Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Update Reality XP GNS430/530 WAAS navigation database/AIRAC

If you own the wonderful Reality XP GNS430/530 WAAS here is a quick tutorial on how to update the navigation database that comes to the product (from 2007) to a newer one (newst I could find was from 10 2009).

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Microsoft Flight insight into the audio philosphy

Microsoft Flight development team released a short article giving some insight into their philosophy for the games's audio system. You can read the full article on the Microsoft Flight website and hear some sample sounds!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Back in time

An episode of Computer Chronicles TV show from the early 90's presenting a few of  the top computer flight  simulators of the time.  Included are demonstrations of Falcon AT 1.11, F-15 Strike Eagle II, Jet Fighter 1.5, A-10 Tank Killer 1.2, subLOGIC's Flight Simulator ATP 1.0, and Microsoft's Flight Simulator 4.0

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Microsoft Flight Beta program accepting applications

Microsoft announced the kickoff of the Beta program for the upcoming Microsoft Flight in January and they are currently accepting applications to participate in the program.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My cheap Cessna Mustang home cockpit project

A couple of weeks ago I had a crazy idea. After barely getting through almost two months of house renovation (moved recently in a new apartment) I thought I might make good use of my time by starting something that I have in mind since quite some time ago. Well more or less building my first home cockpit for flight sim.

Living in something that can be sometimes called a 3rd world country, with not that big budget (I actually dismissed 3 or 4 aircraft types due to costs involved and cut the budget with almost 90% in the process), I decided the simplest idea would be to build half of a Cessna Citation Mustang cockpit with Garmin G1000 avionics. Primary reason is that it does not have that many switches spread all over the cockpit and all the instrumentation can be grouped in a single LCD monitor. It is very easy to make different switches and buttons, but quite difficult to put together a FMC for example, so this aircraft seems to be not that hard to build.

After not so much time after seeing that I could actually build something like that, I started feeling the adrenaline pumping trough my veins thinking on all those wires, switches and buttons I will get the privilege to solder together in a working autopilot, or the interior decoration that I will do when all the electronics would be in place :)

But until the soldering; first step was to get clearence to park my machinery in one of the free corners in our house. After deleting the two spacious closets we have from my list, I finally obtained the needed ok from my girlfriend (who BTW suggested I should see a shrink in the discussion process) to park the Cessna on the balcony (good thing we only have 3 months of winter ;)).

That being said, back to the drawing board! The image in this post shows a 3d rendering on how I am imagining the different components coming togheter. I am very sure they will not fit that well in reality, but let's see.
Considering this render the starting point of my project, I will continue to give regular updates on this blog on how everything goes. Hope that in a month or two tops to start the actual building after finalizing the plans.

Stay tuned for more updates!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Motion flight simulator in your livingroom

A Spanish company is selling a very interesting product, a motion flight simulator small enough to fit a living room. The OVO 4 Home Flight Simulator cockpit is modelled to  resemble a light GA aircraft, but  looks very well built and fun to use.  Unfortunately the price tag doesn't really make it very accessible to the lower budget flight simmers around.
Nice gadget to have.

Friday, November 25, 2011

X-Plane 10 preview

My first contact with the world of flight simulators was one of the first demo versions of the X-Plane that I found on a CD received togheter with a popular gaming magazine. I remember I first installed that demo during the Easter and even though I was allowed to fly only 5 or 6 minutes, I got hooked and spent the entire Easter holiday learning as much as I could about the different airplanes and exploring the demo world (South California at that moment).
So, as soons as I found out yesterday about the release of the version 10 demo, I could not resist and  I took the game for a quick test run.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

X-Plane 10 Demo

Laminar research just released the demo for their newest flight simulator version, X-Plane 10.
Head out to x-plane.com to download the newly released demo.

I hope to also come back with a preview post in the next days after I play a bit with the demo version.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Succesfull belly landing of a Boeing 767

A polish LOT Boeing 767 performed a successful gear up landing after experiencing landing gear problems when it was trying to land at Warsaw airport. Video below shows the great skill of the flight crew which made sure all passengers escaped with no injury.

Friday, October 14, 2011

New screenshots from Microsoft Flight

Development team behind Microsoft Flight released a new batch of screenshots from the upcoming flight simulator. Also they have released a few details about the way missions will work in Microsoft flight. The post can be found in the news section of the official site and the screenshots in the Screens area.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cool way to fly

Cool jetpack water action...and a nice song! Too bad my summer has ended :(

Thursday, August 25, 2011

VoxATC - Replacement for FSX default ATC with voice control

When talking about aviation, one of the key persons besides the pilot, that helps ensure a safe flight, is the air traffic controller. Therefore having a realistic ATC is important for an overall realistic simulated experience. Unfortunately many flight simmers are not really happy about the ATC that comes built in Flight Simulator X, especially when flying state of the art  planes with FMC that supports SID/STAR. Also especially on mountain airports like LOWI default ATC keeps vectoring the pilot straight into mountains.

One option  for a better air traffic control experience is joining one of the online communities like IVAO or VATSIM. Even there there are not always ATC connected and if you are living in some areas of the world with less coverage you might end up doing the flight alone.

Luckily there are a few ad-dons that successfully manage to replace the built in ATC of flight simulator and improve the overall experience.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

How to completly uninstall and reinstall FSX

If you are installing add-on on a daily basis to your FSX, you probably got in the situation of ending up with a non working sim or one that crashes to desktop (ctd) in the middle of a flight due to broken or incompatible software.
This just happened to me and if I don't manage to fix it, then I most probably have to uninstall and reinstall the sim.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ifly 737 NG FSX weather radar

Many of the latest FSX airplanes are lacking a weather radar. I know because of  the way FSX weather is programed it is difficult to make  a  realistic weather radar, still my own view is that it will still be good to have one no matter how accurate it is, just to add to the  overall realism of the simulation.
If you are missing a  weather radar in your Ifly 737 NG for FSX and you own WX500 package from Reality XP it is  possible  to add that one in the place of the lower DU. Not the most realistical place in the cockpit, but  there isn't much room  to place it in another position. If you are using the MAP/EFIS combination of  displays, the lower DU is seldomly used anyways.

The instalation is easy.

Friday, August 5, 2011

PMDG 737 NGX has been released

One of the most anticipated FSX aircraft has been finally released and looks stunningly!

More details

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New teaser video from Microsoft Flight!

A new Webisode was posted on Micrsoft Flight Official site. This time we can also see an interior scene from the virtual cockpit of an Microsoft Flight aircraft. We can note the dynamic shadows similar with the ones in the FSX DX10 cockpits. Also the lighting in the video looks to be similar to HDR.

5 ground textures for scenery creation

A collection of 5 high resolution ground textures useful for flight simulator scenery creation. They and many more are provided for free by 4 Free Textures. You can download each texture in full resolution on each of the pages bellow using the download button.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Easy place library scenery objects in FSX

While trying to create some search and rescue scenery for Flight Simulator X, I came across this great tool for placing library scenery objects in FSX.

The free open source program is called Whisplacer and allows you to place library objects in FSX using a live preview mode (the program connects to FSX, reads the plane position and places the object visually in the sim). After user is happy with the scenery objects position the program can save a .bgl file. At the next FSX restart the scenery will appear.

I have placed for example a couple of the fsx stock oil rigs on the sea next to CYPR.

Whisplacer is a fairly small download and installation is also easy (it just needs to be extracted in a folder). My opinion is that this program  is overall easier to use than the Object placer that comes with the FSX SDK.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

250.000 $ for the first human powered helicopter flight

The Sikorsky Prize is a $250,000 reward established in 1980 by the American Helicopter Society to the first controlled flight of a human powered helicopter. It was named in honor of Igor Sikorsky.
The prize has not yet been won, although multiple attempts have been made, therfore people around the world can still have the chance to be mentioned in the history of aviation.
In summary, the requirements to win the Sikorsky prize include a flight duration of 60 seconds and reaching an altitude of 3 meters (9.8 ft) while remaining in a 10 meter (32.8 ft) square.

More details....

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

G.A.P. Mega Corfu X released

Greek Airports Project has released a very complete scenery for Kerkyra (Corfu) area, a busy European holiday destination. The scenery, which is based on over 2000 high res pictures of the area, models a large part of the island, the city, harbor, castles, as well as the Kapodistrias airport of Corfu (LGKR). It also features the floating sea base & helipad at at Agios Georgios bay.

More details on the official site.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Infinite Flight - new mobile flight simulator

A new mobile phone flight simulator, produced by Flying Development Studios, has been released for Windows Phone 7 devices. It features very nice graphics, 15 airports in San Francisco Bay area, multiple day/time and weather presets, a Cessna C172SP trainer aircraft and many more features.

More details can be found on the official site.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

New helicopter game in progress - Take on Helicopters

Bohemia Interactive, the creators of the military simulator Arma series, announced they are working on a helicopter game based on the Arma II engine. The launch is planned for Q4, 2011.

Take On Helicopters will feature two beautifully rich and expansive environments, based upon real-world North American and South Asian terrain-data, cutting-edge technology, helicopters modelled in stunning detail, a large-scale, open-world sandbox and authentic flight dynamics.

More details can be found on the official site.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Get flightsim screenshots on your desktop

mySIMSHOTS.NET launched a free Windows sidebar/desktop gadget showing the latest screenshots uploaded on the site in a slideshow directly on your desktop. This will allow you to stay up to date with the latest additions without the need of checking the site every day.

The gadget is avaialble for Windows Vista and 7 operating systems.

Detailed instruction on how to download and install can be found on their blog.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover has been released

The latest title in the IL-2 Sturmovik series has been released. It features over a dozen flyable aircraft (fighters and bombers), 13 AI aircraft, realistic damage modelling, a new 3D engine, a single  player campaign and a customizable multiplayer mode for up to 128 players in the  same battle.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Wilco Airbus series gets a weather radar and many more updates

Wilco Publishing and feelThere.com have announced a long-awaited upgrade for their Airbus collection : Airbus Series Evolution, transforming this product in today's most advanced, most realistic and most complete Airbus simulation for Microsoft Flight Simulator (X or 2004).
Two of the most notable updates in this package are the higly advanced weather radar which is fully integrated in  the Navigation Display and the integrated Heads-Up Display (HUD) which allows the aircraft to land in any visibility conditions.

Besides these, there is a list of a lot of other updates included in  the package, covering systems, navigation and miscelaneous areas of this aircdraft. You can find a full list of  the updates on the official site.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Boeing's new 747-800 Intercontinental

Yesterday Feb 13th, Boeing premiered it's new airplane, the 747-800 Intercontinental. The event was also transmitted trough a webcast of which recording is still available on the official site.

The aircraft integrates a state of the art cockpit instruments from the 787 as well as the GEnx engines, being able to carry more passengers or cargo than previous versions, with lower noise and carbon emission level.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Free flight duration aeromodeling

Float Documentary Trailer from Phil Kibbe on Vimeo.

I came around this video trailer about segment of model aviation known as free flight and was very interested about the topic so I decided to share some details about it. 

Free flight is the original form of the aeromodeling hobby in which the aircraft have no need for any form of external control, like radio remote controller.  The aircrafts are built to be inherently stable in flight and if disturbed by a gust of wind or a thermal up-current they will return automatically to stable flight.As propulsion they can be powered by rubber bands, power sources (batteries, fuel, etc) or be without any means of propulsion (gliders).

Because building the aircraft can be done using basic supplies this hobby is quite accessible to everyone. It require a bit of knowledge and reading about aerodynamics and propulsion, but these days info is quite easy to find if you put your mind to it and have time.

I personally like the light rubber powered indoor models, which look as they are just floating in thin air. Amazingly these model aircrafts, even if they are powered by the turn of a rubber band, can be capable of quite long flight times. As you can see in this clip the flights can go beyond one hour mark.

If you want to read more about free flight here are some links:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Online ATC simulator game

ATC-SIM is a very realistic online ATC simulator, with and interface which resemble a real ATC screen, that can help you get rid of boredom.
It also has a scoring system implemented to see where you rank between the fellow controllers, and various airports you can control on.
The only downside I found is the fact that you need to learn all those text commands to control the aircraft, but if you print them and keep them on your desk, they are not that hard to memorize with time.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Weapon for FSX

Captain Sim launched a product that will turn your Flight Simulator X in a combat flight simulator. The ad don allows you to add weapons to any aircraft in the game, alongside other functionality like Radar and HUD. You can see more details about the product on the official page, or watch the presentation videos.

Friday, February 4, 2011

GE Flight Simulator - a flight simulator in your browser using Google Earth

I came around this website where you can play with a flight simulator based on Google Earth plugin, in your browser, and take off from everywhere in the world flying over the sattelite imagery. It can be even played multiplayer as you can see all the other players that connect trough the app. Very nice application to have fun from once in a while, and you can even use a joystick. Will be good to have a fast network connection to load the ground textures fast enough.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Updates and brand new screenshots from Microsoft Flight!

The development team behind upcoming Microsoft Flight title has released some brand new screenshots, as well as a news update communicating the fact that the game will contain an offline mode next to the online experience.

Read more details and enjoy the screenshots directly on the official site!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

X-Plane 9 Mobile available for Android

In case you did not find out already, X-Plane 9 Mobile is now also available for Android OS.

The X-Plane 9 app includes the following aircraft:
  • Cessna 172
  • Columbia 400
  • Piper Malibu
  • Cirrus Vision
  • Piaggio Avanti
  • Beechcraft King Air
  • Eclipse 500
and the following regions:
  • Innsbruck, Austria
  • Hawaii
  • Boswell Bay, Alaska
  • Southern California
  • San Francisco, California
  • Desert Sky, California
You can see more details about the app on it's official page.

Monday, January 31, 2011

New info about the PMDG 737NGX - working terrain radar

PMDG released a couple of new screenshots on their forum with one of the most awaited aircrafts of all times, their 737NGX. The images show mostly the exterior of the aircraft, but there is a cockpit screenshot that gives a important detail, the aircraft will be equiped with a terrain radar that shows the info on the ND.
You can enjoy the images and the news here.