Mar-Apr
www.kwikpit.com

     The Pit Newsletter 

Welcome to the Bi-monthly  newsletter.

In this issue we look at FS9, is it still viable as a useful flight simulator compared to FSX? The advances in CPU speed and graphic card technology have made FS9 run at 30fps at a minimum even with many add-ons installed. You may want to take a look at purchasing this instead of FSX if you don't have it. Those who own it but aren't sure about upgrading to FSX because of hardware limitations, may find with some great add-ons that FS9 will be around quite a bit longer despite the hype of other flight simulator programs. Enjoy!

The  newsletter will give you insight into the different types of flight simulation, technical articles, tips and reviews.

We will also look at the products, accessories, hardware, software and just about anything that makes the world of flight simulation more realistic and enjoyable.

The newsletter will also keep you abreast of what other enthusiast are doing in the community.

Your newsletter ....   We invite you to participate  and email any stories, interesting tips, events, announcements or any contributions you feel may be of  interest  to the flight simulation community. Please email any contributions to: newsletter@kwikpit.com

A Plug .........
The KwikPit Company was created and is ran by  a flight simulation enthusiast. Our goal is to introduce products that add to the enhancement  and fun of flight simulation without the complexity or high  costs.

We hope you enjoy our unique line of cockpit products. We have strived to keep prices low as compared to anything else on the market.

Check out our products at www.kwikpit.com  thank you for your patronage.

Regards,
The KwikPit Team,
Greg and Dawn

 

                                                            Flight Simulator 2004 Alive and Well

Although Flight Simulator X is the latest version of  Microsoft Flight simulator. MS Flight Simulator 2004 or FS9 as it is also called is still alive and well. There are many reasons for FS9ís longevity. FSX has many new features and the graphics are fantastic. However, many enthusiast are finding that all the new eye candy comes at a price. The CPU and video processor power required to run FSX at decent rates is requiring many users to think about upgrading or buying new systems to run FSX decently. Dual or Quad processors, and expensive graphic cards are the new requirements. Even with the latest high performance machine many users still experience poor performance. Although equipment is coming up to speed to match FSX requirements many users find the tweaking and adjusting frustrating.

The advent of faster processors and more advanced video cards over the last several years has meant fantastic performance leaps to FS9 since itís arrival in 2003. Even the modest system today has enough power to run FS9 at nearly all max settings. A minimum of 30 frame rates is little problem with the computers of today.  Over the years many tweaks and utilities have been created to optimize performance of FS9 to levels that were only imaginable in 2003. Another bonus is that add-on libraries for FS9 have also grown and have been tested over time as well. FS9 can easily maintain great frame rates with the majority of these add-ons installed, many rival FSX  in graphics quality. There are thousands of add-ons including aircraft, scenery, panels, and utilities in both freeware and payware. Here we've selected a few add-ons that I think make a big difference in flying in FS 2004. They demonstrate what is out there and what can be done to prolong the life of this wonderful sim.
 

Cockpit Panels

One of my pet peeves with FS9 and the earlier versions of Flight Simulator is the default instrument panels. The developers have done a great job on the panels and they are suitable for the aircraft being flown and work just fine for what they are.

I find the panels huge when being used with today's modern large screen LCD monitors, especially the wide screen monitors. Even with the huge panel size you still have to click on icons to bring up, engines controls, radios and other auxiliary panels, this is very distracting when flying. Although virtual cockpit (VC) panels have solved much of the problem the 2D panels are still required for most of the controls on the default aircraft.

Some great panel replacement add-ons have come to the rescue. These panels give the correct perspective of what the pilot sees in the real aircraft and most of the controls are available on the instrument panel with little need for pop up screens. many are more realistic than the stock panels are very easy to install. The give a whole new perspective to what you see in front of you.

I chosen a few of favorites here for the C172. These panels

               
               Panel by Frank Elfort           Night view of panel
    For download search web C172 Panel add-on by Frank Elfort

 give you a much broader view of the interior and clicking on the controls work which is much better than clicking on an icon to bring up a pop up window. The images below

               
          Cloudy C172 Cessna Panel           Default panel
       Download from web search Cloudy Cessna C172 Panel

show the difference between the default IFR 172 and an IFR 172 add-on panel. You will notice much more scenery is viewable. Basically these add-ons perspectives remove the feeling of sitting on the floor of the aircraft trying to see above the instrument panel.

One fantastic free add-on is the RealAir Cessna 172 which flies very realistically as opposed to the default aircraft and includes wind sounds and is able to spin for realistic spin training.

The aircraft is available from  http://www.realairsimulations.com and also may be downloaded from various flight sim sites.

The stock aircraft uses the stock C172 panel but there is a custom add-on panel for this aircraft that makes it perfect. These additions will give you a new C172 selection in the menu, add the custom panel and you'll be flying it more than the default C172.

             
    Alternative Main Panel for RealAir Cessna 172 SP Skyhawk
             Downlaod search RealAir Panel by Horst Paetzold

 

  Scenery   

There's also tons of scenery libraries to take advantage of as well. There's thousands of airports, you can probably find one in your hometown to fly out of. There's ships, aircraft carriers, buildings, automobiles, just about any add-on you can think of.

There are also several freeware and payware that greatly improve the default scenery in FS9. This is one of the biggest improvements that can bring FS9 up to date and nearly rival FSX. One example of freeware is Real Environment Pro for Fs 2004. Here is a edited list of some of it's enhancements.

New sun,  sunglow and sun effect, new aircraft spotlights, new airport lights that simulate a glow onto the surface, wave animation and environment effects that also simulate cloud reflections in the water, new runway textures, new asphalt textures, new concrete textures, new tarmac textures, taxiway markings, sky and environment textures, and 3D Environment Bitmap.  Click on the link to see it in action. Just do a search for it on the web to download, it's free.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s40oQycNAPc .

There is another package which is payware that is called REX which stands for Real Environment Extreme. The website is located at http://www.realenvironmentxtreme.com.

FScene is another package that replaces many of the textures in FS9 in their package the link is http://www.fscene.com.

These add-ons represent some of the fantastic enhancements available for FS9. Search the web and locate what you need, most likely there's an add-on that can do it. FS9 is still a viable alternative to FSX for all who are not ready to make that jump just yet. Enjoy!

 


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