noted, as is the full latitude and longitude grids, waypoints and Atlantic and Pacific Tracks are also easy to follow or use. Mid-Atlantic and I am cruising at FL320 and now need to switch from "Shannon Oceanic FIR" to "Gander Oceanic FIR" and it is all noted on the Navigraph map... Summary The navigation tools available today for simulators are wide and varied, maps and charts were always available if you knew where to look or with Google search, but how many times were those charts very out of date, or even hard to find. Inputting route data (coordinates) was also a very tiresome job, and certainly if you did long hauls. Navigraph and Aerosoft (NavDataPro) with their data management created for simulators the same AIRAC - Aeronautical Information Regulation And Control data that ICAO delivers for real world aviation. The AIRAC cycles (updated every month) keeps track of all the current Navigational Aids and airport SID and STAR navigation data. Navigraph expanded out their product to cover airport charts and then into airway mapping, this is the v7.0 of that tool and excellent it now is. The main aspect of this new mapping tool is that it brings together other varied tools to be under one application. Charts and Mapping now live together and rather than side by side, in SID and STAR charts they can also be directly inserted into the mapping tool. SID and STAR Departures and Arrivals procedures can also now be seen in a coloured routing for easy choice and routes themselves can be built up directly by point and choose directly in the mapping tool including LOW and HIGH AIRWAYS with fully detailed route information. Routes can easily be built and adjusted with full access to the route code for adjustment or editing. There is no provision for saved routes to be exported, but you can now connect to SimBrief or use PLN data to build a route with the Navigraph application, and then have access to SimBrief's route data download feature. Navigraph's SimLink is also now integrated between X-Plane and the application to show you your current aircraft's position with moving mapping to cover the routes or relief maps. Highly versatile, fast and agile, with Navigraph's Chart application you get a very powerful tool for simulation use with the latest chart data and route mapping, and is available only on subscription on a monthly or yearly basis or EUR 8.30 / mo or EUR 74.90 / year, it is yes an outgoing cost, but it is now also a very valuable tool as well, and like noted very powerful.... If your serious about your simulation flying and want to get access to current real world aviation chart and navigation data then it is starting to look like a highly valued investment. _____________________________________ Yes! Navigraph v7.0 is now Available Navigraph Subscription only on a monthly or yearly basis or EUR 8.30 / mo or EUR 74.90 / year Download Download applications are available for both Windows and Mac. SimLink is also available for download and in inserted into your X-Plane Plugins folder.... Internet connection is required for this application. SimBrief is now also intergrated into the Navigraph application, get it here: SimBrief Navigraph Charts Review version v7.0.2 ______________________________________________________________________ Application Upgrade Review by Stephen Dutton  1st June 2019 Copyright©2019 : X-Plane Reviews  (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.33 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : SimBrief (Free) : Navigraph Charts (Subscription) Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.07 US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free : JarDesign Ground Handling Deluxe - US$14.95 Scenery or Aircraft - Boeing 747-8 Series by Supercritical Simulations Group (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$55.00 
  18. All Carenado and Alabeo aircraft are Thranda's, but as an aircraft new to X-Plane11 then yes I think so...
  19. In Development : Eagle 315 Twin Prototype by Eagle Flight Labs Most reviews that come across our simulator are usually based on real world aircraft, a reproduction of a real life machine to practise on, train on or use in a highly realistic way of flying. So you usually look for the reproduction of the real to the simulator, and the way you interact with the machine to mirror the same in the aviation world. But X-Plane per-se, if you go back to it's basic origins was not created for that reason, replicating the real world machines (but that was the ultimate achieved goal) but the very soul name X-Plane gives it's meaning to it's basic reason to be a simulator. X-Plane is based on the X - Experimental line of aircraft for the "National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics" (NACA) or later NASA and expereimental designs were fielded out to the different manufacturers that got the job of building them (Bell for the X-1, X-1A,B,C,D,E and X2 and Northern American for the X-15) in other words the odd and the weird, but all were created to do a specific job in aviation or space and the full list is here. Anyway it easily beats the Flight Sim foundation that Bill Gates just liked aircraft. So although X-Plane is now immersed in the constant replication of real world machines, then at it's heart it was actually created for all the tinkerers out there. From the start X-Plane had PlaneMaker (still does) and built in airfoils, with the idea that anyone can create and test fly their own Experimental aircraft with real world dynamics (the famous aerodynamic model called blade element theory), mostly these aircraft are the really weird and wonderful, but mostly all are sadly and usually consigned to the freeware backpages of history. But the innovation and ideas around these projects should not be forgotten or lost. It is important to note that aircraft created out of fantasy is more based on the X-Plane mantra than folklore, the point of these projects are for the developers to understand how aviation and the dynamics all work, plus the fact they can gain skills in recreating aircraft in the highly developed market that we have today... in other words we all have to start somewhere, the Daniel Klaues, Aerobasks, X-Crafts the FJS Jack Skieczius and all our highly talented developers all started messing around with ideas in the PlaneMaker application, it is our starting school or university of the developer, lose that aspect and then you lose X-Plane in context. So here is a just an aircraft in the Eagle - 315 Twin Prototype by Eagle Flight Labs. In soul it is a pure X-Plane aircraft, but uses real world specifications, but it is created in a innovative context, yes it looks odd, even weird, but the basic fundamentals of the aerodynamics are also correct and if a real world machine was built it would certainly fly as per this simulation. The Eagle is a cross of classic (Pre-WW2) and current dynamics, odd but from an aerodynamic aspect absolutely correct, so this gives you the experience to take something based on classic design and update it, then test the ideas to see if they will conform to the real world specifications, the biggest mistake most early developers do is to create the too much "Flight of Fantasy" sort of ideas, very futuristic in looks but also highly compromised in design and flight aerodynamics, and yes X-Plane does allow you to do that... but the trick taken here is to, yes be very experimental, but to still keep your specifications in the real world. The Eagle is a tandem - two seater, one person behind the other in a fighter jet configuration, interesting because it gives the aircraft a very low frontal area and a fine aspect to the airflow... Power is via two 160 HP (119 kW) engines to an adjustable three blade propeller, gear is three point that is retractable.... .... Cockpit and instrument panel is what I would describe as H.G.Wells in design, white large instruments with a left protruding pod of Throttle/Propeller/Mixture lever, pushpull knob set of controls... odd yes, but it is surprising how quickly you adapt to the layout. Huge trim knob is easy accessible on the end. Instruments are top row: Airspeed, Artificial Horizon (Bubble style), Altitude, NAV 1 VOR CDI for lateral course track, but it also has a built in glideslope indicator. Second row: Turn Coordinator, Horizontal Situation Indicator, Vertical Speed, 2nd VOR CDI. Lower two rows cover the engine instruments: Manifold Pressure, RPM, Fuel Quantity (47 GAL - Per Left & Right tank), fuel flow 7 -11 GPH per engine (55% - 75%), Battery Charge, Oil Temp, Oil Pressure, Fuel Pressure, EGT (Exhaust Gas Temperature) and Vacuum. A clock and compass are far right. All the instruments are custom designed, of course it would have been just as easy to have used the X-Plane PlaneMaker default instruments, as they are all there for this application, but custom designs means it not to be an PlaneMaker design. Right console has top... Power, External Lighting and Instrument lighting switches. Lower two Bendix/King KX 155 radio units with one for COMM 1/VOR/NAV 1 and the other for COMM 2/NAV/VOR 2 Lower is a Bendix/King KT76A Transponder and a custom S-Tec Autopilot. On the sidewall there is a 24 working active set of circuit breakers (the list is noted on the right side) and they all work as noted. The system is two buses with each one powered by its own battery and engine driven generator. Bus 1 (left) and bus 2 (right) are both independent. Fuel tank switching is on the left, and note the nice canopy latches... rudder pedals are custom as well. There is a 3D VR pop-out clipboard that rotates 180º, but it has poor resolution and is hard to read? 180º rotation? I think for the coming custom load/center of gravity settings. Seats are excellent and look very, very comfortable, and so is now the cockpit detailing, as earlier cockpit versions were a bit.... ahem poor, but it looks really well done in here now with all the teak wood grain and detailed sidewall textures. Turn off the electrics and magnetos and the aircraft goes into ground mode... the canopy can opened up the full 100% and chocks go on the wheels and a stored ladder is hung out on the fuselage, the pilots then move external with a baggage cart, and pose like in an aviation advert. Both pilots look undernourished and are heading to a business meeting more than flying an experimental aircraft, but they are well done Gear looks aluminium, but it is still a WIP as they all look factory fresh, but detail is very good, and an unusual way to connect the wheels to the strut (no hub). Adjust the aircraft's weight above 2950 lb and an underbody cargo container (per Cessna Caravan) is then attached, it smooths out the aircraft's shape, but it also comes with 6 knt additional drag factor. Flying the Eagle! Turn the starter keys and the engines roar into life... sounds are all FMOD and are actually very good and 180º variable.... .... the view out is quite remarkable, more helicopter/glider bubble than a GA. Aircraft weight is 1900 LB with a max take off weight of 3800 lb. Taxi control is very nice and any throttle positions will be felt if required, in other words if one engine is below par of the other you can even them up with the throttle. Power up and rotate is 80 knts +10 the Vref speeds are noted on the Airspeed dial... Unusual is the gear arrangement, the front strut is notably very forward, and rotates up into it's own semi-housing pod, the two main wheels retract inwards into the wings... undercarriage detail is very good and the movement/animations are excellent.... The Eagle maybe an odd looking critter, but it is simply fantastic to fly... It is very easy to trim out and then the aircraft is very nicely balanced in your hands. The unusual Horizontal Situation Indicator is really like a flat compass, so you adjust the heading to the compass degree (arrowed) and then follow the needle ... like everything you get used to it easily. In the air the Eagle doesn't feel like an experimental aircraft, but highly realistic.... so this isn't a cheaply made up PlaneMaker freeware machine, as this is something altogether different. You have to sort of experience the aircraft to love it, but the flying and control is excellent and it all feels very real world. Average cruise speed is 180 kt TAS,, and MAX cruise is around 195 kt TAS, 13,500 ft is the ceiling (non-pressurised) and the range is around 900 Nm. S-Tec autopilot is very easy to use and versatile, built in FD (Flight Director) and YD (Yaw Damper) are bonuses, Transponder though is hard to see/use with the canopy boundries. Powering along the coast you could easily sit up here all day, even with the autopilot off and everything nicely trimmed you just drift along.... ... low speed control is also excellent, once under 100 kts then flaps 2 is around 85 kts with speed bugs that do change for the best performance.... ... full flap (3) is 75 kts... (note flaps are four settings and not three or 0 - 1 -2 - 3 with 0 being retracted and 3 Full, when the flaps are extended they sit out and away from the wings which looks great. All flap and weight speeds are noted in the manual. Reduce the power gradually to 68 kts and lift the nose slightly higher and the Eagle will land nicer than Neil Armstrong did on the moon 50 Years ago, perfect control with lift and fall just a throttle adjustment away.... stall is noted at around 56 knts. You do have to be still aware of those long spindly legs though of the gear, as you do sit high and not close to the ground. Lighting The white dials glow in the dark with full adjustment, it looks nice and is also easy on the eyes and weirdly it looks authentic... .... a single overhead red spot will light up the switch panel. Externally it is pretty basic, with navigation and strobe lights, there are no taxi lights, but just landing lights at each tip of the wing. Liveries There are two liveries the default "Eagle" and another one called "Fire Particles!" Summary This is a project that is a WIP, and a sort of VSkyLabs involvement.... but the Eagle also goes very much into the core of what X-Plane as a simulator is all about. This aspect allows you to create and test an experimental aircraft to see if such a design would fly and correctly operate in real world conditions. The trick here is not to do a "Flight of Fantasy" but to use real world data to create a real working design... Yes it looks unorthodox and even a bit weird, and bit of Pre-WW2 or single-engined twin post war trainer, but overall the aircraft flies extremely well, even my first reactions were very positive and the flying doesn't leave you quickly in that you enjoy the experience... and that is the whole point of the Eagle. Projects like this need positive encouragement, as developers with far less talent have gone on to do extraordinary things in X-Plane, it is in the details and the ideas in the Eagle that makes it interesting, but also the sheer learning curve that is required to turn out quality aircraft now in X-Plane, we all have to start somewhere... but talent is talent and it is in aircraft like the Eagle that you can see that talent emerging... I saw a very early rendition of the Eagle, the fundamentals were correct but it needed a lot more design work in many areas, here you can see all those elements that are now coming together, and yes the Eagle is only a stepping stone, but an interesting one... but overall with the Eagle you can go back to real foundation of what X-Plane as a simulator stands for i experimental and for what its true core is all about. You can support the Eagle project by purchasing the aircraft via the Eagle Flight site it is priced currently at US$12.50... if demand is acceptable it may be also released on the X-Plane.OrgStore... ____________________________________________________________ Eagle twin 315 HP prototype Priced at US$12.50 Features : Full featured model and 3D cockpit Custom S-Tec avionics Custom systems Fuse and failure panel with 24 items Cargo bay under the fuselage (custom load/center of gravity will be managed by plugin in late development updates) Custom 3D sound environment Requirements X-Plane11 Basic PlaneMaker design is very light on requirements, so even a very light GPU can run this aircraft. Current version and Review Version 1.0 (May 30th 2019) Installation and documents: Download for the Eagle is 388.90 Mb and the unzipped file is deposited in the aircraft "General Aircraft" X-Plane folder at 370.90 mb. Documentation: Basic manual but with performance details required and Checklist. Check_List - EN Manual - EN ______________________________________________________________________  Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton  30th May 2019 Copyright©2019 : X-Plane Reviews   (Disclaimer. All images and text in this preview are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications:  Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.31 (v11.30 is required for this aircraft) Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - KRSW - Southwest Florida International Airport by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$24.99 
  20. Scenery Upgrade : ELLX Luxembourg V2 by Just Sim Two sceneries have made a tectonic shift in my routes and service network over the last year, and they are actually within cooee of each other in central western Europe and both sceneries were by JustSim. One was the excellent EBBR - Brussels and the other was ELLX - Luxembourg, and both sceneries have been used extensively in reviews over the last year and certainly with ELLX. Good highly realistic accessible scenery is what you are looking for with that exceptional realism while flying in or out or doing the work on the ground. ELLX had a lot of this and more... great realistic approach and departures with excellent autogen, elevation scenery, lovely terminal and walkon stands (very important) and to top it all out then ELLX is also a major cargo hub (CargoLux's main base) to keep the haulers very happy... it works and works well and you can't ask for more than that and all this is at great value as well. The initial release was just only over two years ago, but here we have V2 of the scenery, this is not an update but a new upgrade, which means you have to repurchase the scenery all over again, but there is a discount US$6.00 coupon to take a bit of the pain out of the upgrade. ELLX Luxembourg V2 Oddly at first glance then this V2 looks not much different at all from the V1 release.... And outwardly in the buildings and infrastructure it is in reality a look and feel that nothing has really changed here either... but it has, at the real ELLX. The Luxembourgers have wanted a bit more space to park more aircraft at ELLX, as they wanted a few more stands for the passenger services and a lot more apron space for the Cargolux facility. In stands on Apron P1 they have added in A12 and A14 right next to the terminal.... On the main cargo apron P7 then the original apron has been doubled in capacity by the new P10 Apron which was Apron P7 extended outwards... This covers stands Z5 to Z11 and Z12 which is an A,B and C stand. All the ATC routes have been adjusted to match the apron areas, and few of the ground routes have had some refining as well. If using WorldTraffic3 then a regeneration is required (after saving your older ground routes and parking preferences). The regen is very good, and a nice filler to the areas not covered in the first WT3 ground route generation.... so this is a nice update for activity in ELLX as well. The full base mesh has been replace for V2, and it really doesn't look that much different, if slightly lighter in tone? The N1 approach road to the terminal is still actually a building site, so part of scenery is correct, but the Campanile LUXEMBOURG - Airport hotel is missing which would have made it more authentic and filled part of the flat blank spot? The hotel is supposed to be in the foreground (below right). Grass and trees have had a makeover, it is now more spring with flowers than the just grass before... trees are new, and more fuller in context. Ground clutter and airport vehicles have all had attention, there is a lot more clutter and of a higher quality, ELLX feels now far more fuller and busy. The autogates have been totally upgraded, but they are still the older marginal version than the newer more versatile SAM plugin, for some reason JustSim doesn't embrace the SAM concept to their derision? The airbridges have lost their excellent 3C Payment advertising as well, but the new glass does now nicely match the excellent terminal's The Terminals internal lighting has now also been improved, I was highly critical of the dark black earlier version terminal... it looks thankfully far better here, but a few notches still higher in brightness and would have been perfect. Street and carpark lighting has also been refined and changed, it does look again far better but the lighting is still quite blotchy in areas, but overall the lighting is now very good. Taxiway lighting has also had some attention, with brighter lighting and filled in taxi centreline marking that was missing before, all the new aprons have the new lighting in ground and overhead as well... all the ground markings had been redone and relabeled to the current ELLX chart layouts. All the base mesh and textures have been replaced, and the dynamics of the PBR effects are certainly more evident. In wet conditions then ELLX looks even more realistic and shines with realism... beautiful. The X-Plane10 version has been dropped, but that is rational as with the more extensive X-Plane11 dynamics at work here won't work in any new XP10 upgrade anyway. A note on the autogen here... it is huge and very realistic with the Germanic feel of the housing and urban infrastructure. But it does need a bit of power to run it all as it is quite extensive, but to be able to run the autogen at the MAX settings and you will be very happy with the results. I recommend to read the original X-PlaneReviews Flyin review of the JustSim ELLX - Luxembourg scenery to understand the changes in this upgrade. ___________________________________ Summary This is a very nice update to ELLX - Luxembourg from JustSim, but this is not an update but a payable upgrade. You do however get a US$6.00 discount if you have purchased the earlier version, but only two years into the X-Plane11 run and more payment is however debatable for what is really just an update? So would I invest and update. Well yes because the scenery for me is very usable and I have used it frequently for personal flying, reviews and it has always delivered a fully credible and realistic simulation... so yes it is still an excellent investment. New features in V2 is more ground space in new aprons, and current to the latest airport charts, more and better clutter, better lighting, new grass and trees, better linage and taxiway lighting, redone ATC routes (more WT3 compatiblity), base mesh and better PBR textures all help in redefining the airport to a higher standard. The autogates by Marginal have also been completely redone to a higher and better standard with match glass to the terminal, but you also lose the lovely 3C Payment advertising and the sheer versatility of the SAM plugin (opening CargoLux hangar doors would have been brilliant). Overall this is an excellent scenery, and a must have for any Cargo Hauler with the Cargolux hub based here, as noted I use ELLX a lot, so a lot of use to me is also a lot of value and what the scenery represents to my simulation flying. If JustSim will now just update and see the scenery out of the full X-Plane11 run, I think in the long run you will easily accept the full investment of this scenery... Highly Recommended _____________________________________________________________________________________ The ELLX - Luxembourg Findel V2 Airport by JustSim is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : There is now only one version of this scenery for Plane11... the X-Plane10 version has now been dropped. ELLX - Luxembourg Findel Airport v2 For previous purchaser there is a US$6.00 discount on this upgrade, so look under your original order at the .OrgStore to find your coupon code. Your Price: US$19.80 Features Custom taxiways and airport lights Shading and occlusion (texture baking) effects on terminal and other airport buildings High resolution photo scenery near airport and city High resolution ground textures / Custom runway textures High resolution building textures Runway reflection effect Volumetric ground effect textures Compatible with X-Plane 11 features Animated gates (AutoGate plugin by Marginal) Animated ground vehicles World Traffic compatible X-Life traffic compatible Optimized for excellent performance New in v2.0 - new P10 apron and stands added - stands on P1 changed - new base mesh for the airport area - new PBR materials for ground and buildigs - new markings for the whole airport - new ortho imagery - improved some textures - taxiway lights reworked - new grass and trees - streetlights reworked - changed some models - new autogates models - new models for ground equipment - routes changed for AI and WT3/X-life Requirements : X-Plane 11 (Fully updated) Windows, Mac or Linux 4GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Framerate is excellent for the density of the scenery, but still subject to computer system standards Current and upgrade version: 2.0 (May 21st 2019) Installation and documents: Download for the ELLX - Luxembourg Findel Airport is 861.53mb and the two unzipped files are deposited in "Custom Scenery" Folder ELLX_JustSim_v2.0 (1.93.gb) ELLX_JustSim_v2.0 Mesh (20.24mb) Files must be set in this order or cut and paste the correct order in your scenery_pack.ini text file (In the Custom Scenery folder) You will need to have the checkbox ticked for the X-Plane item "runways follow terrain contours" (General Menu). This NEEDS to be ON. Documents: Installation notes, no manual or WT3 ground routes (regeneration will work fine) No charts are provided but these are good : JeppView _______________________________________________ Upgrade Review by Stephen Dutton 27th May 2019 Copyright©2019: 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) 
  21. Aircraft Overview : Embraer ERJ Family by X-Crafts X-Crafts announced their ERJ 195 LR in May 2013, and released the aircraft August 2014. In the review it was in a design and quality sense brilliant in those Pre-PBR less effect X-Plane10 days, and I recognised the huge talent straight away. But single form developers can be brilliant at one area, in this case the modeling and design, but weak in other areas and that showed with this entry work back then. Early updates came thick and fast, but it was not until Steve Wilson came aboard and redesigned the FMS and systems did the ERJ 195 LR really then become an all round nice aircraft. Difficult as well was that SSG (Supercritical Simulations Group) had their own versions of the E-Jet 170 and 190 LR. It created a development race between the two camps, that really none won except the punters with ever growing features and details, both aircraft now from X-Crafts or SSG are certainly worthy investments. As both E-Jet designs reached their high level then we expected both camps again to go head to head with their next projects. But they didn't... SSG went to the CRJ 700, but X-Crafts kept faithful to Embraer with their ERJ aircraft. Rumors stated a variant, as the most wanted was the E140, many others stated the smaller E135, and more the larger E145... the announcement covered them all with the stated E135, E140 and the E145, wow a full family of ERJ's excellent! and that is what you get here the ERJ family... but wait! there is is more. What you do actually get in the series package is the Embraer ERJ Family of ALL ERJ's in the E135, E140, E145 and the E145XR and.... also the ERJ private jet version of the Legacy 650! That is altogether five aircraft... let us look at the five variants. ERJ135 3/37 Seats, 26.33 m (86 ft 5 in) length, Engines - Roll Royce AE 3007A - 7,580–9,440 lbf (33.7–42.0 kN) - Range ER: 1,300 nmi (2,400 km) ERJ140 3/44 Seats, 28.45 m (93 ft 4 in) length, Engines - Roll Royce AE 3007-A - 7,580–9,440 lbf (33.7–42.0 kN) - Range ER: 1,300 nmi (2,400 km) - The ERJ135 is a shortened version of the ERJ140 ERJ145 3/50 Seats, 29.87 m (98 ft 0 in) length, Engines - Roll Royce AE 3007A1 - 7,580–9,440 lbf (33.7–42.0 kN) - Range LR: 1,650 nmi (3,060 km) ERJ145XR 3/50 Seats, 29.87 m (98 ft 0 in) length, Engines - Roll Royce AE 3007A1E - 8917 lbf (39.67 kN) - Range XR: 2,000 nmi (3,700 km) Legacy 650 2/13-14 Seats, 26.33 m / 86 ft 5 in length, Engines - Roll Royce AE 3007A2 - 9,020 lbf (40.1 kN) - Range 3,900 nmi / 7,223 km - Aircraft is based on the ERJ135 another version, the Legacy Shuttle can seat 19 to 37 in airline-style seats but without the range. For the details I am going to show the ERJ145 as it is in the middle of the family... Modeling is exceptional with perfect detailing.... note any glass with perfect rainbow or dirty reflections... Roll Royce AE 3007 pods and cowling is also perfect and the chrome is very good as well... Fan blades are also well proportioned and realistic. Engine outlet looks actually realistic, lovely tail structure has the lovely APU outlet is in great detail and modeling... ... windows are perfectly formed, and again you would amazed of how many and even the best developers do poor window surronds, but the creme-de creme is the excellent cabin window wear and tear detail. Undercarriage detail is excellent, all the assembly, struts, pipping and supports are perfect, you have to love the dirty/oily bad weather feel to all the gear... .... the highlight here is the flap screwjack, lower the flaps and the screwjack is animated and turns out to the extension... .... all screwjacks work with three on each wing, and yes they are all animated, wing and lighting assemblies are perfect. Finer detail is excellent... all text is readable and the tiny points of screws, latches and panels are all well defined... note again those lovely windows, yes I love them. _____________________________________ Menu The ERJ Family uses the standard X-Crafts menu tabs lower right of your screen, there are four tabs: Menu, FAQ, FMS and Checklist. MENU : is the standard pop-out panel that covers the ground menu... included are opening doors Passenger and rear Baggage, GPU (Ground Power Unit), "Remove Before Flight" Tags, Pitot covers, Cones, front wheel chocks and some lovely engine inlet covers. Both doors are exceptional, with built in stairs for the main left hand door and the excellent right hand service door.... I think a ground service stair would be a great addition here. FAQ, FMS and Checklist: FAQ puts up a shortcut help sheet, but it is quite basic here, I expect this to be expanded. FMS is the pop-up for the FMS panel, and checklist is the very nice spiral bound checklist binder. Cabin Geeeeze it's really tight in here.... Cabin detail is very good, but the game has lifted by a fair margin in the back this year, so what was exceptional last year is now just very good... The cabin certainly passes the grade, but there isn't the functionality in here that is now moving into this area, like the rear toilet... it feels a little dull lighting wise as well. Seat shape feels a little basic, but the important windows and surrounds are excellent. The cabin is the same really throughout each of the different variant lengths, but with just more or less seats. The Legacy however has the executive lounge layout... forward club seating and a side sofa is real rock and roll, Kardashian territory... .... teak wood grain and leather abounds, and yes it is all very executive and rich, lighting panel doesn't yet work, but it is coming say's X-Crafts, non of the blinds work either so the functionality is still to improved here, but finally X-Plane does have a global executive jet... a big cheer for that one! Cockpit The level of detail required now at this level can be overwhelming, and somehow developers have to meet that expectation. Certainly this ERJ Series does that... ... X-Crafts have lifted their quality a few bars higher and it shows, and certainly in the area of display resolution. Centre console is very well done, lovely detail with those pearl throttle levers and gust lock... OverHead Panel (OHP) is also well sorted and easy to use, oddly the aircraft can use the button illumination both ways, like pressing the Avionics 1/2 to on, actually turns them off... packs are on, but shouldn't it be a blank panel for everything on... slightly confusing? There are some easter eggs set out around the aircraft, read the OHP and you get the X-Crafts credits? and on the cockpit door you channel Flying High and Star Wars? Another feature is the pilots side windows open.... but not very wide? the ERJ cockpit windows are like this. Five display instrument panel is very good.... Honeywell Primus Elite Avionics suite is really well done. PFD (Primary Flight Display), MAP/NAV Display and central MFD (Multifunctioal Display) are well detailed, and the three left side PFD, NAV, MFD displays pop-out, but in a 3D suspension aspect than a 2D move the panel around the screen situation. PFD has the usual top primary instrument functions and lower the rose navigation screen with V/S vertical speed indicator. The NAV display is split for the MAP top and the a menu driven information display below, the altitude VSD (Vertical Speed Display) is a selection... .... The menu driven switching is very easy and covers T/O (General), ECS, FUEL, HYD, ELEC selections (Fuel and Electrical are shown). Map selections are also selectable. Dr Glucks Terrain plugin is also available and it is intergrated into the MAP display very well, but make sure it is the latest version. MFD shows Engine Performance, Pressures, ECS, trim, Landing Gear and System Indicators/alerts. Below are two radio panels that are switchable with the magenta highlights showing the COM1/NAV1/ADF1 and green showing the COM2/NAV2/ADF2 frequencies. FMS - Flight Management Systems You have a choice here? You can use the default X-Plane Laminar Research FMS or the Steve Wilson Tekton FMS system... again updated. The Tekton still does the same flightplan layout with the three separate elements, and those are: SID (Standard Instrument Departure) - Route - STAR (Standard Terminal Arrival Route) You can save a route but only the center "Route" portion to a standard .fms file. When you reload it you have then rebuild the departure SID and approach STAR waypoints from scratch, so you don't reload the entire route and just fly. It is tricky at first if you are not used to the system, but the more you use the FMC the easier it gets to use. I found the Tekton programming far easier than on X-Crafts E-Jet, and now with AIRWAYS... the bigger bonus is that you can use the default FMS to check the route via the PLAN and the STEP button, you couldn't do that before... that is a huge step forward for me. In the air overview An important note; the ERJ series has a very different climb function... in most cases you select the aircraft's speed and then the V/S vertical speed you want to attain, but in the ERJ Series the function it is used together here as one. You select your altitude, your V/S and usually around 2300fpm as the 2560 fpm is the noted climb rate and officially it is 200 knts to about 3,500 feet then FLC 250/270/.56M the whole way up to your flightlevel, all this of course depends on your weight, but this is a typical route weight... but the overspeed alarm goes off above the 250 knt speed point. You control the climb rate with the throttles and the speed... it takes a little getting used too, but easy once you understand how it works.... ERJ145 ERJ135 Liveries Liveries cover all variants E135/140/145/145XR. There is blank, Alitalia Express, American Airlines Eagle modern, American Eagle Traditional, X-Jet and United Express. But this aircraft will get the painters working with gutso... already there is a nice BMI ready to released... Legacy 650 The Legacy 650 looks amazing in the air, and lighter to fly because your load factor is very small... only one livery here with the "Dream Chaser", but the other liveries work on the tail and winglets... so you can sort of use the private jet as a company aircraft, some look quite good. Wrapup This is not a review but an overview of the ERJ Family package from X-Crafts and what is included. So there are no comments or details in this aircraft release to be noted here. The aircraft is being sold as both a full package "Embraer ERJ Family" at US89.95 (all five aircraft are included), or separately at US$49.95 each. All packs and the full package is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore.... _______________________________ The Embraer ERJ Family by X-Crafts is NOW available at the X-Plane.Org Store: Embraer ERJ Family - Package Includes ERJ 135/ERJ 140/ERJ 145/ERJ 145XR/Legacy 650 Priced at US$89.95 Embraer ERJ 135 - Includes: ERJ 135 Priced at US$49.95 Embraer ERJ 140 - Includes: ERJ 140 Priced at US$49.95 Embraer ERJ 145/ERJ 145XR - Includes: ERJ 145/ERJ 145XR Priced at US$49.95 Embraer ERJ Legacy 650 - Includes: Legacy 650 Priced at US$49.95 Features : UPDATER - You can easily check for new updates right inside of X-Plane and you will automatically get the latest version. It literally takes 3 clicks of a button! On-screen CHECKLIST plugin On-screen HELP SHEET with FAQ and useful info which will get you going real quick and will solve 90% of issues that users usually ask on the forums. On-Screen Control menu for door control, ground objects, GPU and engine covers. Pre-configured systems like on the real plane Realistic Avionics Startup Realistic flight dynamics based on real pilot input and feedback FMS There are two FMS units installed on the pedestal: Custom TEKTON FMS© by Steve Wilson (More details below) and the X-Plane FMS by Philipp J. Münzel Please note that these are not replicas of the FMS units usually installed on the jets. 3D MODELING AND TEXTURING I'm a VFX artist in real life, so I'm used to creating photo-real assets. Although I am limited by the XP rendering capabilities and your hardware, I tried to make it look and perform as good as I could EXTERIOR 4K High resolution textures (more important is the resolution of the actual fuselage which is 75000pixels per on meter squared) Highly detailed landing gears, Flaps, lights, gauges, antennas... everything Realistic wingflex animation Pilots in external view All doors are animated and controllable from the plugin menu. Main and service doors can also be opened by clicking on the levers. INTERIOR: You'll find that there is an amazing level of detail, for example dust particles on the screens visible when light shines on them, finger prints on buttons, and if you zoom in really close to the screens you will even see individual pixels on the actual screens. I tried to make sure that the cockpit looks realistically worn out and used as it would based on how much these jets are used! High resolution PFD, MFD, EICAS displays All text around the cockpit is crisp and clear with any rendering options Intuitive cockpit manipulation - I have always taken great care to make the cockpit as easy to use as possible. This means all clickable areas in the cockpit are very big so that you can easily click on any button, knob or lever in the cockpit Each switch, lever, knob, and handle is animated All cockpit lights are controllable exactly as on the real jets, even the screens shine light on their surroundings Includes baggage bay door light POP UP INSTRUMENTS 3D (not movable, ideal for VR) pop-up panels of the FMS, Radio panel and Thrust Rating Panel. The FMS also has a 2D pop up window mode that stays on the screen and you can move it around, so you can simply choose which one you want to be using based on your preference. Pop Up screens of the PFD MFD and EICAS OTHER FEATURES Realistic Exterior Lighting: NAV, Strobe, Beacon, Left/Nose/Right landing lights, Nose taxi lights, Inspection lights, Logo lights, Courtesy lights, Baggage door light. They all cast light on the surroundings. Audible Alert System Awesome 3D sounds, many of which have been recorded on the real jets! FULLY VR COMPATIBLE These jets have been made, fine-tuned and tested for a flawless VR experience! LIVERIES There are 5 liveries included compatible with the ERJs (White, American Airlines, American Airlines Old, United Express, ExpressJet,and 3 for the Legacy. There are dozens of other liveries available on the forums. TEKTON FMS© Features Custom MCDU Interface Initialization page on system startup Easy to navigate paging system SID, ROUTE and STAR waypoint lists are treated as separate editable items Color keyed data presentation Scratchpad data entry Interactive feedback messages MCDU PopUps Both 2D and 3D popups are available for easy access. Direct Keyboard Entry (DKE) Departure and Arrival Procedures SID and STAR procedures from X-Plane stock or third party custom data Zipped “Custom Data” folder provided Altitude and airspeed constraints for procedures Automatic procedure altitude calculation Flexible STAR element selection and re-selection and editing Default visual departure and approach waypoints Ability to easily edit SIDs, Routes, STARS and the loaded FLT PLAN AIRWAYS Selection Progress Monitoring Performance Flight Planning: PERF 1 page providing preflight and takeoff data PERF 2 page allowing route fuel planning PERF 3 page for approach data Additional Features: Thrust Rating Select page (TRS) accessed from PERF 1 FMS reset function Simplified manual waypoint altitude entry Company route load and save functions FLT PLAN page now automatically advances with destination waypoint 8.33mhz tunable radios Comprehensive Status Page The stock X-Plane MCDU is also provided as an alternative for users that prefer it. FMOD An amazing 3D sound package comes with the jets. Everything from different knob sounds, door sounds to realistic engine sounds. Many of the sounds have been recorder on the real jets which makes the experience extra immersive! Requirements X-Plane 11.30+ only Windows, MAC or Linux - 4GB VRAM Minimum. 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Current release version: 1.0 (last updated May 24th 2019) ______________________________________________________________________  Aircraft Overview by Stephen Dutton  24th May 2019 Copyright©2019 : X-Plane Reviews   (Disclaimer. All images and text in this preview are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) 
  22. Plugin Update : WebFMC Pro v1.4.0 by Green Arc Studios This is an update review that is the Green Arc Studios WebFMC v1.3.0 review, but adjusted to v1.4.0 because for one the v1.3.0 review did not include the SSG Boeing 747-8 Series (the plugin was updated, but the v1.9.2 of the aircraft had not been released) and the v1.4.0 is in quick succession to the earlier update just a few weeks ago, in other words both or all the update details have been brought together in one place. So yes a lot is familiar here, but with some new details added in as well. More, more and even more additions are now available to the Green Arc Studios excellent WebFMC, that allows you use the pop-out FMC in any computer, tablet or gadget that runs an internet browser. This is version v1.4.0 and the additions this time are the trio of SSG (Supercritical Simulations Group) E-Jets Evolution Series (E-170/E-195) and their Boeing 747-8 Series, FlightFactor A350 XWB Advanced (old style MCDU) and the addition of the ZiboMod Boeing 737-700 of which it is active on both the WebFMC Pro and the WebFMC demo plugin versions. The complete Pro list available is now: ● A320 Ultimate by FlightFactor ● A350 XWB Advanced by FlightFactor ● B757v2 by FlightFactor (all variants; requires 757 v2.2.13+) ● B767 by FlightFactor (all variants; requires 767 v1.2.6+) ● 737-300 by IXEG ● A319 by ToLiss ● MD-80 by Rotate (requires MD-80 v1.42+) ● A320 by Jar Design ● A330 by Jar Design (requires JD330 v3.1r2+) ● Embraer E170 by SSG ● Embraer E195 by SSG ● Boeing 747-8 by SSG (VMAX) - all variants ● EADT x737 (all variants), requires x737UFMC. ● 737-800 Zibo Mod ● 737-900U Ultimate ● 737-700U Ultimate Noted Zibo Mod 737-800 and the 737-900ER/700 Ultimate are also available on the free demo version of the plugin available here on the X-Plane.Org: WebFMC 1.4.0 Full details on how the WebFMC plugin is installed and how it works is set out in the original review: Plugin Review : WebFMC Pro by Green Arc Studios Supercritical Simulations Group E-Jet Evolution Series E-170/E-195 v1.3 by Supercritical Simulations Group is a great addition to the WebFMC portfolio. These FMS units are from Javier Cortes (FJCC) and not directly from SSG, Javier's FMS units have been around for years and notably in the x737 installation... Note the layout is exactly the same in either aircraft. The latest E-Jet Series version 1.3 is required to use WebFMC Pro. The computer based WebFMC is shown on the right and the internal FMS is shown on the left, the Chrome browser is the recommended browser for WebFMC Pro. Again the facia FMS plate is a replica of the original Honeywell unit, although with a shorter facia on the WebFMC version, it is also the correct facia plate on the E-Jet aircraft, and it can be set in "Dirty" or "Clean" modes. I personally use the WebFMC to set out the route and input the performance data. So I use SimBrief (Route Creation) and Navigraph (Charts) to build up the routes. By using the WebFMC as you can see I can have all the route information and chart information ready at hand for input and direct keyboard access for inputting data and route info. Yes you can do the same within the cockpit with the popup... but you will also be turning your head consistently to gather the info on another (computer) screen, I find this system far quicker in creating the flight data. The Boeing 748i Series The update v1.9.2 is required to use the WebFMC Pro in the SSG Boeing 747-8 Series, This version release is the last for this early design until it will be replaced by v2.0 later in the year, but the transition to the new v2 version, should not affect the plug-in or the installation, in other words it is future proof on this aircraft, because I doubt this FMS system and installation will be changed for the v2, if at all... The internal cockpit facia of the SSG B747-8 FMS is a bit squished to fit, but the new plate facia on the WebFMC is full size. It looks very good and can be set in "Dirty" or "Clean" modes. The Javier Cortes version of the FMS in the B747-8 Series is now far more better since last year's v1.9.1 version update, and again this was re-enforced by the easy programming in v1.9.2 of the route... DEP RWY/SID and ARR RWY/STAR and route waypoints (AIRWAYS) was excellent... .... then the ultimate test is in the editing the route. I wanted to reedit the arrival pattern as with the selected IRBI4A STAR into EDDM's RWY 26L as it is very tight, and fine for say a B737 or A320, but too tight an entry for a large heavy like the B748F, so I used the RNAV approach BETOS 26 to reset the approach waypoints... With SimBrief and Navigraph charts and the external WebFMC Pro it is very good for doing FMC editing and route programming.... .... more importantly the FMS reedited the approach data perfectly and it is in these areas that I look for the standard of quality in these Flight Management Systems, if it works correctly it is first realistic, but also saves you time (and frustration) in setting out the routing, and yes I was impressed. I was looking forward to the SSG Boeing 747-8 installation on WebFMC because if you fly long haul.... I mean long, long hours in the air then interaction with the FMC is a nice way to pass the time, okay you could call it fiddling around, but the movement of the aircraft across the globe and the return data to be cross referenced via SimBrief and Navigraph route maps is very professional in the way you manage the flight, fuel loads and weight... in other words it is a very authentic simulation. And now it is here and I found that the WebFMC really shines with this installation just like I expected. FlightFactor A350 XWB Advanced The installation in the FlightFactor A350 XWB is a bit different to the usual in the aircraft facia to WebFMC facia installation. FlightFactor's Version v1.5.1 is again required to use WebFMC Pro. The facia layout in the FlightFactor A350 is not the front MFD (Multi-Functional Display) FMS, but the rear pedestal unit and pop-up panel.... as WebFMC Pro uses the ToLiSS A319 facia panel (and pop-out) for the input of route data and performance details. A lot of the data is reflected in the MFD version, but a lot is not. To the diehards then such a difference in authenticity may grind a little, but there are currently several reasons for this. One the current MFD A350 FMS is not the full monty anyway, as it is hybrid FMS system that combines several different elements to replicate the actual A350 FMS and MCDU. As we shall see in that using the A319 layout you can input more data and more easier than the hybrid version. Secondly the rumors are swarming around that the next A350 XWB XP11 will have a full and complete "Study" system of the A350 FMS? Green Arc Studios have noted that if such a system is created then the WebFMC version will follow the study grade pathway... in other words this A 319 panel version is just a temporary solution to the several problematic areas of the A350 FMS. If you know your way around the A319 FMS then this will come as breeze to to do but the systems are not perfectly in alignment. The MFD A350 version was always a bit complex in what areas (boxes) to fill in or not or which were the active segments? This version is still also problematic compared with the A319 as well as you can't use SID/STARs either when building up a flightplan? Annoying well yes, certainly for a commercial service airliner of this category. There are two ways to get around this, one is to use a Python A350 SID/STAR Script to create the SID/STAR's but it is messy with the extra use the "SimpleFMC"... too messy for me. There is another way and it uses SimBrief... create your flightplan in the Briefing tool and then download the .FMS file, and the trick is in using the XP10 version and not the XP11 .FMS version (you would actually think it would be the other way around? but the FF A350 uses the older GNS340 as it's data source) and load in that .FMS file and that will give you the selected SID and STAR waypoints. It is still slightly messy because you are locked into a certain SID or STAR and can't change any SID or STAR before or in mid-flight... .... at least you do get access to the SID and STAR routing, for which here at LEBL (Barcelona) the departure RWY 02 SID to MOPAS (MOPA1A) is quite complex... note to add in the DEP runway and ARR runway directly into the WebFMC Pro as it is required and not included in the .FMS flightplan noted here is the DEP runway of 02. Loading in or laying out the flightplan is far easier with the WebFMC Pro, but there is the point to be made in that unlike usually in using the WebFMC in that it not always mirrors the changes on the internal aircraft FMS, With the A350 setup you have to select the same page to see the information installed. Notable notes though in that to see (or scroll) through the flightplan in the MAP display you can only do that with the MFD flightplan cursors... ... or inputting or building the route then WebFMC works fine and is actually an advantage. But for other settings like PERF (Performance) T/O - CLB (Climb) - CRZ (Cruise) - DES (Descent) and APPR (Approach) then some areas co-ordinate but a lot of areas don't, so you have to fill in both WebFMC and the onboard FMS... This is not really a WebFMC issue as the FlightFactor's own A350 XWB system is not only confusing, but differential in the fact of what you input in on the OIS - On-Board Information System then is generally not reflected or accepted on the FMS either? Inputting SimBrief route and weight data is not also comparative either like with passenger load and fuel loads are either over estimates or not exact in numbers to do a comparative flight to the SimBrief flight plan.... it is all very messy. It is obviously annoying to have to fill in both the ToLiSS (WebFMC) FMS and the MFD versions separately? But it helps to match them up correctly... In flight the system works well... Following the flight plan and SID charts can be done with the WebFMC, while the ToLiSS pop-up mirror can be used in the cockpit, all flightplan date is also reflected on the MFD flightplan and data (arrowed left). Enroute I like all the route data handy and WebFMC is very good here in following the route data via SimBrief and Navigraph Charts. In simulation today you have a huge amount of data available to you (admittedly at a cost of subscriptions), but the detail helps and makes even the FlightFactor A350 as compromised it is in it's current form still a worthy simulation. ZiboMod Boeing 737-700 Ultimate From the start of the WebFMC release the plugin has supported for free the ZiboMod Boeing 737 Series as a sort of demo for the Pro version. Support that was free originally was for the B737-800 (the original ZiboMod B737), but added since is the Ultimate versions in the B737-900 U and now with this WebFMC 1.4.0 update the Boeing 737-700 U version. First reaction would be that the ZiboMod FMS system would be just a variation of Laminar Research FMS, as originally this is what the ZiboMod actually is in taking the default Boeing 737 -800 that come free and with X-Plane11 and MODifiying the aircraft. But like the ZiboMod itself the FMS in these series of aircraft are very far removed from the default B738 aircraft.... so with this depth of route and performance data to go into the FMC then the WebFMC is a big asset in programming the aircraft correctly... The facia plate is excellent, dirty and worn (again the clean version is available). The WebFMC is a big bonus here as the FMC panel in the ZiboMod 737's don't yet pop-out? (correct me if I am wrong, but I can't get the panel to pop-out?). Programming the route is extremely impressive with the WebFMC, as again is the use of SimBrief and Navigraph charts which are very immersive into helping out in the process... .... tricky here was the arrival in KDFW (Dallas Fort-Worth). The STAR BEREE 1 into Dallas 36L which is a bit messy with just some (or mostly) vectors, so I again readjusted the arrival route with the RNAV RWY 36L approach charts which worked well. VECTORS are ATC directions, but in FMC's they tend to cause route issues because in reality they are blanks, so I usually replace them with waypoints. Certainly VECTORS will work well if you do online ATC. Enroute the WebFMC was highly impressive to use and follow the DL1890 Flightplan... The bonus here is that the WebFMC version for the Boeing 737-700 ultimate is free, so you can try it out to it's full capacity as there are no restrictions with using the plugin to it's full capacity... obviously the Pro version is more highly versatile, but you will get the full aspect of on how good the tool is. You can download all three Zibo/Ultimate Boeing 737-700/800/900 versions here at Threshold The free WebFMC plugin link is listed below. WebFMC Pro v1.4.0 other update notes are: Updated all 3rd party libraries to their latest stable versions (client UI, plugin). Fixed a bug where AI aircraft could trigger internal re-initialization of WebFMC. Other minor bugfixes. Summary This is another update to the excellent WebFMC Pro, this is a plugin that can be used in a browser on another computer or a tablet. It is a remote tool, but a very beneficial and even a powerful one in programming in route and performance data and following the set aircraft route in flight in mirroring the aircraft's built in FMS (Flight Management System). This update adds in more aircraft FMS's to cover the Supercritical Simulations Group (SSG) E-Jets Evolution Series (E-170/E-195) and their Boeing 748 Series (v1.9.2), the FlightFactor A350 XWB Advanced (old style MCDU) and the added ZiboMod/Ultimate Boeing 737-700 The WebFMC Pro FMS list available is now listed as an impressive 16 aircraft, but three in the list of the Zibo Mod 737-800 and the 737-900ER/700 Ultimate are also available in the Free Demo version. All WebFMC Pro facias work very well and are mostly authentic to the real aircraft's facia plates, but the FlightFactor's A350 XWB layout is slightly more complicated and not as study grade as most of the other units here, so currently it uses the ToLiSS FMS system to do the work, that FMS panel is a situated on the aircraft's rear pedestal. The WebFMC Pro is an excellent tool all round and one plugin I use consistently during FMS setup and route flying and now covers a broad list of available aircraft and their various FMS - Flight Management Systems, It is an invaluable tool for my simulation flying... Highly Recommended _____________________________________ Yes! WebFMC Pro v1.4.0 by Green Arc Studios is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : WebFMC Pro Price is US$19.99 The v1.4.0 update is free to previous purchasers of the plugin, go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account for the new version. Quick and easy access to the FMC Get easy access to the FMC: quickly edit the flightplan, monitor flight progress, set up your approach and do all the typical work of the pilot without having to move around in the cockpit, even if the plane doesn’t support FMC as a popup natively - on the same PC, or different monitor, tablet or phone - in fact you can use multiple displays at the same time! Make pilot tasks easy and comfortable Enjoy external views during cruise while monitoring flight progress on separate screen or take a quick look at your phone to verify calculated landing speed with just a glimpse of an eye during busy time on approach. Make flying complex SIDs / STARs easy as you can focus on the important flight parameters while having overview of the constraints all the time. Take your mobile to the kitchen as you cook a dinner during a long haul and never miss T/D again! Convenient to use Use physical keyboards on PC with extra keys such as Prev/Next page mapped to keyboard keys for easy access. WebFMC scales dynamically to fit any display or window size and can look as native app on mobiles by using browser's "Add to home screen" feature. Aircraft support WebFMC Pro supports growing number of 3rd party aircraft starting with ● A320 Ultimate by FlightFactor ● A350 XWB Advanced by FlightFactor ● B757v2 by FlightFactor (all variants; requires 757 v2.2.13+) ● B767 by FlightFactor (all variants; requires 767 v1.2.6+) ● 737-300 by IXEG ● A319 by ToLiss ● MD-80 by Rotate (requires MD-80 v1.42+) ● A320 by Jar Design ● A330 by Jar Design (requires JD330 v3.1r2+) ● Embraer E170 by SSG ● Embraer E195 by SSG ● Boeing 747-8 by SSG (VMAX) - all variants ● EADT x737 (all variants), requires x737UFMC. ● 737-800 Zibo Mod* ● 737-900U Ultimate* ● 737-700U Ultimate* * Available on the free demo WebFMC plugin Requirements: The WebFMC plugin requires X-Plane 11 running 64-bit Windows 7 operating system or newer Mac OS 10.14.x (Mojave) Ubuntu Linux 16.04 LTS or 18.04 LTS (64-bit) Web Client The CDU can be displayed on any modern and up-to-date web browser with JavaScript support. We recommend the latest versions of Google Chrome on PC or Android and Safari on iOS. No internet connection required, remote device needs to be on the same local network as X-Plane PC. Support for WebSockets RFC 6455 standard is required which implies at least iOS version 6. Current and Review version: 1.4.0 (May 21st 2019) Current SSG E-Jet Evolution Series E170/E195 v1.3, Boeing 747-8 Series v1.9.2 and FlightFactor A350 XWB v1.5.1 are required for the use of this plugin ______________________________________________________________________ Plugin Update Review by Stephen Dutton 15th May 2019 Copyright©2019 : X-Plane Reviews  (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.33 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : SimBrief (Free) : Navigraph Charts (Subscription) Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.07 US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free : JarDesign Ground Handling Deluxe - US$14.95 Scenery or Aircraft - E-Jet Evolution Series (E170/E195) by Supercritical Simulations Group (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$54.95 - Boeing 747-8 Series by Supercritical Simulations Group (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$55.00 - Airbus A350 XWB Advanced by FlightFactor (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$49.95 - ZiboMod/Ultimate Boeing 737-700 (Threshold) - Free 
  23. Aircraft Announcement : PA31T Cheyenne II by Carenado Now almost a fortnightly announcement is the rollout of Carenado aircraft, The B58 Baron XP11, Premier 1A Private jet and now this PA31T Cheyenne II... which as an aircraft it is an turboprop development of the earlier PA-31P Pressurised Navajo. The Carenado Navajo is however one of my seriously favorite big-twins : Aircraft Review : PA-31 Navajo XP11 HD Series by Carenado. Here are some supplied nice images of the PA31T Cheyenne... This version is the Improved version, and an renamed version of the original PA-31T and is powered by two 620-shp (462-kW) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-28 turboprop engines. No doubt it will be very welcome in our hangars. Carenado originally announced the Cheyenne II a week ago, and so the release is going to be before the American Memorial Day holiday, price? The Navajo is US32.95 so I expect the same or a little if slightly higher price at US$35.00. Images are courtesy of Carenado Announcement via Carenado's Facebook page ________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 21st May 2019 Copyright©2019: X-Plane Reviews
  24. The whole Carendo ProLine 21 system is a new development, and not to a point fine not yet tuned for X-Plane, but I expect the development to be quick and sorted quickly, that was made clear in the review, there is still the basic issue of Laminar not allowing very high resolution displays, to a point this area is well behind development that should also be addressed... but don't turn off your investment just yet, it will get better and quickly.
  25. Read the instructions in the manual... your missing the "Aircraft Static and Animated" scenery pack, it is a separate download. SD
×
×
  • Create New...