Monday, March 30, 2009

Hotelicopter - World's first flying hotel

Photo taken from here.

Thanks to Hotelicopter we may see a flying hotel chopper in the near future. It seems the plans have been already validated by FAA and CFR and the chopper will make it's maiden flight in the summer.
Looking over the pictures on their website the flying hotel looks like a combination between V22 osprey, A380 and an airship featuring 4 decks and and about 8 or 10 different engines :)

Interior looks stunning too.

As we are close to April 1st I incline to think this is a joke, but you may never know. Anyhow if it is a joke it's a pretty good one after the number of fans following their facebook profile.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Carenado releases PA28RT 201 Arrow IV for FSX

I have to say, the screenshots for the newses Carenado bird look just amazing. Another high defintion aircraft for FSX, from one of the top producers of vfr aircrafts for Flight simulator.

More informations about FS bird on Carenado's webpage, and real information about the aircraft history can be found here.

Where can I find free photos / images for my blog or website?

Many times we need some kind of picture to express what we write about on the internet, company newsletters, websites, blogs, etc.. As copyright is a serious matter these days and not many of us are willing to spend money to buy stock images from major websites, knowing websites with free images is pretty important. I will try to list a few below that I am using:

4 Free Photos - Hundreds of high quality stock images free of charge for both commercial and personal use. Very nice variety of pictures to choose from.

Image*After - Thousand of pictures for free use. - Share and download free stock photos for personal and educational usage.

Stock.xchng - A big collection of free images.

PMDG's secret aircraft revealed?

Some weeks ago PMDG announced they are working on a secret project and a lot of discussions appeared on different forums on what that aircraft may be after all.

According to a post on this forum it appears that someone may have accidentally revealed the name of the aircraft as being a Jetstream 41.

Nemeth Design Eurocopter EC135 for FSX

Nemeth Design are the creators of some of the best modeled helicopters for fs2004 and FSX so we had great expectations for this product as soon as first screen shots appeared on the market. The EC 135 is a twin-engine civil helicopter produced by Eurocopter, used amongst police and ambulance services, for executive and passenger transport. It is capable of flight under full instrument flight rules (IFR) due to it's modern on board avionics.

From the first look outside ND's EC-135 we can realize it features a very well built and realistically 3D model with very good looking livery and a lot of moving parts. The model is also highly animated with moving doors and control surfaces. The helicopter comes with 5 liveries from medical transport to executive variant and two main cockpit configurations (glass and classic cockpit). The photo realistic exterior and interior have only a small frame rate impact, in fact I could barely notice a difference between this helicopter and the classic Bell Jetranger.
Going inside, this is by far the best modeled interior I have seen in Microsoft Flight Simulator. All the textures are high res and very well placed. The vast majority of the instruments are 3D, same applies to switches and knobs. I couldn't find any bad thing about the visuals of this helicopter, everything is just perfectly modeled.

Now about the systems, ND EC-135 features a fully modeled FADEC system along side many of the real world systems. Unfortunately the autopilot and stabilization system is not modeled on this helicopter which in my opinion is a strong minus. As we all know helicopters are pretty hard to fly and keep level in FS as no trim function is modeled for helicopters. During our tests we managed to overcome this by using some freeware gauges for helicopter trim and autopilot. More details about the gauges can be found here.

Having only the trim gauge installed made flying this beauty a real joy, we could literraly fly the helicopter and take our hands off the controls. The helicopter would have kept the attitude as the real world counterpart. Even without the additional gauges this helicopter is far more controllable and nice to fly than any other we tested so far.

As the real world counterpart, we had no problems flying in full IFR conditions and even do ILS approaches. The instruments are very easy to read at night and everything is exactly where it should be.

I will leave you to enjoy some pictures with this wonderful add on.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

River level monitoring

On the way to an airclub strip from where we will carry on some river level monitoring during the spring floods season. We are flying very low over the higway used as a landmark during the vfr flight.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Real Eurocopter EC 130 and 135

I have been under one of the two above and I can say they can make a pretty good hurricane. Very well designed machines and a pleasure to hear their turbine from 5 meters.

Friday, March 6, 2009

EC135 night flight

Practicing night IFR flying with the EC135 helicopter. You can see the adaptations I made to the standard panel, an GSN530 unit and an autopilot panel. The flight had been carried out fully IFR after t/o with the autopilot till the approach.
Manual ILS and then visual to the helipad.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

EC 135 flight to offshore oilrig

Today I spent almost 4 hours flying helicopters. I made a training flight for offshore platform landing and carried also some supplies to the people onboard. Anotehr MI17 helicopter joined the flight so we did a bit of formation flying during the trip:

Waiting for the Mi17 pilot to join and laoding supplies.
Formation flying

Approaching the oilrig

Circling the oilrig for a second approach.