New Website Alpha Updated 08/02/17The Alpha version of the website has been updated as of 3 August 2017. Check out this forum post for more information.
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Sorry, Haven't been blogging for awhile. Some new treatments I've been going thru have left me without a lot of energy. Keeping my flight hours up has been the priority. But with starting to settle a little and feeling better, it's time to get back to it.
Picking back up and dropping into the 2017 North America Tour.
This is the 6th leg of the tour; Montreal, Canada to Charlottetown, Canada. It's one of the longer legs with 448 nm. Feeling like a little adventure these days, I've chosen to do this tour in a Cessna T303 Crusader.
Of course this is going to make things a little longer, but with about 100 hours to go for Senior Captain, that works for me. LOL
The guide has this leg at 1 hr and 16 min but all in it took 2 hrs and 50 min. Doing much better with " simming " and not just playing around I was able to do the entire flight from the VC without pausing and a landing rate of -157 fpm. Unfortunately I didn't decide to blog until halfway into the flight so I don't have any screen shots from the beginning of the flight.
Looking out the wind screen
Starting to run into some weather.......
I have been amazed at the variation of what I see outside my virtual cockpit during my adventure. This trip to Salt Lake City in Utah was no exception. Hot, endless and sand are a few words that spring to mind. This was also going to be one of my longest legs with 369 miles to fly. It was also my 'coldest' start so far, taking off from Carson City with a cool 10 degrees centigrade showing on the instruments. Probably due to the altitude of the airport and the early start of 0630 hours.
Take off from KCXP
The initial bit of the flight taxed my trusty cessna a bit. Already at a hight altitude in the mountains with further high ground aroud me but we managed it. I turned north east for a while before heading east over the mostly empty space of Nevada. After flying some time over the rocky and craggy land that makes up Neveda I crossed the border into Utah and almost immedietly entered the endless flat sands of the Great Salt Lake Desert...
The Great Salt Lake Desert
This desert is massive but eventually I could see the water of the Great Salt Lake...
The Great Salt Lake...not too far to go now
I was going to approach KSLC from the north which entailed flying towards the Wasatch Range before turning right to approach my destination...
Wasatch Range ahead....KSLC off to my right
... and there is KSLC
I managed a safe and sound landing at the major airport that is KSLC. Salt Lake City has a population of 193,744, making it the largest city in Utah as well as the capital. It ranks as 123rd in size amongst cities across the USA. Amazing to think a major metropolitan area has grown up in such a hot and arid area. A short stop over in Salt Lake City before heading east again. Wyoming up next....
After a lengthy absence from the touring life, not to mention blogging, this old bastard has once again jumped back in to the left seat.
My postponed 2017 Asia tour resumes with a flight from Sumatra, Indonesia to Samui, Thailand. While the first few legs were flown in X-Plane 10, flying the E1000, I have returned to P3D v3 in recent times and it is that platform that will provide yours truly with the opportunity to complete this adventure, flying the delightful L049 Constellation by A2A Simulations.
The Connie is one of those aircraft that steals your heart and never gives it back. If life had
punishedblessed me with another daughter, I think she may have been named Connie, such is my affection for this old gal. It is an aircraft that deserved the A2A treatment and they have delivered their finest work in my opinion.
Time to board our virtual pax, with our 'sweetheart' Betty doing the honours at the top of the stairs. When this bird loads into the sim, you hear the crew exchanges pleasantries and one of my flights had the Captain saying 'Hello sweetheart' to Betty. She didn't take offence, because none was intended! Ah, how I long for these simpler times...
FTX Global for the textures, REX for the clouds and the PTA tool for the shaders. Still not sure if I like the PTA thing as I'm not a heavy tweaker. I will experiment with it during this tour and reserve judgement for later.
Beautiful modelling inside and out by the guys at A2A.
I didn't capture many screenshots during this flight because...to be honest...there wasn't much to see.
Here's a couple from the final stages as I turned off the autopilot.
I won't blog every flight on the tour, but will check back in every now and again with a progress update.
Until next time
Yesterday I vlew from Manchester to Manila, a trip of six and a half thousand miles. The only problem I generally find with trips from the UK to that part of the world is that for most of the time you're vlying over thousands of miles of Russian steppes, so that even if the clouds part to let you see the ground there's, well, nothing much to see. A bit boring when it comes to posting pics of the trip therefore — so I've concentrated on a few other things that were happening on the flightdeck instead, and also included a few maps of my progress as seen from the Instructor Station.
I have to add that it was great to see so many other members of Worldwide Virtual in the air at the same time! :-D
OK, here are a few pics:
Manchester to Manila flight map
Manchester take-off run
Main panel passing FL160
Leaving the English coast
Map view crossing Sweden
Over the Baltic, headed for Estonia
2 NDs, 2 CDUs, upper and lower EICAS, and thrust levers
Printing initial ATIS on flight deck printer (lower centre — you can see the slip of paper being ejected)
Preliminary ATIS report
In Russia, north of central Kazakhstan, the clouds suddenly part for a while
Map - approaching the halfway point
89.9 tonnes of fuel remaining, X-feeds open, overrides on
Step climbing from FL330 to FL350
Live flight map - almost 30 other pilots vlying :-)
ND showing Step climb to FL370 in 100 nm (mountains shown in green 'cos they're way below us)
Map - approaching the Philippines
Leaving BUZAL for ZULU (ext view)
Final approach - gear down
Pilot's view — Runway in sight (OK, a bit distant)
Touching down soon
Touchdown at Manila rwy 24 — idle reverse, spoilers deployed, autobrakes
Parked at gate 8 and shutting down
Looking for a executive jet for X11?
Just purchased this aircraft. I am very impressed.
Provides extreme situational awareness for IFR and VFR, ease of operation of all systems.
The Skyview Garmin GTN 750/650 package is sweet.
When we created the current website as you see it from the ground up we managed to significantly reduce the time it took to add new airlines. However, it still took time - around 3 hours each time to make sure all the data was correct. So with that in mind, with the new website being developed, a new schedules designer was created. This app on the desktop will allow me to add new airlines in around 15 minutes.
BTW this is developed using .NET 4.5.x so like ACARS is not compatible with Windows XP but given its an internal tool won't affect anyone but me.
So pulling out Visual Studio (recently updated to the 2017 version), I created a program that looks a little bit like ACARS. Just to show a bit of the code:
This small yet powerful program is several 1000's of lines of code (nothing compared to your favourite game or office app). However it also allows me to connect with the online database and download all of the airports and aircraft to a local database.
The final result is a simple dialog allowing me to add an airline (one aircraft type at a time). However this method does not require me to get all of the aircraft regos so also makes it easier to change later.
Once the schedules have been sorted and checked (again that aircraft and airports database comes in handy), I can then upload the schedules direct to the website without ever having to go in the browser. Basically 15 minutes work which used to take 3 hours (when we first started 5 years ago it used to take a month).
Whilst this program will not be available to regular users, it shows how developers also develop their own internal tools to make their life easier. So next time you are concerned that your favourite developer hasn't had an update in a while its probably because they are developing a tool in the background to make life easier (i.e. a support system or content delivery system).
I love this landing its not that easy but its a lot of fun..
LOC RW 26 approach Landing RW 08 visual MIN 3700FT TRANS ALT FL120
/3.5 distance radial
247 radial & 065 in the next line
FLIGHT PLAN WAY POINTS
DVR KONAN KOK KOMOB DIK
PITES GEBDA KRH WLD BAVAX
From RTT track 255 to AB then track 230 to inn
then 264 to the 3.5 OEV radial ring [min 3700ft]
turn right and land RW 08