Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Rotorwash E-Zine

A good friend of mine from Portugal, Sergio Costa, has just published a new e-zine for the helicopter lovers in the flight simulation community called Rotorwash. It is free with a simple registration.

The first issue covers a lot of ground for the first go. Highlights include: Alan Devins giving a look at constructing his Bell 222 in Gmax, Jean-Fran├žois Leblanc describing the CH-149 project, Sergio interviewing Jordan Moore, Hovercontrol.com's founder, and a review of the Nemeth Designs Mi-17.

Traditionally, I'm a fixed-wing guy, but some of you are aware of the Bell 206B JetRanger III I created as a freeware package a year and a half ago. It continues to be one of the most repainted heli's over at Hovercontrol. The default 206B had not been overhauled in a while, so I decided to take that project on myself. The FSX version has been completely revised, and looks quite stunning!!

I encourage you to have a look at the new e-zine, it is very well done!

Monday, September 25, 2006

FSDeveloper.com goes live!

Fellow FS developers Arno Gerretsen and Nick Whittome have officially opened the doors to FSdeveloper.com, a new community website designed to discuss and offer help to those interested in enhancing their flight sim experience. I have agreed to moderate there, so I encourage you to frequent there if FS development interests you - I'm sure there will be plenty of great "tricks of the trade" shared there.

FSdeveloper spawned out of the site that Arno originated back in 2003, SceneryDesign.org. It is nice to see that he has expanded it to include all facets of FS, including the new and exciting missions and SimConnect API. My area of expertise lies specifically with modeling and I'll be most active in that area, but I will certainly keep up with what's going on elsewhere there.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The "Blurries" explained...

I was very glad to see a post today by Adam Szofran entitled "Comments about the blurries from an ACES developer". Adam goes on to explain it in three "buckets" of reasons: Inadequate CPU resources for the terrain texture loader, exhaustion of video memory, and/or poor filtering settings.

I won't steal Adam's thunder, so I recommend giving his post a read. It has some insightful information and better yet, some explanation of how these (okay, most of these) have been addressed within FSX. There is a bit of a frame rate "cost" to their optimizations, but I would guess they would be a welcome trade-off. Nothing would be better than not seeing anymore "I've got blurries" posts, but I'm sure there will be those out there who will stretch the limitations of their PCs into forcing the blurries to appear - call it your computer yelling "Uncle, Uncle!!" :-)

Monday, September 18, 2006

October 17th is the day for FSX!

I found this press release at AVSIM today, and I thought that I would mirror it.

Directly from the Microsoft Offices, the official shelf date is October 17, 2006 for FSX. Microsoft writes, "The newest addition to the 25-year “Flight Simulator” franchise will fly to retailers on Oct. 17. Gamers of all ages, types and skill levels will experience firsthand what it’s like to be an aviator traveling the globe in one of the dozens of aircraft available."
Announced at the AVSIM convention on Saturday night, FSX went "Gold" earlier this month. Product has been sent to retailers and the official shelf date is set at October 17th. Several different languages will be available as well as 2 different versions; Standard and Deluxe. The Deluxe edition adds the SDK as well as some other enhancements. For more information, visit the
Microsoft FSX Site.

Make sure to reserve a copy at your favorite software retailer today!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

iFly - ground breaking new Aero Club

How cool is this? For the equivalent cost of owning and operating a older, antequated aircraft, you can have access to one of the most advanced single engine piston aircraft in existence, the Columbia 350. Erik R. Lindbergh, who I had the pleasure of meeting when I was at the AOPA fly-in June of this year, has co-founded this innovative new company. Too bad that for the time being, it is located only at a handful of airports in southern California. I hope that it becomes really successful, and spreads across the country.

Each Columbia 350 in their fleet will utilize the GARMIN G1000 with READY Padtm, an exclusive user interface device for Columbia aircraft. We at Eaglesoft do have plans for incorporating the Mindstar Aviation G1000 into the Columbia. No date set though...

Friday, September 08, 2006

Eaglesoft Columbia 400 in FSX

Well, she's not animated yet, but I've managed to get the finely crafted model done by Bob Hayes of the Columbia 400 into FSX as an FSX model. I'm glad to say that shadows are working, and the bloom effect looks really nice as well. Judge for yourself below (click images for larger versions).

Great post - thanks Sebby!

Sebby posted a sample forum entry from Greg German, a long time Flight Simmer and former member of PSS, on settings and sliders. I recommend giving it a good read, because Greg hit the nail on the head!

[EDIT] I now see that Paul Lange has picked up on Greg's forum thread as well - and why. It appears to have caught the attention of Shawn Firminger, the ACES Studio Manager. That's saying a lot!