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Andrew Godden

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Everything posted by Andrew Godden

  1. Some interesting inside information. So this might sound like a case of a friend of a friend of a friend, knew someone, however, through some other online gaming interests, I have met a guy who works for an add-on aircraft development company. His company has a close association with MS in the development of MSFS 2020. Some information I have gleaned from him, which is exciting if MS continue to work towards this goal, indicates that: aircraft systems modelling of the level only seen to date in PMDG aircraft will be the norm in MSFS 2020; worldwide scenery will be high resolution photoreal, akin to satellite quality with the ability to identify real world individual buildings (no mention of autogen came up in the discussion) and accurate landclass; full 3rd party add-on capability; and it could have the capability to handle combat simulation, similar to / better than the level currently available in DCS World. Obviously, the road ahead is longer than the Nullarbor Plain and just as treacherous, but if the above information is accurate, the future could be looking good. Cheers Andrew
  2. Interesting screen shot. I'm no expert but those knobs look photoshopped...if not, they don't look quite natural enough. Interesting play on their title too...The Microsoft Flight Simulator Team. At least they can spell "simulator", time will tell if they actually understand the definition of it.
  3. I'd say they already lack serious credibility issues. You don't shit in the face of a customer base and loyal community, a loyal community of diehards that has been with them and supported them for up to 30 years and then expect all will be normal, as if nothing happened. I'd like to see MS produce the next generation flight sim, but they had better pull a very big rabbit out of that proverbial hat.
  4. I couldn't agree more, John. As Joe knows, I have an elephant's memory, and having read that latest release gives me more than just a touch of deja vu. Now, the cynic in me says they are using the exact same modis operandi as last time and the press release has just been copied from an early MS Flight press release from a few years back, with a change to the dates, names, and a few sentences in order to protect the guilty. By the way, I have this great elixir that cures all illnesses, including baldness, old age, and death.....want to buy a bottle!!! I only have a dozen bottles left. (Not personally aimed at you, John) Andrew
  5. History is a great teacher! A statement that is true even for our hobby. Ever since consoles were first released, the world of consoles versus PCs have always been world's apart. Notwithstanding this, some products have continued to have a cross platform release because PCs are still a good platform for games. This is not to say that some fantastic "games" aren't produced for consoles.....but there is the point of historically accepted differentiation. Consoles are for "gamers", PCs are for "simmers"! Some simulators have successfully transitioned to consoles. Driving and car racing simulators, specifically, where input and interaction is simply via a steering wheel and pedals, peripherals which have been produced for consoles. However, any true flight simulator product, and I am including simulators beyond the standard flight sims of P3D, FSX, and X-Plane, often require extensive interaction with peripheral devices that only a fully functional cockpit with "6 degrees of freedom" could replicate. The DCS combat flight simulator is one that particularly comes to mind, and even in the case of DCS, a fully functional cockpit with "6 degrees of freedom" still does not fully replace the need for a keyboard as the optimum method of input for certain functionality. So, I'm with the naysayers. As long as this is developed for a console platform, even in tandem with a PC platform, this is most likely going to be nothing more than a "game". Cheers Andrew
  6. Yeah, but you will have to be on your best behaviour in public if others join us. As for Jess and I, we will be our normal debauched and depraved selves.
  7. But Steph, I always thought SAP did! Aren't the system updates scheduled based on a time that will cause the least impact to German engineering, manufacturing, and other German SAP user businesses located in the Rhine Valley. At least, Down Under that's what we always understood to be the benefits of SAP. Cheers Andrew
  8. Neil, If you can access FS Snaps, you should be able to download/save them to your local drive. You can then upload the screenshots to any other cloud storage service, i.e. Imgur. I guess the key issue is being able to access them from FS Snaps, which doesn't look promising. Cheers Andrew
  9. Toby, Thank you for the comments. I guess there is some potential for "spoiler risk", but ultimately the MEBAR is still about the individual and their planning and flying ability. The MEBAR has always been about providing a fun event for participants to enjoy and we trust people will do that in whatever way works for them. Besides we also enjoy participant's sharing their screenshots and hearing how they went. For me, aside from the design and planning of the event, it is very much about doing the detailed flight planning and timings for my flights. What isn't evident in my above pictorial is how I break each sector down even further with additional timing marks, such as crossing the coast, being abeam a geographical feature, etc. When I first participated in an event like the MEBAR, over 15 yrs ago, I approached it like David said above, "...take off and hope for the best...". Then I started planning better, bought myself an E6B "Whizz Wheel", and started breaking down each sector with timing marks, so that I could be as accurate as I could get with the times for my Flight Legs. Ultimately, we know from years of running the MEBAR, that participants will approach it whatever way provides them with the maximum enjoyment, and that is the most important thing for us. Cheers Andrew
  10. After Flight Leg 1, I continued to fly the subsequent Flight Legs using Active Sky for active real world weather with live updates whilst en route. A quick summary. Flight Leg 2 was reasonably uneventful except for some cloud and rain. The landing at Argos Orestiko (LGKA) was uneventful except for more rain. On Flight Leg 3, cloud and rain were more persistent throughout the flight with building thunderstorms as I approached Lesbos. By the time I was over the island the thunderstorm activity was heavy and centred over Mytilene (LGMT).....as if it had nowhere else to be. With an 18 kt crosswind on landing, I was happy to get down on the ground. My time reflected this as I pushed the downwind leg and botched the timing for the turn to base, resulting in coming in under my Planned Total Flight Leg Time. The departure from Mytilene (LGMT) on Flight Leg 4 was uneventful with cloud being consistent for the flight. On arrival at Kasos (LGKS), I was confronted with another strong crosswind on landing. So, here I am for my last flight of the MEBAR in the Beechcraft Model 18 Twin Beech. The weather forecast was near perfect with clear skies ahead. Near perfect, but not quite perfect enough. Wind, yes and a strong headwind component of up to 25 kts it was. This was going to make this Flight Leg a challenge to maintain my allocated cruise speed of 165 kts. Of course, I was presented with a crosswind on departure and after climbing out to the initial cruise altitude of 4,000 ft, it was clear I was going to be behind on my Planned Sector Times on Target, no matter what engine settings I used. The only option was to climb, 6,000 ft was no better, so up to 8,000 ft it was. Finally, and still pushing the engines, I was able maintain 165 kts and also gain the lost time. Flight Leg is, by far, the most picturesque Flight Leg so here are some screenshots as proof. Finally at my adjusted cruise altitude of 8,000 ft with the island of Santorini in the background. Next up, the island of Naxos, the largest island in the Cyclades island group. Slowly but surely I am making up the lost time, but it could still be close. Approaching Waypoint 3 with the beautiful island of Mykonos off my starboard wing. Mykonos is renowned for its vibrant nightlife. Probably a good thing the MEBAR didn't have a rest day on Mykonos. The headwind component has eased to 15 kts, easing my concerns now. The final waypoint ahead, the KRO VOR on the island of Euboea and the turn for Athens (LGAT). I am back on track with my Planned Sector Time on Target and so long as I get the timings for my turns in the circuit right, I should be happy with the result. The "new" Athens international airport, Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport (LGAV) below. After 10 days of flying, this long right downwind for RWY 33R seems to take an eternity, but not before too long I am on final approach. On short final, a quick check of the timer and my time is looking spot on against my Planned Total Flight Leg Time. The Acropolis is just visible on the horizon, slightly right of centre. Runway clear for the final time for the Twin Beech on MEBAR 2019. Now to park up, relax and watch the sunset with some Ouzo. All the best and good luck to you all. Cheers Andrew P.S. Now to do it all again because I decided to run a second entry.
  11. Domingos, I am still running P3D Ver 4.4 but that shouldn't make any difference as the Ver 4.5 upgrade didn't include and major scenery upgrades. However, I do have Orbx Global BASE, Global VECTOR, the Global openLC range and all the region packs installed. For me, Kasos (LGKS) appears correctly aligned on the coast with land surrounding the airport area and the runway does not extend into the water anywhere. From what you describe, it sounds like it is vectors issue which in my case the Global VECTOR add-on has correctly aligned the coastline to the position of the airport. Cheers Andrew
  12. Apologies for any confusion. Whilst the total distance is correct, the individual sector distances in the Navigation Instructions for Flight Leg 4 are incorrect. They should read: 58 nm, 38 nm, 37 nm, 80 nm, and 82 nm. The document has been amended and will be available on the MEBAR Downloads page later today. Regards Andrew
  13. All is good Neil. Just out of curiosity, what flight planner are you using? As some, if not most, flight planners will use a database build based on your specific flight simulator set-up, I wonder what has occurred for LGAT to not be recognised in your set-up of P3D unless you have installed some add-on scenery which has removed it? Cheers Andrew
  14. Except in a flight simulator where it seems any airport without a tree placed close to the runway on approach is an oddity. Cheers Andrew
  15. Oh, and on the far more important question of Speed Requirements, see the page on the MEBAR site titled, "Target Speeds & Results". I thought that one was slightly more obvious. Cheers Andrew
  16. Whilst the MEBAR has always been designed to provide a challenge, first and foremost it is intended to be fun. Consequently, we use a combination of liberal artistic licence and embellishment for the purposes of making the event fun. This is evident in the play on words in the event tagline for this year's MEBAR, "Grease is the Word!". The reality that LGAT was closed in 2001 but still exists in every major flight simulator (except maybe X-Plane, but I don't have that so I can't confirm it) produced since, sits on about the same reality level as pretending to fly an aircraft whilst sitting at a computer in a room in a house. Notwithstanding the reality level, using the combination of liberal artistically licence and embellishment is clearly evident in the second paragraph of the Flight Leg Navigation Instructions for Flight Leg 1 where an explanation about the use of LGAT is provided.
  17. The planning and preparation aside, a downside for me with any MEBAR is that by the time the event goes live, I've been living, breathing, dreaming, and flying the detail for the navigation and weather of each Flight Leg for weeks. I'm sure you can imagine that it somewhat takes the edge off the excitement of flight planning and flying in the actual event. So, what do I do to keep it real! Well, this year, I am flying the MEBAR using Active Sky for active real world weather with live updates whilst en route - that should inject some extra surprises. Join with me, whilst I take you on a journey (embellished a little for the purposes of the pictorial) of An Analysis of a MEBAR Flight Leg from my perspective. LGAT, 18 Apr 19, 0615 hrs, T-45 mins. The daily flight briefing by the organisers has just concluded and I have collected the current METAR for the Flight Leg. Weatherwise, there is nothing terribly concerning from earlier predictions except for possible wind changes at altitudes from 6,000 ft and above which could cause me some concerns for being able to maintain my allocated cruise speed of 165 kts - nothing that a small adjustment to my planned cruise altitudes can't fix. I have decided to depart LGAT with a full load of fuel so that I only have to take on minimal fuel at Kythira (LGKC) for Flight Leg 2. With some additional "comforts of home" packed in, this gives the aircraft a Gross Weight of 7,936 lbs. However, this extra fuel weight will cut into my aircraft's performance and reduces my margin for overcoming stronger adverse winds. Based on the METAR information, I have adjusted my planned cruise altitude for the first two sectors of Flight Leg 1 to be 5,000 ft. The potential for increases in the wind speeds from 6,000 ft and above for the sector to Crete will make Sector 3 a little more tricky because of the flight heading and the application of the Hemispheric Rule. I have decided to get a weather update on the winds as I approach LGML and make my final decision then. My options are, descend to 4,000 ft and then climb to 10,000 ft for Waypoint 3 on Crete, or immediately commence my climb to 10,000 ft at Waypoint 2, LGML - wind will clearly be the deciding factor here. Of course, the former of these options adds in an extra time factor of the additional 1,000 ft climb introduced by having to descend from my initial cruise altitude of 5,000 ft. Who said the MEBAR was easy! T-15 mins. All pre-flight checks complete, the engines rumble into life, and on the Twin Beech, do they rumble - oh, and that beautiful aroma. With a short taxi from my parking spot to RWY 33R and I will soon be on my way on another MEBAR (you wouldn't believe I've been here for all of them). I intend to avail myself of a view of the Acropolis and the Parthenon on departure so I need to factor that extra distance in as another adjustment to the timing on the first sector to Waypoint 1 (KEA VOR). With my allocated Target Speed of 165 kts, my planning has calculated a time on target (ToT) for the turn at Waypoint 1 of 13 mins 57 secs (13.95 mins). Departure & Sector 1. After some final checks, I am cleared for take-off. The majestic antiquity of the Acropolis does not disappoint, but now I must focus on the job ahead. Established at my cruise altitude of 5,000 ft, I leave Athens behind as this latest journey is finally underway. The luxury of viewing the Acropolis on departure has now come back to bite me, putting me further behind than I anticipated for my ToT at Waypoint 1, (KEA VOR). Opting to be more gentle on the twin Pratt and Whitney Wasp Juniors, I will make up the time deficiency on Sector 2. Planned Sector ToT - 13 mins 57 secs (13.95 mins). Actual Sector ToT - 16 mins 04 secs (16.06 mins). Sector 2. So far, so good, and with the island of Kythnos off my port wing, the volcanic island of Milos and Waypoint 2 (LGML) is not far away now. The update on the weather confirmed my expectations for an increase in the wind from 6,000 ft and above. With it now reading 27718KT, it makes the decision for Sector 3 simple, descend to a cruise altitude of 4,000 ft with a last minute climb to 10,000 ft for Waypoint 3. Planned Sector ToT - 19 mins 03 secs (19.05 mins). Actual Sector ToT - 17 mins 02 secs (17.04 mins). Sector 3. Having descended to my new cruise altitude of 4,000 ft, I now have the long over water sector to the island of Crete. Crete finally appears out of the haze on the distant horizon, but I don't need to commence my climb to clear Waypoint 3 until well after I cross the coast. Planned Sector ToT - 33 mins 17 secs (33.28 mins). Actual Sector ToT - 32 mins 35 secs (32.59 mins). Sector 4 & Arrival. Shortly after establishing on the heading for the final sector, I opt for a long, slow descent back down to a cruise altitude of 4,000 ft. This will provide me a better opportunity to make any speed adjustments as I fine tune for my overall Flight Leg Time. After some time en route, I realise I have lapsed into a false sense of security on this last sector though. Having not paid close enough attention to my speed, I find I have lost time and I now need to quickly rethink my approach and landing. Rule 1 - DON'T PANIC!!! Approaching the island of Kythira, I turn to a heading of 300 which will set me up for a simple left base and expidite my arrival. However, now I have no more fudge factor. I either nail the timing with this short circuit or I don't. Planned Sector ToT - 35 mins 21 secs (35.35 mins). Actual Sector ToT - 36 mins 28 secs (36.46 mins). Planned Total Flight Leg Time - 1 hr 41 mins 38 secs (101.63 mins). Actual Total Flight Leg Time - 1 hr 42 mins 09 secs (102.15 mins). Fuel Used - 122.54 gals Cheers Andrew
  18. Nothing ho hum about that one, Ian. I'd say it's rather special with its Australian registration, VH-FCB, but then I could be accused of bias. Cheers Andrew
  19. The MEBAR always presents multiple challenges for me. First, there is the planning, choosing a region in the world and then designing a suitably challenging route. However, what becomes more of a challenge is choosing what to fly from my hangar of some 75+ individual aircraft that are suitable for the event. This year, I still couldn't get it right because I changed my mind after sending in my Pilot Registration. When it gets down to it though, I am a big fan of radial engines, and the Beechcraft Model 18 Twin Beech is one of my favourite aircraft, so my entry combines the best of both. Cheers Andrew
  20. Domingos, Just to be sure, the route for the MEBARs are always created using standard default installs of FS9, FSX, and P3D. In the case of P3D, it is created using P3D Ver 3 and then checked against the current version of P3D Ver 4 which is a specific build on my main flight sim computer. So, I can confirm all airports, VORs, and NDBs should exist unless participants have add on scenery which alters or removes default install scenery. As Brian has correctly indicated, the PRV NDB is co-located with Aktion Airport (LGPZ), and Z11W is Komotini Airport. The following are the geographic coordinates for the PRV NDB and Z11W airport: PRV NDB - N38° 55' 00.00", E20° 46' 00.00"; and Z11W - N41° 5' 51.00", E25° 19' 09.00". Cheers Andrew
  21. Thorsten, Welcome back to the MEBAR again and nice work on the repaints. Maybe real world commercial airlines should start incorporating more nose art and tail art on their aircraft. It adds great character. All the best and enjoy the MEBAR. Cheers Andrew
  22. Toby, Very nice, the high performance should help you negotiate some of the mountainous regions of Greece which are on the MEBAR route. Good to have you and the guys from Andras Meridian Airlines back again for another year. All the best and enjoy. Cheers Andrew
  23. Phil, JG took the big plunge into the VR abyss with an Oculus Rift about 12 -18 months ago. I believe he has since ditched it. Cheers Andrew
  24. In the military, when military equipment or property is damaged, there is a process for restitution called "Member to pay!". This mechanic could be paying off this one for an eternity. https://theaviationist.com/2018/10/14/f-16-completely-destroyed-by-another-f-16-after-mechanic-accidentally-fires-cannon-on-the-ground-in-belgium/
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