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Christopher Low

ORBx TrueEarth Travels

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2020 has been a mixed bag for me as far as flight simulation is concerned. My interest waxed and waned during the year, and I even reinstalled Assetto Corsa and my Logitech G27 wheel for a couple of months in early summer to add some variety. However, I quickly became bored of driving cars online that I had no interest in, so the wheel was eventually packed away again. Somewhat reluctantly, I dragged the PMDG birds out of the hangar again, and settled on conducting a series of flights around the UK in the Boeing 737-800w. After a few flights my enthusiasm started to come back, and now I am thoroughly enjoying what the Microsoft Flight Simulator boys have been singing about for quite some time.

In short, that would be......VFR flights.

As many of you are aware, I concentrate on flying around the UK, with a handful of side excursions to Dublin and Amsterdam Schiphol. I have ORBx TrueEarth scenery installed for the entire British Isles and Netherlands, and PrealSoft Dublin city and MK Studios Dublin International for dipping my toes into the east coast of Ireland. In other words, detailed photoscenery and autogen almost everywhere. The exception is Northern Ireland, where I have to make do with no autogen (although I do have photoscenery) for my flights to Belfast International and Belfast City airports. The sad part about this is that ORBx are probably no longer interested in developing an ORBx TrueEarth product for all of Ireland, now that the new Microsoft Flight Simulator has dangled lots of shiny balls and pretty pictures in front of them :angry:  ** it would be nice if Tony could prove me wrong at this point ** :smile:

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. I have just completed a flight this morning in the PMDG 737-800w from EGKK London Gatwick (UK2000 Gatwick Xtreme) to EGPF Glasgow (UK2000 Glasgow 2020HD) in P3Dv4.5HF2. I always fly in calm weather and clear skies, and the visibility is generally set to 30 miles. This provides a nice haze in the distance, and usually masks any obvious sign of "autogen popping" during my travels. I cruise around in my 737 @ 250 knots and 5000 feet, and I have to say that the view outside my cockpit window is absolutely stunning! With respect to my flight this morning, I departed Gatwick on runway 26L, with an immediate right turn towards the Ockham VOR (I generally use VOR and NDB beacons as "direct to" waypoints, with suitable SIDs and STARs as and when appropriate). I got a nice view of Heathrow on my right shortly after that, and then enjoyed a multitude of interesting VFR landmarks as I made my way north. A couple of football stadiums (I did not check which ones), a handful of unique golf courses (no identikit landclass rubbish here), several disused military airfields (some partly obscured by housing estates), a distant view of Blackpool tower, Haverigg motocross track near Millom in south western Cumbria with its attendant wind turbines (where I have watched my cousin race many times), the distinctive shape of Black Combe (a hill that overlooks the track), good views of Ennerdale Water, Loweswater and Derwent Water as I passed over the Lake District mountains, a section of the M74 between Carlisle and Glasgow that I travel on when I visit my brother and his family (including the Annandale Water services with its distinctive small lake, the town of Moffat where we sometimes depart the motorway to take the scenic route, and Talla Reservoir; yes, this is adjacent to the Talla VOR that many of you may have used for flight plans in southern Scotland), and finally the large Whitelee Wind Farm near Glasgow.

My point here is that P3D can be every bit as good for VFR flights as the new Microsoft Flight Simulator.....if you have the right scenery and airport packages, and you are prepar3d to accept that you may not be able to fly across the entire globe. Fortunately for me, I have never been all that bothered about "limited size high resolution regions" in flight simulation. I used Flight Unlimited 3 (and the Flight Unlimited 2 San Francisco scenery) exclusively between 2000 and 2008, and did not miss the "Flight Limited" default landclass scenery that had effectively blighted the Microsoft Flight Simulator series ever since the awful FS5 was released.

On a side note, I have to say here that a 20 metre mesh (included in the TrueEarth GB North package) is nowhere near good enough for Scotland. Thankfully, I have the option to use a 5 metre mesh (courtesy of the PlayHorizon series of VFR Photographic Scenery products), and that makes a significant difference to the realism when flying over elevated terrain.

This afternoon, I will be making a return trip of sorts (EGPF Glasgow to EGLL London Heathrow), and I expect to enjoy the same "scenery observing" thrill that I had this morning. I may even take one or two screenshots for the AVSIM photo album :wink:

 


Christopher Low

UK2000 Beta Tester

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42 minutes ago, Christopher Low said:

2020 has been a mixed bag for me as far as flight simulation is concerned. My interest waxed and waned during the year, and I even reinstalled Assetto Corsa and my Logitech G27 wheel for a couple of months in early summer to add some variety. However, I quickly became bored of driving cars online that I had no interest in, so the wheel was eventually packed away again. Somewhat reluctantly, I dragged the PMDG birds out of the hangar again, and settled on conducting a series of flights around the UK in the Boeing 737-800w. After a few flights my enthusiasm started to come back, and now I am thoroughly enjoying what the Microsoft Flight Simulator boys have been singing about for quite some time.

In short, that would be......VFR flights.

As many of you are aware, I concentrate on flying around the UK, with a handful of side excursions to Dublin and Amsterdam Schiphol. I have ORBx TrueEarth scenery installed for the entire British Isles and Netherlands, and PrealSoft Dublin city and MK Studios Dublin International for dipping my toes into the east coast of Ireland. In other words, detailed photoscenery and autogen almost everywhere. The exception is Northern Ireland, where I have to make do with no autogen (although I do have photoscenery) for my flights to Belfast International and Belfast City airports. The sad part about this is that ORBx are probably no longer interested in developing an ORBx TrueEarth product for all of Ireland, now that the new Microsoft Flight Simulator has dangled lots of shiny balls and pretty pictures in front of them :angry:  ** it would be nice if Tony could prove me wrong at this point ** :smile:

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. I have just completed a flight this morning in the PMDG 737-800w from EGKK London Gatwick (UK2000 Gatwick Xtreme) to EGPF Glasgow (UK2000 Glasgow 2020HD) in P3Dv4.5HF2. I always fly in calm weather and clear skies, and the visibility is generally set to 30 miles. This provides a nice haze in the distance, and usually masks any obvious sign of "autogen popping" during my travels. I cruise around in my 737 @ 250 knots and 5000 feet, and I have to say that the view outside my cockpit window is absolutely stunning! With respect to my flight this morning, I departed Gatwick on runway 26L, with an immediate right turn towards the Ockham VOR (I generally use VOR and NDB beacons as "direct to" waypoints, with suitable SIDs and STARs as and when appropriate). I got a nice view of Heathrow on my right shortly after that, and then enjoyed a multitude of interesting VFR landmarks as I made my way north. A couple of football stadiums (I did not check which ones), a handful of unique golf courses (no identikit landclass rubbish here), several disused military airfields (some partly obscured by housing estates), a distant view of Blackpool tower, Haverigg motocross track near Millom in south western Cumbria with its attendant wind turbines (where I have watched my cousin race many times), the distinctive shape of Black Combe (a hill that overlooks the track), good views of Ennerdale Water, Loweswater and Derwent Water as I passed over the Lake District mountains, a section of the M74 between Carlisle and Glasgow that I travel on when I visit my brother and his family (including the Annandale Water services with its distinctive small lake, the town of Moffat where we sometimes depart the motorway to take the scenic route, and Talla Reservoir; yes, this is adjacent to the Talla VOR that many of you may have used for flight plans in southern Scotland), and finally the large Whitelee Wind Farm near Glasgow.

My point here is that P3D can be every bit as good for VFR flights as the new Microsoft Flight Simulator.....if you have the right scenery and airport packages, and you are prepar3d to accept that you may not be able to fly across the entire globe. Fortunately for me, I have never been all that bothered about "limited size high resolution regions" in flight simulation. I used Flight Unlimited 3 (and the Flight Unlimited 2 San Francisco scenery) exclusively between 2000 and 2008, and did not miss the "Flight Limited" default landclass scenery that had effectively blighted the Microsoft Flight Simulator series ever since the awful FS5 was released.

On a side note, I have to say here that a 20 metre mesh (included in the TrueEarth GB North package) is nowhere near good enough for Scotland. Thankfully, I have the option to use a 5 metre mesh (courtesy of the PlayHorizon series of VFR Photographic Scenery products), and that makes a significant difference to the realism when flying over elevated terrain.

This afternoon, I will be making a return trip of sorts (EGPF Glasgow to EGLL London Heathrow), and I expect to enjoy the same "scenery observing" thrill that I had this morning. I may even take one or two screenshots for the AVSIM photo album :wink:

 

Very well written and I can understand completely.

With P3D V5.1 you get lots of performance boost compared to V4.5. Wait a couple of weeks/days? before the 5.1 HF 1 comes out, read some feedback and if LM nailed the common issues than I would suggest: Jump in to it! 

I am just on my way from LSZH to MMUN in a A330 within VR and I can hold 45FPS constantly cross almost all the parts of my route, even above TE Netherlands!

AND THAT with ALL SHADOWS checked "on"! That is very impressive as I think about it.

Enjoy what you have and I, and probably also others, would like to see you on V5.1! 

LM did make big failures in my eyes by releasing unfinished V5 and V5.1....but it is getting better in huge steps. 

Have a nice weekend AND a nice flight!

Marcus

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Regards,

Marcus P.

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These are both very intersting post, thanks.

I tend to get my own ortho scenery and lay Orbx autogen and custom above it.

Best.....  Phil

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Sounds good fun Christopher.

In the days before there was legislation in place to do zero flight time type conversions, that is the whole of the training done in simulators , then the sky used to be full of airliners messing about Low level conducting training , these are the sorts of flights I like doing in P3D.

I remember the great day out 20 odd years ago we took a jumbo out of Heathrow across to Shannon and spent the afternoon doing visual circuits.

It also used to be more common in the 90’s when the ATC computers went down and everything ground to a halt for airliners to blast off VFR low level to avoid controlled airspace and complete their journeys rather than getting  stuck. Things are more risk averse nowadays.

I always fly the sim with the same conditions as you, clear skies, no wind and 20-30 miles viz, it looks perfect with REX doing the sky textures.

 I’m currently flying the QW 787 around the San Francisco Area in VR using orbx TE norcal which is also stunning. I’m doing a series of low level  exercises , one of which involves coming in low off the sea towards a cliff to trigger the GPWS and carry out a terrain escape manoeuvre.

Yes, knocking about low level in airliners over TE scenery is great fun. That’s what I love about simulation, you can do what you want where you want.

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787 captain.  

Previously 24 years on 747-400.Technical advisor on PMDG 747 legacy versions QOTS 1 , FS9 and Aerowinx PS1. 

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I use REX 4 Texture Direct with Soft Clouds Enhanced Edition for the atmospherics and lighting. It's just that the clouds are all parked in the hangar :wink:


Christopher Low

UK2000 Beta Tester

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2 hours ago, philmurfin said:

These are both very intersting post, thanks.

I tend to get my own ortho scenery and lay Orbx autogen and custom above it.

Best.....  Phil

How do you put autogen over photoscenery?


Gigabyte Z97X-UD5H-BK, Blk Ed MB; Intel I7-4790K CPU (@4.5 Ghz); Deepcool 240 AIO Cooler; 16 Gb G.Skill RAM (F3-2400); Win10 Pro (P3D V5.2); 2 Samsung 1Tb SSDs;Toshiba 3Tb hard drive; Gigabyte Aorus Extreme 1080ti 11Gb VRAM; Toshiba 43" LED TV @ 4k;

 

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i don't think it works with standard P3d autogen.

However, if you have  either JustFlight NGX or Orbx TE scenery installed, simply put your ortho layre below their other layers and above their scenerey layer.

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The return flight down to Heathrow was completed yesterday afternoon. I came in from the Brookmans Park VOR, and enjoyed a nice view of Central London before intercepting the ILS approach to runway 27R at sunset :cool:


Christopher Low

UK2000 Beta Tester

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