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Guest david W.

San Francisco Photo Scenery, Better than FU2

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I have been a fan of the Flight Unlimited series ever since FU1. It was the first taste of photo realistic scenery. I eagerly awaited FU2 and was thrilled when it first came out. I was able to explore the huge San Francisco area, which kept me busy for months.The scenery seemed even better when FU3 came out, and once again I could explore the entire Seattle region. I however still enjoyed the geography of the SFC area more.It was disappointing when Looking Glass folded up, and I thought I would never experience scenery as good ever again.When Microsoft Flight Simulator FS2002 came out, it had finally reached a level that was acceptable for me to use as my main flight simulator. (Even though the flight model is not as good as FU3, and the keyboard commands are hopelessly outdated compared to FU2/3). When FS2004 came out, it had even more enhancements. But the scenery was never quite the same as the FU series.Then a few weeks back I followed a link to the VFR Photographic Scenery USA. It is new add-on scenery for FS2002/FS2004 that was released in January this year. It covers San Francisco and Sacramento and surrounding areas. The web site looked good, and the scenery reminded me of FU2. I decided to order it, although I doubted very much whether it would be AS good as FU2.To my surprise, after flying for a few minutes, I started realising that this scenery was even better than FU2 scenery. There was far more detail that one could see on the ground. The colours were better, the terrain mesh was also more detailed. I flew over several areas that I knew well from FU2. They were all far more detailed, and better coloured. One can also see mountains further into the distance.Another plus is that the scenery area is larger than FU2. (FU2 was 11,000 square miles (28,000 Km) whereas the VFR USA scenery is around 18,000 square miles (47,000 km). And one can fly all the way down the coast to Monterey. One can also fly past Sacramento and beyond to the start of the far side hills & mountains.One drawback is that the coastline north of Mt Tamalpais is missing. However the inland areas such as Santa Rosa and surrounding valley is covered, and all areas eastwards. Perhaps a later release will cover the missing northern coastline area. And some of the smaller airports are not perfect. However these are minor problems.Any Flight Unlimited fan will love this scenery, that I can guarantee. The best way I find to view the scenery is in the Spot view, above and slightly behind the plane, looking down.The scenery is best viewed above 2000 ft, (between 2000 to 5000ft recommended in the manual), but it is already acceptable as low as 1200 ft. I normally fly between 2000 & 3300 ft.I believe that software developers that produce photo scenery of this quality should be supported. That way, we will get more of it, covering new areas in the future.Here is the link to the site.http://www.horizonsimulation.com/US/html/v...cenery_usa.html(It feels just like it did when I first got FU2.) Happy flying :-)regardsDavid W.

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Yes it looks as good as the UK-South scenery we hav for FU3,But no mater how good the VFR Photographic Scenery is, its nogood for me if it only works on an FS platform.The FS platform has no slop lift, no doundraft, no realistik thermals, no wave lift. It dusant even hav any wind sound for the gliders, well notin the external vew.Would you fly in a sim that had no engin sound? To me, a fan of gliders, the FS platform is like a pub with no bear.Totaly usles.glidernut

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I agree. Arguably, Megascenery is also better. Megascenery Seattle is just *huge* compared to the FU3 area - you get the entire coastline down to a bit south of Astoria and the scenery extends east to Yakima. It's not as detailed as the VFR Photographic though. It's similar to FU3 in quality - actual detail is somewhat worse but the colours are better and the textures don't go blurry in the distance like they always do in FU3. I'd post some screenshots but only if anyone's interested :)FU3 wins in the flight model department - some payware FS9 addons are just as good but they're $20-30 for *each* plane...and of course gliding is impossible in FS9 (well there are a few sceneries that fake thermals and such but FU3 does it for real).

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>>FU3 wins in the flight model department - some payware FS9>addons are just as good but they're $20-30 for *each*>plane...and of course gliding is impossible in FS9 (well there>are a few sceneries that fake thermals and such but FU3 does>it for real).All things wern't perfect with the default FU models either. The twin in FUII was grossly underpowered, and the Lake anphibian in FUIII was famous for a glide capability much farther than the real thing. In the meantime, a few selected thired party FS9 models are more capable of aerobatic routeins, with predicatable results.L.Adamson

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Jimmi,It's always nice to see decent screenshots.....from any flight simulator.I still think that the FU2 San Francisco scenery textures are remarkably good for a product that was released in 1997, and I personally feel that they look better than the Seattle textures.Chris Low.

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Nice scenery. Requires dvd-rom, something I don't have yet. Would need to upgrade my ole V5 card as well.JimB

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You mean V5 as in Voodoo5? Man that belongs in a museum ;)DVD drives are cheap these days. I suggest going with a DVD-RW right away. Very handy for backup purposes if nothing else.

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http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=sho...&mesg_id=198021I posted some shots in the above thread. I deliberately flew low and slow as we all know that even low res scenery can look excellent at high altitudes. The flight was from Crest Airpark to some airport east of Easton State. It's interesting to note that the scenery quickly turns from green to brown as you fly east over the mountains - you never got to fly this far with FU3 but with Megascenery, the eastern parts look almost like the San Francisco region with brown/yellow sandy hills and dry-looking forests.Note that the first two shots are taken over "Megacity" - basically Seattle and surroundings is done in much higher detail while the surrounding countryside uses lower-res images.

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Jimmi,Great shots. I especially like 4 to 7. I've driven that stretch of I-90 more times than I'd care to count and that looks dead on.

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Thanks.Is the transition from very green scenery to browns and yellows as noticable as it is when flying over Megascenery? I didn't fly that far east on this flight but further southeast the colours look just like they do in the San Francisco area.

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JImmi,"Is the transition from very green scenery to browns and yellows as noticable as it is when flying over Megascenery?"Well I don't own that particular MegaScenery but I can tell you about the real thing. Most times of the year it stays pretty green West of Ellensburg. There are a lot of crops around Ellensburg itself so it changes a lot with the seasons. East of Ellensburg as you start the climb to the top of Ryegrass Hill it turns to yellows & browns pretty quick. From Ryegrass Summit to the I-90 bridge over the Columbia at Vantage is all pretty brown... tan maybe. That is 10 miles almost exactly and it all be down a very steep grade. Right at Vantage is usually pretty green from irrigation but only right close to the river. From Vantage on East toward Moses Lake is all naturally brown being basically desert but there are a lot of crops there now days so you get a lot of variety. In the '80-'82 time period I probably drove that route several hundred times each way. Since that time usually only once each way per year. Haven't been through there since last August.The short answer... yep... the change is pretty abrupt. :)

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