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Flight Sim World | The Numbers are in

Flight Sim World released in early access on May 18th 2017. As I did with Xplane 11 before it, I will take a peek into publicly available data to see how well the game is doing a month after its release. Now it’s only fair to remind everyone we are talking about a game in early access. So these numbers are subject to change even more dramatically than normal full released game. Some may even say it’s not fair to do this yet since the game is still in Early Access. Well my response to that is the same stance I have on reviewing Early Access games. Whats out now is all your guaranteed to get. Times change and shit happens so the future is never guaranteed. Plus I firmly believe once you start charging money for something, you are officially selling a product. You will be judged as such! And I don’t show mercy with this so let’s take a look.
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Setting our Expectations for the Upcoming Prepar3D V4

Update: Changed the title a little to better reflect the article.

Without delving into speculation too much, we’re fairly confident official information from Lockheed Martin is just days away. We’re reported on rumours, facts, insider knowledge and even some accidental leaks over the past few months – giving as much information as we can to you from Lockheed Martin’s worst kept secret. But what should simmers expect when the announcement is made? I’m hoping to set some expectations here based on my knowledge, some fact-finding and other key pieces of information from various developers and resources around the web.

I would also like to point out, this article is based purely on the speculation of a 64-bit platform. If you don’t believe this will be the case for the next sim, I suggest you close the article now.

There, with that out of the way, let’s continue.

So 64-bit is certainly a bit of a marketing buzz-word for the flight sim community right now. X-Plane has been in the 64-bit era for some time now, and Dovetail have released their full-fledged sim, Flight Sim World, with a heavy emphasis on the fact it’s using 64-bit architecture. But what is 64-bit and why does the flight sim community care so much?

In the simplest of terms, a 64-bit application can use much more memory allocation than a 32-bit program can. In fact, 64-bit applications can in theory use 16 exabytes, which completely destroys the 4gb limit of a 32-bit piece of software. Of course, this is also limited by physical memory available. So if you have 16gb of RAM, your application won’t be able to exceed this limit. So yes, you would have “unlimited” memory space available, you’ll all always be limited by your hardware. Additionally, if a developer doesn’t optimise their software or has bugs which leads to memory leakage, then you’ll still eventually hit your “OOM” limit.

64-bit won’t fix all OOM issues, but it will certainly give a LOT more breathing space than a 32-bit program will.

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Flight Sim World

Flight Sim World! And everything that Entails.

Dovetail announced Flight Sim World. In a move surprising no one, yet still garnering a lot of attention. I want to talk about the trailer and some observations I had from it. As well as some theories. We will be mentioning the other sims that will be coming out, or have already. For the sake of clarity go watch the trailer here if you haven’t. Alternatively if you don’t want to watch the trailer, Christian Thomsen wrote a brief summary on it here. With that out the way continue reading this if you so wish. Also know that I will be making comparisons to Dovetail’s other game Train Sim World; And possibly comparisons to other games not centered around Flight Simulation. I also emailed some questions to the brand manager for Flight Simulation at Dovetail Games, Aimee Sanjari. Hopefully her answers can put to rest some of the rumors that have started since the release of the Trailer.

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X Plane

The new X Plane numbers are in…

So X Plane 11 came out on the 30th of March to mostly positive reviews. Good for it, It deserves it. But in this hobby you can never talk about X Plane without comparing it to FSX. Throughout its history X Plane has always been the footnote of Flight Simulation. It was always kind of there with its small following of users. However with X Plane 11 it was clear the Laminar Research wanted to change that. And for seemingly the first time ever they put some actual effort into game design and marketing. But the question remains; How well did they do? Now that some time has passed since release we can look at the numbers generated by X Plane 11 and compare them to those of FSX and X Plane 10.

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Our Favourite and Cool Aviation Everyday Objects

On our private channel, Patrick shared an image of a cool beer dispenser which used a Boeing throttle quadrant to pull the delicious drink into your glass. It was really cool and I spent some time then looking through the internet to find some cool aviation everyday objects.

The definition of cool is subjective, but hopefully you’ll agree on most of these in here.

Boeing Beer

Who doesn’t enjoy a good beer after a long day of flying? Even better, they’re designed using Boeing’s throttle handles. What we can’t tell is if the more ‘thrust’ you use, the more powerful the pump. Sadly, I don’t think reverse thrust will suck the beer back up for the tank.

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Ultimate Traffic Live – First Impressions

Ultimate Traffic Live came out the other day as a “soft launch”. Many of you have been asking our thoughts on it as part of a review. Right now, we have around 20 product reviews currently on-going, so this one will fall behind until an official ‘full’ launch has been released. Of course, we didn’t want to leave the community in the dark. As a result, I’ve put together a list of stray thoughts from the product.

This isn’t a review, it’s simply a collection of first impressions for the product.

  • “What the hell is a ‘soft launch?'”

  • “Oh, it’s just beta software. Grrr!”
  • Installation was a bit difficult as Avira thought it was a virus. Ended up having to reinstall a few times to get it to work. Also, when you start the sim, Avira’s real time protection will also identify it as a false positive. Bit annoying really.
  • Main user interface looks good and instantly recognised I use P3D V3.
  • Delving around into the menus a bit more, you’re able to view a ‘live’ map of traffic being populated by the software. Over 14,000 populated and 7000 displayed!
  • Plenty of options to adjust for the sim to get a nice smooth experience. Complete with short cut keys!

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My thoughts on the Cloud Surf Team A380

Yesterday, a developer called Cloud Surf Team announced that they would be developing an Airbus A380 for Prepar3d.

Queue loud cheers and a round of applause. Except… wait, WHO!?

That’s right, the shock announcement came from a team that is pretty much unknown to the Flight Sim community. Cloud Surf Team have only been around since August 2016. Well, publicly anyway. Don’t get me wrong, FSElite are extremely supportive of new developers, small developers and large developers. Size, in this case, doesn’t matter. However, there’s some really troubling aspects of this ‘announcement’ that has me worried and concerned.

Let’s begin with their development history. Of which there is very, very little.

The team originally announced back in August that they would be developing an Airbus A340-500 for FSX and Prepar3d. As of yesterday, this project has been cancelled in favour of this “A380”. So this begs my first question: If they were unable to complete this project, why do they think they can develop an A380? My honest opinion would be that they can’t.

I believe the main reason for the cancellation was that the project’s scope was becoming too great for them, development overran massively, and that there was competing products which offered a similar level of depth.

To quote Cloud Surf Team directly:

“We have decided to put the A340-500NG project on gold indefinatley, The main reason we have decided to do this was that great developers such as BlackBox Simulations were already developing one and they have the knowledge base and resources to create a A340-500 that would have been a lot more in depth at the time.”

Poor spelling and grammar aside, it’s clear that the team didn’t hold much hope out for their project. What it did do was allow them to learn from their mistakes and put their team of 6 to work on their next project.

So why do I believe the team are out of their depth?

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FSElite 2016 User Awards

To celebrate the start of 2017, we take a look back at some of the “Best-of” 2016. Everything from aircraft, and scenery to utility and publisher of the year.

The selection below was carefully picked by the FSElite team, and we’re looking to YOU to pick the best from the best.

All the products below have been released or updated in 2016. We’ve narrowed it down to 5 per category to make the selection easier. Of course, some names may appear more than once, and we’ve tried to make it as varied and fair as possible. Not everything and everyone’s favourite is here, but hopefully there’s a good selection to pick from.

By submitting your name and email address, and completing the form, we’ll enter you into a competition to win some free Flight Sim merchandise!

Use the Google form below.

Voting will close on February 10th 2017 at 2030zulu!

(If it doesn’t work, then follow this link): https://goo.gl/forms/lO1TlpKKMsPklFU83

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The Rise of Corporate Aviation

For years, the presence of general aviation within the flight simulation community has stood the test of time. Not always have the heavy metal airliners been everybody’s fancy. Though they may occupy the majority of traffic (at least from what I’ve noticed over the years), right behind them is the twin Cessna pilot in command.

Flight 1 Beechcraft King Air 200 with G1000 Avionics Suite


Today, developers and our computers alike are taking us further to satisfy our aesthetic appeal. Never would I have imagined the quality or joy I get from performing the RNAV 31L approach into Orbx’s Palm Springs airport using the PMDG 737 twelve years ago when I first started with flight simulator. Eventually, I would grow a bit tired of always flying the same scheduled routes using the same airplane. The excitement was slowly deteriorating. Maybe I’m not the only one who has experienced the loss of interest in our hobby, only to get the craving again just a few weeks later.

I seem to underestimate the actual number of flight simulator users out there. I’m sure, like me, there are a large number of individuals who try to make the simulation as real as possible. To me, that means: realistic fuel loading at the gate before pushback, following flows and checklists, the ability to share the same flight deck as my friend who lives across the country, and to load my aircraft in the last panel state I left it in at the airport I previously landed at. With advancements of our simulators (FSX: SE, P3D, XP10/11), developers are making my wishes come true. Slowly, but surely.

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