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flybytes last won the day on May 20 2015

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About flybytes

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    First Officer

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    Hull, Yorkshire

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  1. Have recently received a couple of members' e-mails wondering where I've got to... The freeware FSX Power Project is still being developed & hopefully improved. A new version should be released very soon, currently undergoing testing, possibly before the end of this year. Anyone interested in designing wind farms may find my three animated wind turbine models useful - two 3-bladed models (fast & slow rotation) and a 2-blade model. Each model may have its blade length set by adjusting scale & the hub height set by using a positive or negative altitude (the turbine's tower extends below ground level). The models can be found at : https://simviation.com/1/search?submit=1&keywords=ray+porter&x=21&y=11 I have been having a prolonged break from flight simming, particularly scenery design, but after an eventful year including a long stay in New York and two strokes, now finds my interest in FSX renewed. Additions & changes to FSX Power Project include a complete redesign to the steam effects resulting in less impact on frame-rates when the effects start up - this was a particular problem at Liverpool's John Lennon airport, being so close to Fiddler's Ferry power station. Didcot power station has been modified due to half of its cooling towers being demolished and the wind turbines in Blyth, Northumberland have been removed to be replaced by a single larger turbine. Many more UK offshore wind farms have been added including Rampion (116 turbines) close to the Shoreham airport flight path off the Sussex coast. Further additions of satellite-earth stations and wind farms around the world are modelled - almost 14,000 wind turbines accurately scaled & positioned globally. Incidentally, whilst in New York I was fortunate to explore Manhattan's Intrepid sea, air & space museum - notable exhibits include the Concorde sst, USS Growler submarine, and USS Intrepid aircraft carrier which houses numerous aircraft/spacecraft, the largest being the Enterprise space shuttle - well worth a visit. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all members & your families. Ray.
  2. Have been fortunate to have had a tour of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California way back in 1973, when it was pioneering unmanned missions to the outer planets. There, I experienced what was said to be the darkest room ever, where a laser was projected onto the extremely black interior wall to replicate a bright star for assisting in the development of the unmanned crafts' celestial navigation abilities - no doubt why this is part-way that even now, has contributed to Juno being so accurately timed to within a second of a 5-year voyage. I must say how enthusiastic the JPL staff were (the whole building seemed to be buzzing), where they spent so many years and so much belief before there efforts would bear fruit. As a contrast, such a shame that it seems that so many of our influential politicians, the world over, but particularly here in the UK appear to be so self centred that they cannot plan beyond the next election. Ray.
  3. Flightstore in UK currently have limited stocks of CH flight yokes. Saitek products appear to be all out of stock. www.flightstore.co.uk Ray.
  4. Currently watching the UK channel 4 tv 3-part programme 'Flying To The Ends of the Earth'. Incredible Nepal mountain scenery flying backdrop in this first episode. Worth a look. Ray.
  5. This forum subject makes interesting reading over the 18-months since the Malaysian 777 went missing. Perhaps this piece of wreckage will at last put to rest the conspiracy theories expounded out there, if not explain the the what & where of the demise of the aircraft. Ray.
  6. Alan, Agree, especially when those involved go before their time and leave behind a young family. Ray.
  7. Alan, feel sure you do this, but as a reminder - make sure you regularly check your internet options to delete your browsing history & especially delete any cookies. This will make loading previously viewed web-sites a bit slower but well worth it to cut out the aggro of unwanted popups, although this will not have much effect on unwanted e-mails. Personally, I do not give out my e-mail i.d. (appreciate this is unavoidable when dealing with web retailers) to high street retailers, also never give my cell-phone number to commercial sources, also my landline phone number is ex-directory. Where possible I pay cash & do not use store loyalty cards. Unfortunately, in this digital age, privacy is rapidly becoming something of the past. Do remember that the last time I moved house I was bombarded within days by junk mail (with my name on it) from companies attempting to sell me fitted carpets, curtains, double glazing, kitchens etc... This was before I'd even had chance to give out my new address to relatives. How did this happen? Well I did subscribe to the UK Royal Mail forwarding address service. Ray.
  8. Chris, Have only said that I've not been able to find a retailer of Treescapes vol.7. If it's there I'll be eager to buy. Don't like to critice 'free' software & certainly not amateur freeware, but in my opinion Microft's Bing is an absolute pain to use. Cosmetically it looks nice, but as a serious mapping tool - where is it's lat/long function? Have used Bing on a few occasions & will look into the turbines you mentioned. Ray.
  9. Chris, I've spent months trying to buy Treescapes for Genx volume 7. Flightstore has always been my first port of call, but despite their apparent relationship with the publisher (Playsims I believe), to no avail. Of course I've looked elsewhere - no luck! Perhaps you can steer me or I'm sure many other FSX simmers into a source of purchase? Your 2nd query I've looked into before about the 2 turbines at East MidlandS EGNX, but not found any positional or scale data - Google Earth (which has to be commended, but...) appear to have considerably cut back on their updates, so many of their UK images are still pre year 2000 & close to offshore images where so much is happening these last few years, forget it. Ray.
  10. Chris B, FSXPP uses the default FSX pylon model, but like the cables, I did look into making my own custom model, but decided that any worthwhile improvement would require an unwelcome rise in the polygon count - not a good thing when hundreds of pylons may be in view at any time. Each version of the project has been as much about improving the look of the models, while reducing their polygon count (as my modelling skills improved) as of increasing the scenery content. As an example, when I was learning how to model an animated wind turbine I used a GMax tutorial which had a basic model made up of more than 900 polygons - my current wind turbine models have less than 90 polygons. A slight variation of the FSXPP wind turbine models - two 3-bladed turbines, one fast, one slow rotation & a 2-bladed model - can be freely downloaded for use in freeware scenery projects: http://simviation.com/1/search?submit=1&keywords=ray+porter&x=19&y=15 The FSX default pylon is a considerable improvement over the FS9/FS2004 model. One thing I forgot to mention is that FSX Power Project - Uk Pylons Expansion 2 package can be used stand alone, it does not have to be part of FSXPP. Cheers, Ray.
  11. Chris B, Pylons only. I did look into attaching lines, possibly using the extrusion tool, but as the pylons are at various distances apart, to do this many thousands of times (most distribution systems have 7 cables/pylon) would seem to take at least a human lifetime. X-Plane 10 pylons do have power cables, but suspect they have achieved this by inaccurately placing the pylons at equal distances apart, although I'm willing to stand corrected. The X-Plane cable diameters do look unreal - way too large - probably due to the fact that the diameter of a typical cable would be considerably smaller than the pixel size of most displays. Back to FSX, it would probably be feasible to provide cables on the pylons that cross flight paths into or out of runways. Cheers, Ray.
  12. Chris. have to agree with you, not least after I've spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours adding 3-D objects to GenX photo-scenery - I'd probably be slightly horrified If I knew exactly how many hours - but this is a hobby, & hobbies are meant to be fun, are they not? On the other hand, some of the screen-shots of OrbX submitted by fellow MH members do look impressive, if not strictly accurate - certainly a vast improvement on the FSX default scenery. The CAA, FAA & military users demand absolute positional & scale accuracy, whilst not usually too worried by cosmetic details. On a side note, it appears that Treescapes for GenX vol.7 (Scotland central) will likely be a pipe-dream after the sad demise of Earth Simulations & do wonder how long GenX will be supported by commercial developers or even retailers. Thanks for your support (Chris & Brett). Ray.
  13. It's been a long time since my last update to FSXPP (v4.2) - version 4.3 is much delayed due to family commitments (& tragedies), but I've uploaded the added extra electricity pylons & electrical sub-stations to the MH File Library on this site.. Many of you seem to be shifting towards OrbX scenery, but this file will provide approximately 46,000 pylons aligned to GenerationX volumes 1-8 - UK mainland photo-scenery. Will appreciate any feedback - positive or negative. Cheers, Ray.
  14. Shame it isn't vol.8 as I have two boxed sets after misplacing one of the dvd's requiring a re-purchase of the complete set - & guess what? The missing dvd turned up just days later. After a look around sim retailers & e-bay it looks like vol.7 is already a collector's item. As far as car-boot/trunk sales go, when living in the US it seemed that garage sales were all the rage back then. Ray.