Saturday March 30th is a date that all fans of simulated aerobatic displays should be marking on their calendars with indelible ink, as it sees the 2013 NAF El Centro Air Show taking place, the traditional curtain raiser for the FSX Air Show Association yearly display schedule.
And you thought we were straying from the remit slightly with trains the other day. However, Infinite Scuba isn’t so far outside our purview, especially as the team behind it is comprised mainly of staff laid off from Microsoft’s ACES Studio – the brains behind the Flight and (original) Train Sim lines – when the big M$ decided it had had enough of all that realism stuff back in 2009.
Trains! What are trains if not big wingless aircraft that travel on the ground? Yes, the banner at the top of this page might say ‘FlightSimN’ but we like to think we’re an all-sim-encompassing venue here. (Especially as I’ve recently become hooked on European Truck Simulator 2 and want a place to write about it.)
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the latest high profile entry to the non-winged sim market, the London to Faversham High Speed route pack for Train Simulator 2013.
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For the past couple of weeks I’ve been back at school. Not the A-Level Maths and English, tribal warfare in the lunchtime cafeteria, head flushed down the school toilets, setting fire to the chemistry lab in a fit of teenage angst sort of school. Flight school. Combat flight school. Top Gun-style combat flight school. Yeeaaahhh, baby! Highway to the danger zone, you being my wingman, painstaking memorisation of pre-flight check-lists and VOR radial codes for a nondescript area of Florida – actually mostly just those last ones.
What’s FlightGear, you ask? Well, FlightGear is many things to many people, but mostly it’s the freely-available open-source flight simulator that caused my old PC to literally explode within twenty seconds of starting it up several months ago (although that may also have been some faulty wiring on my part following a graphics card upgrade). Nevertheless, X-Plane didn’t fill my study with the smell of burning carpet and cause me to wear a plaster on my thumb for almost TWO DAYS. Anyway, FlightGear has just had a major version release – v2.10 numeracy fans – and here’s a rundown of why that’s a good thing.
We’ve mentioned the FSX Blue Angels before – the premier virtual aerobatic stunt team that recreates the planes, moves and showbiz glamour of the real-life Blue Angels. Well, following a successful 2012 schedule, details have just been released for the team’s 2013 tour dates.
Back in December, Saitek opened the hanger doors to one of the most ambitious FSX modding projects ever witnessed. Combat Pilot took the erstwhile FSX engine and completely remade it into a fully working military aviation suite in which for a regular subscription players could go through a series of evaluations and training flights, qualify to become air-to-air or air-to-ground specialists, enlist in a squadron of other like-minded pilots and – here’s the kicker – actually fly combat missions with and against each other. With actual working guns and that.
One of the leading names in quality third-party aircraft has to be that of Carenado. Quite apart from it just being a great word to roll around your tongue, the team have been responsible for some of the highest detail FSX and X-Plane general aviation models we’ve ever seen, and the latest to take up space in their hanger – the SR22 GTSX Turbo for Flight Sim X – is perhaps their most detailed yet.
We’ve all seen the ways you can fill your limited desk space with all manner of flight yokes, military-style joysticks, rudder pedals, and throttle controls with more buttons than a local haberdashers. However, one of the quirkier ways you can improve your flying experience is to use a motion tracking device that simulates the act of panning your viewpoint simply by turning and twisting your head.
Late last year we brought you the curious story of more than 100 missing Spitfires buried in Burma at the end of the Second World War, and the Wargaming.net-funded expedition to find and unearth them. Sadly, after weeks of mineral surveying around the locations identified as possible burial sites, a spokesman for Wargaming.net’s has revealed that no aircraft parts have been found.
Dragged straight from today’s headlines (you do read the overseas business sections in newspapers, right), comes these latest images and video from QualityWings (they of Ultimate 146 Collection fame) about their currently in development Ultimate 787 for FSX.
The PC's always been the home of the hardcore flight simulator, what with its DCS: A-10C Warthogs and its Take on Helicopters but its been lacking something more arcade-y, a certain hole that consoles have had filled for a long time. A hole that can only be filled by Ace Combat.
Finally, though, finally the PC is getting its version of Ace Combat 6: Assault Horizon, the most explodey free flighty flight simulator money can buy.
Hey, remember how a few weeks back, Traffic 360 came along all swanning and preening and casually added over half a million AI aircraft to your FSX skies with the merest flick of a wrist? Well if you thought that was the only suave and sophisticated master of aviation traffic in the game (ladies), then think again. Ultimate Traffic 2 2013 Edition has hit town and is all “Yo yo yo girl, check out mah bulging 1.3 million general aviation AI routines that back up mah dope 550,000 real-time airline routes. Playa gon’ play."
It’s unusual aircraft day at FlightSimN, with a look at two distinctively intriguing FSX/P3D add-ons – the PA36 Pawnee Brave 375 crop duster from the crew at Alabeo that lets you spray crops with pesticide until the cows come home (agricultural metaphors, yes), and Aerosoft’s twin-nacelle, light attack OV-10 Bronco that was a mainstay of the Vietnam war during the 70s.
One of the biggest milestones for most flight simmers is when they finally opt to leave behind the single-prop Cessnas and Beechcraft Barons they’ve been flying since they began taking it all seriously, and start looking towards the ‘heavy’ end of the default aircraft. Trouble is, there’s not much in the way of ‘starter’ multi-engine aircraft to be had and jumping from a Cessna to a 747 is asking a bit much. Enter the British Aerospace 146/Avro RJ series.