Thursday, 10 November 2016

Looking at Flight Sim Scenery

 I have been using my flight simulator to fly with pre-programmed aircraft in formation.  This has been an interesting test of skill and control.  It has mainly been from my own design airfields on Microsoft FSX.  However, with the anniversary update of Windows 10, the SDK program that is used to compile airport scenery is now unable to work.  I have not yet found a satisfactory solution to this problem.
In the meantime, I have shifted my airport design to another simulator called X-Plane 10.  Just for fun, I decided to design the airports and Westray and Papa Westray in the Orkneys.  This combination represents the shortest commercial flight in the world (just 2 minutes).
 On Papa Westray in FSX, the ground is flat and the air clear.
 The same view in X-Plane 10 gives a very similar scenery.
 Back on Westray in FSX, the flat terrain is unlike the real island scenery.
In X-Plane 10, the farm sits in a rise, standing out more in the landscape.
These airport scenery's are a compromise between reality and the ability to get them to fit into the computer memory.  FSX is easier to design for, but X-Plane 10 is better with memory space and detail.  Other comparisons that matter is that FSX is easier to observe the aircraft when in flight.  X-Plane wins on reality of flight physics, making it a more accurate flight experience.  However, the differences are slight, and I am comfortable using either simulator as I have the control parameters set as close to the same on each program.
X-Plane 11 comes out soon, and promises to be a much more user friendly version.  FSX has been abandoned by Microsoft and has migrated to Steam (Not so good).  But a newer version of that simulator is supported by Lockheed Martin in the form of Prepar3D (P3D) and the SDK works on that system.  It is however, more costly that FSX to run.  Where to go now?

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