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About Cactus521

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    Flying (of course), travel

About Me

  • About Me
    I am a Software Test Engineer, living with my family in the Phoenix Metro Area. I've had some flight instruction in Light Sport and Trikes, but my main flying experience has been as a passenger, from personal and corporate travel since 1966.

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  1. I imagine so. For me VR doesn't work so well, because I am partially blind in one eye and that inhibits the 3d experience you get with VR. Plus I couldn't imagine simming for more than an hour with gear attached to my head. Anyone remember the movie "Brainstorm" with Christopher Walken and Natalie Wood? That was a good predictor of VR, made some 30 years ago. We're getting close to that today. I still watch that movie from time to time. I can see VR being very good for training military minded pilots, where information needs to be collected and gathered at a fast pace. I don't see it as much in the civil market, as cockpits in new airliners get simplified and workload reduced. I watch these youtube videos where the autopilot is turned on just after takeoff, running the entire flightplan. The pilot just punches in the numbers that ATC directs him/her to. I've never flown an aircraft with an autopilot, they are not commonly found on light sport and certainly not found on trikes. It was always hand flying for me, and when trimmed I did not have to do much, even in the chop other than keeping an eye out for traffic and always being prepared for an engine out situation. John
  2. Depending on the sim, the default mesh can be very good. I find the mesh excellent in XP11 and fairly good in P3D. World landmarks like the tepuis near angel falls are recognizable. Other areas, like Monument Valley or Guiliin China less so. Yet when I fly out of Capitol Reef NP I find the mesh quite good, having stayed there some decades back. When installing mesh or any scenery, try to keep a log in case the sim mysteriously has a CTD. Scenery is a major culprit sometimes in CTD's, and the addition of scenery say in Nevada can cause a crash in California. So I always suggest installing scenery one area at a time, fly around for a week or so making sure the sim is still stable. It can reduce head scratching episodes significantly. Some of my own home spun scenery was responsible for CTD's when I installed them on a failing hard drive. I knew I had a problem when family photographs started showing signs of corruption. That was two computers ago, but I learned a lot during that phase of my hobby. A sign of failing scenery can be a random rebuild of scenery indexes when you've made no change to your sim configuration. John
  3. The only problem I've had with P3d is the Carenado Mirage causes P3d to crash if it's the startup aircraft. So my default flight is the A36. then I can change to any plane I want, including the Mirage. The aircraft you start up with may be the cause of your problems. John
  4. Given where we are now, with photoreal scenery, immersive aircraft, does anyone have a vision for the future of flight simulation? Have we reached the end of what we can do or are there still milestones to be conquered? My estimate is clouds and weather, more of a 3d effect as in real life. It's fair now but I know it can be enhanced. Next, ground handling in crosswinds, in all sims too much rudder is required on the ground to compensate. In real life crosswinds are a distraction corrected with a light touch of rudder on the ground, but in the sims they are way too strong and make for unrealistic takeoffs and landings. I think if those two things can be tackled in the next generation of sims we will have outstanding choices for our hobby. Currently I think P3D and XP 11 have done an excellent job providing the platform for simming. A mid range computer like mine handles them just fine, their code has been optimized very well. I still fight between both sims, each has their own value for me. I haven't purchased any add-ons for x-plane although there is an ultralight I may buy. If I can figure out OrthoXP I will be happy. I just want to do the area around Phoenix for ultralight flying. The future seems to be here, given what these sims can do. What next, that will be the surprise! John
  5. Glacier is a beautiful place! John
  6. Very realistic, the lighting is perfect! John
  7. My favorite items in XP11 are the landclass and the default aircraft handling, as well as the haze effect which really mimics real life. The mesh is very good as well, especially in the swiss alps where it is very accurate and I can recognize all the major peaks quite well. Ground torque however is quite strong and there seems to be no way to tone it down, I have to fight with the rudder to keep the aircraft on the runway, not like real life where just light input handles torque and mild crosswinds. Once in the air however the aircraft are quite controllable and easily trimmed. XP11 also does not recognize all the buttons on my joystick unlike P3d which does. Have looked for answers but have found none, so I need to use the keyboard brackets to handle trim, sometimes a nuisance when on final. Minor things, not enough to keep me from enjoying XP11. Had a wonderful flight in the Cirrus from JFK to Boston the other day, in late afternoon with fine twilight effects filtering in to the cabin. John
  8. I found a website that details the routes that are flown with the 787, unfortunately none of them go to Phoenix, closest airports that greet the 787 on domestic flights are SFO and LAX. Maybe next time I fly to Europe I will route myself thru LAX, much as I dislike that airport. John
  9. Looks nice! I have MSE's Southwest and California scenery for P3d. Combined with my Colorado scenery I have contiguous coverage from Colorado out to California now, looks quite good. Today I flew the A36 realtime between Albuquerque and Phoenix, about an hour and forty-five minute flight over pristine desert. Looked like flying over the real scenery at 12,000 feet. John
  10. I had the Robinson R44 for FSX. Don't know if it works in P3d but if it does, fine copter. I flew in an R44 during a Goodyear AZ airshow several years ago and it was quite exhilarating, very smooth ride even in the turbulent desert air. John
  11. I haven't seen 787's around Phoenix Sky Harbor, I am wondering if anyone here has flown in one? Is the ride better than other jets as they claim? I've heard the cabin is pressurized to 6000 feet and humidity is added for flights. If I want to fly on one, what routes might operate out of Sky Harbor? I'd like to fly on one when I take my next vacation. But I don't know which domestic routes, if any, they are used on. I have seen the 787 when I flew out of Heathrow in June, had a very unique nose in it's British Airways livery. I wanted to jump from my 747 over to the 787 just for the experience. John
  12. I agree, like FSX before it, P3D is simply a foundation to build upon. I've added aircraft and scenery that cost more than the sim itself, but they lend to the realism and give many flight options to tinker with. When Microsoft pulled out of flight simulations, I grieved feeling it was the end for such a long franchise. I did not initially believe that anyone would pick up where they left off, but Lockheed Martin did, seeing a demand for such simulations. And in the background, Austin kept churning away at X-Plane. I am not sure how many simmers are out there, and by simmers I mean regular customers in the simming economy. Someone must know the numbers. But apparently there are enough of us to support the hobby. It's a unique form of entertainment, with the only objective being the completion of flights, but every flight is unique and memorable. I've purchased photoreal scenery that covers the southwest, where I live. Makes for very real VFR flying. Kudos to P3d for having an SDK to make photoreal scenery possible. John
  13. P3Dv4

    Posts like yours are the reason why the screenshots forum is my favorite forum. I can't fly everywhere in the sims, but these screenshots share that scenery and the aircraft as well. John
  14. P3d V4

    Yes, Dallas is a transitional area from the arid west to the lush southeast. When I've flown from Phoenix to Orlando Dallas has always been a landmark as you can see the landscape change. I've worked in Dallas before, setting up a reservations interface for Doubletree at one of their hotels. It was quite cool, they put me and my colleague in the two bedroom presidential suite, which had Jacuzzis in each bathroom. I was there to debug the interface and write code as needed to keep the interface running, a pilot of sorts. The Doubletree hotel staff was very appreciative of the work we put in and remained in contact with me for the duration of my employment with the company. We weren't far from the Galleria, so we visited there during our free time. That was back in late 95 as I recall. I left Doubletree when they moved their HQ from Phoenix to Memphis, went on to work for Best Western as an instructor after that. I logged a lot of flight miles for both companies, flying once a week to projects in the States and in Canada. I found out I was going to be a Daddy when I was in Ottawa in 1999. John
  15. Great pictures. Cloudiness always enriches colors in photographs. John