One thing I struggle with when designing X-Plane scenery is guessing how different building facades will end up looking in the sim. For those in the same situation, this forum post, “An Introductory Guide To Default Autogen Facades,” should help.
I’ve finally settled in with a new CFI here in Tampa and we’ve picked up my flight training after a bit of a layoff thanks to the move, the hurricane, and my first CFI here getting a job flying jets. I only have cross countries, night work, and check ride prep to complete before trying for my ticket, so I’m eager to get things moving again.
Yesterday we flew from Albert Whitted to Venice and back. It was a lovely day and perfect flying weather. The only wrinkle in the plan was Tampa Approach / Departure not being willing to give us flight following. They didn’t even respond to my radio calls, in fact, and apparently they’ve been reticent to responded to any GA traffic asking for advisories for the past while now. This meant we flew lower than I would have preferred, and that we skirted the Sarasota Charlie airspace, but so it goes. Here’s a link to the flight track on Cloud Ahoy.
And here’s a very brief clip I shot along the way. I also simulated the flight two days ago and ran the GoPro while doing so, and will post that video soon. Next flight is a cross country up to Ocala and back, and I’m looking forward to it.
I’ve scrapped the earlier work and have decided to use the new Terminal Kit, objects, and lettering available in the X-Plane 11.1 beta libraries. While this means the Tampa International I’m designing for the Gateway won’t work with X-Plane 10, I prefer to design for the future. And the new Terminal Kit is much more flexible and powerful than the old terminal facades. There is still much to do on Terminal F, but I’d say this is looking pretty good already.
It is KTPA Tampa International, using only default objects for Gateway upload. This one is going to take weeks, but I’m just going to chip away at it one section at a time. First bit is getting the multiple tarmac textures set to match the satellite imagery. Then we’ll go to buildings – although I already couldn’t resist cleaning up the off-terminal jet parking ramp (and I notice the parking stripes are backwards – I’ll have to fix that).
I’ve been getting familiar with Classic Jet Simulations’ World Traffic 3, and I have to say I really like it. It’s worth spending a little time reviewing some of the tutorials for how to use the software, and YouTube has plenty of them. Once I understood the basics I found it an excellent addition to the sim. Here’s a quick video tour. It’s not meant to be a how-to, nor a full review of my settings etc. But it should give you a feel for how the software integrates with X-Plane, the ease with which it generates traffic, the quality of the AI models, and its ability to generate GA traffic (which is excellent).
One of the things I’ve missed about P3D is AI traffic. While flying on PilotEdge fills the skies with aircraft (drones and those piloted by real people), the default AI system in X-Plane simply is not very good and is a CPU hog to boot. So I’ve followed the release of Classic Jet Simulations’ World Traffic 3 with interest. I was finally able to download it yesterday and begin working with it. It has a small learning curve, which is no problem, but my initial impression was that it was too hard on frame rates – I felt I was losing 5-10 FPS. But after some more time with it today I was able to enjoy KTPA filled with taxing, departing, and arriving aircraft and Tampa-area skies full of aircraft en-route, while holding to my usual 30 FPS. I’ll try to post a video tomorrow, but it seems like a winner so far.