UPDATE: We have just been informed that previous owners of any REC product will also get 15% off Sky Force 3D. To get the discount you MUST purchase Sky Force from the same store for the discount to be applied. If you buy it from different stores, the discount won’t be applied and you won’t be entitled to a refund.
Since being revealed back in June of 2016, REX has been hard at work in ensuring that their latest weather and texture engine, Sky Force 3D is fit for release. Today, REX felt it was time and has released the product for FSX, FSX:SE and P3Dv1-4.
You can buy it right now from REX’s store for $44.95 USD. It includes all sim versions in a single download, making it as easy as possible for you to use.
Additionally, if you buy it from the store where you bought a previous REX product, then you will receive a 15% discount on Sky Force.
We recently wrote about what REX Sky Force 3D is and have posted it down below.
What is REX Sky Force 3D?
REX is known for their excellent flight simulation textures and their weather engines. Sky Force 3D combines everything the team has been working on in the past into a single product which will deliver “total atmospheric immersion”. Its primary focus is on clouds and cloud formation.
If you’re used to FSX or P3D, you’ll know that clouds in the sim are one of the weakest elements of the system. This is where REX Sky Force 3D comes in. The team have managed to completely re-do the 3D cloud model structure and have enabled ‘real-world cloud classifications’ within the sim. This means you’ll be able to see cloud systems such as cloud streets, super cells, wall clouds, funnels, shelf, rain shafts and (my personal favorite), tornados!
All of these calculations are done in real time during flights meaning that everything in your surroundings will happen dynamically. This means no sudden cloud formations taking you by surprise. There are over 70,000 weather data points over the globe meaning what you see outside will be pretty accurate.
One of the most important elements of what makes Sky Force 3D unique is how they’ve broken the barrier on the SDK. The team has created single-session cloud texture variation meaning there will be more variety, ensure that frames rates remain smooth by eliminating unnecessary cloud sprites and have enabled the cloud structure to be more realistic with no more upside clouds or other strange shapes appearing in the sky. The team has also been able to now use 32 textures linked to cloud structures as opposed to the simulator limit of 8, giving even more variety to your flying sessions.
Finally, another exciting element is the fact that if you enjoy flying in a shared cockpit environment, you’ll be able to have the same experience for the weather. Meaning clouds, weather and atmospheric conditions will be synced between you and your flying partner.
How Does this all Work?
REX has always been committed to delivering easy to user interfaces and REX Sky Force is no different.
From the user interface, you’ll be able to create custom texture sets, alter settings and create immersive environments to fly around in. With over 3000 3D cloud models, your flying experience will be more realistic than ever before. Additionally, these cloud types have cloud categories within them, meaning things like supercells and be either large or standard in size.
Use the arrows at the base of the slideshow (not the white ones!). They’re just part of the picture and clicking them won’t advance it to the next image.
In the sim, Sky Force 3D will examine METAR reports and will sync them up with newly formulated weather structures matching them up with real-world weather in the sim. This is done through their ‘EDGE’ weather servers which scans data in real time.
As mentioned above, all of this is done in the sim in ‘real-time’ meaning that the outside will change without you even realizing. Furthermore, when syncing in the METAR, it is also looking for “mesoanalysis data” to determine CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy). Basically, from my understanding, this data looks at the atmospheric conditions and forms cloud models based on that. Meaning it will accurately depict which altitude a cloud formation should be at and the velocity of any storm activity. This will also help produce accurate “thickness” within the sim giving an authentic volumetric feel and also ensuring that no gaps are present during overcast situations.
What About Texturing?
REX Sky Force 3D will come with 20GB of photo-based natural environment textures (compressed into a 4.6GB download). With variation in texture size, it’ll be suitable for any machine. Included in the texture set will be sky environments, cinematic sun special effects, moon phases, lightning and thunderstorm effects and environment sounds.
The new VBlend technology, used with Vapour Skies, will achieve realistic horizontal and vertical sky visibility as well as dawn and dusk fog generation. Furthermore, Sky Force 3D will include a 10-Day simulator cycle giving you a different look and feel each day you load up the simulator.
The lightning fast installation means in most cases it will only take 1 second to load your theme into the sim. Additionally, with the power of PTA, it will further your realism in the sim.