Oh…the doldrums…the Ides of October… So few new files come our way, even freeware files, and there’s almost a palpable lingering when we open our browsers, a sense of foreboding every time we hop over to the Org looking for something new…
“What? Still nothing?! What…?”
Well, just like last year we have ruifo and tdg to fill out these tense teasing expectations of ours, and two new files from them today to help ease our suffering through the weekend. Oh…woe is me, whatever shall we do…?
In the set below I’ve used the old freeware A310 and not the new payware model, which seems to be suffering from an acute marketing collapse over at the Org Store. The file doesn’t show up under new releases and there’s been no mention made of it in sales emails I get from them. Maybe the 60 buck price is the reason, or the freeware quality panel, but the thing is this release has got me thinking…again…and that’s always a bad thing. A very bad thing.
Writing about scenery files the other day I think I said something along the lines of: At the very least an good scenery file will take care to engage the sim pilot where the sim pilot most needs to be engaged: approaching the runway, along taxiways, and on the apron approaching the gate or FBO/hanger. Once those things are finished, and I do mean completely finished, the developer can then begin to fill out all the other details…because, after all, Xp is a flight simulator.
Same thing with aircraft files. Get the cockpit done, completely done, then move on to all the other stuff. That new A310 has a marginally finished cockpit for a sixty dollar file, yet it also has opening cargo doors. What? That’s called misplaced development priorities (at the very least), and my guess is that’s why the Org isn’t marketing the file aggressively. I looked at the cockpit images and shrugged, decided to take a pass on this one unless or until the developer gets serious about panel development. At sixty bucks, you need a panel as good looking and functional as Jack’s 732 or even the IXEG 733, yet that new A310 doesn’t even come close. So…the old freeware A310 will still see use…for now. Too bad, because I was looking forward to this new one…and who knows…curiosity might get the better of me once again.
ruifo has been hanging out in the Yucatan this week, first with Isla Mujeres, then the little naval air facility at Tulum (link here, not reviewed); now we have one of the big enchiladas – MMUN Cancun International. If you have any doubts at all about the significance of this airport just peruse the list of airlines and destinations (here) to get an idea of just how far off the mark you are. Anyway, as I write this ruifo just released a new Cozumel file, so you’ll read about that one in the next post.
This is vintage ruifo, and by that I mean this is a pretty straight-forward scenery file. This is, in other words, an Xp11 file that uses NO third party scenery libraries, only Laminar’s in-house assets, and I think this has been a smart move on ruifo’s part. Many people I talk to just won’t bother with freeware airports that are loaded down with a dozen or more scenery library file requirements, and while I can’t blame them I wouldn’t be reviewing many airport files if I did.
So, LegoBricks galore, Down Mexico Way…!
There appears to be two classes of terminal buildings here: an older tan brick building and a newer looking white building. The older building does NOT have interior lighting so it just looks wrong at night, but that’s the only major issue I found. The newer white buildings have basic 3D night lighting. Oh…note all the high-rise resort developments along the beaches?
There’s good ramp lighting elsewhere, lots of ground clutter, and the various paved surfaces are marked well and distressed appropriately. All in all, very good work from one of the masters in the X-plane scenery community. Get ruifo’s files here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/profile/219189-ruifo/content/&type=downloads_filehttps://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/profile/219189-ruifo/content/&type=downloads_file
So, another new file from tdg, but this one is really, really different. And no, it’s not the one seen first below, so let me explain.
tdg’s latest is a tiny airport on an equally tiny island located about twenty miles off the coast of France; this island is served by one carrier, and this carrier flies between two airports, and only these two airports.
The airport in question is LFEC Ushant Island Airport, located just off Cape Finistère, in the Bretagne (Brittany) region of Western France, and the airline in question calls itself Finist’air…a nice play on words. Here’re a couple of images of their one and only C208 (they employ two pilots, two mechanics, and a hostess, BTW):
Colorful, to say the least.
Livery painters? Please?
So, Finist’air flies between LFEC Ushant and LFRB Brest Bretagne Airport (file located here), a version 10.51 gem you’ll really want to get onboard. So equipped, you can now make the 26 mile hop to and from Ushant to your heart’s content…as we did in the Caravan as well as the Kodiak.
The large control tower facility out on the bluff overlooking the sea is a radar station for monitoring maritime traffic entering and exiting the English Channel. There is a complex traffic separation scheme in-place out there, and ship traffic in the channel is as tightly controlled as commercial airport traffic. Oh, the weather out on the island is frequently quite rough, in case you were wondering (you can stop grinning now). The Carenado C208 is a good choice for this flight, too.
Get tdg’s latest here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/profile/348816-tdg/content/&type=downloads_file
Our favorite freeware LEMD Madrid came in for some touch-up work this week, and you’ll want to get this one onboard, too.
Stay tuned…more coming soon. Happy trails –