Post by flaminghotsauce on Apr 29, 2010 21:05:42 GMT -5
I've been busy working. I have had to rebuild my case and desk at work. Usually needs doing every couple of years, I've done it THREE times in the last two months. Two to four hours on my own time, but it's finished.
I have been waiting for the Carenado Bonanza F33 and following it's development all spring. I saw it was released today, and I got it, AND their version of the 172. So far, I've spent more time exploring the 172! Good stuff. I'm impressed!
Post by flaminghotsauce on Jun 4, 2010 21:16:18 GMT -5
I repurchased FS9 in the tin off Ebay. I got it installed and have been finding all the tweaks and stuff I used to use.
This thing runs GREAT! I forgot how well my computer runs FS9. I have every slider maxed out, and it's as smooth as a movie. It usually produces 60 FPS which is the monitor limit, I believe. It just sits there. I tried KSEA and I get 60 FPS. The only problem I'm having is the Saitek Yoke doesn't do the "Y" axis on the first throttle quadrant. It's the third handle, which I have set up as Prop 1. It will not activate. All the other handles work, all the buttons, every assignment is fine except that one. I checked in FSX and the "Y" axis works as normal so it's not a hardware issue. Weird. Other than that the sim is so much fun.
I have to go back and find all those succulent airplanes I used to have on a disk. I cannot even remember all the aircraft I used to have.
I did find a cloud/environment package a little while ago that I've never seen or heard of. It's on AVSIM called " hdev2.zip " It's tremendous. More tremendous than cheese in the crust pizza. All the usual weather themes are all new! Woo! The sky looks as good, or better even, than FSX. It's not made a dent in my sky-high FPS as far as I can tell. I maxed out the cloud draw distance and it's beautiful!
Post by flaminghotsauce on Jun 6, 2010 16:34:47 GMT -5
A beautiful day here! We've endured a couple of storms this last week that have produced tornadoes that did not do much damage. They've been all around my location. I was just in town last night, and left a wedding reception a little early. After we left a funnel went across the city, prompting the sirens to go off. Yesterday morning, I went through the small town south of here about fifteen minutes before a tornado went by there.
The cold front has pushed south past us, and we're enjoying mid to upper 70's today and the next two days! Yea!
This morning I was firing up each simulator and flying off KGCN toward the Grand Canyon to see how each sim depicts the exact same area. With the new clouds the FS9 install is looking really good, almost as good as FSX there. FSX has the better sandy look. XPlane has better reddish color on the rocks, but very jagged looks, combined with lower visibility. Tough call. FSX wins. OH, I forgot to fire up 2000 and 2002! I'm having too much fun.
Post by flaminghotsauce on Jun 6, 2010 19:48:42 GMT -5
Well, I learned something today. First, the comparisons between the simulators at the Grand Canyon (KGCN): Flight sim 2000 Pro does the mountains well, but they don't look anything like the Grand Canyon red walls one expects to see. It gets 100 FPS, but I don't have a good joystick anymore and have to fly with the arrow keys for ailerons and elevator inputs. Mouse for anything in the cockpit.... Wow. I remember how cool that program was when I first got it. With the twisty rudder joystick, I practiced, learned to land, learned VOR navigation, and devoured the big manual book that came with it. This is where I wrapped my head around the process of flying, the beginnings of all that followed up later. But in comparison, it's flat ugly now. The book is still valuable, moreso than the software is supports!
FS2002 looks like 2004, but the weather system is different. The clouds must be set by slider, no themes. The interesting thing is that 2002 was only getting about 20 FPS over the canyon, but if I looked up, it shot up over 60....
FS9 runs FAR better and smoother than 2002 while looking fantastic. I basically set 2002 and FS9 both full up, wide open settings. FS9 probably benefits from shoving all the graphics work to the GPU, while 2002 probably cannot do that. That's why 2002 will run without a GPU. FS9 looks very good, and that smoothness.... yummy!
That's what I learned today. I kind of assumed that 2002 being older, would use less resources and run faster than FS9. BZZZZT! Wrong! Runs one third as well, looks half as good or less even with full anti-aliasing, and best possible graphics settings. FS9 just looks better.
FSX was still the winner, though. The ground looks better, the autogen plantlife is better, the canyon is better, The stock airplanes are way better and feel better, and it still is smooth and nice flying. I'm going to test the cloud textures I used in FS9 to see if it looks better in FSX. There is NO effect on FPS, so as long as it looks good, it's a go.
Post by flaminghotsauce on Jun 13, 2010 11:48:37 GMT -5
DOH! I did a little bit of flying this morning. I started out down in southern MO south of Springfield at PLK airport. There's a winding lake called Table Rock lake, like a little Lake of the Ozarks and I wanted to fly over that. I was also doing some training/discussion/demonstration as I went for my 8 year old son, so I was tracking VORs and Victor airways. I wanted to demonstrate some navigation.
I started out by flying over the lake until I intercepted the Victor 72 airway, the 048 degree radial from the Razorback VOR . Then, I followed that SW until I intercepted the Victor 307 airway, the 294 radial from the Harrison VOR. Both VORs in Arkansas, my flight never left Missouri! Cool. We tracked WNW to the Neosho VOR, then turned north.
My big idea was to fly/demonstrate an NDB approach into the Joplin airport, the NDB RWY 13 approach specifically. Tuned to 344, the ADF was fine, I was tracking exceptionally well, especially considering real weather. Uh, no wind. No wonder. I thought I was just good or something!
As I passed the runway northbound, I was checking the plate for details, how far the runway was from the IAF, what the altitudes at each spot of the approach were, etc. Basically an approach briefing for my son, so he'd sort of know what I was doing, and what I was looking for. We were looking good, needle centered. The NDB isn't on the airport, so I was still tuned to the Neosho VOR and getting DME info, looking for 19 miles to the airport, approximately 23 miles to the NDB. At 23 miles the needle was still centered and I watched it intently for a bit. I took a moment to look outside the airplane to see how far back the airport was, popped back inside, needle centered, DME still clicking up. 27 miles. 29 miles.
The "DOH" factor is when I realized that the ADF needle has an arrow on both ends of the needle, and I never noticed I was tracking the outbound side of the needle. I flew so directly overhead the NDB, the needle flopped rapidly, and I never saw it. I didn't notice the needle head changed sizes. AFter I'd turned inbound toward the runway and lined up, I passed directly over it again, and saw just how fast the needle flopped. It's no wonder I missed it. It took about one second to completely reverse.
Not a good demonstration, or execution of an NDB approach.... Luckily, the circle around the NDB is 15 miles, and I never got out of that. I tracked outbound past the NDBB for abou teight miles before figuring out what had happened. Had I been in actual conditions, I would have been mighty confused.
We flew many NDB approaches back in the 60's and 70's. You have to think about what you're doing. Both companies I was with had RMI's so that's a big plus. I was with one very small company that had a twin aerocommander, don't remember the version, carried somewhere between 7-9 pax (don't remember), but it only had a fixed ADF card. You really had to stat on top of the situation. Remember during the Clinton administration a member of the State Dept went over to Bosnia or there abouts to work out the peace treaty? Military B737? The crew couldn't fly an NDB approach. Too bad. Keep the blue side up. lr.
Post by flaminghotsauce on Jun 24, 2010 20:36:11 GMT -5
I went to see Toy Story 3 in 3D this afternoon. I took the ENTIRE FAMILY! Even the two year old, who had difficulty for the first 10 minutes or so, because he was tired and didn't want to "watch the movie on the big TV." It impressed even the teenagers. Y'know, the ones that are too cool to be watching a kids movie? Ya, them.
I gotta say, I was skeptical about another 3D movie, but I knew the Toy Story storyline would be good. But the 3D was simply phenomenal! No crap shooting out of the screen in your face or other cheap trick shots. It was just for the depth and added realism. Fantastic! I'm SO glad I went to see this in the theater. I normally wait for movies to come out on DVD. But this was worth every dollar (and I spent a bunch of them) to see it on the big screen.
About the only cheap 3D trick shots were in the opening credits, and there was a little bit where a dog was trying to get a ball, but the ball floated out into the theater, the dog was stuck at the edge of the screen, could not reach the ball, and paced around a bit. Also the Disneyland logo screen had something come out toward the audience. But that was it. Everything else was merely dimension enhancement, which was outstanding.
Post by flaminghotsauce on Jan 14, 2011 20:47:14 GMT -5
I stopped yesterday at K89 to have a peek at a King Air B200 that I saw circle and land. We had had freezing fog that morning, but it cleared off and there was some sunshine when it flew in. I know the guy that runs the airport so it's a pretty friendly place. I walked in and Bill asked me if I wanted to see the airplane, "No. I have to get home, just wanted to affirm the type" I said. So he runs off to the pilot lounge to round up Jeremy the pilot. Jeremy asks me if I want to see the airplane. "Yeah!" Jeremy is a kind of young-ish looking guy, I guessed him to be maybe 35 years old max. Very friendly fellow!
This King Air is a nice piece of gear. Smelled like leather, mmmmm! We sat inside the aircraft for about a half hour talking about engine operation, taxi, flight regimes, etc. He mentioned that most companies like to define operational limits, but this company just told him to fly it as he sees fit. I was pleased to look around the cockpit and not really see anything I didn't understand.
This particular aircraft is owned by the company that runs 23 Ethanol plants. They are based out of Sioux City and mostly are flying into small airfields like k89. Jeremy used to fly for Netjets, and flew a Cessna Sovereign. The other airplanes this company owns are King Airs and they have a Cessna Mustang. They used to run a TBM700 but needed more room.
I had to wait only about 45 minutes before the company owners called in their 15 minute warning to be ready to go, so I of course had to wait around to watch them launch. They took off runway 20 and made a climbing right turn to head northwest. I drove straight home and watched what was left of the flight on Flightaware.com. Jeremy said he mostly flies in the low 20,000's for best speed/fuel economy. and sure enough, he was at FL220 for the trip home.
Nice way to spend some time! I NEED to carry a camera in my work truck.
Post by Tom Goodrick on Jan 15, 2011 9:55:59 GMT -5
You probably could have had the same discussion at cruise without much more background noise (in the cabin). I enjoyed the flights in NASA's King Air B200. I have a good-looking older model of the B200 with accurate FD.
Post by flaminghotsauce on Feb 9, 2011 6:16:32 GMT -5
So, I get all excited about the GAAR this year. I downloaded scenery, installed Lady Elliot Island, I flew the first four legs, meticulously planning each leg before launching, plotting out the best altitudes for the forecast winds to best accommodate the time allotted. I take detailed notes, and have a whole clipboard full of paperwork.
Then we have the blizzard.
I have been stuck in the snow at work over twenty times, four requiring a friendly passerby's towing capability to extricate my vehicle. I've scarred up the tread on my tires, knocked bumpers loose, dangerously dangled my transmission cooler by a single zip tie to get home, broke a u-joint, busted a 4X4 hub, now I have the front differential in my backup truck going out.
All the while I am fighting off the next round of illness creeping through my house, sore throat so bad I struggle to swallow, glands swollen in my neck and jaw, losing sleep which only aggravates the illness and prolongs it....
OH YEAH, I was flying the GAAR..... I haven't had my simulator turned on in two weeks. Maybe next year.
Post by flaminghotsauce on Mar 13, 2011 8:24:11 GMT -5
Spring has sprung. Not yet, but we're close.
I am starting up construction work in my "attic" otherwise known as the yet to be completed Master Suite and extra family room. It's mostly laid out, but the sheet rock work is going to be difficult and expensive. There's not a straight line anywhere in this old house. The walls are 7' tall. The roof I lowered from an "A" shape top to a flat spot, so there an 8' horizontal roof and a 5' angled section that meets the 7' walls. There are two dormer windows, and we are replacing the six windows up there with new vinyl energy efficient models that will be here next week. Due to the non-straight lines, non-standard wall stud spacing, weird angles, and such, there is going to be a ton of waste with the sheet rock. Apparently there was a fire in the history of this house and they reused some of the blackened but still solid 2x4's which are actually 2" x 4", not 1 3/4" x 3 3/4" like we buy today. So I have to retrofit very carefully to match when installing nailers around the edges where the drywall will be attached. Tedious work.
Complicating the work is the fact that the unfinished master bedroom is being used by my oldest two sons. My oldest just got a job working nights and sleeps during the day, so I get to work two or three pieces of drywall at a time. There is also all the stuff that is stored in the attic that makes a cluttered workspace. To place a piece of drywall, we must first move bits of storage boxes, extra grocery storage (we stock up when we shop deals; we have so many to feed!), and random toys and things that magically appear overnight.
It's going to be really neat when finished. The old floor was so crooked, I built a new floor on top of it to make it level. This also gives us a "sunken" living room floor by the height of the new floor. The brick chimney ascends through it, and I'm going to leave it uncovered. I may clean the brick, or maybe paint it. There's a bathroom up there, and we've talked about possibly putting in a small kitchenette and bar.
The greenhouse we so lovingly built and covered with plastic attached by custom cut lathe work... well the plastic was the wrong type. The sun rotted it and when the winter winds got hold of it the plastic shredded. We are going to recover it with less attractive translucent roofing panels. The roof is made of clear Lexan in the shape of pole barn metal to be used as skylights. Seems it lets in so much light, we may have to hang black sunscreen!
It's time for planting. Mowing season is close so I have to get the mowers cleaned up, tuned up, and sharpened.
So much to do! I hope I can get some real sim flying in someday, but now I have both indoor and outdoor work lined up. Rainy days are no excuse not to be productive, so I guess I'll have to get up earlier in the morning to fly! I get in a few touch and go's mostly. It's getting boring!
Post by flaminghotsauce on Mar 18, 2011 5:20:06 GMT -5
I've never installed a replacement window before. The local hardware/lumber yard owner is usually on hand to personally measure the window opening to make SURE it fits, but I measured myself. They fit! Woohoo. I didn't realize how much more work it would be to take out the old windows than to install the new windows. Pulleys and weights, yowza.
I was doing a bit of flying in my FSX installation the other day during a quiet moment, and my sim froze. I'm thinking it is time to clean out the dust, and while it's opened up, I should get a bigger power supply into the machine. I can't run all of my hardware at once.
I wish that Stearman was an FSX aircraft! It's a beauty.
Post by flaminghotsauce on Jun 11, 2011 8:19:23 GMT -5
We've had a death in the family. My wife's grandpa Walter passed two evenings ago. I sent my wife and my oldest daughter off in the car, as we would have to mobilize an army to get us all there for the funeral. Most of the kids don't even remember him anyway, so they wouldn't benefit or understand much about him. He leaves behind his wife Irene who has lost all of her forward vision, retaining only peripheral vision. She's not in great health either. Walter has had a heart condition for some years, but we all figured he was to stubborn and cantankerous to ever die. He's the kind of guy that, should the grim reaper show up, would grab his scythe and whack old Grim with it. I guess Grim had to wait him out.
So, I took a couple of days off to stay home with the other kids. I spent most of the day flying for the first time in months. I usually get a touch and go or a few in before I have to quit. I took the Carenado 185 from KIRK to C18 in the Chicago area (it's the closest airport to wifey's parents) in real weather, real time. The 185 version I have is the Bush/float/ski/amphibian version. I bought it instead of the regular version because it was cheaper. I took FS9 instead of FSX because I have better clouds and I knew I'd run into IFR weather, which I did. I flew at 11,500 so I would have maximum cloudiness. I also decided to skip the ATC and just fly it as plotted on my wall mounted chart.
What fun! I miss having the time to make longer time flights like this. It took around 90 minutes and I decended into marginal VFR to land. Yea! I got to mess around with the auto-pilot that I never have messed with. It's a weird style that isn't intuitive like the default airplane's autopilots. It took a bit of experimentation to figure it out. I didnt' bother with a detailed flight plan, just filled the tanks, loaded the passengers, and followed the VORs.
I was going to flight plan properly on a jeppeson plan form, but I could NOT get it to print out. It's a PDF I found somewhere. I was going to time my legs and everything. Oh, well.