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Wednesday
May062009

FSBreak 15: One Hundred Dollar Hamburger, X-Plane: The First Week, ADE Updated, and SimFlight 3D's C172

Hosted by Eric McClintock, Nolan, and Mark.

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1958 C172 from SimFlight 3D Now Released

It is a four-seat, single-engine, high-wing airplane, capable of cruising at 131 knots. Original models shipped with 145 horsepower, 6-cylinder engines. Its considered the most popular flight training airplane in the world and is still being produced today. More than 35,000 aircraft have been built.

Features:

  • First professionally produced classic 172 (straight tail)
  • Optimized for FSX
  • Working, highly detailed virtual cockpit, GPS and localizer with glideslope
  • Doors, windows and engine compartment open (for oil check)
  • Full 2D and 3D IFR Ready panels
  • Includes checklist and performance information
  • 4 paint schemes

Price: $22.95 More information here [Link], via Fszone.org [Link].  

Screenshots:

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

Airport Design Editor Updates to V1.40

Airport Design Editor is a graphical design tool to create and enhance airports for Microsoft Flight Simulator X. It takes it's inspiration from the excellent AFCAD2 developed for FS9 by Lee Swordy. ADE does for FSX what AFCAD does for FS9 and adds support for new FSX features such as fences, jetways and terrain. ADE is being developed with the help of a small group of dedicated airport designers with a wealth of knowledge and experience.

Version 1.40 Features:
The major new function is the Visual Approach Designer. In the past creating approaches has meant writing xml code and repeatedly checking it in FS. With Version 1.40 we have introduced a graphical interface for approach design that mimics the FSX GPS Display. ADE is available as a free download from the author's website, and a full feature list for 1.40 can be found there.

More information on ADE, look here [Link], Via FlightSimX.co.uk [Link].

X-Plane: First Impressions

Eye Candy I liked:

  • Moving traffic on roads, like in FSX, I think it adds a lot of realism.
  • Power lines, Again, I think this adds some realism to the mix...
  • AI Trains
  • Runways slope with terrain (Something  MSFS has been struggling with for some time)
  • Night airports look incredible.

Features I liked:

  • Simulator ran very smooth, and tended not to stutter even in high autogen (Is this what it is called in X-Plane?) areas.
  • Water & Wave Configuration
  • More key combos, overwhelming at first, but after they're all set up they come in handy
  • Ability to assign a macro-like function to a key.
  • X-Plane has more helipads, all of the local hospitals and even the Police helicopter station down the road from my house were in X-Plane.

The Ugly:

  • Joystick controls sometimes buggy, needed to reverse certain functions when it seems like they shouldn't need to be reversed, etc.
  • Still having intermittent issues with plane veering to the left.
  • Default aircraft models.. Suck (Honestly), addons are better, but not the quality of MSFS freeware models (Ex. Project Opensky), or Payware models (PMDG, etc).
  • Helicopter controls are very touchy, could not actually get a heli airborne without flipping it.
  • Flight Physics seem to go crazy at times, for example I've been able to drop 500-1000 feet in a cessna, go back up 1000 feet, drop 1,000 feet, and then pull out and recover all in about 3 seconds. I've never flown a real plane, but doesn't seem likely. Normal flight physics seem OK.
  • When adjusting the weather, I set "Precipitation" to "None", yet it still rains. I'm probably missing a setting though.

Compared to FSX:

  • Amount of addons?
  • Smaller airports just aren't up to par with MSFS. For example, KCVG looks like a parking space with three runways, larger airports like LAX look good, though.
  • While it may seem like a small feature, FSX is loaded with real world road data from Navteq, which also supplies data to GPS makers, and is used to recreate major roads and highways, and then determine the type of scenery texture in FSX.

Where I live on Google Maps vs Where I live in FSX:

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

As you can see, FSX has the larger roads and highways almost exactly right. The smaller roads do not match EXACTLY up, but the scenery textures used match up (Residential roads, with Autogen houses) do. However, in X-Plane I was able to find my house, and all I saw were generic "Industrial" textures and no roads. I know to many this is not a big deal, but FSX has gotten so good that using landmarks and the roads in FSX I can for the most part navigate my way around using just roads.

Overall...

Overall, my first "formal" day experience has been positive. X-Plane offers many features that I did not know (or forgot) they offered, such as real world weather download, built in support for Space missions, and is extremely tweakable and customizable. Many features available for tweaking in X-Plane either cannot be achieved in MSFS, or can only be achieved by third party programs or changing the .cfg file. MSFS users will find the addon install procedure very similar to FS9/FSX, too.

While I was not impressed with the aircraft models, I think X-Plane as an ENGINE is great... Which is what I think Austin intended it to be (Hence his untextured Models, etc), right now I think we are just waiting on more developers to jump on to the platform and push out some X Plane addons. After flying around X-Plane for a few hours, I realized that despite all of it's differences, I was still in the same 'zone' I am in with FS2004 and FSX too, you're having fun flying a plane... The simulators have more in common than not in common, in that respects.

Having Fun...

Two silly videos from X-Plane:

X-Plane Recommendations from Mark

 

Aircraft Pick:

X737 Project / 700 / 800 & BBJ series (Free)

picture-2

picture-1

You can download it here [Link].

FMC for the x737

Both plugins - the x737 aircraft enhancement plugin and the x737FMC - are designed to interact perfectly with each other for an comprehensive system simulation. The x737 FMC comes with well known features like SID & STAR and direct to which comes in handy for online flying and also new features are available, like the RTE page with airways or waypoint restrictions. It works perfectly with the x737 autopilot and enhances it with features like Real Modes VNAV ALT, VNAV PTH, VNAV SPD and LNAV. It accurately calculates the V speeds, fuel and time calculations and descend profiles with a detailed configuration file for the x737. The x737 FMC is specially designed for X-Plane and perfectly integrated. It features photo real graphics and easy to read fonts. As a special feature, the x737FMC allows you to load and save routes completely with airways instead of DIRECT procedures UFMC is continuously being developed and new exciting updates will follow! The x737 FMC is a must have for Boeing fans! FMC is available for the x737 / Perfect integration into x737 technologies on Mac, Windows and Linux $20 Euros (For those wanting a functional FMC)

picture-3

You can find that at the same website as the x737 [Link].

If you're looking for a free Universal FMC, check out vasFMC 2.0 [Link].

Software Pick

DSF scenery editor: OverlayEditor / Scenery Designer X-Plane

picture-4

You can find this on X-Plane.org. [Link]

$100 Hamburgers: Mark's Suggested Flight

GET THE print outs here! Includes full instructions, Airport Information, Airport charts, and Sectionals!

Download the full PDF: Download (PDF/16.1MB)
Download the .zip of the Sectionals + Airport info: Download (ZIP/13.5MB)
Get the map of the islands: Download (PDF/1MB)


We recommend printing out the Flight Description, the Sectionals, and the Island map! What is the purpose of this flight? It is about being alone, with the machine, no fancy equipment, out over the beautiful islands of the Pacific Northwest. It is flying at it’s purest, by the seat of your pants, sectional on your lap, looking for landmarks being a navigator, feeling like an explorer. If you are not a pilot, this could be a great example of a cross-country in the real world.

Tip: Using light aircraft in FSX or FS9, turn up the scenery, with extra attention paid to the water. Have spectacular water in this mission will make it great! Remember you are flying over water between islands and the mainland, choose an altitude that might make it possible to make an emergency landing close to land or allow you to put the aircraft down near a boat using the best glide profile. Remember the first leg is short, don’t get to high. Get that head on a swivel and think out the possibilities.

Recommended Scenery

  • Victoria+ (Ver6) FS9 & FSX (Both on Page) versions available (Free) [Link]
  • Bellingham Scenery (Also Free) [Link]

The Mission

Afternoon flight out of Victoria B.C to the San Juan Islands and the mainland Washington State. Early evening return. Departure Time : 4:00PM

Aircraft

Any single engine prop aircraft, Preferably C172, C182, C206 or Piper Warrior / Archer No fancy electronics, mapping systems, moving maps or navigators, put down the electronics and step away.

Weather

VFR – Light Clouds (6500)

Navigation

Navigate using dead reckoning and a sectional, use of VOR for reference. Victoria VOR – 113.70 (North Of Airport) Whatcom Vor – 113.00 (Bellingham – Closest VOR / North Of Airport) Dead reckoning (DR) is the process of estimating one's current position based upon a previously determined position, or fix, and advancing that position based upon known or estimated speeds over elapsed time, and course.

Discuss the flight!

We've created a forum over at the Fszone.org forums for FSBreak. You can create a free account there [Link], and then post your thoughts, suggestions, and screenshots in this forum! [Link] We look forward to seeing you there!

Picks

Eric: Lockheed Martin F-16 Viper Freeware Aircraft by Kirk Olsson [Link], and the X-15C by Massimo Altieri [Link]. Both free and for FS2004, probably will work in FSX.

Mark: SkyVector.com On-line sectional charts / Searchable Sections (Enter airport and it will find a sectional to match) / Airport Information / Approach Plates / Enroute Charts.

Nolan: FSX Red Bull Team [Link]

Voicemail & E-Mail

 

Voicemail from Dave

(P.S. We're just kidding Dave!) But anyways, you can check out some addons such as FSGenesis [Link], Active Sky [Link], or Real Environment Extreme [Link] to name a few. Unfortunately as of the creation of the show notes the Avsim library is being worked on, but search Avsim for FSGenesis and you will find some free areas to try out (I believe for FS2004 only, though, but check.)

Funny Request from Steve

Ok Eric, The dulcet tones of the many that have graced the podcast now are clouding my imagination. It would be good if we had pictures of the guests so we can put a face to the voices. I have ran out of characters to put to the voices... Donald Duck, Elmer Fudd and that suave smooth sophisticated one... Mr Magoo. Seriously Eric give us a gander at the boat races (Faces).

Your wish is our command, Steve! View the Host Bios page here!

Screenshot from Nolan

Nolan wanted to share this screenshot with our listeners:

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

Nolan said that this is one of his smoothest landings he has had under any condition!

Other Links:
Co Host Information

Voicemail & Other Contact Info

References (27)

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Reader Comments (4)

[...] We are still taking comments/screen shots/suggestions about last week’s flight! Check out the Show Notes for last week for more details on how to [...]

In this episode, you said something about posting a video of funky aircraft towing in xplane and fsx.... is that on the site somewhere else?

June 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTed

Thanks Eric!

June 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTed

wow.. you really have a nice video.. I really like aircraft.. I hope we can use it in transferring are things when we are shifting in another house..

July 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterboston movers

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