And that means another heaping pile of stuff that you could spend all your money and time on, if you were so inclined. This week has been a real mixed bag of releases, so you’re sure to find something here that tickles your fancy, makes you roll your eyes, or both. So, what’s new?
Another Cub Takes to the Skies
My good buddy and long-time producer Francois Dumas released another in his budding line of aircraft under the FSAddon label. We’ve all been going a little Cub nuts lately, thanks to the offerings that are raining down fast and furious, and into this mix comes another, courtesy of Simon Smeiman. He’s done up a right nice Super Cub package that is definitely not wanting when it comes to variety! For a very modest EUR 16.50 (19.63 w/VAT), you can own not one, but seven different varieties of Super Cub, in 24 different liveries. By type, they are:
- Standard wheeled
- Large Tundra Tires
- Medium Tundra Tires
- Aerobatic Model
Combine this with three different panel layouts, and the aicraft selection menu choices alone will take you an hour. I had a go around the Stark’s Twin Oaks area last night, and found Simon’s Super Cub to be a well-mannered little hot rod, at least compared to the Cub that I’ve gotten used to flying these past few weeks. If you’re a fan of the type, this is one to add to your collection.
Ant’s Boonah – My Kind of Scenery!
Apparently, Australia is the new powerhouse where virtual aviation is concerned. I wrote last week about the extensive new OZx freeware release, and fast on its heels another Aussie dev, Anthony “Ant” Lynch has turned out another in his “Ant’s Aussie Airports” series. This time, it’s the busy little field at Boonah. From the documentation:
Boonah is a small town about 70km SW from the centre of Brisbane and 70km W of the Gold Coast. Boonah airfield is a small, but busy, airstrip 2km south of the town of Boonah. It features a glider club and an ultralight club (the Flying Tigers). Airsport is a flying school and Scenic Rim Aviation provides scenic flights, flight training and charter.
This scenery models the airfield and provides about 9km square of photoreal ground textures. The photoreal is designed to blend with the FTX payware textures for Australia so it is recommended that you have these installed. Also recommended is the freeware OZx airfields which provides hundreds of airfields Australia wide, about 30 of which are within a 100km radius of Boonah.
Sounds like a perfect place to get some grass in your wheelwells, doesn’t it? What sold me was the screenshots, though. This guy Ant is exactly my kind of developer. More than anything else in this highly detailed little airport, I loved that he included touches like the Spitfire that’s up on jacks being restored, the two young women chatting by the FBO’s front door, and the guy washing his glider. If any of that sounds good to you, go grab it here.
A Tube, True, But Look At That VC!
Few devs have stirred up the community (for better and worse) like the Russian Captain Sim team. Love ’em or hate ’em, you have to admit; they have some true 3D artists in their ranks. Just recently, they released their latest major offering, the Boeing 767. It’s been a while since we had a new one of these jumbos to play with, the last being the groundbreaking Level-D version, which was a delight. This one promises to be classic CaptainSim, glories, warts, and all.
I don’t have this big bird yet, but I did pick up their 757 last Christmas during their insane $9.99 sale. If you’re an eye-candy nut, you’ll drool all over this thing. It’s just drop-dead gorgeous. Load it up at night, and feast your eyes on the virtual cockpit. Nobody does night lighting like these guys! With the disclaimer, again, that I haven’t tried the 767, I can say that the rumors I heard of low frame rates just don’t hold up on my half-decent rig. In fact, I get very smooth performance in the 757; as good as any other complex aircraft I own. If you commit the occasional tube driving, it’s something to think about… more info here.
Fly a Forgotten Cessna
The sim world is awash in Cessnas. For the most part, though, they’re the more common new varieties such as 152’s, 172’s, and 182’s. Thankfully, devs Simflight3D have taken it upon themselves to provide us with some more seminal Cessnas, such as the newly released 140 tail-dragger. Finished in shiny bare metal with flashes of color, this little bird looks like it’d make a great bush hauler. The interior is nicely textured, but the panel is a bit plain. Then again, these babies weren’t exactly stuffed with space-age avionics to begin with, so that’s probably appropriate. Tempting, very tempting. Expecially at only EUR 15.35. Man, there are some mighty good deals lately on planes.
Technically, Not FS News
I hope you didn’t think you were going to make it through this FF without a mention of Windows 7. Yup, Redmond has shoved their latest OS out the door as of this week, and it should be on store shelves now. Ordinarily, I’m loathe to upgrade my operating system, and I never (NEVER!) jump on a new release right off the bat. This time, it’s different. Microsoft offered a public beta and release candidate of Windows 7 many months ago, and I’ve been running the RC1 version on a second hard drive for a long time now. I figured I’d load it on a spare drive and occasionally check it out, while continuing to do the bulk of my work on XP.
Wrong-O. After a few days of trying the 64-bit version of Win7 out, I was fully hooked. In fact, it’s been months since I even booted into XP. Maybe it’s just the step up from a 32-bit OS to 64, but this thing screams. My boot times are faster, my system more stable, and of course I’ve got access to all 6GB of my RAM instead of a meager 3.2GB. Add it all up, and it’s a great platform for general computing, and not too shabby for FSX, either. I imagine I’ll be heading off to the computer store in the next few days to buy my full copy. If you were (rightfully) afraid to try it after the Vista train wreck, take a deep breath. It seems like the nightmare is over.
This weekend, between taking the kids to the mall, cleaning your gutters, and washing the cat… go flying!