Around the World Adventure–Flight Day 5

Note:  This is a fictional flying adventure using Microsoft Flight Simulator.  Any similarities to real world events, people and places is strictly for the purpose of the story.  While a trip like this might not be possible (or even a good idea) due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, I’m omitting this from this adventure.  At this time in all our lives, we need a little break from reality from time to time. 

Flight Day 5

Once again it’s time to move on and continue our journey through Central America to South America where I hope to visit several countries I’ve not flown into in the past 5 years or so.  Below is a screenshot from the ProjectFly flight tracker indicating the countries I’ve visited in South America before I began this Around the World Adventure.  While the image is a bit dark, you can see I’ve previously visited Columbia, Venezuela, Caracaras, Guyana and Chile (shaded in gray).  Most of these flights were flown from the US out of either KDFW or KMIA with return flights back.  In other words, I tend to always fly from the last airport I’ve previously landed.

As previously discussed on an earlier blog post, I’ve visited 36% of the world.  While I could have just jumped around, I’ve always enjoyed flying with a purpose and that’s really what this adventure is all about.  Over the next few weeks the goal is to complete all of South America and also pickup Antarctica before heading north towards the Caribbean.  More about all this later.

pf_sa

MSLP MROC MPSM MPTO

leg 5

FlightSimulator_xonUYoSwlU

On the ground at MSLP.  Should be a beautiful day to fly.

FlightSimulator_4BODzy3dtL

Climbing to our cruise level as we fly along the western coast.

FlightSimulator_BRoCwqxiNB

Flying over mountains in central Costa Rica. 

FlightSimulator_1Of784eqK7

Flying over Panama City and preparing for our arrival at Tocumen Airport.   We will stay here overnight and head for Ecuador. 

Thanks for reading and following along with my progress as I fly around the world in a Mooney Ovation.

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

Around the World Adventure–Flight Day 4

Note:  This is a fictional flying adventure using Microsoft Flight Simulator.  Any similarities to real world events, people and places is strictly for the purpose of the story.  While a trip like this might not be possible (or even a good idea) due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, I’m omitting this from this adventure.  At this time in all our lives, we need a little break from reality from time to time. 

Flight Day 4

We spent a few days exploring the Veracruz area including some much needed “beach” time.  I must admit the mid to upper 70’s temps in January compared to the snow and cold of Denver has been a nice break.  Of course the further we travel south on this portion of our journey will continue to be warm, perhaps even hot since we’ll be entering summer once we cross the equator. 

Over the next several weeks, our general direction of flight will be generally south as we fly along Central America into South America.  We’ll fly along the western side of South America exploring Columbia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.  Our routing will take me to places which I haven’t flown to in many years. 

I’ve been using the ProjectFly app to track my flights for many years.  There is a Passport feature which tracks the countries you visit.  At present I’ve only visited 35% of the world’s countries and this Around the World Adventure is to help me add to this.  Will I reach 100% before this adventure is complete?  Well…that is certainly my goal and one of the reasons we’re headed to the southern tip of South America as I do plan (weather permitting) to fly from the southern tip of Argentina (SAWH) to Teniente R. Marsh airport in Antarctica.  This would be a 530nmi flight over open ocean.  But it’s about the only chance I will get to fly to this part of the world.

MMVR MMTP MSLP

leg 4

447020_screenshots_20201231083853_1

It was hard to pry ourselves away from the little beach side cabana.  But as the weather is changing, it’s time for us to move along. 

Our next flight will take us from Mexico down to El Salvador by way of Tapachula. It’s a longer flight leg, but as I had mentioned in a previous update, we agreed after a few days of R&R on the beach that we would make it up with a few longer flight legs.

FlightSimulator_sxmkhe6zDL

Refueling in the rain.  This is one of those moments where I wished I had done this when we landed a few days ago in the sunshine.

FlightSimulator_mOPLEDWHj0

Lining up on runway 01

FlightSimulator_ALUDP4JKHB

Climbing out

FlightSimulator_rY9FVNAjlq

Making our turn to head direct to MMTP.

FlightSimulator_B0wqMzwupb

Smooth air above the clouds.

FlightSimulator_dZN74nMsNW

Making our turn over Tapachula (MMTP).

FlightSimulator_YDZHMVyffW

On the ground and another flight day is complete.  We will stay here for a day and then depart for Tocumen Airport in Panama City, Panama.  Thanks for reading.

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

Around the World Adventure–Day 3

Note:  This is a fictional flying adventure using Microsoft Flight Simulator.  Any similarities to real world events, people and places is strictly for the purpose of the story.  While a trip like this might not be possible (or even a good idea) due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, I’m omitting this from this adventure.  At this time in all our lives, we need a little break from reality from time to time. 

Day 3

Our third day will be another full day of flying.  We’ve decided to spend New Year’s Eve in the port city of Veracruz, Mexico.  While we could push deeper into Mexico, we figured we would have a shorter day today and make up for it in the next few legs and try to be in South America sometime next week.  Plus who doesn’t want to spend New Year’s Day lounging on a beach!

KBRO MMTM MMVR

leg 3

FlightSimulator_XzwrTrOIqX

Lined up and ready to take-off at KBRO.

FlightSimulator_kWovnDy8P5

The Rio Grande and US border between Texas and Mexico.  We’ll be back in the USA in a few weeks or perhaps a month or two.  Really don’t know.  We’re just going to take things day by day.  But do have plans to reach the southern tip of South America before we turn north and head back this direction. 

FlightSimulator_0Y02AVOPEO

Flying along the eastern coast of Mexico.

FlightSimulator_FVMxSjRiGe

On short final for runway 01 at MMVR Veracruz, Mexico. 

We’re off to the beach hotel for a few days of fun & sun before proceeding on our trip.  We’ve had a long few days of flying and need a break. 

Thanks for following along.  At the present time, we’ve flown 1,481 nmi, in just short of 10 hours of flying time.  You can track my individual flight logs here

Until next time….Hasta la vista from Mexico!

Jerry

Around the World Adventure–Day 2

Note:  This is a fictional flying adventure using Microsoft Flight Simulator.  Any similarities to real world events, people and places is strictly for the purpose of the story.  While a trip like this might not be possible (or even a good idea) due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, I’m omitting this from this adventure.  At this time in all our lives, we need a little break from reality from time to time. 

Day 2

While our trip is mostly self-funded, we have been sponsored by the Mooney International Corporation.  Our day two trip will include a short hop from Georgetown over to Kerrville (KERV) for a photo op and some handshaking and well wishes.  The Mooney International Corporation is based at the Kerrville airport.  There have been many (including my Mooney Ovation) produced at the Kerrville facility.  We’ll then proceed southeast to Brownsville where we’ll spend the last night in the US for several weeks. 

KGTU T82 KERV (FS) CVB PEZ IKG BKS T05 PIL KBRO

leg-2_thumb2

We arrived back to the Georgetown Municipal airport in the early afternoon.  Temps were in the mid 60’s with light rain falling. 

FlightSimulator_ABtm1mFgPL

Loading up our bags and getting ready for the first leg of two today.

FlightSimulator_tbLLLFnFBd

Performing our pre-flight checks.

FlightSimulator_kNR0DbB6u5

As we taxi to the active runway, we noticed the double rainbow.

FlightSimulator_79v5iJYYce

Climbing out over the clouds over Central Texas. 

FlightSimulator_BlhzKVZl3x

Descending into the Kerrville area. 

FlightSimulator_g1YGpWSjMv

Parked in front of the Mooney International Corporation at KERV.  We met with the CEO and many Mooney employees.  We received one of those big cardboard checks (which we left behind) and the best wishes for a successful trip around the world from the Mooney company.  They consider this a great publicity event for their company showcasing the endurance of their aircraft. 

We spent an hour on the ground in Kerrville, had a nice early afternoon snack and prepared to head further south to Brownsville.  Our second leg should take us less than two hours and we’ll be in Brownsville before dark. 

FlightSimulator_ee7pNt18qT

Flying over South Padre Island near Brownsville.

FlightSimulator_y0NLFsGBKe

On final approach into KBRO. 

FlightSimulator_4hmAmOLzVY

On the ground in Brownsville, Texas.  Headed to the hotel and we’ll return tomorrow for our third day of flying fun. 

Thanks for reading. 

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

Around the World Adventure–Day 1

Note:  This is a fictional flying adventure using Microsoft Flight Simulator.  Any similarities to real world events, people and places is strictly for the purpose of the story.  While a trip like this might not be possible (or even a good idea) due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, I’m omitting this from this adventure.  At this time in all our lives, we need a little break from reality from time to time. 

The day has finally arrived to embark on what I hope will be a fun adventure as I fly my single engine Mooney M20R Ovation around the world.  I’ve been busy the past several weeks planning, packing and even more planning for what will be a long, but hopefully fun experience.  While I certainly have the “Big Picture” concept of this entire journey planned out, at this extremely early stage of the journey, it’s difficult to say exactly where we’ll be this time next month, in six months etc.  The best I can truly do is plan out a few days at a time and hope the weather allows for safe travel conditions. 

My wife and I spent a nice, quiet Christmas together completing a few last minute projects in our home.  Our friends will be looking after the place while we’re away.  Our original plan was to leave on Monday, 28 December and spend a few days with family in Texas, then perhaps spend New Year’s Eve in Mexico.  However, Mother Nature had other plans for us and decided to bring about a late White Christmas.  So being the flexible travelers we are, we are delaying the start of the trip until after the snow storm and will spend New Years Eve in Texas with family.

The Aircraft

I purchased the 95’ Mooney M20R Ovation (reg. N542JS) six months ago from a friend.  It’s in near mint condition for a 25 year old aircraft and will be perfect for our journey.  The M20R features a slightly longer fuselage than earlier models and while it’s still a four seat aircraft, the extra length will allow for more cargo capacity.  In other words, more room for all the things my wife couldn’t leave behind.  Smile

FlightSimulator_9EfSp90TYx

My wife and I have flown several endurance flights to best determine just how many hours at one time we can fly.  Unlike a road trip in a car where you can quickly and easily pull into the next town, the next gas station for a bio break….this can’t be done as easily when flying cross country.  So over the summer we took a few trips and determined four hours is the max.  Under most conditions we should be able to keep our flight legs under four hours, with some perhaps exceeding this but that should be the exception and not the rule. 

Day 1

The day has finally arrived.  The snow storm was pretty much a non-event, so we decided to embark on our trip on Tuesday, 29 December.  We arrived at Centennial Airport (KAPA) just before 9 AM and loaded the last minute items into the Mooney.  We also needed to clear the ice and snow off the aircraft.

FlightSimulator_rGTLgvonKG

Our flight route from KAPA to KGTU.  KAPA LAA DHT KAMA (FS) LBB SWW BMQ KGTU

leg 1

With the aircraft fueled and ready to go, we departed KAPA enroute to Amarillo, Texas (KAMA) by way of the LAA and DHT VOR’s. 

FlightSimulator_MnSc0xPwEJ

Holding short runway 17L KAPA

FlightSimulator_pfDpQMBVv5

Departing the south Denver area.

FlightSimulator_clNIVQcOZb

Goodbye Denver, see you soon.

FlightSimulator_WCynWGKX5O

Passing the LAA (Lamar, CO) VOR and turning south to intercept the DHT (Dalhart, TX) VOR.

FlightSimulator_Hg2RBmzamQ

On the ground in a wet and cold Amarillo.  We’ll refuel and have lunch before continuing our trip to Georgetown.

FlightSimulator_gEXQ792XVq

With some hot food in our bellies, we taxied out to runway 13.

FlightSimulator_KfD0Lypp3P

The weather was quickly changing in Amarillo with freezing temperatures expected soon.  We’re leaving just in the nick of time. 

FlightSimulator_yhUofHhMtJ

Heading south towards the LBB (Lubbock, TX) VOR.

FlightSimulator_g2pWsgWimK

Above the clouds and in smooth air.  Next stop Georgetown.

FlightSimulator_osJRDnk0Iu

Breaking through the clouds as we approach Georgetown.

FlightSimulator_rzAtbYZNpz

North Fork of the San Gabriel River.

FlightSimulator_GWlsaJsYAx

Gear Down!  Flying over Sun City on approach to runway 11 at KGTU.

FlightSimulator_UhhJU7IcYO

Final approach for runway 11.

FlightSimulator_vh4RRVOjnA

On the ground at Georgetown Municipal Airport.  Total flying time today was 4 hours, 22 minutes with one stop.  Not a bad first day.  We’ll tie the aircraft down here and spend the night with my dad and most of tomorrow.  As we’re slightly ahead of schedule, I believe we’ll be able to spend New Year’s Eve in Mexico after all. 

Check back in on my progress as I fly around the world in a Mooney Ovation.

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

Sponsored Review–EGTB Wycombe Air Park by Pilot Plus for MSFS

 

About This Sponsored Review

The product I’m reviewing today was provided to me at no cost in exchange for writing this review.  As with all my reviews, it is my intent to provide to you, the reader, a full and un-biased review of this product.

About The Real Wycombe Air Park

Wycombe Air Park (EGTB), also known as Booker Airfield is a general aviation airport located in Booker, Buckinghamshire, 2.4 nm southwest of High Wycombe, England.  The airfield celebrated its 55th year of operation on 25 April 2020.  Originally opening in ‘41 as RAF Booker it was primarily involved in training during World War II and remained an active military establishment until ‘65.   Today the airfield operates three runways consisting of one single asphalt runway measuring 2,411 ft (735m) (06/24) and two shorter grass strips (06G/24G & 35). 

Much like my real life experience with London City Airport (EGLC), I have also visited Wycombe Air Park on a few occasions back in the 2001-02 timeframe.  My wife lived just a little over one mile east of Wycombe Air Park.  From her third floor flat we could watch the GA aircraft fly over her flat as they approached the airport.  A few times my wife became just a little anxious while watching as she would hear the pilot practicing an engine out scenario as the aircraft was headed directly for her flat. 

Why Consider Add-on Airports

Microsoft Flight Simulator utilizes satellite imagery from Bing maps to create much of the airport scenery and surrounding area we see in the simulator, it’s far from perfect and generally leaves default airports lacking the same level of detail one would might see if visiting in real life.  While default type airports have been significantly improved in MSFS (compared with FSX or P3D), there’s still many reasons to consider purchasing/installing payware add-on scenery.

The Wycombe Air Park by Pilot Plus add-on includes full PBR textures of the air park including apron assets, buildings and ground. The scenery also includes local VFR landmarks such as Adams Park Stadium, St. Lawrence’s Church Golden Ball in West Wycombe and the BT Tower located in Stokenchurch.  Making this a truly wonderful VFR flying experience. 

Before & After Images

Default MSFS (left column) and Pilot Plus Wycombe Air Park (right column).  For these images, I’ve set the weather conditions for clear skies and the time is mid-afternoon.  Click thumbnail to view full-size image.  As you can tell between the before and after images, the Pilot Plus Wycombe Air Park scenery adds extra details which are missing in the default scenery.

FlightSimulator_O4NVQ90lWK FlightSimulator_bOufW3lZj5

FlightSimulator_O6L7V4PaQK FlightSimulator_b13UQLKsu1

FlightSimulator_f8dxT9v6PY FlightSimulator_kGrOWRqtF0

FlightSimulator_HVL9PQlTAG FlightSimulator_nY2ZtmLap2

FlightSimulator_VsSkvKIOiJ FlightSimulator_lWPhRv5VU7

Additional Pilot Plus Wycombe Air Park Views.

FlightSimulator_YRsJTy21pC

I’ve enjoyed watching the glider and GA aircraft from those picnic tables in real life back in the 2001-02 timeframe. 

FlightSimulator_2Gx6ZdO87c

Yes, there’s an actual hangar which you can taxi through and park your aircraft.

FlightSimulator_m1Rw6HJ7ql

FlightSimulator_vbuWIvZQ2h

Pilot Plus Wycombe Air Park (EGTB) Review

As with my previously posted reviews, I always spend a bit of time enjoying, or in this case trying to enjoy the default airport.  I say trying simply because while it’s been 18+ years since I’ve visited this airport in real life, I still had memories of spending a nice Sunday fall afternoon here with my fiancé (now wife) and the default just didn’t provide me the level of immersion I needed to take myself back to that time before.  However, the wonderful job the Pilot Plus team did in recreating this beautiful air park allows me to go back in time to those visits.

From a overall system performance perspective, this add-on caused me no issues.  No major reduction in FPS and no lag.  With the scenery installed, I spent time flying during different times of the day and different weather conditions.  My FPS remained in the 60-70+ range.  As a point of reference, my hardware specs are as follows:  Intel 8700K, GTX1080Ti, 32 GB RAM, 1 TB M.2 SSD and I’m running on Ultra Graphics Settings in MSFS.

I’m very pleased with this add-on scenery and while I don’t typically spend a lot of time flying in the UK…I know this will become my favorite place to spend time flying VFR on this side of the pond. 

FlightSimulator_zUUxRDbOuv

FlightSimulator_LhnCiwZElz

FlightSimulator_j1HX9ScZky

Above: Adams Park Stadium

FlightSimulator_56VDGygkZg

Above: St. Lawrence’s Church and the Golden Ball

FlightSimulator_wB7TzatcnW

Above: The BT Tower in Stokenchurch

How To Purchase

The Pilot Plus Wycombe Air Park (EGTB) can be purchased from Orbx for $18.99 AUD and installed via Orbx Central. 

About Pilot Plus

Pilot Plus is a technology company that builds virtual worlds with a mission to propel accurate digital experiences, creating breathtaking environments for hobbyists and leading software for businesses.  Please also visit their Facebook page to learn more about their products and join their community.

About GrizzlyBearSims

Jerry (aka GrizzlyBearSims) is an independent blogger and avid flight simulation enthusiast covering the flight simulation hobby for over 10 years.  He began flying computer based flight simulators in the early 80’s on the Commodore 64 and today enjoys both Prepar3D and Microsoft Flight Simulator.

I would like to thank Pilot Plus for the opportunity to review Wycombe Air Park and provide this review to the readers of my GrizzlyBearSims.com blog site.  If you have questions regarding this scenery, please visit the GrizzlyBearSims Discord server and let’s discuss.

Thank you for taking the time to read this sponsored review.

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

Confused in Cleveland–Weather Addon for MSFS

I recently received an email from one of my long-time blog readers asking my opinion regarding the recent announcement from REX on their upcoming release of Weather Force 2020 for Microsoft Flight Simulator.  With his permission, I’m going to post a portion of his email and then provide my opinions.

Hello Jerry,

I hope you and your family are well.  I’ve really enjoyed reading all your blog posts regarding the new Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020.  Like you, I’ve been excited about this new sim ever since I first learned about it.  But I’m slightly confused about a recent posting over on FSElite regarding a new add-on being developed by REX.  REX appears to be developing a weather add-on for MSFS, yet I thought (I think we all thought) MSFS had real world weather baked into the sim and weather add-ons from REX or Hi-Fi  Simulations (ActiveSky) would no longer be needed.  I’m curious what your opinions are on this subject?

Thanks again for all your efforts.

Confused in Cleveland,
Bill

Bill brings up a very valid point and one that I’ve taken some time to ponder.  He’s right!  From the very early news regarding the new Microsoft Flight Simulator we’ve been led to believe that the sim would include real-time weather injection that would be far superior to anything we’ve had as default in the past and there would be no need for a 3rd party add-on to provide this function.  Microsoft actually released a video in October of last year where they specifically discussed the new weather system within Microsoft Flight Simulator.

It is worth noting, at the present time…Microsoft is well aware and working to resolve the real-time weather functions within MSFS.  We expect to see a fix in the upcoming “Patch 2” release from Microsoft in the next few days that hopefully will address the weather (or lack thereof) issues within the new sim.  I personally remain extremely confident that in time (and that’s the operative word or phrase we must all understand) Microsoft will address all these issues/bugs and MSFS 2020 will be an amazing sim. 

The news article which Bill references from the FSElite site can be read here.  It’s also worth noting some fine print which REX discusses on their website“Even though the REX weather engine is pushing the proper temperatures and winds aloft data through to the simulator, due to core issues of Microsoft Flight Simulator, temperatures and winds aloft are not properly rendered yet. Microsoft & Asobo are aware of this issue. (September 13, 2020)” 

My personal opinion and certainly my initial plan is to take a “wait and see” attitude regarding all things weather in the new sim.  While it’s been an almost necessity to use an add-on weather engine in FSX/P3D, the jury is still out on whether this will remain true in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020.  At the present time, I’m not even sure the default aircraft flight models are stable enough for real-world, real-time weather.  This is also currently being worked on and improvements to both aircraft aerodynamics, avionics and systems are part of this update #2 patch.

Interestingly enough, later today Hi-Fi Simulations commented on the future of their Active Sky product as it directly relates to Microsoft Flight Simulator.  This announcement was posted to FSElite and can be read here.  One of the key takeaways from that article reads, “Sadly, Damian did say that right now they are not aware of any way to bring weather interpretation into the simulator or what the possibilities will be.”  I find this statement rather interesting considering the REX product announcement discussed earlier.  I’ve tried both REX and Active Sky over the years and always found that Active Sky does a much better job with accurate weather interruption and injection.

Having said all this, does this still mean there will never be an opportunity for a 3rd party weather add-on in Microsoft Flight Simulator?  Where I personally believe some type of weather add-on might be beneficial is for those who enjoy flying with historical weather.  But I plan to allow Microsoft time to address the current issues with real-time weather functionality and go from there. 

I appreciate Bill taking the time to email me his question and would like to invite anyone else the opportunity to do the same.  You can contact me via email or by Discord private message

Thanks to all for taking the time to read my blog articles.  I hope you find them educational and entertaining.  Stay tuned for more…

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

Sponsored Review– EGLC London City Airport by Orbx for MSFS

image  image

About This Sponsored Review

The product I’m reviewing today was provided to me at no cost in exchange for writing this review.  As with all my reviews, it is my intent to provide to you, the reader, a full and un-biased review of this product. 

About The Real London City Airport

London City Airport (EGLC) is a small international airport located in the Docklands of East London, England near London’s Financial District.  The airport features a single 4,948 ft (1,508 m) runway (09/27) which allows for only multi-engine, fixed-wing aircraft capable of flying a 5.5 degree approach.  The largest aircraft allowed to conduct operations at London City Airport is the Airbus A318.  London City Airport is the 5th busiest airport serving the London area and in 2019 handled over 5 million passengers.

Over the past 18 years, I’ve had the opportunity to fly into and out of London City Airport numerous times on flights from London to Antwerp, Belgium. 

Why Consider Add-on Airports

Microsoft Flight Simulator utilizes satellite imagery from Bing maps to create much of the airport scenery and surrounding area we see in the simulator, it’s far from perfect and generally leaves default airports lacking the same level of detail one would might see if visiting in real life.  While default type airports have been significantly improved in MSFS (compared with FSX or P3D), there’s still many reasons to consider purchasing/installing payware add-on scenery. 

The Orbx EGLC London City Airport add-on includes a full PBR representation of London City Airport and the surrounding area with full HD textures throughout.  Includes the Excel building and the Tate & Lyle Sugar factory along with other nearby landmarks. 

Before & After Images

Default MSFS (left column) Orbx London City (right column).  I’ve set the weather conditions for clear skies and the time is mid-afternoon.  Click thumbnail to view full-size image.  As you can tell between the before and after images, the Orbx London City Airport scenery adds extra details which are missing in the default scenery. 

FlightSimulator_kCdpmAjHeQ FlightSimulator_WCXyPDTy4v

FlightSimulator_0DqwPDWF09 FlightSimulator_Y7Of1kTLVy

FlightSimulator_oULhrlhYxa FlightSimulator_PjIIWbmF8q

FlightSimulator_5UzVendWW3 FlightSimulator_DzZvfYMvPq

Additional Orbx EGLC London City Airport Views.

FlightSimulator_dsreV8fIED

FlightSimulator_UX1fKv0VdD

FlightSimulator_kQe2DuOKRq

FlightSimulator_T9RbISgs9b

FlightSimulator_zYyBn0RRBl

FlightSimulator_T41MYNgbF2

Orbx London City Airport (EGLC) Review

Before writing this review, I’ve spent a few hours flying into and out of the London City Airport in both the default configuration and also with the Orbx London City Airport installed.  During the default experience (flying in the default Cessna 172) my FPS ranged in the 60 to 70+ range.  Note:  during my default testing I also did not have the London City Pack by Orbx installed as I wanted a true default experience.   I’ll review the Orbx London City Pack soon. 

With Orbx London City Airport installed, and real time weather I witnessed no impact to my FPS as observed with FPS counter in upper left corner.  I was still maintaining an FPS ranging from 60 to 70+ during circuit flying in and around the airport with no lag.  My hardware specs are as follows:  Intel 8700K, GTX1080Ti, 32 GB RAM, 1 TB M.2 SSD and I’m running on Ultra Graphics Settings in MSFS.

FlightSimulator_KXxqoNPlXp

FlightSimulator_BOKry45MEy

FlightSimulator_YrNWnm7uqU

FlightSimulator_TeBotAR34l

I compared the Orbx London City Airport details with that from Google Earth and noticed no irregularities with the airport including runway and taxiways. I enjoyed the added level of immersion the Orbx scenery has added to London City Airport and surrounding area.  As this is an airport I enjoy simulating flights to/from I regard this scenery as a must have for my collection. 

How To Purchase

The Orbx EGLC London City Airport add-on can be purchased one of two ways.  Users may purchase directly from the MSFS Marketplace (see image below) or from Orbx direct.  If purchased from Orbx, you’ll need to install via the Orbx Central application.  The cost of the add-on is $20.99 AUD. 

MSFS Marketplace

FlightSimulator_XRmOmbjwNi

Orbx Central

Orbx_Central_PpoNyUTJfH

I install in the Main Library

Orbx_Central_PE7oHdfcb0

Install Complete

Orbx_Central_rQcokVAZDI

Once installed, just launch MSFS and select EGLC as your departure airport and enjoy!

About Orbx

Orbx has been the leading developer of scenery for flight simulation since 2006 and have published over 800 high-quality add-on products for Flight Simulator X (FSX), Lockheed Martin Prepar3D, Aerofly FS2, X-Plane 11 and now Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. 

About GrizzlyBearSims

Jerry (aka GrizzlyBearSims) is an independent blogger and avid flight simulation enthusiast covering the flight simulation hobby for over 10 years.  He began flying computer based flight simulators in the early 80’s on the Commodore 64 and today enjoys both Prepar3D and Microsoft Flight Simulator.

I would like to thank Orbx for the opportunity to review EGLC London City Airport and provide this review to the readers of my GrizzlyBearSims.com blog site.  If you have questions regarding this scenery, please visit the GrizzlyBearSims Discord server and let’s discuss. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this sponsored review. 

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

MSFS2020 PMDG Delays?

Could the PMDG 737NG3 for MSFS2020 be delayed even longer than first anticipated?  While many of us fully understand the time it would take to bring an aircraft of the level of quality and sophistication like the PMDG 737 into MSFS2020, we might need to wait just a bit longer.

A few weeks before the new Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 was released, Robert Randazzo (CEO of PMDG) announced we could see the new PMDG 737NG3 in the new simulator sometime in late Q1 2001 or early in Q2.  Here’s the link to the full article and below is a snippet from that same article discussing the possible timeline. 

pmdg q1

However, it appears Robert commented just a few days ago with the following:

pmdg 6-12 mos

While certainly his now 6-12 month comment isn’t a sign of panic, after all I’d personally rather have it 100% ready than to have PMDG rush to bring it out only to find it’s useless.  Plus this isn’t how PMDG operates anyway. 

What this comment tells me and I quote from the post, is the platform (as it stands today) simply isn’t ready for products as complex as PMDG’s.  I believe the same can also be said for FSLabs and others.  Again, I’m not worried (and neither should you be) as those of us who are content with P3D and X-Plane certainly have alternatives. 

Of course, time will tell just what other “stuff” is coming to P3D and whether anyone will buy it.  I’m just hoping the release of their Boeing 777 is sooner rather than later for P3Dv5.  While I tend to mostly fly shorter-haul flights in the Boeing 737 and Airbus A319/A320/A321, I do still enjoy stretching my legs on some longer flights and absolutely adore the 777. 

So Robert Randazzo, if you happen to stumble onto this writing (which I doubt you will).  Take your time with FS2020.  It will be worth the wait. 

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

Microsoft Flight Simulator Patch 1.7.14.0

Microsoft Flight Simulator logo (2020).png

The highly anticipated, brand new Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 (MSFS2020) was released on 17 August 2020 with much fanfare.  The release wasn’t without a few small hurdles and within days of the release, Microsoft had already announced a patch would soon be made available.  I discussed this first planned patch earlier this week.

Before I get into my experience with MSFS2020 after the patch, allow me to say this.  To the best of my memory, and at no other point in the history of flight simulation related to Microsoft or even Prepar3D have we experienced a shorter timeframe between initial release and the first patch.  While some will say that MSFS2020 was rushed and should have been delayed a few weeks which may or may not have avoided the need for an update patch, we’ll never really know.  But I believe when Microsoft released FSX back in 2006 it too was not without issues and required two service packs to fully resolve all issues.  It took Microsoft about 6 months to release SP1 and another 5-6 months to push out SP2.  It really wasn’t until SP2 was made available that FSX was truly stable. 

With Prepar3D v5 (the latest P3D release), it was released on 14 April and the first hotfix (HF1) was released on 30 April.  But many still experienced issues(myself included) which made the sim unusable until HF2 was released on 23 June.  It should also be mentioned that unlike Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, Prepar3D v5 was not a complete rewrite of P3Dv4.5.  MSFS2020 is a completely brand new simulator from the ground up. 

FlightSimulator_HjCIs9oCOs

My Experience Post Update Patch

The past few weeks I’ve been heavily prepping for a series of job interviews which have taken priority to my gaming time.  As of this writing, I’m still awaiting the official news as to whether I’m still in the running for the position and exactly what the next steps are.  But….what time I have spent with flight simulation has mostly been in P3Dv5.  P3Dv5 provides me more immersion based on the type of flying I mostly enjoy (jetliner), but this doesn’t mean I’m ignoring MSFS2020. 

As I’ve discussed in previous articles, I believe MSFS2020 will become the next generation flight simulator and in time, it will completely blow away what we have today with P3Dv5 and XP11.  However, with exception to VFR/GA flight, there are several obstacles preventing me from flying any of the jetliners in MSFS2020 and especially flying on the VATSIM network.

Lack of Immersion

This is key to me.  While the visuals are absolutely stunning and better than I can possible achieve in P3Dv5, the lack of payware/study-level aircraft is only one of the deal breakers for me at this time. I know I probably sound like a payware snob and I certainly don’t mean to.  In all honesty, I believe the work that is being done on the default A320 via the MS2020 A32NX Project will eventually have me flying the Airbus A320 in MSFS2020 on the VATSIM network.  But even then, until there is a model matching program that allows me to see other aircraft in the liveries those pilots are flying, the immersion is very much blown for me.  While I realize this is just a slight niggle, it’s big enough for me to stick with P3D.

FlightSimulator_Srpk0rZN3l

Fine Job

In all honesty, the recent Microsoft patch resolved two major issues I had been experiencing.   First, the load time seems to have been reduced.  However, even in P3Dv5 the load time generally takes 2-3 minutes from the time I launch the .exe until I can actually begin prepping my aircraft for flight.  But in reference to MSFS2020, the load up time seems to be much improved.

The really big issue for me was related to the performance hit when connecting MSFS2020 to the VATSIM network and of course I wasn’t the only one.  VATSIM stated all would be ready to go on day 1 and to their defense,  the issues which caused the performance hit wasn’t their fault.  There was a major bug with the Microsoft Simconnect which was the culprit.  Simconnect is what allows 3rd party applications (like VATSIM’s vPilot) to connect to the simulator.  This middleware connection is responsible for sending/receiving data elements to these third party add-on apps. 

On Wednesday evening (with the MSFS2020 patch installed) I fired up MSFS2020 and loaded up the Cessna 172 and then connected to VATSIM via vPilot and had my first successful VFR/GA flight around the Denver area.  It was a lot of fun and I’m sure there will be many more flights just like that in the near future. 

Not Fully Baked

Rest assured, this first patch for MSFS2020 is only the beginning.  Very soon we’ll learn what’s on Microsoft’s radar for the next patch.  I would suspect we’ll see multiple patches over the next several months as Microsoft/Asobo gently fine tunes the sim. 

Interested in Flight Sim?

If you are interested in getting started in the flight simulation hobby, there’s no better time and in my opinion, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is your best option.  While flight sim can be looked at as just another game, for those of us truly passionate about it…flight sim is much, much more.  For those who are new to flight sim, MSFS2020 will be your best investment option and will allow you to grow in your experiences.  While I’ve discussed limitations which I view as showstoppers for my own enjoyment, these shouldn’t prevent anyone coming into flight sim from experiencing an “As Real As It Gets” experience. 

In time all the bugs will be gone.  In time there will be more add-on aircraft (both payware and freeware) available to the new sim.  There’s hours and hours of fun which can be experienced in the new sim with the available aircraft on and off the multiplayer services like VATSIM, IVAO and PilotEdge.  Get started today and earn your wings.  I’m looking forward to seeing you in the friendly skies very soon. 

Thanks again for reading.  Until next time…

Happy Flying!

Jerry

GrizzlyBearSims

6 User(s) Online Join Server
  • MonitoRSS
  • MEE6
  • PistolpackerWV
  • Oberonhelix
  • dagrat
  • DC_Dave