Thursday, November 24, 2005

Clark Griswold vs. Trans Siberian Orchestra

Okay - now that Thanksgiving has come and gone (for most of us, that is), I believe it is legal to post this. Why legal, you ask - well, according to Christy, Christmas decorations that go up before Thanksgiving should be illegal. That is worthy of a post in itself, but I won't bore you with that. Here is an absolutely incredible video showing what happens when Clark Griswold meets Trans Siberian Orchestra- ENJOY!

Edit: I found yet another video featuring another song - Jingle Bells! - and the music for the first video is from Trans Siberian Orchestra entitled "Wizard of Winter"

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Dreamfleet Beech A36 Updated to Version 3!

The popular Beech A36 has now been updated to version 3 ("R3"). With this update the A36 receives a single Virtual Cockpit section for smoother running gauges in the VC. It also receives Reality XP's smooth running "Flight Line T" Bendix King KI256 ADI, along with additional flight dynamics tweaks, and all previous updates provided for the A36. With this Update the A36 will now go to "press", and will soon be released on CD-ROM.

Due to the complexity of this Update it is available only in a full-product download. Thus, if you desire this update you will need to do the following:

1. Download the complete Beech A36 product from here.

2. Uninstall your original Beech A36 product.

3. Install the new Beech A36 that you just downloaded using your original key and 4-digit code.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

What I'm up to, FS-wise...

Lou Betti, founder of Dreamfleet LLC, visited South Carolina this past weekend, grabbing MANY photos of not one, but two future project aircraft. I say future, but I'm already well established on the first one - Roy Wilbanks' Twin Comanche. Lou was kind enough to summarize his trip in this forum thread, including a couple of pictures showing us with each respective owner and aircraft.

The second aircraft, a PA32-300 Cherokee Six, is owned by Peyton McCool of Greenville. He's a very nice gentleman, and I look forward to working with him closely when I get the TC in "ship shape." :-) I didn't get an opportunity to go up in her just yet, but being inside during the engine run-ups for sound recordings - boy, those 300 horses really want to make that plane go!

Nike G-V Incident - Part 2

I just received an email from a good friend, Mike Boone, linking me to a very cool animation showing the flight progress of the Nike Gulfstream V incident I wrote about yesterday. Such an erratic flight sure would have made the most seasoned flyer a bit "airsick."

This animation is courtesy of a great website, It provides real-time tracking of pretty much any published IFR flight across the country. Check it out, it's free!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Sharing the passion - convincingly?

A very good post by Brian Hunt, AKA Habibi, describes how his colleague, Mike Singer (who needs a blog of his own, IMHO) takes someone from absolutely no knowledge of MS FS to an interest level enough to want to keep flying within the sim.

I have to admit, as a developer for enhancement aircraft add-ons, the simulator is a very familiar environment and is not intimidating at all. I have used MS FS almost every day since the FS 98 days. That's a long time to have experience with a quite consistent GUI. Bringing new "blood" to the helm of MS FS can be quite overwhelming - there are an awful lot of things that can be done within MS FS - the possibilities at times seem endless. I know that - alone - the MANY different keystrokes that can be used in MS FS are enough to scare away the most timid individual. That's why I was glad to see MS put the keystroke shortcuts on the F10 - kneeboard. That way, users have access to those keystrokes while the sim is running (even I, at times, have to be reminded of a few rarely used ones).

Something else that can be quite intimidating is the whole "sand box" environment to MS FS. Aside from the lessons and the few adventure flights included, MS FS is pretty much a "make your own fun" kind of environment. I hope that future versions will give a bit more structure and purpose to those who want that sort of thing. Some people just aren't creative enough to take an aircraft up and, for example, shoot a VOR approach into runway 27 at KGRD or file an IFR flight plan. Or not so much having the creativity behind it - some people just aren't aware of such things related to aviation. Many only get exposure to aviation at airshows, expo's, or air races. Breaking people over into the wonderful world of MS FS can be a challenge - I hope we are prepared to do it convincingly!

Gear - to be down or not to be down, that is the question

I, along with many, was glued to the the TV early this afternoon watching live coverage of a Nike Corporation Gulfstream V aircraft having landing gear problems in Oregon. They later managed to get the gear to properly descend after consultation with Gulfstream engineers.

Over the weekend, there was also a Beechcraft King Air 200 which had gear problems at Fulton County Airport-Brown Field, resulting in a belly landing. I thought it was rather impressive how quickly those props shut-down after he made the runway.

There sure have been a lot of gear-related stories lately. So, in words from my good friend Roy - do your GUMPS (Gas, Undercarriage, Mixture, Power, Seatbelts) check!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Noise over on Hilton Head Island

I am native to the state of South Carolina, currently living in Greenwood. I read over at Aero-News that there is a huge debate over noise from KHXD - the airport on Hilton Head island. The residents are all up-in-arms against the pilots who use the airport, and have threatened to come after them legally - how preposterous is that? Personally, I wouldn't mind the noise - I would welcome it (I love jet noise)! But I'm sure many of the residents who live at HHI are retired northern couples who want peace and quiet. There are noise abatement procedures available, but aren't well publicized. They say a study is being done ... not really sure what that's going to prove. Living anywhere near an airfield is always subject to noise. Anyway, I thought it was interesting that little 'ole Hilton Head is making such a "fuss." Sounds like the residents are making more noise than the aircraft to me. What kind of noise abatement procedures are there for "noisy" people? :-)

Friday, November 11, 2005

Summary of what's going on ...

There have been quite a few interesting blog entries lately that I've been following, and I thought I'd summarize a few, in no particular order:

Mike Gilbert comments on if you are missing out or not...

Jason Waskey has been sick earlier this week, yet is still hanging around with some sharks...

Hal Bryan revisits his blog not once, but twice this week with almost a month absence ;-) (welcome back, Kotter!)...

Mike Zyskowski, Community lead PM for ACES joins us...

Steve Lacey is hunting for a new digital camera...

Nora Hogoboom joins this week with an interesting quote...

Brian Hunt comments on Elders, Egypt, something called UX, and his job...

Susan thinks she's some comedian or something :-) ...

Tim Gregson is fed up with Sony/BMG (me too!) ...

Well, that's just the tip of the iceberg - lots of good stuff for weekend reading if you haven't already been following. Speaking of the weekend - it's about time mine got started!

Until next time!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Mike Z adds himself to the fun!

By reading Hal's latest post, I welcome Mike Z aka "Skyhawk" to the list of ACES team members who have joined the craze of blogging. Hmmm... who's next? I'll be sure to post as soon as another joins!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Some of my favorite FS9.cfg tweaks

Mike Gilbert, one of the PM's on the ACES Flight Simulator team, has posted this article about some "undocumented" tweaks that have been placed at the FSinsider website. He adds the PAN_RATE tweak, one of my favorites. I currently use a PAN_RATE of 900.

For those who find text editing files such as the FS9.cfg file cumbersome, I highly recommend Ken Salter's FS9 Configurator (I use it).

Here is one other tweak that I find useful:

In the [DISPLAY] section, by adding these lines, you are able to control the size of runway lights(default values are 1.0, but I use .5 as shown below):

RUNWAY_LIGHTS_SURFACE_SCALAR=0.5 //scales edge, center,end,touchdown,runways


RUNWAY_LIGHTS_APPROACH_SCALAR=0.5 // scales approach light bars