Well I was the proud owner of one brand new daughter earlier this year and hence flight simulation, and this blog has taken a back burner to the world of nappies and formula. But the good news is my wonderful lady has granted permission for a new computer upgrade so I intend to get back behind the flight yoke as soon as possible and start writing about FS again on here.
The excellent Godzone packages of Wellington and Marlborough have been re-released as freeware by their creator, which is a nice Xmas gift for anyone with interest in flying over highly detailed and enjoyable scenery for both these areas. FS2004 users only, the FSX version remains payware. I highly recommend these packages, they’re accuracy is fantastic!
Go here for more info: http://www.windowlight.co.nz/store/index.php?main_page=page&id=8&chapter=2
Today CS have finally released a patch to fix the numerous issues with their 777, I was supposed to review this product some time ago but held off until this patch as it didnt seem fair to review what was in essence, an unfinished product. For those of you that own it jump over to http://www.captainsim.com/products/x777/sp1300.html do download the patch, for those of you considering purchasing I would say go ahead as its a great product with lots of nice features at a good price, the full review will feature here shortly.
I often get emailed questions about tweaking FSX and its something that often comes up on Forums. To get the best frame rates, especially on an older computer, some tweaking of FSX’s video settings and config will be needed. So, one of my favourite sites to point people towards is this great guide by Kosta http://kostasfsworld.wordpress.com/fsx-software-and-hardware-guide/ His blog is excellent and well worth a regular read.
I’ve really been enjoying the Majestic Q400 of late so I asked around and found an excellent repaint of it for flying within the lovely regional airports of New Zealand. So cheers to the folks at Aircraft Repaints of New Zealand, they’ve got a great selection of quality Microsoft flight simulator repaints for many aircraft.
Visit their site at http://www.flightsim.co.nz/
What they’ve also done is make a bloody awesome tutorial for the CaptainSim 777, great timing as I’ve been reviewing this product! So here’s a link to that also: https://arnzx.s3.amazonaws.com/OtherFSX/PART_ONE.pdf
Downloading as we speak, I’m really looking forward to this upgrade. Depending on how it performs it might tip me over the edge to buy a new PC, but don’t tell the misses, new baby on the way in January so should I really be blowing dollars on flight sim stuff?
Anyway, this product has been very well received, like most of Orbx’s stuff and I think it shows how far development of FSX has come in the years since it was released. We’ve not got incredile scenery, detailed land classes, very detailed aircraft with systems and cockpits that you could have only dreamt of 5-10 years ago, complex missions, online ATC, huge multi-player events etc etc…its really a great time for flight simulation! So watch this space for the upcoming reviews of this great scenery product from Orbx.
CaptainSim 777-200 First Look
I have been lucky enough to be given a review copy of the new updated 777-200 from Captain Sim. I will be releasing a full review in the coming days but here are some first thoughts. All in all, a nice effort from Captain Sim with some interesting new features like a working Electronic Flight Bag, Weather Radar, External Power modelling, basic FMC, hundreds of animations, virtual cabin, electronic checklists, new sound packs for GE, PW and RW engines…and many more features. Priced at e49.99 for the base pack, its good value for what you get and is quite comprehensive. It is still in its early days of the software release cycle so does have some more work to done to polish it up to the current standard expected from paid addons, so I will be watching with eager eyes to see how this product matures. Check back here in the coming days for the full review. Or go ahead and grab your own copy from Captain Sim here: http://captainsim.com/products/x777/200/index.html
For flight training schools, aero clubs and people at home, the Solo Flight Panel is a fantastic reproduction of a modern GA cockpit. Simply plug and play with Microsoft FSX and X-Plane. Combine with a large LCD monitor, projector, or with something like the amazing SimPit and you will have a highly realistic and detailed way to train, entertain or simply practice your flying. Manufactured in Spain, the Solo Flight Panel has been very well received around the world due to its quality design. Features over 30 instruments, switches and controls and can be configured for 8 different aircraft setups. This really is the best way to experience the cockpit without ever leaving the ground. Available now at Flight Sim Shop New Zealand http://www.flightsimshop.co.nz/index.php/products/cockpit-training/solo-flight-panel-detail
Take a look at this handy little app to display your virtual flight’s progress on your iPhone or iPad. Pretty sweet! Looks simple to install and supports both FSX and X-Plane
For a flight simulator that comes with A LOT of stuff right out of the box (or download) X-Plane is looking very good these days. The community is large and there are lots of nice addons being developed. Microsoft Flight Simulator X probably still has some edge in terms of sheer volume of addons available, but something about X-Plane 10′s flight dynamics just feel really accurate and true. I think both are well worth a try, fortunatly there is a 3.5Gb demo of X-Plane available right here.
If you want to wet your apatite some more take a look through X-Planes website. Purhcasing the destop version with global scenery with cost$69 US dollars plus shipping and comes winging to you a whopping set of DVDs.
Microsoft Flight Simulator X is of course available in stores for probably less then $50 in most places and as I mentioned, has a huge amount of additional airports, scenery, high detail aircraft of every size possible and a huge fan base/online community.