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IVAO Launches Webeye 3.0

Eudark

In the line of the recent upgrade the entire network has received through Aurora, Altitude and the new Voice codec, IVAO has revealed that the next item to be updated would be Webeye, brought to V3.0. The IVAO Webeye is a network activity utility that can be used by anyone to monitor where the action takes place on the network and for pilots to plan their flights accordingly.

The first major update to Webeye is the interface which has been completely redone. While retaining most of the function of the original Webeye such as the flight and airport search functions, Webeye 3.0 brings the previously dated interface to 2020. The new map shows updated FIR and ATC data and enable pilots to add layers such as weather ; or on the contrary can choose to customize the interface as they want and for example, display only flights without ATC. IVAO Public Relations Director Fares Belkhiria further stated that the new interface was easier to maintain, which means for example that FIR boundaries changes are much easier to incorporate than then were earlier. The lower ATC shapes such as TMAs and NOTAMs will also be integrated in the interface but at a later date.

The IVAO Webeye 3.0 is already available since September 26th here. You do not need to be an IVAO member to track flights. You can join the IVAO Online Community through their website.

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FS2Crew Pushback Express & Aerosoft CRJ Development Update

Pushback Express For Microsoft Flight Simulator P3D And FSX

Shortly after the release of Pushback Express, FS2Crew has shared on Facebook a roadmap of their current development status of their utility add-on for Microsoft Flight Simulator. The first item covered is the publication of the update 1.1, available right now in your customer account, which incorporates an error related to the Settings Panel for some European users.

A version 1.2 is in the works, being scheduled for release around the 4th to 7th of October. The major feature of this update will be Voice Control. The developer, known for the long standing commitment to their line of products, hinted some other features where in the works and this initial release of Pushback Express was “just the beginning”.

On a final note, FS2Crew added that an update to the Aerosoft CRJ add-on would be pushed in the same time frame as for Pushback Express V1.2. This new update will incorporate a flow made by a real world American CRJ First Officer.

FS2Crew Pushback Express is available on Simmarket for €19.96, currently discounted until 14th of October from its original €24.95 price.

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IVAO New Voice Module Release Date Set

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IVAO has announced in an official statement that their long-awaited New Voice Module was to be released to the public on September 5th, 2020. The module was previewed in June 2020, with the short following video.

This new audio codec will enable IVAO to get rid of Teamspeak 2, which has been in use for more than 15 years. The new IVAO pilot client, called Altitude, will have the codec built-in. The new codec will feature much more realistic VHF effects, reproducing a similar bandwidth, transmission blocking by another transmitter, push to talk clicks and background static noise. Aurora, the new ATC module of IVAO, will also feature the new voice codec. The ATC audio will be based on the location of ATC receivers. In the mean time, Aurora will be updated to enable the use of ground radar service.

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vPilot Update Brings MSFS Compatibility

MainWindow

vPilot, a utility used by virtual pilots to fly on the online network, VATSIM, has been updated to version 2.6, which is compatible with Microsoft Flight Simulator. 

vPilot is used to enable a virtual pilot to communicate with virtual air traffic controllers and other aircraft, all over the world.

Private beta testers have been putting the client to the test with the new simulator but there has been an issue highlighted after the beta testing had finished. When certain types of SimConnect applications such as vPilot are running with the sim, it sometimes creates frame rate reductions and stuttering for the user. The team at vPilot has notified Asobo and Microsoft who are currently investigating the issue. 

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IVAO Releases MSFS Compatible Client

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IVAO has released its newest voice client, Altitude, which is also fully compatible with Microsoft Flight Simulator.

IVAO is one of the largest online flight simulator networks that allow virtual pilots and air traffic controllers to integrate worldwide. In order to log onto and interact with other people on the servers, virtual pilots require a third party client to bridge the gap between the simulator and other users. Altitude is IVAO’s latest pilot client that gives pilots lots of functionality including auto-switching of comm frequencies, setting transponder codes and receiving text ATIS reports, all from the client user interface.

Altitude has been tested by a select number of Alpha and private Beta testers that have put the utility through its paces on the network using FSX, P3D, X-Plane as well as the latest Microsoft Flight Simulator.

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PMDG Development Update – NG3 in MSFS, 777 Update, and more

PMDG NG3 MSFS (6)

Robert Randazzo has posted an update on the PMDG forums, giving us a lot of details about their upcoming products. Covering everything from Global Flight Operations, to the upcoming first Microsoft Flight Simulator release, let’s dive right into it.

NGXu Expansions

The NGXu has two new expansions that are nearing completion. First is the NGXu Cargo Expansion. This product is going into beta testing later this week, and PMDG expects that it will be a short beta cycle before the release. The expansion will include the “737-700 BDSF and 737-800 BDSF (BeDeck Special Freighter) as well as the 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter”. The initial release will only have the blended winglet option, but with a micro update, the split scimitar 800 BCF will be added to the expansion. The expansion will only require the NGXu base package to be installed as well.

Second, the NGXu Boeing Business Jet expansion. This will include both the BBJ and BBJ2 aircraft. The product is about to start alpha testing, and PMDG anticipates it will be rolled out in the next few weeks. The team will provide a visual overview when the product goes into beta testing.

777 Update

PMDG has said that the 777 update is progressing slowly, but is still coming along nicely. At the moment, the FMS is being brought up to the same level as the 747 and is now ready to start communicating with PMDG Global Flight Operations. The team is also mapping out a strategy of bringing the 200ER to the product as well.

Global Flight Operations

The testing team for Global Flight Operations has been expanding as the team is quietly bringing on new users to test out specific functions of the product. PMDG anticipates having some more announcements about Global Flight Operations, as well as a way to join the early access program in the coming weeks.

Fleet-wide Update

PMDG has been working on an update to the whole fleet of products offered by PMDG. This will include an update to the magenta line drawing, LNAV, and Flight Director. The 747 is close to going into beta testing, sometime in mid-August, then the 737 NGXu and 777 will follow in the following months.

Microsoft Flight Simulator

As previously announced, PMDG will be bringing the NG3 to Microsoft Flight Simulator as an exclusive product to the sim. PMDG also intends to bring all of its core products over the new sim, which includes the 737, 747, 777, and DC-6. The NG3 will be the first product from PMDG to be released for the new sim and is not simply a conversion of the Prepar3D product. The team says that just as the NGXu was a big jump from the NGX, the NG3 will also be a big jump from the NGXu.

The NG3 will feature an entirely new flight model that is designed to use the new capabilities of MSFS. The sound design will also capitalize on the abilities of the new sim. The NG3 flight deck also is a lot larger in terms of texture size and number of polygons, with no negative effects on performance. At the moment, the displays are not powered on as they are simply not ready to be shown off. The team expects there to be no functionality lost in the NG3 and expects to be able to add a number of new features to the NG3. The team has been working with Microsoft and Asobo to get development tools to where they need to be to fully develop products. The team is also excited as they say the new platform will allow them to do so much without having to “hack” the platform to get the results they are after.

At the moment, the team is expecting the beta testing to start in the fourth quarter of 2020, with the release coming late in the first quarter of 2021. This, however, is not a very firm timeline as Robert has said that depending on how some of the current development hurdles are handled. The timeline could shift earlier or later depending on a number of things. If progress is accelerated, Robert hopes to give an updated timeline on the NG3 near the end of the summer.

As always, we will share more information once it becomes available. Check out the full update on the PMDG forums for more details.

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FSUIPC6 for Prepar3D V4 & V5 now Available

FSUIPC

John Dowson has released on Simmarket the latest version of FSUIPC, that is now compatible with both Prepar3D V4 and V5.

FSUIPC (Flight Simulator Universal Inter-Process Communication) has been around for more than two decades in the world of Flight Simulator for Windows, created by Pete Dowson, and now taken over by his son John. It provides an easier interface to interact with the deeper inner data of the Flight Simulator and Prepar3D engine. It is extremely popular as it enables simmers to configure and calibrate their hardware in a much more advanced way than the default simulator settings. By reading deeper needed data, FSUIPC (in its basic unregistered version) is also required by many add-ons to work properly.

FSUIPC6 also incorporates WideFS7, which allows running external programs to FS from a remote computer. The use of WideFS requires a separate key purchase.

Feature List

  • Easier and more accurate joystick calibration
  • Direct axis assignements
  • Fine tuning of multi engined aircraft throttle
  • Joystick button programming
  • Compatibility with Project Magenta controls
  • Detent setting for flaps and spoilers
  • Specific aircraft profiles

FSUIPC6 can also be used as a free version, which does not give access to the specific fine calibration functions.

FSUIPC6 is available from Simmarket for €29.99. An upgrade fee for owners of FSUIPC V5 is available if it was bought through Simmarket. The upgrade fee is €9.99.

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XSquawkbox Updates Vatsim Client to Version 2.0

XSquawkbox 2.0

Vatsim client developer XSquawkbox has updated their Vatsim client to version 2.0 for X-Plane.

XSquawkbox is a plugin that is used to communicate between the simulator and the Vatsim network to allow you to fly online.

XSquawkbox has been in development since 2011 and has been improved no end and has become one of the most recommended Vatsim Clients for X-Plane. Version 2 has been through a development process consisting of six public betas and is now at a stable version 2.0.

Some of the features that have been reworked as part of the new version has been the integration of a native Audio For Vatsim tool that handles the new voice codec without the use of a third-party application to bridge the gap between XSquawkbox and Vatsim.

Alongside making XSquawkbox up to date with current software, the developer has made other changes such as implementing warnings before disconnection as well as letting you know when your system may not be satisfying the 20 frames per second minimum for Vatsim as well as a further message to tell you when you have reached the minimum FPS afterwards. The plugin now supports text and voice on COM2 radios.

You can find the final changelog for the stable V2.0 below as well as a full list of changes since V2.0b1 over on the XSquawkbox website. You can also find comprehensive documentation of how the plugin is best utilised with X-Plane.

XSquawkbox version 1.3 will become deauthorised to work with Vatsim and therefore you will need to update your current version of XSquawkbox if you wish to continue flying on the network. you can do this by heading over to the XSquawkbox website and re-downloading the plugin. Be sure to keep checking this page for further updates as the plugin does not contain an auto-updater.

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VATSIM Cross The Pond 2020 Westbound Bookings Open

Ctp 2020 West

[Update 21MAR2020 @1430Z : all slots have been booked in a matter of minutes. In the mean time, VATSIM has broken the record of connections on the network. Definitive figures will be published this week-end].

VATSIM has opened today the booking system for the slots of their upcoming popular Cross The Pond event. The first edition of the CTP event for 2020 will take place on April 4th and will start at 1100z.

This Westbound 2020 event will take place at the following airports.

Departures: EDDK, EGCC, EHAM, EIDW, LIRF, LOWW
Arrivals: CYYZ, KBOS, KJFK, KMIA, KORD, KSFO

The bookings are opened today in the following order :

12:00z – EDDK & LOWW bookings open
12:30z – EGCC & LIRF bookings open
13:00z – EIDW bookings open
13:30z – EHAM bookings open

Pilots can still fly if they have not been able to grab a slot ; however, they might expect very long delays for departure.

Slot reservation can be found at VATSIM dedicated Cross The Pond website.

 

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VATSIM Announce Restructuring of Pilot Rating System

Vatsim

In a post over on their website, VATSIM has commented on the new revised Pilot Rating System used to grade their pilots who use the online network.

VATSIM currently grades both pilots and air traffic controllers by the user’s experience and knowledge about their chosen area, but the revised system will be aligned with real-world operations and the natural progression of a pilot. With the alignment comes an all-new rating at level P0, this is to engage all new starters with the network and to ensure their level of competency is good enough to hit the ground running when they do connect for the first time. The new rating will be delivered by an automated training program and is designed to cover the basics and how to become a good VATSIM member, even before they sign into the network and also to build confidence in those existing members that might want to develop their initial skills. All existing members will automatically be awarded their P0 rating, this will enable user progression to P1 and above.

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