It’s been quiet here lately, as I forecasted a week or two back. Will be for a while longer, too. But I was able to download the latest X-Plane 11 beta yesterday (Laminar continues to make updates on a frequent basis) and the forecasted changes to better use multiple cores, process the car traffic, etc. seem true. I was able to get 30+ FPS in Los Angeles with max autogen and ortho scenery, and that’s with all three screens running. No stutters. This was very impressive, and I imagine the optimizations will only continue over the next few years.
It’s coming, officially, in one week. If you’ve not seen Jordan King’s”first look” video, you should watch it. I’ve posted it below. I’ve had very high hopes for a 64-bit Prepar3D, in particular that it would involve a solid code re-write more so than the addition of memory access that would get rid of sim crashes for VAS issues. But honestly, watching this video, my hopes have lowered. While I’m sure it has many improvements and optimizations, it looks awfully cartoonish to me now that I’m accustomed to X-Plane 11’s visuals. And according to Jordan, the flight models are unchanged from v3, which in my mind is not a good thing. Aircraft feel much more lively and real to me with X-Planes airfoils. Certainly P3D v4 will undergo several years of continuing development. I will hope that it becomes something great, and that between it, X-Plane, and other sims we hobbyists and pilots enjoy the benefits of technical (and price) competition. But I have to say that on first blush v4 looks too much like the v4 I left, but without VAS issues (which were not the reason I left in the first place). I’ll will eagerly await the reports on May 30th, as I suspect will many of you.
I ran the camera during yesterday’s flight. I’ve simulated these maneuver hops several times in the sim, and from a procedure standpoint it’s been helpful. The hardest thing to simulate, at least for me, has been turns around a point. The visibility in the sim just isn’t as good as the real thing.
Early in the process of my real-world flight training I promised myself that when I soloed I’d spring for a pair of Randolph Engineering aviator sunglasses — the same kit U.S. military pilots wear. Regular readers know that while my CFI said I was ready to solo last August, because of a delay in my medical from the FAA and other interruptions I didn’t solo until this past March. So while I was ready last year, a promise is a promise when it comes to those sunglasses.
Today they arrived.
Readers have requested that I film some real-world flights, but I don’t intend to video in the real airplane often as I don’t want the distraction. But today I went up to practice some solo pattern work, and I plugged in the GoPro with the LEDs turned off and just let it run. Here are a few laps from the flight, and as always, thanks for watching.
I know posting has been a bit slow here recently, but real life has me very busy and it’s probably going to be like this for a few weeks as I prioritize family, work, and real flight training ahead of the sim. I also know folks are looking for the “Building Your Basement Sim” guide, and it may now be a while (weeks or a month or two, not years) until I finish it — it really is nearly done. In the meantime, if you are beginning or just starting a build, please email me at ontheglideslope at gmail dot com and I will see how I can help as I don’t want to hold people up from getting started.
So thanks for your patience. If it’s any small consolation, I did complete my first unsupervised solo today after six prior weather cancellations. It’s still a bit odd that they just give you a key and let you take an airplane, but so they did. A short hop today, as the winds were close to my minimums and it was really pretty bumpy up at 2,500 AGL (on one jolt I actually bumped my head on the top of the cabin). So I cut things short and headed back to the barn, but the flight was exciting, I’m glad I got the experience, and I did shoot this short vid heading back to parking.