Thursday, April 19, 2012

10th flight simulator conference

I have been at the 10th flight simulator conference, held in Germany on saturday, March the 24th. Sorry if I am writing this report with a huge delay... 

The first report have been written in one of my posts in the VoloVirtuale forum so what you read below is more or less a plain translation from italian to english.

There were a lots of exhibitors and between them VATSIM, IVAO, AEROSOFT, Saitek, VRinsight just to name some of them. And there was also a lot of people, actually much more then I expected. The conference has been held inside the Deutsche Musuem of Aviation.

Aerosoft was selling all of its products and had a virtual cockpit that people could enjoy. The cockpit seems a real replica based on XPlane and having a big flat screen The queue for playing was really huge!

Also Saitek and VRInsight were present with a lot of products. VRInsight was offering an interesting 20% discount. But the most interesting things was to see and touch the hardware they produce.

VRInsight was selling a 737 header panel for 1600€ but to be honest I did not like so much because it looked like little game instead of a serious device for flying.

Very interesting instead the gadwet produced by Saitek for altutude, speed and so on... unfortunately I read some comment saying that suck widgets are very useful for the standard FS planes but less interesting for liners like the LevelD or PMDG. I still believe that they could help creating a good home cockpit in a short time.

Due to the lack of time, I followed only 2 talks: the presentation of XPlane and PMDG. 

Almost all the stands run XPlane, FSX was used in a very limited places while Prepare3D was absolutely missing.


The first coming product is DC3 for the lovers of vintage planes.The graphic details of the cockpit and the interiors comes from around 6000 photos.
XPlane and his future developments have been presented in an interesting talk. The was a lot of people following the talk and they had a lot of questions. Unfortunately the talk was in german so I could understand only part of the presentation and almost nothing of the questions...

With XP10, Laminar tried to develop what they called a reasonable world not a 100% reproduction of the reality. 
In XP10 there are different type of roads like highways, one way, normal streets and so on. These different types come from OpenStreetMap. There are also different types of residential areas like cities, villages, industrial, business.

The autogen, the ATC, the rendering engine, the lighting and the textures have been rewritten or greatly imprioved from version 9. Actually, a lot of very amazing screenshots have been presented especially regarding the lighting system.

For the future, Laminar wants to focus on big liners that they called "High Fidelity Aircraft Addons" by adding FMS data (from Navigraph that at the present is the only one available), idraulic system, electric system, high resolution textures and visrtual cockpit.

Laminar XPlane 10 releases LFMN, ELDP, LPFR, EGLL, LFPO, EDDF. LSZH in collaboration with Aerosoft.
Apart of airports, XPlane 10 has severla new common objects avalable for scenery designers like hangars and water towers among the others.


Randazzo presented the new products from PMDG in a 30 minutes talk with a great series of screenshots . His complete presentation, in english, is available in you tube.

The second product is the 777 . Randazzo showed the level of detail of the instrumentation that arrice to reproduce the dust of the original planes from which PMDG took the pictures..The cockpit of the 777 was turned off because the stem did not work 100% yet in fat, in the only active instrument, there were chinese chars that they don't know from where they come from.

Randazzo also announced that PMDG will develop a 747 whose release date is foreseen between 4 and 6 months after the 777.

Randazzo spent quite some time talking about the 737 'HUD. It is now widely used but was a real technological challenge for PMDG.

The selling of the MD11 was not as good as expected. People buys the plane that sees in the airport regarding if it is a good produt.
He believes that 'MD11 is a wonderful plane both in reality and simulated.
Randazzo reaffirmed that there is no interes in PMDG to develop airbus birds.

PMDG is developing a plane for XP but he did not tell us which one because they could change along the way depending on the diffuclties they have to afford. According to Randazzo, it is not a project to sell but to investigate XP potentiality and estimate the porting effort so it will not be a new product but the porting of an existing one.

Home cockpit builders were a little bit upset for the lack of SDk but it seems that PMDg is going to change its policy. Apparently, the SDK released by PMDG for the 737 are not good enough because the software houses found some glitches and functions not implemented as they should.

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