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samtx

New to FSX

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After trying out MS Flight, I found that I really enjoyed the flying experience, but was disappointed in the limited areas and planes. I couldn't resist picking up FSX Gold and a new flight stick to fly many more planes and explore the world.

 

I'm working the through the basics now and visiting many familiar locations around the country and the world. IFR and ILS are a bit daunting, but I'm reading up and watching videos and looking forward to the challenge.

 

I've followed a few tweak guides and also used the configuration from http://www.venetubo.com/fsx.html.

 

I'm trying out ENBSeries, but I've found different various versions of the d3d9.dll file. Is there a definitive latest or best version for FSX Gold? I've found two versions with different MD5 hashes:

 

b2279951959a6a685bc100436fa2ff9b

44034719383e281aa0c3696ee48c6271

 

What is the MD5 hash for the optimal version? Or is there a recommended download link?

 

I'm running FSX Gold (Deluxe + Acceleration) on a Windows 7 64 bit, Intel Dual Core 3GHz, 4GB RAM, Nvidia GTX 260 system and it installed without a problem. I haven't had any crashes yet, but I've read mention of using a different UIAutomationCore.dll. Is that still necessary or recommended? Or should I leave it alone unless I start having crashes?

 

I have plenty to keep me busy with the basic install, but I've set a budget of around $100 and started a wishlist for addons in the future. Ultimate Terrain X, Ground Environment X and REX are at the top of my list.

 

Are there any other alternatives that might be better choices for a limited budget? I'm looking for premium addons that will give the widest general improvent to the game. Or are there any quality free alternatives that I should look into first?

 

Also, please recommend a few of your favorite free planes, scenery or other freebies I should try out.

 

Thank you.

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Greetings fellow avsim forum n00b :) Way to offer up some interesting nuggets of info for me to dig into right off the bat and I'll be keeping an eye on this thread 'cause I'm curious about the answers to your questions as well. This seems like a great forum and I'm sure you'll find the expertise you seek. Avsim greenhorn ^5! xD

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Well, as you say, there is a fairly decent argument for 'if it aint broke, don't fix it' with FSX, and I'd agree with that. Some people can have FSX glitching all over the place and need to apply fixes, others seem to do okay without the fixes, so I'd play it by ear and see if it runs okay without tweeks, then seek them out if you should encounter problems. Some people like tweeking the crap out of FSX, but that's probably the last thing you want to do when you are just starting to play with it.

 

With the system you have, FSX should run okay providing you don't go mad with the options, very high screen resolutions, antialising, bloom, lens flare and high AI traffic settings are the ones which start to slow things down. MS Flight is better geared toward more recent hardware than FSX is, so you might find you have to make allowances for that even if Flight ran like greased lightning on your PC.

 

If you are looking for the best bang for your buck (and who isn't?) with add-on stuff for FSX, then the two which you probably want to look at first where payware is concerned, are REX, which makes a considerable visual improvement to almost all aspects of FSX and will give you more realistic weather too. The other one to look at is A2A's AccuFeel, which is a global enhancement for all your FSX aircraft, adding realistic shakes, rattles, squeaks and what not, which can be easily customised to make your aircraft behave like a shiny new aeroplane, or a battered old wreck. It makes all FSX aeroplanes a bit more realistic.

 

UT, as you mention, is also quite a lot of bang for your buck too, and here's a tip: If you do buy it, get it from Flight 1's online store (www.flight1.com), since they offer a money back guarantee if you are unhappy with the products they sell, plus you can download things again from there at a later date if you lose your installation file or whatever and need to reinstall things, which are two very good reasons to shop with them.

 

Having said that, you don't have to spend a lot of money, or even any money, to improve FSX, the Avsim file library is full of all kinds of freebie aeroplanes, sceneries, utilities and tweeks which can transform it. By way of example, check out this freebie aeroplane, which is just one of many excellent free aircraft you can find for FSX:

 

http://library.avsim...FU24&CatID=root

 

And then you might want to check out this too, for a vast number of freebie scenery add ons all listed in a convenient alphabetical order:

 

http://www.freewares...ry.com/fsx.html

 

You can spend a lot of money adding things to FSX, but that's a choice and not a necessity, it's pretty good right out of the box, with a decent selection of aeroplanes, plenty of missions and stuff to keep you entertained, and with reasonably good default scenery and ATC. Yes you can tweek all that and buy super-realistic airliners such as the PMDG Boeing 737 NG, or super duper warbirds such as the A2A P-51 Mustang, but those things aren't going anywhere, they'll still be on sale when you've found what it is you like about FSX and what you want to do with it, there's no need, nor hurry, to rush out and melt your credit card.

 

So if I were you, I'd have a look at all the default stuff, the Grumman Goose for example, is great fun, as is the default Bell 206 chopper, and the Cessna is actually a fairly decent rendition of the real thing, the 737 is also quite nice, it's a bit simplified compared to the real deal, and there are payware ones which are far more realistic, but generally speaking it's not bad for learning the gist of things.

 

When you know what it is you like to fly, be it airliners, choppers or gliders or whatever, then you'll be better placed to know what to spend money on as far as scenery and stuff is concerned, after all, there's no point in spending money on making Europe look great from 35,000 feet and buying a fancy add-on Boeing 747, if you subsequently find that you prefer bush flying in the Caribbean at fifty feet in a helicopter.

 

Al

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Al,

 

Thank you for all the great advice, recommendations and links. I look forward to taking the FU24 Fletcher out for a ride. I will definitely get the know the base game better and explore all the free planes, scenery and addons before spending a lot on premium extras. I'm enjoying the included Piper Cub and even flew it and the Beaver in Alaska, which is fun since I've been following the Flight Alaska discussion.

 

For others looking for planes, here are a few that caught my eye today:

 

Iris Classics F-20 and P-40

http://www.irissimulations.com/product-classics-f20.php

http://www.irissimulations.com/product-classics-p40kitty.php

 

AlphaSim Virtavia Freeware planes

http://www.easyfly.co.nz/Freeware/index.php

 

Ant's De Havilland Tiger Moth DH-82A

http://aussiex.org/forum/index.php?/files/file/1012-de-havilland-tiger-moth-dh-82a-v11/

 

Premier Aircraft Beechcraft B1900C

http://www.premaircraft.com/AC_MENU/index.html

 

Concorde

http://simviation.com/1/download-file?file=C2011.zip&fileId=36960

 

Airbus A300

http://simviation.com/1/download-file?file=tom306f.zip&fileId=5925

 

Posky Boeing 777-200

http://simviation.com/1/download-file?file=773er_aal_x.zip&fileId=37280

 

Space Shuttle Atlantis by Bruce Fitzgerald

http://www.fs2000.org/index.php/downloads/doc_details/31720-fsx--sp2-space-shuttle-atlantis

 

Just Flight Cesna 152

http://www.justflight.com/microsoftc152.asp

 

Scenery:

 

Grand Canyon and KGCN + HolgerMESH V2

http://aussiex.org/forum/index.php?/files/file/12-grand-canyon-and-kgcn-holgermesh-v2/

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Those are all great scenery and aircraft addons you mention there. I'll just give a short list of addons that I think are really great. Beware that they are all payware. I have lately been using pretty much payware only and am a bit out of touch with freeware stuff. I will say that if you love Russian planes, you must try out the Project Tupolev Tu-154B2. That plane is aperfect simualtion of the real thing, and absolutely free. I'd dare say it's the best freeware plane available in its class!

 

Finally, besides being payware, the addons I'm mentioning are geared towards flying GA, low and slow VFR style. If that's not your cup of tea, you can disregards pretty much all that comes after REX...

 

- Accufeel: enhances the FS world with brak, touch down and wind sounds, and shakes the aircraft model absed on environmennal conditions.

- EZDOK Camera Addon: Makes the camera ("pilot") shake and tremble as an influence from movement of the aircraft and basic environmental conditions. Try landing hard ona grass strip. You wouldn't want to fly without EZCA after trying it out...

- REX: Really good texture pack that enhances sky, water, roads and airport ground textures. You get to mix and match various texture sets so that you get exactly what you want.

- OrbX sceneries: If you like GA flying, be sure to get their PNW region and as many airports in that regiona s you can afford. Personal favorites of mine are Israel's Farm, Concrete, Darrington, Diamond Point, Goheen, Stark' Twin Oaks, because they all perform really well on my machine and simply look gorgeous.

- Carenado aircraft: All are really good GA aircraft. They are very wel-modeled, but the flight dynamics do get some criticism. if you don't know how a certain plane ought to perform though (like me), you probably won't really notice any differences. My favroties are the C210 (fast and relatively big), C182RG (smaller, but a bit outdated graphically), Seneca (just a lovely aircraft design).

- Realair aircraft: I have theuir Scout and love it to bits. Perfect for sight seeing and well equipped with all kinds of flight instruments so you can fly IFR too.

- Sibwings Bird dog: charming little military style Cessna. Ilove it for its "ruggedness" and the fact that it's made to work, not to be beautiful. You'll notice this becayuse of all the "loose" wirings in the cockpit and the instruments scattered all over the place.

- A2A Cub: Lovely little plane and simulated in a great way. You can have perform a hand start by "grabbing" the prop and making rotating movements with your mouse! The plane is dog slow, but it's great fun due to "Accusim", which makes it fly and behave like the real thing would. Plus, performance is quite good.

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Has everyone forgotten the #1 must have addition to any FSX setup.

 

TrackIR 5 -

 

I used FS for years and years without it, all the way back since FS98 - I've only had TrackIR for 6 months, and I simply could not fly without it now!

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I considered putting TrackIR in my list, but I ended up leaving it out since it's quite expensive. it's indeed an integral aprt of my FSX experience, but there are some other more basic things, I think, that could be purchased first without getting the feeling that you've wasted a lot of money in the event that you suddenly decide you don't like FSX that much anyway.

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True - But the pay-ware list is already over £2-300 - Which is quite an investment should someone decide they don't like FSX after-all - however its important to remember that TrackIR does work with other games too! If you are into combat flight sims, it works with some of those too, there are also a few FPS and racing games that support it - so in that regard it makes it a better investment at first than any other, as if you do decide that FSX is not for you, then you can still use TrackIR, as opposed to the add-ons which would, in effect, be dead money.

 

My personal essential list for a start up in FSX would be as follows - Again all pay-ware but necessary I think to make the sim use-able without spending massive money;

 

TrackIR 5 - I got mine at a discount for £99, and if I had to pick it would be the single most important addon to my flight sim additions!

 

REX essential or ActiveSky2012 - Both are currently on sale for about £30 or thereabouts. I was a REX 2.0 user for many years, didn't actually get around to the upgrade to Essential so can't comment too much on it, but was very impressed with 2.0 however I felt that the weather system was lacking. I just recently installed Activesky 2012. Its early days but so far I'm rather impressed. Whilst REX was shock and awe and jaw droopingly gorgeous - In some ways it is too gorgeous. The sky looks more like a perfect painting than a real sky. Whilst ActiveSky whilst in my opinion is not quite as 'pretty' it does to me look more real. I think to be honest its down to personal choice. However what swung it for me was the stunning weather engine in ActiveSky - And the ability to select historic weather allowing me to fly morning flights after work without a weather mismatch. However with these add-ons I believe it is one or the other - as they both basically do the same thing so its a choice as to which you prefer - Whereas with the old version of Active Sky you could run it alongside REX 2.0 - If I'm wrong on this please let me know!

 

Aircraft - I have to be honest, I don't do freeware in general with only a couple of very impressive exceptions. I'm not critisizng freeware developers, far from it. But its an accepted truth that someone who develops FSX add-ons in their spare time will not be able to put in the time it takes to add in the level of detail to satisfy the demands of a someone wanting a realistic FSX experience. I'm afraid if you do want real world quality, you really do need to look at the pay-ware market to get what you want - I'll list a few top notch aircraft - by category depending on what kind of aircraft you want to fly;

 

VFR flying; For "Low n' Slow" flying, you really want something like either the A2A simulations Piper Cub. Its just beautiful and a pleasure to fly - Accusim takes it to a new level.

 

Old warbirds - Again A2A simulations leads the pack here, their P-47, Spitfire, P-51 Mustang and P-40 are all fantastic - They have a fantastic B-17 also if flying a heavy WW2 bomber is your thing. The only thing about A2A simulations is that their aircraft with Accusim can be a bit daunting to the new simmer. Not only must you fly the aircraft but you must learn to manage the engines and systems properly too. Their aircraft are from before the days of digital engine control so it's all up to you. Taking off in a B17 having left a cowl flap closed could prove costly! And the Spitfire can be a fight to keep it cool, but an excellent simulation nontheless!

 

Airline - Look no further than PMDG. They are currently by far the leader in this class and I've not yet seen a single convincing competitor to anything they have brought out. I own their Jetstream 41 and of course the 737NGX. Both can be flown as per the real aircraft operators manual and are truly impressive. They are graphically stunning and a worthwhile addition to any FSX installation. Downsides are that they are heavy on resources for older computers and each has a steep learning curve - Most certainly not aircraft to start with. Get familiar with smaller slower aircraft and build yourself up to the heavy iron!

 

Light/Business jet - Personally I feel there are only two that really stand out of this group. The Flight1 Mustang is superb! I believe it can easily be picked up and used by a beginner simmer and be flown with the minimal of tuition. But is also satisfying for the more advanced flyer too. It has the most complete Garmin G1000 in FSX and is great fun. Suitable for low level VFR and long range IFR alike - its happier high and fast but will do whatever you want it to. The only other aircraft is the Eaglesoft Citation X - The fastest Civilian aircraft after the retirement of Concorde - It flies well and true to the real thing, has PMDG level systems depth but I found it not to have such a steep learning curve. With a range of 3000NM+IFR reserves its suitable for short or long haul and is currently my aircraft of choice - The only thing I'd say to detract from it is that it is tricky to get set up properly, and I had a problem with the autopilot at altitude that I had to make an edit of the Aircraft.CFG to sort the problem out. The Virtual Cockpit does also look a little dated when compared to PMDG/A2A standards but is by no means ugly - I fly 100% VC and its not a problem at-all.

 

Finally classic airlier - My personal choice would be the A2A boeing 377 - Fun to fly, immersive and their Captain of the Ship add-on gives you a (virtual) flight engineer to help out managing those four 28-Cylinder Wasp-Major engines! Its a great fun long range classic airliner. It does have a steep learning curve too but is great fun nonetheless. The other others I can think of are Just Flight's classic aircraft range. Personally, I don't like them. I purchased the Comet airliner and felt it was very lacking. Systems are not fully modelled and several click spots simply didn't work properly, for instance I could open the window but not close it, and the VC looks very cartoonish. However that is my opinion, and you'll find an equal number of people praising Just Flight's aircraft so its really a matter of taste.

 

I think that is really the list for a start up simmer. If you were to purchase for instance Track IR + ActiveSky + One of the above aircraft (we'll assume average of £40) then the initial setup would be an initial outlay of just £200 - but remember should you decide FSX is not for you then TrackIR can be used on other games, or, being hardware could be sold on Ebay - which of course software cannot - So you'd only be down £30-60 in total.

 

In regards to tweaks, there are too many opinions out there as said before. Some will advocate manually tweaking the FSX.CFG to death, other will say leave it alone.

 

Personally I just use the automated tweaker as you mentioned above. This is a very goot starting point - There are only a couple of other settings that you should add in manually and they are very minor. Everything else should be done from within FSX using the sliders. Change the graphics properties until you are happy with either the beautiful graphics, or the smoothness of the simulation. Only you can make the decision as to what is better to trade off with and I wouldn't let yourself get swayed too much by those on this forum with somewhat louder opinions.

 

The only settings I would manually set are; "wideviewaspect=true" - assuming you have a widescreen monitor which most people do these days. And also "bufferpools=0" - only set this if you have a GFX card with more than 1GB of video memory and relative fast GPU. Should you begin to see artifacts on the screen or any graphics oddities then remove the bufferpools setting. Certain add-ons also requite you to manuall set the texture_max_load setting to 4096 /2048 (the default is 1024) but I would only change that upon instruction.

 

Hope this has been in some small way helpful!

 

Best regards,

James

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Thralni, severniae and DJJose, thank you all so much for the detailed list of suggestions. Many great ideas to add to my wishlist. I'm having a look at them all and I've bookmarked and saved this discussion for future reference.

 

Has everyone forgotten the #1 must have addition to any FSX setup.

 

I keep hearing about TrackIR, so I just had a look at the website today and it looks to be a bit out of my budget for now. It does look like a "must have" though, to think about picking up somewhere down the road in my sim flying career.

 

The only settings I would manually set are; "wideviewaspect=true" - assuming you have a widescreen monitor which most people do these days. And also "bufferpools=0" - only set this if you have a GFX card with more than 1GB of video memory and relative fast GPU. Should you begin to see artifacts on the screen or any graphics oddities then remove the bufferpools setting. Certain add-ons also requite you to manuall set the texture_max_load setting to 4096 /2048 (the default is 1024) but I would only change that upon instruction.

 

Thank you. I'll give those config settings a try and see how they work.

 

Any thoughts on picking up FS 2004: Century of Flight? The price is tempting, just to see the difference and have access to some older freebies, although I doubt I would invest in any premium addons. I did come across a handful of nice FS9/2004 plane conversions for FSX by David Grindele downloaded from http://www.fs2000.or....php/downloads

 

DeHavilland Comet (decomet3.zip)

Ford Tri-Motor (fotri_12.zip)

Curtiss Jenny (jenny11.zip)

Spirit of St. Louis (spirit1.zip)

PT-17 Stearman (stear12.zip)

Lockheed Vega (vega8.zip)

 

I mentioned HDE v2, Photo Realistic Texture Pack in my list above, but it seems to be for FS9 although I read that some textures may work with FSX. I'm not exactly sure which do and which don't work, so I'm holding off on installing it for now.

 

I installed the OzX Grand Canyon and KGCN + HolgerMESH V2 scenery I listed above and although it looks great, it was a bit overtaxing on my PC. The performance settings and .cfg I have that plays smoothly with the default FSX scenery (+ENBSeries) slows down to a crawl with the Grand Canyon. So, I guess I can dial down the settings for detailed scenery like this or look for less taxing scenery upgrades. I have the feeling my PC is borderline for many of the image quality improving sceneries and addons.

 

A few more planes:

 

Pitts S-2S by Mikko Maliniemi

http://simviation.co...FSXPittsS2S.zip

 

Akrotech Giles-202 by Don Halcom

http://simviation.co...ds=akrgiles.zip

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You can throw any FS9 plane into the FSX SimObjects\Airplanes folder and it'll work, you just don't have a thumbnail or predefined views. So if you like the historical stuff and can find FS9 for cheap, think of it as getting a handful of planes for a few dollars :)

 

Just remember to go flying at some point. I get so wrapped up in setting up and addons, I often forget to go flying.

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You can throw any FS9 plane into the FSX SimObjects\Airplanes folder and it'll work, you just don't have a thumbnail or predefined views.

 

Just to quantify that a bit to avoid confusion, that is not true unfortunately although I'm pretty sure what you meant was, that you can throw any default FS9 aeroplane in there, but not any FS9 one, some will work, but by no means all of them, and in fact, some of them will crash FSX because of the gauges in the cockpits. You can do various workarounds to get some of them working, but not all of them. Nevertheless, FS9 is still a good sim, and there are some FSX add-ons that are dual FSX and FS9 ones too, and those add a bit of value if you have both FSX and FS9.

 

Al

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you can throw any default FS9 aeroplane in there

 

Argh... yes, indeed, that's what I meant :)

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You can throw any FS9 plane into the FSX SimObjects\Airplanes folder and it'll work, you just don't have a thumbnail or predefined views. So if you like the historical stuff and can find FS9 for cheap, think of it as getting a handful of planes for a few dollars :)

 

Just to quantify that a bit to avoid confusion, that is not true unfortunately although I'm pretty sure what you meant was, that you can throw any default FS9 aeroplane in there, but not any FS9 one, some will work, but by no means all of them, and in fact, some of them will crash FSX because of the gauges in the cockpits.

 

Thanks for the tips, I didn't realize that. I did set up a couple more default camera.cfg views for those planes lacking the standard FSX variety of camera positions.

 

Just remember to go flying at some point. I get so wrapped up in setting up and addons, I often forget to go flying.

 

Ah yes, I know what you mean. I did manage to squeeze in a few test flights of the new planes in between installing and tweaking. Now, I'm going to spend some more time flying, going through the missions and working on ILS landings.

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One thing no one mentioned, mesh. That alone will greatly enhance your FSX experiance.

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Well, I had my first CTD tonight after practicing jet landings and watching replays. If it starts to happen frequently, I'll give the alternate UIAutomationCore.dll fix a a try.

 

One thing no one mentioned, mesh. That alone will greatly enhance your FSX experience.

Which mesh is that? FSGenesis Terrain Mesh or Freeware Global Terrain Mesh Project or something else? I found a lot of search results.

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Hi Samtx,

 

What was the CTD error? the problem with UIautomationcore.dll seems to occur after clicking on a few menus - So if your crashing just after a few right clicks then its really the first thing you could try.

 

Other causes can be OOM - If you search the forum there's a wealth of information on that one, I too unfortunately suffered that one recently and this very forum was a great resource in getting it sorted.

 

Unfortunately FSX is now an ageing program, designed six years ago for six year old technology. Whilst yes, it does work better these days with better hardware, its still not the most efficient - and its a shame that DX10 was never implemented properly, but then it was new at the time and somewhat experimental.

 

Anyway, get the error and I'll see what I can come up with for you.

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Which mesh is that? FSGenesis Terrain Mesh or Freeware Global Terrain Mesh Project or something else? I found a lot of search results.

 

 

I use FSGenesis but there are others out there like FS Global. It depends on whether you want just a specific area or 'worldwide'.

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What was the CTD error? the problem with UIautomationcore.dll seems to occur after clicking on a few menus - So if your crashing just after a few right clicks then its really the first thing you could try.

 

Other causes can be OOM - If you search the forum there's a wealth of information on that one, I too unfortunately suffered that one recently and this very forum was a great resource in getting it sorted.

 

I'm sorry I didn't make note of the detailed error message. There was no FSX error message, it was a general Windows 7 error dialog "A fatal error has occurred." I'll try to click for more details next time. It may have happened at the end of a 60 second replay, when I was holding SPACE and using the mouse to look around the plane exterior. I think I also had the ALT top menu bar visible.

 

I will check on memory usage next time I run, but I didn't see the typical errors or slowdowns I'm used to with other programs and memory errors.

 

Wary of crashes, I was fully exiting FSX between missions and different free flights, but when the crash occured I had saved and loaded a free flight practice landing setup a few times in a row without exiting.

 

FSUIPC is the cure for most CTDs. Get it free here: http://www.schiratti.com/dowson.html

 

Thank you. I'll give that a try too. Does FSUIPC also make logs to narrow down and troubleshoot errors, or does it simply fix errors in the background before they happen?

 

I use FSGenesis but there are others out there like FS Global. It depends on whether you want just a specific area or worldwide.

 

I see, thanks for the clarification. I've bookmarked FSGenesis.

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Also do a search for Dino Cattaneo's works... His T-45 is excellent and absolutely free.

 

-Damien

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Also do a search for Dino Cattaneo's works... His T-45 is excellent and absolutely free.

 

Thanks for the suggestion. I'm not sure where I found it, but I must've read about it somewhere, because I was flying it around earlier today. It is very nice. I will look for his other planes too.

 

Update on my progress:

 

I'm spending more time flying than downloading and tweaking now. Making some progress on missions and learning ILS approaches and landings.

 

I did have another crash and the error details said it was related to UIautomationcore.dll, so I put the other version of UIautomationcore.dll in the FSX and haven't had any more problems yet.

 

I put in a couple of tweaks mentioned in this thread and also used Nvidia Inspector to handle anti-aliasing. I had to use lower settings than mentioned in the guide I was following, but now I've found a good balance between image quality and acceptable performance on my older machine.

 

I've installed the Orbx demos and they run pretty well, except for some distant odd blue textures in Tasmania which should have been white snow or green/brown.

 

I've been trying out a lot of planes and learned how to make new transparent propellers for the old FS9 models with DXTBmp.

 

All of course, I've been visiting sites around the world. Well worth the price of admission and a bit of effort learning all the commands.

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The beauty of FSX (vs Flight) is you pay a little for the program and can add thousands of freeware planes and sceneries for nothing. If you don't like them, just delete them and try another.

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