So I’ve mentioned a few times that things have been quite busy around here. Too busy to work on the book and too busy to do much posting or sim flying. The reason is that next week the Glideslope household moves from the Philadelphia area to the Tampa area. So expect a change of scenery in real-world flight posts, and know that I’m looking forward to learning a whole new area and airspace. It’s not quite certain where I will complete my training. My CFI here just got a job flying jets (which is great news), so I need to change instructors regardless. My work will keep me coming to Philadelphia often enough that I could theoretically take the final cross-countries and check-ride prep here, but my gut tells me that will probably happen in Tampa and that I will probably fly out of Albert Whitted.
More important for purposes of the blog is the sim. I built it expecting to take it apart one day, and while it’s not a short job, it shouldn’t be too complicated. Tomorrow is sim deconstruction day, and I’ll take pictures. Mrs. Glideslope has been good enough to grant the sim space in our new home. It’s probably going to be a large closet, but that’s the advantage of such a small cabin (and this might also be the time where I abandon the projector in favor of a 70-inch front screen, if I can manage one).
So that’s the latest, and as always, thanks for sticking with the blog while posting has been light.
After building and submitting KSBD to the X-Plane Scenery Gateway, I’m now working off and on to fill another hole in the X-Plane default SoCal scenery map: KVNY Van Nuys. As with San Bernardino, I’m using only default objects in making this scenery in hopes that it will become part of future X-Plane releases. In terms of buildings, taxiways, and clutter this is a much more complicated field that KSBD. I’m chipping away at it, but it will probably be several weeks before it’s done.
Here are some preview shots. As always, you may click them to see them in a larger size.
I’ve been trying to track today’s activity at FlightSimCon, and one of the best resources I’ve found so far is Flightsimguy’s YouTube channel, where he’s streaming many of the presentations as they happen. Of note so far:
- PilotEdge plans to bring MANY more fields online in the Western US expansion, making it even more accommodating to GA fliers.
- X-Plane will be bringing new and improved “lego brick” scenery objects to WED for scenery designers, and even better, will be brining landmarks in places like Las Vegas, Chicago, and London that make those cities much more realistic in the sim. Both will be free upgrades, and both will happen this year.
- Ben, the chief coder at X-Plane, announced that they have the goal of making the minimum FPS in the sim for most users 60 FPS. Much of this work will depend upon continuing advances in the Vulcan GPU driver language, but over the next year they forecast continuing improvement in frame rates without loss in features.
- Perhaps best of all, it looks like Active Sky is coming to X-Plane. This is fantastic, fabulous, wonderful news.
It’s this weekend and I won’t be there due to family and work commitments. I’m bummed about that as I’ve never been, but it’s the right decision. I was flattered, though, to have been asked to participate in one panel, and the Basement Sim will be referenced in another. If you’re attending please have a great time, and consider posting a trip report in the forums. I do wish I could be there.
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.