X-Plane now available via Steam


As first seen by me at SimStop this week we see X-Plane is now available via Steam. This is a sensible move from the Laminar guys, the product has always been up against the popularity of the MS franchise and anything that gets X-Plane in front of new eye-balls is a good thing. Be interesting to see how DLC will work and if other 3rd party tools will continue to work with the Steam delivered version.

X-Plane 10, the modern 64-bit desktop flight simulator from Laminar Research, creators of the X-Plane franchise, has made its debut as a digital download on the popular Steam platform. On the first day of its release X-Plane skyrocketed to the number seven spot on the Top-Seller list in Steams USA store and to number five in the German Steam store. X-Plane 10 was recently green-lighted by Steam and also received top-ratings when voted on by Steam users for consideration for inclusion in their product offerings.

see the Simstop article

Flight Replicas DeHavilland DH 114 Heron


A lovely 1950’s retro airliner released this week by Flight Replicas in the shape of the Flight Replicas DeHavilland DH 114 Heron. This machine has connections in NZ Australia having been operated by NAC and others, only one local repaint but surely others on the way from 3rd parties…

Discover the qualities of one of the iconic airliners of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. With a full passenger cabin, you can experience not only the challenging role of the pilot at the front, but also sit back in one of the 14 passenger seats and enjoy the views out of the large windows as the world goes by. And being a purposely-built rugged design, you are not confined to just large sophisticated airports but can also take your passengers and cargo to and from out-of-the-way places, sometimes (e.g. Barra, Scotland) with no runway at all!

see: Flight Replicas page

Review: A2A Piper Cherokee


You can never have enough reviews of payware aircraft especially when they’re of models that are detailed, sophisticated, and as a result a little pricier than the average garden publication. Anything from a vendor like A2A however is a safe bet, it’s just a matter of how much pocket money you have. Nice review here this week then of their Piper Cherokee

It is hard to sum up this gem in few words but I can say that it is an experience to fly, fun and forgiving. A2A has carved out a niche in the high demanding flight sim world and the A2A Cherokee is a sure hit. The plane is easy on the frames (I averaged 30fps) and is certainly easy on the eyes. With a price of $49.99 US it is a great plane for the price. From budding aviator to armchair pilot, this plane has a lot to offer as well a giving an inside taste of getting the real aircraft off the ground and maintaining it’s day to day operations.

see: Review Page

VOZ repaint for Aerosoft A320


Repaint of the Aerosoft A320 released at Avsim today by Alex from First Class Repaints in the livery of Virgin Australia. I didn’t realise VOZ operated the 320 so will definately be taking this bad boy for a spin. Looks quite nice on the airframe. (filename: axe320vhyudvoz.zip)

This is a repaint for the Aerosoft Airbus X Extended in Virgin Australia Colours (VH-YUD). Textures only for the payware aircraft. Readme Included. By First Class Repaints

Flight Simulator First Officer V2.2


Interesting looking tool release on avsim this week by Matthew King. A first officer GUI tool that performs check-list readings and various callouts. Looks to be nicely configurable, well worth a play, be very interesting to compare to some of the payware offerings.
Filename: fsfov2_2.zip

Flight Simulator First Officer is a generic virtual copilot for FSX and FS9. The primary function of FSFO is to assist the Pilot In Command (PIC) to fly the aircraft safely while adhering to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). This is accomplished via virtual checklist and sharing of cockpit duties/responsibilities. Specifically, the First Officer reads the following configurable checklist: Before Start, After Start, Before Takeoff, In-Range, After Landing and Shutdown. After reading the checklist items, the Copilot will wait to ensure you (i.e. the pilot) have configured the aircraft correctly before proceeding to the next item

Easter Island scenery for FSX


It really doesn’t get much more remote than Easter Island, and now you’ve got no excuse not to fly there with this funky looking scenery release from Carlyle Sharpe at avsim.com this week. Looks great, downloading now to have a quick play, and I guess a test flight to Chile?
Filename: easter_island.zip

This project rebuilds Easter Island / Isla de Pascua. Mataveri Intl (SCIP) is completely overhauled, and all airport objects are aligned from satellite imagery. Landclass polygons and coastlines were meticulously hand-drawn directly from satellite imagery to provide the most detailed and accurate scenery available for this region.

Dovetail Games’ Licensing Deal With Microsoft Takes Flight


Well I guess I couldn’t not post something about this story, even if it really is splattered all over the simming communities so be surprised if you don’t know about it already. After a couple of months of speculation it turns out the mystery licensee of the MS Flight platform is DoveTail, the creators of Train Simulator. Going to be interesting to see if there are any practical synergies between the two platforms or if it’s more of an investment thing where they essentially market them as two completely separate products. Either way you’d have to say it’s a positive thing for the community to see a little life breathed back into Flight. Also of interest is their agreement to distribute FSX via Steam so going to be some pretty interesting DLC options on the horizon I expect…

The award-winning creators of the best-selling Train Simulator franchise have today announced a global licensing deal with Microsoft, granting them the rights to develop and publish all-new flight products based on Microsoft’s genre-defining flight technology. The company is currently investigating new concepts in this area and is expecting to bring a release to market in 2015.

In addition to this licensing agreement, Dovetail Games is pleased to announce that it has also acquired the rights to distribute the multi-award winning Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Gold Edition via Valve’s popular digital retail channel, Steam

see the DoveTail press release

KLAX AFCAD tweak for FSDT scenery


If you’re running the awesome FSDreamTeam Los Angeles for your long haul trans Pacific destinations, you might want to take a look at this AFCAD tweak from Sebastian Szucs that he’s just posted at Avsim. Apparently corrects a few parking codes/locations.
Filename: fsdt_klaxv2_afcad.zip

This is an AFCAD update for FsDreamteam’s Los Angeles International Airport. I have reworked the original AFCAD, so that all airlines should use the appropriate gates now, especially at the TBIT.

Airbus X Extended in new Aircalin livery


Last repaint for the week (I promise) from Avsim.com. This time the fabulous new Aircalin livery for the Aerosoft Airbus X, just the part for some Pacific flying our of Noumea this weekend. This paint by Jon Murchison of ARNZ fame.
Filename: abxext_aircalin_sharklets.zip

Repaint of the Aerosoft Airbus X Extended with sharklets featuring the new Aircalin livery. Note this file replaces an earlier version which incorrectly had Air Niugini textures in it.

PMDG 747 in Qantas’ World Cup special livery


And yet another Aussie themed repaint released at Avsim this week. This time the special World Cup livery for the PMDG 737, repainted by Alex Diederich…
Filename: pmdg747vhoejqfa.zip

This is a repaint for the PMDG 747 in Qantas’ World Cup special livery, registered VH-OEJ. The AIrcraft used to be painted in the Special “Wunula Dreaming” scheme. It still carries the Wunula decals, but it has been painted for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Textures only for the payware aircraft. Readme Included. Repaint by First Class Repaints.