środa, 3 czerwca 2015

ORBX FTX Australia First Impressions

What is FTX Australia?
For those who don't know, FTX Australia is a scenery for FSX covering the entire country of Australia. https://www.fullterrain.com/product/australia  It's the product's site. In general, FTX Australia features corrected rivers, lakes, roads, mountains etc. There are new terrain textures along with night lightning. The scenery is considered one of the best FSX payware addons. For those who know FTX Australia is and perhaps own it it's probably clear, that the scenery is worth every cent, penny, eurocent whatsoever.
Australian Capital Territory.
Only one airport in here.

I decided to take the Avro Shackleton for a spin. Very nice airplane developed by Rob Richardson.  At first I saw, that the ground textures are veeery realistic. Default FSX ground is very dull, with boring colours that repeat itself. The colours aren't natural. In here, it looks very realistic. I set the Shackleton up (flaps up, trim 3.0-2.0, I don't remember, I set the Autopilot). The Shackleton needs some time to accelerate, but for it's size and appearance, the plane isn't a bad performer.

Looking down, I can see trees. The way they are placed is very realistic. Some follow roads, some are on their own (that can't happen in default FSX, I've never seen it).There are multiple variations of buildings, bigger, smaller, longer, in different colours, shapes and diameters. The ground textures look great once again, fields are visible, some places are lighter, some darker. I've never seen this before!

I continue my flight. The A/P (autopilot) is set to control the altitude (hold 3 200 ft.), once I control the heading and speed (the Shackleton doesn't have autothrottle). I can see a lot of small homes below. There are some spaces, probably parks or something similar. All fields and hills are detailed, covered with so called mesh ( mesh changes shape of the ground to more detailed, that is the simplest explanation I could think of).

Afterwards, I turn back to the airport. The Shackleton does have a GPS, that I use to locate the airport. I'm flying at a high speed, so I drop the gear down and lower the altitude. I take a look outside and see this building. As Canberra is the countries capital, this might be some governmental building, I suppose. But nonetheless I continue my flight. The approach and landing is pretty much painless, apart from the flare manoeuvre.. I don't have pictures, sorry, I forgot to take them.
Real life Canberra, from Wikipedia.
New South Wales
Wollongong, don't you like this name?

This time, the Pilatus Pc-9 "ll make it. It's a semi-Australian development, so it's more realistic than the Shackleton, operated only by RAF and South African Air Force. I took off with and then push the throttle back, so that I can fly slowly and enjoy the landscape. Then, I decied to go faster back again. With proper trimming, the PC-9 flies quite nicely.It's not equipped with an autopilot, as it's an acrobatic/trainer airplane, that usually doesn't need A/P support.

Afterwards, I turn left (the Pilatus is very handy, like a fighter jet, or at least a jet trainer), so that I can fly over the coast. I could see beaches, in fact they are all different, some longer, some wider, whatsoever. Actually, the Pc-9 reminds me of the Embraer Emb-314 Super Tucano,  a Trainer and light attack aircraft, that the Brazilian Air Force sometimes uses to fight with drug dealers. Going back to my FTX flight, I notice very low Fps from 6-10. Though the FPS was usually around 20-30, this time it dropped, probably due to dense autogen (trees and house, actually, that looks quite good). My computer isn't a monster one ( i3-2100 3.1Ghz, Geforce Gt 525 (m), 4 GB of RAM), it's very noise (due to the fact, that it is an All-in-one PC). I struggle flying near the coast, but that is the way to get to my destination, that is HMAS Albatross military air base, YSNW.
The airport has two runways, both a little bit longer than 2 000 metres. The airport was operated by SeaVenoms and A-4 Skyhawks, I bet those airplanes would even make it from two times shorter runways. Troops and Navy cadets are trained here, too. A bit of knowledge about the airport, for those, who are interested, visit Wikipedia.

A-4 Skyhawk in YSNW, from Wikicommons.

Great landclass and waterclass. And those fields, textures. Great scenery.
I continue my flight down to Albatross Air Base at a low altitude. My speed is quite high, despite the fact, the Pc-9 is very stable, it turns quite nicely. If you like flying trainer aircraft, acrobatic airplanes, handflying a nimble, but small airplane, then you should get this one for free. The Pc-9 is available at Iris simulation site (http://www.irissimulations.com/), or www.rikooo.com. Iris is also known for developing payware aircraft, however they sometimes have problems with proper system simulation, flight dynamics, etc. The freeware Pc-9 doesn't have such problems, some people say it's even better than some Iris paywares.

As I get closer, I drop the gear down, then the flaps. The plane starts slowing down (with some help from the spoilers). I watch some of the views below. Again, great ground textures. I continue my approach and start my descend (PAPI lights help me). Afterwards, I land without a problem.

Touchdown, a little fast, I know
Other pictures