The talented modelers at Historic Jetliners Group (HJG) continue to crank out outstanding work that bring historic, jet-powered aircraft to life in flightsim. I’ve been a huge fan of theirs since I began flying in FS2000. Their DC-8’s and Convairs are two of my favorite aircraft that see regular flight time.
Updated on October 26th, their website contains some new goodies for us to enjoy:
New 727-200 textures that include Eastern Airlines, AVENSA, and Blue 1
DC-9 textures including various SAS registrations and recent Ameristar colours
The DC-9’s also receive updated base packs and panel packages.
It is without a doubt that you must head over and immediately grab these files <HJG home>. Your eyes, your heart, your joystick, and that inner aviator inside you will thank you!
Italians are known for their sense of design. Edgy, curvy, modern, and flowing all can be used to describe Italian designs in furniture, cars, and even aircraft. The Piaggio P.180 Avanti is an aircraft that will make everyone stop in their tracks. The canard design and low drag, curvy lines of the fuselage screams performance. The Avanti II is powered by two Pratt & Whitney PT6 engines which gives it a cruise speed of 320 knots and a range of 1,400 nm. In fact, it does this while using 40% less fuel than similar sized jets. <wikipedia> <Piaggio Aero>
Climbing out over Catalina
Available for X-Plane since the beginning of 2010 and updated very recently, the Avanti Alterna has been beautifully modeled by Vic Kabernique. Featuring full instrumentation, clickable panels, an incredible livery, and a very realistic sound set makes this model a must for any X-Plane pilot.
I had the chance to fly this baby on a test flight from KSAN to KSBA recently. The only word that comes to mind is impressive. The level of detail put into the eye candy, the flight dynamics, and the sound are on par with modellers charging $30+ and Vic offers his model as freeware. Add in the fact that you get a COMPLETE set of 28 liveries with the download and this package sets a new standard by which all other freeware for X-Plane will be measured.
So, stop reading and head over to X-Plane.org and get this baby for your hangar. If you don’t, you are so missing out!
There are certain releases in the flight simulator community that just shock me. Either the release was unexpected (at least by me) or the quality of the aircraft was so good, I wonder how it could possibly be released as freeware. Another one of these shocking releases happened.
Boeing’s 797 is a fictitious double deck, blended wing airliner with seating for 1,000 passengers. Capable of flying 8,800 nm, the 797 can move a lot of people around the world efficiently. Whether or not the 797 is actually real, or ever will be real has been a debate for quite a while, with rumors and discussions popping up across the internet.
Lionheart Creations has taken the 797 design and made it a reality for the Microsoft Flight Simulator family, FSX & FS9. William Ortis left no detail behind when he created this monster. The windows, landing gear, engines, virtual cockpit, and stairs are of superb quality. Flying this distinct looking bird around the virtual skies is an experience that you will never forget.
The only drawback is the size of the model. Not only is it a 65mb download, but the model itself contains 32-bit textures and tips the rendering scales at 65,000 polygons. While the user can improve frame rates by converting to DXT-3, the sheer size of this model will leave low-end systems stuttering. Still, the flying experience is worth it.
What did surprise me was the popularity of the different paints. For some reason I was expecting Emirates to be on top. I was wrong, Air France was tops by over 300 downloads (total 1351). Number two was Singapore at 1,023. Next was the House Colors at under 968. Both Emirates liveries ranked last… boy was I wrong.
Where does your favorite A380 livery rank? (click for larger image)
Note that the third and sixth ranking download is not a Project Airbus A380, but the wonderful Enigma Simulations BAe ATP packs. If you haven’t flown either of these aircraft, download them and fly them ASAP!
Today is turning out to be a huge flight simulator day. Not only did Project Airbus release their long awaited Airbus A380, but Enigma Simulations released their British Aerospace ATP model for FS2004 (FS9).
I haven’t had a chance to download and install it yet, but the screenshots, documentation, and buzz surrounding the release indicates that this is one awesome bird. It even has its own sound pack!
If you are both an Airbus fan and a fan of Microsoft Flight Simulator, you are probably already familiar with Project Airbus. You are also probably already aware that they have been working on the best freeware A380 models for flight simulator for many, many years.
Well, I just popped over to the PA site and am wondering how near the A380 release is. In their Preview & Announcements forum, there are some very jaw dropping screenshots of the A380 wearing Air France, Qantas, and Emirates clothing. Head over and take a look. But wait…
With previews appearing in their forum and a tweet on Twitter that says “cabin crew, seats for landing“, one can’t help but think that a release is near. Of course, the actual release date is only for the wonderful developers of Project Airbus, but it is time for you and me to check their site daily… release must be near!