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Ray Proudfoot

Concorde announced by Aeroplane Heaven

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Aeroplane Heaven have announced this morning they are developing Concorde for P3Dv4.5, v5 and Microsoft Flight Simulator.

I have no experience of their products. Do they produce quality aircraft given Concorde is one of the most complex aircraft ever developed.


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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Posted (edited)

Aeroplane Heaven is known for what I'd call mid-range efforts at simulation with commensurate price tags, so it's a bit of a surprise to hear they're having a crack at Concorde for sure. Generally speaking, I like what they do, in that they are one of the developers which champions making older types and aircraft which no longer fly. But where such add-ons are concerned, the potential/projected sales can sometimes make it unfeasible to spend the time developing something in great detail when not expecting adequate remuneration, so I would think they'd need to hire in some decent people to do Concorde justice. They have started to widen their ambition a little bit and have some interesting stuff in the pipeline including a Caravelle, but given that their recently-released Douglas DC-3/C-47 add-on can't even manage to get the start up sequence of the P&W and Wright radials to work consistently and is in dire need of a patch to sort that out, they do need to get their act together a bit.

It's not unknown for AH to surprise us though, their Bristol Fighter has an unusual start up method which is accurately simulated and works well, and their C-119 comes with a replica of the Phoenix from the famous '65 movie (not the cack remake which bizarrely, is the one which actually features a C-119 unlike the original movie), which features a realistic simulation of a Coffman shotgun starter, so they can pull good stuff off when they want to.

So as far as making a Concorde is concerned, as long as they set a good production goal and hire in the right people, they can certainly pull it off if they want to. I guess we'll find out. Funnily enough I was talking about Concorde yesterday with my girlfriend Fifi; she said she thought it was ugly. I resisted the temptation to slap her lol.

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Edited by Chock
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Alan Bradbury

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Good to see the old lady getting some attention, finally.


Pedro Trindade

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@Chock, thanks for the background. One thing that cannot be done is to produce a half-baked version. The flight model for one will be unlike anything else. And then you have to consider the INS system, the AFCS and perhaps most important, the Flight Engineer’s Panel.

I’m very surprised they’ve announced it for MFS when it’s still in alpha. Perhaps they’re going to use compatibility mode but that would not result in an accurate model.

Ugly? Hard to understand why anyone would think that. The master stroke pulled by BA when they were trying to get permission to fly into the US was to have the hangar door rolled back during a press conference. The American press were left speechless. Soon after they got clearance.

The only people with enough knowledge are already employed by FS Labs so I don’t know where the expertise will come from.


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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Agree with all three, but .............

17 minutes ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

that cannot be done is to produce a half-baked version.

,,,,,,,,,,,you have hit the nail on the head, Ray. The FSL version which I know you were involved in, was as close as you get the the aircraft I used to service at BA.

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Rick Almeida

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

@Chock, thanks for the background. One thing that cannot be done is to produce a half-baked version. The flight model for one will be unlike anything else. And then you have to consider the INS system, the AFCS and perhaps most important, the Flight Engineer’s Panel.

I’m very surprised they’ve announced it for MFS when it’s still in alpha. Perhaps they’re going to use compatibility mode but that would not result in an accurate model.

Ugly? Hard to understand why anyone would think that. The master stroke pulled by BA when they were trying to get permission to fly into the US was to have the hangar door rolled back during a press conference. The American press were left speechless. Soon after they got clearance.

The only people with enough knowledge are already employed by FS Labs so I don’t know where the expertise will come from.

Thing is, it's something of a misnomer to say that developers such as FSL, A2A, PMDG etc are the only ones with knowledge enough to make fancy add-ons; contrary to popular belief, these developers do not have a bunch of geniuses sat around in their employ waiting for the next in house project to be announced. Sure they do have some permanent staff and regulars, but these companies hire people in as and when necessary. In this way there is literally nothing to stop even Abacus from doing that if they decided they wanted to really go for it on a product. not that they would of course, but there is nothing stopping them apart from the will and the investment of time/money.

And so as far as complex projects are concerned, AH can definitely handle it,  and this is certainly not Aeroplane Heaven's first rodeo by any stretch of the imagination. They have a good deal of experience in making a number of British and French classic aeroplanes, as well as some high speed aeroplanes too. The include the VC-10, Lancaster, HS-748, 1-11, DH-104, Viscount, Mosquito, Eurofighter, Harrier, Chipmunk, Meteor, Hunter, Spitfire, Hurricane and for one more a bit like the Concorde in terms of performance, the F-111. I understand their upcoming Caravelle will have a new INS simulation. although this was a project that was originally a joint effort between AH and Just Flight, with the work on modeling and systems being split between the two, so we'll have to wait and see where the INS is concerned.

But since quite a few of Aeroplane Heaven's efforts have ended up as default aeroplanes in Lockheed Martin's P3D, for example their Model 10A Electra, it gives one an idea of how AH does get involved with developers of base sims, so it would not surprise me to learn that their Concorde was, if not an 'offical' default aeroplane for the new MS sim, then certainly involving at least some sort of tie-in or contradeal.

So I suppose it depends on two things; are they gong to really 'go for it', and if not, would you take the view that a less than 100 percent accurate Concorde in the new sim is better than no Concorde at all?

Edited by Chock

Alan Bradbury

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34 minutes ago, Chock said:

Thing is, it's something of a misnomer to say that developers such as FSL, A2A, PMDG etc are the only ones with knowledge enough to make fancy add-ons; contrary to popular belief, these developers do not have a bunch of geniuses sat around in their employ waiting for the next in house project to be announced. Sure they do have some permanent staff and regulars, but these companies hire people in as and when necessary. In this way there is literally nothing to stop even Abacus from doing that if they decided they wanted to really go for it on a product. not that they would of course, but there is nothing stopping them apart from the will and the investment of time/money.

But since quite a few of Aeroplane Heaven's efforts have ended up as default aeroplanes in Lockheed Martin's P3D, for example their Model 10A Electra, it gives one an idea of how AH does get involved with developers of base sims, so it would not surprise me to learn that their Concorde was, if not an 'offical' default aeroplane for the new MS sim, then certainly involving at least some sort of tie-in or contradeal.

So I suppose it depends on two things; are they gong to really 'go for it', and if not, would you take the view that a less than 100 percent accurate Concorde in the new sim is better than no Concorde at all?

On your first point I know FSL had input from real Concorde pilots and others closely associated with the aircraft. You don’t get better knowledge than that. It’s now 16.5 years since it last flew and we’re all getting older. Bear in mind too the simulator at Brooklands uses a flight model developed by the chief designer at FSL. He is an expert.

On your second point then yes, a functioning Concorde in a modern sim would be preferable to staying with 32-bit P3D although it depends how close it was to the real thing. Something like the Concorde in FS2000 would not be acceptable.


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'd prefer they fix their DC-3 first.  I got sucked in by the graphics and ended up paying  big bucks for a model that requires Ctrl E to start, lol. Their service pack made things worse.

Lon Duncombe

 

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

On your second point then yes, a functioning Concorde in a modern sim would be preferable to staying with 32-bit P3D although it depends how close it was to the real thing. Something like the Concorde in FS2000 would not be acceptable.

That's the problem. Whilst creating a 3D model is no small task, providing one has decent plans to go off, a reasonably competent modeler can make a good model given enough time to do it, so this is probably the least of the tasks in terms of specific expertise. Likewise texturing. And before anyone chimes in to say I'm diminishing these skills, these are in fact two of the things I teach people professionally on occasion, so I'm in no way intending to disparage the fact that some skill in these fields can yield better results. Anyway to continue...

So let's say you decided to make a Concorde for FS and that you needed three programmers to work on stuff such as the avionics, flight systems etc, and you decided to allow a year's worth of development on the project (a year is not long for a complex add-on - the FSL A320 took about seven years to pull off, but for this example let's keep it simple). For added simplicity, we'll assume some willing ex-BA/Air France pilots and engineers offer their expertise gratis.

We'll go on the cheap end of wages, which might not be inconceivable given that lots of people are going to be out of work following the current crisis, or if one farmed it out to China and managed to get around the language barrier, and say each developer gets paid £30,000 for the year (this is peanuts for freelance creative work, but we'll go with it here for simplicity). Then you decide to pay yourself the same wage to be the project manager/coordinator/art director/QC examiner etc. So, for a year, we're talking 120 grand in wages if we skip detailing all the insurance, accounting and other stuff which in reality adds to the cost.

Now, disregarding testing, marketing, packaging, web hosting for product distribution, servers etc, if you then decided you thought £120 quid was a suitable price for your add-on Concorde, you need to sell a thousand copies of it to break even, and that's for a comparatively simple version of a fairly niche add-on. If there's no way you're gonna sell that many, you might go with a 50 percent reduction in price, which is still on the steep side for a mid-range product, and you'd then need to sell 2,000 copies just to break even. Even this over-simplified example demonstrates why developers have to charge what they do, and also demonstrates that even if the will and desire to create a super-realistic add-on is there, sometimes the numbers preclude this from being a practical option with anything other than a 'surefire hit' such as a 737 or an A320, or possibly a much-missed classic which saw widespread us, like maybe a 727.

I don't like that any more than anyone else, but it is the reality, which is why I'll probably never see a good quality Boeing 247 or Convair 990. They are simply too obscure to garner large sales, which is why PMDG and FSL make 737s and A320s of course. So I do content myself with what companies such as Aeroplane Heaven, Flight Replicas etc are able to feasibly bring to the table, even if their products fall short of my dream come true.

So I'm inclined to suppose that it will be a 'good stab' at the thing which looks cool and can hit the numbers in terms of flight performance, but won't be simulating the voltage drop in the electrics when someone flushes the toilet.

Edited by Chock
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Alan Bradbury

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It will be beautiful from modelling/texturing point of view, that is for sure, but systems logic and complexity … i have serious doubts.

Of course fingers crossed for their project as new FSL version seems to be vaporware. 


Artur Pomajda

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Big question is, will it fly in 2020?  MSFS 2020 that is...

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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, Lon Duncombe said:

I'd prefer they fix their DC-3 first.  I got sucked in by the graphics and ended up paying  big bucks for a model that requires Ctrl E to start, lol. Their service pack made things worse.

Lon Duncombe

 

I'm with you here.

They released the v1.1 which was the single one I've installed and the existing videos or scarce documentation seem to refer only to the original version and you don't know exactly what did they change, as there's no a documented changelog. The start-up process is not working for me either, so needed to use the classic CTRL+E (which is good for default aircraft, not for payware ones) to have the engines running. The cockpit graphics are awful to say the least, and the VC switches and levers are not easy to work with. Taxiing the aircraft is also unnecessarily complicated, as you should apply a continuous combination of throttle, braking and tail wheel turning at the same time. All this to me is extremely disappointing.

AH does not have a forum, so any support question has to be addressed via a ticket system, that so far I'm reluctant to use.

So, in conclusion to me, they need to finish the DC-3 first and fix so many other things like the support system, before I even consider buying another airplane from AH.

Cheers, Ed

[EDIT]:

1. AH provided a replacement panel.CFG file to incorporate the F1 GTN and the REX/MV WX Radar, bit it seems that you should have both for this to work. They should have provided different panel.CFG's in case you don't have both the F1 GTN and the WX Radar, but just one of these.

2. Forgot to say something: Parked at my hangar until further notice.

Edited by edpatino
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Ed Patino

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Posted (edited)

Yup, support for the DC-3 has been lacking and if I'm honest, I thought it was a bit off for them to be stating that they were taking a long easter break and not immediately addressing issues in the days following its release. If I knocked something out and found it had an error, I'd be mortified and you can be sure I'd be going into my office in the middle of the night to address it ASAP.

If the thing had cost 20 quid I'd be a bit more forgiving on this score, but when you're forking out 60 quid for something, it's not unreasonable to expect at least some kind of commitment to fairly expeditious support, and by that, I mean more than putting a 'we're working on it' comment on Facetube.

DC-3 fans incidentally, might be interested to know that a new one is about to be released for XPlane, made by Leading Edge Simulations, which made one a few years back and it was pretty decent, so I'm expecting good things in the new version.

Edited by Chock
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Alan Bradbury

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I would be extremely surprised if the systems depth of this Aeroplane Heaven Concorde is anywhere near the kind of thing that Ray requires. I just hope that FSL are able to build a 64bit version of their own Concorde, but it will almost certainly take a lot of time and effort........and I would think that all of that is spent on the Airbus series at the moment. Hopefully, some miracle will happen, and allow our Ray to show off his supersonic pilot skills in the 64bit world :wink:

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Christopher Low

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@Chock, well explained business case. There’s no timeline so we could be waiting years. The asking price could be a moot point. Too low and you suspect it would not to be to the required standard for those of us who used to fly it regularly and are conversant with all its systems.

How is the Colimata version for XP going? I saw one video a while back and either the pilot didn’t know how to fly it or the systems were highly questionable. I hope this one doesn’t go the same way. We’ll have to wait quite some time I suspect. It’s been 2.5 years since FSL announced a 64-bit but that was paused indefinitely last June when Microsoft made their shock announcement.


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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