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Ray Proudfoot

Are “Professional” v4 only Airports really that different?

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P3D v4 finally removed that 4Gb VAS limit that must have been so frustrating for developers. Now they can add many more objects and not have to worry about memory running out.

Having recently bought Milan Malpensa I was hoping for a spectacular airport but if I’m honest I don’t see a huge difference from earlier versions.

Maybe I’ve just been unlucky or I’m expecting too much and there are plenty of airports exclusively for v4 that will be impressive. Do others share my view or can you recommend any airports that genuinely are ground-breaking?


Ray (Cheshire, England).
System: P3D v4.5, Intel i7-8086K o/c to 4.6Ghz, Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti 11Gb, Samsung 970 EVO M.2 SSD, 1Tb Samsung 860 EVO SSD, Asus Prime Z370-A mobo, 32Gb G.Skill DDR4 3000Mhz RAM, Win 10 Pro 64-bit, BenQ PD3200U 32” UHD monitor.
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I think the key difference is that these airports have been compiled using the V4 SKD, which I consider a step forward. But otherwise I have not seen any "impressive"  differences. It seems the first glimpse we will get of what V4 can do will be with KORD from the Dream Team.


Dan Scott

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@Cognita, but these are generally more expensive or maybe that’s down to the UKP exchange rate. A simple compile is a bit of a cheat I think.

Anyway, I’ll watch out for FSDT O’Hare and see the reaction.


Ray (Cheshire, England).
System: P3D v4.5, Intel i7-8086K o/c to 4.6Ghz, Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti 11Gb, Samsung 970 EVO M.2 SSD, 1Tb Samsung 860 EVO SSD, Asus Prime Z370-A mobo, 32Gb G.Skill DDR4 3000Mhz RAM, Win 10 Pro 64-bit, BenQ PD3200U 32” UHD monitor.
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I would guess that custom runway lighting, and dynamic lighting compatibility are about the only real differences that you will see, Ray. Having said that, I paid peanuts to upgrade to the professional versions of SimWings London Heathrow and Gibraltar for P3D v4, so I can't expect the world! :smile:


Christopher Low

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The term 'Professional' being tagged onto a product has long been overused in marketing to the point that simply adding it to the name of a product largely means nothing these days. Certainly the frivolous and frequent use of the term washes over me in terms of marketing and instead I'll personally regard something as 'Pro' if it adheres to the dictionary definition of the word when I look at its features, that is to say: 'Worthy of, or appropriate to a professional person'.

By way of example, Adobe added the term 'Pro' to its Premiere video editing software package way back in 2003, when they re-wrote the base code for it, but the nomenclature was more a case of wishful thinking on their part because at that point, most movies were edited in Apple's Final Cut and not in Premiere. What really changed Adobe's product to being worthy of the addition of the 'Pro' tag, and subsequently resulted in it actually being used by pros on a fairly wide basis some years after the mere name change, was when Adobe added features such as the ability for it to work with a vast array of codecs and import a lot of professional camera fomats, i.e. things which a 'pro' would genuinely find desirable features that might make them consider using it. As a result, it wasn't long after Adobe started to really make it worthy of a 'pro' that it started genuinely being used by professionals in the movie industry to edit genuine blockbuster movies such as Deadpool, Gone Girl etc.

So in relation to P3D airports, I would regard the term in the same way, and hold it to the same standards. Companies can stick that 'pro' bit on their product name all they like, but I'll be the judge of that when it comes to deciding where my money goes.

An airport scenery where I do indeed think could be described as ground breaking and worthy of a pro using it, would be Aerosoft's recent Cologne/Bonn Professional. That is to say, beyond the fact that it has a lot of very accurately observed detail, some of which is animated, or the fact that it has the major geographical features of the terrain around the airport included with it, the most important of all is that it runs extremely well in spite of the detail (that's the groundbreaking bit), it being incredibly well optimised. This, over everything else, is what would make me regard it as 'pro', in that you can use it with a number of other add-ons which a 'pro' genuinely might use to practice with, yet not suffer from poor frame rates when using many such add-ons, thanks to that very good optimisation. Another one I'd place in the same category would be Latinwings/Pilots Almeria airport scenery, for which all of the preceding plus points similarly apply.

Pro is as pro does.

 

Edited by Chock
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Alan Bradbury

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@Christopher Low, I still have the non-pro Heathrow and it still looks pretty good. Don’t have Gib. The fact the upgrade prices were minimal suggests very little was added. And as I rarely fly at night dynamic lighting is not really something I need.

@Chock, agreed. Professional just means the person was paid to produce the prod. It’s no guarantee of quality but it’s encouraging you rate Cologne/Bonn and Almeria so highly.

Do any of these offerings have moving humans either on the ground or in buildings?

 


Ray (Cheshire, England).
System: P3D v4.5, Intel i7-8086K o/c to 4.6Ghz, Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti 11Gb, Samsung 970 EVO M.2 SSD, 1Tb Samsung 860 EVO SSD, Asus Prime Z370-A mobo, 32Gb G.Skill DDR4 3000Mhz RAM, Win 10 Pro 64-bit, BenQ PD3200U 32” UHD monitor.
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Just now, Ray Proudfoot said:

Do any of these offerings have moving humans either on the ground or in buildings?

Both Pilots/Latinwings Almeria and Aerosoft's Cologne/Bonn have animated people moving about on either the ramp or inside the terminal.

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Alan Bradbury

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1 hour ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

Having recently bought Milan Malpensa I was hoping for a spectacular airport but if I’m honest I don’t see a huge difference from earlier versions.

Maybe I’ve just been unlucky or I’m expecting too much and there are plenty of airports exclusively for v4 that will be impressive. Do others share my view or can you recommend any airports that genuinely are ground-breaking?

That publisher has been called out in an online article back in November for charging an upgrade fee for legacy buyers or higher than the original price for what was basically a port, but compiled through the P3D4 SDK and a few added dynamic lights.

Quote

I would guess that custom runway lighting, and dynamic lighting compatibility are about the only real differences that you will see, Ray. Having said that, I paid peanuts to upgrade to the professional versions of SimWings London Heathrow and Gibraltar for P3D v4, so I can't expect the world!

Other than Barcelona, I consider Sim-Wings developed scenery offerings as middling to good, but not great.

What upset a lot of people was that some other developers, such as FlyTampa, are still currently upgrading to P3D4 standard and updating their airports to match the current real world equivalents, all for free.

Noteworthy new airport products for P3D4 IMHO include:

  • Flightbeam Studios' EDDN
  • Jo Erlend Sund's (Aerosoft) EDDK
  • LatinVFR's SECL v2 - first to use PBR


Ones to watch out for are:

  • FlyTampa's KLAS
  • FSDreamteam's KORD

Based on pictures and videos, KORD looks fantastic.

KLAS is taking an extra long development period probably because of PBR being introduced. There is a YouTube video showing FlyTampa's testing of PBR in-sim.

Other than that, it's still the usual pick the quality based on the developer's you trust the most.

Edited by F737NG
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@F737NG, excellent post, many thanks. So I’m not missing anything. Nothing new in Malpensa v4.

The smaller developers do a very good job mainly because they don’t have a multitude of packages. Aerosoft does and because they not developers, just a shop, standards can differ.


Ray (Cheshire, England).
System: P3D v4.5, Intel i7-8086K o/c to 4.6Ghz, Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti 11Gb, Samsung 970 EVO M.2 SSD, 1Tb Samsung 860 EVO SSD, Asus Prime Z370-A mobo, 32Gb G.Skill DDR4 3000Mhz RAM, Win 10 Pro 64-bit, BenQ PD3200U 32” UHD monitor.
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A dev that puts out some very nice and reasonably priced scenery is JustSim. While they aren't "Pro" versions I have found them quite good, plenty of detail, and easy on frame rates.

I have JustSim EDDL and LOWI and I'm very happy with them, nice scenery's and a great value for the money IMHO.

You don't hear them talked about much in these add on airport discussions, but you might want to take a peek and just see what they've got. Simmarket carries the full line, put justsim in the search box at Simmarket and go. They are on sale right now as well...

These aren't in the same league as the "big names" we've become accustomed to for P3D payware add on airport scenery, but they're hard to beat for the money, and way better than the equivalent default airports in P3D.

Edited by SunDevil56
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Scott

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Thanks @SunDevil56, looks to be a few decent v4 only airports there and the sale is very welcome.

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Ray (Cheshire, England).
System: P3D v4.5, Intel i7-8086K o/c to 4.6Ghz, Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti 11Gb, Samsung 970 EVO M.2 SSD, 1Tb Samsung 860 EVO SSD, Asus Prime Z370-A mobo, 32Gb G.Skill DDR4 3000Mhz RAM, Win 10 Pro 64-bit, BenQ PD3200U 32” UHD monitor.
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Just now, Ray Proudfoot said:

Thanks @SunDevil56, looks to be a few decent v4 only airports there and the sale is very welcome.

No worries, Ray...😎

I just added EBBR (V.4 only) and EDDH (FSX/P3D) for $36, not bad for two nice airports. 

Oh, I forget to mention.. These have beautiful animated SODE jetways...


Scott

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The use of "pro", "professional", "X" , "Extreme", and other ridiculous additions to product descriptions is of course just a marketing ploy to justify a price hike. Lately, the hilarious use of the even more ridiculous "study level"  to describe stuff that has a bit more detail than normal has further expanded the wierd and wonderful ways producers of a range of software (not just flight sim products) express their jostling for market position. I think it's ok to say a product is highly detailed (if it's true), but mostly it is just a meaningless tag. 

It's quite hard to avoid nowadays because the perception is that unless you use one of these absurd tacked on descriptions somehow you are considered not a worthy developer. But the truth is that often, you are going to get more out of a simpler product (aircraft in particular) that flies smoothly at 40 fps than struggling with a product that barely achieves 15 frames a second (when the flight model I assure you completely breaks down) yet has all the nice buttons to press.

It is a kind of reflection of real world aviation that has seen in the past ten years the most bizarre accidents despite unprecedented hand holding equipment and multiple redundancies, but somehow all that still doesn't prevent a lack of basic flying skills from downing an aircraft through non recognition of a stall, or poor decision making despite the cockpit being festooned with a huge suite of avionics.

The concept of "pro" or "professional" lies not in the sophistication of a flying sim product but in the acquired pilot knowledge and skill which safely navigates an addon aircraft to the destination, and those skllls are applicable as much to a simple Cessna single as they are to a "study level" Airbus.

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One has to be constantly on the look out for the Emperor's new cloths!

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@robert young, I agree to a certain extent with your post. You went on to talk about aircraft rather than airport scenery which was the point of my post.

In regard to aircraft I don't have a problem with "study level". It shows the aircraft has been developed so as to be as close to the real thing as a computer program allows.

The classic example for me is FS Labs Concorde-X. In terms of how accurately it flies compared to the one produced many years ago by PSS it's leaps and bounds ahead. The FSL offering is certain;y study level.

That tag can't be applied to airports. It's always a bit of a gamble buying them as you're never sure of what you're going to get. As the saying goes... buyer beware.

I've just purchased Brussels and Rhodes by JustSim. Both are for v4 only so should have the extra features only available in that sim.

@Avidean, how true!


Ray (Cheshire, England).
System: P3D v4.5, Intel i7-8086K o/c to 4.6Ghz, Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti 11Gb, Samsung 970 EVO M.2 SSD, 1Tb Samsung 860 EVO SSD, Asus Prime Z370-A mobo, 32Gb G.Skill DDR4 3000Mhz RAM, Win 10 Pro 64-bit, BenQ PD3200U 32” UHD monitor.
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