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Guest Darren Howie

Microsoft. When will night be truly night.

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G'day GuysI am wondering when MS will finally create a night environment which is somewhat closer to reality than the fantasy world they give us for night at the moment.At this stage night reflects some fantasy of some programmers imagination that in no way even looks remotely close to reality.Let me make this very clear.On moonless nights you see nothing!On overcast nights you see nothing!Hence the phrase used my many aviators"Black as the inside as a cows guts".Ask anyone who has flown onto any island strip or outback strip at night with no moon,its one of lifes more exciting experiences.No sky,no horizon no anything!When on downwind you see nothing but black outside.Zipo!Its actually not until you roll out on final when you pick up any lighting at all and even then its the smallpatch of runway lighting in the distance.Just a set of seemingly moving lights in the distance.Thats when it gets difficult.NO sensation of movement as you have no visual cues whatsoever.Scary!With no horizon and a small set of lights in the black its very easy to start overcontrolling from side to side of the centreline.Definitely not easy even for people who have done it for years.In all the Microsft flight sims people are given the false sense that everything is litup and bright on even moonless nights.Shooting approaches into islands in the Pacific,being able to see the water,islands horizon.Sorry but that is as far from reality as possible.Definitely not as real as it gets.Sorry but this is my biggest peeve with the FS series and how they create a distorted sense of reality in the FS community as to how easy aviation is in the real world.If you want to see what real night flying i about try X-plane it creates a great night environment based on moon brightness.From pitch black to something similar to FS2002/2004 when a full moon is up.Maybe one day when this is fixed people may start to appreciate why most night flying away from cities is an IMC excercise.Anyway heres hoping for black nights and a small dose of reality.It may not be as good to look at but its a whole lot closer to real life.Darren Howie7000Hrs,Capt Citation,King Air(RFDS),Cheyenne,Dash 8(Qantaslink Eastern).When you can't see the wingtip then you know its dark.

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Good point!However, I have just done my own 'check' by comparing a real world event and 20044's rendition of same event, and I am gobsmacked once again at just what we ARE getting.I had a real world KLM flight from Toronto to Amsterdam last winter on a very cold incrediblt clear night. At 37K from the 747 I could see Montreal and Ottawa. Recreated this on 2004 and its another 'spot the difference' time. Honestly I am dammned if I can!(lol) Same with a Las Vegas at the gate scene.To further test this I am off to Warsaw from Heathrow tommorow, so digital video camera is coming with me! Just lets see how much

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Darren,I had a devil of a time finding your post so I could respond.... Set your time to 2AM. and your sim date to 6/8/03.... Look dark enough? Now change the date to 6/9/03... A bit too bright. Jump to June 11th.... Dark again...FS2004 employs sky themes, day and night. These seems don't seem to run according to the phases of the moon, I'm sorry to say. But if you want to replicate true night flying (at least as best as FS2004 can duplicate it), just try changing the date and saving that as your situation.I hope this helps bring a bit more enjoyment to your night flying... I know it gives me pause on the darker FS2004 nights to fly into the great void...-John

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Hi JohnI'll give it a try.Still a bit frustrating with MS not listening to anything real pilots say about their simAll the bestDarren

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>Hi John>I'll give it a try.>Still a bit frustrating with MS not listening to anything real>pilots say about their sim>All the bestActually they do listen, and some of the programmers are pilot's. But........ it doesn't mean everything will "get" implemented in the simulation. I was also surprised that you mentioned the nights wern't dark enough, because I've had shear blackness. But then I tried John's date changing, and sure enough, it's just like he said. I guess my nights had been "moonless" up to now.L.Adamson

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