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X plane 8? worth buying?


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#21 Drinniol

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 05:44 AM

Huntn, on November 6th 2005, 01:40 PM, said:

My understanding is that X-Plane cities are only as good as someone has modeled them. That does not mean they can't be better. I believe the tools are there to do so. X-Plane cities are continually getting better.

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Oh, the community stuff is wonderful. The stock stuff is blah, though.
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#22 Frost

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 06:25 PM

the Battle Cat, on November 6th 2005, 02:27 PM, said:

Try sitting in the back of a Cesna 172 while your friend gets checked out for tail spins and recovery with his flight instructor.  The instructor looked back and said, "Is your friend going to be alright?".  My friend answered, "Don't worry, he loves this stuff".  I'm just glad I had the forethought to stuff my shoe down my esophagus using a wing strut as a ram rod.

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Heh heh... that the same friend you were working on getting that Condor ultralight kit with, who wanted a parachute so he could bail out on you? I don't remember, how did that business ever turn out?
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#23 the Battle Cat

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 07:47 PM

Frost, on November 7th 2005, 04:25 PM, said:

Heh heh... that the same friend you were working on getting that Condor ultralight kit with, who wanted a parachute so he could bail out on you? I don't remember, how did that business ever turn out?

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HA!  You remember that old story?  Damn, I must have told you that 8 YEARS ago!!  No, different guy, same time frame though, in the mid to early 70's.  That's wacked because I was just thinking about that since this thread seems to have shaken that memory loose in both of us.  They guy learning to fly in the Cesna was my boss Larry.  The guy I was going in with to buy the Condor ultralight was my friend Fred.  He insisted on having a parachute on so he could bail out if anything went wrong but I insisted no chutes, that we fly the thing to the ground.  Why?  This guy was skiddish of heights and I KNEW the instant he panicked he would bail out and let our 2 thousand dollar kit smash into splinters.  At the time, I wasn't even earning 1,500 a year.  It seemed nuts to sell everything I had just to convert it into 6 months of toil and a twisted pile of aluminum alloy tubes and mylar.  So we abandoned the idea.  We did make some petty cool balsa wood models though, and nobody died or went to the poor house and we all had our feet on the ground.
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#24 Ari

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 06:44 AM

Update to X-Plane world-wide scenery development!

Quote

Ben Supnik: ...global scenery is cut and we are in the process of getting it manufactured...
For those of you who don't know of X-Plane development team, Ben is one of the key persons making the new scenery format.

Here are the new screenshots of what X-Plane world looks like from now on:
http://www.global-sc...rg/GLOBAL_PICS/
http://www.global-scenery.org/

Not bad if you ask me, not bad at all. :)

#25 Drinniol

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 07:09 AM

Alright, completely disregard everything I said about stock scenery looking bad. Wow.
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#26 Frost

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 01:29 PM

Holy hell. My days of cursing X-Plane's scenery have just ended. Maybe now I'll actually be able to fly over the Houston area and navigate visually (lived here for 4 years and recognize everything from the air just fine, but can't navigate with X-Plane's current horrid rendition of it).

Now if only they'd fix the FBW I might start playing X-Plane regularly again.
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When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#27 Eric5h5

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 09:04 PM

Those are impressive screenshots, but I have to wonder how many frames per second (or frames per minute?) you'd get when flying over cities like that.  How many thousands of objects are on-screen at once?  Man, things have come a long way since Flight Simulator II on the C64, where the NYC skyline consisted of the Twin Towers and the Statue of Liberty, rendered in 160x200 in 4 amazing colors....

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#28 Ari

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 07:46 AM

Latest X-Plane version (8.20) is actually surprisingly fast. And furthermore, X-Plane uses fogging method to keep frames at the minimum that flightmodel requires. That means that visibility is reduced by fog, if user has set rendering options higher than what his/her computer can deliver.

Best way to test, if one's computer can handle it, is to download the demo and see for oneself. http://www.x-plane.com/demo.html

By the way, here's something nice too: http://baugras.club....shots_Paris.htm
Actually, 'nice' is an understatement - it's really impressive! :)

#29 DaveyJJ

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 11:54 AM

Yikes! I'm downloading Paris right now and testing it out on my new iMac at the great 737 model from http://xplanefreeware.net/.

Update -- The base files really look nice, I'
ll add the higher 3D stuff later and report back. 9/10 for the base stuff (e.g., take off out of Charles de Gaulle and turn to heading 240 to fly right over Paris.)

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#30 Ari

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 11:40 PM

http://www.global-scenery.org/ got updated Yesterday with more screenshots of big US cities and some other regions around the world.

#31 placebo

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 10:05 AM

View PostFrost, on September 16th 2005, 01:20 PM, said:

I think whether you'll like X-Plane or not really depends on what you want to fly. If airliners and general aviation is your thing, it's fantastic. If you're after military aircraft, I'm sorry, but while it's still fun to play with it's not all that realistic. As I said in another thread, the handling of fly-by-wire is damned atrocious. If you've seen the videos of the F-22 prototype's various control problems (and crash) due to the early generation flight control system, then you'll have an idea of what it's like trying to fly an F-15 or F-16 or F-whatever in X-Plane. Great to toy around with (my personal favorite was dropping an F-16 from orbit and actually managing to land it without disintegrating/burning up/what have you), but you're just plain not going to get a true-to-life flying experience.

I've heard Austin is working on improving Fly-By-Wire and has actually done a great deal, but... until I see the Falcon fly like a Block 52 F-16 and not the YF-16, I'm not going to be impressed.
A ton of this has to do with your joystick calibration and settings. I softened out the control curves for pitch, yaw, and roll about 50%, and turned the deadzone up to 2%, and I can now land an F-22 decently, while before it was absolutely impossible.

#32 DaveyJJ

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 12:07 PM

To also add that Austin's latest version (8.32) has been remarkably improved. The program loads 25% faster (really) that it did previously. And more importantly, frame rates have shot up enormously (I'm avergaing 50% more fps than before) ... very seriously a hugely noticeable difference. Kudos to Austin!!!!

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#33 Santaduck

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 02:28 PM

FYI I interviewed the creator of X-Plane, Austin Meyer a few months ago here.  In particular see the part about simulating supersonic flight, as well as simulating ground interactions as well as the physics engine.

In the piece, you'll find some reasons why this simulator is geared more toward simulation rather than entertainment.  If you want the real thing, i.e. a simulator engine approved by the FAA for logging REAL flight time toward your REAL pilot's license, then this is it.   M$FS is geared more toward entertainment and will cut corners on the sim and add graphical fluff like buzzing landmarks.

#34 Phocid

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 05:31 PM

View Postdehulk_9000, on November 19th 2005, 05:09 AM, said:

Alright, completely disregard everything I said about stock scenery looking bad. Wow.

X-plane scenery has made astonishing leaps in the last year or so. With the last update Austin has optimized the code so the framerates are acceptable for must users even in higher detail levels. Non-urban scenes  improved greatly in the last update and with weather modeling you can get some pretty impressive and realistic landscapes.  Cities are still a problem. Many buildings, though very well rendered in themselves, don't blend well with the landscape textures they sit on. And these generic buildings which make up an urban area don't have compound shapes, so they tend to look boxy. All roads and city streets are accurate to reality (though curves in highways are approximated by straight segments) and the buildings conform to the street patterns. (How did they do that?) So every city has a unique and accurate street layout.

Ben and others are busy working on tools which will allow users to make custom scenery and place custom objects such as unique landmarks and airports. So more realistic cities with familiar buildings will appear in future.

It is true that a lot of the free aircraft that you can download have problems such as hard to read panels and are in general poorly designed, but there are many, hundreds maybe, aircraft which are really well designed with beautiful panels and side interior views. And there's a 3D cockpit mode. There are experimental aircraft which hardly fly, and very accurate models of existing aircraft with plugins which mimic startup proceedures of the actual aircraft. There is a plugin which will imitate fly-by-wire for fighter aircraft and a plugin which allows you to record the flights of several aircraft and play it back and fly with the planes you recorded. And plugins often become features. One of the most fun things about xplane is you can see it developing before your eyes and feel that you're part of the development process.

My understanding is that the navigational systems are pretty accurate. And yes the ATC sucks. The ATC would keep directing me into mountains and I finally had to conclude the ATC was trying to kill me. Hopefully he'll fix that. After flying xplane just try to fly on another (PC) sim and see crude the flight model feels in most cases.  And yes, sometimes I feel the need for combat. Too bad there aren't more combat sims for he Mac.

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#35 DaveyJJ

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 09:21 PM

Some of the updated heavy metal over at XplaneFreeware for version 8.3 (especially the Boeing and Airbus stuff and associated repainted liveries) are truly great now. The 737-800 series now has a fully 3D cockpit and the one of the Airbus series will have it soon too.

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#36 Huntn

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 07:22 AM

View PostHuntn, on October 13th 2005, 09:12 PM, said:

Admittedly it's not the best scenery I've ever seen, but it's accurate based on real world data.

I won't get into the habit of answering my own posts, but XP scenery is getting much improved!

I need to look at the latest version of XP to see how good the Flight Management System is getting. The last time I flew it, the FMS had all of the VORs in the country loaded into it, but no airways and  as far as FMSs go, it had limited functionality. Yes, it will intercept and fly ILSs and you can tell it to climb, turn, speedup/slow down, etc.  But you could not program a route from point A to point B other than selecting Go Direct. In addition it had no vertical nav capabilities (the ability to plan a descent based on programmed constraints) allowing the autopilot to fly the plane to cross a point at a specific altitude.

But I know of no other flight sim that will do that either. Is there one Mac or PC?
-Hunt'n

#37 the Battle Cat

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 11:13 AM

View PostHuntn, on February 14th 2006, 05:22 AM, said:

I won't get into the habit of answering my own posts, but XP scenery is getting much improved!
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#38 DaveyJJ

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 11:32 AM

View PostHuntn, on February 14th 2006, 08:22 AM, said:

I won't get into the habit of answering my own posts, but XP scenery is getting much improved!

I need to look at the latest version of XP to see how good the Flight Management System is getting. The last time I flew it, the FMS had all of the VORs in the country loaded into it, but no airways and  as far as FMSs go, it had limited functionality. Yes, it will intercept and fly ILSs and you can tell it to climb, turn, speedup/slow down, etc.  But you could not program a route from point A to point B other than selecting Go Direct. In addition it had no vertical nav capabilities (the ability to plan a descent based on programmed constraints) allowing the autopilot to fly the plane to cross a point at a specific altitude.

But I know of no other flight sim that will do that either. Is there one Mac or PC?
-Hunt'n

You could use Goodway for flight planning.

Also, version 8.4 is out in beta now ... and is a Universal Binary!!! Austin claims he's getting 58fps on his iMac!!!! Woot!

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#39 Huntn

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 07:49 PM

View Postthe Battle Cat, on February 14th 2006, 11:13 AM, said:

Hey Hunt'n, if you feel Hunt'n is stalking you, just give me the high sign.  I know how to deal with the likes of him!

Roger TBC, I'll give you the secret IMG codeword when the time is right. ;)

View PostDaveyJJ, on February 14th 2006, 11:32 AM, said:

You could use Goodway for flight planning.

Also, version 8.4 is out in beta now ... and is a Universal Binary!!! Austin claims he's getting 58fps on his iMac!!!! Woot!

Correct me if I'm wrong but that is not flight programing within the sim. I'm am looking forward to giving the new version a spin to see what kind of frames I get.

-Hunt'n

#40 DaveyJJ

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 10:59 PM

I now have access to a 17" Intel iMac and the latest 8.40b1 doesn't seem to load at all. Double click on the app and nothing. Anyone else care to confirm this?

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