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Around the World in 80 Flights Review
31 replies to this topic
Posted 07 March 2009 - 09:46 AM
I have some small issues with this add-on:There are some typos in the filenames. While this is not really an issue, I can't really understand why such an obvious error can make it in to a retail product.The probably more serious problem is that the flight plans are written in two different formattings (probably FS9 and FSX). This was a big problem for me since my flight planning software (Courseplanner) did recognize one of them, but not the other. Hence, I spent most of last night writing a program that reads savegames and creates flight plans... If someone is interested in this, send me a message.
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Posted 08 March 2009 - 12:07 PM
I'd recommend you send that question to the vendor's forum or customer support cell.
Oh, I discovered another thing: I don't seem to be able to change the NAV or COM frequencies. There is this plus/minus-Hand, but when I click or scroll, nothing happens.Do you have any idea how I can fix this?
Posted 08 March 2009 - 04:08 PM
In the review, I pointed out that you are better off using the ATC window to tune the radios, because of how fiddly it is to tune the older-style radios manually, which is why I believe it was a deliberate choice on the part of the developers to force users to do that. So, strictly speaking, the radios are not 'broken', rather it was a deliberate design choice to limit their ability to cause difficulties on the 80 flights, but if you would prefer to have them manually adjustable, it is easy to 'fix':Because the Electra has essentially the same radio as the DC-3, all you need to do is open the default DC-3 config file, scroll down to the 'radio' section in the DC-3 cfg text, highlight the 'radio' stats, copy them, open up the Electra config file, highlight the same 'radio' section stats and hit paste. Save the Electra cgf file and your radios will be manually adjustable in the Electra. (back things up first if you are unfamiliar with doing this sort of thing, just to be on the safe side).In case you are curious as to why I did not mention this point in the review, I chose not to get into discussing how to make this change because I'd already got into several comments about tweaking configuration files and thought it would be unwieldly to bang on about other things you could do, especially since I believe it was a wise move on the part of the developers to have the radios work in that way for the included flights, and having them that way does not preclude users from making any of the flights so long as they use the ATC window in FS.In fact, I was quite impressed with the developers making that choice, as it goes a long way toward making it difficult to screw up your journey by losing ATC control, again, like a lot of other things in Around the World in 80 Flights, I thought it was indicative of the high degree of careful thought that had gone into the product.But if you want to use the Electra for other flights, or you just like to have full manual control of all the equipment, I would nevertheless recommend making that cfg tweak.Hope that helps - Al
Posted 08 March 2009 - 04:36 PM
I do take issue with the reviewer and his review of this product.It seems that the reviewer was wearing a serious shade of rose spectacles when trying this product.The reviewer has actually included more about some of the early legs of this RTW flight than the documentation which came with the product!So far, and I am as far down as Mobassa, I have seen very few notable features in the scenery, But from 18,000 feet I am not likely to see much, especially pyramids as a noted feature. Many of the legs so far involve long tracts of virtual nothingness and in some cases actual nothngness as you cross some of the seas.The accompanying documentation serves little to explain what we are passing by or over and little description of the departure point. route or destination. Well since each leg is describe in around 3 or 4 sentences there isn't much room for any detail. So of education there is little to be gained, save a few snippets of historical detail.As mentioned by another respondant the flight plans supplied seem to have come from different sources. They actually appear in 3 formats. Since I use Pro Flight, which needs the specific FSX format flight plans, I have to manually edit them to be compatible!Perhaps it is telling that the reviewer takes up a little over half his review talking about the the Electra model included! It is the RTW trip which is the reason why I, and I am sure most purchasers wanted the package!I haven't tried to present these questions to First Class Simulations as I have heard from others and on here that responses to probems are NOT forthcoming.You may ask why, if it is so bad, then why am I following it still! Well it is a route specified by another and my object is not about the eye candy. At least the routings are provided and the legs within range. But I may yet still abandon it in favour of something more suitable.Nigel
Posted 08 March 2009 - 06:46 PM
You are of course free to disagree with my assessment of Around the World in 80 Flights. Needless to say, all reviews are to a large extent opinions, but to address some of your points from my own standpoint:Yes it is true that I mentioned aspects of the route which the manual does not detail, but that is because to do so focused on what I regard as being a fundamental point of the product; in that it encourages you to explore. Granted, it takes you along a route, but it is for the user to employ their imagination and curiosity when travelling that route. There would be little point in regarding the flights as exploratory on a pre-determined route if everything were to be spoon-fed, since exploration is not the same as a guided tour. This is in fact why I also mentioned the CIA website at the end of the review and provided a link to it, remarking that it would further the user's enjoyment of the product, since it is a good source for maps and further information about the places you fly to (and over). To some extent it does depend upon your point of view whether one chooses to regard not being told everything as devoid of description, or a catalyst for imagination and curiosity. That may be why you regard my view as being through rose-tinted flying goggles: I don't see it that way at all, I think it is a springboard for the imagination.The flights are already planned, so there is no actual need to use another flight planning utility to undertake them in FS. If anyone chooses to go beyond them being ready for use within FS by employing another flight planner, they are of course free to do so, but the lack of compatibility with a product other than FS should not be regarded as a failing, the product is marketed as an add-on for FS and it received a review based on that premise. One always has to be careful when reviewing a product to not go beyond the remit of how the product is presented for use. This is why I highlighted some issues with FS, and some with hardware, because they are pertinent to the product as it is supplied for use.Part of the challenge of Around the World in 80 Flights is to undertake the circumnavigation in the aircraft provided, and whilst anyone is free to make the flights in another aircraft if they choose to do so, the included Lockheed Electra aircraft are a large part of the product and part of the justification for its price, so it would be remiss not to look at these in-depth, because they are not merely an afterthought. Clearly, the journey is a major part of the attraction, but as noted in the review more than once, I chose to avoid detailing every aspect of the routes to prevent the review from spoiling any potential buyer's enjoyment of the product, so there is no imbalance in how I chose to cover the product, it merely detailed what I felt was necessary.Anyway, whether you agree or disagree with my standpoint, it's certainly interesting to hear another point of view, so thank you for the feedback.Al
Posted 09 March 2009 - 03:10 AM
I have very ambivalent feelings towards this add-on. On the one hand, I really like the idea of being provided with a route and a plane and some narrative and flying this route as an adventure. On the other hand I can not quite understand why there are so many small but annoying glitches in this product. After all, I payed money for it and it feels sloppily done at best.Things like numerous typos, those deactivated radios etc. just are not necessary and do not at all add to the value of the package -- especially the deactivated radios are just a measure to render the aircraft virtually useless for any VFR flying, which is a shame, since the aircraft really is pretty good.Also, I did write an email to the customer support and they did not answer. This is one thing I really hate and this really shows if the developers are devoted or careless.So, while this add-on may still be worthwhile, I for one could not recommend it to anyone with a straight face until these issues are rectified. However, since I do like the idea, I am thinking about assembling an inofficial patch that corrects these issues. But really, this should be the developers work and not mine. (Perhaps they are even working on one?)
Posted 09 March 2009 - 05:07 AM
Firstly, thank you for Alan for taking the time to review and to comment here.Nigel, thank you for your comments. This is not a support forum, so I will limit my replies to the context of the review and your comments to Alan.To take your points individually:-1) Scenery and route: A huge amount of work has gone into showcasing the best scenery areas in FSX and FS2004. There were a multitude of criteria used in creating the route and Alan touched upon some of those in the review, from graduation of difficulty, to length of leg, to the interest and scenery of the route. It took months to work out. Inevitably, there are some areas where the landscape under your wings may seem flat and featureless. Outside of the USA and a few other select areas the quality of the FS scenery and mesh resolution is much reduced in the product. The Microsoft team simply did not provide an equal level of detail to the landscape around the world. That being said, I worked diligently to take the aircraft to what I consider is the best of the scenery that MS provided for us by default. As such, rather than fly over featureless landscape the route visits islands such as the Seychelles, Madagascar etc etc. There was a conscious design design to limit the default scenery effect for instance, by choosing a Pacific crossing rather than the other option of a crossing over Russia and the Bering Strait. The more northerly route would have entailed hours of flat landscape with nothing to see. The Pacific crossing is a challenge itself, and also broken up by visiting a range of islands and atolls which I hope many will find of interest, from Papua New Guinea to Midway Island etc. With the exception of the Pacific, for the reasons given, there was a conscious effort on my part to avoid as much ocean crossing as possible, or to limit the duration where it was unavoidable during my design of the product. The vast majority of the route is overland. Again, I emphasise a huge effort was made to make the best of the default scenery. I believe that has been achieved. There is much to be seen from the caribbean, to the fjords of Greenland to San Francisco and Lake Tahoe, to a sunset over Singapore! (Incidentally you shouldn't be seeing the pyramids from 18000ft, the aircraft lands close by in Cairo :) )2) documentation: My aim was to give a flavour of each leg of the journey that sparks the imagination without dousing the spirit of adventure and discovery that I had hoped to set as a tone for the product. I encourage people to research the flights if they so choose and to go deeper than what was in the documentation. As Alan points out in his review comments, I did not want to spoon feed the user and thereby limit the adventure. I hope that I found the right balance in the documentation. A good example of this is that I have gratified to see many users are really enjoying the flights and have even started a blog researching the adventure as they go. This is exactly what I had hoped for. I provide the tools and means, you provide the adventure. A good example is "Bertie's blog" which I find most interesting. http://bertiebassett...80-flights.htmlFrom feedback received, many many people are enjoying the whole adventure and spirit of the journey.3) Flightplans. I never believed there would be an issue with them. They were created in FSX and FS2004 and modified as needed using FSBuild. They are ready to fly in the product which was the whole idea, as again Alan mentions in his comments. I am genuinely sorry if you have had problems tweaking them. I had presumed that if anyone wanted to tweak them they would be more advanced users who would simply rewrite them with SIDS and STARs etc from scratch if they wished. The aim was to cater for all level of FS user from the beginner upwards with ready made, ready to fly flight plans that load with the situation in FS.I am not sure what you have heard in terms of support from First Class Simulations, but I personally believe the quality of user support is excellent and the entire team approachable.I really do hope that you will stick with the flights and share the enjoyment that many others are experiencing with the package. I also appreciate your comments.all the very bestJane
Posted 09 March 2009 - 07:34 AM
Thanks to 'Chock' and Jane for your replies.I feel a response is required.You both make the point that you did not want to 'spoon feed' your customers with details on the trip and to allow them to research the route for themselves. So, I would ask, what are we paying you for?Your suggestion seems a tad like a teacher taking her charges to the local library, pointing out all the books they could read and saying "There now I have taught you everything"!I was not expecting a raft of geopolitical information about the places I am overflying or flying near, but I guess the reasons that you had for picking the stations we fly to and the routes taken. You must have had reasons for picking those over all the alternatives, especially as you say it took you so long in the planning.The add-on Electra aircraft, I first thought was a 'make weight' to compensate for a lack of features in the route. I am now thinkng it was intended to be the main feature of the package. 'Chock' makes a lot of it in his review and the First Class web page features it as the sole representation of the package in the video clip provided.However as I have said I have dropped the Electra in favour of the Mooney as more suitable. Even the blog link that Jane provided showed he too has chosen the Mooney over the Electra.On that same blog I did notice the words 'long' and 'boring', refering to the enroute scenery, occurng more than once. The most of his blog is talking of the things he has researched seperatley to bolster up his experience of this RTW trip.Jane, you may also have seen the blog linked from the one you mention (http://metropoppyfie...orld/index.html) where another person was having troubles with the Electra model. I believe also a reviewer in PC Pilot abandoned the Electra model because it was too difficult. Jane, did you fly out the RTW route in the Electra?So where does this leave us - a route which appears to lack interest and an aircraft model, which may have made up for the other, but itself is lacking controlability.As I am substantially into the trip I just hope that the next few legs take me to somewhere that is worthwhile.Jane you say you are happy with the support you provide. However you only need to look to the preceding post in this thread to see someone who has asked for help and received none.Nigel
Posted 09 March 2009 - 07:53 AM
Just to clarify here, neither you, nor anyone else for that matter is paying me for anything, I'm a voluntary reviewer for Avsim and nothing to do with First Class Simulations.Al
Thanks to 'Chock' and Jane for your replies.I feel a response is required.You both make the point that you did not want to 'spoon feed' your customers with details on the trip and to allow them to research the route for themselves. So, I would ask, what are we paying you for?Nigel
Posted 09 March 2009 - 09:44 AM
I feel that much that is said here is a bit harsh.Despite the issue with the radios, the Electra is really nice (and if it really is that easy to "repair", I don't mind) -- it might be one of the more difficult aircrafts, but that is solely because of its age, not because it is badly done. I agree wholeheartedly that this is not at all a flaw in the package but really adds to the adventure. After all, if you like to use another aircraft, you are free to do so.While I still wouldn't recommend this add-on to everyone, I personally really like it even though at this point, I probably spent more time hacking around with it instead of using it. However, this is more a problem of my route planning software than with the add-on.Also, I like the small descriptions of each legs. They could be a tad longer, but there is really no need.
Posted 09 March 2009 - 10:49 AM
Paperflyer,I am sorry that you had support problems. We do take support very seriously. I can assure that in no way would your mail be intentionally ignored. If you would like to send me a PM I will gladly arrange for the matter to be rectified.all the bestJane
Posted 26 April 2009 - 09:15 PM
Hello, I enjoyed the review thanks so much - and I am considering purchasing, but some of the Q's in this thread make me wonder if I am going to be able to fly the Electra with Radar Contact successfully? Radar Contact needs the transponder to be manually set for obvious reasons - can that be done as well as the radios, via the cfg tweak? Is there a transponder on board for this plane?Thx and best,Kabli
Posted 26 April 2009 - 11:38 PM
By default there is no transponder on the radio because it is an old aircraft, but you can easily add a different radio to the aircraft by tweaking the config file yourself, as you can with any other FS aircraft. It's releatively simple to add any gauge you like to an aircraft and there are plenty of tutorials kicking about on the net which explain how to do that if you are unsure of how to do it, there are even some in the panel designer's forums on Avsim in fact. But if you get stuck, PM me and I'll tell you how to go about it.Al
Posted 21 August 2009 - 05:43 PM
I just read the review of this package and found it helpful. Thanks Alan. I would love if the developper of this addon would consider correcting that one plane that has cables attached to the DF loop antenna. I would also like to know if someone has repainted this plane to look like the plane that Amelia Earhart flew in 1937. I believe the edge of the wings were painted red and the plane itself was all bare metal. I really like that color scheme and was wondeing why it was not included. Regardless of what this package was intended to represent, you title something "Around The World..." and include an L-10 Electra, people are obviously going to associate this package with the ill-fated flight in 1937. That's just common sense.Anyway, I think I'm going to get the package anyway. I think I will enjoy flying the Electra. I just hope that someone with some skills will take the time to do an "Amelia" version. I wish I had the know-how myself. Unfortunately, I am lucky if I find the "on" button on my conputer, let alone messing around with paint programs...Gianluca
Posted 21 August 2009 - 06:07 PM
Well, if you take a look in the tutorials section of AVSIM's forums, there is a tutorial by me on how to repaint FS aircraft. Glad you liked the review. It's a very good product, and if you are looking for a challenge that will last a long time, then I can guarantee you that flying around the world in a plane that does well to average 170 miles per hour when you have realistic weather settings on is certainly one of those! Took me ages to complete it, but I finally managed to do so, and it was good fun as well as being pretty educational. Have a good sleep before you attempt the Pacific legs!Al
Posted 29 July 2010 - 10:48 AM
Greetings Ladies and Gents! This is my first message on this forum, but I haven't registered just to post on this thread: since sometime now I was lurking in the dark collecting useful information, as I'm quite a new virtual pilot using FSX Acceleration since just a couple of weeks! I come from b]IL-2 Sturmovik[/b], as my foremost interest in Aviation is about those WWII era screwdrivers prop aircraft, but of course I'm very much fascinated by all kind of kites, and even in that exciting and very challenging FS I spend most of the time exploring places and maps around the world, more than fighting; so my switch to the FSX world was easy and enjoyable, so far. As I wrote, I'm quite a rookie, but I already collected about 100 hours flying time (almost half of them by night), and I'm flying almost exclusively VFR, since I'm not much interested in becoming a train driver myself: I admit I'm surely challenged by the complexity of IFR flying those huge airliners, but in the end I get bored fast, and prefer to switch back to a F4U Corsair or even to the Goose, and fly around as I please... As a discovery of FSX I started from a nearby Mil Base (LIMN) in Northern Italy one night with a Mooney Bravo, and islands hopped down to Malta, and then from Istambul I reached Gibraltar, collecting almost all of my flying hours exploring many places and islands I know since my land and sea travels in the real world, and loved it. I find most amazing to compare the airfields depicted in the forties of IL-2 how they got transformed as they are depicted in FSX: one glaring example comes to mind when flying the Hawaii Islands from Dillingham airfield as I compared it to the excellent and accurate map made by modders in IL-2. Apologies for the lengthy introduction, but this is my first message here, so bear with me. I resurrected this thread since this is the first Addon I installed on FSX, as I was much excited at the idea to expand my first clumsy attempt I mentioned (the Mediterranean Tour) to a World Wide raid and discovery: I've just made my first flight and feel somewhat deluded. As noted already, it would be difficult to appreciate the places from 20000', if you ever reach that height (I know the good Alan did!), but of my grumblings later. The first thing in this package I did not liked is that install just free flights, and not Mission/Adventures where you could have briefings (with images) and eventual rewards/postcards as memento of your accomplishments! The second thing is the poorly manageable aircraft: Chock wrote in his review this is a choice made by the designers to simulate the difficulties those flyers had; that may be, but then why fly in the modern IFR world at impossible altitudes? At my first attempt, I lost so much time trying to reach the proper IFR required altitude, and delving with that buggy AP, I run out of fuel short of Paris and glided down safely in a field in the NW area! No doubt my combat training in IL-2 came to fruition! I love to crashland in that FS after an hot mission, as the damage depiction and management is excellent there, and even if your aircraft falls literally apart, you would in the end know if you survived your adventure. That is missing in FSX... On my second attempt, I just went to the fuel pump and filled all the tanks: taking off was a nightmare, but I switched to a VFR plan to 7500' and managed to land safely in Paris, without the ATC continuous and annoying calls to speed up my climb! As a revenge flight I took off the same night with a fast and beautiful Mosquito Intruder, and without using any radio I just took off and landed back at Farnborough flying at 4000', mostly with nav lights off too! The points about the Electra are: the AP switches are inverted in the VC and in the panel too, so you'll need some fiddling around trying to figure out the correct positions for GPS or Nav, and even using the keyboard shortcuts, sometimes create a whole mess; you cannot load a full amount of fuel anyway: I had somewhat 50% of fuel at Orly starting for my second flight, so instead of roaming that huge airport to find a fuel pump I called the fuel track. It came in due course and imagine what? As I selected for a 100% load in the panel, it was noticed it was above my maximum weight: I chose to lower my quantity by some amount and fill up as much as possible, and when the truck left my tanks were empty! Alan, please, if you have any useful information on how to tweak the Electra .cfg, please PM me! I need a true Pratt&Whitney R-1340-49 power, a larger amount of fuel, and possibly a better AP too. I confess I checked all the Electra around, but they wouldn't load properly in FSX Acceleration; I even attempted to use parts of their .cfg pasting them in the ATW Electra, but I ended up with a total mess, or an altogether missing plane. I'm seriously thinking to switch to a modern twin engine aircraft, even to the Grumman Intruder I love to fly, but that would mean a different set of challenges. Over. S! PS: As this is my first message I noticed the direct editing is not working using Mozilla Firefox, and I had to edit all manually in html... Is there any chance the direct functions will be upgraded and made more compliant in the near future? I surely hope so! PPS: I cannot actually edit my message but just in html directly, and that is a bit... boring!
Posted 29 July 2010 - 07:29 PM
Hi Kumara,It is your lucky day in some ways, because if you take a look on the forums, you will see that Jane Rachel Whittaker, who is the deputy editor of PC Pilot magazine and also the writer of several FS product manuals, is a member of the Avsim forums, and Jane is actually the creator of Around the World in 80 Flights, too.If you look in the brand-new Addictive Simulations support forums right here on Avsim, you will find Jane there, and if you click on her name, you can of course PM her and talk to the person who no doubt knows more about Around the Worlds in 80 flights than any other person. Jane is extremely knowledgeable on aviation matters, not to mention a lovely person, and if you want to know how to fly a Boeing 737 properly, you can ask her about that too, because she can fly one.Of course one of the nice things about Around the World in 80 Flights, is that it works in both FS9 and FSX, but as nice as that is, it does mean that it was unfeasible to make it use the FSX mission system without cheating FS9 users out of much of the experience, so although the FS9 and FSX versions are different (i.e the routes differ to take advantage of the scenery high points of each sim to some extent), they are not so different as to end up shortchanging FS9 users.Around the World in 80 Flights is of course geared toward the user having the choice to make those flights in any aircraft they choose if the Electra does not appeal, so you might want to look at trying the Flight 1 Uiver DC-2, or the MAAM DC-3, or the Aerosoft PBY Catalina, maybe even the A2A B-17 if you want a few prop aircraft that go for full-on realism. The Electra which comes with it is pretty nice, but it was a deliberate choice to not make it totally hard-core realistic in terms of engine management, as that would have lessened the appeal of the product to a narrow field of hard-core simmers, thus the flexibility is one of its nicer features, but the inclusion of another three aircraft for your hangar added value to the package. I can recommend trying it in the Aerosoft Catalina - that really is a challenge with those tough to manage engines.There are one or two tweaks for the Electra listed in the Avsim review of Around the World in 80 Flights of course, so you can try those, but ultimately, the challenge of trying to get that Electra over the mountains and nurse the fuel over the Pacific is one that makes for a good deal of fun and some hard choices on what fuel you take and what you leave behind, which is of course something that makes it very engaging. Stick with it, there are some really tough choices on that front with some of the flights you make, especially if you turn on real world weather.And if you have any really tough questions, try giving Jane a PM, she's probably forgotten more about navigating aircraft in the modern world than most of us will ever know.Al
Posted 29 July 2010 - 08:54 PM
Hello Alan,thanks for your considerations and suggestions: I've just landed the Electra at Provence Marseilles, flying VFR at 7500'! It was an uneventful flight, except above Clermont Ferrand and the Puy du Dome: as I recall that area is one of the most beautiful site I visited in my life... I'm starting to understand how to fly properly in this aircraft, and I agree it may be a fine challenge: I put my mixture at 21% and purr my course all the way at the fast pace of 120 Mph, and parked her with the fuel manometer about the 60 marks (I still have to understand what it really indicates, since the maximum scale goes only up to 200 below F): I loaded 600 gallons just to be sure! The fuel truck bug came out again, so it's a sure thing, at least in Orly: if you like to add some gallons, the truck will come and depart, living you completely dry! 'If you can't make it with this fuel quantity, you'd better don't go!'I also thought about the Dakota as a suitable replacement, maybe less elegant than the Electra; the Cat is so much fun to fly, and it is amphibious, so besides the growling wonderful radials, you also get land/water/air in one stroke, and can always hijack one of those tanker ships in the middle of the Pacific Ocean if you got short on fuel! But let's see how the Lockheed kite will fare in the next few hops.I've just downloaded a nice freeware Rewards file that will give you some 200 postcards for places you'd happen to visit in the USA: a nice and funny idea, since the author wouldn't say which places will give you a postcard (or a couple): as yet I already got 5, but i cannot recall how I got two of them, since sometime I just decide for a surprise free flight from anywhere in the World; anyway this may be a very good idea to add to this package, if I would only know how to assemble such kind of data. Is the Jane you're talking about the same one who flew with the Chevaliers Du Ciel on her pages at Jenny Air? I'm still convinced the Engines should be a little more powerful so I may contact her; in the meantime I will try the tweak of the fuel selectors, and possibly try a repaint following your suggestion above to go to the tutorials section...Cheers!PS: with the Quick Reply all the text editing functions work as they should, but not so if I try the full Reply! I'm puzzled...
Posted 30 July 2010 - 06:46 AM
Hi Kumara,Thank you for taking the time to constructively comment. I genuinely appreciate it. Unfortunately, I have no control over the fuel truck bug, that is actually an FSX issue :(You are quite right in that full fuel tanks push the aircraft over the official gross weight, that is deliberate, as this aircraft has been modified with long range tanks that did just that. You would not normally want full tanks except for the few very long legs. This is in fact, realistic, and was the fuel set up used by ace adventurer Amelia Earhart. Yes, she took off on some flights over the official maximum weight of the aircraft. It is do-able but adds a real challenge to take-off. This is a realism that I wanted to recreate. These days the aviation authorities would not be best impressed, but this was actually done with the Electra by Earhart. In fact, nearly all of the long legs in this trip actually replicate her journey with the fuel load she would carry! You will find that many of the legs deliberately mirror her fateful journey around the world in which she went missing.There are some systems in the aircraft that you might consider "crude" by modern standards. Again, this was a deliberate policy to provide people looking for the ultimate challenge with avionics and gauges that matched the real aircraft.As for your other points, Al hit the nail on the head. There was a huge demand that the product remain compatible with FS2004 so it was designed that way. A specific FSX version would have doubled the development time (although I did add in some updated flights that offer better scenery in FSX) This extra development time would have raised the product price significantly and we did not want to charge you more.Thank you again!
Posted 30 July 2010 - 09:28 AM
Hi Jane, and thanks for answering here!From what I understood reading Alan's review the L10E had more powerful engines than the standard versions: I still have to check the other two Electra present in the package, but as hinted by the reviewer there shouldn't be any relevant difference between them and the Amelia Earhart's version. Actually I would be willing as I wrote to tweak a bit into the .cfg file to have a more realistic power curve for those P&W radials. If you have any data I can look into and test fly it, I would be more than willing; I'm not an expert about Earhart historic flight, but from the little I could understand, she had the Electra modified to have a lot more fuel while removing all passengers' seats and consequently required some more powerful engines: it seems odd to me this plane has so much difficulties in climbing, even without a full fuel load, but I may be wrong.I also can understand why the developer wanted to keep the sense of challenge in doing so, but even then it takes away the spirit of exploring the globe, while you have to wrestle with the AP switches, or always be anxious about your fuel and even worse trying to keep the IFR for High Altitudes commercial flights. I'm convinced it would be fun enough to accomplish the whole trip at low altitudes and VFR where you can enjoy more of the landscapes, or implement a more manageable climb rate: to reach 20000' as a challenge I can always check out a glider, without worrying about the fuel, as it appears to be at present in this aircraft. As a rookie FS pilot I decided just to take off in the Mooney to make a tour of the Mediterranean: I didn't know how to use the AP or the Radio, and I had no flight plan at all! I just wandered above places I traveled, and landed as I pleased (a true air pirate already registered in the black book of GA, if you ask me! ) when I needed fuel, or wanted to have a close look at the places I knew; in doing so I started to fiddle with all these modern procedures and instruments, and find it's even added fun to the experience...As I wrote I downloaded a fine freeware postcard Rewards dispenser (just a few MBs): I cannot believe that would be such a difficult task to accomplish and include it in the FSX install. If you cannot have a detailed briefing before taking off, at least you get a reward when you accomplish it, and IMO that would also increment the will of the virtual pilot to go on in this long flight. Of course this is my 2 cents.S!
Posted 30 July 2010 - 09:46 AM
Earhart's Electra was so overloaded on most departures that it could barely fly properly. Keep in mind that to get funding for the flight, she had to gain sponsorship from a University and have the aircraft equipped as a 'flying laboratory' in order that her trip was of some scientific merit. It also had some very heavy radio navigational equipment on board, in addition to the extra fuel tanks.She actually crashed it on her first attempt at departing for her ill-fated attempt to circumnavigate the globe, severely damaging the landing gear and bashing the fuselage up a bit, making it necessary for her circumnavigation attempt to be delayed whilst the Electra was repaired by Lockheed.Earhart claimed that a tire blew on the take off run and caused it to ground loop, but several pilots, including the legendary Paul Mantz saw the crash happen and were adamant that it was her fault in trying to haul it off the deck too early. She also had Harry Manning on board when she crashed it on that occasion, as well as Noonan, but when the Electra was repaired and she set off successfully, she only had Noonan on board accompanying her for that second take off, which gives you some idea of how critical she regarded the weight as being.Al
Posted 30 July 2010 - 12:02 PM
I see. But even that given I find the behavior in flight somewhat unrealistic: I've just landed at Sion, again converting to a VFR flight plan at 17500' (useless, if you ask me): after an eternity I was able to reach that altitude, set the AP to keep it and the master AP on GPS to keep the nav straight and relax; the plane was barely exceeding 100 Mph at max throttle, 20% mixture and about half the fuel load with which I took off; the aircraft was oscillating continuously governed by the AP both in pitch and in roll directions; I was fed up and disengaged all AP to level it, and I lost some 1000' in the procedure; possibly it was windy, I cannot say, but this started from took off until I decided I had enough and flew it manually into the valley to Sion in a relatively fast dive. I have the impression this kite can barely fly at all, sometime. In my previous flight from Paris, it was much more stable at 7500'... I wonder if this is correct, but I doubt it, since this plane was an advanced airliner in her age, and I doubt the VIPs using it were so hazardous minded.