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Thomas Kaira

Former FS enthusiast returning to the field

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So, many years ago, Flight Simulator was my primary means of passing time, before I ended up losing the installation on a computer rebuild and never really bothered to put it back together again... until now.

 

I had a lot of payware aircraft and scenery installed, and thanks to me having the foresight to record all of the purchase details each installer would ask me for, I am on the road to getting everything back up and running again. However, I have been out of the loop for quite awhile on recent developments for FS9 and would like a hand in getting back in touch with the latest (freeware and payware).

 

What I know so far:

 

FSDreamTeam sceneries: KDFW, KLAX are released, as well as a major update to KORD.

AES: Major updates have been made.

PMDG 737NG has been largely replaced by the iFly version.

 

Any other developments? New planes, new scenery, etc.?

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Welcome back...

There's been so many new developments that it's hard to know how to answer your question without a bit more info. How long ago was it when you last used FS9? Do you have any particular interests, such as airliners vs. military vs. GA etc? Are there particular regions where you would be especially interested in new scenery?

 

The first thing I'd say is that if you haven't purchased REX then that probably should be your starting point, as it will revolutionize the look of the sim and take it to a new level. Make sure you download the REX Overdrive enhancements - it's free when you purchase the base package and is a very big upgrade over what was already an outstanding product.

 

There will be plenty of answers to your question, but if you can narrow it down a bit I think that will help

Cheers

Ian

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I would say I've been gone for about two years.

 

Flight Interests: Airliners and airports capable of housing and servicing commercial jets. AES support preferred.

 

Regions of interest: North America and Western Europe, as well as a smaller interest in Oriental (trans-pacific) flights.

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:lol:

 

Anyways, roughly 90% of my scenery I was able to reinstall (LFPG will need a repurchase, most likely). I've also got a lot of catching up to do in terms of airports, mainly KDFW and KLAX from FSDT. I also saw that Aerosoft released a scenery package for Ted Stevens (PANC), which is interesting to me since one of my family members lived in Alaska for a while.

 

Anotherspecific question:

 

Where is the best place to get FMS navigation data for FS nowadays? Is it still Navigraph, or has another company come along?

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If you are a fresh (re) starter these are kind of highly recommended:

 

REX Xtreme + Overdrive

Ground Environment Pro

 

Fly Tampa all airports

FS Dreamteam all airports

 

and my personal recommendation is to add SweetFX for excellent visual results.

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Don't miss KPHL at sunskyjet.com, payware quality, and the library also has some top quality airports such as CYVR by Johnathan Gilbert, KONT by Shez, KSNA by MK-Studios, recently reuploaded KBOS by George Grimshaw (now with FlyTampa). and finally, check out CYYZ by Howie Cassidy.  

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Re: Information regarding navigation

 

If you are referring to AIRAC databases to update terminal procedures in FMCs and certain flight planners, both Aerosoft and Navigraph now offer one-off updates in as many formats as you require for that one subscription fee, unless you want want periodic updates as both offer.

 

Current US charts I get free from flightaware.com, and European Union member charts from Eurocontrol (also free) at:

http://ead-website.ead-it.com/publicuser/public/pu/login.jsp

 

Registration is free.

 

I still use the original Aerosoft European suites for airport scenery as opposed to single sceneries. Those are one reason I stick with FS9. I have both France, Spanish, and three German Airport suites plus Cologne, Balearic Islands, and the Scandinavian suites. Holiday Destinations is another choice. I also have Fly-Tampa's KMDW and the Aerosoft Fly Tampa collection called US Airports.

 

My payware airliner is still the "classic" PMDG 737NG suite since I prefer to emulate regional airlines and medium hop international routes. I emulate Air Berlin, Hapaag-Loyd (now TUI Fly), etc., to take me through Europe, and Southwest including AirTran for US airline flying.

 

To clarify KBOS there is the legacy George Grimshaw freeware and his Fly-Tampa payware updated versions at flytampa.org.

 

I use KMSP from William Morgan - FRF Studios (freeware) and some of his other scenery. Look also for freeware from Shezwar Ansari such as KLGA.

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The US airports I have so far:

 

KATL (ImagineSim)

KBOS: Boston Logan (George Grimshaw)

KEWR (ImagineSim)

KJFK (FSDreamTeam)

KLGA (ImagineSim)

KMSY (ImagineSim)

KORD (FSDreamTeam)

KSEA (FlyTampa)

KSFO (FlyTampa) <-- Aerosoft has a Mega Ariport San Fran now, I saw.

PHNL (FSDreamTeam)

TNCM (FlyTampa)

 

Future add-ons will include KDFW and KLAX from FSDT, and perhaps KLAS, as well.

 

Most of my EU airports need to be updated. I formerly used the SimWings version of Heathrow but now T5 is finished that scenery package needs to be replaced (likely by UK2000 Heathrow Xtreme). What I do have is SimWings Madrid Barajas and Aerosoft's Mega Airport Frankfurt. Those are the two I know I have that are up to date. Amsterdam was the Cloud9 version, but since Aerosoft has a Mega Airport Amsterdam now I'm going to replace it as Cloud9 is defunct.

 

Also, I remember having a database long ago where I was able to retrieve route-flown info for airline flights which I would use for setting up the NavData (emulating real-world flights saves me the need for having to study sectionals, I won't go THAT far into it unless I'm actually employed by an airliner). I just need to be refreshed on the site and if it's still around.

 

But even with all that, I have one little kink to get past: my bank is a bit stingy on international purchases, and I would like to talk to them about that before I continue (since Aerosoft is based in Germany, and last time I did an international purchase my debit card was temporarily frozen). And unfortunately I kinda need the NavData in the sim to be up to date for the current charts to be in any way useful.

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I believe Aerosoft has a US distributor.

But for general purchases without hassle, any place, any time: this is what PayPal was invented for.

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And unfortunately I kinda need the NavData in the sim to be up to date for the current charts to be in any way useful.

For $4 (or less than a pint in beer currency) you can download all of the current Navdata for the month for all compatible products. It is a no-brainer).

 

Cheers,

Billy

 

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Aerosoft NavdataPro is a download product. Paypal is one of two options for payment.

 

http://www.aerosoft.com/cgi-local/us/iboshop.cgi?showd,6519018070,D11684

 

http://www.navigraph.com/FmsData.aspx

http://www.navigraph.com/FmsDataCoverage.aspx

http://www.navigraph.com/FmsDataPricing.aspx

 

For US routes  including pond crossings on one end I use flightaware.com. I use its route line copying and pasting into FS Build occasionally having to modify the version of a SID or STAR. FS Build can take NATS coordinates from flightaware by just deleting the space between lat and long.

 

For NATS crossings you need to catch one that is past that does not come up in the list as scheduled so you get the exact coordinates instead of NATS virtual waypoints.

 

Here's a KEWR to EGLL from Tuesday, United 44 (UAL 44):

Aircraft Boeing 757-200 (twin-jet) (B752/Q – photos) Speed Filed: 464 kts (graph) Altitude Filed: 35,000 feet (graph) Distance Direct: 3,459 sm    Planned: 3,551 sm    Flown: 3,665 sm Route GREKI JUDDS MARTN ALLEX COLOR RONPO 4700N 05000W 4900N 04000W 5100N 03000W 5200N 02000W LIMRI XETBO EVRIN UL607 NUMPO UP2 OKESI Y3 BEDEK OCK2F

 

All you do on Flightaware is put in the departure and destination ICAO to come up with a list of flights and then just review the routes.

 

Here's BAW203 from Tuesday from EGLL to KBOS:

Aircraft Boeing 747-400 (quad-jet) (B744 – photos) Speed Filed: 415 kts (graph) Distance Direct: 3,259 sm    Planned: 3,292 sm    Flown: 3,473 sm Route

4336N 06654W TUSKY SCUPP OOSHN2

 

and the path display just shows that one coordinate. Same path for Virgin America this time.

 

For flights not including a US Airport you can register for the free version of vroute to try it. vroute can export multiple plan formats. It is based on AIRAC data and submitted plans from VATSIM members. The free version only includes terminal data for the 50 largest airports worldwide. The premium version has all available that VATSIM covers.

 

http://vroute.net/

 

I just use the AIRAC I installed in FSBuild (and PMDG models) and use its autoroute feature. It can also retrieve NATS coordinates. There's a few tricks here as I describe in this attachment:

 

 

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Yes, it was FlightAware I was remembering. I just pulled up a shourt-haul hop from Atlanta to La Guardia flown by a Delta MD-80:

 

UGAAA4 > AHN

J208 > HPW

J191 > PXT

KORRY3 > KLGA

 

Easy enough to follow.

 

Also, as I said, money was not the problem for me for getting my hands on the latest Airac cycle, payment options were. But I've taken care of that already and got my NavData up to date again.

 

At this point, all that's left for me is easing myself back into the cockpit. I'll be starting with that Delta flight above.

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The PANC scenery is outstanding. Go for it. Make sure you try the FSDT KLAX before you buy it. Like all their stuff, it's excellent but there were many people who had performance problems with it and as FSDT was leaving the FS9 market, they never really did fix it. But all their other stuff is outstanding. If you want a very good KLAX, Cloud9 is 50% off right now. You will find them on the FSDT site. Their KLAX is an older product but still very good, though it doesn't have AES support.

 

I think the best advice I can give you is that before you start adding a lot of airports or aircraft, focus on the basic sim and getting everything optimized. There have been several visual improvements like REX Extreme and others mentioned above, as well as upgraded weather programs, flight planning etc.

 

As you're a Delta fan, you might want to give the V2 ImagineSim KATL a look. I think it's excellent and you may be eligible for a reduced upgrade price.

 

As you are familiar with AES, you will know that any airport that is supported is going to be of excellent quality. So my advice is to download the latest list and see what products catch your interest

 

Welcome back

Ian

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This is also helping me!

 

whats the best jets these days that compare with PMDG and LEVELD767?

 

And whats the best weather generator?

 

Ive decided to stay with FS9 fow now....

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Welcome back Thomas!

I would just add this: make sure not to miss the latest breathtaking scenery that was released lately, the rebooted Dubai from Flytampa. It must be the most astounding scenery released to date (beside KaiTak) And... You will be delighted to know that Sydney from FT Is on its way. Plus, Martin who developed Dubai rebooted had been silent for a while so who knows what other masterpiece he has in the oven for us...

Something that wasn't mentioned yet are the latest fsgenesis 19m meshes, also breathtaking.

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And whats the best weather generator?

Tough question... I vacillated for a long time about upgrading Active Sky 6.1 to AS Evolution.

Glad I did though, I am always impressed by how accurately it models my local weather.

 

I also have REX, on another FS9 build.

It often looks more dramatic than ASE.

Subjectively it's not as realistic, and I find the interface less easy to use than ASE.

But it does have a brilliant texture set.

 

I use my own textures on ASE, and am happy with that.

Here's a gratuitous shot: not too stark, not too edgy, just believable weather

 

ak99.png

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