Saturday, 12 October 2019

The Lands that Time Forgot!

When it comes to the enormously diverse virtual world of our flight simulation arenas, we simply cannot say that we aren't spoilt for choice when it comes to places to fly, and in particualr when it comes to those marvellous helipcoter and bush pilot playgrounds in which we can explore, test, seek, and practice our skills and techniques all without breaking the bank.

Up until recently, these playgrounds have been mainly test bed scenerios with a variety of helipads to explore, buildings on which to land, and hoops through which we fly. Nice, yet somehow terribly articifical and slightly bland.

Recently, however, a small number of meticulously crafted virtual playgrounds for those halcyon lazy days have begun to appear, and here I present you with four of the very best examples.

Do read the instrcutions as some may require photoscenery, mesh, and/or additional libraries.

The first three of these special areas has been crafted by X-Plane.Org user monoblau.

UV Bamboo Island Thailand 2.0.0

UV Ko Poda Island 1.0.0

Krabi Outback Adventures Thailand 1.4

XALM Aero La Mancha by Helisimmer

NB. My focus here clearly relates to X-Plane, although I am sure that FSX/P3D has its own share of specific heliocpter training areas.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Take a Look at Locher!

Locher, Sarentino, Corvara, Badia, Italy, Northern Hemisphere

There exists a Lochness Monster of sorts, though it is not in Scotland but in the Italian Dolomites about ten nautical miles or so north of Bolzano. Instead of being water borne, it is very much a land locked entity set in hard, unyielding granite.

The airfield to which I am referring is Locher in Corvara, Badia, a small privately owned sloped mountain strip fit only for decently powerful bush aircraft piloted by fruit and nutcase pilots. It is located at hight altitude along a narrow one-way valley, and it is short and steep.

Do watch the following YouTube clips which show off this airstrip in its best possible light, but mind that you watch closely because shortly I will show you where to find excellent freeware scenery for both FSX/P3D and X-Plane.

Mind you, it's not how I first saw the scenery, as my view was rather more upside down and skewed rather alarmingly towards Switzerland, which isn't all that close, on account of the bump that I hit during my takeoff roll, the operative word here being "roll".

Takeoff at Locher:

Locher Landing Guide:

The airfield’s apron is set apart from the grass meadow which doubles up as the runway, and can be found along a short raised sloping track. There is an underground hangar too, and all of these features are present in the freeware sceneries. 

If you watched the approach guide, then you’ll have seen the church to look out for plus the myriad of treacherous powerlines that merrily criss-cross the valley at several distinct points before you get to the strip itself. You’ll be pleased to know that these too are present.

If you are ready for a day out in the Italian Dolomites, then read on to find out where you can find the scenery.

Do read the installation guide, as airfield, photoscenery, and mesh is bundled together in the single download. Do pay particular attention to copying "detial1.bmp" from your FSX/P3D installation into the Locher texture folder, as well as ensuring that your mesh is set to 2m.

This installation takes rather more than the 350Mb of the FSX/P3D counterpart, as users must also download the requisite 1.3Gb of mesh/photo scenery from zonephoto available here.

So, what do you get for your effort?

For either platfom, you will end up with spectacular scenery that has been worth every second invested in downloading, installing, configuring, and admiring it.

The XP version has one or two more features, but both are true to life and as "good as it gets" renditions of the Locherness Monster.

I hope that you enjoy this as much as I nearly did!