Tuesday, 15 January 2019

And it's A Pilot's Life For Me (sung to the tune of...)

As an alternative to
Air Hauler 2, and competing against the likes of FS Captain and FS Passengers, there comes a new kid on the block in the form of SimBitWorld's "A Pilot's Life".

In case you are ever stuck for something to do with your flight simulator, a mission, a career, a new route, or VFR bimble perhaps, then you can get your needed inspiration from these gems.

Here's a YouTube video posted by FS Elite which shines some light on this new utility.

That said, let's not forget about the flightsim job hunter daddy of them all, FS Economy, which for many has virtually become the only way to fly.

Monday, 14 January 2019

Wondering where to fly, which aircraft, PAX or Cargo, build your skills and fortunes

Just Flight
Expanded, enhanced and updated, Air Hauler 2 builds on the addictive first edition to give you even greater control of your own global freight and passenger company, with more options, opportunities, flexibility and features.
Fly jobs between bases, buy or lease aircraft and create your own virtual airline. Recruit pilots, build routes and look out for special humanitarian missions. Trade cargo commodities, open factories at your airports and buy parts - the possibilities really are endless!

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Swedish Ladies: Meme SAAB’s

Without doubt the best SAAB 340 within our world of flight simulation is the Leading Edge Simulations 340A for X-Plane. It is a by-the-book simulation, and it will perform as per its real world counterpart. It is astonishing in every which way, and a benchmark for many. 

The LES SAAB 340A uses the standard SID/STAR capable XP11 GPS as its main navigation source. It’s an excellent representation of the actual aircraft with a sharp and fully functional VC. All but a handful of switches in the upper overhead switches are not clickable, but these are not missed in normal sim operations. 

The second SAAB worthy of being mentioned is the Carenado FSX/P3D V1-V4 SAAB 340B which has a Universal FMC as it’s primary navigation source.

It’s actually a very nice model, and as a twin 30-40 seat turboprop it has quite nicely filled the gap left by the still missing in action PMDG JS4100. This comparison is for aircraft type as opposed to one of simulation, for the JS4100 would, I am sure, stand head and shoulders above any wanna be rival. 

However, the Carenado UFMC is a mixed bag insofar as it follows a programmed route with relative ease and accuracy, but any changes to a flight plan or throw it a direct-to, and it will then lead you on a merry dance anywhere but where you want it to go. 

Happily, you can fit the Flight1 GTN into the panel, or perhaps some ISG SimAvoinics replacement components as an alternative choice. 

Overall it is a nicely functional model, and the VC is sharp and accurate. Whilst most things are clickable, many of these clickable switches are dummies without any true function being assigned to them.

For instance, the LES SAAB has a fully functional CTOT system, which is essentially a device used to dial in a power reserve in the case of engine failure during take-off. Someone once likened this conceptually to a rudimentary take-off only autothrottle. Whilst the Carenado SAAB has the same CTOT switches, their system is non functional. 

It is interesting to know that Carenado have recently announced that they are porting their ESP platform SAAB 340B to X-Plane. To many, including me, this is an interesting choice given that the LES SAAB 340A is utterly peerless, so why did they opt for their SAAB?

The one other airliner in Carenado’s hangar that would do very well indeed in X-Plane is the Fokker 50. X-Planers have been crying out for a decent Fokker, so why Carenado chose the SAAB over the Fokker is not clear. 

My guess is that if Carenado brought their Fokker to X-Plane before their SAAB, they’d generate Fokker sales but fewer SAAB sales later on.

Since Carenado’s SAAB and Fokker have the ill-tempered Carenado UFMC fitted in FSX/P3D, under X-Plane skies one might then expect the all together more accomplished X-Plane FMC to make an appearance. 

The price points of the two SAAB packages would likely be disparate; for instance, the similar Carenado Dornier DO-228 is $38 whereas the LES SAAB is $50.

One last thought to ponder; LES are renowned for excellence, and like all of life’s better things, a decent vintage takes time to distill. It is thus likely that Carenado will bring forth their goods long before LES updates any of theirs. 

Sunday, 6 January 2019

SimToolKit Pro: Perfect for Amateurs

SimToolKit Pro appears to be an excellent flightsim specific toolkit available from X-Plane.Org, but fear not if you’re an avid ESP flyer as STKP connects to FSX, P3D, and XP 10/11, and it’s freeware too!

STKP’s list of features is incredible, and includes positioning for takeoff or landing training, moving map, weather customisation and weather engine, wind charts, flight reporting, AoA tracking, replay management, airport information, descent profile, and much, much more.

The following screenshots might help demystify what STKP is capable of, but for more information or to download the applet itself do head on over to X-Plane.Org here.

STKP is in Alpha development. 

Radar Contact V4: Now Freeware!

Developers JTLLC.Com have decided to stop supporting Radar Contact V4, and in so doing they have made it freeware along with a free code generator. 

For many, Radar Contact has been their go to choice of replacement external ESP platform ATC.

More details at FS Elite.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

What a Performance!

The simulated aircraft that we fly are developed to mimic not just the look and feel of their real world counterpart, but also their systems and performance too. 

A great all-in-one freeware takeoff and landing performance calculator by the name of Airplane Toolbox by Apsoft can be found at X-Plane.Org. It works just fine as a stand-alone utility making it useful for all flight simulator platforms. 

Once you find the executable contained within the “BIN” folder, you will need to perform a couple of tasks before you can get going. 

Firstly, it needs some navdata which can be obtained from Navigraph or Aerosoft Navdata Pro.

Look in the instructions for details of what is needed, so if you have a navdata subscription then you’ll likely be able to use data that you already have installed, or at the very least download the needed data as a manual install. If not, then it is quite possible that some payware already within your installation may already have the necessary navdata available. 

Next, you will have to build an airport runway database, hence the reason that the toolbox requires navdata. The download page here also has links to two zip files holding a number of pre-formulated generic and/or dedicated profiles for the most popular aircraft types which can also be edited for fine tuning, otherwise you are free to create your own profiles, but sadly no 777 to keep T7 fans happy. 

After that, you are good to go; simply enter your departure ICAO, select the departure runway, hit the WX button for the toolbox to download the METAR, then enter you takeoff weight and one or two other details such as anti-ice and runway surface, and you’ll be rewarded with v-speeds and assumed temperatures. Much the same routine can be done for landing performance data too. 

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Where Eagle’s Dare: Smorgasbord!

Eagle Rotorcraft Simulations have outdone everyone this Christmas by delivering not one, not two, and not three presents, but they came to the party with no less than four ZIP wrapped gifts for the sim community at large!

In Santa’s sack this year are four new and/or completely overhauled FSX/P3D V1-4 models:
  • Bell 429
  • Bell 222
  • Britten-Norman Trislander
  • Boeing 737 Classic (300,400,500)
Simply pay a visit to their Facebook page, and you’ll find the download links within their more recent posts. 

Some models have been released as WIP designs, but irrespective of this, do know that there’ll be no support during the holiday period. 

Please don’t just grab these models without first liking their Facebook page, and maybe if you have time, Brandon and the rest of the ERS crew would I am sure appreciate some words of thanks and encouragement too.