Ortho4XP 1.3 (And A Preview Of Albert Witted Gateway Edition)

This morning I downloaded and for the first time used the new Ortho4XP 1.3 (download links are in Oscar Pilote’s signature line here). It has several improvements over version 1.2, one of which is smoothing that allows you to have sloped (and not flattened)) airport runways. I watched this YouTube video on how to use it, and the steps there worked perfectly. Also, as he does in the video, I went the extra step in creating mesh and overlays from the HD Mesh 4 package, and downloaded zoom level 19 tiles for several of the airports in the tile.

The results are great, and I’ve attached some screen captures below. Note the nicely sloped runway and airport environment in the last shot. (And you can click any of these images to see larger versions.)

My settings here:

  • ZL 16 as the base zoom level using Bing maps (set in the settings)
  • ZL 18 within three kilometers of each airport using Bing maps (set in the settings)
  • ZL 19 over each airport itself using Google maps (set in with the zoom level screen)
  • Water masks of 300 yards (which is probably too far given how the ortho imagery works in this area)
  • Mesh from HD Mesh 4
  • Overlays from HD Mesh 4

Also, I’m nearly done with my new Gateway version of Albert Whitted / KSPG. You can see that here, too, in the first several images. Overall, I think the result is fantastic, and I look forward to building a bunch of new tiles.

Albert Whitted and environs …

The new Gateway KTPA I’ve been working on …

KTPF Peter O Knight …

Look at that beautiful runway slope! ->

An Update To Facebook Users

I have the blog and YouTube set to auto-post on the On The Glideslope Facebook page, but I should probably note that I don’t visit Facebook often, if at all. If you have a question or comment, consider posting it here as I’ll be more likely to see it. Thanks.

Rebuilt Panel Video Tour

A few weeks back I rebuilt the sim panel (this is now version three of the panel). Here’s a video review of the finished product.

Note that at the time I shot this video I had not yet updated the firmware for the RealSimGear GNS units. They work great now after that update.

Flying The Coastal Route On PilotEdge

I haven’t been very disciplined about posting archived YouTube streams here, but here’s one: a transition of the LAX Bravo airspace via the Coastal Route transition, in the home cockpit with the new panel, on PilotEdge. Learn more about PilotEdge ATC here, and learn more about LA Bravo transitions here. The Coastal Route is pretty straightforward — to and from the LAX VOR on specific radials at an ATC-assigned altitude.



I came across a new resource for X-Plane users today, Threshold. Forums, downloads, articles, reviews, editorial, and more, including a nice “getting started” page for X-Plane. The site lacks a thorough “about” page, but it appears an intentional alternative to other X-Plane ecosystems. Check it out.

How To Get Started With X-Plane 11 Redux

In October of 2016 I wrote a post titled How To Get Started With X-Plane 11 (For Those Coming From P3D Or FSX). I recently received an email from a reader who’s new to X-Plane asking if I’d updated it, and I had not. I did so today (it’s here as well as in the How To menu at the top of the page), and I will continue to do so on a regular basis. It was amazing to me how much has changed — for the better — in two years.

Thoughts On X-Plane 11.30 Beta 4

Thoughts On X-Plane 11.30 Beta 4

X-Plane is currently pushing betas for version 11.3, and they’re up to beta 4. It’s actually a bit of a rollback from beta 3, which was performing really well and had given me about a 20% increase in performance from beta 2. More on that here, and as Laminar says in that post:

X-Plane 11.30 Beta 4 does not have the performance improvements we have been working on for the last week and a half; Sidney and I found a bunch of things that are slowing 11.30 down, but we didn’t want to risk yet another broken beta. This stuff should be ready for beta 5 in a few days.

That’s all well and good and the right thing for Laminar to do. That said, this morning I reconfigured the sim for virtual reality and took a VR flight for the first time in quite a while. What I found surprised me: the best VR performance I’ve had in X-Plane to date. With the new 1080ti I was running (with the Twick VR plugin set to show 88 percent of objects) maximum objects, HDR, 2xSSAA with FXAA, maximum texture quality, and — and this blew me away — shadows ON. And I had 45 FPS sitting on the ramp at KSPG, and even more on takeoff over the bay. I decided to push my luck and turned on super sampling using the Oculus debug tool, and the frames again held in the 43-45 FPS range. It was remarkable. If this is what the future of 11.3 holds, we have fun times ahead.

One other thing I noted today was that the flight model for the default 172 has regressed (at least for me). The plane falls out of the sky with full flaps and an approach throttle, and in my experience flies not at all close to the real numbers and configuration on base or final. It flies much to slow, and I have to nearly drive the thing into the ground to get 70 knots on final with flaps 40. The REP was much more like the real thing in my testing today. We’ll see how that develops in the beta 5 as well.

All said, the X-Plane platform keeps getting better and better. The curious can see the full, and ongoing, change log for 11.3 here.

A New Feature At On The Glideslope: OTG Q&A

Often in the OTG forums, via email, and during my live streams people ask questions about the home cockpit, construction, and more. So to make it easier for others to ask questions and get answers I’ve added a new feature to the website: a questions and answers page (like you might see at Quora, but more simple). You can post questions, offer answers, vote on answer quality, and more. Links are in the menu and the sidebar. I ask that those with questions give it a try, and please note that I hope everyone in the OTG community will help in providing answers (as my time to answer every question is limited). Let me know what you think, and thanks for asking and answering questions.