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jcomm

That unique B747-400 flight simulator...

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In a moment where the great expectations of most simmers are turned towards tomorrow's release of P3Dv3, and in the Combat Flightsim arena there's 1.5 of DCS about to be released and the P-40 for Il2 BoS also ready to become available this week, I feel that I should post here about what is probably the most special flight simulator I use presently, just as it was it's first version released in the mid nineties.

 

Aerowinx PSX is the only flight simulator where I never get tired of flying the same aircraft into the same airport everyday :-)  Why ? Because there is an important variable, actually there are many more, called Weather, and depending on the weather situation, real world or created by PSX's own weather model, or manually set by us through METAR editing, things can get really tricky, slippery, and complex when taking off or landing a big Jumbo Jet...

 

There is nothing that comes even close to the experience of controlling your virtual 744 when a gusting wind, probably shear and turbulence too, are present. The combination of the weather modeling with the remarkable flight dynamics, the last being constantly maintained by his creator and only developer, Hardy Heinlin, create a unique experience that can really make you sweat!

 

The following videos I was able to grab from Youtube somehow contribute to give you an idea of what I am talking about. In all of them PSX is being used standalone, but it can be used with FSX, P3D or XP10 for the visuals, XP10 being my preference, and even enhancing the experience since it can feed PSX with i't own airfield altimetry, including the runway and taxyway bumps!

 

In the first video you can observe a landing at EDDF 25C, one of the default situations that comes with PSX, where weather and date are picked directly from the EDDF METAR when you start the situation. You can see the virtual captain landing his 744 under mild crosswinds, but you can still notice that the work required with the yoke is much different from even a bad weather ( extreme ! ) landing in your prferred airliner in FSX or P3D, or even XP10... In the upper left corner of the screen, sometimes partially blocked by the letters of the tittle, you can observe a representation of your yoke and rudder, and all of the control inputs being used by the PIC. You can also notice the author is a bit aggressive with the throttle ( something that really makes you pay in PSX, because there is considerable momentum variation in pitch, reason why the A/T is usually disengaged as you start the final approach because sometimes the system can make more abrupt inputs, not expected by the pilots, and creating additional difficulty in stabilizing the aircraft.

 

While I used XP10, and it really matches beautifully, I confess I still prefer to use PSX standalone. It's out-of-windshield views are good enough for the kind of use I give to this sim. For sightseeing I go flying for real, or use X-Plane 10, DCS, Il2 BoS.

 


 


 


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Hi Jcomm, I'm a proud PSX user myself. I have used both FSX and XP10 as scenery generators with VisualPSX and Xview respectively, and I agree with you with regards to the visuals: PSX stand-alone shines on its own. I've been flying lately without the scenery generators and it has been really fun. If I know I'm flying to an interesting area on daylight and under VMC (for example, I have payware scenery for Anchorage, Mexico City, San Francisco, Dubai,  Denver, which have very nice landscapes) I turn on the scenery generator. If it's IFR or night flying, then PSX default are more than enough.

 

I usually run PSX stand-alone in my MacBook Pro 13.3 and it rarely drops to 50-60fps.

 

Other than that, I usually connect a Lenovo laptop as a secondary PSX and connect to a 1920x1080p TV. I must say I don't miss 3D panels at all!.

 

Cheers,

-Enrique

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Thx for the post Enrique.

 

Using a laptop to export some of the panels is a plan I still have in my mind. And just as you, I only consider switching on an external generator in case of good daylight at an airport where my XP10 scenery has acceptable coverage. Other than that I use PSX standalone most of the time.

 

Have spent some time choosing the right layouts for me. That is really important specially when we have only one screen.

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Did you every try PSX networked with a friend? 

Dealing with a dead engine is one thing, but dealing with your copilot is another story - crm & the failure system are making every flight special.



 

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Never tried it, but know of a few users who did it, including Hardy Heinlin himself to support users, getting into their cockpit :-)

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Hi Jcomm! Funny you mention layouts... sometimes I think I've spent more time tweaking the layouts than flying the 747! haha!

 

As a matter of fact, I have like 5 or 6 different layouts, since the Lenovo does only 1280x800 and the MacBook 2560x1600. So, I'd choose my layout depending of whether I use VisualPSX/Xview, or the 1900x1080 TV, or both laptops networked, or either one stand-alone!.

 

I have tried to standardise the layout's configuration so I don't feel uncomfortable when switching between them, but this is easier said than done.

 

So in the end, my pre-flight checklist involve:

 

- Flight planning using PFPX

- Adjusting the JetStream on PSX to PFPX winds aloft (sometimes not easy).

- Choosing and adjusting the layouts

- Checking whether I need to turn offsets on or off in VisualPSX in the airports I'm flying to (when using FSX as scenery generator - btw: I've noticed that turning offsets off gets me better results in 99% of the places I fly).

-Verifying the gate/ramp/parking positions I'll be using in FSX and see if they align with PSX gates, or if I need to adjust the lat/lon to match those. Then check if I can use PSX internal pushback function or use GSX.

- Adjusting for correct STAR/SIDs in the CDU due to the outdated navdata.

- Then and only then the real cockpit preparation takes place!

 

It's complicated ;-).

 

Raex-flight: 

 

I've never tried the remote co-pilot thing, but I'd love to try that sometime... you are 100% correct in terms of CRM and dealing with failures... it'd be a total different experience.

 

Cheers,

-E

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Interesting to learn that we ( and probably all ) users of PSX share the same route :-)

 

While I used VisualPSX with FSX, FSX:SE and finally P3Dv2.5 ( the last one was the one who gave me the best results ), and tried using ASN to inject the weather, etc... truth is that when I upgraded my old i5 2500 ( not the K series ) with a GTX 960 4GB card, X-Plane 10 became my preference, using XView, for several reasons, starting with an incomparable smoothness, and giving me sloped runways and taxiways that are "injected" into PSX, just as the mountainous terrain. This is something I could never experience with P3Dv2.

 

But having to set different layouts was also a task I didn't like, so, this is in part the reason I a now using PSX totally standalone.  I have only one layout, that suites my ASUS Led monitor ( 1920 x 1080 ), and should I ever get a 2nd monitor or use my ASUS laptop to run a client PSX for displaying other panels, I will then create additional layouts.

 

I also did buy PFPX, actually on purpose for PSX, but I always end performing small circuits around airports with bad weather reported.  I did make a couple of long haul flights, but my longest flights now are from Barcelona to Lisboa :-)

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Barcelona to Lisboa sounds like a dream route ;-)

 

I love X-Plane 10 as scenery generator as well. The smoothness is great, as is the sloped runways and taxiways. On the other hand, the reason I've kept using VisualPSX instead is due to the terrible performance I get using X-Plane in cloudy or stormy weather. It becomes a slide show. Maybe the solution is Skymaxx Pro, but at almost 40 dollars I find it a tad expensive.  I guess we can't have it all :-).

 

Hopefully in X-Plane 10.50 they will solve this problem!.

 

Cheers,

-E

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-E,

 

I've tried a few very simple mods for clouds, described very recently at some posts at the X-Plane forum that I will try to summarize as soon as I find them and post in this thread. I got considerable performance increase when I applied those graphic mods, and I didn't use the "full" mod, including RealTerra Haze, just the basic cloud textures and some additional dataref editing through a LUA script.

 

While I had SkyMaxx installed before trying those mods, I decided to uninstall it afterwards because I do prefer the overall effect I get with the moded default clouds.

 

Then, as most of the time I use PSX with real world ( METAR ) weather, I disabled XView's weather injcetion which, just like in VisualPSX with FSX or P3D seems to have a negative impact on the 3 simulators in as far as frames and stuttering go. So, in FSX / P3D I injected weather using ASN, and in X-Plane 10 I opted for the excellent and free NOAA plugin, very easy to install.

 

With:

 

1) XView not sending the weather to X-plane 10

2) Using Murmur's cloud mods

3) Using the latest version of the NOAA weather plugin

 

I got remarkable results, under all types of weather, including densely covered skies.

 

Please check this all thread ( down to the latest post! ) started by Murmur at the X-Plane General forum here at AVSIM.

 

Now, and getting back to the OP, I would like to emphasize one of the "features" that PSX represents like I could never find in ANY 744 model available for any of the flight simulation platforms I used, and which is positively commented by some RW 744 pilots which are also PSX users ( for some good reason :-) ) - the pitching moments created by operating those 4 powerful engines ( in any of the variants modeled for the different 744 models that PSX represents ).

 

The feel of operating our throttles and getting those pitch up / down moments adds a lot of realism specially on short final, and under bad weather, and pretty much helps to understand why pilots disengage the A/T very soon on their approach, specially if gusting winds and turbulence are being experienced, which could cause very fast throttle operation and introduce nasty effects in the stabilization of the aircraft in pitch during such a sensible phase of flight.

 

Asymmetric thrust and it's consequences, specially when one ( or even worst, more... ) engines fail during takeoff / initial climb or on finals is also something which PSX represents like no other sim I have used.

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Asysmetric thrust at takeoff after loosing an engine didnt sound too difficult too me - before i watched britjets great videos about it ( http://aerowinx.com/html/misc.html ) and tried it myself. The plane really tries to get away from centerline and steer away.

With 2 clicks you can create the situation you want, load it and fly it. and fly it again. So simple.

Thanks for the advice regarding the NOAA plugin, i am going to try this next time i use xplane as a scenery generator.

 

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Hi Jcomm! thanks so much for the explanation! I will surely try this over the weekend and see if I'm able to improve my experience with Xview. I shall report back my findings!

 

cheers amigo,

-E

 

-E,

 

I've tried a few very simple mods for clouds, described very recently at some posts at the X-Plane forum that I will try to summarize as soon as I find them and post in this thread. I got considerable performance increase when I applied those graphic mods, and I didn't use the "full" mod, including RealTerra Haze, just the basic cloud textures and some additional dataref editing through a LUA script.

 

While I had SkyMaxx installed before trying those mods, I decided to uninstall it afterwards because I do prefer the overall effect I get with the moded default clouds.

 

Then, as most of the time I use PSX with real world ( METAR ) weather, I disabled XView's weather injcetion which, just like in VisualPSX with FSX or P3D seems to have a negative impact on the 3 simulators in as far as frames and stuttering go. So, in FSX / P3D I injected weather using ASN, and in X-Plane 10 I opted for the excellent and free NOAA plugin, very easy to install.

 

With:

 

1) XView not sending the weather to X-plane 10

2) Using Murmur's cloud mods

3) Using the latest version of the NOAA weather plugin

 

I got remarkable results, under all types of weather, including densely covered skies.

 

Please check this all thread ( down to the latest post! ) started by Murmur at the X-Plane General forum here at AVSIM.

 

Now, and getting back to the OP, I would like to emphasize one of the "features" that PSX represents like I could never find in ANY 744 model available for any of the flight simulation platforms I used, and which is positively commented by some RW 744 pilots which are also PSX users ( for some good reason :-) ) - the pitching moments created by operating those 4 powerful engines ( in any of the variants modeled for the different 744 models that PSX represents ).

 

The feel of operating our throttles and getting those pitch up / down moments adds a lot of realism specially on short final, and under bad weather, and pretty much helps to understand why pilots disengage the A/T very soon on their approach, specially if gusting winds and turbulence are being experienced, which could cause very fast throttle operation and introduce nasty effects in the stabilization of the aircraft in pitch during such a sensible phase of flight.

 

Asymmetric thrust and it's consequences, specially when one ( or even worst, more... ) engines fail during takeoff / initial climb or on finals is also something which PSX represents like no other sim I have used.

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