Finally Condor version 2 has been released–well last month actually!

I can’t believe I missed its release by about a month but, yes, Condor version 2 was released last February 21st! I deliberately curbed myself from repeatedly checking due to lack of optimisim that it would be released any time soon!

I have not yet spent $60 to buy it. One of the reasons is that, from what I have seen so far, those who have purchased it are not praising it wildly. In fact, there seems to be a lot of disappointment. I have tried to go back and read forum messages that give impressions. I still have a lot to read but most messages seem to be of the variety–this isn’t working or, does it have this, or when will this be ready, etc.

From images and videos I have seen so far, the clouds look ridiculous, like cotton balls, and there are many complaints that it is difficult or impossible to tell whether a cloud is building or dying!

Over all, my impression is that the new model represented by this version makes improvements much easier and the developers have promised that improvements will be coming soon.

The other reason I haven’t bought it yet, is that I am very into X-Plane now. I’m having a great time trying to master the ASDG Super Cub at the moment.

Announcing the Socata TBM 900!

This looks really exciting! You can read the description here. It sounds like a very ambitious project. So much so, that I will remain sceptical. At the same time I really hope it succeeds and I am already impatiently awaiting the release this summer. Again, I have to be sceptical. If everything that is promised is actually implemented successfully, this will be by far the most advanced X-Plane add-on yet! I really, really hope they succeed!

ASDG Super Cub

I just bought the ASDG Super Cub yesterday. It comes with the Reality Expansion Pack. I’m practicing takeoff and landings at the 1300 foot Bilai airstrip in Papua, Indonesia. The specs say it can takeoff in 30 feet and 200 feet to clear a 50 foot object! Also, the landing roll should be about 245 feet! It’s really fun! Here is the description.

It is normally $42.95 but I was lucky to go to the Aero Sim Gaming forum where I clicked on a “Get it Now” link at which point I was offered $10 off the usual price!

Update on 3/26/18: It is still available for 32.95 if you go to the  Aero Sim Gaming web site and click the “Get it Now” link. It will take you to the X-Plane.org store and display the 10$ discount deal. You simply add it to your cart!

 

Shortest Airstrips in Papua, Indonesia to try!

I’m sitting at WT89 (Mbugulo) in the Quest Kodiak viewing the Nearest Airports function of the G1000. Scrolling through all the airstrips in range I can see which have the shortest runways. Here they are as I came across them. I intend to try all of them. I can’t believe that WA0D, Dadou, is only 970ft long! That is probably way to short for the Kodiak although the length is not necessarily the deciding factor on the possibility of landing. If there are no trees at the threshold and the runway slopes sharply, I can land on a much smaller strip.

WT89 Mbubulo 6680ft 06/24 soft surface 1260ft X 85ft

WABX Bilai 5673ft 12/30 soft 1350ft X 68ft — very difficult

WT86 Homeyo 5148ft 08/26 soft 1270ft X 59ft

WX74 Duma 4794ft 06/24 soft 1140ft X 81ft

WZ03 Hitadipa 5048ft 07/25 soft 1440ft X 68ft

WXY3 Kiman 2700ft 10/28 soft 1150ft X 66ft

WT11 Dboto 2550ft 07/25 soft 1340ft X 66ft

WXY5 Unnamed Fayu 380ft 07/22 soft 1290ft X 75ft

WA0D Dadou 4720ft 01/19 soft 970ft X 66ft

WX37 Beoga 6229ft 16/34 soft 1460ft X 79ft

WX80 Epamani 2300ft 16/34 soft 1220ft X 95ft

WXY7 Wahuka Old 339ft 15/33 soft 1400ft X 58ft

WXZ2 Wahuka 422ft 06/24 soft 1020ft X 68ft

WW41 Ogam 6590ft 03/21 soft 1390ft X 66ft

 

I’m working on video again

Of course, I’m not sure that I ever mentioned my video attempts here. I think I tried doing some six months or more ago. At that time I bought Cyberlink Powerdirector 15. The software takes some time to figure out and I was more interested in flying when I first took it on. In fact, at the time I was in the middle of flying the Beechcraft Baron B58 around the globe. Now I’m on another circumnavigation of sorts. I purchased an FSEconomy Quest Kodiak in Greece and have been gradually working my way back to the US flying west to east (for the favorable winds aloft). I’m now at my second stop in Indonesia and trying to become as proficient as possible landing at the very tricky Idedua (WA0B) airstrip. I’ve been practicing takeoffs and landings at that same strip for days now and suddenly decided that this would be a good subject for a video project.

This is the first time I’ve attempted to insert a video into a blog. The resolution isn’t very good. I’ll have to see if I can improve that.

Difference between HD Mesh Scenery v4 and photoscenery (like Ortho4XP)

I’ve been getting interested in various scenery enhancements for X-Plane 11. The two major varieties that I am currently aware of are HD Mesh Scenery v4 and photoscenery like Ortho4XP. I have already downloaded and have tried HD Mesh v4 for the region around KBTV. I am now in New Zealand with the Quest Kodiak that I bought in FSEconomy and using some special scenery there called Lyndiman’s New Zealand Ortho Photography Set. Here is the creator’s description:

This package is an orthophotography scenery package for X-Plane. It will replace ground textures with images derived from aerial photographs that should make the simulator much more immersive.

This package features:

  • High quality Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) aerial photos processed at zoom level 17 (a good balance of quality vs size)

  • From my testing this scenery has no visible impact on FPS (check image gallery for FPS)

  • Intensive photo processing to balance colour, replace patches, for a seamless experience

I downloaded this scenery from here. The North Island portion was recently updated to Version R3. I have downloaded it and am currently running it.

Here is a description from alpilotX.net of the HD Mesh Scenery v4 from the alpilotX web site:

Difference between HD Mesh Scenery v4 and photoscenery (like Ortho4XP)!

The main difference is, that HD Mesh Scenery v4 does NOT use any custom orthoimagery (as used by photoscenery) but instead is based an a finite set of generic, landclass based textures coming with default X-Plane 11!

Thus, you will not see your house in the ground textures 8as you might with good quality orthophotos).

The advantage of landclass based scenery is:

  • limited storage needed for texture (whereas orthoimagery covering the same area at high res can easily bring you in the TBytes region)
  • consistent texture quality over the entire scenery (whereas orthoimagery is extremely dependent on the data source it uses … and can show a wide range of artifacts / issues depending of the data source)

Using HD Mesh Scenery v4 with photoscenery like Ortho4XP

Very important: both HD Mesh Scenery and usually any other photoscenery (like from Ortho4XP) qualifies as mesh scenery. X-Plane has the rule, that in the same location (and any 1×1 degree tile counts as the “same location”) at the same time you can always and exclusively have only ONE mesh active (and thus rendered). If you have more than one of them in the same location at the same time then X-Plane never mixes or merges them “on the fly”. Instead, X-Plane shows you the one with the highest priority in the scenery_packs.ini! Every other mesh or scenery (airports etc.) below the highest active mesh layer will not even get loaded at run time!

If you want to use HD Mesh Scenery v4 as you “generic” base layer for large areas (which is a good idea) and photoscenery (like Ortho4XP) for selected areas, then make sure that all of your Ortho4XP generated mesh tiles are sorted above(!) the HD Mesh Scenery v4 layer in the scenery_packs.ini!

Next, I would like to try creating some of my own photoscenery using Ortho4XP. This article on the AVSIM forums seems to be the goto article to get started. I hope to study and get started in the near future, so stay posted.