Wednesday
Mar252009

FSBreak 9: FSX - 8 Cores, FS Bloggers Network, PilotShop TV Returns, and More!

Hosted by Eric McClintock, Nolan, Brendan, and Adam.

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FSX: More than 4 Cores?

  • Comment from Juan on FSBreak 8 about FSX and multicore. [Link]
  • Phil Taylor is quoted saying that "FSX will scale up to 256 cores".

Does FSX use 8 cores? CAN FSX use 8 cores? Quoting an article from Phil Taylor in 2007 about FSX's multi-core capabilities:

Today Intel announced their new 2.93G QX6800 Quad Core processor. As part of this press release, Aces Studio participated with a quote about our improved multi-core support in SP1. The quote stated “The latest version of Microsoft Flight Simulator* X, Service Pack One (SP1), due out later this month, is a great match for the extreme multi-core processing delivered by the new Intel Core 2 Extreme quad-core processor” “Flight Sim X SP1 greatly increases multicore utilization and will scale as more threads are available leading to reduced load times as well as frame rate improvements and greater visual complexity during flight. The Flight Simulator team at Microsoft is pleased to work with Intel to provide our end users with a great gaming experience." Our multi-core support will take advantage of both 2 and 4 cores today, and more cores in the future when they become available via a config setting. This is for both Intel and AMD processors. At render time, we run the terrain texture synthesis on threads across the cores. During flight on multi-core machines, as terrain and terrain textures are loaded you will notice significant multi-core usage. As all tiles are loaded, the multi-core usage will fall off, this is expected. As the terrain is re-lit, approximately every minute, you will see multi-core usage increase. As you bank and load terrain tiles, or as you fly forward and force a load of more terrain tiles, you will see the multi-core usage increase.
Note - hyperthreaded is not multi-core. Our current plan is to treat HT machines as single-core since we noticed extensive collisions between threads which caused stutters.

You can find the article here [Link].

  • This article was written in April 2007, and since then FSX SP2 has been released.
  • Here is an important bit of information: The new Core i7 It is a physical 4 core CPU, with 4 logical cores - Otherwise known as hyperthreading, which makes it look like 8 cores to the OS.
  • Since the release of SP2, the "Not Using Hyperthreading" statement could be false.

Tweak FSX for 8 Threads

As it turns out, some members are able to 'unlock' all 8 'cores' (or all 8 threads) by making some changes to the FSX.cfg file.

  • Change the "AffinityMask" entry to "AffinityMask=255" if you are a core i7 user, there are reports that this may help with the problem.
  • You can also set it to 254 to leave 1 core free for programs other than FSX that require CPU, such as TrackIR, etc.
  • Members report that using AffinityMask=255 helps with loading speed, but not in game stuttering!

Here is a link to the AVSim Forum post [Link], and more information about AffinityMask from Phil. [Link]

  • Members on AVsim report the the method that BEST helps stuttering & FPS is AffinityMask=15, With hyperthreading off.

Final Intel Core i7 overview here at AVSim. [Link]
Share your FSX tweaks, and your system profile to us! Use the form on our contact page, email feedback@fsbreak.net, or call 513-201-5426.

Flight Sim Bloggers Network

The Flight Sim Bloggers Network (FSBN) is a Network of bloggers dedicated to flight simulation. They currently have over 15 blogs in the Network, covering all aspects of flight simulation. The Network gathers all the news items posted by every member, so they can build up a huge resource of available articles, searchable on any blog in the Network.

  • The number of blogs and websites involved produces dozens of (mostly) FS related news articles every day, this can include new products, new services, and even tips, tweaks, and hacks for FS.
  • You can even subscribe to the single RSS feed for ALL of the websites, or follow them on twitter.
  • They are also looking for more blogs to join the network, and all platforms such as MSFS, X-Plane, FlightGear, and other flight sims are welcome.

You can find the FSBN here. [Link]

New Freeware Chilliwack (CYCW) Airport Released

Description:

  • The Chilliwack Municipal Airport (CYCW) is home to approximately 75 private and commercial aircraft, including both fixed wing and helicopters.
  • There are over 20 businesses at the airport including: flight training schools, charter companies: both fixed wing and helicopter, aircraft paint and maintenance shops, as well as, other assorted aviation oriented businesses.
  • They also boast a fine eatery: “The Airport Coffee Shop” and their famous pies. Chilliwack Airport is well known to B.C. aviators as one of the most attractive airports in the province. It is a showpiece for the community”.

The airport is about a 1MB download from Avsim. [Link] via SimFlight. [Link]

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

X-Plane 9.3 Beta 6

Major Features:

  • Track-IR should run smoother.
  • Prop-sync command fixed
  • Nosewheel tiller should have a 10% nullzone
  • Tweaking on thrust reverse joystick axis, they say that it should behave more like a real airliner.
  • Various ‘throttle with pitch, roll and yaw’ options, as you can set in Plane-Maker, now work for engines offset at any angle.
  • New commands and other bug fixes.

View the X-Plane Beta page for the latest update [Link], Via FlightSimX. [Link]

Quick Links

 

Animated FS2004 Traffic in Germany

holtenauer_hochbruecke

Gerd from Germany reports that he has published his freeware 'Car Traffic' for FS2004. The program will add animated traffic to the highways and main roads in Germany, much like you see by default in FSX these days. See their website for more information [Link], also see the original article on SimFlight. [Link]

Air Hauler Download Now Released

The download version of Air Hauler has been released at the price of $36.99 USD. CD Rom versions will follow soon in April. Air Hauler is the air freight management game that uses FS to fly the flights, similar to Cargo Pilot - more information on Air Hauler check the show notes or check out FSBreak Episode 5. JustFlight [Link], or FSBreak 5 [Link].

PilotShop TV Returns

Pilot Shop TV is back with an all-new episode featuring products from Saitek, FScene, A2A Simulations and more! Plus see how FlightSim.Com and the FlightSim Pilot Shop helped change the life of a deserving young flight simmer and aviation enthusiast.


Pilot Shop TV [Link]

Wilco Tilt Rotor Updated

Wilco Publishing just released new features and improvements to its revolutionary Tilt Rotor aircraft. This upgrade represents the single most important improvement in replicating real-world VTOL conversion/transitional flight on a PC-based flight simulator, adding a more accurate “FLY-BY-WIRE” simulation.

Also, Tilt Rotor now sells at 29.95 Eur. Customers who have purchased Tilt Rotor at its original price have received a 10 Eur discount on their future purchase. [Link]

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

Community Interview

This week we interviewed Josh from The Flying Dukes formation team! [Link]

Picks

Eric: http://www.simtips.com - FS Tips & Tweaks.

Adam: JustFlight PA 28 Archer [Link]

Nolan: IL 2 Simulator [Link]

Brenden: BluePrint Simulations KMCO Orlando [Link]
kmco06x

Emails

A Quick Suggestion

They sould do there shows on vatsim and there would be no worrys about the connetion speed.

This listener is suggestion to the FSX Thunderbirds team to use Vatsim instead of a self hosted server.

Juan has a correction

I'm a Checkpilot for United Virtual. I heard your last podcast and I'd like to comment on it. When flying for UVA you are not required to fly online at all. We do encourage people to do so, but flights flown offline do get registered and they're valid for category hours. Moreover, we're hosting training sessions from time to time in TeamSpeak where Checkpilots and pilots gather to solve questions. The forum is also open for any question. New pilots are always welcome. Looking forward to your next episode, Juan

Link to the UVA forums [Link], and the Classes! [Link]

A Great Tool from Allan

I have a tip I think many will find useful. It's something that I looked for over a longer period of time and was hard to find, so I can imagine many others don't know about this great little tool either. It is little piece of software called HidMacros, made by Petr Medek, available at http://hidmacros.medek.info/ . It is a freeware program (with an option to donate a little to support the developer) that let's you modify the command of each key on your keyboard - but best of all, it lets you attach multiple keyboards (or mice!) which you can then program INDIVIDUALLY. You can program the command for every single key. So you could have one keyboard with all the radio buttons and knobs, another keyboard for controlling the auto-pilot, an extra mouse with a wheel for adjusting altitude setting on the auto-pilot etc. So basically, this program will enable you have a lot more buttons available for controlling your aircraft - without buying expensive hardware panels. And if you fly advanced aircraft that will make it so much easier and quicker than remembering and using complex key combinations and mouse operations. You could even have different configurations for different types of aircraft if you wanted to. For each key, or mouse button, or mouse wheel scroll you are able to either send either a series of keystrokes, send a command to FSX via the SimConnect API (all the commands are available at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc526980.aspx), or you can launch an application. The SimConnect commands I guess are FSX only, but for FS2004 I guess you just use keystrokes instead. He says: I have taken an old keyboard which I'm using for flying FSX. I'm not fully done with it yet, but I'm attaching a picture of it [Which you can find in the show notes] which you are free to publish as an example if you want. It works beautifully and I use it religiously. Trying to fly realistically I simply do not have the time to switch back and forth between screens and finding the little knob with the mouse before I can finally click the command. There is really a great difference between that, and then just hitting a single key stroke - it saves a lot of valuable time. This is actually something that might also help those people who would like to switch to X Plane but don't want to relearn all the keyboard shortcuts - a concern that several people expressed through your podcast. Using this they could probably (I don't have X Plane so I don't know how it works) make a keyboard configuration for X Plane that is similar to what they know from their MS Flight sim! It doesn't support key combinations though, eg. like Shift-3, only single keystrokes. But I think it could ease the switch tremendously. Furthermore, HidMacros is not a FS specific application but can be used for anything on the computer where you would like to have some more buttons or shortcuts available

Here is a photo of Allan's keyboard:
fsx-keyboard1
Have any great software you want to share? Use the form on our contact page, email feedback@fsbreak.net, or call 513-201-5426.

Andre owns an academy

This is a forum devoted to FS questions. It features sections for painting, modeling, panels, scenery, and sound. It also has general chat and more.

It is Flight Sim Academy, the url is http://www.flightsimacademy.com


Send your system profile to us. Use the form on our contact page, email feedback@fsbreak.net, or call 513-201-5426.


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Tuesday
Mar172009

FSBreak 8: Most Expensive Home Built Flight Simulator, Problems for Computer Pilot Magazine, and Sully's Flight!

Hosted by Eric McClintock, & Joe.

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The World's Most Expensive Home Built Flight Simulator

matsim

Matthew Sheil, owner of a trucking parts company, has the most expensive home built flight simulator, an almost exact replica of a 60 Million dollar 747-400 simulator, cost him just $300,000 to build. The simulator is housed in his Sydney Australia warehouse.

The cockpit features:

  • Over 45 different software programs running on 14 different computers.
  • He rents out the simulator to the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and then donates the money earned from the rentals.
  • His Simulator offers full motion.

Matthew also is a real life pilot and owns a beechcraft baron B58, and says he prefers flying the real plane but enjoys the limitless posibilities of the simulator:

He says:

In the [real] plane I fly, you take off and you point it in the direction of Melbourne and you press a button and away it goes until you come into land, whereas a simulator you can do whatever you want - if you want to fly upside down, fly upside down, If we hit a mountain or the ground the simulator just freezes in its current state and everything goes red - and then we just hit reset.

You can find the news article here [Link], or find moe information on Matt's website. [Link]

More Pictures:

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer


Show us your home cockpits! Use the form on our contact page, email feedback@fsbreak.net, or call 513-201-5426.

Problems For Computer Pilot Magazine?

(Correction, in the podcast I stated that they have gone for 3 years on a monthly release date, the actual time is 7 years.)

Robert, the owner of the popular Computer Pilot Magazine, sent out a note to subscribers explaining that they are selling less, and hence the cost have gone up, forcing him to reduce the frequency back to once every TWO months instead of once per month.

Computer Pilot started as a bi-monthly and then went monthly in 2003. While we enjoyed 7 years of month-after-month issues, a recent slowdown in readership and advertiser support due to the toughened economy has forced us back into the bi-monthly schedule.

They also state: Don’t worry, we’re not planning on going away any time soon. In fact we’re taking this opportunity to regroup and recreate a better magazine with a complete new look and improved content based on reader feedback. So while it will be 2 months between issues, they will be “better” issues from this point forward.

If you are currently a subscriber, don’t worry, you haven’t lost anything. You will still receive the number of issues that you are signed up for. If you have 8 issues remaining in your subscription, you will still receive 8 issues.

Nothing else will change. Computer Pilot will be a better magazine with a new and improved look and improved content, published and delivered every other month.

View the article on SimFlight here [Link], or see the release directly from Computer Pilot Magazine here. [Link]

X-Plane releases "Sully's Flight" for as an iPhone Application

Based on X-Plane, 'Sully's Flight' starts you on runway 4 at LaGuardia in an Airbus A-320, at similar time, weather, and weight conditions to that fateful flight. YOU will fly the plane yourself, following hoops plotted in the sky showing Captain Sullenberger's approximate ACTUAL flight-path... This will let YOU fly the same profile Sully did, from take-off right through to landing... all with realistic physics and accurate land and river placement.

As well as the actual location, airplane, time, weather, and flight-path, the ACTUAL radio transmissions are played at the right time, giving a full immersion into the actual 5-minute flight... and with flight physics that are accurate enough to make it very similar to the real plane.

Touch down below 120 knots, at less than 250 feet per minute rate of descent to score a successful outcome. You may need to lower the flaps a bit, or trim up a bit, to achieve this!

The Application is being sold for 99 cents.

You can find more information from X-Plane's website [Link] or on the iTunes Music Store. [Link]

Screenshots:

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

 

 

Tell us what you think of this application, Use the form on our contact page, email feedback@fsbreak.net, or call 513-201-5426.

Quick Links

Flight1’s Heli Traffic 2009

Flight One Software is proud to announce Heli Traffic 2009, a Flight Simulator X module that creates helicopter AI traffic. It is the first Flight Simulator add-on to offer realistic AI helicopters that take off and land vertically, fly like helicopters and use helipads and not runways.

This innovative product brings it’s own AI engine that controls helicopters, which results in a very realistic flight behavior. It also offers excellent customization options.

Heli Traffic 2009 will fill the sky with AI helicopters flying randomly chosen routes according to your settings. You can also add scheduled helicopters that fly fixed routes or maybe just circle in the sky, and define your own landing spots. The product can use every helicopter installed in FSX.

This addon is now being sold by Flight1 at $24.95 USD. [Link] via SimFlight [Link]

Air Hauler Arriving Soon

As we discussed in an earlier episode, the AirHauler addon is now taking pre-orders and is due to ship at the beginning of April for the CD-Rom version, and the Download version before the end of march.

Prices: CD-Rom: £27.45 / €34.95 / $41.99 Download: £24.45 / €29.95 / $36.99

More Info [Link]

Fix For Eaglesoft’s FS9 Citation

Eaglesoft releases Hotfix 1.6 for the Citation X 2.0 for FS9, the hotfix addresses every known issue presented in our support forums, adds additional documentation, more realistic operation, and sample flight with STAR approach. Owners may simply redownload and reinstall using existing key and password to obtain Hotfix 1.6. More detailed information is found from the company's support forums. [Link]

View the article. [Link]

Space Shuttle Mission 2007 Service Pack 3.0 Released

Exciting Simulations has released a major Service Pack for the Space Shuttle Mission 2007 simulator.

The download adds new communications for the launch phase, revised and enhanced HUD graphics, new Approach and Landing guidance, improved flight model and the usual fixes.

You can find more information on this and a demo from their website. [Link]

Captain Sim: 727-200 and 727 Freighter Expansion Models

The '727 Captain' is a remake of the famous 'Legendary 727', rebuilt to meet modern Captain Sim quality standards and provide a full spectrum of FSX features.

The '727 Captain' delivers brand new re-modeling and texturing, re-programming from a scratch of all systems and number of additional features.

The '727 Captain' series now includes both 727-200 models and 727 Freighter models which are available as separate expansion packs for the 727-100 pro pack.

The Pro pack will run you 59.99 Euro, and the 727-200 and 727 Freighter are available as separate expansion packs for 19.99 Euro each. [Link] to article, or to Captain Sim's website. [Link]

Screenshots:

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

 

 

Picks

Eric: Meljet 777 2.0 [Link]

front03

Joe: FSPassengers [Link]

Emails & Voicemails

First Voicemail from Dave from North Carolina!

Your Assignment:

  • What hardware do you have?
  • How would you rate your overall experience of FSX only from 1 to 5?


Use the form on our contact page, email feedback@fsbreak.net, or call 513-201-5426.

Two Emails on JoySticks/Yokes

Jim Writes in:

Which joystick should I use. I had a "Sidewinder" last, years ago but it will not plug into my new computer. Everything now is USB. My eye is on the x52. Is it to complicated? Will it work flying a piper cub up to a 737 heavy? what should I use???????? yoke and pedals maybe? I'm sorta lost on which way to go....I haven't even installed the FSX yet.....Jim

And Rich writes:

I've been flying with the CH Yoke now for years but it just recently broke and I used that as an excuse to pick up the new Saitek yoke. [Link]


Joystick or Yoke? What do you prefer? Use the form on our contact page, email feedback@fsbreak.net, or call 513-201-5426.

Reply From Steve

I was the Steve who submitted the question about new ones joining and learning from the VA's. I enjoyed the program and from what Joe said I have taken your advice and applied to join Delta. I have not yet received a reply after 2 days but I imagine after the podcast they will have a run of people to get on. In the meantime you stated that the aircraft they use is the CRJ or the Embraer are there freeware versions of these that I can practice on for FS2004. As mentioned I can take off and land in a Lil' Cessna and can even do the same in a 737 landing ILS but would now like to get into the finer points. I have heard some unforgiving stories about some VA's but Delta sounds just right particularly that you can practice offline. Hope to hear you on FSBreak again. Just wanted to say thanks for the advice and will keep you updated on my progress.

Joe recommends the Project OpenSky CRJ's. [Link]

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