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John_Cillis

The best all around sim....

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I just installed X-Plane 9 this week. I have to say from the flight levels the textures look brilliant.And for those who haven't noticed my absence from the FS9 forums, I have FSX installed and it's been running well on the system I purchased at the beginning of the year.FSX/Tileproxy--what a combo--a smooth 30 fps and the scenery looks as real as it gets.But my vote for the best all around sim--it goes to FS9. The smoothness, the scenery and airport detail, and the add-on support--it just doesn't get any better. I'm happy I held onto FS9....Regards,John

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With the possible exception of air mass modeling, which in FSX is far superior to FS9, I'd have to say I agree with you. I do like FSX very much and it has a lot of great features, but I'm still happily buying add-ons for FS9. When I buy stuff for FSX, it tends to be with an eye on the future, because FSX is the one we'll be using more in years to come.But as it stands, I'm currently having a great time with FS9, particularly with Just Flight's Air Hauler add-on (although that does work in both sims). AH has given FS9 an entirely new lease of life for me and blown the dust off some add-on aircraft I've had for a while, moreover, I've been buying add-on FS9 stuff to use with AH in recent weeks; just the other day I bought the FS9 versions of the CS 707 and C-130 specifically for that purpose. If I'm still spending money to enhance a piece of software that is now five years old - which is ancient in software terms - it's indicative of how good it remains.Al

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In order to provide my wife with desktop piloting instruction.................in case she really needs some clues to operate an aircraft someday... I hope to find my FS9 disk that's required to load up the sim. I figure that some of the airport scenery from FlightScenery Portland and the RealAir SF260 will be perfect for the task. Considering what's available for FS9, I'd say it's the best all around sim too! Yet, I do prefer the mountainous resolution and textures of FSX, along with bump mapping for exteriors. As to X-Plane.... they're working on it.. :( L.Adamson

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I've been flirting with X-Plane for the past several weeks and definitely see potential. FSX looks good and also has a lot of future potential. But with FS9 I can max every slider and just fly instead of spending countless hours tweaking. I use them all, but have found myself more in FS9 lately than the others.

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"With the possible exception of air mass modeling, which in FSX is far superior to FS9"Can you elaborate a bit on this ?Oh, and what is more changed under the hood besides the graphics?

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"With the possible exception of air mass modeling, which in FSX is far superior to FS9"Can you elaborate a bit on this ?
I noticed the same phenomenon on day one of using FSX. There is just a much better sense of air movement combining with the simulated airplane, without being over done. Especially over the foothills of mountain areas. I compare FS9 as being "stagnant" in comparison. When you add this to FSX's built in "head latency", the effect is a nice addition.I mentioned this over and over years ago, but it seems that a number of simming "non-pilots" just scoffed at the notion. What they don't know, won't hurt them...................I guess...L.Adamson

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"With the possible exception of air mass modeling, which in FSX is far superior to FS9"Can you elaborate a bit on this ?Oh, and what is more changed under the hood besides the graphics?
Over the default textures, FSX models thermals. The same can be done in FS9, but it requires Thermiek or some other thermal creation utility. FSX's thermals are on a world wide scale, and it does lend a sense of being in a more fluid air mass. I have a niche for each of the three sims now. In the case of X-Plane I find I like flying in something like the Avanti, close enough to the ground below to enjoy the look of the landscape. I really like the way the textures look in X-Plane, but where it falls short is in the flight levels. Since I live in the Southwest, I am used to high visibility. X-Plane really limits in that area. With FSX I like soaring for the reasons mentioned above, and flying GA over the Tileproxy generated scenery. My fps never drops below 30, mainly because Tileproxy doesn't have autogen added. With FS9 I fly everything else. But it did take a new system to fully appreciate it. Regards,John

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"With the possible exception of air mass modeling, which in FSX is far superior to FS9"Can you elaborate a bit on this ?
One of the things that first strikes you when you get into flying aircraft for real is that the thing is not on rails, it tends to be very noticeable when you first learn to fly, because you are invariably in a very small aeroplane when you do that, but it's a fundamental aspect of flying aircraft all the time - especially small ones - and even big airliners can get themselves in trouble in a severe downdraught if it exceeds their maximum rate of climb. Lots of people missed the real significance of the addition of thermals in FSX and what a step forward it represented, but being a glider pilot, it certainly wasn't lost on me. Some people will tell you that the flight model in FS9 and FSX is the same, but because of the addition of a realistically modeled air mass (or at least a good attempt at realistic), it makes the flight model very different and much more like the real thing. Try this one if you want to see how much of a change it makes in FSX...Select one of the missions for the glider and tick the 'allow changes in missions' box. Then change the aircraft to the Piper Cub, turn on thermal visualisation in the display preferences so that you can see where the thermals are and fly the Piper Cub into one of them. Then switch off the engine. You'll find that you can still fly it in the rising air mass and in fact you can get it well above its service ceiling where the engine will refuse to start for lack of air, but you will still be able to climb, as you would in real life in a decent thermal. Effectively you are still in a dive, but the air you are diving through is going up faster than you are going down through it, so your altitude increases, which is of course the fundamental principle of gliding. But whether in a glider or not, the movement of the air mass is something that affects all aeroplanes, which is why that aspect of FSX is much better than FS9.An appreciation of the movement of air is useful for all pilots, even if they have no interest in gliders, and you'll note that a certain pilot who managed to successfully ditch an Airbus into the Hudson River just recently, is a keen glider pilot, as indeed are many airliner pilots. That's because it requires a good deal of airmanship to get the best out of an aircraft with no engine, and there's probably no better demonstration of what good airmanship can do, than saving the lives of a plane full of passengers when both engines quit. Chesley Sullenberger (the pilot in that incident) was probably aware that as he went for the Hudson, the air over the city would have been rising owing to the heat from the buildings (which is why you see cumulous clouds form over cities), and whilst that wouldn't have made a vast difference to things, it's a fair bet he stayed over it while he could to make use of the slight updraughts in order to save a bit of precious height.Here's a pic of that thermalling test going on with the Cub, notice the altitude, which is above the Cub's service ceiling:PiperCubat17200feet.jpgAl

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Very interesting read about the thermals and how FSX handles them. Never doubted that FSX is a major step forward in some areas.So, to me, FS9 is the sim with the most fun to have for now and a while to come. I'm always behind from a technical point of view and I couldn't enjoy FS9 before I bought a new lappy in 2008. I'm even considering picking up one cheap Pentium 4 desktop to make it a dedicated FS9 platform. I spent some serious money on nice add-ons I want to enjoy to their fullest. Albeit FSX is better in the grafix department I found satisfying settings and scenery upgrades to enjoy bush flying and haul cargo with that little gem of an add-on, FSCargo.If I'm not in the mood of stressful flying, some circuits anywhere in the world (preferably at nicely modeled small airfields) are always a blast.Getting out my paper charts and planning a cross country in any of the MegaScenery add-ons is always fun, hand dialing and tracking all VORs or NDBs rather then using the GPS or not using them at all and just rely on maps and checkpoints "down there".If I want to spent some airtime IFR, a flight around 1 1/2 to 2 hours together with ProFlight2000 Emulator is always a satisfying experience. All this is done preferably with one nice add-on plane from Carenado, Dreamfleet and the likes.Just looking into the MD-11 from PMDG....looks like a whole new world for me to explore. Never have fiddled much with airliners so far.So, the fun is there and to stay for a while until people throw out their nice quad core desktops in some years and I can get cheap airtime on FSX....

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One of the things that first strikes you when you get into flying aircraft for real is that the thing is not on rails, it tends to be very noticeable when you first learn to fly, because you are invariably in a very small aeroplane when you do that, but it's a fundamental aspect of flying aircraft all the time - especially small ones - and even big airliners can get themselves in trouble in a severe downdraught if it exceeds their maximum rate of climb. Lots of people missed the real significance of the addition of thermals in FSX and what a step forward it represented, but being a glider pilot, it certainly wasn't lost on me.
But can we not have simulation of such vertical airmovement also in FS2004 with the new Active Sky Advanced?

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If that's what it can do, then I daresay you can, but not actually being in possession of Active Sky Advanced myself, I wouldn't know. I can add a PMDG 747 to FS9 that will make it better than FSX when flying the default FS747 too, but straight out of the box, FSX is going to be better.Al

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If that's what it can do, then I daresay you can, but not actually being in possession of Active Sky Advanced myself, I wouldn't know. I can add a PMDG 747 to FS9 that will make it better than FSX when flying the default FS747 too, but straight out of the box, FSX is going to be better.Al
When you say that FSX has better airmass simulation than FS9 are you only thinking about vertical air movement?

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Pretty much, yes.Al

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