As the world continues to pull through as a global community against the pandemic known as Coronavirus, we are supporting simmers across the world with our newly released Stay at Home Community Hub. As part of that, we’re taking the time to look at ways to help you find new products or teach those new to flight simulation where to begin that experience. In this series of content, we will be giving you route ideas, looking at some of the best products from certain developers and more.
As new people join the flight simulation community, we wanted to take a look at some of the best possible products currently available to simmers. Whether you’re new to the hobby or looking to expand your horizons, Orbx products are some of the best scenery products to transform your simulator.
This is purely an opinion piece from myself. It doesn’t reflect what the rest of the FSElite team think about their favourite products, and of course, your favourites will also differ. I encourage you to write down in the comment section your favourites or if there are any you agree with.
Another reminder is that we are holding a competition for you to win a free Orbx product from their collection. You can check out details on how to enter on our previous Challenge of the Day post.
The world is a wonderful place to explore. Whilst many of us are having to stay indoors for the protection of others, flight simmers are still able to connect with the world through flight simulation. Whilst there are many developers out there supporting the flight simulation community, Orbx provides the community opportunities across the globe to take in scenic views across varied landscapes. From the chilly mountains of the Alps near the challenging Innsbruck Airport to the scorching plains of South Africa. Orbx is known for their quality and ambitious products.
To support those of you Staying at Home, we wanted to share some of our favourite picks from the Orbx collection. For those of you watching who is new to flight simulation, expanding your library of products is part of how you can make your experience as authentic as possible. Orbx does provide an easy way for you to purchase, download and install your products, all whilst finding new ways to explore more. If you’re familiar with Orbx already, then hopefully this video gives you the chance to discover something else to add to your collection. At the time of this recording, you can also save up to 50% on their Global range.
Finally, we’re pleased to have partnered with Orbx on this video and to also provide the community with an opportunity to win any product from their famed collection. With that said, let’s count down some of our favourite Orbx destinations and products. These aren’t in any particular order and are, of course, only our opinion – so yours may differ!
Let’s start right from the top. Innsbruck is one of the most sensational and challenging airports in the world. With a tough approach, scary mountainous terrain and often unfavourable weather, Innsbruck provide pilots an exciting time. Of course, it takes someone special to produce such a famed airport, so luckily Jarrad Mashall took to the plate to provide a truly immersive experience.
The airport is rich in detail with extremely well-presented textures and modelling. Not content with just building a beautiful airport, Jarrad has captured the essence and detail of this common ski-resort. As trains pass you by on approach, be sure to take in the detail from the city under your nose as you fly right over it. In total, the product spans over 275km of in diameter with over 160 points of interest and landmarks to find.
Finally, be sure to check out the water cannon salute that takes place under specific conditions.
The openLC packages from Orbx are amongst some of my favourite releases. It literally transforms entire continents to be much more representative of the real world. Once installed, openLC will replace the default landclass layer and inject accurate terrain for the simulator. This means coasts, rivers, lakes and more will be much more realistic, perfect for exploring local or new destinations.
Some packs also include new photoreal texturing also on specific volcanoes and mountain ranges. For example, I love flying out Mt Vesuvius in Naples. It is entangled in a rich history so flying over such an accurate representation is awe-inspiring.
openLC is available right now for Europe, North America, South America and soon Africa. All of them are unique and work wonderfully with each other.
Orbx originally hails from Australia so it’s no surprise that one of my favourite regions created by them is Australia. Perhaps it’s the diverse terrain, stunning coastlines or simply memories of my backpacking experience, but Australia V2 captures everything I love about the region.
One place I spent a lot of time in Australia was Melbourne. Spending just over a week exploring the cultural city in real life made exploring it in the sim that more exciting. Re-visiting favourites such as the Melbourne Star or flying close to the Eureka Tower made for a pleasing experience. It’s all there in Australia V2 with the incredibly realistic Cityscene, built in with the product.
Another reason as to why Australia V2 is one of my favourite products is the fact that over 500 airports are included within the scenery package. Let me be clear that they’re not ultra-detailed, but countless hours and passion was poured into ensuring you could set up a bush flight and fly to pretty much any airfield in the country and have a seamless experience.
Without a doubt, seeing the Great Barrier Reef in the simulator blew my mind and still is one of the most memorable experiences I’ve ever had in a flight simulator.
From the warmer climate of Australia to the chilly capital of Sweden. Stockholm is a hugely popular city with lots of tourism and culture for millions of people to enjoy. With that importance comes a large international airport capable of welcoming over 25 million passengers per year. For Orbx, large international airports are few and far between, but developers Marcus Nyberg & Philip Schall has done a great job putting together this huge airport with care and love.
The developers have true devotion to Stockholm Arlanda as this is now the second version of the airport. The original was regarded as good, but the free update made this airport even better. The details in the terminal buildings and the way the airport clutter is everywhere make the airport feel truly alive.
Stockholm Arlanda is most definitely an all-seasons kind of airport. Whether you’re landing a triple 7 after a long haul during snowstorms or a 737 in glorious sunshine, Stockholm Arlanda always looks great.
TrueEarth Northern California
Simply put; TrueEarth technology was built for destinations like Northern California. The level of detail TrueEarth brings to the simulator is incredibly impressive. Using a blend of photoreal technology, hand-crafted textures and highly detailed PBR modelling for the points of interest creates a hugely lifelike rendition of these sprawling areas.
Northern California, in particular, stands out to me. Not content on being the largest region from the TrueEarth series, it also features some of the most diverse and varied range of flying possible on the planet. From the huge cities of San Francisco to the natural parks of Yosemite.
As Patrick said in his video review, flying in between the Yosemite Valley is one of the most exciting things you can do.
Irrespective of whether you prefer flying IFR or VFR, TrueEarth Northern California is a hugely worthwhile place to explore.
Pula / Dubrovnik / Olbia / Bilbao
I’m totally cheating here, but all of these airports just sit really well with me. These are the airports I truly love about the quality Orbx puts out. Small European airports that are often overlooked by developers, but are crafted with love and passion.
All four, Pula, Dubrovnik, Olbia and Bilbao are some of my most frequented destinations in all of Europe. As we approach the warmer months in Europe, these airports will soon be filling up with plenty of varied airlines and aircraft. They are all rich with details and all offer incredible approaches and take offs. Perhaps my favourite is Pula thanks to the surrounding included city and finer details.
Regardless, they are all fantastic and their quality speaks for itself.
San Diego Airport
Still on the west coast of North America, but now more specific. San Diego Airport combines a busy airport, a great looking city and also with its own unique challenge. As you come into land, you fly precariously close to some of the high rise building and high terrain. In fact, it’s rather misleading on the approach path.
Developer Matteo has done a great job at recreating the busy Southern Californian airport and providing plenty of things to see and do all around too. Whether you want to take up a light aircraft to fly over the local harbours or attempt to land a 747 on the 9000ft runway – there’s a wonderful atmosphere throughout.
It’s on my list of favourite Orbx products because it was the first time I tried a larger airport from Orbx and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.
After watching Ronnie’s review for Cityscape Honolulu, I just had to give it a try. Cityscape Honolulu offers much more than the standard Cityscape package as it provides a complete transformation of the island of Oahu. Whilst the main city itself, Honolulu, sees the most detail, this is like having a whole mini-region in your simulator.
Hawaii is one of the most scenic places in the world this cityscape package does not disappoint. You can explore the whole island from the sky searching out any of the 60+ points of interest throughout. Once I was done flying from the North to the South
The only thing missing from the package is the inclusion of the main airport for Honolulu, but there is a slightly upgraded version, or you can use other payware products to enhance this particular part of the experience.
Still, flying across this tropical delight in a Cessna 172 never gets old for me.
I couldn’t complete a favourites list without the inclusion of Orbx Global. This one single package replaces all default textures in the base simulator across the world and provides high-quality texture work to every corner of the Globe. Simmers dub this as something they simply cannot sim without as it changes the entire look and feel of the simulator in a single product.
When I first picked up Orbx Global (previously known as FTX Global), the results were immediately breathtaking. Improving the resolution and overall appearance of the simulator from being boring and bland to completely full of life.
The pack also includes all four seasons, 3D lighting and more with no performance impact.
I don’t say this lightly, but Orbx Global Base pack is something every simmer needs to get a more realistic representation of the world we fly in today.
Of course, there are still so many worthy mentions that trying to squeeze just a handful of products into a single video is really challenging. Those are just some of my favourites. Leave a comment below telling me which airport or destination you think should be on this list. Also, be sure to tell me where you will fly to next?
For those that stuck around until the end, I’m excited to tell you that we are giving away any product from the Orbx collection (excluding partner products). So that means ANYTHING you saw in this video, and plenty more could be yours. To enter, just hit up the link in the description and enter your name, email and why which destination you want to fly to next. Don’t forget, as I said at the start of the video, at time of recording many of these products are reduced as part of the Orbx Stay at home Super Sale.
Thank you for watching, be sure to subscribe, hit the notification bell and give us a like on Facebook! 2020 is going to be a super exciting year and we cannot wait to explore more of the world with you.