curt1

Airport user or collector?

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I've been thinking about this for awhile now.  I've purchased over the years numerous airports from various developers to enhance my simming experience.  I have many from Orbx, FSDT, Fly Tampa, Flightbeam, LatinVFR along with a handful of others.  They're all very good, and I'm not complaining about them at all.  So what's the problem?  I have only so much available time to enjoy all these, and how do you determine if you're getting good usage value?  I have enough payware airports where I may only fly into them once a year, or maybe not even that if I'm distracted into buying the latest offerings.  If I'm not flying into them, than that makes me an airport collector doesn't it?  I'm at a point where I need to draw a line, but that's tough to do when FT will release a gorgeous Las Vegas, and LVFR has a great New Orleans, and on and on it goes.  Has anybody else been weighing the cost versus return ratio of their airport sceneries?  

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46 minutes ago, curt1 said:

Has anybody else been weighing the cost versus return ratio of their airport sceneries?  

Not quite. My addon airport list is up to 120 with the latest addition of LVFR KMSY.  The incremental cost is nil for me.... I'm single and kid is grown and I'm retired.  This hobby occupies a major part of my day each day.  Also, as I've mentioned before, it is hard to think of a hobby that costs less than this one.  Even bowling is more expensive.

I use my LogEdit logbook editor to help pick places to fly from/to, and to pick the airframe in which to do it.  This program provides a couple of small reports such as top 10 destinations, number of flights/hours by type or registration number, etc.  I also save most flights after I park at the gate and secure the aircraft for the next flight, and I'll keep that scenario for a long time.  Then I only have to look at the directory listing of all my saved flights and maybe pick the oldest one as the next one I start.

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Same here, but I like to fly round the world operations so I pick my purchases to align to my RTW routes. I get much better usage out of them for this reason, but there are many gathering dust also! 

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It would be nice to have all airports worldwide in a good quality. So you could fly anywhere anytime without asking "Which airport do I own?"

 

That's not collecting, that's how it should be.

 

Karl

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1 hour ago, curt1 said:

I've been thinking about this for awhile now.  I've purchased over the years numerous airports from various developers to enhance my simming experience.  I have many from Orbx, FSDT, Fly Tampa, Flightbeam, LatinVFR along with a handful of others.  They're all very good, and I'm not complaining about them at all.  So what's the problem?  I have only so much available time to enjoy all these, and how do you determine if you're getting good usage value?  I have enough payware airports where I may only fly into them once a year, or maybe not even that if I'm distracted into buying the latest offerings.  If I'm not flying into them, than that makes me an airport collector doesn't it?  I'm at a point where I need to draw a line, but that's tough to do when FT will release a gorgeous Las Vegas, and LVFR has a great New Orleans, and on and on it goes.  Has anybody else been weighing the cost versus return ratio of their airport sceneries?  

Couldn't have said it better. Asked myself this many times over the years but still can't resist some of the latest offerings. Then I fly to some defaults when I see an interesting Atlas Air trip I want to do. It's a hopless addiction.

 

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I keep a set of maps that show where my addons are, and when planning a flight, I use that visual aid to help choose city pairs for a flight.  I get around to most of my sceneries...much of it depends on the kind of flying I'm doing at the moment.

I've been having something of a renaissance of late, recovering a fair number of airports that I thought were lost to me in P3D by updating them with ADE/GSX2.  Just flew a nice leg from Ben Gurion to Dublin, two sceneries I've resurrected for use in P3D during the last couple of weeks.

Agree on the cost...a decent scenery is less than a dozen golf balls, a decent airplane add-on is at par with a round of golf at the better local courses, and a decent simming PC is rivalled by the cost of a good set of golf clubs.  So I don't feel bad about the cost since you won't find me chasing a little white ball across somebody's lawn every weekend.  🤪

Regards

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This is a brilliant topic. I've been having very similar thoughts. The fact of the matter is that I only have time to fly in the weekends, not in the least because an average flight takes me 2-3 hours from setting up the sim to seeing my passengers disembarking at my destination. As such, I do wonder how much sense it makes to keep buying airports, but the reason I still do so has to do with this:

59 minutes ago, kand said:

Same here, but I like to fly round the world operations so I pick my purchases to align to my RTW routes. I get much better usage out of them for this reason, but there are many gathering dust also! 

I agree completely. I'm easily distracted and I like flying everywhere. It keeps the sim 'fresh', as I always have a new flight to do and a new place to explore. 

Like Bob I use maps to keep track of all my airports, and I draw routes between city pairs based on Flightradar24. I color code thr routes so I have a quick sense of how long the flight will take, and this helps me decide on the flight I want to do. My destination catalog is no so extensive that I can fly nearly everywhere, in every environment, with every sort of weather that I may want, and I can tailor the length of the route to the type of equipment and length of flight that I want to fly. Do I spend a ton of money on that? I certainly do. One can wonder if I really need so many airports, and I probably don;t. But, as is probably clear by now, I love jumping around the globe. Last Saturday I flew from Brisbane to Hamilton Island with a Qantas Link TFDi 717, and the week before that I flew from Madrid to Bilbao with a Vueling Aerosoft A320. Going even further back I flew from Miami to Guatamala, and then to Bogota with a Martinair PMDG 747F. And I loved every one of those flights!

This is what I love about Flight Simulator: I can pick to fly anywhere in the world, so why not make use of that? Personally I can afford to buy these addons, and so I'll probably keep doing that for the foreseeable future.

But I will say this: I almost only buy airports when they are on sale, and I am NOT looking forward to P3Dv5... as I'm afraid I'll be needing to pay all sorts of upgrade fees :P

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2 hours ago, downscc said:

I'm single and kid is grown and I'm retired

I'm with you on that one. 😁

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Good thread.  Another point of view is that by buying these airports we're supporting developers.  I know it's very hard and time consuming to develop an airport of the quality we get from our high end developers.  I've been updating several airfields to a better than default stage, and it takes a lot of hours for me just to make these updates (they're uploaded here in avsim).  I'm sure it takes significantly longer to produce a high end product. 

I don't buy every airport that comes out, just some of the ones I see flying into.  Flying for a virtual airline is a good way to set a criteria of which airports to buy.   

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I have Avia weather App on my Android,with airports grouped in folders,that's how I keep track of the 100+ payware airports on P3D. I fly real routes mostly,using Flightaware and Sim Brief to generate the flight-plans. Better than spending it on Boose.....

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4 minutes ago, PATCO LCH said:

Any of you guys ever use defaults?

Nope! 

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Thanks everyone for expressing your thoughts.  It's true the cost of payware airports are not a lot when compared to other hobbys, but I tend to wait until a holiday sale comes along to justify my occasional trip there.  I'll fly heavies for six months, then I'll flip to GA and fly into smaller airports for a time.  Vic, no, I never fly into a default airport.  That's like eating a cheese pizza without the cheese.

Edited by curt1

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25 minutes ago, PATCO LCH said:

Any of you guys ever use defaults?

I personally avoid defualt airports like the plague, even ones that have been modified or dressed up with ADE.

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I use Air Hauler II and basically open a base at most all of my favorite payware airports, which is right at 120. I've been guilty of buying two or three airports at once and not getting to them all before I've bought another that I just had to have. Lately I've been pretty good about using Simmarket's wish list I add basically everything I think I'm interested in to it, then go back and look for things on sale. I might have twenty or more things on that list at any given time. It serves as a good cool down period, I don't do as much impulse purchases this way and save a little cash too.

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I'm one of those that use no payware airports, I only use afcads to improve the default taxi and parking positions.  I have about 30 payware airports most from flightbeam and fsdreamteam but after using them I noticed if I landed at one I would taxi to gate and exit P3D seeing it for maybe 10 minutes and that was it.  I just decided for myself it was not worth it, I don't even install liveries for my aircraft becuase I never leave the flightdeck.  

I'm just an oddball probably.

 

Edited by sgreen91

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I actually "blame" PMDG for all this. After buying the NGX way back when (10 years!), it make FSX look rubbish, like driving a Rolls-Royce into a council estate. I had to start buying addons to make the NGX credible. Robert should get royalties from all my addons.

 

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7 hours ago, cmpbellsjc said:

I personally avoid defualt airports like the plague, even ones that have been modified or dressed up with ADE.

Ditto here... I rarely fly a default airport these days, but I do have a few freeware airports that I use occasionally.

I guess you could say i'm an "airport collector", i've pretty much lost count of how many add on payware airports I have installed...😁

To be honest, I don't fly many of them all that often, but when I do, it's worth every penny...

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I work my way round my airports either on a whim because I just fancy heading to a certain part of the world or, I fancy pretending I'm based at the airport in which case I'll fly in/out of it for maybe 4/5 flights before I move to another base airport.  Probably once a year I'll use a default airport and mainly that is because I want to scope out the area if I'm thinking of buying an add-on version of the airport but not familiar with either the airport or that part of the world.  

 

Certainly using one as a base helps me feel I'm getting good use out of it.  Got in the range of 30+ add on airports.

Cheers

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I have airports I haven’t even flown to so I’ve started to only buy airports when I fly to them.  

I use the https://earthroulette.com to pick a place to fly to from my last arrival city.

Then go to Kayak.com to book flights and sort by cheapest which usually gives me 8 options on various airlines and sometimes crazy routes. I use a virtual dice website app to roll a dice (you can choose how many dice and sides) and which ever number it lands on is the option I use  

Earth roulette sometimes just gives you the country but Kayak gives the most popular cities(airports) within that country to which I use the dice app again to chose which airport within the country.

Right now I’ve been ending up flying a lot in Africa— While you do hit up a large amount of default airports, I’ve been finding most of my airports as either freeware upgrades or even payware! GSX level 2 helps with older freeware and default airports, I only wish they would add Light poles with dynamic lights to the parking spots to give an easy way to light up the tarmac without the use of ADE.   

 

 

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14 hours ago, curt1 said:

Has anybody else been weighing the cost versus return ratio of their airport sceneries?

I weight it everytime a gorgeous/awesome/spectacular whatever product gets released. Just have to answer : will I use it or not ? Worth it the money ?

If you're not able to answer the question, simple : don't buy it or don't complain collecting products 😉 On the bright side, you support the addon industry !

Edited by vbazillio

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I agree with Dan, the cost of this hobby is not nearly as steep as it is sometimes made out to be, so I buy addons without any regrets. I don't like to fly to default airports so I just get an addon even if I don't plan to fly there frequently.

I used to play a lot tennis as well. One week of indoor court fees was more than I spend on flightsimming for a year, including paid updates for P3D. Simming is cheap!

 

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Just like buying an airplane, I usually take the time to read, watch videos, reviews, and anything else I can find on the plane. I also enjoy learning about any airport that I buy or get for free, exploring the area, checking out the textures, testing performance, and practicing touch & goes with my A2A 172. If you are only using the add-on once, then you are missing out immensely!

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14 hours ago, w6kd said:

I keep a set of maps that show where my addons are, and when planning a flight, I use that visual aid to help choose city pairs for a flight.

How do you create the map initially? I haven't been able to figure anything out other than manual entry. I'd like to include the payware and ORBX Freeware Airports in the areas I like to fly. I already have a map someone created for ALL the ORBX Freeware Airports.

Like many of you I prefer to fly from payware to payware and the investment seems well worth it to me.

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21 minutes ago, bbuckley said:

How do you create the map initially? I haven't been able to figure anything out other than manual entry. I'd like to include the payware and ORBX Freeware Airports in the areas I like to fly. I already have a map someone created for ALL the ORBX Freeware Airports.

Like many of you I prefer to fly from payware to payware and the investment seems well worth it to me.

If you have SimStarter, it can create kmz.files of all add-on airports for Google Earth. There were other small programs who could do this too. Maybe Little MapNav or Plan-G have  related possibilities.

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