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At a whopping $30, Abacus can keep it AFAIC.The Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002 cost only $54 MSRP for Chrissakes! This is worth more than half the price of the sim itself? N-O-T!Thanks for the helicopters and helipads, but pleez! Get a clue, Abacus and Flight1, and anyone else reading this rant.Can't make money? You're too big.

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I'm pretty sure that several of those helos can be had as freeware. Some of those sceneries, or at least versions of them, can also be downloaded for free.Abacus has a pretty sweet deal going for themselves. :-violin -Lindy :-rotor:-wave

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I will never understand this mindset - "it costs over 50% of the sim itself! This is an outrage!" I own two of the Flight1 products (421C and the Meridian) and they are *bargains* compared to what they offer, especially the Meridian.You seem to forget that MS sells tens or hundreds of THOUSANDS of copies of FS, and Abacus/Flight One will sell tens/hundreds/low thousands of these products at most. They have to recoup their development costs and hopefully, make a dime or two. It's not greed, just simple math. I don't get how people can whine about a product that costs about what a decent meal at a restaurant costs.My *own* misgivings on this package center around the fact that I bought the Abacus Sky Ranch package a couple Christmases ago, and have never been so disappointed in a payware product for FS. It's ironic that Abacus is one of the first, if not the first, company to offer a helicopter-centric payware product - which includes the R44 which is a model that I have been really wanting to have for FS. I'm still trying to decide whether Abacus gets any more of my $, just on principle.One question I have - is the AN365 by Antti exactly the same as that offered as freeware? If any freeware aircraft deserves some monetary payback it's his Dauphin, but I'm just curious to know if it has any differences.Dave Blevins

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I also own the Meridian, sir. It's a great aircraft.If Abacus would scale their pricing to their proposed audience, they too would sell lots and lots but at $30, I stand firm: It's a scam and a shame. Here we have the opportunity to recruit more rotorheads, and what happens? I'll tell you what happens: the Abacus marketing's three-legged dog decides to pre-suppose they need to make the killing on the dedicated.Subtract me from that list. An "outrage?" No, sir. I put these words on your screen to help keep good things affordable for you. You may bite my hand, but it actually feeds you.;-)

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Hmmmm, A very curious package indeed. I would be interested in seeing this up close, or a review. The Dauphin looks much the same as Antti's freeware model, although I see some minor improvements in detail. Perhaps it's improved or enhanced in some other way? (Other than the garish paint). As for the other models, I am a bit concerned at the screenshots - the visual models and paint dont appear to be up to the standard of the Dauphin. The 38M terrain mesh for Hawaii is available as freeware and there are a number of oilrigs in the file libraries of various sites.I suspect the target market for this package isnt so much the FS helicopter enthusiast, but the great, unwashed majority of users who dont download freeware from the internet.LonelyplanetXO:-abduct "NOW would be a good time, Scotty"

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Here's the deal, the Dauphin is the freeware one, maybe with some mods, but what could they add to it to make it better!? LOL. The S-76 was in development and featured on the front of FS.com before finished. I was looking forward to it, but after seeing the screenshot, it didn't come out like I expected. I know the guy that did the other models, he is very talented and means really well, but they are just not there for me (I actually like the beta version of the 407 more than the finished payware product. you can find the 407 and 427 at justplanescrazy.com), but then again, I have pretty high standards in the visuals. Some of the scenery was designed by the same gentleman that does some of the scenery for Metro helicopters. He does a good job and you can find some of his stuff on the sites as well as the Metro helicopters site.While a payware helicopter addon is the thing I would love to see, this ain't it!I would spend $30 or more in a heartbeat for a package that has LAGO style scenery, the GMNAX Bell 47, the new GMAX gazelle, any of the Huey mods by Lynn Rogers, the B Buckner MD500 (with opening doors), and /or the new german EC-135 (after the scale issue was fixed! LOL), that would be (IS) an awesome helicopter package!Regards, Michaelhttp://mysite.verizon.net/res052cd/mybannercva1.jpg

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Most of these items appear to be very similar to freeware that can be downloaded from many sites. It's this type of greed that makes my stomach turn about this hobby that we all love. I hope that these Abacus folks are not very financially successful by putting out packages like this, and also their earlier Sky Ranch package which was also of quite questionable quality from what I have observed (I didn't buy that one either). Abacus, it appears, is using certain freeware designs, perhaps making minor modifications and then trying to make a profit off of it. That is not what a payware philosophy should encompass. There are some payware products on the market that are worthy of the title 'payware.'Further, it would appear that Abacus marketing has caught the eye of many simulation enthusiasts as noted by this and many other postings around the web about this 'much awaited' product.There are many freeware designers that try to keep this hobby affordable for us all. I'm sure that Abacus can do better than this if they hope to succeed in the payware arena. While I am certainly glad to see further interest in the rotorcraft side of flight simulation, I don't see anything in this package that is worth the money they are asking. Payware should first give you something unique in order to even be considered for purchase, and this package doesn't do that.....not even close.

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after getting burned by abacus on their worthless/comical Sky Ranch package this one will have to win a developer award to get me to buy it.Screw Abacus!

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Dear Abacus:Read this thread. The "jig" is up. Main Entry: 1jig Pronunciation: 'jigFunction: nounEtymology: perhaps from Middle French giguer to frolic, from gigue fiddle, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German gIga fiddle; akin to Old Norse geiga to turn asideDate: circa 15601 a : any of several lively springy dances in triple rhythm b : music to which a jig may be danced2 : TRICK, GAME -- used chiefly in the phrase the jig is up3 a : any of several fishing devices that are jerked up and down or drawn through the water b : a device used to maintain mechanically the correct positional relationship between a piece of work and the tool or between parts of work during assembly c : a device in which crushed ore is concentrated or coal is cleaned by agitating in waterYou can quote me: "You think we stupid, but we not." :-)

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Well, there are a couple of issues with the JRA scenery you have posted screenshots of....First, after discussing it with Adrian, I have found that the original scenery he made is just south of the one included in Abacus' product, which is actually in the correct location (you can see in the default scenery where the parking area is supposed to be, and is actually found in the 2nd screenshot, which is the newest version). Also, the JRA scenery has been updated to be even more like it's real world counterpart. Since the same person made both of them, it's understandable that they would be very similar, but I understand that the newest version is lighter on the frame rates. No, Abacus is not trying to get you to give them $30 for one scenery (even if it's an improvement over the freeware version). Figure the cost of creating this package, distribution, advertisements, the costs associated with the stores selling it, and $30 doesn't start to sound that bad. Although I think Abacus could have picked a better paint scheme, the concept of tying it all together into one "theme" (the Sucaba Transportation Co), in addition to the fact that you are not getting the same thing as the freeware options, but instead improved products, while still being able to offer the originals as "freeware" (unlike the Arrestor Cable program by Rich Hogen which he took offline) is actually a benefit to the entire FS Helo community. This has the opportunity to introduce many people to the challenging but rewarding option of flying FS helicopters, and will prompt people to begin looking at FS helos as aircraft that can indeed be flown instead of just "those weird unflyable objects of cult fanaticism". I personally support them in their endeavour, and hope they do well, for the entire FS helo community.

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I have a couple regrets about my acidic comments which I'd like to confess:1. My dealings past with Abacus have been without trouble.2. I am happy Abacus sees the Rotorhead crowd as a viable target demographic.3. I am thrilled to think the honorable and talented authors of the grand freeware which comprises this package might make enough on "royalties" to buy a faster CPU if nothing else.4. Helicopters are hard to fly but it can be learned, and I hope Abacus tosses up some encouraging pointers to such as Hover Control and Hoversafe.5. I find the chosen livery distasteful, gaudy, and surprisingly sophomoric.6. Those freeware contributors I mentioned could have easily invited me to donate to their hobby through paypal. I have done it in the past, I will do it in the future.7. I do not hate Abacus but I have little patience for those who think they can make a killing on other people's talent, while tossing the *real* creators a bone as the record companies have been doing for years. What do I mean? Artist gets 1% of 90% of the records sold based on the wholesale price and only after the cost of the recording session, album cover photographer, printing bill, and God only knows what sort of promotional expense account was awarded the "record pushers."I'll lay odds the designer of that drop-dead gorgeous Gazelle will be lucky to see a $2 bill from Abacus out of the $30 people pay.How about it Abacus? You can respond as easily as I can type. How much will you pay the Gazelle fellow? Your answer could sway my purchase posture.I am the eggman.

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There is considerable resistance to creating any type of helicopter related product. I was very surprised that they were even able to get the go-ahead on this one. The fact that anybody is embracing the helicopter audience is a good thing, regardless of the cost or content. The product guys at Abacus are simmers and add-on developers like us, we shouldn't talk about them with contempt (IMHO). Many of the developers of their products have considerable contributions in the free-ware side of our hobby. I don't think "greed" has anything to do with this product, and if it did, the "greedy" would be dissapointed because even under the best circumstances this product isn't making anybody a lot of money.In my opinion, I think they could have went for a higher quality standard, but it wasn't for me to decide. Like everybody, I just have the choice of buying the product or not. As far as how much the developers are getting paid, I'm not sure that is any of my business.

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Aw, c'mon, Jordan. You have one of the greatest helicopter sites on the net, and have yourself created some of the best-flying copters around. All of it for free.Are you after an "invite" from Abacus? No, you're not. You do it because you love it and that's the difference. Past a "Donate" symbol on your website and see what happens.How our fellow hobbyists are treated *is* your business and my business. I'm one of your student Pilots and you do great work. Guess who and I'll bet you can. Wanna sell your new crane to Abacus for 10

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The developers negotiate the compensation they recieve from Abacus, so if they are treated unfairly, I don't think its because of Abacus. From what I know about the process, they are fair. Perhaps someone could differ on that opinion, but if they contributed their development work to the product, I would have to ask why? If they thought they were treated unfairly, or didn't recieve enough compensation, I would guess that they just wouldn't get involved.Abacus products in my opinion are a little "hit or miss". Some are great, and some are lacking. But in general, their staff is absolutely great, and they are pretty dedicated to puting flight sim products on the shelf, and I appreciate what they do. Even if I don't purchase every release. Also, in case there is any confusion, Hovercontrol, and/or myself are not affiliated with Abacus other than the fact that they offered to add any Hovercontrol material I provided to each box (without charge).I wish they would have "felt out" the helicopter community a little more before completing their latest product. I think they could have increased the quality and content, without spending much more money or time. I'm sure a hard-core helicopter simmer like us would not gain much from this product, because we all know where to get the raw ingredients for free. However, I think there will be some casual gamers that will buy the boxed version just because they have a passing interest. Hopefully some of those will realize there is a lot more resources out there for their enjoyment and get more involved.

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>I think there will be some casual gamers>that will buy the boxed version just because they have a>passing interest. Hopefully some of those will realize there>is a lot more resources out there for their enjoyment and get>more involved.>Like you, I hope so, Jason. If I didn't say it here in this thread, Abacus has treated me fairly. Nevertheless, I am un-encumbered--completely. Whether Abacus or Lago, Flight1, Microsoft, or HoverControl, I say what I think right here in public. That won't change. ;-)Of course, I fully expect in some quarters the reader's mileage can and will vary.

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