iwebber

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  1. Using the naughty Orbx textures for FS9 had an enhanced or dense autogen option which I found put trees on many airport background textures. I ended up using Evo and TNW for pretty much that reason. Hope this helps, Ian
  2. Following on from my previous post, we're approaching Europe from the Middle East on our way to Barcelona. Still AI sightseeing, a rattle of Bulgarian Air Charter MD80s (I don't know what the collective noun for MD80s is). Out over the Med now A Siberian A321 making it's way to Barcelona just to the north of us. A sureal out-of-body under wing view of the French coast Being vectored out over the sea for the ILS to 25R, look at that lovely long beach... As ever in BCN, they've kept us high and now demanding speed and alt restrictions that are right on the limits of the aircraft. I'm doing my best here with the speedbrakes out desperately trying to kill energy... That marina is Arenys de Mar... I think. Being joined by a LATAM 767 from South America Managed to get the energy back to manageable levels and now nicely stable approaching 1000ft RA. Slight crosswind from the left, AP out and ready to finish her off by hand... Wing view of the rollout, about to exit the runway. Parked at the gate. The next A346 flights are going to be with Lufthansa but I thought I'd make a little detour via a Mauritius A340-300. I'm going to pick that up in ZSPD so now need to get there from LEBL. Obviously, I'm going via South America Avianca 788, AVA19 from LEBL to SKBO. Has dodgy RR engines so down to 140min ETOPS. Harvesting a flight plan off Flightaware gives the following, looks like 140 mins being used in real life here; 140 mins just doable... Parked at the gate. Just after take off. There are some fairly large turns early on on the 25L SIDs out of LEBL, here we are in one of them. Looking out of my window as we climb out, the three marinas/ports you can see are Cala Vallcarca, Garraf and Ginesta. Making our way out over the Atlantic, next stop, The Azores... Over the Azores we come across this German P3 Orion. After the Azores the sun sets and as we pass over the Caribbean we catch this InterCaribbean Jetstream descending towards it idyllic destination. Very dark by the time we reach Bogota, just one last on of us on the approach. Getting out to China from here will involve a flight down to Santiago, I initially planned to do it in the 788 (Avianca again) but they run that at night, the day flights are done in a single aisle Airbus... and Aerosoft had just released the A318/319 for P3Dv4. The temptation was too much so next up, a daytime flight from SKBO to SCEL in an A319...
  3. Now to the meat of it, the ageing A340, not many left, certainly not the pride of many fleets but solid workhorses. The latest A340, the 600, reached airlines (Virgin Atlantic being the first) in the early naughties (2002) as an enlarged A340-300. About 10 years behind the 300 and 200 series, it offered about 50 more seats (dependant on airline fit of course) but over 100t increase in MTOW. It provided airlines with similar passenger capacity to the 747 Classics but with about 25% more cargo volume. There were 2 versions of the 600, 642 and 643, the latter of the two being the HGW (High Gross Weight) version. Initial reactions to the aircraft weren't as great as hoped, fuel economy was not quite as advertised and airlines started asking questions. Airbus investigated and found the First/Business class cabins were heavier than they had anticipated which was bringing the cruise CofG forward, thus requiring a larger downward force from the elevator to keep it level and hence the aircraft acting heavier than it actually was. Fuel economy suffered. In 2007 Airbus started recommending a 5t reduction in the forward holds to compensate for this but the airlines weren't happy and the aircraft aquired an inefficient reputation which wasn't entirely true. Nevertheless, the A346 was the 2nd best selling A340 (after the A343) with 97 aircraft delivered (against 218 for the 300). Here we have one of Qatar's 4 A340-642's, A7-AGD parked up in Bangkok for the flight back to Doha. Taxiing out and looking back at the terminal. Similar view after take off and looking out over Bangkok. Many hours of darkness later (well, not that many) the sun starts rising behind us, we can't quite outrun it. Finally the same wingview coming into Doha, not many photos for this flight as it was dark for most of it. Sticking with the A340-600 theme, we'll be QTR654, the daylight flight to Colombo, Sri Lanka. Parked at the gate with the city behind us on a fine summer morning (probably nut sweatingly hot) Lining up behind a company A380 with a company B777 behind us. Shortly after take off... Despite being a day flight, after flying over the desert we then spent hours over the sea and there really wasn't much to see. Therefore, the last photo of this leg is us landing at Bandaranaike Int'l Airport. What we're actually looking at is the military apron, I've been in the process of converting all my Military AI over from my FS9 installation. It's not all complete, there're still plenty of models not converted (I know they'll work in FSX but my P3Dv4 and FSX(SE) setups all share AI so they need to be FSX models). The return flight is, unsurprisingly, QTR655 and is a night flight back to Doha. Shortly after take off... If there wasn't much to see on the way out, on the way home at night there was even less, so here we are parked up out in the boon docks of Doha airport. The last of the Qatar A346 flights is from Doha to Barcelona, QTR145. It's now an A359 flight but in the Summer season Qatar used an A340-600. At 9am there's still some morning fog to burn off, there's a definite haze in the air as we load up at the gate. A view from the main gear as we're being pushed back. The Wilco model is far from perfect in every regard but they've managed to make it look good enough to suspend your belief just long enough to enjoy it (providing you're not being too fussy). Here's a basic view of the main gear, somehow detailed with hydraulic lines and brakes but equally messy and disjointed (that back inside wheel is about to roll away for sure!) with dubious texturing in places. Of course, in real life, if you had this view you would be about to be squished. Taking off into the murk... We took off on the westerly of the two runways on the grounds we were going west(ish). FS AI traffic possesses less forethought so here we see an aircraft taking off on the easterly runway and then turning across me (in IMC). I decided to intervene (as ATC) and limit my climb to the initial SID altitude to ensure we stayed apart. I kept a beady eye on him and in the end we didn't come into conflict, TCAS remained silent. Our route took us firstly into Iran and along the mountain range along the western border with Iraq. Since I made this flight, they've started flying through Iraq again, probably about 100nm west of my track and up the eastern side of the country, over such infamous places as Basra, Baghdad and Mosul. As we make our way up and out of the desert we spy a few other aircraft, firstly a FlyDubai 737 going to Uytash, in Russia on the Caspian Sea. A trusty ol' BA Triple making it's way back to London. And finally a Mahan Air A310 parked up... somewhere... I'm all out of photos now so next time, some flying over Europe and into Barcelona, then figuring out where to go next to fly more A346 flights. Spoiler: we end up hitting South America, Oceania, Asia and Africa in 78's and a cheeky 319 before trying out an A343 and then flying with the largest named operator of A340's on the planet...
  4. Looks really good I like ultra widescreen monitors but you could drive anything with that setup, bigger numbers are nearly always better (inches, pixels, refresh rate). Not a recommendation but something like this... https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-LS34J550WQNXZA-Ultrawide-QHD-Monitor/dp/B07FBS36W2/ref=sr_1_32?ie=UTF8&qid=1543593324&sr=8-32&keywords=ultra+widescreen+monitor HDD wise, go for 2 separate drives, a NVMe M2 SSD 256 or 512Gb for your primary drive, then as big as you can afford for the secondary, 2Tb is probably OK but more would be better. Personally I wouldn't bother with the Optane (if you've gone for the above). What you've spec'd there is a great system, you won't be disappointed...
  5. I probably could have just flown to Bangkok to do this Qatar A346 flight to Doha but I saw Etihad sends a B789 to Brisbane from Abu Dhabi. Seeing as I'm going there for Christmas I thought I'd give it a go. So here's the plan for ETD484, using the route from FlightAware it was easy to plot 140min ETOPS circles. At the gate in OMAA, shiny new (closed) terminal in the background. Here we are lining up for take off. After flying through the night (it was dark and there wasn't much to see) the sun rose and we were still over the sea (with still very little to see), however, after many hours, we found Australia and started making our way over the island (said like it's the size of the Isle of Wight... it's not, it's bigger) We were joined by a Singapore A350 (that'll be me in a few weeks 😊) and Jetstar 787 both making their way across the continent. As we approach Brisbane, the desert makes way for a more luscious green below and the sun starts it's slow descent to sundown. There's a high level layer of lumps and bumps we descend through as the light fades. Once we're beneath those clouds though, Bribane is visible in all it's glory. My management of the descent left rather a lot to be desired and we had to do an orbit on a long final, that's how a passenger on the right side of the aircraft could see the airport (with the port just beyond to the right) We were soon back on the profile and, despite the winds not quite being as advertised, looking good to meet the stable approach criteria. A quick glance right and left... Parked at the gate well and truely into twilight. All well and good but our aim was Bangkok... fortunately, during the Summer, Thai airways runs a 787-8 from Brisbane to VTBS. It's an overnight flight so I've only got a few pics... Leaving Brisbane airport... Looking across the city as we climb out on our way. The next few hours we just dark but approaching Bangkok we found a local Thai 777 descending into VTBS with us. Passing the airport as we go downwind. Final approach, can't decide if I like the HUD or it's just really distracting... On arrival I knew exactly which stand the real flight parked on so went for it only to find another aircraft there. GSX was able to tell me it was only a 4 minute wait until it was free and given all the stands around it were used as well I elected to wait. I've waited for stands often in real life and couldn't quite understand why I was simulating such complete incompetance but it did make the whole experience feel more 'real'. Finally parked at the gate, morning definitely broken now... I'm now 3 posts into a series about the A340 and I've yet to post a picture of one. I've also promised 5% A340s as well, so here it is... Qatar 837 from VTBS to OTHH. Wilco A340-600 getting ready to leave in Bangkok, unfortunately it's dark again. Next few flights are all A340s now, back to Doha, then Columbo and back before going to Barcelona, all Qatar A340-600 routes (in the Summer).
  6. iwebber

    Our Site is not Safe - Now you tell me!

    Indeed and I always wonder why people would send/post such a vociferous response without actually saying what their beef is. I think he's refering to the fact that the padlock really only signifies that SSL is being used and a valid certificate is found confirming the site is what it says it is. That doesn't mean amazon-special-offers.com (don't go there) is run by 'The' Amazon we all know and love, just that the owner of that site has applied and paid for a SSL certificate and enabled HTTPS for the site. It doesn't confer any sort of legitimacy other than it's definitely the site you've requested and received with no electronic molestation in between. In the purest sense of the word it does mean it's secure, it just doesn't mean it's a safe site or a site that does what it says it does. As a system it was designed to protect people from having their website requests rerouted to a scam site or having their information stolen during transmission. It was never going to protect people from phishing scams or somehow 'police' websites. Jim is simply highlighting that that green padlock we've all been told to look out for is now somewhat obsolete as the scammers have found a way round it. It's a constant battle between the two sides (good and evil, criminals and police, hackers and security software, etc etc) and I'm sure there'll be more to come. A useful heads up, thanks Jim...
  7. iwebber

    LOD Radius issues

    Could be lots of things unfortunately and it looks like you have a pretty impressive but fairly non standard setup. Remove the overclock (on the CPU and GPU) and try it on a simple single screen setup with panel and outside view in the same single P3D window and see if that helps. Then start re instating the extras (OC and screens) until you find the one that causes it. Could be quite time consuming and fiddly but we're all about to start upgrading to 4.4 shortly so that might be a good time to try this out. Hope this helps,
  8. This is a follow on from my original post Excuse me.... These night shots have been enhanced a little or else they'd just be black, depending on which monitor I use to look at them they are at different shades of brightness. After the departing Dash8 line up and wait 1C Ready to go... Hopefully these aren't too dark, that is some Orbx North America LC scenery out of the window. More passenger views.... Argghhhhh! Stop posting night time passenger pics, nobody's interested anymore!... ... but they're so beautiful....... OK, here's a picture of a United 777 and the moon. A few Air Canada Beech 1900's parked up for the night somewhere cold and remote. At this point I went to bed, I mean for my break. On returning from a not very restful slumber (we had a teething baby at the time) we were approaching Ireland and flew over London. I spent way too long watching all the different AI traffic flying around the South of England and took so many photo's it warranted it's own thread here. As we pass over continental Europe we see a China Airline Cargo jumbo. A few hours later and things are getting decidedly sandy down there, must be nearly home. Local carriers now abound (I think that's me in the background). Qatar, of course, is one of the remaining A346 operators, I wonder how I can get myself to one of the QTR A346 destinations? Fed Ex MD11 earning some money with the mountains between Iran and Iraq in the background. Kuwait (I think) out of my window... I think I'll try and pick up a QTR A346 in Bangkok and bring it back to Doha as the QTR837. So now, how to get to VTBS? Well in the descent now, passing the city of Abu Dhabi heading downwind for the airport. Passing the airfield with it's lovely brand new terminal... that's not open yet. They turn us in a little before I was expecting (I was running out of time) so speedbrakes out as we turn onto base. Taxiing in it looks decidedly hazy. Parked up and unloading. Sorry, still no A340s but I have a plan now... I'll see what I can do for next time.
  9. While on my lengthy Etihad Dreamliner flight from KIAD to OMAA my route took me overhead London. Shorlty after departure I went to bed as a) it was dark and there was nothing to see and b) it was late. When I woke up in the morning we were approaching Ireland and the sun was rising. First up was an El Al jumbo on it's way from the US to Tel Aviv It Smeeeeee! La Compagnie 757, not many of these about, probably returning from the East Coast to Paris Definitely over Ireland now... Wow, don't know whether this is a glitch in my AI setup or those guys over at the MilitaryAIWorks have done an amazing job with the C17 plans. Either way, a tight formation of US C17s on their way back home... Local traffic with a little Canadian in the background. Nice view of the Isle of Wight... A Gulfstream approaching Farnborough, looks a bit high to me but I always underestimate those AI pilots (and their super strength landing gear). Another local approaching Heathrow from the north... from the North? how can you tell? well... the weather's rubbish. Sunair Dornier 328 Jet (not many of these around either) over the South Coast. Aurigny ATR making it's way down to the Channel Islands. The real reason I wanted to make this post. While browsing Super Traffic Board for any interesting AI traffic I noticed a few entries for a Spitfire!!??? I recall the RealAir Spitfire came with an AI model, some retro scenery of West Malling and some AI plans. I share my FSX and P3Dv4 AI setup so here they are in all their glory. It's not very realistic, West Malling was turned into a housing estate. On approach to West Malling where, in it's less residential moments, it was home to Spitfires, Mosquitos, Vampires, Meteors, Mustangs, Hurricanes, Beaufighters and Typhoons (the first one's, not the most recent). P3D doing a good job of rendering the rolling green hills of Kent (all while I fly overhead in an airliner) Very short final Touchdown! I take back what I said about the AI pilots, they were doing a really nice job handling these Spits, probably more due to do with the extremely well tuned flight model but there we go, it looked good. For reasons I never established they started landing and taking off from different ends of the runway, somehow managing not to crash into each other (that I noticed). Turning crosswind... Leaving the UK now with the busy port of Dover beneath us and the delights of Dungeness Nuclear Power Station and Beachy Head in the background. I was amazed that P3D didn't bat an eyelid while my viewpoint danced around all these aircraft as I flew overhead, I'd never dare do that in FSX. Orbx Global made Kent look like the Garden of England it really is (I can't imagine how much better Orbx England would make it look) and as we left the UK on our way to the Middle East I was really glad I invest all that time, money and energy in sorting out my AI setup (and Super Traffic Board which made finding them all so easy). Back to A340s now....
  10. iwebber

    The A340

    The A340 I'd been flying the Flight1 ATR (in FSX:SE) and the Majestic Q400 (in P3Dv4) around the Greek Islands, the Azores and finally the Canary Islands, and I was looking forward to flying something a bit meatier. I'm usually a tubeliner sort of guy and planned these turboprop flights when there was a sale on at Majestic and I'd just ported the ATR over to FSX. I'd thoroughly enjoyed myself but wanted to go back to long haul. I had been to all the Canary Islands and I was doing a sector to Casablanca GMMN, it was to be my gateway to long haul. So, I was parked up at Gran Canaria Airport loading people and fuel when I saw a Volga-Dnepr An124 and I thought to myself, 4 engines, that's what I need... That's me in the background, that little green smudge. As we pushed back and taxied out I started thinking about what and where I could go next. Climbing out over the Canary Islands and making our way to Africa proper I started to have a think. As we pass Fuerteventura and Lanzarote I get a dim recollection that Etihad operate to GMMN, they might do something interesting. Indeed, a quick search reveals they fly an A340-600 from GMMN to OMAA. The more I thought about it, the more I liked it. I have the Wilco A346 and I've not flown it much, mainly because it's clumsy, at best, but as a reintroduction to tubeliners I thought it might work very nicely. Descending into Casablanca I have a moment of clarity, Etihad ditched their A346's near the end of 2017, that wasn't going to work, however it did spawn a little investigation of who *does* still operate the A346. Sat on the ground, unloading my virtual passengers and vacillating between feeling relieved that my little puddle jumper flights were over and I can now get on with some proper air transportation and a slightly morose thought that I might actually miss throwing these capable little aircraft around these beautiful islands. At this point QW released their 787 and, as I was in Morroco and Royal Air Maroc operated the 788 I figured, when in Rome... So I became RAM 218 to Washington Dulles. Here we are sitting at the gate loading up the pax and getting ourselves ready. Now pushing back and making our way out to the departure runway. Shortly after take off... Looking out of my window at the city of Casablanca as we climb out... ... and head out to sea. Not an awful lot happened for a few hours, the sun shone, the clouds gently floated past and the sea twinkled. I did have a chance to look up who still operates the A346 though, it's a short list. Virgin, Lufthansa, Qatar, Mahan Air, South African Airways and Iberia appear to be the only remaining scheduled operators, there's a few charter/adhoc company's that seem to have a few as well. I couldn't find a repaint of the Mahan Air so the plan is to try and stitch together a bunch of real life A346 flights from that little list... We hit the east coast of the US and we joined this BA jumbo on it's way to IAD. The approach was uneventful... That's a lie, I had a CTD, no error message, no event log, nothing at all, one second I was looking out the window marvelling at how good P3Dv4 looked, the next I was looking at the desktop... No idea what it was, rumours were the 787 was a likely culprit but I had no evidence of this, it could have been the FB KIAD as it loaded, again, possible but I had nothing to go on. I reloaded and rebuilt the aircraft as best I could and shot the approach. Nice passenger view in the later stages. Settled on final approach. Taxiing in in the fading light... hang on, who's that parked up there? Etihad send a 787 to KIAD? Hmmmmmm, interesting.... Parked up and unloading as the sun sets. So, Etihad 130, KIAD to OMAA, a seriously long way, not the longest but long... We had potentially dodgy RR engines on this one so I planned the flght limited to 140 mins ETOPS Still not an issue though... Loading up at about 9:30pm, getting ready for the long night (and day) ahead. Taxiing out it all seems quite quiet, it is pushing 10pm so I'm not surprised. Donkey! It's looking a bit busier than I thought, I'll need to employ a cheeky intersection take off... I've run out of shots now, a whole thread about the A340 without a single photo of an A340 in it, I'll try and do better next time... (spoiler alert, I won't) Hope you enjoyed, Ian
  11. iwebber

    FS9 stops from time to time

    Out of Memory (OOM) errors are fairly common in FSX but less so in FS9. They're usually caused by a Landclass BGL file in a scenery folder with a corresponding texture folder. It's a bug in FS9, if the textures the landclass file calls for are not in that texture folder it never frees the memory for it while it goes looking for it somewhere else. Eventually you OOM as it has allocated loads of memory for a texture file that doesn't exist and runs out of address space (not memory installed). These landclass files are a nightmare to find, most have LC somewhere in the filename but many don't, I'm afraid it's trial and error to find it. Of course, it could also be something else (corrupt texture?) but the above is most likely. Hope this helps, Ian
  12. iwebber

    UTOPIA Take Off Calculator for QW 787

    I guess so, when it's ready though, it's going to be here.
  13. iwebber

    UTOPIA Take Off Calculator for QW 787

    Have just uploaded UTOPIA v1.3, now includes QW788 and 789 profiles plus a host of other tweaks. Enjoy...
  14. iwebber

    Advice needed on perf calc 744

    If you allowed TOPCAT to use a derate and assumed temperature then it's merely doing as it's told. The airline I fly for only uses derates for contaminated runways but I understand other airlines use it routinely. I suspect that 50C TO is about the same EPR as 31C TO2. There's no right or wrong about it, it's just about what you want (or IRL, what the company tells you to do), with 4000m you can expect a pretty reasonable derate at most weights (especially with no obstacles in the climb out) so you pays your money and takes your choice. Hope this helps, Ian Webber
  15. iwebber

    747-8 ETOPS procedures

    Bertie, I'm in complete agreement with you, it's just you're treating the engine failure case as special and unique, whereas I'm lumping it in the bucket, like fire/fumes in the flight deck or depressurisation, unless you're really quite close to your destination you're going to be diverting somewhere, it's just about deciding where and, my point, the plan is irrelevant to that decision And the magic word is suitable, defined for ETOPS planning purposes, less defined for an actual emergency situation. As Jeff said, we shouldn't be If it's an emergency (engine failure, depressurisation, smoke, fire, fumes, medical, disruptive passenger, whatever) the plan is irrelevant, ETOPS or otherwise. We all seem to be in agreement, ETOPS is a planning exercise, once the flight is under way there are no (bar the odd type specific foibles) special procedures for it. The plan is required, great to have and very useful but it requires nothing of us once we're on our way. It's merely a collection of interesting information that we might find useful. This is true of all flights, ETOPS or otherwise. The BA case is always brought up in these discussions, usually as a negative (and with a 'I would have done it better than them' attitude) but I've always seen it as a vindication of the flight continuation policy of 4 engine aircraft. They had an engine problem, decided to continue whilst they figured it out, arrived at the Atlantic having calculated how much fuel they'd need and what they'd do if they lost another engine and decided to cross, crossed only to find there wasn't quite enough fuel to safely reach LHR (planned winds not as advertised) so they diverted to Manchester (a 20 minute flight away). This all sounds perfectly reasonable to me, at no point was the flight in danger and they managed to wrestle the aircraft to within 20 minutes of their intended destination despite the failure of an engine. I'm struggling to see the negative here, yes they didn't reach their destination on the first attempt, yes their fuel management may not have been perfect (it can get really quite tricky in the engine failure case) and yes, But nobody died.... Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I'm sure we've all got stories of when we wished we knew something during an event that we didn't know until after it, I don't really think it can be used to try and diminish the actions or decisions of a crew who were actually on the aircraft at the time and had to make the decisions. However you slice it, nobody died, tick V. Good, move to the bar... Hope I'm making sense now, Ian Webber