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Several changes afoot around my various Airhauler operations. It all started with a trial of ORBx based products via Misha Cajic's "NA-Airstrips-Vol1" airstrips which was on sale 1/2 off recently. It's a wonderful product, and made me realize how much I missed trees and buildings...autogen and such that is missing in MSE scenery. I really hope he is working hard on Vol.2 as I will definitely be a customer. Kudos again. I decided that the perfect airplane for hauling cargos to those challenging fields was not actually an airplane... My Virtavia Ch-47 at the 98TE Glide/Hilltop field. Note the rather obviously brighter MSE Oregon scenery in the background...the NA scenery is def not intended to blend with MSE. I always found helicopters incredibly hard to get my head around...finding balance on them wise. It feels like trying to balance a top-heavy object on the tip of a nail while having to coordinate all three direction axis with one lever, as well as power and rotor pitch on a second lever for the up and down (thankfully combined in FSX or I still would not be able to fly them still...i do not have a drummer's coordination). Me hovering a helicopter was best accompanied by "Yakety Sax" as heard on Benny Hill's raunchy comedy skit show (the Yakety Sax ending skit bit being the best part of the show imo...in part because it announced the end of the show. lol). So...unlike Airplanes...i discovered ironically that the larger the helicopter the easier it is to fly...like balancing on the "head" of the nail instead of the "tip"...the Big Airplane delay works in a new copter pilot's favor unlike the way it kills new pilots of airplanes...a bit counter intuitive but sensible once you are in the seat. It still took a week of flying the Ch-47 to make me learn to love it and it's utility, landings were squirlley or figity at best, but I was getting cargos down safe...so I tried out a few more heavies and midsize copters thanks to the recent 50% Virtavia sale...Sea Stallion, Sea King, Blackhawk...all chosen for airspeed and cargo capacity. They are all fantastic, but I think I love the Sea King the best...it is a very stable flier and has a hover gauge that my mind wraps around easily. Unfortunately (for copter flying...not in general cuz it's a great product) I am MSE heavy in the scenery...flirting with the occasional red and white pole is about as fun as it gets in MSE land...and landings are very plain as far as immersion goes as the textures go to fuzz at ground level and nearby. Encouraged by my NA airstrips experience, I installed ORBx PNW scenery...and am sold on it...gorgeous for low level, and even for flying high above. I will miss the accuracy of MSE over the part of California I'm very familiar with once I get the NorCal scenery...soon as I feel flu$h or a $ale happen$. But...I don't know these Oregon mountains...Hellll...I don't know my local California mountains! This looks fabulous to me. You know...if MSE just had some darn trees show up at lower levels...it would look nearly exactly like this. Ch-47 View of PNW/ORBx: Sweet. One of the Vertols stopping over at Annacortes, Wa: The airfields make helicopter flying fun...well the landings anyhow Speaking of which...who the #&(@ left this pickup parked this close to the helicopter pad...wtf? I should swing my tail out and leave it over the taxiway. Don't blame me if a your paint got a bit "whacked" by debris...hehe...I hovered as long as i could could to sandblast the finish to a dull shine...dumbass. ( jk... Love that challenge parked there...hehe ) So...after getting my chops down on a regular basis (without banging them up, and without Benny Hilling into structures and badly parked trucks...)...it was time for a Helicopter Start-up in Airhauler, which means...gulp...Robinsons R1 22's. Now, back to that Nail Tip metaphor, the tiny little Robinson is more like flying on top of a Pin Tip...a very sharp and tipsy pin tip...definitely this was going to be a challenge for some plucky pilot. One of my Main Companies is called Eureka We Haul it...I haven't ever posted much regarding it as it is mostly heavy aircraft that afford me the ability to test out new planes with a fat wallet. AI's do all the work, I am chief test pilot for a fleet of A319, BAe146 QT, MD 81/81... and a small fleet of toys for me to fly wherever I like...my Fun Fleet company). One of Eureka's pilot's Hellen Kopp, really shined in the CH-47 while conducting AI tests in it. She is a whirley natural and I felt she was ready for taking on a Robinson and trying to get the rep necessary to attract more heli-pilots to her Oregon based startup RotoCargo. I bankrolled her with a recent model C-172 to fly her and $100K up to Oregon to open a few bases in some challenging terrain in need of some plucky chopper pilots. Now, the very very nice thing about the Robinson is that you don't have to sell your C172 to buy one outright. New price is less than 100 thousand USD...keep the Cessna as a back up, or sell it to bankroll a few more bases and have some capital on hand for emergencies. A rather pleasant surprise actually. This is Helen's first landing, full to the brim with cargo at near MTOW (short a quart of fuel or so from it's MTOW...it is Very economical to fly) at the helipad at Myrtle Creek Municiple/16S. I'm not sure how she captured this sequence from inside and outside the copter, but she says it was her first "straight in and land" with "zero fussing about/"Benny Hill action"...and in a Robinson no less. I'm pretty proud of my investment thus far: Thanks for flying along on another windy post folks. Happy hauling Matt.
SIM720 Studios announced today the release of their latest product Santa Barbara Airport (KSBA) This is a great airport - over 80 buildings modelled, Interior perspective on the buildings (believed to be a world first), animated people, and 2 millimetre / pixel tiled texture on the taxiways and runways. All of this has been achieved without affecting the frame rate performance. Features High-res ground polygon. Photo-real layout and textures (30cm resolution). Hand placed hi-res buildings within airport boundaries. Animated People. Custom auto-gen buildings outside the airport boundary. Extensive library of airport clutter. Accurate taxiway lanes. Custom made static aircraft. Custom night-lighting. Compatible with Default, MegaSceneryEarth and Orbx Global. DX10 compatible. Installs into FSX, P3Dv1 and P3Dv2. More here [EOM]