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lcseale53

Flew FS COF Today - Spectacular Sim!

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Microsoft has a number of FS stations set up in their pavillion at Sun-n'-Fun this week and they are featuring the DC-3, the J-3, and the 747. They all have brief preset flights, and they demonstrate some of the new features. The DC-3 flies into a foggy, rainy cloud bank showcasing some of the new weather generation which is vey impressive. The J-3 flies through some hill and valley terrain which is very well done, and the 747 showcases some water (which I didn't get a close lok at but looked great from the air). Couldn't spend much time there today but will look closer tomorrow.They also have three Wright Flyer simulators with prone-position operation and the large monitors (to compliment the EAA Wright Flyer replica). I watched a number of folks attempt to fly that thing, and all I've read is true. It rotates and begins a slow climb fairly easily, but the moment you begin a turn you'd better be correcting the other way. If the bank exceeds 10 degrees (or so) it's all over - no recovery. If you try to fly straight ahead the sim will wiggle you just enough to force a correction - boom! No one I watched survived more than a minute, and most only a few seconds. The Wright brothers were exceptional, well rehearsed pilots, but also quickly recognized a need to evolve the airplane. Regards,Leon

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You're welcome Ken. I've purposefully stayed away from that Wright Flyer simulator for fear of discovering my own ineptitude. My hangar partner is doing the Wright Brothers presentation daily at the show, and it's incredible what they endured, and that they prevailed with a number of other noted designers nipping at their heels.Leon

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I think one of the biggest things people would like to know is the following:Find out what processor, memory, video card configuration they are running and report back on the frame rates or fluidity at LAX (IF possible) and any blurries with all maxed and some weather IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. Anywhere there is terrain detail and weather and AI happening should give you a good indication on how they could tweak the final build if at all. But it would be nice to know that a scattered or broken sky on approach to LAX with a 2Ghz P4 running GF4 was smooth as silk and not blurred.Thanks ahead of time!

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Carmine and all,Tried to learn a little more today but the sim is running in a preconfigured 'kiosk' mode which limits time and uses only a few preselected flights.One of the reps there told me he thought the computers were P4 2 gig rigs but didn't know much more. I can tell you the frame rates appeared to be in the 25-30 range flying the J-3 in VC mode, looking at a screen full of mountains and clouds - very fluid. The graphics are excellent and the terrain looks very convincing. Having said that, though, there appeared to be some video card issues as the clouds had some clipped edges, and a few had vertical lines separating portions of the cloud. The flight would not run long enough to reach the cloud deck so I could not investigate the innards.One of the DC-3 flights was in a rainy/foggy bank that produced some very convincing rain and reduced visibility. The weather was not solid so some visibility remained. Again very fluid motion and really nice looking weather effects. The third station featured the 747, which appeared to be the same as 2002.No AI traffic was available nor was an approach to a large airport.Very limited general impressions are:-Improved terrain and overall graphics.-2 gig processor provided good frame rates in the presence of a screen full of clouds in VC mode.-Better weather generation.-Beautiful new airplanes.I think we can look forward to a another great update from Microsoft. I do think, however, that based on the appearance of clouds from a distance (observed video card/driver problems not withstanding), Chris Willis will have plenty of work to do.I was also reminded that this is beta software and is due some polishing yet.Just my impressions,Leon

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