Steve Dra

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About Steve Dra

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    Painter

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About Me

  • About Me
    USN AT1, served on several ships on the east coast. Avionics Tech on the SH-3 Seaking

    Aircraft painter for Flightsim.

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  1. Steve Dra

    NGX Nav Lights

    I have to admit that while the NAV LEDs are welcome...I'm going to miss the xenon strobes when that last plane is modified for LED strobes (or goes out of service). I've grown up watching them in the night sky, wondering what exotic place that plane is off to in the night. The LED strobes were a novelty when they first appeared on the scene, and as far as I know the 787 was the 1st to have them (I could be wrong)...so when I saw them I assumed the plane was the fancy new 787. Those red LED beacons are another giveaway for the 787...so incredibly bright...and they don't flash...they turn on and off (as so the LED strobes). Anyway...what I'm trying to say is that our night-spotting canvas is changing as the LEDs slowly take over the strobes and beacons on more and more models. Seeing a plane approach in the distance....the plane can now be a 787, 748, EMB, 737...any others you guys know of that have the LED stobes now? Oh...I know a lot of planes have LED landing lights now too...will have to head to LAX in the future on a clear evening and look east to see the "string of pearls" and see if the LED landing lights are easy to distinguish from the older lighting systems.
  2. Steve Dra

    Does anyone remember?

    Another old-timer here. Been here since the beginning. Fondly remember Mike M's site back when I 1st was getting into flightsim on the PC (was an Atari 520ST simmer before that). Cut my airline teeth on Sublogics' ATP (still have the maroon manual..not the newer blue one). Flew the wings (and octagon-sided engines with a black disk as the intake) off that yellow 767! Been painting almost as long, was part of FFG, SGA back then....painting anything and everything Eric modeled. Seems like a whole 'nother lifetime from the present. Was looking up old emails and found one mentioning Paul's panels...won't give you the date, but my friend was telling me about the new Dell machine he just bought running at 1ghz....with a whopping 512 mb of ram and we were running squawkbox on a 56k modem. Memories, hehe.
  3. Steve Dra

    Ultimate 787 - V1.1.1 Released

    The verdict on this plane seems to be wide and varied depending on the simmer's experience (as expected). Here is a link to a post I did replying to a fellow simmer having issues with the plane. As you'll note, I've been fortunate in that I've not experienced the issues others have reported (major issues anyway). https://www.avsim.com/forums/topic/538724-qw787-current-status/?do=findComment&comment=3870612 Note the part that the best thing about this plane when deciding whether to purchase is that Flight1 is the vendor....and we know what that means. :)
  4. Steve Dra

    Captain Sim 757 RR Released

    Just looked it up on their forums Rick. According to the official post, they will update, in this order...777, L1011, 707. (if they don't change it...again) They posted this June 3 of last year, and so far none of them have been released for V4. If you extrapolate a little, based on their existing track record...even if they didn't have their latest jewel (the 757) taking up all their time making an new engine variant for $30, with the freighter sure to follow with probably the same pricing scheme...and they JUST updated the 777 and released it today (yeah right), you're looking at least into 2020 before they get around to releasing the 707 for P3dvX (as we'll be way past version 4 by then)...and that's only if they are not chugging away at a P3dV4 767 (almost a certainty)...and if so, extend that estimate out to 2022 or so. 😂
  5. Steve Dra

    B747-8 Beta PIREP

    Hey Carl, We have a few real world pilots who post here that fly both all the time, they'd be able to provide more insight to the differences if the mood hits them. :) One is a 767 Captain now while the other is still in the 747-4/8 (That I know of...there may be more lurking out there)
  6. Steve Dra

    Captain Sim 757 RR Released

    Hehe...my point exactly Rick! If they do update it, it will most likely be a straight port from the old FS9 technology with updates to the pretty exterior to make pretty screenshots to entice buyers to plop down a ridiculous amount of money for an exterior model update to P3dv4 standards and a "promise" of updated systems, and other internal parts that make a plane a real full package...not just a pretty shell with useless emergency slide animations, a radar dish that sweeps side to side. Then, like every one of their previous releases, it will fall into the black hole of updates once the next new shiny plane comes out from them....it is such a predictable, repeatable pattern by this vendor...but we never seem to learn, hehe. If I really want a CS plane, I always wait for the $10 sale...and if it doesn't go on sale that year...I'll just get it the next year when it likely will. I'll never pay their ridiculous initial price....it like buying a new car off the showroom.
  7. Steve Dra

    Captain Sim 757 RR Released

    Not just you. Pretty sure just about every simmer who knows the history of our major vendors knows that the pricing structure for this product by this vendor is, well...as Jan said...simply ludicrous. At that price you'd hope to get continuing updates for the product that needed updates to fix the bugs they couldn't fix before they released it to the public...but I guarantee as soon as they release their next pretty exterior model, this one will fall into the same service cycle as all their previous products...just ask any L1011, 777, etc owner how the updates to fix issues for their purchases are coming along. 😉
  8. Steve Dra

    B747-8 Beta PIREP

    LoL! Not sure about that Carl, but I sure wish Lufthansa bought the freighter...would love to paint a non-fictional -8 box-hauler in that livery. Well, since in the real world it would wear the new livery that I'm not found of...at least not yet, I'd still be painting a fictional livery if I did put her in Lufty's best livery.🙄
  9. Steve Dra

    B747-8 Beta PIREP

    And we have a few Atlas pilots who post here regularly as well. I'm certainly moving my Atlas textures from the -400 to the -8 when I get her. 😉 (hoping that will be soon...well "PMDG soon" and my soon are 2 different time scales....LOL)
  10. Steve Dra

    Is V3 still worth using.

    32bit or 64 bit? There seems to be such confusion over the subject. Especially those who think 64bit is just double the capacity of 32bit. (Not saying that's anyone here, but I've seen people make that assumption) To give this an aviation analogy we all can appreciate....P3D running in 32bit is like sitting in the last row in a CRJ-200 for a cross country flight for 4-5 hours. P3D running in 64bit is like taking that same flight in an Emirates A380 in one of the residential suites up front with its own butler. 😁 There is simply no comparison as to how much better 64bit is over 32bit....maybe not so much at its current iteration (but still vastly superior)...its the future we all should be looking to. V3 is still a very good sim...but it will always be a 32bit sim and that is its biggest flaw. It will never have updates, never get better, never be anything more than it is now. Some quality developers may develop 1 maybe 2 more products for it, but look for any new development from 3rd parties to disappear faster than a doughnut in a room full of police officers (sorry, bad cop joke, hehe). The biggest advantage is for the developers who give us these wonderful products...they are no longer restrained by the 4 gigabyte limit 32bit architecture forced them to code under. To be exact, it was 4,294,967,296 bits...sounds like a lot, but its a mere 4 billion and change. To put it into perspective, 64bit allows 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 bits! That is literally eighteen quintillion ,four hundred forty six quadrillion ,seven hundred forty four trillion ,seventy three billion ,seven hundred nine million ,five hundred fifty one thousand ,six hundred sixteen bits...really. (click here to see the site that let me type that out...please don't think I spent hours trying to figure that out, hehe) Click here to type very long mathematics terms Generally speaking, V4 runs better than V3...regardless of your computer specs. Why? Breathing room. No practical VAS constraints. More analogies: Take a 32oz glass. Fill it with Tabasco sauce. Drink it. Was is hot? Take that same glass, fill it up again with Tabasco sauce. Dump it into an Olympic size pool. Stir it. Dip the glass in the water. Drink it. Did you even taste the Tabasco? Probably not. Same analogy with flightsim. Load the most demanding payware plane out there. Load the most complex and resource hungry scenery for the departure, enroute and destination airports. Load every scenery you have for that matter. Load your weather app with 4k cloud sets, load every single thing you’d load for a flight. Imagine all that software living in a place that is only 4 billion bits. (Oh we have imagined it….we call it OOM..a term we never heard of until our flightsim devs all started competing for the same puny 4 GB VAS address space) Next do the same as above, but in an environment that is eighteen quintillion ,four hundred forty six quadrillion ,seven hundred forty four trillion ,seventy three billion ,seven hundred nine million ,five hundred fifty one thousand ,six hundred sixteen bits…you see where I’m going with this? Stuff just runs better in a 64 bit platform, hardware has nothing to do with it (unless you’re still running Win 3.11 on an 8086). If you have older hardware, you just turn down the sliders a bit. 64bit will still look better…and run better than 32bit. We can all understand it running better…but looking better is subjective. However, to most people, sub-par visuals running in a glass-smooth sim produces a better overall experience than great visuals running at sub-teen frame rates and stutters galore. In the middle is where the simmer injects their own personal preferences…i.e….plays with the sliders. If you're happy with how your 32bit flightism is running, then stick with it...I'm not forcing you to update to 64bit. But when you see the cool, new stuff coming out for flightsim...please, PLEASE do not be that simmer that asks the developer who's enjoying the new 64bit coding freedom they now have.... "will you make that for FSX and P3d 32bit?"...its getting tiresome to read in the forums all the time. You are asking our developers to double their development time (and cost)...absorb that cost because heaven knows if they raise the price to cover those costs they get beat to death, and it may be something that simply can't be done in within 32bit code. Sorry to ramble on, but I'm passionate about this new platform we've been given, and my enjoyment of flight simming has increased almost as much as 32 to 64 bit (don't make me type that number again, hehe). I'm always looking to the future, especially when just a few years ago the future of flightisming looked so bleak. It has never been a better time to be a simmer!
  11. Steve Dra

    B747-8 Beta Program Bug Report- FULL DISCLOSURE

    Yep....thinking about it and trying to put the lyrics to it....you are 100% correct! Hehe.....gotta go watch all the James Bond movies now (well....just the ones that had the only 2 Bond actors I'll acknowledge...the rest...bleh). Loved the mechanical wing fold and chopper sounds the threw in there when the beetle 1st lifted off...gotta love the BBC for their subtle humor. 🙂
  12. Steve Dra

    B747-8 Beta Program Bug Report- FULL DISCLOSURE

    Hehe...actually did meet him in Vegas! Got the coveted business card from him after chatting about the new project and the realization that we're gonna need every livery of every PMDG release ever created. Should keep me and all the other painters busy for decades! Thanks for the comment....I've always enjoyed painting PMDG birds, the paintkit is excellent, and of course the model really shows off the effort I put in to make them look good. I plan at least putting my Lufthansa and UPS photo-tails on the -8. Saddend that more airlines didn't adopt her, but that's that way it is in the real world...2 huge engines will trump 4 economically every time...and as much as I love the aesthetics and flying qualities of the Queen, she destined to advocate her crown in the future. 😞 But she'll live on in our simming world! PS- HUGE fan of your narrative prose and bringing comedy and a great read to all of your posts...I never miss one. 😉
  13. Steve Dra

    B747-8 Beta Program Bug Report- FULL DISCLOSURE

    But the real question is: If this is a new feature (don't recall if bug splatters were being added to this release), AND if there is a real issue with it....is it called a bug bug report? Hehe. I can see it now "I have to report that my testing scenario noted that I should see 4 mosquitos, 2 june bugs, 3 dragonflies, and 3000 dung beetles (due to them swarming in July as I depart from Jomo Kenyatta International). Sadly I only counted 1200 dung beetles." 😞 Reply from RR "That's a load of crap!...count them again closely....we've spent a ton of coding time to get the dung beetle swarming parameters in June at Jomo Kenyatta International just right! " Ok..in all seriousness...they DO fly! Here is the proof: Go to 1:15 in the video...hilarious that you hear the theme music to the scene in James Bond Gold Finger where the planes to their formation flight...I rolled on the floor laughing!
  14. When you do make the switch, and you if you go P3D vs the other 64bit sim(s) available, I hope you come back to this thread and let us know if you either believe or not believe the hype is justified. I bet the 1st time you pull into any Flightbeam airport gate at night and see the cockpit interior progressively illuminate with the gate floodlights as you get closer, then switch to an outside view to see the same happening the to fuse of your aircraft, 1st the front then the rest as you taxi in...and only on the side the lights are on (if you're in a corner gate where the is lighting only on one side)...then see the lights of the service vehicles light up your fuse as they approach, you'll quietly note to yourself "Wow...I guess I have been missing a few things that FSX could never give me" Oh and one thing that stuck me as funny: All these years with GSX pushback, I never payed heed to flipping on the taxi lights (esp the nose taxi light) when the ground crew was disconnecting the towbar....do that in P3d and you'll see them almost burst into flames! LOL. I hope Umberto (and FSDT) incorporates logic into his next update of GSX to both scold the flightcrew on the intercom if they do that, and have a custom animation of the groundcrew shielding their eyes and flipping the pilots the international sign of good will.🤣 P3D and 64bit give you so much more than better performance (and I'm not talking about just chasing FPS), its not even worth trying to describe it to anyone who's not experienced it first hand. The whole ambiance of the simming experience is worth every penny I've spent on upgrading my system to handle it all (well..."all" is subjective as I don't have my sliders max'd and P3d will only give us more as time progresses...when is the next FSX update scheduled again?...I can't remember when ACE Studios said they were coming out with the next major update to FSX 🙄). All kidding aside, I'm hoping you'll make the switch soon and have a similar positive experience as most have had (remember the one's who've had P3d up and running with no issues typically don't post in forums...they are too busy having fun with the sim...its the one's who have system issues that report here for the most part..trying to resolve their issues and baffled as to some of us seem to run P3d flawlessly). Switching to P3D 64 bit (or any 64bit sim) should be a goal for any simmer who wants a better simming experience...also remember that its not just us end-users who benefit from the 64bit platform, the developers also are reaping the benefits and pass that to us in the form of better products, not being hamstringed by 32bit architecture any longer. I'm sure you've noticed the trend of some (quickly becoming most) good devs not trying to support both platforms anymore? There is a good reason for that, from a design, support and financial standpoint. If a dev is willing to lose some potential revenue by only supporting a 64bit platform, knowing there is still a customer base for the old platform, what can we assume from that decision? (and its NOT because they are jerks and won't support my decades-old, never-to-be-updated-again sim) (hint: they see the future and where its going....and if they don't, they wont be in business very long. It might be a tough decision, but its the right one I feel) To the OP of this thread: MIGRATE...do not buy another FSX-only product. That is my honest opinion (if that hasn't been painfully obvious in my long-winded speech above, hehe)
  15. And if I wanted to simulate being a dispatcher for a major airline, I'd be the first to gripe about it if there was only 5 diverts in a combined 6500 hours of flight time across an entire fleet. However I'm guessing Aerosoft is not simulating an entire airline fleet dispatch scenario....they are giving you ONE Airbus at a time to fly, as a "Typical" pilot...and as this real pilot continuously tries to tell us....the plane...when viewed as a SINGLE flight, flown many times over the course of a given time period, will appear to be more reliable than a fleet dispatcher tends to describe based on his overall view of an entire fleet at any given point in time. To the inexperienced aviation person reading your accounts of issues with the Airbus, I'd never step foot on one as a passenger if I didn't realize that you're referring to a fleet-wide view of an aircraft over thousands of combined hours. I'm going to go with the opinion of a pilot who's flown them (and as a passenger who's flown in them many times)....I'm really looking to fly my Bus with the relative certainty that in the 2 or so hours I'm up in the air, things on the aircraft will function as designed, and any diverts or malfunctions will be from outside factors (weather, ATC, me being stupid), not because something on the plane just breaks. I have the FSL Bus as well, I'll fly that one if I want the .000005% chance in my 2 hour flight the rad alt, coffee maker, flush push button on the toilet breaks.🤣