Cross Country Number 1 Complete

After five cancellations dating all the way back to Spring in Pennsylvania (and four flight instructors), I finally got my first cross-country flight requirement out of the way today with a hop from Albert Whitted to Punta Gorda and back. The weather was wonderful and the sight seeing fantastic. Lots of traffic along the way and plenty of Bravo and Charlie airspace avoidance, but it was a fun flight topped by a request by Whitted tower to fly a short approach – my first. A few more flights then it will be time for my solo cross country. I can’t wait. Here’s the route and a brief video from along the way.


KTPA Beta2: Terminal E Addition

Here’s an update to the KTPA beta, with Terminal E roughed out well enough for use. This means all commercial terminals are in place, although I am likely going to replace Terminal A, which uses older terminal objects, next.

Get the beta here. Note that it runs on X-Plane 11.1 only. No additional libraries are required as it only uses default objects.

Here are some shots of Terminal E.


b738_6\ b738_5





Cockpit Cooling

I purchased a few USB-powered fans when the hurricane blew through here a few months ago, and I have had one clipped to the back of my cockpit to help keep me cool when things warm up in the sim room. The clip always got in the way when I tried to move around to the right side of the cabin and access the PC, so this morning I figured I would take on a small project and mount it to the ceiling. I explored the idea of having the fans blow through the air vents at the front of the cabin, but it just wasn’t practical. I think my other solution turned out quite nice.

KTPA Gateway Beta For Download

I’ve completed the first set of beta work for the KTPA I’ve been developing for the Gateway and am posting it here for use. Note that this is very incomplete, and a work in progress. The only thing that I would consider finished is the runway and taxiway layout, including the border taxi lines. The taxiway lines themselves, lights, and signage are incomplete, as are the objects and all of Terminal E. But it’s enough to get started for those who want to give it a shot. NOTE THAT X-PLANE 11.1 IS REQUIRED. The airport WILL NOT work on 10.5 or earlier.

You may download the .ZIP file here. The next step in the release will be to get Terminal E in to basic working order.


KTPA Roadmap

I’ve had a few folks ask when Tampa will be ready. My answer is, probably a few months, as it’s a big field and I’m really trying to do it right. Doing it in all default objects also adds a bit to the complexity, as I try to find new ways to render real-world objects using only the default set. That said, I’d be eager to have folks using it, looking for gaps in what’s completed, etc. So I think I’ll start releasing it in various beta releases, probably along this schedule:

  • All runways, taxiways, and tarmacs aligned to real-world, and basic terminal structures complete.
  • Detailed terminal work, probably one terminal at a time.
  • Correct tarmac taxiway lines (including what is and is not lit)
  • Correct placement of all airport lighting
  • Correct painted tarmac signs (e.g., 19L)
  • Correct placement of additional draped tarmac textures and painted tarmac (lines on the sides of runways, etc.)
  • Private jet center.
  • Maintenance hangars.
  • GA hangars.
  • Detailed tarmac lines, objects, etc., probably one terminal at a time.
  • Updated parking / tower / airport buildings, probably one major area at a time.
  • Roads.
  • Vegetation.
  • Surrounding objects.

Copilots Are A Blast

A good buddy was in town and we had a great time flying in the sim. He agreed to a video, so we made a PilotEdge flight from Haley to Stanley, Idaho. This was a lot of fun, and he did a great job flying the sim, handling the controls from our departing the pattern in Haley all the way to making the landing in Stanley. Thanks for watching.

KTPA: The Hard Part …

I keep plugging away at KTPA during free moments. One of the things I’m trying to do, and that I try to do in all my scenery, is create a very accurate ramp environment. This means detailed placement of all lines, and KTPA has hundreds of them, including yellow bars and chevrons on the paved margins around taxiways. Thanks to the new art assets in WED and 11.1, one can now make these chevrons using yellow draped polygons. I’m also accurately portraying the taxiway margins, and hand placing every blue taxiway light. It’s a time-consuming process, and for me it’s not the funnest part of the design, but I think the results are worth it.



I’m A Slow Learner

A frustrating few days in the sim recently. I’ve been having repeated crashes to desktop, right after the sim puts the plane on the ramp, both with beta RC2 and 3 (just released today). Nothing seemed to fix it, and the culprit seemed to be the usually rock-solid SPAD.neXt.

The problem? The thing that always seems to be the problem when the sim is acting strangely: USB hub power management. Somehow in recent Windows updates all my USB hubs were set back to “power management on.” This is a no-no in Saitek world. I toggled them all back to power management off and things are right as rain.

I’ve learned this lesson more than once, but didn’t think of it today as it’s been so long since I’ve had the problem. Luckily someone somewhere had mentioned the same issue recently so it was top of mind. But it bears repeating: if things aren’t working as they should, check USB power and power management as a first step.