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Hocking2

Popular Commercial Add-On Summary anywhere?

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Looking for some help with getting a grasp on where Flight Simulation has gone over the past 5 years. In short, I have been away from flight simulation since 2009 and am ready to get back into it.  When I left the main add-ons were Level-D 767, PMDG 747, GEX, UTX, FEX (REX was just coming out), and Active Sky 6.0.  Things have obviously exploded since then and to put it bluntly, you could spend two weeks trying to get your head around what the pros and cons are for all of the new add-ons that are available and what you really need to have to make FSX as realistic as possible. 

 

I have searched for a summary of all of the available add-ons for each area but haven't found anything.  What I am looking for is a summary list of all the most realistic add-ons that are available for FSX with the key word being "Realism".  The areas I am looking for add-ons for is planes (both jet and prop), scenery (both ground and clouds), weather engines, Landclass & Mesh, Traffic, ATC, Flight Planners, and other miscellaneous add-ons.  

 

From what I have read over the last week, and as an example of what this list would look like, here is a start:

 

Planes:

PMDG 737 NGX (600-900 series)

PMDG 777

Carenado B200 King Air HD Series

737 PIC Evolution Deluxe Edition (for those looking for older non-glass 737 series)

etc..

 

Scenery:

Flight Environment X (is this still around?)

REX (sounds like they want to be a texture, weather engine, flight planner, and about 10 other things add-on provider when most people just want to use their textures.  Also confused here as well.)

Natural Tree Environment X (looks interesting)

Ultimate Airport Environment (looks interesting)

FS Altitude Series (looks great for jet flying, but very expensive)

FS Global

GEX vs Orbx FTX Global & Vector, and UTX (very confused here and it seems like Orbx isn't playing nice with other developers.  Really need advice in this area.)

 

Weather Engine:

Active Sky (sounds like ASN is the clear winner here at the moment).

OPUS (who is this?)

FS Global Real Weather (also, who is this?)

 

Landclass:

Cloud9

Orbx?

FSGenesis

etc..

 

Mesh:

FSGenesis (are they still top of the list in his area?)

FS Global 2010 (or is there a newer Mesh product from them?)

etc...

 

Traffic:

My Traffic 2013

Ultimate Traffic XXXX (my last version was 2007)

Who is on top here?

 

Flight Planner:

FSCommander (still relevant?)

Professional Flight Planner X (they sound like they me be the top dog now)

 

ATC:

Radar Contact (still top dog?)

etc....

 

Misc:

FS2Crew

etc..

 

 

If there is a current list of providers and products to link me to I would greatly appreciate it.  If there is another forum to post this please let me know.  If you can help please do.  This is totally overwhelming for someone who has been away for awhile, or for someone completely new.  Thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi

 

Try this link for payware scenery (they also have a site for freeware scenery)http://www.flightsim-scenery.com/fsx.html

 

With regard to generic scenery enhancements, the choice is really between the UTX/GEX series or the Orbx FTX series both of which are excellent at what they do (although in saying that I should point out that I just have FTX Global as well as many of the Orbx regions but not vector). I have a combination of UTX and FTX only because I had the UT products previously but got seduced by the quality of the Orbx/FTX stuff. The latter however does work out fairly expensive and unless you are really big into VFR, bush or low level flying then you may better sticking with the UTX/GEX combinations which also might be slightly easier in terms of system resource usage. That however is just a personal view.

 

With regard to aircraft, there is now a large selection available and you are probably best searching through the forums putting in terms such as best turboprop etc and making an informed decision on the basis of what you read. Personally my favourites are the Real Air Duke and Turbine Duke as a GA aircraft and the Majestic Q400 as a turboprop airliner, with the PMDG 777 as a jet airliner, although it is a bit of a resource hog and depending on your computer this may be one to avoid.

 

Hope this is helpful for starters!

 

Bill

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That is quite a list you have there. For realism, anything from A2A Simulations will probably knock your socks off. Anything from RealAir, like the SE Legacy or Twin B60 Duke v2 or their Turbine Duke will meet your criteria. Flight1's B200 & Cessna 182 is terrific and their Cessna Citation Mustang is the current champion and should be on your 'must buy' list.

 

Carenado has released a ton of add ons and they are truly a mixed bag. Some quite nice, but not at the level of the 3 Devs already mentioned. Some are not so good but they all look outstanding, just weak in other areas.

 

Eaglesoftdg hasn't introduced any new corporate jets while you were away but they have recently announced they will be back in the ring soon with new updates for their inventory. Save some bucks for one of these if you like smaller pure jets.

 

There are several new developers that can hold their own, one is Milviz, be sure to check out all their add ons. The BayTower RV-7 is one of my personal favorites. (one plane inventory).

 

You really must try the Orbx demos and be ready to buy. Same for MegaSceneryEarth v2 and Ultra Res Terminal areas. Many of these are 'On Sale' quite often. 50% off is good. There are also some outstanding individual large airports. Look at FSDT and Flightbeam for many of the better ones.

 

PMDG is still the King for airliners but there are some extremely realistic commuters from some lesser known Devs. Majestic's Q400 is an excellent example.

 

Anything with an Avsim Gold Star is worthy of your serious consideration. I recommend you spend some quality time in the review section. You can start with the three links in my signature.

 

Remember that Flight1 has a large inventory and represents several Devs and everything they sell has a 30 day free return.

 

Regards,

 

Ray

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All I can add is planes you don't want to miss:

 

Realair Legacy, Duke v2

A2A Cessna 172, P51 civilian mustang

Majestic Dash8 Q400

Flight1 King air 200 (far better than Carenado)

Baytower RV7

Milviz Boeing 737-200

 

Oh and any airport by FSDreamTeam, FlyTampa, Flightbeam, or LatinVFR

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As stated above you should really check out the Majestic Dash 8 Q400, it is one of my favorite prop aircraft and is just a joy to fly. As you have probably seen already PMDG has come out the the T7 which is an excellent addon. If you looking for GA aircraft the RealAir Duke are very nice and while I don't own it yet the A2A C172 is supposed to be the most realistic C172 out there. You can check out Milviz for some great products as well; I love flying the B55 Baron alot and they are close to releasing a very nice looking B350 Kingair. Carenado is nice but not very detailed when it comes to systems.

 

If you are looking for scenery then check out anything from FSDT, Flightbeam, and FlyTampa. LatinVFR (KMIA, KEYW, KSAN) and Taxi2Gate (KMCO) have also come out with some good stuff.

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Oh and any airport by FSDreamTeam, FlyTampa, Flightbeam, or LatinVFR

 

I would add Taxi2Gate to that list, their newest releases (such as Mexico City & Istanbul airport) are definitely just as good as anything from those developers. 

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I would add Taxi2Gate to that list

Also add 29Palms, their Greek Islands are really outstanding!

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Head over to Mutley's Hangar for one of the biggest and most up to date selection of reviews.

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Things have obviously exploded since then and to put it bluntly, you could spend two weeks trying to get your head around what the pros and cons are for all of the new add-ons that are available and what you really need to have to make FSX as realistic as possible. 

 

A list of FSX addons...a list as long as a New York phone book comes to mind.

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I recently came back to FSX also and something I really like using is the Android app Virtual CDU with the PMDG 737 NGX or the iFly 737. If you get either of those planes and plan on using the FMC, its a must have app.

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Coolsky DC-9 and Quality Wings BAe-146/Avro RJ are definitely worth a look, and the upcoming QW 73 Classic looks good too.

 

Mike

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Be sure to get REX 4. This, their newest version is from what I can tell only a texture package and does not include the weather engine of the previous REX releases, but it is great all the same. It really spruces FSX up. Also, download the ENB series mod and either tweak it yourself or hunt around for some settings that you like that others have made (youtube videos, forum posts). It REALLY makes a massive visual difference. Couple this with FTX global and you will be good to go visuals wise. I can't help you much with aircraft as I assume that you are into more detailed add-ons (PMDG NGX/777) and I am into simpler ones.

 

This thread reminds me of an old site, flightsimulatorguide. It closed down a while ago but it was a really great resource. I really hope that someone will create another site like this at some point: http://web.archive.org/web/20100102015814/http://www.flightsimulatorguide.com/

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Thank  you all for the great suggestions.  Whoa!!!!  This marketplace is on fire.  Everyone is releasing great stuff it seems.  Most of my previous add-ons are still usable, but there appears to be bigger and better things out there now so i am going to have to spend some money.  

 

I guess a better question would be what addons have become obsolete over the last five years:

 

FSGenesis (don't hear much about them at all)

AISmooth

Traffic Programs in general (seems like WOAI is superior to both Traffic 2013 and UT2)

Flight Environment X (fond memories of Flight Environment in FS9)

FSRealTime (at least I think that was its name.  It was the software that fixed FSX time when flying across time zones)

FSCommander (seems to be clearly out of the top 3 flight planners today)

etc...

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You clearly have a lot of addons in mind but whatever you do, take it slowly and check each addon for functionality after you install it. Also remember that no matter how good your system, if you have a lot of resource intensive addons running at once, you can hit that 4GB VAS limit on FSX before you know it and you will have the dreaded OOM!

 

Bill

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FSGenesis (don't hear much about them at all)

 

I have their terrain mesh for Syria and Lebanon, and they were ok despite every airport being on a 'plateau'. I posted in their forum and contacted them for help but it never came. I recall a year or two ago that they had a series of seemingly desperate, massive sales. These included long stories about the developer's personal money-related problems. Then, everything went quiet from FSG. It seems that their site is still up and running, but I would not recommend buying from them due to the 'plateau' issue and lack of tech support. 

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You realize that the plateau issue is present in every mesh, correct? Due to the airport elevation not being the same as the areas right outside of the airport boundary. 

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You realize that the plateau issue is present in every mesh, correct? Due to the airport elevation not being the same as the areas right outside of the airport boundary. 

After I bought the software I determined that on my own, but some parts of the FSG website led me to believe that they had fixed the issue in their meshes, and would correct any plateaus that they missed. Even if it is a problem for all meshes, it still does not excuse the complete lack of support, even to tell me that it cannot/will not be fixed. 

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