It's been quite a while since I've logged any time flying. Mainly because I've been playing other games, also because after upgrading from XP to W7 late last year I never got around to fully getting FSX set back up and running. But now everything is back in working order again, finally - so I decided to hop in the Cessna for an early-morning flight.
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Since the last time I've flown, I've upgraded my graphics card to a Radeon HD5870 and installed several commercial add-ons to boost the experience. They are:
As with last time, I'm still using MegaScenery Earth for my ground textures, except that I now have the entire New York/New Jersey/Long Island area around me. Also, I realized just the other day that since I now have two audio outputs thanks to the HDMI in the HD5800, I can set the ATC voice traffic to come through the HDMI into a set of headphones, while keeping all the environment sounds like the plane's engine coming out of my PC speakers. Even more realistic!
Today was my first flight with all these products installed and running together, and things worked very well. Since I'm still at KBLM from my last flight, I started off at one of the parking areas and taxied out to the nearest runway, 21. I took off straight out and then lazily banked eastwards towards the shore and the sun just starting to peek over the horizon. I followed the shoreline northwards out past Sandy Hook and then continued on straight towards Manhattan, which popped up in all its glory... and slowed my machine down to 5FPS! But it was tolerable for simply flying over the city, which I did over the East River. I will be exploring Manhattan more in a helicopter at some later date.
After cruising over Manhattan with no problems, I decided to bank east over Long Island just as I was passing the George Washington Bridge. By now the sun was almost all the way over the horizon and I continued eastwards until New York Approach handed me off to the general frequency, at which point I decided to head back in towards KBLM. So, heading southwest over Long Island I did a pass straight over KJFK to check out the early morning air traffic at the terminals. There were several planes still boarding (it was only 6:30am) but the NY Approach channel was a lot busier now as I flew back over the bay towards Sandy Hook.
At this point my computer decided to go into heat lock It seems that I have it working a bit too hard and it doesn't seem to be doing a good job cooling itself. I probably have some pretty clogged fans and maybe even a few that just aren't working anymore. I will need to disassemble the rig and make sure I have proper airflow so I can actually finish a flight that lasts longer than 1-2 hours :/
So, a bittersweet return to flying. Everything seems to be operating just fine - so as soon as I fix this heat issue I'll be able to resume my flights around my local area. I still plan to slowly work my way outwards as I earn more flight time and get bored with the immediate area, but I do have several thousand square miles to play around in, so I should be happy for a while!