Jimmy RFR

XP11 review by FSX/P3D developer

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I'm sure a few of you who have flown Dino Cattaneo's releases over in FSX/P3D will have a good idea who he is. I respect him - good developer, and although he's released a few things now as payware, he spent a lot of time creating some of the best freeware military jets that exist in FSX/P3D.

I'm not including a link - his site contains links to his payware items, so I believe that's against the rules. Anyhow, googling 'IndiaFoxtEcho' will find his site, with the XP review the latest post (dated Apr 7th).

Nicely balanced review, in my opinion, from someone invested in the continued success of MS based flight simming. Now... if we could just somehow convince him to port something like his F-14D over to XP... :happy:

Quote

LIKES

It is the most realistic and complete flight simulator you can buy for your home computer.

Night environment and lighting is absolutely superb.

Astonishing level of detail and scalability of the autogen system

Good stock aicrafts and extremely complete base scenery

DISLIKES

Daylight rendering looks a little washed out

Water rendering is not great

...it does not have the same add-ons as FSX ;-)!

Final remarks:

If you are looking for a complete, serious and realistic simulation (and you have a modern, relatively powerful computer) - right now X-Plane 11 is probably the best thing you can buy.

Out of the box it is a solid, complete package that will give you hundreds of flying hours and fun.

You have to consider, however, that FSX/P3D add-ons availability is unbeatable...and new versions of P3D and Flight Simulator are likely to arrive in the near future. Also, P3Dv3 does a couple of things better than X-Plane 11 IMHO.

 

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Honestly, a good review to read would be from someone who isn't biased.

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Thanks for the info and that summary, it's interesting. About this part:

Quote

You have to consider, however, that FSX/P3D add-ons availability is unbeatable...and new versions of P3D and Flight Simulator are likely to arrive in the near future. Also, P3Dv3 does a couple of things better than X-Plane 11 IMHO.

A new P3D version yes, but a new Flight Simulator?

He may be referring to whatever DTG is doing with their secretive (and delayed) new project. I'm very curious about it, but also skeptical about how far they'll be able to go with a modified FSX code base, and no backwards compatibility. Users will be starting from scratch with payware aircraft and scenery, and even if the new sim is successful, it will take a while for that to build out as a market. 

LM has the same challenge in updating legacy FSX code for new versions, but that product is propped up by a huge existing ecosystem of add-ons. Of course that's also a ball and chain that could hamper too much innovation in P3D. 

Interesting times...

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I have completely switch to X-Plane 11 for now. No lag, no OOM and good frame rate with my 4k monitor at high settings. If your daylight rendering look wash out, consider using a free plugins call Reshade version 3.0.4 xp11 or Alternative environment XP11 1.0.0. For water rendering I agree it is not the best  but it will not take long for someone to come with a plugin. For add-ons seriously not looking  properly. I found a an EZDOK equivalent call x-camera, Runway Awareness and Advisory System (RASS) call X-RASS, electronic flight bag call e-bag, X-Plane Ground Services all free plug-ins and they work well. As for add-ons airports and sceneries  plenty freeware and some are just amazing and up to par with some payware. I have to give credit were it is due, X-Plane 11 is just a superb simulator and it will get better with time and especially when the developers put there heart into it.

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Great review from a very knowledgeable source. Interestingly, two of his dislikes are very easy to fix: the washed out-look can be fixed by Blu-Fx (freeware) or MaxxFx (payware). Regarding the water rendering, I think he's referring to the awful repeating pattern on the default water- this can be fixed by a tiny lua file freely available from the org. 

Unfortunately, his final and most important dislike can't really be addressed, but in time I'm 100% sure we'll see highly realistic PMDG/FSL/Majestic-level airliners for XP. Remember that "high-fidelity" planes, or those that attempt to be as realistic as possible, have only been available for XP since ~2009 or so, while MSFS developers have had much more time developing for a platform with a much wider audience that (according to Matijis at Aerosoft) remained fundamentally unchanged since 2003. As more people come over to X-Plane, giving developers financial incentive to spend a lot of time making highly detailed planes, and the sim itself matures, we'll start seeing more and more great planes. 

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40 minutes ago, Paraffin said:

A new P3D version yes, but a new Flight Simulator?

He may be referring to whatever DTG is doing with their secretive (and delayed) new project. I'm very curious about it, but also skeptical about how far they'll be able to go with a modified FSX code base, and no backwards compatibility. Users will be starting from scratch with payware aircraft and scenery, and even if the new sim is successful, it will take a while for that to build out as a market. 

LM has the same challenge in updating legacy FSX code for new versions, but that product is propped up by a huge existing ecosystem of add-ons. Of course that's also a ball and chain that could hamper too much innovation in P3D. 

Interesting times...

Interesting times indeed.

I think at some point they would be wise to make a clean break. This constant pressure to make everything from 2006 on compatible with software released a decade later is unsustainable, not only for platform developers, but for add-on developers as well.

After all, if you want to use your 4/5/6/7/8/9 year old addon, simply keep a copy of the platform it was meant to fly in. Not that difficult. It's not like you can fly more than one aircraft at a time. I keep a copy of FSX installed for that exact purpose, for flying the few aircraft for which there are no counterpart in X-Plane. For example, I've been happily re-learning the VRS Superbug this past week, simply peerless, that aircraft.

Actually, on that note, I find a 'dead' platform such as FSX to be much more easy to run as a secondary sim platform than one such as P3D. No keeping anything up-to-date... It can stay put on my hard drive for 6 months without fear of starting it up and spending the next 3 hours updating things. I simply don't have time to stay on-top of two 'current' sim platforms.

 

12 minutes ago, hamoody said:

Unfortunately, his final and most important dislike can't really be addressed, but in time I'm 100% sure we'll see highly realistic PMDG/FSL/Majestic-level airliners for XP. Remember that "high-fidelity" planes, or those that attempt to be as realistic as possible, have only been available for XP since ~2009 or so, while MSFS developers have had much more time developing for a platform with a much wider audience that (according to Matijis at Aerosoft) remained fundamentally unchanged since 2003. As more people come over to X-Plane, giving developers financial incentive to spend a lot of time making highly detailed planes, and the sim itself matures, we'll start seeing more and more great planes. 

I don't think he's referring to airliners. :biggrin:

Military simulation is kind of a niche-within-a-niche, and it's one area where FSX completely outshines everything else (in my opinion). Good military releases are much more infrequent, and it's taken a lot of years to get the catalog of what's covered to where it is. That being said, that alone means that users that fly such aircraft in the sim are the most likely to stay where they're at for a long time to come...

 

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Speaking of highly detailed planes, I have purchase a general aviation Pipistrel Panthera v3 from Aerobask. All UHD 4K textures with a combined  GTN 750 and GTN 650. Dynon Skyview with added scrollwheel support

Scrollwheel support on lists, map, HDG, CRS, MDA, ALT, VVI, etc...Airways, SID and STAR support (waypoint-based). You can import Navigraph data.

 

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57 minutes ago, Jimmy RFR said:

Military simulation is kind of a niche-within-a-niche, and it's one area where FSX completely outshines everything else (in my opinion)

I use DCS for this type of simulation. I wouldn't even entertain the idea of using any other simulator platform.

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16 minutes ago, rototom said:

I use DCS for this type of simulation. I wouldn't even entertain the idea of using any other simulator platform.

It's got it's positives of course, but I'm more interested in specific machines rather than combat - hence why I give my vote to FSX.

I tend to concentrate on naval aviation & century series jets - most of my favorite aircraft have been recreated in FSX/P3D, some to an extremely high standard. The ability to utilize applications such as vLSO with period carriers, or use FCLP scenery in conjunction with period / real world bases is icing on the cake.

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2 hours ago, rototom said:

I use DCS for this type of simulation. I wouldn't even entertain the idea of using any other simulator platform.

I could never understand why some people want to use a civil flightsim for air combat when there are several much better alternatives. Using FSX/P3D for combat is like kissing your sister. 

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21 minutes ago, warbirds said:

I could never understand why some people want to use a civil flightsim for air combat when there are several much better alternatives. Using FSX/P3D for combat is like kissing your sister. 

I agree, to an extent. I don't fly DCS because my main interest is in the more vintage Rise of Flight and BoS style combat, but I need a context for flying these planes. They're built for a purpose. 

That said, I can understand having a deep interest in a certain plane type just for its own sake. Some of the more interesting combat planes never saw much (or any) real combat and aren't represented well in modern combat sims.

Another way to think about it, is that military fighters -- prop or jet -- are *hot* planes to fly, compared to the more sedate civilian stuff. Very high performance, and a thrill you don't get flying anything short of maybe a Lear jet in the civilian world. 

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You don't necessarily have to be indulging in combat to enjoy flying military aeroplanes around in a simulator. Yes that is ultimately what a lot of military aeroplanes are for, but there are many aspects of flying such aeroplanes which don't involve dropping bombs or firing guns and missiles, such as flying an SR-71 or U2 recon mission, or perhaps one of the many airlift or rescue missions which things such as the UH-1 Huey seem to always be doing around the world, or even an airshow routine, which let's be honest, is probably the only time most of us have ever seen those fast jet planes really being thrown about.

And whilst there are very few air combat theatres which haven't been simulated in some shape or form over the years, there are a few which could not be done in a combat simulator, since they have never been put into a dedicated flight sim on that subject, such as the General Dynamics F-111 raid on Libya which took off from the UK, the Avro Vulcan raid from Ascension Island to bomb Port Stanley's runway in the Falkland's War, or the Boeing B-52 raids flown from the US to Iraq during the Gulf War (these latter two being the longest bombing raids ever flown); FSX or P3D are probably the only sims in which you actually could do those things, since they are the only sims where you could fly those routes and for which all those aeroplanes are available in FSX and P3D and can be armed in both sims too if you want them to be. Let's not forget either, simulating that stuff actually genuinely is what LM have made P3D for.

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3 hours ago, warbirds said:

I could never understand why some people want to use a civil flightsim for air combat when there are several much better alternatives.

As I tried to explain, I don't use the 'civil' flightsim for air combat, I use it to fly a certain aircraft - often one that's not represented to the same extent, if at all, in the available 'non-civil' flight sims.

Of course there are alternatives if you simply want to pull a trigger and shoot stuff. But I could make a very long list of aircraft that I enjoy learning how to operate, that, at this time, only exist in these so-called 'civil' simulators.

I'd could go into greater detail, but there's likely no point with some people.

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8 hours ago, Jimmy RFR said:

As I tried to explain, I don't use the 'civil' flightsim for air combat, I use it to fly a certain aircraft - often one that's not represented to the same extent, if at all, in the available 'non-civil' flight sims.

Of course there are alternatives if you simply want to pull a trigger and shoot stuff. But I could make a very long list of aircraft that I enjoy learning how to operate, that, at this time, only exist in these so-called 'civil' simulators.

I'd could go into greater detail, but there's likely no point with some people.

All makes sense to me; the only preference I would have is if all military simulations were done in one place; then it could really meet the needs of everyone interested in those types of aircraft and there would be many more to choose from. I will often fly in DCS and not use weapons. The aircraft systems simulation seem to be very good. For helicopters, I don't think there is a comparison, the ones in DCS are miles ahead.

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