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brucek

Question on Mountainous Topographies in FS9 (scenic flights).

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I'm enjoying exploring the scenery and eye candy in FS9.For VFR flight in the mountains (good scenery), I have a question for anyone with local knowledge of the Appalachians (sp?) in the east of the US. How do the eastern (seaward) and western (inland) aspects of this mountain chain differ? I assume the western aspect is drier- which may or may not show in FS9. I'm wondering more about the topography, and as well any recommended scenic flights in this area?I think the extreme in differences in topography that I have seen (on different aspects of the same mountain range) is the Sierra Nevada. This mountain chain has a very gradual slope on the western side, but a very sharp, abrupt and steep aspect on the eastern side- and also has a dramatic climatic change on either side that even FS cannot ignore :) (lush conifers to barren desert).Thanks,Bruce.

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I cant't say much about the difference between the western and the eastern side of the Appalachians, although I have been there several times before (my uncle lives in the tristate corner formed by PA, NJ and NY)But I can recommend a nice scenic flight, which I do from time to time in FS2002 (I do not have FS2004 yet). I start at the Wilkes-Barre/Sranton Airport, do some scenic circles around Wilkes-Barre and then follow the Susquehenna (spelling correct??) River towards the west and then to the east, when the river bends towards Harrisburg, Pa., which is usually my final destination airport.FS2002 default scenry for this flight is sometimes breathtaking (check different seasons) and I guess it must even be better in FS2004.Wolfgang

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Bruce,If you depart Winchester VA and head SSW along Interstate 81 you'll soon note the northern terminus of a large ridge at Front Royal. Keep following I-81 and you'll have this ridge running on your left with more endless ridges on your right extending into W VA. You can follow this route all the way to Roanoke and beyond with good moutain scenery assuming you have a LOD10 terrain mesh installed.John

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Yeah,I think these mountain ranges are the Shannandoah's..(don't know about the spelling)..Regards,jack noullet

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There is not a big climate difference on either side of the Appalachians. For one thing, the west side gets a lot of moist Gulf of Mexico air. The east side gets some Atlantic air but there is also some Gulf Air spilling over. It's not like the Barrier Range in Australia. So both sides of the App's get 30-60 inches of precip per year. The spot around the Smoky Mountains (Tenn/North Carolina) gets closer to 50-60 inches, and I think it is because the terrain is higher there, which causes a little more atmospheric lifting. Soil is a little different, more clay on the east side, so more pine trees and meadows. On the west side the soil is more mixed and you get more deciduous trees like maple, oak, ash and fewer meadows.Topographically speaking the Appalachians are "folded mountains", which you can see by the northeast to southwest ridges and parallel valleys. There are some variances, notably the White Mtns of New Hampshire (volcanic origin), and the Smokies, which are a massif that used to be much much higher millions of years ago.My favorite Appalachian flight is around the Chattanooga Tennessee area. It is very neat flying up the valley of the Tennessee River; fly west in the river valley from Chat. and you will go through a snaky twisty valley surrounded by the Cumberland Plateau and emerge in a big 5-10 mile wide valley at Nickajack Lake.

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Thanks everyone, some very useful and interesting information.I live at the base of the Colorado Rockies, which are nothing like the scenic splendor of the Appalachians- but also have some spots :). Maybe I'll put together a scenic flight for this area if anyone's interested.Once again, thanks a bunch everyone.Bruce.

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Hi Bruce and Wolfgang - that's my home!You're right, it is a beautiful area. Unfortunately MS did an injustice to the Susquehanna through the towns of Kingston and Forty Fort. The river seems abnormally fat then is reduced to an indistinguishable trickle, then it gets fatter again. In the FS04 new color map view, there is a break in the river at this point - the whole section missing. This can be confirmed on the New York sectional. I was hoping they would fix it in FS04 but not. We live in the Wyoming Valley and the mountains are especially nice through the fall. The Poconos near Delaware Water Gap along the Delaware River near Stroudsburg is also nice. I recommend you also fly from Tunkhannock PA (north of Wilkes-Barre) and fly along the Susquehanna nortwest toward Towanda. This is known as the Endless Mountain area - very nice. I also suggest you check out the FSGenesis 38.2 mesh terrain for this area. It is the Appalachian/East CD. (The whole country is on 5 CD's). It improves the scenery dramatically imhp over the default. The US Landclass project which is open ended and also available at FSG puts the cherry on the sundae. It adds the towns and roads at the correct locations throughout the country. Version 1.03 is newly available. Justin of FSG is a PA boy himself! Give it a try at www.FSGenesis.net. Regards, Tom:-)

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