Simon has in the aftermath of MsFlight, ahem, been digging around in FsX over the past few days, so look for some coverage of interesting new developments in the next few days! One thing is certain: MsFlight HAS been axed, and most of the development team let go. What did we say two weeks ago about change being the one constant in this little universe of ours? Well, if MicroSOFT has canned Flight because it wasn’t performing up to expectations ( “as we predicted” ), just what else can this possibly mean other than MicroSOFT has regrouped, recalibrated, and is about to turn our little world upside down once again. Think not? Well then, consider this. They’re simply not going to abandon a genre they created, and that they have constantly refined – for decades. There’s simply too much money to be made, too much is at stake for MicroSOFT’s reputation to ignore. Flight is now a stain on their record, and they’ll simply not let that be the final word on the matter.
Best guess on our end?
Look for an announcement concerning a true successor to FsX…soon, perhaps within weeks but more likely this autumn. It’s either that or they’ll assume a leadership role in mass-marketing a rebranded PrePar3D in cooperation with Lockheed Martin and one or more of the major third party add-on developers. The implications for XP in such a shift could be very interesting indeed. Regardless, whatever begins to take shape in Redmond – you can be sure we’ll be covering these developments closely.
FlightTime56 outlined interesting new developments for beta 5 coming out of the WizardWorks in South Carolina, including some needed changes to cockpit views. Beta 5 is shaping up to be an important one, and for many reasons including those outlined above. How well XP is perceived between now and the vital Christmas holiday season will be crucial to Laminar’s success, but you can take it for granted that once MicroSOFT announces a successor to FsX – assuming they do – all eyes in the flight simulation world will drift away from XP unless these beta updates continue to introduce truly groundbreaking enhancements. Playing catch up to FsX simply won’t cut it, will it?
Getting a core SIM in place that takes full advantage of modern hardware and operating systems has to be a huge priority now. Doesn’t it?
So, have you heard of The Trident Group? Well, these are the guys behind the Am-X, and they’re involved in a new project that looks well worth taking serious interest in:
Ooh, that wing! We’ll have some new screenshots for you soon, but early word is that after much work these guys have got a good handle on the transsonic flight regime. If this sounds trivial to you, just step back and consider that variable geometry wing, and then think about the implications of all those varied angles to the flight model. This is hard work, and not for newbs.
Okay, let’s look at some other news before I go ballistic! The Tornado is one of the coolest strike fighters ever, and that video has me very interested indeed. So…onward…
- Members of the Airplane Geeks podcast are covering the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. Benet Wilson from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association joins Scott Spangler fromJetwhine.com and other aviation experts. Peter Moll, the director of the Wittman Regional Airport, discusses how the airport has prepared for AirVenture. Airplane Geeks Podcast
- The Piper Cub celebrated its 75th birthday at the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. The celebration attracted 181 of the vintage aircraft to an event on Tuesday. “We have never had that many Piper Cubs here on the field at one time, so it’s really cool to see that much yellow,” said H.G Frautschy, executive director of the Vintage Aircraft Association. WLUK-TV (Green Bay, Wis.)
- Michael Huerta, acting administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, visited EAA AirVenture for the first time this week. Huerta says he wants general aviation pilots to be aware of safety. “We all have our routines,” he said. “We just want them to take some time to sit back and ask the question ‘am I doing everything I can to maintain the maximum level of safety?’” General Aviation News
- Ernie Edwards, president of Embraer Executive Jets, said 2012 could turn out to be “a pivotal year to recover market growth” for business jets. Edwards made the comments at the EAA AirVenture on Wednesday. He also announced that the first flight of the Embraer Legacy 500 jet is expected to take place in September. AVweb
- The SocialFlight application can help pilots find airshows and other aviation events near them. “We believe that by providing pilots with a great resource to see all the wonderful events going on around them, they will fly more and strengthen general aviation,” the creators of the free app said. The application is available for download for iPad, iPhone and Android devices.AVweb
- The U.S. National Championships and Great Texas Balloon Race are taking place this week in Texas. Hot-air balloon pilot Bill Bussey encourages people to enjoy the Great Texas Balloon Race over the weekend at East Texas Regional Airport. “Just come out and see it,” Bussey said. “[People] will enjoy it. … The kids will love this thing.” Longview News-Journal (Texas)
- Gulf Coast State College in Florida has partnered with Precision Flight Training to provide a ground-school course. “From this experience you can become a private pilot and fly for your own enjoyment or you can start working on becoming an airline pilot or a military pilot,” said George Rampulla, co-owner of Precision Flight Training. News Herald (Panama City, Fla.)
- A declining pilot population, onerous helicopter regulations, airport funding, user fees, and aircraft flight training privacy issues are some of the top issues general aviation associations have worked on together to protect the community. AOPA Online.
Well, some great new paint for the Leading Edge DC3 out for the weekend, and some seriously interesting new scenery files. Let’s dive in.
Leen de Jager has been focusing on making new liveries for the Leading Edge DC3 over the past few months, and the efforts have been extraordinary indeed, and his latest – for an Air Atlantique 50th Anniversary Dakota – is a serious must have effort. Let’s take a look…
This was not an easy livery to cobble together…even a cursory glance will tell you that. Any time you wrap stripes under the fuselage and get custom logos involved you’re seeing evidence of some serious work, so be prepared to feast your eyes when you get this one!
Leen also tweaks textures, adds new panel colors, even takes on retexturing a few mechanical elements in his DC3 paints. You have to take time with these installations, but getting them right yields interesting dividends.
Well, obviously Leen de Jager continues to make some of the very best paints in XP, but there’s been no doubt about that for some time now, and this file will certainly be of serious interest to DC3 users in the UK. Most highly recommended it is too, as are all Leen’s files.
Chris K and Dr Ropeless (that sounds like a new punk rock group, doesn’t it?) have got their YSSY Sydney Airport and PhotoScenery out for XP10, and the wait was worth it. If interested, you’ll need to read the warnings at the Org’s DM page on hardware requirements and settings recommendations (and take them bloody seriously too), and just consider right here and now that this is an XP10 only file and the exercise of downloading this one will be pointless if you don’t heed the hardware requirements. 512 Mb cards and higher only, folks – as 256 Mb cards aren’t invited to this party.
I kept objects and detail maxed out here and opened this one with basic res at High, and trying this one at Very High simply drove a nutronium-tipped spear through Godzilla’s heart. Even at High, Peter’s 380 prompted a warning from XP that we were treading along the razor’s edge of a hard crash. Surprised? Well, you shouldn’t be. When you combine a large, hyper detailed airport with a dense cityscape the results are pretty much a foregone conclusion. Adding OSM for the city would be pointless with this file in place – at this point in time anyway.
And this is still a works-in-progress file, too. I’d expect things to get more detailed, and more refined, over the next few weeks or months…but even as is this is a mouth watering file. It has the capability of becoming the next freeware EDDM…and if you’ve been following our posts for a while you know that very few freeware files have earned higher praise than that one. This file truly has so much going for it right now – as is – that there’s no reason not to try it out. Assuming you have the hardware on your end, go for it.
Ramps, static aircraft, the area around the airport – including the cargo ramps and adjacent parking areas – are all so well executed that it’s easy to see this file being payware quality. And the weeds!!!
I’d truly love to be able to use the A380 and with objects and settings so high (look at the exhaust in the 380 image, above), but until I can just note that the default 744 and the EADT x737 both worked very well here, and both have very well executed Qantas liveries available!
Large images below, so have a look-see:
Now, a few night images:
The x737 was fluidly smooth here, and frames were in the high-20s at their lowest – and still with res at High. And once again I’m finding High res to be much better than Very High was before installing MacOS10.8. This is just one more fringe benefit to owning a mountain lion, wot?
So I’m still just exploring this one, and I’ll have more to say over the next few days about the file. Needless to say, a conditional recommendation at this point. If you don’t have the hardware, so sorry. Just remember there are other YSSY airports made for v9 that work decently in 10, and think about an upgrade if you can. If you do have the hardware, this is a most highly recommended file. Period.
anthony d’s EGPD + Aberdeen Dyce is a handy revision that now includes a fair amount of OSM derived building data, and the area around the airport is much improved as a result.
Just keep in mind that as the surrounding cityscape is relatively small that performance is excellent, and so we’ll recommend you add this one to your growing collection of Scottish airports in XP10.
teacher’s KCVG + Cincinnati International Airport is an MsFS conversion (Daniel French’s FsX file) that works quite well in many regards but that falls short when working up close to the gates. Still, this is a most important hub in the Delta network and having this one in your Custom Scenery folder outweighs almost all other considerations. There’ve been a few other attempts here, all for v9 and earlier, but until someone tries a Lego-Brick version you might as well try it and see if you like or need it.
Terminals are quite stretched and blurry, there are no Jetways, ramps are barely marked at I don’t think they’re mapped for AI a/c, but still as you can see below the airport works from a distance. We can just recommend this one, but you’ll only want this one if you can live with these limitations.
Another worthwhile revision to consider this weekend: chris noe’s Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon.
Hard to imagine just how much MacOS10.8 has helped out on the rendering chores, but looking this latest revision over and comparing images made last week to this one are instructive. The wires that hang over or in front of the face of the dam and that are seen from even a few thousand feet above the river are now resolved clearly. Before they weren’t, and this was with res at Very High. Now, with res at High, the wires are cleanly resolved.
Large images here and worth a close look, so click to enlarge.
I think this file is just glorious, and though for use in XP10 only it’s files like these that add real depth to the experience of using a SIM in the first place. Mount Rushmore, anyone?
Well, it’s a most highly recommended file, and we’re done for the day. Y’all have fun with the rest of your weekend, and we’ll seeya soon. Hasta later – C