Browse Author

Calum Martin

Website Admin. I have been an avid fan of Flight Sim since the release of '2000 and have been developing my love for aviation ever since. Currently working for a UK airline, I have the knowledge and experience to really deliver an excellent aviation community. Although no real life flying experience, I have a good understanding and always learning more and more.

Introducing: FSElite Developer Month

FSElite’s 2017 theme is all about delivering for the community. Whether that be through improved servers, more content or new ways to interact with FSElite. With this in mind, I would like to introduce to you our next bold move into pushing this theme out to you.

Introducing Developer Month for the month of March.

For the entire month, we have stories, interviews, videos and more to share with you from some of your favourite developers. Not only that, but the FSElite team have put together stories about their chosen developer and why they’re special to them.

The entire month is about celebrating their hard work, dedication and passion to the community. We have some really interesting content to share with you so keep an eye on FSElite for March.

 

If you’re a developer and keen to be a part of this, now is your chance! Send me an email via our contact page and we can get it sorted!

Orbx Will NOT Be Charging for Upgrades to Prepar3d V4

Prepar3d V4 rumours and information have been rife lately, and today, Orbx CEO John Venema adds to that. Based on his previous statements [Editor’s note: sorry, couldn’t find the original post], Orbx have today announced that there will be NO UPGRADE FEE for when Prepar3d v4 is released.

This is excellent news as many people have been worried that the new version, likely to be 64-bit, will mean that many developers would charge additional upgrade fees. Not only will Orbx be updating their entire library free of charge, it’ll be done ‘magically’ through FTX version 3 without even having to download gigs and gigs of data.

John wants to remind everyone to not pester people on the Orbx team as they are all under strict NDAs, but wanted to reassure the community they are as committed as ever to bringing the best scenery to Prepar3d.

You can read the full forum post over on the Orbx forums, but we’ve pretty much covered it all here.

Did Aerosoft Just Give Let Slip of Prepar3d V4?

Just a quick one from me. We recently outed some rumoured information regarding Prepar3d V4 and Aerosoft may have let slip a little more than they wanted to.

Whilst talking about the new Connected Flight Deck feature for their upcoming A330, Mathijs showed off what he does whilst working to keep his mind busy. As you can see, he enjoys reading upon datalink, watching TV and writing documents! Fun!

But what’s really interesting is the icons on his desktop itself. In the top, far right hand corner is a black icon that looks a little too familiar. Once zoomed in, you can see it’s clearly Prepar3d V4.

Now we know, we know, anyone can set an icon for the desktop, and maybe it’s Mathijs just teasing us (he does hint at it in his post). Regardless, whether it’s a developer poking some fun or a “whoops, I messed up” mistake, it’s lighthearted.

Before anyone screams FAKE NEWS, it’s not ‘fake’. You can see the image and you can see the post here. Anything relating to Prepar3d v4 is conjecture until Lockheed Martin say something official. Anything going forward is simply discoveries made by us or the community.

Of course, we’ll always verify any information to ensure it’s as accurate as it can be.

Any feedback is always welcome, just comment below or send us an email via our contact page.

QualityWings Q1 2017 Update – 787 Status

QualityWings today posted an update for their 787, which has been in beta testing since December 2016. Since beta testing started, over 150 different bugs and fixes have been identified and are currently receiving treatment. It’s their biggest project yet since development officially took full focus 3.5 years ago. As a result of the lengthy development, QualityWings have decided that this will be the last post regarding status updates for the 787. The next update we heard from them will be regarding an actual release.

Throughout the beta, the team have identified many areas for improvement and have listed exactly what they’ve worked on so far:

  • The Flight Management System is getting the most attention these days since there is so much going on in there.
  • The Electronic Flight Bag and its interface with the FMS has also received a lot of work.
  • The Fonts recently received a complete redo and we are still picking up the pieces and making sure the new font fits everywhere. It was not something that we wanted to do this late in development, but we just weren’t happy with the original font produced. We still have to make some sacrifices on accuracy on the displays in order to ensure fonts are legible.
  • The sound environment in the flightdeck has received extensive work
  • A huge upgrade to the Passenger Announcement System (QWPAS) to include F/As speaking in the selected Airlines First language
  • Implementation of an all new feature called Crew Announcement System (QWCAS)
  • Performance Tweaks.
  • Virtual Cockpit Refinements

Not only that, but the team also provided an excellent start up video showing off the 787.

They also published a quick FAQ as well. You can read the full post on Facebook, but here are some highlights and paraphrasing done by myself:

What type of product this 787 will be? Is this a Study Level Simulator? Will it be like the QualityWings 757 in terms of complexity? Will it be like the QualityWings 146 in terms of complexity?

Not really defined, but expect a detailed rendition of the 787 with lots of features. Not only that, but it will be easy to use thanks to help dialogues in the flight deck. QualityWings suggest that 80% of the systems will be accurately modeled.

Is this aircraft ready for Multiplayer?

Nope, maybe some day.

What is the price range?

Priced “competitively”. No details on whether this will be one price for one sim and another for another sim.

What 787 models will the Package include?

No commitment on this, so no real answer.

Will it be available for FSX and P3D on release?

FSX first, P3D later. Grrrr!?

Are you looking for Beta Testers?

Not right now, no.

 

Of course, QualityWings have other projects, but basically, they’re all on hold until the 787 is out of the door.

Great to hear from the team, but sad to hear we won’t know anything else until a release candidate. Hopefully it won’t be toooooo long now!

FSElite User Awards 2016 – The Results

Earlier last month, we introduced our first User Award competition as a celebration to all of the wonderful products released in 2016. It was met with a wonderful response from the public and the first time many people have been empowered to vote for their favourite add-on from the past year.

2016 was certainly packed with some impressive add-ons. Some good, some great and some mind-blowing. It was an exceptional year for flight simulation, and also an expensive one. As a result, we’ve spent a lot of time reviewing products and giving insight into what we think is worth your time and money. Of course, it shouldn’t just be our opinion, which is why we gave you, the community, the chance to vote.

Without further delay, here are the WINNERS and RUNNER-UPS from the FSElite 2016 User Awards.

Keep Reading

Aerosoft A330X Connected Flight Deck – More Details

Aerosoft have been excellent in updating the community with their progress on the A330 and today, has been no different. We saw some more previews this week, but what’s got me excited is the next level of Connected Flight Deck that Aerosoft are bringing to the table! In a post on the forums from Mathijs, he gave some great insight into what we can expect when the A330 is out later this year.

First, he confirmed that during a team meeting that took place recently, things seem to “be on schedule”. Not sure which “schedule” as this was originally planned for 2015 (and then 2016), but whatever, it’s coming and seems to be moving at a nice pace! Afterwards, he posted some great new detail into the Connected Flight Deck.

So what features? Well, first, just to reiterate what was expected anyway, it’s 100% free. No ifs, no buts, completely free alongside the purchase of the Airbus A330. Something that is quite different from what they currently use on their A320 models is there is no need for to change settings for firewalls or routers. Makes a welcome change and is promised to be a “transparent” connection.  Not only that, but you can expect weather and time to be connected as well (although navigation databases will not be). What’s pretty exciting is the fact you can store ongoing flights and pick it up later (in the cloud) AND an optional voice channel as well. No longer will you need to rely on 3rd party applications just to do a checklist.

Moving on, if you’re unfamiliar with the aircraft and just want to kick back and chill, well now you and 49 of your mates can! Observer mode will allow you to do just that. Literally load the Sim and the plane, find a ‘session’ and sit back and relax as the pilots do all the work. Mathijs compared it to live streaming. Just instead of watching a video, up to 50 people can join your flights and be in the cockpit with you. This is INSANELY cool and will allow VAs to perform ‘check flights’ and give people a chance to learn exciting and challenging approaches without fear of doing something wrong. A great learning tool.

Of course, the immediate concern is the usual: frame rate, VAS and lag. According to Aerosoft, the code isn’t a megabyte in size and will use cores not used by Flight Sim. The amount of data without voice chat is tiny. Of course, I think the concern is if 50 people are all in the same connection, it will vary depending on who has the best speed. As for your online networks, the CFD is “100% compatible” and can be ran at the same time.

I’ll quote from Mathijs on how it’s all used:

How it is used

  1. Start a session (by the Captain): Use the drop down menu option, type in a description, select [PUBLIC] or [CLOSED] and click [HOST]. That’s all.
  2. Join a session as First Officer: Use the drop down menu to select a session and select [JOIN AS FIRST OFFICER].  The Captain will need to confirm. That’s all, no IP addresses to enter to rules to enter in your router.
  3. Join a session as observer: Use the drop down menu, select [JOIN AS OBSERVER]. This is only possible for public sessions.

Finally, as you don’t need to login anywhere, there’s no concern for data and security. All the information is kept within the sim, and compared to weather engines, does the same thing. If you use the “Temporary Store” option, it will stay there for 2 weeks and then vanish.

Aerosoft also want to assure you it’s not some form of DRM to find out who has pirated the software as it will work just fine for pay customers and those who…don’t pay.

So there we go, loads of detail and great stuff to come. I hope it’s as smooth as it sounds because I think some FSElite A330 flights would be pretty damn cool!

HiFi Simulations Releases Hotfix 021517 B6255

HiFi Simulations have released a new hotfix which improves the max upper visibility rendering for Active Sky 16 for Prepar3d, as well as other fixes and updates for all current weather engines. This includes Active Sky 16 and Active Sky Next for both FSX and Prepar3d.

The team have also fixed high CPU utilisation when you disable wake turbulence and other minor things.

You can read out full review on Active Sky 16 and Cloud Art here.

The full list of changes is here:

Changelog for AS16 for P3D/FSX Hotfix 021517
– P3D Experimental upper visibility depiction handling change via previous HotFix made permanent
– Fixed issue where CPU usage would climb and app may eventually crash if Wake Turbulence Strength setting was set to zero (disabled)
(Experimental upper visibility depiction handling change with Volfog on (P3D), attempts to increase apparent visibility while still masking cloud draw distance using typical “masking” upper max visibility settings of approximately 80 miles)

Changelog for ASN for P3D/FSX Hotfix 021517
– Fixed CPU usage increase issue when Wake Turbulence Strength option was set to zero (disabled)
– Fixed issue where custom/manual weather would not export into current_wx_snapshot.txt file

You can download from the HiFi Simulation’s downloads page.

RUMOUR: Prepar3d v4 Coming Soon – In Beta, New Lighting Engine, 64-Bit, Releasing Soon

Update: I have changed the title to be a fairer reflection. Whilst I fully believe in the information and the source, I appreciate the confusion. Apologies to anyone who felt as though this was clickbait. I assure you, I did research before presenting this information to the community.

Thanks for your continued support and if you have further feedback please let me know.

 

Original article;

*Rumour from verified source*

 

We’ve been posting news and information regarding Lockheed Martin’s worst kept secret for a while now. We all know that Prepar3d v4 is coming and will be 64-bit. Multiple developers have hinted at a 2017 release, but now, we’re hearing from beta testers that actually, it is sooner than expected along with some new features.

A conversation happening on Facebook led to a member of the beta team discussing certain things about the upcoming platform that probably impact their Non-Disclosure Agreement.

The source, which has been verified by a member of the FSElite team and someone external, comes from a well known developer within the community. However, as it’s not confirmed by Lockheed Martin, we’ll still mark this as a rumour.

This person has stated that “P3D 64 bit coming soon” with an emphasis that beta testing has been on-going for a while now. Not only that, but this person stated their “add-ons seem to work,” which suggest that many developers have already taken the time to ensure that they are compatible with this new Sim. What’s interesting is that they mention that a new lighting engine has been added.

This is obviously good news, but not something that should come unexpected. What this source did say was that we can expect a “surprise” when it’s out in the near future. This surprise is an alternative to X-Plane 11’s physics based rendering engine.

The entire transcript is posted on a private Facebook page, but I’ve selected the highlights below. I’ve covered names and photos to help protect identities, but this will only go so far as it’s in public view on social media.

We’ve contacted the source for any further information, but have yet to hear anything back.

Green is the original source and orange is other members asking questions.

Some clarification:

  • The “my Facebook account was hacked” was simply a joke among some of the people in the comment section. The information is genuine. In a further comment, the source said “Lockheed Martin have black vans outside my house to take me away” (or words to that affect), so we can assume this is a joke.
  • The developer is a scenery dev. As a result, when he says “all add-ons work”, this is probably referring to scenery products. Why? Scenery products are the least impacted by 64 bit as they typically don’t require DLLs to function.
  • I contacted the source a day ago, but haven’t heard back. I’ve used the people I verified the person with to reach out, but no such luck. If I have any updates, I will let you know.