Microsoft Flight Simulator–Two Year Anniversary

In just a few days, 18 August 2022, Microsoft will celebrate the two year anniversary since the release of Microsoft Flight Simulator.  During the summer of 2019 and somewhat out of the blue, Microsoft announced they were working on the new version of their extremely popular Microsoft Flight Simulator.  I use the words “Out of the Blue” because most in the flight sim community were not aware of this news and it came to us with excitement and even some speculation.  Many of the blog postings I wrote here on my blog were very much mixed with my own personal excitement but also with guarded concerns.  After all, Microsoft had abandoned Flight Simulator and as a result many of the long-time fans of the sim had moved over to Prepar3D or X-Plane.  For the most part, I was certainly happy with the direction Prepar3D was moving in and was having a lot of fun in the sim. 

As we approach the two year anniversary of the release of the new Microsoft Flight Simulator (MSFS) I can happily say that much of the concern or speculation I once held towards the title have been dismissed.  After all, earlier this summer when the Fenix A320 and PMDG 737-700 released for MSFS, I began flying MSFS almost exclusively.  I still occasionally fly P3D when I have a need to fly the PMDG 777 or the QualityWings 787.  But I would say this is perhaps only 1 out of 100 or so flights that I do this.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the time I spend in MSFS and the experience gets better and better.  As a matter of fact, I changed my mind on the decision not to purchase the PMDG 737-700 (I initially said I would hold out until the 737-800 released) as the few times I tried flying the 737-800 in P3D, I just didn’t enjoy the experience.  While MSFS may have some limitations, the overall beauty of the sim makes up it.  Plus the addition of the Fenix A320 and the PMDG 737-700 (and soon to be released 737-800) have been instrumental in keeping me flying MSFS and essentially letting P3D gather dust. 

About those concerns…

The concerns and speculation many of us long-time flight simulation enthusiasts once had for Microsoft and Microsoft Flight Simulator have (in my opinion) to be null and void at this point.  In all honesty, while it did take me about a year and a half to fully embrace MSFS for my jetliner use, I was convinced that the efforts of both Microsoft and Asobo would truly turn MSFS into the future of flight simulation we have been longing for.  It just took some time for some of the more advanced airliners to make it into the sim and of course it took some time for Microsoft to work out a few bugs.  But as I’ve mentioned a few times, I’ve been enjoying the hobby of flight simulation since the early 1980’s.  The advancement of flight simulation over these past 35+ years is truly amazing.  The dedication I see from Microsoft, Asobo and all the many 3rd party developers certainly have me convinced that Microsoft Flight Simulator earns the right to say “As Real As It Gets” and will only continue to get better as time goes by.

August Expectations

While August is about half way done, I believe we’ll see some amazing things happen this month.  First and foremost, Microsoft/Asobo have been working hard on the sim update 10 release.  While I haven’t participated in the beta, I’ve heard from many simmers who say that SU10 addresses many of the bugs we’ve been plagued with and moves the sim one step further ahead with better performance and features which many 3rd party developers can take advantage of.  While I’m not a fan of Microsoft’s “Must Update Features”, I am anxiously awaiting SU10 and hope the update/upgrade process works as smoothly as all the previous updates have. 

In addition to SU10, I believe we will see the PMDG 737-800 release this month or early September.  The 737-800 is my all-time favorite aircraft to fly in the sim and I’ve missed having it.   Yes, the 737-700 is just a bit smaller,  but I want my 738 and I want it as soon as possible.  I know many of you do as well. 

Finally, I also believe we will soon have FSDreamTeam’s GSX available to us during the month of August.  For those that don’t know, GSX is the ground services component to flight simulation.  GSX controls all aspects of cargo and passenger loading, including the visuals for baggage/cargo being loaded onto the aircraft along with fueling, catering and that much important de-icing during the winter months.  In addition, GSX also does a really good job with aircraft pushback services which are truly lacking in MSFS at the present time. 

The Future Remains Bright

I believe we’ll continue to see some truly amazing things come to MSFS in the later half of 2022 and early 2023.  I’m hopeful SU10 paves the way for Chaseplane to finally come to MSFS and of course we might….just maybe see the PMDG 777 before end of year or perhaps very early 2023. Time will certainly tell.  It’s certainly a great time to be alive and a great time to be a flight simulation enthusiast. 

As always, thank you for taking the time to read and I look forward to returning with a blog post in a few weeks to document my experiences with SU10, PMDG 737-800 and hopefully GSX.

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

PMDG Boeing 737-700

I learned a long time ago to never….absolutely never say never.  Yes, my friends.  I broke down and pulled the plug and purchased the PMDG Boeing 737-700.  Yes, I had previously stated that I had no interest in the –700 since the virtual airline I’m involved with is an American Airlines based VA and American only flies the 737-800.  While we have codeshare airline agreements with Alaska (who do still operate the –700) and most recently GOL Airlines (who also operate the type), the main reason I pulled the trigger on the PMDG 737-700 was mainly due to the desire to fly the PMDG in MSFS.

After having exclusively used the awesome Fenix A320 in MSFS for the past several months (since its release day) and flying over 100 flights, I was seriously missing flying my PMDG.  One morning I fired up P3Dv5, loaded up the PMDG 737-800 and departed DFW airport.  Almost immediately my eyes said NO…Stop This Maddness!  I was quickly reminded as to the many reasons I enjoy the hobby of flight simulation so much. 

While P3D has provided me years and thousands of hours of flight simulation enjoyment.  It just no longer ticks all the boxes for me from a visual eye-candy perspective.  But with the delays in PMDG bringing their 737-600 to market and knowing the 737-800 could still be several months away from release, I just needed to have a PMDG aircraft in MSFS. 

I quickly killed the flight, rebooted my PC and purchased and downloaded the PMDG Boeing 737-700 for MSFS and installed an American Airlines livery.  I loaded it back up in DFW and departed towards my destination.  While American Airlines never operated the –700, my VA allows for this aircraft substitution and the value in having it and flying it outweighs the fact this is an entirely fictional aircraft for AAL.

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Since that first day a few weeks ago, I’ve flown over a dozen flights in the –700 and mostly love the experience thus far.  I say mostly, only because I do still believe in the current state (version 3.00.00.25) the Fenix A320 is a more complete aircraft….but the PMDG 737-700 is still very much fun to fly and only lags behind by a very small percent (in my opinion). 

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Now I have absolutely no plans to purchase the 737-600 which could be released any day now.  While according to PMDG news updates, they are working on the 737-800 in tandem with the –600 and Robert Randazzo even stated the –800 could be ready to release at the same time or even ahead of the –600.  I know from a business perspective, PMDG will most likely release the –600 first and then after some delay the –800 will release.  Otherwise, if PMDG releases the –800 ahead of the –600, then the sales of the –600 will be very minimal.  Most likely the sales of the –600 will be minimal anyway compared to that of the –700.  Personally, I believe PMDG should have followed their strategy from P3D and released the –600 as an expansion for the –700 and then release their –800 with an expansion to the –900.  But I digress…

In any event, I’m absolutely loving having both the Fenix A320 and the PMDG 737-700 in my virtual hangar for Microsoft Flight Simulator.  While I do miss my PMDG 777, PMDG 747 and the QualityWings 787…the time I have available for flights at this moment somewhat limits me to the shorter-haul flights which the A320 and B737 are designed for.  I know in time these other awesome aircraft will one day be available in MSFS.

What are your impressions of the PMDG 737-700 for MSFS?  I’d love to hear them in the comments. 

Until next time….

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

Fenix A320 for MSFS

It’s been a while since I took the time to write a flight sim blog post. I’ve been busy with lots of DIY projects and just enjoying the spare time I have flying.  As I discussed soon after the release of MSFS, I decided to continue to fly Prepar3D v5 for all my airliner flights and have enjoyed Microsoft Flight Simulator mostly for General Aviation flying.  While I recognized from the very beginning that MSFS was going to be the new flight simulator standard, I saw no immediate need to begin flying airliners in the platform until just recently for several reasons.

First, while I did briefly play around with the FBW A320 in MSFS and will admit that what that team accomplished with the FBW A320 project is truly amazing, I didn’t see it replacing the FSLabs A319, A320, A321 I had in P3Dv5.  Second, from a short-haul perspective….I had everything I truly needed between the FSLabs and the PMDG 737.  I truly was waiting for something to grab my attention to the point where it would suck me right into MSFS.  Third, I must admit that I’m super spoiled with using Chaseplane to handle all my camera views in P3D.  The MSFS camera view system is seriously lacking when compared to Chaseplane and as I’ve been a Chaseplane user from the very beginning, old habits are truly difficult to break.

While I’ve been anxiously awaiting PMDG’s release into MSFS, I was slight disappointed in their release strategy.  Don’t get me wrong, I understand the reason behind releasing the Boeing 737-700 first, followed by the 737-600 then finally the 737-800 followed by the 737-900.  After all, had PMDG released the B738 first, they might have struggled with getting the sales on the –700/-600.  But, for me personally I’m just not interested in owning a –700 or –600 variant.  My primary interests are in the 737-800 and the 737-900.  As I fly mostly American Airlines with some Alaska Airlines flights mixed in.  But I digress as this blog post is supposed to be about the Fenix A320.

I began hearing about the Fenix A320 project a few months ago.  I’ll be honest, I really didn’t pay much attention to it until the last 60-90 days before release.  But the more I read about it the more I anxiously awaited its release and realized this could be the airliner to finally bring me more into MSFS. After all, I absolutely love the visuals (eye candy) in MSFS over P3D and truly want to do more airliner flying in the new sim. 

The Fenix A320 was a day one purchase for me and since the release, install and setup…I’ve flown nothing but the Fenix in MSFS.  I’ve successfully logged 24 flights in the Fenix and absolutely love it.  I’ve managed to setup the MSFS camera system to a point where I can use it and have been having fun.  I’ve flown a variety of short flights (1-2 hours) and several longer flights of 3-4 hours.  Both the Fenix and MSFS have performed flawlessly.  I’ve also started adding a few airports into MSFS from both some freeware selections on Flightsim.to and a few payware options where I’ve had discounts from previous P3D purchases.  While I’m not ready to uninstall P3D as I plan to fly P3D tomorrow in the Boeing 777, I’ll do the majority of my short-haul operations, and certainly all my Airbus flying in MSFS. 

Final thoughts on the Fenix A320.  I don’t like to “Never Say Never”, but if the devs behind the Fenix project remain true to their word and release the additional engine types and sharklets for the A320 and if they also produce (in time) an A319 and A321, I’ll be a Fenix customer from this point forward and won’t even consider any future FSLabs purchases in the A319/A320/A321 categories.  But of course time will tell. 

As always, thank you for reading. 

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

Around the World Adventure–Flight Day 6

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 6

To date our general flight routing has been with the goal of reaching South America.  All previous countries we’ve landed in or over-flown have been countries I’ve previously visited in the flight sim.  We’ve finally reached the portion of the trip where I’ve not (at least in the past 4-5 years) visited.  So today’s flight is taking a bit of a shortcut from Tocumen direct to Ecuador (bypassing Columbia).  Over the next few weeks the hope is to pickup all the remaining countries I need to visit to make South America 100%.  This plan also includes a flight down to Antarctica.  Once this has been achieved, we’ll turn and fly along the eastern coast as we make our way north towards the Caribbean.  While I’ve visited most of the Caribbean islands before, we’ll do a little island hopping to pickup the ones I’m missing and using that path as a shortcut to get back to Florida and the east coast of the US.

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Today’s flight is just under 500nm, but will be the first over open water as we’re taking a bit of a shortcut and flying direct from Panama City, Panama to Esmeraldas, Ecuador. 

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The Mooney Ovation has been performing flawlessly and is certainly up to the task.

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The Pacific Ocean is looking pretty calm, but keeping our eye on the clouds ahead of us. 

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As expected, had to climb above the clouds to avoid a small storm. 

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Runway ahead.  I think we’ll beat the rain. 

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On the ground in Ecuador.  As we’ve been pushing ourselves a bit hard over the past few days, we’re going to spend 2-3 days here exploring the area before proceeding towards Peru. 

Thanks for following along with my around the world adventure. 

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

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.

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MSLP MROC MPSM MPTO

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

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

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Flying over mountains in central Costa Rica. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Lining up on runway 01

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Climbing out

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Making our turn to head direct to MMTP.

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Smooth air above the clouds.

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Making our turn over Tapachula (MMTP).

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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

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Lined up and ready to take-off at KBRO.

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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. 

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Flying along the eastern coast of Mexico.

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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

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

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

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Performing our pre-flight checks.

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

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Climbing out over the clouds over Central Texas. 

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Descending into the Kerrville area. 

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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. 

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Flying over South Padre Island near Brownsville.

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On final approach into KBRO. 

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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

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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.

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

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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. 

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Holding short runway 17L KAPA

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Departing the south Denver area.

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Goodbye Denver, see you soon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Breaking through the clouds as we approach Georgetown.

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North Fork of the San Gabriel River.

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

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Final approach for runway 11.

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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.

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Additional Pilot Plus Wycombe Air Park Views.

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

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

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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. 

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Above: Adams Park Stadium

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

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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

GrizzlyBearSims

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