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Guest smoothvirus

Back in the cockpit again with FSX

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So I've been into flight sims since I was in high school back in the 1980's and my parents got me a copy of MSFS 2.0. In the FS4 days I got into creating scenery files and made some Washington DC scenery files that went all around the world.. on BBS's. :( I was still simming until a couple of years ago with FS2004 and Orbiter. I did not get FSX when it came out because I had a lot of addons installed for FS2004 and I felt that my lowly Pentium 4 machine wasn't going to fare too well with FSX.So now it's 2010, I have a newer PC, running a Q9450 overclocked to 3.2ghz and a 5870, with Vista 64 as the OS. A few nights ago I was in Gamestop getting the expansion for Fallout 3 and I spied a copy of FSX Gold. I thought to myself, yeah, it's time, and grabbed it.Installed FSX last night, since I didn't have a controller hooked up, I just mucked around at my local airport, KDCA, on slew mode a little bit. More on that later.I ordered the Saitek yoke and rudder pedals, Fedex should be dropping those off at my house this afternoon.So here are my plans for FSX: I used to love flying the Learjet 45 in previous versions, and actually flew it around the world twice, once with FS2000 and again with FS2002. I started a round the world flight in FS2004 but got bored and never finished that one. Later on I purchased Eaglesoft's Citation X and Ultimate Traffic and had a blast flying the Citation around the North Atlantic and across the US. I also got really into adding airlines into Ultimate Traffic. I had a lot of fun with the freeware GA-Traffic too.So this time around I'm going to feed my bizjet love and get the Citation Mustang from Flight 1. I think I'll grab the latest version of Ultimate Traffic as well because I had so much fun with that in FS2004. I'll probably get those today. What I want to do is go for another round the world flight, this time in the Citation Mustang. I came up with a route yesterday, you can see it here. I'll probably do some tweaking to that before I attempt it, along with some shakedown flights so I can get used to the Mustang. I knew the terrain mesh was not so great for parts of the globe other than North America so I ordered the FSGenesis set last night.I spent yesterday reading about VATSIM so what I think I'll do is when I'm over the more populated areas I'll fly in VATSIM, and for the legs over more remote areas I'll just fly with the AI planes from UT. I can't wait to try VATSIM and not be alone out over the North Atlantic somewhere. Going to have to brush up on my ATC lingo, the last time I had to use it I was flying a *real* Piper Cherokee out of airports in central Virginia! So back to messing around last night in slew mode: Washington DC looks a little better in FSX, there are more buildings now, but the textures leave a little to be desired. The autogen scenery has high rise apartment buildings on Roosevelt Island, when in reality that's a park with mostly trees. Also, it would be nice to add the flashing strobes to the bridges so I can fly the river visual approach for runway 19 at KDCA at night. Apparently there are oodles of terrain enhancements for FSX out there, I'd like to hear some opinions on those - I was just recently looking at Ultimate Terrain X, which is supposed to have some enhancements for the DC area. Here's what I have and what I'm looking at:PurchasedFSX Gold EditionFSGenesis FSX Media BundleSaitek Yoke & Saitek Rudder Pedalssigned up for VATSIMDefinitely BuyingFlight 1 Citation MustangUltimate Traffic 2ConsideringUltimate Terrain X for USAFSUIPCBlueprint scenery for KIAD (the default really sucks, but their site says something about it being for 32-bit Vista only?)Any other suggestions for addons or really cool freeware is greatly appreciated, like I said I've been away for a while now. :( See you guys in the skies soon!

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Get REX pronto...!!!You won't believe the difference in the clouds and water alone!Also I highly recommend UTX for the USA and Europe...After installing these scenery/terrain add-ons alone could never go back to the default FSX terrain again. Here's my F1 Citation Mustang with REX 2.0 clouds:<edit by mod-screenshot way too big by avsim rules - removed>

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Hmm, looks like I should be considering Real Environment Xtreme and Ground Environment X as well.

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Hmm, looks like I should be considering Real Environment Xtreme and Ground Environment X as well.
I'd go UTX first as it fixes the default FSX road layout adds to and expands most of the cities in the USA and adds many new bridges. GEX will make the fixed up landclass look prettier with higher res ground textures.

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ConsideringUltimate Terrain X for USAFSUIPCBlueprint scenery for KIAD (the default really sucks, but their site says something about it being for 32-bit Vista only?)
UTX will improve things quite a bit. If you're looking for a KIAD improvement, check out Imagine Sim's version too. I don't have it (I have a number of other airports from them), but it's probably a bit higher fidelity than the blueprint version. Some people have reported performance issues, so give the demo a try to see if it works for you (here). If you're looking to be flying around big airports in the northeast, take a look at FSDreamTeam's KJFK and FlyTampa's KBOS.If you wanna head down under, definitely take a look at FTX (http://fullterrain.com/index.html). They're coming out with the Pacific Northwest very soon, too.

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UTX will improve things quite a bit. If you're looking for a KIAD improvement, check out Imagine Sim's version too. I don't have it (I have a number of other airports from them), but it's probably a bit higher fidelity than the blueprint version. Some people have reported performance issues, so give the demo a try to see if it works for you (here). If you're looking to be flying around big airports in the northeast, take a look at FSDreamTeam's KJFK and FlyTampa's KBOS.If you wanna head down under, definitely take a look at FTX (http://fullterrain.com/index.html). They're coming out with the Pacific Northwest very soon, too.
I looked at the Imaginesim offering, which looks very nice, but read some reports of big problems with FSX Acceleration, whereas the Blueprint one is supposed to work just fine.

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Well, you've got nothing to lose by giving the demo a try - if it's like their other demos, it flashes certain buildings on and off, but it should give you a good idea if it works and the performance is acceptable.

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One portmanteau word for you: TrackIR. OOooo, baby!Jeff ShylukSenior Staff ReviewerAVSIM

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One portmanteau word for you: TrackIR. OOooo, baby!Jeff ShylukSenior Staff ReviewerAVSIM
Couldn't agree more! Wouldn't fly without it now, being nearly as important as a set of eyes. :(

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One portmanteau word for you: TrackIR. OOooo, baby!Jeff ShylukSenior Staff ReviewerAVSIM
Seen that, and it's tempting. I'm also tempted by Eyefinity, but I don't think my desk has room for three 24" panels.

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[blueprint scenery for KIAD (the default really sucks, but their site says something about it being for 32-bit Vista only?)I have all of the BluePrint U.S. airports, and for the price (around $15 each or less) they are not bad at all and don't seem to have any performance hit. They are all 64 bit compatible to asnswer your question but they were only recently updated to be, so if you buy these from the BluePrint website you will be good to go. If you buy these off of a different site (PC Aviator, etc.) then all you need to do is send an email to BluePrint support and they will get back to you generally within 24 hours with a link to the 64 bit installers at no charge. As far as ImagineSim goes, they do make good airports, but the frame rates at night are miserable, we're talking 4 frames per sec. or worse (and this is on a higher end machine). I have their World Airports 3 package with KATL, KCLT, and KCVG and I also have the KLGA addon and they all perform terrible at night. That said they look nice and work well during day time flight.Cheers, Pete

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The Saitek controls arrived via Fedex yesterday and were waiting for me when I got home from work. Got a sweet deal on them from Provantage, and they got them delivered here in 1 day, nice.Sadly, real life events intervened with my flight simming. Yesterday morning my car battery slipped its earthly bonds and went to car battery heaven. So, I had to ride the bus to work, and when I got home had to take the old battery out and replace it with a new one.By the time I got everything taken care of it was 9PM so I did not have much time to set things up last night. I hooked all the controls up and got most of everything working. One big frustration was trying to download the latest drivers from Saitek, their driver page was not working at all last night. I tried Firefox, I tried IE, and I even tried my Iphone but nothing could get the driver download page to load properly. So I had to give up and go with the drivers that were included on the CD. (I just checked it again and it's working now.)Once in FSX I setup a Learjet at my home airport, KDCA, and started taxing around and setting up all the controls. After a bit I got the dual throttles and thrust reversers working, and setup the third handle on the throttle quadrant as my flaps. I ran into one big problem though, the toe brakes on the rudder pedals. I actually got the control axises set up properly and the differential brakes do work, but once I use them I cannot turn them off without engaging and then disengaging the parking brake. I reassigned joystick button 1 (the red button on the left side of the yoke) because I'm going to wind up using that as a PTT button for VATSIM. I could not figure out how to fix the brake problem. I'm hoping that my yoke does not suffer from the dreaded "repeated keypress" issue but I suspect that might be what's going on.I have read some posts where people say that the cure to the issue is FSUIPC, will the free version assist with setting up my controls, or do I need to register it?Anyhow, I tried a takeoff and short flight with the Lear 45. Wow, that sure showed how rusty I am, I was really struggling to keep up with trying to hold 200 KIAS, not fly into the prohibited airspace over DC, keep up with the built-in ATC, and trim out a climb. I have been flying with a stick for years and being on a yoke again was different for me. I was really sloppy and all over the damn place, and felt like I could use some pattern practice in a C172 back at KEZF, where I learned to fly for real when I was 17 years old. So I went over to Flight1 and purchased the Citation Mustang. Wow, what a difference, the Mustang is easy to fly and very forgiving, and taxing with it was simple, you don't even need to bother with using the brakes. I couldn't figure out the autopilot but I'm sure after I read the documentation I'll get it. Sadly by then it was 12:30AM, an hour and a half past my bedtime so I had to cut things short. So, this weekend I will see about getting the other addons I want installed and doing some short flights in the Mustang so I can build proficiency.

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Here's the latest:Got the toe brake problem figured out. You have to reverse the axis and turn the sensitivity all the way to the right for both brake axises in FSX. Once I did that it worked perfectly.So my Saitek controls are all setup now. Except for the fact that I can't find anywhere to get spare throttle knobs, unless you buy an extra quadrant. Kind of a bummer, since I'm using the prop control lever as throttle for engine #2.So far I have purchased- Flight1 Citation Mustang - installed- Flight1 Ultimate Traffic 2 - installed- Real Environment Xtreme - installed - Ground Environment X - installed, and then uninstalled, there's a big update, plus you're supposed to install UTX first- Ultimate Terrain X - got the USA/Canada bundle, not here yet- FSGenesis bundle - not here yetLatest strange problem, last night I discovered that at night all the bridges across the Potomac in DC disappear. No idea why. I'm hoping installing UTX and re-installing GEX with fix this issue.Barely have time to fly the damn thing.. I'm hoping to get some time in flying the pattern with the Mustang tonight and get familiar with the autopilot.

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And.. a little over a year later..Got a kick out of reading this stuff again. Continuing from where I left off, I did get all my addons installed and later on I got FSUIPC and purchased the PMDG 747-400 as well. I got Blueprint's KIAD and, just recently, their CYYZ. I also purchased Aerosoft's Heathrow.And I've downloaded more freeware sceneries than I can remember now. Not to mention a bunch of freeware planes.I did join VATSIM and flew the Mustang to the west coast and back to get myself familliar with it. Then I set off on my world tour, and this is where I've been so far. I did take a break for a few months because I bought a house and moved this summer, but got started back up with the round the world trip in January. Flew to Anadyr, way up in Siberia last night. WIll probably fly across the Bering Strait to Alaska this weekend. Then I'll be off down the west coast of North and South America, across to Argentina, and then up the east coast of South America, through the Caribbean, and back up to DC.Once that's done I'm doing a major system rebuild and going to a core i7-2600k. Once that's done I'll fly the 747 for a while.

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