Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Blimey, are my flying skills rusty.

Having seen Stockoglaws Air Hauler series on YouTube in which he flys a Cessna Grand Caravan, I thought I'd broaden my flight horizons and try the plane out.

Oh dear.

What little piloting skill I'd built up seems to have deserted me during my break from the flight sim.  Since restarting I've not managed a decent landing in anything other than the Cessna 172.

Practice, practice and more practice, and maybe a return run through of Angle Of Attack's Aviator 90 video series are the order of the day.

In other news, Active Sky is working out fine.  It just sits there in the background happily injecting real-world weather into the sim.  For only a little more effort, if I load up a flight plan into AS2012 before starting FSX, it can install an appropriate texture pack  for the detected weather.  Graphically, the AS2012 clouds look very nice, though I was quite happy with the default FSX weather.  But I have my real-world weather back.

I also spent some time today getting Multi-Crew Experience working again, so I have voice comms with ATC and the services of a copilot.  With the new headset I bought just before taking a break, all the problems I'd had with MCE hearing its own speech and getting into an infinite loop have gone.

The only thing I have left to do in order to restore the sim to its former glory is AI traffic.  I was really not very happy with the Traffic 360 upgrade last year.  While I've just about been persuaded that the volume of flights taking off and landing might be more realistic than the traffic queues I was seeing with its predecessor, I'm convinced there are some fundamental problems with the type of traffic it generates.  For example, in one test I did 90%+ of the traffic I saw in one hour were using Speedbird callsigns, whereas the reality should have featured planes from a dozen different airlines.  Other users have reported problems with the mix of airlines at their local airports too.  Then there's the whole issue of AI planes flying with their doors open... I'm sure we've all done it in the sim at one time or another, but I expect better from the AI.   Right now, I'm seriously considering re-installing its predecessor TrafficX and turning the traffic slider way down to 25% to match T360's "realistic" traffic volume.  Then again, Just Flight are currently working on a service pack for T360 which might... just might... be worth waiting for.  No ETA yet, other than "soon".

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