All posts by Derek Davis

Just Flight Tornado GR1: Update

A new Service Pack 4.1 software for the Just Flight Tornado GR1 is now available to download

Just Flight has announced the release of a new Service Pack for their Tornado GR1 which was reviewed in issue 101 of PC Pilot – receiving our coveted ‘Platinum Award’.

Among other things, it provides a significant performance boost along with a number of further updates and fixes.

What is new in this update?

• Performance (FPS) improvements

• Ability to adjust cockpit display refresh rates for better performance (updated configuration tool with refresh rate sliders – see note below)

• Light switches can now be controlled using keyboard assignments (Ctrl+L, Shift+L etc)

• Improved panel state system. The panel state will be automatically saved whenever a flight is saved and reloaded when that flight is loaded.

• IFF and VUHF display position/size in virtual cockpit adjusted

• Landing and taxi lights not illuminating ground – fixed

• Fuel set to empty when opening fuel menu on nav screens – fixed

• Map terrain shown in blue – fixed

• Landing gear indicator day/night mode – fixed

• Flight director symbols on HUD – fixed

• TACAN X/Y mode switch in virtual cockpit – fixed

• ‘MacRoberts Reply’ registration changed from ZA606 to ZA559

• Error when loading radar warning gauge – fixed

Note: The configuration tool has been updated to include sliders which control the refresh rates of the main virtual cockpit displays. The refresh rate of these displays can impact performance – the less often the displays are refreshed, the greater the performance (FPS). The default values (as shown in the image below) offer the best compromise between performance and display smoothness. Moving the sliders to the left (decreasing the corresponding value) increases refresh rate and reduces performance, and moving the sliders to the right (increasing the corresponding value) reduces refresh rate and increases performance. The tool still includes the option to disable these displays completely if required.

Full details of the new Service Pack 4.1 software can be found on the Just Flight Support page:

www.justflight.com/support/tornado-gr1/d4bc508

If you log in to your Just Flight account and click on ‘Your Orders’, you will be able to re-download the new Service Pack 4.1 software from the link in your account.

A New Chopper for DCS

New SA342 Gazelle helicopter released for DCS

The makers of the ever-popular DCS franchise have sent us the following communique.

Polychop Simulations in cooperation with The Fighter Collection and Eagle Dynamics, are pleased to announce that DCS: SA342 Gazelle is now available for early access in the DCS E-Shop:www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/shop/modules/gazelle/

The SA342 Gazelle is a light scout/attack and transport helicopter. It was introduced in 1968 as a result of cooperation between Aérospatiale and Westland Aircraft. Operated by 23 countries, the Gazelle has served in combat operations across the world including the 1991 Gulf War, 1982 Lebanon War, Syria, and other conflicts.

The Gazelle is powered by a single turbine engine that is connected to three glass-fibre reinforced plastic main rotor blades, with a bearingless main rotor developed by Bölkow GmbH. It is also the first helicopter which features the famous Fenestron tail rotor.

The version featured in DCS is the anti-tank version that is armed with four HOT 3 anti-tank guided missiles. Later, free upgrades to this module will feature Gazelle versions armed with a GIAT machine gun, rocket pods, Mistral anti-aircraft missile, and sniper team in rear compartment.

Key Features of DCS: SA342 Gazelle:

• Accurate and highly detailed six-degrees-freedom (6DOF) cockpit and external model

• Mouse interactive cockpit with authentic systems modeling

• Fully modeled weapon system including weapons sight and HOT 3

• Exciting and challenging campaign

• Interactive training missions

• AFM (Advanced Flight Model) that simulates all flight phases and characteristics of the Gazelle

• Inclusive flight manual

• Gazelle skins covering many countries

Note: This current release is only compatible with DCS World 2.0.2. Support for version 1.5.3 will be coming soon.

A promotional trailer has also been released to accompany this announcement.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=mW3vAge9OzM%3Ffeature%3Dplayer_detailpage

Berlin-Tegel Airport Rebooted

Aerosoft’s Berlin-Tegel airport receives a facelift

Even though Berlin-Tegel airport is due to close in the next few years, Aerosoft has released Berlin-Tegel X – a complete remodel of their previous version.

According to Aerosoft, this airport add-on for FSX and Prepar3D offers a very accurate and realistic recreation of the airport, including highly detailed models and textures.

Although the airport has been rendered to a high level of detail, Aerosoft has assured us that it still exhibits “outstanding performance”. Furthermore, the 3D runway-lighting, with animated radar and windsocks, as well as static people, animated vehicle traffic, seasonal changes, realistic lighting effects and authentic shadows, combined, help to create a realistic and atmospheric environment.

FEATURE HIGHLIGHTS

• Realistic recreation of the airport Berlin-Tegel (EDDT, TXL)

• Compatible with FSX, FSX: Steam Edition and Prepar3D

• Seasonal changes

• All airport buildings recreated to photo-realistic standards

• Models and textures are based on original photos

• High performance and outstanding visual appearance due to optimized modelling- and texture techniques

• Baked textures for authentic shadows and light effects at buildings and on the ground

• Roofs of the buildings were partly structured with detail- and specular maps

• Windsock animation based on wind conditions

• Animated radar

• 3D Approach: runway, navigation and PAPI-lights

• AGNIS/PAPA Docking system at the Jet way-Gates

• Realistic night effects

• Animated vehicle traffic and static people

• Traffic configuration tool for optimal performance on as many systems as possible

• High resolution photo scenery (50cm/pixel) in the area of the aircraft boundaries, with through lines and lettering detail recreated on the aprons

• Big coverage with 1m/pixel photo scenery (ca. 50km²)

• Hand-set autogen-buildings and vegetation covering the whole photo scenery

• AES compatible (FSX only – not compatible with FSX: Steam Edition and Prepar3D)

System requirements:

Microsoft Flight Simulator X incl. SP 2 or Acceleration Pack, Gold Edition or Steam Edition or Lockheed Martin Prepar3D (v2 or v3)

Windows 7 / 8 / 10

Dual Core processor with 3GHz

4GB RAM (8GB recommended)

3D graphics card with 1GB

Download-Size: 1.5GB

Installations-Size: 2GB

To accompany this release, Aerosoft has produced a promotional video.

To find out more, visit:tinyurl.com/gm6uks3

The Wooden Wonder!

Just Flight has released the DH.98 Mosquito FB Mk.V1.

Just Flight has announced the release of its DH.98 Mosquito FB Mk.V1 for FSX, FSX: Steam Edition and Prepar3D v1/v2/v3.

This all-new Mosquito add-on features the Mk VI fighter-bomber, regarded by many as the ultimate Mosquito variant. Developed, by Aeroplane Heaven, this highly detailed model features a fully functioning virtual cockpit, six authentic colour schemes and numerous animations, including removable exhaust and engine covers, nose gun panels, belly gun panels and door, and bomb bay doors.

Special Launch price

The product launches with an introductory price offering of £19.99 / €24.95 / $29.99 until 9am (UK time) on Thursday 12 May. (Usual price: £24.99 / €30.95 / $37.99).

PRODUCT DETAILS

Exterior model

• de Havilland Mosquito Mk VI variant built over the most accurate plans available, including original factory plans and drawings

• Removable exhaust covers, nose gun panels, bomb bay doors, belly gun panels and door

• Removable engine covers which reveal highly detailed Merlin engines

• Highly detailed model with intricate separately modelled panels and rivets etc.

• Bump and specular mapping used to produce a truly 3D feel

Cockpit

• Truly 3D virtual cockpit right down to the cables and piping – instruments fully constructed in 3D with smooth animations

• Cockpit textures feature realistic wear and tear

• Authentic systems, including electrical, hydraulic and fuel systems

• Directional indicator, P8 compass, VOR and ADF gauge included for easy navigation

• Opening front quarter windows for both seats

• Numerous animations including functioning variable-speed windscreen wipers and signal flares

• Easy-to-use Collins-based radio stack (concealed within period radio set) and simple autopilot (altitude/heading hold)

• Floodlighting and UV gauge lighting for night operations

Six authentic colour schemes

• CY-H of 613 ‘City of Manchester’, 138 Wing, 2nd TAF, RAF. As flown by Flg Officers Rene Puyt and Jaques Muray, August 1944

• OB_J of 45 Squadron RCAF, flown by Flg Officers Frank Scholfield and Reg ‘Taffy’ F Russell based at Jaori, June 1945

• HR405/NE-A of No 143 Sqn, Banff Strike Wing, flown by Flg Officers A.V.Randell and R.R Rawlins

• LR373 YH-A 21 Sqn John Randall Daniel ‘Bob’ Braham DSO

• HR402/OB-C of No 45 Sqn, flown by Flt Lt C R Goodwin and Flt Off S Potts, Kumbhirgram, 15 January 1945

• 464 Sqn SB-V as flown during Operation Jericho by F/LT T McPhee, RNZAF and F/Lt G W Atkins

Additional Features

• Layered PSD paint kit

• Realistic flight dynamics

• Authentic sound set

• Droppable bomb animation and gun firing effects

• Custom landing light effects

• 2D configuration panel (includes eyepoint adjustment tool and crew configuration)

To find out more visit:www.justflight.com/product/dh98-mosquito-fb-mk-vi

Look out for a full review in a future issue of PC Pilot.

DTG Flight School – Approach & Landing Lesson

Dovetail Games releases new video tutorial

Dovetail Games has released a new video which shows one of the lessons that comes with the title.

Accompanied by a voice-over, the instructor guides you through the different phases of the approach and landing sequence – giving advice on height, heading and speed at the appropriate stages.

The video also gives us an opportunity to sample the integration of Orbx FTX Global into the simulation.

It’s perhaps too early to draw any conclusions based on one video. However, given its objective, Flight School is looking very promising.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=MbWhneKEF6U%3Ffeature%3Dplayer_detailpage

Look out for a full review in the next issue of PC Pilot.

Picturesque Narvik Airport

Orbx working on ENNK Narvik Airport

Narvik Airport (ICAO ENNK) is a regional airport situated in Framnes, Narvik in Norway. Its single runway is 3,166ft in length and is aligned in a roughly north–south orientation.

Set in a picturesque region, Orbx has faithfully reproduced this airport and its surrounding location in exquisite detail as illustrated by the accompanying screen shots. We will bring you further information as soon as it becomes available.

A video tour has also been produced by John Lovell, Orbx Staff Photographer, which shows off the fabulous work done so far to good effect.

IXEG 737 Classic has landed!

X-Aviation announce the release of this highly anticipated airliner add-on for X-Plane

Following on from our previous news item posted last Friday, announcing the imminent release of the IXEG 737 Classic, this highly anticipated simulation landed at the weekend. X-Aviation has accompanied this ‘event’ with a press release which includes product information as follows:

The X-Aviation Take Command! brand for products represents the very best of flight simulation immersion, and assures you this IXEG product is one of the most sophisticated, study sim level aircraft available for X-Plane! Real world pilots test and assist in the development of these products, and real world procedures are followed. It tells you these products are unlike any other product you’ve seen outside of the ever growing X-Aviation catalogue! Want to feel like a real captain? Take Command!

Quick Facts: Extremely detailed 3D cockpit, 3D sound engine, accurately programmed systems and displays, 20 liveries to choose from, and X-Plane 10 64-bit compatible.

Background

The team behind the IXEG 737 Classic consists of some of the most experienced and skilled developers ever assembled in X-Plane. In total, the team of professional on-type pilots, engineers, programmers, 3D, and texture artists come with a combined X-Plane developer experience of over 50 years. This know-how, combined with access to an overwhelming amount of hard to get technical documentation and passion for the aircraft has resulted in an airliner simulation that will not only set a new benchmark standard for X-Plane, but maybe for the whole desktop simulation community.

The main objective of the IXEG development team has been to build a simulation as realistic as possible and as seen from a real world pilot’s perspective. In other words, the real world 737 Classic pilots on the team (who have been involved in the project from day one) have played a central role in the development of this product. Combined, these pilots have tested the aircraft in X-Plane for some 500-1000 hours (block time) prior to release and many additional hours in development consulting.

Systems & Avionics

Created with the idea no detail would go missed, all systems have been meticulously modelled to bring you the highest possible fidelity. The electrical system, for example, is modelled from every breaker and relay upwards – no scripted behaviour (think schematics). The hydraulic model takes flow-rate, quantities and pressure differentials into account. All systems that are present in the real plane have been mimicked with painstaking detail, and way beyond what the average user or even airline pilot will ever explore.

The avionics and entire cockpit have been developed not only with an accurate representation in mind, but the team also paid close attention to the correct appearance of screens, annunciations and warning lights. Screens flicker to life when switched on. Lights also ramp up and wane in a believable fashion. The ultimate goal was and is to make you feel like you’re sitting in the airplane that has been the workhorse of many major airlines over the past decades – not some sterile airplane straight out of the assembly hangar.

Aerodynamics

Huge efforts have been put into the flight and engine model of this aircraft, which was one of the first things that we started working on in the year 2010. The results are both impressive and amazing! Many are unaware just how important an accurate flight and engine model is to the overall experience of the aircraft, both in automated and manual flight. This aircraft is far beyond the accuracy of any airliner ever made in X-Plane to date! This, combined with the superior flight dynamics of X-Plane and incredible avionics, will give you an experience never had before in any desktop simulation. It truly is remarkable.

Having the right lift, drag and thrust in the entire envelope of flight is critical, even in automated flight. Without this being accurately modelled your vertical flight path would be inaccurate and VNAV/FMS operations and calculations way off. Also, autopilot performance is strongly negatively influenced by having a poor flight model (unlike the IXEG 737 Classic). In manual flight the combination of feel, aerodynamics and avionics are even more important, of course, especially if you want to fly manual approaches, CAT 1 landings in poor visibility, strong winds etc. With this simulation it is no longer a problem!

Navigation/FMC Data (AIRAC)

Navigraph or Aerosoft – The Choice is yours.

The IXEG 737 Classic ships with a dataset from Aerosoft’s NavDataPro service free of charge.

To upgrade your data to the latest AIRAC cycle you may purchase a more recent dataset from Navigraph or Aerosoft NavDataPro. Both of these services are compatible!

Navigaph Availability: Available Now

Aerosoft Availability: Sometime next week

Highlighted Features

• Detailed exterior 3D model

• Highly accurate landing gear and flaps animation

• Realistic exterior and interior lighting effects (HDR required to see the full beauty)

• Animated 3D pilots

• Several liveries to choose from

• Different variants sported (winglets and cockpit instrumentation)

• System simulation without limits – if it´s in the cockpit, it´s working as in the real plane

• Accurate 3D cockpit with life-like texturing and weathering effects

• Custom tuned flight model – lift, drag, thrust, ground-effect, ground model

• Realistic performance values – it is possible to plan flights with official charts

• Flight-management-system with dual CDU operation

• LNAV and VNAV including official procedures, restrictions

• Custom sounds, including warning sounds

• Realistic precipitation effects on windows (rain, ice, snow) that react to the wipers

• EGPWS terrain display

• Weather radar system with tilt, showing X-Plane´s precipitation, ground returns, allows overscanning

• Custom flight controls, including ground, flight and roll spoilers

• Realistic sound for opening cockpit windows

• Intuitive interface systems with pop-out graphical user interface

• Includes our own quick-start guides and tutorial missions

• Custom push-back procedure, ground power supply, ground pneumatic supply

• Frame-rate friendly use of textures and 3D modelling techniques.

Livery Manager Installer

• Install liveries on the fly with this program included in your purchase!

Included Liveries

• Air Berlin

• Air France

• Air Italy

• America West

• British Airways

• Condor

• Delta Retro

• Iberia

• IXEG

• Jet2

• Linjeflyg

• Lufthansa

• Lufthansa Retro

• Norwegian

• SAS

• Southwest New

• Transaero

• United (tulip)

• US Air

• Varig

Documentation

• Includes guide for interfacing, minimal pilot handbook, and six comprehensive tutorial guides with matching tutorial videos.

A new video has also been released detailing some of the cockpit features.

To find out more and purchase, visit:tinyurl.com/hqq4398

IXEG 737 Classic on finals!

IXEG 737 Classic for X-Plane due Saturday, April 23, 2016

X-Aviation has released the following announcement:

“After six years in development, X-Plane’s most anticipated release is about to touch down and taxi to the gate. We’re ready to let you take command and explore the world with the IXEG 737 Classic! We’re officially announcing Saturday, April 23, 2016 as the release date.”

The announcement went on to provide the following information:

Release time:

When we make announcements like this we make every attempt to get the product out close to midnight time the day of release. This means for some it may be Friday night if you are located in the USA. I cannot provide an exact time, but I would anticipate a release window between 12am-2am EST.

Pricing:

We will be announcing price (as we always do) once the product page is up and running. More details about the product as a whole will be there too.

Liveries:

There will be 20 liveries included upon release. They are:

• Air Berlin

• Air France

• Air Italy

• America West

• British Airways

• Condor

• Delta Retro

• Iberia

• IXEG

• Jet2

• Linjeflyg

• Lufthansa

• Lufthansa Retro

• Norwegian

• SAS

• Southwest New

• Transaero

• United (tulip)

• US Air

• Varig

We will be including a paint kit at release time.

Manuals:

The package will come with quite a bit of documentation, but we don’t want this aircraft to be intimidating. Yes, it’s definitely a study level simulation, but the included tutorials come in PDF and video form. While there’s a lot to learn, we’ve made it as interactive and fun as possible for you. Reading big FCOMs can get rather boring to a lot of people, so we hope you enjoy this! We also recommend Mike Rays 737 handbook as a compliment to this product. His book is excellent and works quite nicely as a follow along guide for this product!

To celebrate this event, a preview video of the IXEG 737 Classic has been released.

Click on the image below to view.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=TfBriSJFeSQ

Look out for a comprehensive review of this highly anticipated release in a future issue of PC Pilot!

The New Orbx light show!

Orbx to introduce new and improved city lighting technology

John Venema, CEO of Orbx Simulation Systems, has announced that the company is working on a new lighting system.

Making the announcement on the Orbx forums, John stated that “Starting with openLC USA/Mexico we’re adding advanced new night lighting tech to major cities. We may not cover all major cities with this tech but it will be progressively rolled out and also added to service packs to the EU and Alaska/Canada openLC areas.”

John added that, “These lights are viewable from a much longer distance than the standard FTX Global lighting and will certainly enhance dawn/dusk/night approaches into the major hub airports.”

The series of shots accompanying this article, using the new lighting technology, are from Nashville and Kansas City. John also went on to say that “performance is not impacted by much because it’s limited to only the main arterial roads and motorways per city.”

This will undoubtedly enhance the immersion factor when flying at night. We will bring you further information as soon as we receive it.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in development

FlyTampa working on a new project for Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

FlyTampa, well known for producing spectacular and detailed airport sceneries, many of which have been reviewed in the pages of PC Pilot, has been hard at work on a new ‘destination’ – Schiphol (EHAM).

Officially referred to as Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, it is the main international airport of the Netherlands and is situated 4.9 miles southwest of the Dutch capital. Also, in terms of passengers, it is the fifth busiest airport in Europe. Schiphol is the hub for a number of airlines such as KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Martinair Cargo. It also serves as a European hub for Delta Air Lines and as a base for easyJet – to name but a few.

Many visitors to the annual weekend flight sim event, held in Lelystad, will be very familiar with this airport, as it forms part of their journey on the way to the show.

Very little information is currently available on FlyTampa’s latest project, but the screen shots that have so far been released, accompanying this short announcement, promise something rather special is on the way…

Look out for further details in a future issue of PC Pilot.

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