Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Visitors and a try out of FS Instant Approach

We had a visitors this weekend, Gianluca and Linda. Hard to believe it's been a year since they were last up this way! This time around I had Gianluca do the flying (to be honest I had too much wine at dinner to be much use myself). He did an excellent job considering my sim was new to him and that he didn't have the luxury of a working MIP (the CPFlight MIP board blew out about a week ago - more on this later).

After a smooth landing in San Francisco, we tried out a utility I recently purchased call FS Instant Approach. With it you can set the plane up for any airport/runway in your simulator, specifying how far out you want to be, weather, visibility, speed etc:

We noticed a bit of a hiccup - when you switch to FSX and take it out of pause, the throttles firewalled! A brief pull back on the levers and normal behavior was observed. This could be set up dependent. When I tested it again today for these pictures, I didn't have my TQ or Prosim turned on and the engines were running under the command of the A/T.

The pause feature is quite handy though. Since the utility has no idea of what other software you're running, it gives you time to re-program your FMC and get the rest of you aircraft squared away for approach. With this done, come out of pause and in my case, adjust your thrust settings.

In this example I set visibility to 2 miles and as you can see, created a typical San Francisco summers day:

I flew the approach and caught sight of the runway in time to make my go/no go decision:

One feature of the utility is that you can view your flight map "in Google maps". A bit of a con really because the software uses the vendors website to show the flight path taken:

I've made a number of test flights and only 3 are available to view. Plus you can only see the flight track, would be better if you could also see the altitude and have it displayed in Google Earth rather than their half baked version of Google Maps. Some kinks to work out there boys. For $14 though, not bad at all.

Gianluca also left me with a generous gift - some projector screen material! What a gentleman!

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