X+Sim+Reviews 003: SIMON, ORBX, and true love with a V-tailed Carenado

Welcome to the Third Edition of The Convergenxe Journals! Simon has uncovered a couple of new freeware gems for FsX, and has in word and deed fallen completely in love with Carenado’s V-tailed Bonanza. You’ll see…he’s completely smitten. Besotted. Beside himself with totally fulfilled passion (insert violins here, with chirping birds and crashing surf in the background…). Well, let’s see what’s up down under! ย C

New Freeware Pacific Northwest Scenery Packs

Orbx have announced a new expanded coverage area for their FREE preview of the Pacific Northwest area, the announcement here:
On top of this, they’ve also released their stand alone scenery, KHQM Bowerman Airport, as FREEWARE. This is top notch payware that you’d be paying $20 or so anywhere else. I downloaded it today, ran into a few (apparent) glitches, but just added that new service pack 4 for PNW, which needs to be installed first, then all was ok. It looks like a great little strip, with ‘People Flow’ as well (er, that’s moving zombie-like critters in Orbx-speak).
I’ve finally joined the Orbx forums and bookmarked them, it looks a very extensive resource to hang around, to keep up to date and get the latest info on patches, etc., and here’s the link:
I may sound biased, but I’m an Aussie through and through and of course proud of an Aussie based company doing so well internationally. But I’m also convinced these guys really know the business side of the equation and apply their resources effectively. Their output is increasing exponentially, i.e., they’re releasing a number of new US scenery packs, and now we hear they’re about to release all of New Zealand! With its spectacular mountains and lush rainforests, this’ll be a compulsory purchase. So stick with them and I bet they’ll be covering your local kiosk pretty soon.
The main challenge we face right now is TIME. How can we, as flightsimmers, ever possibly see all the beauty that is covered. Here are two screenshots of their US coverage area, taken via the .kmz Google Earth file they supply on their site. I am positive I’ll never see it all. And here I am talking about trying other areas!
PNW Area:
Here’s their current U.S. coverage area, you can see they’ll get to most of you Americans pretty soon (oh yes, click to enlarge):
In typical form, I’ve bought the entire Aussie scenery pack, but have yet to install it! Too busy exploring other countries. But I guarantee I’ll be covering some beautiful Aussie scenery in these pages soon. Cradle Mtn, Tasmania? Uluru/Ayers Rock? Table Mountain? Niddrie? Where do we start?!
Ok, for those who found yesterday’s video of 2WA1 Diamond Point too dark – I’m working on a day version. Some fiddling with the prop resulted in an easier takeoff. Despite all the talk of xplane’s flight model being so real that landings are fairly scary (they are!), I still found approaching this strip and landing pretty tough! Is it really that narrow? I must reread Carenado’s POH.
In the video, look out for the vibrating antennas at the rear of the V-tail… it looks great!
FSX Locking Up/Crashing
A few of us have had problems with crashes, apparently caused by FsX. Very frustrating. I may have had my i7 920 overclocked just a little too much, as since I’ve backed it a little (‘down’ to 3.8gz, when stock it’s 2.66!), I haven’t had a crash today. Mateus is still having crashing issues (and is re-installing FsX as we speak), and I suspect a fresh install will help on my end as well. Kesomir from the xpilot forums was nice enough to suggest this well known fix for Windows 7 pcs, I’ve downloaded the files but I ain’t doing the fix unless I really have to! Take care with this one:
Despite the crashes, the sim environment is so addictive to me that I don’t mind restarting FSX each time it goes down. I’ll keep you informed as to progress. It has to be fixable, as an awful lot of FSXers don’t have problems.
Solid State Drive.
A few months ago I bought a great value 120gig SSD. FSX seems pretty efficient with storage, with my full install and addons only taking up 34gig, so I just copied the entire MS directory over to my S drive – wow, much quicker loading and I suspect helps with stability. Highly recommended. Ha, by the end of the yr the 250gig versions will be cheaper, just in time as my SSD should be stuffed full by then!
Coming up next? A short vid of the 737NGX to go along with that Bonanza viddie. The exterior alone is pretty amazing.
And now, that Carenado V-tailed Bonanza. What can I say! It will be fun to compare this to a version for X-Plane, won’t it? Oh well, a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Well, here are a few thousand words!
As noted previously, the ultra-glossy exterior finish is dynamically reflective, and gorgeously done. I can’t wait to get my hands on this one myself, in both XP and FsX!
Well, that’s all she wrote…for now! We’ll be back in time for the weekend, so check back with us soon. Y’all fly safe and have some fun. Chip

4 responses to “X+Sim+Reviews 003: SIMON, ORBX, and true love with a V-tailed Carenado

  1. Please post links to the freeware planes you recommend…
    By the way, I bought the PMDG 737 and I am IMPRESSED. Nothing I have seen before. Everything is modeled. Even oil levels going down with use.
    Everybody that uses fsx needs to get this plane ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Glad you like the PMDG Nomad! It is very good eh? The exterior reminds me of those amazing 777 shots from Xpjets, except it’s here, now! And watch the pilots in action from the front. Yes, animated!

      Freeware planes for fsx? My god, Itll take me months to get good at the 737 and im yet to explore freewares. But check out Avsim’s repositories and let us all know yourself! Welcome to the reporting team ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I’ll do my best and start my research… Once I complete my tutorial flight on the 737.
        But keep in mind I am light years behind you guys related to sim skills… ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • No worries, mate! None of us knows what we’re up to from one day to the next! That’s why we call this place Chaos Manor!

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