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Mace

North America in decline

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This is not some kind of apocalyptic or social and political comment. I am just surprised at how few North American high quality airports there are for FSX by now. I have KORD by FSDreamteam and I know KJFK is coming along with KDFW. There are many existing airports for Europe like, EDDF, EGLL, LEMD, EBBR, LHBP with LFPG, Stockholm and a package that includes a ton of mexican airports coming soon (and this is just Aerosoft). FlyTampa has the amazing Kai Tak in development for the east. Where are all the US airports? Has the market shifted to Europe with people less interested in flying to or in the US? I am a Canadian and i am desperate for a CYVR. FSAddon was doing one, I think, but I think that project got dropped. Cloud9 said a year ago that it would develop an update for KLAX but I have checked in periodically on their forums and seen no evidence of this. Sorry for all the ramblings but I mainly fly between the US and Europe with heavies. I love KORD by FSDreamteam and I will be all over KJFK and KDFW when they are released but the US airports by "quality" developers is sorely lacking unlike the options for FS9.

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Hi,Regarding CYVR I'd recommend Nigel Grant's add on, available here on avsim library. Nigel has released two versions: One for default FSX and one to fit in with the Vancouver+ scenery.What Stockholm scenery are you using? Is this ESSA (Arlanda) or ESSB (Bromma)?Ulf B

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This begs a question indeed: last Avsim Conference there was maybe 250 people (guestimate) and half of the people I've seen at fancon were also at devcon. Seems like without devcon, the audience would have been less.Now, I read many reports of European events where they attract 1000, 2000, or even 4000 people over a weekend.Makes you wonder indeed!

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Looking at my stats, I would say the majority of flight sim add-on purchasers are European, not American. About 75 plus percent of my users are not American.Why this is the case? A deflating US economy? Perhaps. A thought I had is that because real aviation is so utterly expensive in Europe and the UK that people who are interested in aviation there have only flightsim as their outlet due to financial considerations.Whereas in the US getting a pilots license is still fairly cheap so one can do it "for real" (although the days of cheap flying are quickly coming to an end in the era of soaring energy prices.)My two cents.Bryan

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You are correct Mike!Infact, I have built up my Europe scenery and they are going full swing for FSX. US scenery scenery (pun intended) is bad.Manny

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Don't forget also Cloud 9 KMCO, Imaginesim's KMCI, KLGA, KCVG, KCLT, and KATL is planned. But I think the main reason is FSX itself. Detailed default coverage in FSX is well covered in the US. Yes the 3rd party developers can make it better, but not to the extent it could with FS2004 scenery. So there isn't as big of a market for them. Look at KATL for example, add on Jim Viles KATL approach afcad, and there is little visual difference between it and Imaginesim's. Europe is well covered also, except it seems there are more details left off, such as the overhead bridge at Gatwick! Which the UK2000 scenery faithfully restores.

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as far as interest in aviation europe has USA beat. one example are 'plane spotters.' you find few of these folks in the USA. there is also a lack of observation platforms and viewing locations at USA airports - these are almost 'standard' in europe. just visit airliners.net of flightlevel350.com to see the locations of the majority of the photos & videos.you can also find aviation hobby stores in europe FULL OF FS titles ... you cannot find FS titles or addons at most computer game stores in the US; not even at the museum of flight in seattle!with the above in mind there are these issues with FS development - (a short list in my opinion; no ranking to list; subject to additions; may change at any time)* poor FSX SDK and three FSX versions* lack of overhead in current CPUs to run high-fidelity addons w/in FSX - see discussion of PMDGs 747X for example* lack of new talent wanting to work on FS addons* increasing consumer hostility towards all developers (free and pay-ware) for perceived: lack of service, high cost, incorrect modeling, lack of modeling, etc.* piracy of software--

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as far as interest in aviation europe has USA beat. one example are 'plane spotters.' you find few of these folks in the USA. there is also a lack of observation platforms and viewing locations at USA airports - these are almost 'standard' in europe. just visit airliners.net of flightlevel350.com to see the locations of the majority of the photos & videos.That's mainly a by product of 9/11. Today in the US if you start taking pictures of aircraft at airports or trains (Railfanning) You attract scrutiny from the Police, because they think you may be a potential terrorist. There have been instances where people have been detained for doing so. It has seemed to lightened up a little since the early days after 9/11 but every once in a while, you hear similar stories of it happening to others, or at least checked out by the cops.

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I often 'spot' at KFLL and they have two car parks officially designated for aircraft spotting. They even blast the ATC through a PA system for everyone to hear. I guess this is probably a rarity though. I have spotted in the UK at London Luton and Heathrow. Both places used to have 'spotters' areas and now both places do not. Sure you can stand in a car park or off-site somewhere, but you will attract attention. I know that at least in Luton, while there isn't any official spotter place, the police encouraged spotters to register with them so spotters could work alongside the police in reporting potential terrorist activity. I thought that was a great idea.Rich.

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While I have never purchased Imaginesims products, when I have looked at the screenshots of their products It seems less than stellar. Reminds me of the old Simflyers sceneries. I am talking about Cloud9/FSdreamteam FlyTampa, GAP and Simwings quality. I also thought about the deflating US economy as a reason. I Guess I always saw Flight Simulator as a mainly North American pursuit. I guess I was wrong. Makes sense when companies like PMDG are changing to the Euro.

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Don't forget about Australia! FTX AU Blue and Gold are fantastic. And today I installed the freeware addition to FTX AU containing 137 airports. Amazing!Ulf B

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I agree. I recently bought TNCM from FlyTampa, but only because I wanted SABA. The default FSX was plenty good for me at TNCM.I can count my airport scenery for FSX one one hand, and only two are payware. MAAM-Sim KRDG, Bella Coola, Aerosoft Lukla and TNCM. I almost always fly multiplayer, and Lukla or TNCM sessions are always popular. KRDG is about 40 NM from my house, I like landing there and pulling up to the Pepsi machine before heading to the fridge.I mainly bought Lukla because the default was so messed up, I find it easier to land at Aerosoft's version. Between there and SABA I am having plenty of fun in my Twotter.Best Regards, Donald T. :-waveFLYing? It's cool. Trillions of birds and insects can't be wrong.

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I have thought for some time (some via my limited but telling VATSIM experience), that "hobby" sports and sims, of which MSFS is one, have always appealed more to European markets. The reasons are complex, however and I think blend in with the availability of ways to take up leisure time. I know where I live near KSLE and KPDX in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, this region plays down stadium and arena sports in comparison to the rest of the U.S. because of the huge and vast array of outdoor activities. The US West is wide open in that manner and in general the vast land masses of N.America speak more to doing things outdoors. In Europe, with vastly more dense populations and very small land masses, things must be more portable in all arenas of living. Computer and console games flourish in such environs. Maybe I'm wrong but that's how I see it. I'm envious of my flightsim Euro counterparts and maybe that's why I've greatly drifted away from computer games including flight sim over the years.Randy Jura, KPDX

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There is another reason..Here is in the US, its a lot cheaper to fly for real..unlike in Europe!:)MannyPS: With the way gas price is going up... That could change!

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