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New to FSX

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Hi all,


My love of aviation has meant that I have finally made the plunge into the world of fsx (i'm not sure my wife or kids fully understand the consequences of this yet).


Having owned fsx acceleration for a few days now I have started my long journey of learning.


The main area I really need help with is addons especially scenery and AI traffic as these are the areas I wish to improve first I have a high spec pc so no worries with regards to running.


I have done some serious research and watched loads of youtube videos etc but find myself more confused than I was before due to the amount available. To start with I would like to make the U.K as realistic as possible, I have paticularly being looking at FTX global, now my main query here is if I buy that does that then make the FTX england defunct or are they designed to work together and 2 totally different things? Likewise with the UK2000 airports will that run alongside FTX? and are these products the ones to go for?


Apologies if these queries seem stupid i'm sure I will make my way through the minefield eventually.


Thanks in advance for any help.



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Mike, welcome to FSX!


Regarding scenery, some background: The FSX world is a smooth oblate spheroid (based on WGS84 system) made up only of land. To make it look like the real world the following scenery elements are added:


- Digital Elevation Model (DEM) data, to raise or lower the ground

- Landclass, which is specified on a 1.2km square grid and defines the type of terrain in a particular grid cell (eg. forest, crops, city, suburban, desert, etc).

- Vector scenery. Basically lines and polygons that define water, shorelines, streams, roads, utility lines, railroads etc. Vectors can have a landclass as well, for example to define a golf course that does not conform to the 1.2km grid boundaries.


Those are the basic elements, but for a given Landclass, FSX chooses a texture and maps it to the terrain (taking into account other factors such as day/night, region and season). The texture can include with it autogen annotations, which define where to place 3D elements such as buildings or vegetation.


In addition to the above there are 3D bridges and custom 3D models which can be placed at specific locations, and also airports where are by themselves fairly complicated sceneries.


So to answer your question about FTX sceneries, FTX Global (FTXG) is a replacement for just the Landclass textures and autogen FSX uses to paint the terrain surface. It replaces all the default FSX textures, so it is a global upgrade, but it doesn't by itself include any other scenery components (but there are in the works addon landclass, vector and DEM products and even airport packs).


An FTX "region" such as England contains ALL the above scenery elements listed (DEM, landclass, vectors, textures, bridges, models and even minor upgrades to default airports). FTX regions can stand on their own but can also coexist with FTXG. There is a control app you run to enable/disable FTX regions or run them in "hybrid" mode so they can coexist with FTXG.


Since FTXG is just textures, you can upgrade other things such as the landclass, vectors, and DEM data separately and FSX will look even better, but since FTX regions have everything you need for that area, they  are usually placed above these other things in your scenery library so they will not be overridden.


It's also possible to use photosceneries which override the landclass/texture tiles and much of the vector data. Like texture tiles, photo scenery can have autogen but not all do.


You can put UK2000 airports above the FTX region in your scenery library and they will replace the FTX or default airports. As far as I know they are compatible. 


For traffic, I have MTX 5.4c and am very happy with it because I find I have good density and also good performance but there are other good options like UT2 and WOAI (the latter being free). I also like REX as great upgrade for sky, cloud, runway and other textures. It includes a weather engine but you can also use just the textures with other weather engines.

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FTX regions can be combined with UK2000 airports. FTX-G won't help you much where FTX regions have been installed already; it's geared at default ground textures in areas where no scenery addons are present.


An alternative to the ORBX stuff would be photoscenery - but that may open up a can of worms, regarding former discussions here on AVSIM!   :P


One more for either MyTraffic or UltimateTraffic2.

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