Ending on a High Note

All good things must come to an end. I’ve sold off my flight sim computer and cockpit peripherals to pursue other interests. Things look pretty bright in flight sim land, but life’s short and I simply have chosen to make other priorities. I’m also tired of the copyright trolls and all the big egos crushing the freeware spirit that once was a great part of the community. Anyway, blue virtual skies to all, and have fun in 64 bit!

Advertisements

ATW – Back to Square One

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

I did a classic mistake rarely tolerated in aviation. I started my around the world (ATW) flight with little or no planning, and got stuck somewhere in Africa. A little bit wiser, and with a new plan, I’m now back (at square one).

It so happened that while cruising at 35′ feet above Ethiopia I got an idea. I had a vanilla Prepar3D v2.5. installed that wasn’t really used for anything except some scenery and airport development projects, so why not use it as my ATW simulator, and use ONLY freeware addons. No ORBX, no Pilot’s FS Global mesh or weather, no PMDG or A2A – just freeware. And better yet, why not share the best of the best freeware addons with you all as I progress and test them out.

I’m now on my 6th leg and will start my dispatches soon. All the approved and appraised freeware will be showcased on a parallel blog I’ve created called P3D Freeware. Chek it out here: https://p3dfreeware.wordpress.com/

2016-2-5_19-40-32-276

A Free Trip Around the World

2016-1-21_22-54-27-457
Freeware: P-3C Orion AI Aircraft by JAI, RNoAF repaint by Ray Parker, ENZV airport scenery by Andrew Thomsen and RNoAF Orion AI flightplan by yours truly.

This blog has gotten little attention lately, but family obligations have left me with little time to sim, and even less to blog the last couple of years. That isn’t going to change any time soon, but I’m starting a project that will give the blog a tad more focus for the next few months.

I’ll be doing a trip around the virtual globe using mostly freeware addons in Prepar3D v3.1. It would have been fun to use freeware only, but there are a few basic payware addons that I can’t live without:

  • ORBX FTX Global
  • ORBX FTX Global Vector
  • ORBX FTX Open LC Europe
  • Pilot’s FS Global Real Weather
  • REX Soft Clouds
  • FSUIPC

I rarely buy any payware these days (and I’ll get more into why later), but the above mentioned addons get my full support for a few good reasons. ORBX, Pilot’s, REX and FSUIPC have been in business for a long time. They make high quality addons that are simple to install and use, but most of all, they have been both willing and able to support Prepar3D while still maintaining compatibility with older versions of the ESP-based simulators.

It would have been nice if some of the functionality and graphic enhancements these addons offer were baked into Prepar3D as stock features. However, Lockheed Martin have shown very little interest in doing so and instead seem to focus and encourage third party developments for their simulator platform. Let’s face it, there have been only minor changes and improvements of geographical data (vector, mesh and land class), airport and navaid data, autogen and landclass textures and objects, ATC and AI traffic since Prepar3D 1.0 was released five years ago.

Buckle up! First flight starts tonight…

2014: Focus on P3Dv2 and Freeware

As I’ve decided to drop purchasing more payware I’m on constant lookout for good freeware. As such the blog will feature highlights from my freeware collection tried and tested in Prepar3D v2 – my current simulator of choice.

I recommend that you keep a “fake” and almost empty FSX folder structure to install addons that have dedicated installers. This way you can just copy things over to P3D afterwards. I also like to zip each addon for future use to save me from doing the install routine ever again.

I’m also installing World of AI packages into Prepar3D v2. Most of them work OK, but some that contain very old models and textures that can create various kinds of trouble (Kernelbase.dll CTDs when loading or saving flights, or g3d.dll CTDs when coming close to uncompatible AI aircraft). I’ll make alist of the packages to avoid for P3D v2 (and in most cases P3D1.X too!)!

Clean Sheets

I haven’t really gotten into blogging again after returning from the woods this summer. Some personal matters have required most of my attention and time lately, and it seems I will have to scale down my flight sim activity considerably. That said, I’m not going into hiding. Instead I am narrowing down the focus of this blog.

Since I have recently reinstalled Windows and all my software I thought it fitting to blog about the process of installing flight simulators, configuring them and sharing some thoughts about the addons I use or don’t use. Hopefully there will be something to learn for both novice and experienced simmers. Also, I tend to learn a lot myself by writing. It often reveals gaps in my knowledge and cracks in my logic, and in this hobby knowledge is power! Let’s face it. It takes quite an effort to make these old sims look good. Even the new version of Prepar3D will still pretty much looks like FSX – an ancient piece of software made three versions of Windows ago. I will make tiny reviews of all my addons, payware and freeware, as I install them in FS2004, FSX, Prepar3D 1.4 and Prepar3D 2.0. I might even throw in a few dispatches from various flights I’m doing as well.

Feel free to comment, ask questions or correct me if I’m wrong. I will make all the tutorials into downloadable documents so anyone can save them for future reference.

Yes, I still have all versions of Microsoft's Flight Simulator installed!
Yes, I still have all versions of Microsoft’s Flight Simulator installed!