The gauge right below the stall margin indicator, I believe it's OAT, is hung at 100F degrees when it's between 44F-52F degrees in the environment outside the aircraft. The needle never seems to budge. Is that something that I could fix b cracking open the manifest.json with Notepad++ or is it beyond that?
During this review I will be using a Saitek Pro Flight Yoke and X-Mapper Pro on an IPad. If your unsure, X-Mapper Pro is a live map for x-plane which tracks your movements across the globe! From the app you can also control your aircraft and vital things like radios and Autopilot. I think it's a great add-on to enhance your sim, all for £1.99!
You get a few liveries to choose from, all look fantastic and I can't pick a favourite! All are of a high resolution and can be selected from the X-Plane aircraft selection menu. The liveries also have a weathered look on the undercarriage of the aircraft, this looks great as you can see oil leaks streaked across the paintwork from the wind. I have to admit that there are not lots of liveries to pick from however there is a whit livery for custom painting, so you can just copy and paste the white livery and play around in photoshop! Of course if those liveries are not enough its best you head over to the x-plane.org download manager and many people make paints and upload them there.
The third menu gives you quick access to your radio and squawk box, this is most certainly needed as flying without it in x-plane would be very tricky. Inside the cockpit the radio is virtually impossible to see from pilot head POV, therefore this feature is great and shows Alabeo have thought about user experience.
Drzewiecki Design (DD) are well known for scenery and airport development, not just for X-Plane but for FSX and Prepar 3D as well. With 7 scenery packages on the x-plane.org store covering 20 airports DD offer a wide range of airports all over the world, primarily covering the U.S and Poland. The latest release from DD goes by the name of Miami City XP. The scenery covers three airports with 'lite' detail including KMIA Miami Intl, KTMB Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport and KOPF Opa-Locka Executive Airport. Drzewiecki Design provide a very vast scenery with Miami City XP, as you would expect from the title this scenery covers the majority of Miami City. Developing scenery for a whole city is a big challenge, but it seems that DD managed to pull it off.
This scenery package is a big one, three airports and Miami City with an orthophoto covering the whole thing! Overall it makes a great addition to your scenery library, whether flying international flights or GA VFR these airports and the vast scenery coverage is great! In many places the airports lack close attention to details and many aprons seem very bare and empty, but for the price you pay and the area you get balances my opinion. Below are four screenshots of the skyline city view which really makes x-plane look great! The images below speak for themselves, DD have done an amazing job recreating Miami city to give it a very realistic flare.
One thing that needs to be pointed out though is frame rates (FPS). The feature list claims 'FPS- Friendly airports' however frame rates were very tricky to hold high on my computer, even having HDR rendering off and running a default aircraft FPS was on average 18-21. This meant that a pleasurable VFR cessna 172 flight taking in the Miami City scenery was hard to enjoy with a lagging x-plane 10. Having a choice of airport to depart from or arrive to in and around Miami is great, MIA takes care of international flights or busy VFR departures and TMB takes care of GA aircraft and flying. The addition of beaches and tall buildings along the coast really gives that sense of a busy city and its great to fly over and see car traffic etc...
So I have covered everything great about this scenery package, although are there any drawbacks about this scenery package? Area coverage is phenomenal, it's just the level of detail in some areas is restricted but all three sceneries are 'lite' and therefore sacrifice the small details. You would also think these 'lite' airports would be good for frames although on my machine I seemed to suffer dramatically with a lagging x-plane. That said, if you can get x-plane up and running Miami City with good frames rates, flying VFR around the highrise city is fantastic it looks and feels realistic which is the main aim of the scenery. You could argue that the airports lack in extreme detail however Miami City XP is three airports for the price of one! I highly recommend it to be in your custom scenery folder!
As you can see you get a wide range of liveries to choose from, all apart from a blank livery to design your own but maybe this will get added in the future. As well as the liveries above you may also be lucky for some people to post some on x-plane.org for you to freely download.
Long ago, I started with a construction of a 3D cockpit for a Free Texan that a spanish guy made for xplane9. I found it easy (but lot of time taking) to do and I understood how to work with x-plane (very nice and smart way by Laminar) so I decided to make my first plane. It was going to be free but it took more time than I expected. It was the Javelin, and because I was in other company working (Spanish Games One) and took too much time, I decided to release the plane selling it to test the market and seeing the result, to continue working or not.
Very well is the short answer! The Alabeo team have made a magnificent aircraft matching the real aircraft extremely closely, also with additional animations. With any detailed x-plane add-on you need to make sure that your computer is up to the job of running it! Here are the system specifications for the Alabeo C195.
I did also try the Oculus Rift a second time at Aerosofts exhibit, this time it was the default cessna 172 SP at 7'000ft. For some reason I think the rift in x-plane was much better, this time I actually tried to grab the door handle! Moving around in the 172 and moving close into the panel really gives a sense of depth of field, the only thing xp developers will need to do is make sure there is a pair of legs in the 3D cockpit because that is a big part of the oculus illusion. In all rift tests I was using the Dev Kit 2, DON'T BUY IT! You must wait for the consumer rift as oculus still have many more improvements to make. For example the screen resolution needs to be better, if you look closely you can see individual pixels. One thing I did like was taping on the front of the rift will re-calibrate the head position, a great feature I found out!
Quality Wings is a company who develop aircraft for FSX, it was very interesting to see their upcoming 787 and see how they made it however they made the comment "at the moment we don't have any plans to develop aircraft for x-plane, but it may be a future possibility".
The event was great, a little unorganised in terms of the live shows however what's not to love about a flight sim event! If you couldn't make it then that was a shame, but you can always look forward to it next year. If I didn't attend the event then I wouldn't have got the chance to test out the Rift! Visiting the event just for that would have even been worth it. As I have already said the event was mainly based around FSX and Flight Sim in general, it would have been great to see many stands just dedicated to X-Plane. To my surprise however the Aerosoft stand was mainly aimed at X-Plane, probably because they publish content more than they produce it. It was a shame that I missed the 'Future of x-plane' showing however it was very confusing where that was happening, one person from chillblast pointed to an oculus rift set up a few meters away when i asked where the future of x-plane show was!
The only thing that startled me was the word 'delete' I don't like deleting x-plane directory files so instead I renamed it, I added a - between the 8 and 1. This way I still have the dsf however x-plane does not recognize it.
The small cracks are great, it's just as though the sun has dried up the asphalt and it's been subject to wear and tear! As well as cracks oil spills can be noticed, especially at gates where the aircraft park they really work in conjunction with the green grunge making the airport look dirty. And it's all high res!
Shortly after takeoff I could look back at KFLL at around 2600ft and climbing. This is when I noticed a few more things about KFLL. The roof textures look great as I believe they are from the orthophoto however they are very blurry. From above it doesn't matter too much as the higher you climb the less blurry the roof textures become but low flying into the airport and you will easily notice the blurriness. The only advantage of using the orthophoto as the roof textures is from above is it blends in with the orthophoto creating a realistic look from above, but then we move onto the orthophoto it self. So yes I have already said it's blurry to a degree however from the air like I said with the roof textures this gets better the higher you go. The problem is the colour of the ortho. The ariel ortho image does not blend back into the default x-plane land and instead is just cut off. This is when you can clearly tell the difference within the colour.
The rotating beacons on the moving vehicles creates a living and breathing world atmosphere! This is something not yet seen in x-plane! The two pictures below of the baggage cart show off the new rotating beacon feature, you can see, flicking between each picture, the rotating beacon light!
It's hard to develop a payware scenery and live it up to the standard of other sceneries for example Beti-x's Stewart, but Butnaru pulled it off here and that's surprising due to the size of the airport! Also Stewart by Beti-x is $25.80! so as you can see from the price difference this aiport has been priced right. Yes, a few things could be improved which are mentioned above however as the base for V1 this scenery should definately be in your x-plane.org shopping cart. The modeling is great, the animations look real, the textures look phenonemal and the frames per second are high! What more could you possible want? Maybe more area covered such as the beach and some modeled hotels but for the price you are paying so much is already included. For the price range of this scenery package you will definately experience a special visit in your simulator to KFLL, an experience to remember! 2b1af7f3a8