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Guest paperflyer

Around the World in 80 Flights Review

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I have some small issues with this add-on:There are some typos in the filenames. While this is not really an issue, I can't really understand why such an obvious error can make it in to a retail product.The probably more serious problem is that the flight plans are written in two different formattings (probably FS9 and FSX). This was a big problem for me since my flight planning software (Courseplanner) did recognize one of them, but not the other. Hence, I spent most of last night writing a program that reads savegames and creates flight plans... If someone is interested in this, send me a message.

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Oh, I discovered another thing: I don't seem to be able to change the NAV or COM frequencies. There is this plus/minus-Hand, but when I click or scroll, nothing happens.Do you have any idea how I can fix this?

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Oh, I discovered another thing: I don't seem to be able to change the NAV or COM frequencies. There is this plus/minus-Hand, but when I click or scroll, nothing happens.Do you have any idea how I can fix this?
I'd recommend you send that question to the vendor's forum or customer support cell.

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In the review, I pointed out that you are better off using the ATC window to tune the radios, because of how fiddly it is to tune the older-style radios manually, which is why I believe it was a deliberate choice on the part of the developers to force users to do that. So, strictly speaking, the radios are not 'broken', rather it was a deliberate design choice to limit their ability to cause difficulties on the 80 flights, but if you would prefer to have them manually adjustable, it is easy to 'fix':Because the Electra has essentially the same radio as the DC-3, all you need to do is open the default DC-3 config file, scroll down to the 'radio' section in the DC-3 cfg text, highlight the 'radio' stats, copy them, open up the Electra config file, highlight the same 'radio' section stats and hit paste. Save the Electra cgf file and your radios will be manually adjustable in the Electra. (back things up first if you are unfamiliar with doing this sort of thing, just to be on the safe side).In case you are curious as to why I did not mention this point in the review, I chose not to get into discussing how to make this change because I'd already got into several comments about tweaking configuration files and thought it would be unwieldly to bang on about other things you could do, especially since I believe it was a wise move on the part of the developers to have the radios work in that way for the included flights, and having them that way does not preclude users from making any of the flights so long as they use the ATC window in FS.In fact, I was quite impressed with the developers making that choice, as it goes a long way toward making it difficult to screw up your journey by losing ATC control, again, like a lot of other things in Around the World in 80 Flights, I thought it was indicative of the high degree of careful thought that had gone into the product.But if you want to use the Electra for other flights, or you just like to have full manual control of all the equipment, I would nevertheless recommend making that cfg tweak.Hope that helps - Al

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I do take issue with the reviewer and his review of this product.It seems that the reviewer was wearing a serious shade of rose spectacles when trying this product.The reviewer has actually included more about some of the early legs of this RTW flight than the documentation which came with the product!So far, and I am as far down as Mobassa, I have seen very few notable features in the scenery, But from 18,000 feet I am not likely to see much, especially pyramids as a noted feature. Many of the legs so far involve long tracts of virtual nothingness and in some cases actual nothngness as you cross some of the seas.The accompanying documentation serves little to explain what we are passing by or over and little description of the departure point. route or destination. Well since each leg is describe in around 3 or 4 sentences there isn't much room for any detail. So of education there is little to be gained, save a few snippets of historical detail.As mentioned by another respondant the flight plans supplied seem to have come from different sources. They actually appear in 3 formats. Since I use Pro Flight, which needs the specific FSX format flight plans, I have to manually edit them to be compatible!Perhaps it is telling that the reviewer takes up a little over half his review talking about the the Electra model included! It is the RTW trip which is the reason why I, and I am sure most purchasers wanted the package!I haven't tried to present these questions to First Class Simulations as I have heard from others and on here that responses to probems are NOT forthcoming.You may ask why, if it is so bad, then why am I following it still! Well it is a route specified by another and my object is not about the eye candy. At least the routings are provided and the legs within range. But I may yet still abandon it in favour of something more suitable.Nigel

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You are of course free to disagree with my assessment of Around the World in 80 Flights. Needless to say, all reviews are to a large extent opinions, but to address some of your points from my own standpoint:Yes it is true that I mentioned aspects of the route which the manual does not detail, but that is because to do so focused on what I regard as being a fundamental point of the product; in that it encourages you to explore. Granted, it takes you along a route, but it is for the user to employ their imagination and curiosity when travelling that route. There would be little point in regarding the flights as exploratory on a pre-determined route if everything were to be spoon-fed, since exploration is not the same as a guided tour. This is in fact why I also mentioned the CIA website at the end of the review and provided a link to it, remarking that it would further the user's enjoyment of the product, since it is a good source for maps and further information about the places you fly to (and over). To some extent it does depend upon your point of view whether one chooses to regard not being told everything as devoid of description, or a catalyst for imagination and curiosity. That may be why you regard my view as being through rose-tinted flying goggles: I don't see it that way at all, I think it is a springboard for the imagination.The flights are already planned, so there is no actual need to use another flight planning utility to undertake them in FS. If anyone chooses to go beyond them being ready for use within FS by employing another flight planner, they are of course free to do so, but the lack of compatibility with a product other than FS should not be regarded as a failing, the product is marketed as an add-on for FS and it received a review based on that premise. One always has to be careful when reviewing a product to not go beyond the remit of how the product is presented for use. This is why I highlighted some issues with FS, and some with hardware, because they are pertinent to the product as it is supplied for use.Part of the challenge of Around the World in 80 Flights is to undertake the circumnavigation in the aircraft provided, and whilst anyone is free to make the flights in another aircraft if they choose to do so, the included Lockheed Electra aircraft are a large part of the product and part of the justification for its price, so it would be remiss not to look at these in-depth, because they are not merely an afterthought. Clearly, the journey is a major part of the attraction, but as noted in the review more than once, I chose to avoid detailing every aspect of the routes to prevent the review from spoiling any potential buyer's enjoyment of the product, so there is no imbalance in how I chose to cover the product, it merely detailed what I felt was necessary.Anyway, whether you agree or disagree with my standpoint, it's certainly interesting to hear another point of view, so thank you for the feedback.Al

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I have very ambivalent feelings towards this add-on. On the one hand, I really like the idea of being provided with a route and a plane and some narrative and flying this route as an adventure. On the other hand I can not quite understand why there are so many small but annoying glitches in this product. After all, I payed money for it and it feels sloppily done at best.Things like numerous typos, those deactivated radios etc. just are not necessary and do not at all add to the value of the package -- especially the deactivated radios are just a measure to render the aircraft virtually useless for any VFR flying, which is a shame, since the aircraft really is pretty good.Also, I did write an email to the customer support and they did not answer. This is one thing I really hate and this really shows if the developers are devoted or careless.So, while this add-on may still be worthwhile, I for one could not recommend it to anyone with a straight face until these issues are rectified. However, since I do like the idea, I am thinking about assembling an inofficial patch that corrects these issues. But really, this should be the developers work and not mine. (Perhaps they are even working on one?)

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Firstly, thank you for Alan for taking the time to review and to comment here.Nigel, thank you for your comments. This is not a support forum, so I will limit my replies to the context of the review and your comments to Alan.To take your points individually:-1) Scenery and route: A huge amount of work has gone into showcasing the best scenery areas in FSX and FS2004. There were a multitude of criteria used in creating the route and Alan touched upon some of those in the review, from graduation of difficulty, to length of leg, to the interest and scenery of the route. It took months to work out. Inevitably, there are some areas where the landscape under your wings may seem flat and featureless. Outside of the USA and a few other select areas the quality of the FS scenery and mesh resolution is much reduced in the product. The Microsoft team simply did not provide an equal level of detail to the landscape around the world. That being said, I worked diligently to take the aircraft to what I consider is the best of the scenery that MS provided for us by default. As such, rather than fly over featureless landscape the route visits islands such as the Seychelles, Madagascar etc etc. There was a conscious design design to limit the default scenery effect for instance, by choosing a Pacific crossing rather than the other option of a crossing over Russia and the Bering Strait. The more northerly route would have entailed hours of flat landscape with nothing to see. The Pacific crossing is a challenge itself, and also broken up by visiting a range of islands and atolls which I hope many will find of interest, from Papua New Guinea to Midway Island etc. With the exception of the Pacific, for the reasons given, there was a conscious effort on my part to avoid as much ocean crossing as possible, or to limit the duration where it was unavoidable during my design of the product. The vast majority of the route is overland. Again, I emphasise a huge effort was made to make the best of the default scenery. I believe that has been achieved. There is much to be seen from the caribbean, to the fjords of Greenland to San Francisco and Lake Tahoe, to a sunset over Singapore! (Incidentally you shouldn't be seeing the pyramids from 18000ft, the aircraft lands close by in Cairo :) )2) documentation: My aim was to give a flavour of each leg of the journey that sparks the imagination without dousing the spirit of adventure and discovery that I had hoped to set as a tone for the product. I encourage people to research the flights if they so choose and to go deeper than what was in the documentation. As Alan points out in his review comments, I did not want to spoon feed the user and thereby limit the adventure. I hope that I found the right balance in the documentation. A good example of this is that I have gratified to see many users are really enjoying the flights and have even started a blog researching the adventure as they go. This is exactly what I had hoped for. I provide the tools and means, you provide the adventure. A good example is "Bertie's blog" which I find most interesting. http://bertiebassett.blogspot.com/2008/10/...80-flights.htmlFrom feedback received, many many people are enjoying the whole adventure and spirit of the journey.3) Flightplans. I never believed there would be an issue with them. They were created in FSX and FS2004 and modified as needed using FSBuild. They are ready to fly in the product which was the whole idea, as again Alan mentions in his comments. I am genuinely sorry if you have had problems tweaking them. I had presumed that if anyone wanted to tweak them they would be more advanced users who would simply rewrite them with SIDS and STARs etc from scratch if they wished. The aim was to cater for all level of FS user from the beginner upwards with ready made, ready to fly flight plans that load with the situation in FS.I am not sure what you have heard in terms of support from First Class Simulations, but I personally believe the quality of user support is excellent and the entire team approachable.I really do hope that you will stick with the flights and share the enjoyment that many others are experiencing with the package. I also appreciate your comments.all the very bestJane

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Thanks to 'Chock' and Jane for your replies.I feel a response is required.You both make the point that you did not want to 'spoon feed' your customers with details on the trip and to allow them to research the route for themselves. So, I would ask, what are we paying you for?Your suggestion seems a tad like a teacher taking her charges to the local library, pointing out all the books they could read and saying "There now I have taught you everything"!I was not expecting a raft of geopolitical information about the places I am overflying or flying near, but I guess the reasons that you had for picking the stations we fly to and the routes taken. You must have had reasons for picking those over all the alternatives, especially as you say it took you so long in the planning.The add-on Electra aircraft, I first thought was a 'make weight' to compensate for a lack of features in the route. I am now thinkng it was intended to be the main feature of the package. 'Chock' makes a lot of it in his review and the First Class web page features it as the sole representation of the package in the video clip provided.However as I have said I have dropped the Electra in favour of the Mooney as more suitable. Even the blog link that Jane provided showed he too has chosen the Mooney over the Electra.On that same blog I did notice the words 'long' and 'boring', refering to the enroute scenery, occurng more than once. The most of his blog is talking of the things he has researched seperatley to bolster up his experience of this RTW trip.Jane, you may also have seen the blog linked from the one you mention (http://metropoppyfield.com/world/index.html) where another person was having troubles with the Electra model. I believe also a reviewer in PC Pilot abandoned the Electra model because it was too difficult. Jane, did you fly out the RTW route in the Electra?So where does this leave us - a route which appears to lack interest and an aircraft model, which may have made up for the other, but itself is lacking controlability.As I am substantially into the trip I just hope that the next few legs take me to somewhere that is worthwhile.Jane you say you are happy with the support you provide. However you only need to look to the preceding post in this thread to see someone who has asked for help and received none.Nigel

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Thanks to 'Chock' and Jane for your replies.I feel a response is required.You both make the point that you did not want to 'spoon feed' your customers with details on the trip and to allow them to research the route for themselves. So, I would ask, what are we paying you for?Nigel
Just to clarify here, neither you, nor anyone else for that matter is paying me for anything, I'm a voluntary reviewer for Avsim and nothing to do with First Class Simulations.Al

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I feel that much that is said here is a bit harsh.Despite the issue with the radios, the Electra is really nice (and if it really is that easy to "repair", I don't mind) -- it might be one of the more difficult aircrafts, but that is solely because of its age, not because it is badly done. I agree wholeheartedly that this is not at all a flaw in the package but really adds to the adventure. After all, if you like to use another aircraft, you are free to do so.While I still wouldn't recommend this add-on to everyone, I personally really like it even though at this point, I probably spent more time hacking around with it instead of using it. However, this is more a problem of my route planning software than with the add-on.Also, I like the small descriptions of each legs. They could be a tad longer, but there is really no need.

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Paperflyer,I am sorry that you had support problems. We do take support very seriously. I can assure that in no way would your mail be intentionally ignored. If you would like to send me a PM I will gladly arrange for the matter to be rectified.all the bestJane

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Thank you for your offer. In the meantime, the support did answer, so I was just too hurried.

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On the other hand, the Support told me about a patch for the Electras VC that they supposedly released. Can anyone tell me where to get that patch? I don't seem to be able to locate it anywhere. It is supposed to be on their web site...

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Hello, I enjoyed the review thanks so much - and I am considering purchasing, but some of the Q's in this thread make me wonder if I am going to be able to fly the Electra with Radar Contact successfully? Radar Contact needs the transponder to be manually set for obvious reasons - can that be done as well as the radios, via the cfg tweak? Is there a transponder on board for this plane?Thx and best,Kabli

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