X-PLANE 10 IS HERE!

X-Plane 10 has been announced with the availability of a demo version and pre-order.  The long awaited, “game changing” desktop flight simulator that never really hit mainstream until the death of MSFS, is finally here.

X-Plane homepage screenshot

With advanced graphics, revised data models and a whole host of other goodies, X-Plane was worth the wait.  You can download the demo and you can pre-order your copy of 8 DVD’s, scheduled to ship December 7th. < link to X-Plane >

Oh yeah, Happy Thanksgiving! 😉

PS – Currently, the X-Plane download servers are hideously slow… my current download time is 14 hours!  I’d say start the download, celebrate Thanksgiving and hope its done by tomorrow morning.

Welcome Alabeo to FS

Carenado has been providing numerous add-ons for MSFS and X-Plane for quite a few years.  The aircraft they produce set a standard by which many other aircraft models are judged.

They also seem to have a knack for surprises.  When they released the Mooney M20J for X-Plane, I believe I blew coffee through my nose.  After buying a new keyboard and subsequent unexpected releases and previews, it is clear Carenado will be in the news for some time to come.

But now they will have company.  Meet Alabeo, a joint venture between talented young artists (unnamed as time of publication) and Carenado.  You can visit them on Facebook and on Twitter to stay up to date on their progress.   The official press release:

November 21st, 2011

Carenado is announcing the creation of a new company: ALABEO (www.alabeo.com). This new company was born as a joint venture of a young and talented 3D artist’s team and the well-known general aviation developer company: Carenado.

This talented young team is composed by 3D modelers, digital artists and computer programmers. Their vast knowledge in the current 3D modeling techniques, digital arts and games programing makes a perfect fit with a company like Carenado. Both teams will complement each other with their specific areas of expertise, pursuing the objective of developing fun stuff for the major home flight simulators.

Carenado will support this new company providing expertise, a cutting edge technological platform, and vast commercial experience.
Alabeo plans to release its first aircraft in the next few days.
People can also follow Alabeo via their favorite social networks:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Alabeo
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Alabeo_com

This looks incredibly exciting and can’t wait to see what they deliver to the FS community.  I only hope that FSX and X-Plane are supported.

Update 11.23.2011 – Alabeo’s first release will be the Pitts S-2S. Screenshots available at their URL above.

FS Moment: Flying a Favorite

This evening I was flying Carenado’s beautiful Mooney M20J around Mooney’s home of Central Texas; Kerrville to be exact.  Not only did I spend a few years of my childhood in this area, but I have family located not far from the airport and my Grandfather worked at Mooney for a number of years.  So, flying around central Texas is sort of like going to grandma’s house.

 <livery by John Glanville> < aircraft by Carenado >

The weather made this flight fairly interesting with gusting winds, variable clouds, and high humidity.  A storm front was moving in from the north and west.  Taking off from Kerrville, already in the midst of the storm is proof of this pilot’s questionable discretion, was a little hair raising.

Once airborne and above 3,000 feet, the wind was calmer, but the visibility was close to nothing.  Good thing we are in an IFR equipped Mooney as we cruised southeast.

ATC asked us to approach from the south due to incoming traffic and clearer weather, so we paralleled downtown San Antonio, banked left over the DPS field and hooked back north.

The approach to runway 21 was tight due to traffic on the inbound. We hugged the runway tight, made our sweeping, descending turn and landed safely, despite the winds best attempts at making us crash.

Details on the OSU Plane Crash

Google seems to be linking to this blog with searches like “OSU Plane Crash” because of SEO and keyword configuration.  This blog is for flight simulator enthusiasts and does not have details on the OSU Plane crash. Please refer to the link below for details:

< OSU Plane crash via ABC >

I am sad to hear of the deaths associated with this crash and my heart goes out to those affected.

Project Airbus Keeps Them Coming: A320 v2.1

We really ooohhh’d and aaawww’d when Project Airbus released the A320 v2 for FS2004.  Then we ooohhh’d and aaawww’d a bunch more when they released the A321 with new features not found on their legendary A320.  At this point, the A320 was antiquated and there really wasn’t much reason to continue ooohhh’ing and aaawww’ing about it.

Ooohhh, aawwww: The A320 v2.1

Well, we can now ooohhh and aaawww again when we fly the Project Airbus A320 v2.1.  The latest update combines the legendary A320 with the awesome new features of the A321, including:

  1. Wing flex
  2. Improved A321 engine nacelles
  3. Modeled wiper blades
  4. Additional antenna
  5. Reshaped APU
  6. Revised cargo door animation

The official release and documentation is in this Project Airbus forum post.  Downloads are available at the PA download section or via Avsim. Note, you must download the base pack AND a livery pack for it to work.

Check out those detailed engines!

Once downloaded, prepare yourself for some serious ooohhhh’ing and aaawwww’ing.  I am in the process of putting this update through its paces, so more will come later.

A note on FSX compatibility.  This model was built for FS2004 and no FSX model exists.  While you can load it into FSX yourself, your experience may vary and there will be limited support.

Cheers! Happy Airbus’ing!

Update 01dec12 – updated links to the new Project Airbus site at http://www.pafs.wf

A Classic Rotorbird: Bell 206B JetRanger for FSX

The crew at Eagle Rotorcraft Simulations (ERS) has been enhancing our flightsim experience with FSX models like the Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia and the Piaggio P-180.  Lucky for us, their releases cross into the realm of rotorcraft as they demonstrated with the release of the Enstrom 280FX.

Bell 206B by Eagle Rotorcraft Simulations

The ERS TV variant - Hawaii

< download & info here >

Based on the FS2004 model by Owen Hewitt, the ERS version of the Bell 206B III added some much needed FSX functionality such as self-shadowing, FSX specific animations and a custom FDE.   While the default Bell 206B isn’t bad, the improved ERS model adds details and realism that are worth the nearly 100mb download.

Speaking of download, I am in the process of putting this file through its paces.  I’ll add screenshots and more commentary after I’ve had time to fully check it out.

A Weekend in the X-Plane Caribbean

With the week day so busy, the weekend becomes a much need time to relax.  What better way to relax than fire up X-Plane 9.70 and do some island hopping around the Caribbean.  The aircraft of choice was the Embraer ERJ-190 by Ricardo Bolognini wearing Air France Regional colors.

The awesome scenery of TNCM

After a few hours of exploring St Thomas, San Juan, and, eventually, St Maarten, I can’t wait to continue flying next weekend in something a little more island friendly, like the FlyJSim Dash8.

Where did you fly this weekend?