Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Best of British

Managed to cram in a little more flying on the new flightsim rig this morning, and can happily report that the number of successful landings equalled the number of take-offs.  This was a particular pleasure since the second flight I did was in this little beauty...


That's the Just Flight Supermarine Spitfire Mk IV prototype.  JF do other Spits, but I received this one free as part of a promotional sale earlier in the year.  I have exactly four "payware" aircraft, of which three were free for one reason or another.  The one I paid for was the Just Flight F-Lite A318, which I have yet to try and bought purely so I could get this Spitfire.

Anyway this Spitfire Mk IV is currently £12.99 and isn't too bad if you're not too fussy about flying a variant that was never operational.  It's far from perfect - I couldn't get the engine to start following the documented start procedure to the letter, then when I gave up and hit Ctrl-E to auto-start, the engine didn't make any noises until I switched to the external view, at which point I heard it cough into life after which the sound remained in sync with the controls.  On landing I noticed that the tail wheel wasn't quite in contact with the ground, but about 2 inches above it. That's probably easy to fix with some config hacking, but since I rarely use external view anyway, it's not a big deal.

There's something about sim-flying these classic tail-draggers.  Even though nothing is real, when coming in to land you still find yourself thinking "Good heavens, this is a priceless historical airplane.  I'd better not crack it up!"

By the way, the airport in the background is Leeds Bradford, from UK2000's VFR Airfield packs.  These are fantastic value and an absolute must have for anyone flying in the UK, giving you greatly improved versions of both small airfields and the big airports.  The latter aren't quite up to the same standard as their full price Xtreme airport range, but I'd say they're better than the free versions and a whole world away from the default FSX airports.  I can't recommend them highly enough.

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