Daytona Gears Up Landing

You may have seen this already, but if not, it’s worth watching. Everyone involved in this process was a pro, and this pilot was cool as a cucumber throughout. Amazing, at least to me.

How To Disable NVIDIA Share

Just a few minutes back I was recording a flight on the PilotEdge servers that they will be able to use as a drone in the Western US Expansion area. Just as I was entering the downwind leg of the designation airport my sim crashed – which is only the second system crash I’ve had in X-Plane – making the flight a bust.

This frustrated me.

The culprit was “NVIDIA Share,” which seems to have crashed first, thence crashing the sim. I have since researched how to disable it, and here’s how you do so. Who knows – it may free up some processing headroom as well.

My X-Plane 11 RC1 Graphics Settings

A few requests have come in for my graphics settings. This is what I’m using now, and note that it’s working very well for my rig. Your mileage may vary. Sorry I can’t post a screen shot at the moment …

  • Visual Effects: One notch in from the right.
  • Texture Quality: Full right.
  • Antialiasing: One notch in from the right, and if clouds tank the frames I go down to FXAA.
  • Draw Shadows: On if frames are above 20-25, off if below.
  • Number of World Objects: One notch in from the right. If frames are very high, full right. If in SoCal, two notches in from right.
  • Reflection Detail: Minimum – I don’t fly over a lot of water.
  • Draw Parked Aircraft: On.

And while it’s not on this screen, I nearly always fly with AI aircraft off. They can really hit the CPU.

Shout Out To The Hayesville High Aviation STEM Class

HayesvilleLast week I was very flattered to learn that the Basement Sim has been an inspiration to the aviation STEM class at Hayesville High School in Hayesville, NC. Scott Hanna is one of the instructors for the course, and he forwarded me a link to the video below that shows the remarkable work they’ve done. The students were the driving force in construction, and Scott is justifiably proud of what they’ve built. As should they all be.

As fate would have it, when I was in junior high school our school had an aviation club, taught by an English teacher who had flown B-17s in WWII. There were only a few of us in the club, and it didn’t last very long. But one of the things Mr. Williams had as a resource in one of the resource rooms of the school was a WWII-era Link Trainer that looked a lot like this one:

93229-004-46FBAAB5

We spent quite a bit of time in that Link, and it did a lot to feed my passion for flying. So I suppose when I say my first sim was SubLogic FS1 on the Apple II, I’m inaccurate – my first sim was that Link. As you’ll see, Scott has provided his students with something quite a bit more advanced than that. That’s fantastic, and I hope they enjoy it.

Finally, the class is competing in the national Fly To Learn program. I hope they win. Go Yellowjackets!

Ireland! Dublin To Galway

I’ve had several requests to do a flight in Ireland, so here we sim Dublin to Galway. This flight is Xp11 RC1 with homemade photorealistic scenery and stock weather (cirrus). As always, thanks for watching.

Fly With Me (And A Bunch Of Other Folks) Tomorrow

Fly With Me (And A Bunch Of Other Folks) Tomorrow

PilotEdge has a cool event planned for tomorrow night (US time):

It’s a WUS/ZLA hybrid event with a a WUS departure point (MRY, which WILL be towered for the event), and a nearby ZLA departure point (KSBP), with everyone heading to BUR. After a quick turn, it’s off to sunny Henderson. The idea is to have multiple departure points with a common enroute segment with lots of arrivals and departures at BUR before everyone heads over to Henderson to finish out the event.

More details here. MRY to BUR is a 223 nm leg, so that’s good for our friends in jets or faster props. SBP to BUR is 129 nm, so that’s better for our low and slow friends. And from BUR to Henderson is 191 nm, so that’s in between. Then event is 18:00-21:00 Pacific time, so there’s a three-hour window for the flights.

I’ve never flown out of Monterrey in the sim, so I’m going to load in there in a Saratoga and fly the leg to Burbank. Should take me about 1:25 and the ATC traffic should be engaging all the way. Hope to see you there.

The State Of Things

So there’s been something I’ve been thinking about since a sim flight the other day (KWYS to KGIC). And it’s that we really have come to a new state of realism and quality in flight simulation. Yes, the hobby has built upon itself, year after year, carried along by clever developers, advancing technology, and committed users. But after completing that flight — with real-world weather that looked fantastic, high-definition mesh covered with real-world orthophotos, in a simulated aircraft with highly realistic flight characteristics, all running smooth as silk on a PC that is already no longer the fastest ship on the block — I just kept thinking, “Wow. This is a golden age.” An age that produces videos like this, and airports like this …

BF2

… and screen caps like this …

Piper Saratoga_14

I mean, are you kidding me?

Yes, there are hassles. P3D took far too much tweaking for my taste. And X-Plane needs better ATC and AI. But whether you’re new to this, or if you’ve been with it since the Apple II (like me), I think it’s true to say that we are very lucky to be here and now. This is a remarkable time for flight simulation, and the state of things for our hobby is only going to improve. I for one can’t wait to see what’s next.

Point-To-Point: Idaho County To Spokane

The latest leg in my point-to-point flying, and this one takes the Saratoga from Idaho County (KGIC) to Spokane (KGEG), the current PilotEdge bonus field. In this hop we try a new camera angle. Let me know what you think.

We also fly over homemade photorealistic scenery (with several interesting decisions to make about clouds and altitudes along the way) and get to contrast the new X-Plane default clouds with experimental HD clouds for xEnviro. Hope you like it and thanks for watching.

A Fix If The New X-Plane Clouds Are Cratering Your Frame Rates

Try turning your antialiasing settings down to FXAA. SSAA can really hit your frames when working with transparent objects like clouds (which former P3D users know well). The other day when I went into an overcast cloud deck my frames when from 30 down to 7. I turned the antialiasing down to FXAA and my frames immediately went back up to 30 FPS, and then when I was in the thick of IMC, 50 FPS, with no visual change to my eye.