Friday, again!? Honestly, where does the time go? Well, I know where most of mine went this week, and that’s to putting the detail touches on Twin Oaks Airpark for ORBX. While I was hip-deep in that, wonder what else was going on in the FS universe…
Piglet Does Paris
That prodigious, porcine producer of peculiar planes has dropped another one on our doorstep. Last weekend, Tim “Piglet” Conrad uploaded his MS.760 Paris Jet, a rarely-seen 4-seater jet.Tim often touts the freedom of being able to create whatever he likes on whatever schedule suits him, freed from the shackles of paying customer expectations. The result is that we get to fly planes that many of us have never heard of. And fine birds they are, too! Over the years, he’s steadily been sharpening his skills on an impressive array of releases, and I dare say that by now, he’s one of the most experienced modelers in the FS universe. I took the Paris Jet up for a little jaunt through the autumn Pacific Northwest skies last night, and had a blast. This little mère is fast, let me tell you. From the looks of the VC, it’s roomy, too – the perfect transport for the fat-cat executive on your Christmas list. Snag your copy here.
Orbx Previews Pacific Northwest
Australian FS developers Orbx unveiled a facelift for their website this week, to little fanfare. Beneath the slick new exterior lie some new product previews that a whole bunch of ‘simmers have been waiting for, namely their FTX NA BLUE Pacific Northwest package. Also included: previews of the first two high-def airports to be released in conjunction with the base scenery, 1S2: Darrington Municipal, and 7S3: Stark’s Twin Oaks Airpark.
Darrington is the work of Andreas Hegi and Heiko Glatthorn, a gorgeous rendition of a field that fans of Richard Goldstein’s Georender series will recall. Further to the south, Twin Oaks is my first venture into Orbx waters – an airport that I’ve been planning to do for ages and finally got around to. These are only the first two of many planned PNW airports, so stay tuned.
Anyone seen my jaw?
Speaking of previews, Nick Churchill posted some shots of the upcoming FW190 release from Classics Hangar this week. This project seems to be the very definition of a labor of love. The quality of the modeling and textures is simply astounding, the detailing incredible. I know there are people who claim that payware devs are only in it for the money, but this is one release that buries that argument. There is simply no way that a WWII-era warbird like this one will sell well enough to compensate for the massive amount of time and energy they’ve clearly spent laboring over every bolt and dial. I’m planning on doing my part by picking up a copy as soon as it’s released; not because I’m a fighter fanatic, but simply to enjoy what appears to be the very pinnacle of state-of-the-art modeling for FS. Look at the shots and tell me you’ve seen anything more skillfully done than this baby.
What happens when Plans A-F fail?
Through a twisted trail of forum postings, I happened across a new flight planning software project that’s in the works. Plan-G is the work of Tim Arnot, through his company TA Software. It’s the first planner I’ve used that seamlessly integrates Google’s terrain, map, and satellite views with overlays of airports, navaids, and airways. Bearing in mind that I’ve only spent a grand total of maybe half and hour working with it, the planner seems to have definite promise. I was able to cobble together a few flight plans quickly, and being able to view the terrain and satellite imagery during the planning phase is a huge boon. Beta 3 is due out any day now, so if you’re interested, I’d suggest registering for the TA Software forums and getting in on the testing.
It’s Raining Aussie Airports – Again
And finally, if you haven’t stuffed your hard drive full enough of freeware, here’s another doozie: OZx has released their third package of high-quality airports and landmarks for the land down under. It’s a whopper, weighing in at a little over 2GB, but thankfully they’ve included a downloader tool that allows for pausing and resuming. Version 3.0 includes 27 new airfields in Victoria, NSW, SA, WA, and Queensland, 13 Water Starts, 6 new patches of scenery w/landmarks, and 298 AM radio stations, which are useful as supplementary navaids. And all for free! What have you got to lose, except a large chunk of weekend? Go get it now.
And then, go forth and fly.