Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020) - We're really sorry about Microsoft Flight

One of the areas that really needs a pass of sprucing up is China. I hope that gets a World Update at some point. There’s some gorgeous photos and wallpapers and things out there about certain locations in China. This weekend I looked one of them up, and it looked so broken in Flight Sim. It’s like it took that Bing Map data and totally mangled what it looks like. The road was pasted sideways onto a mountain, the beautiful river was melted onto the mountain itself, etc.

It needs another pass! :)

I might wait to do the Silk Road journey until they give that part of the world some more love.

In the meantime, I should do another bush trip. I’m sure for the existing bush trips they’ve chosen places in the world that don’t look like horror melty regions. :)

A grab-bag of stuff, really. Like I said above, I’ve not done much at all recently outside of working hours; I’ve honestly been pretty obsessed with Dyson Sphere Program. But I’ve kept a NeoFly company ticking over, and there have been a few interesting planes released that I’d like to mess with (the Seneca, the Bell 47 – which I guess isn’t really a “plane” – and the P40, in particular).

My flight yesterday I did with Skypark, I wanted to see how that had come along in the past couple months. They’ve added some new missions, and are starting to work on longer term “career” type features, but there’s still not as much meat there as some of the alternatives if you’re not just looking for the “fly any plane anywhere” factor.

Off topic, but try London Heathrow today. Planes are landing and taking off like they’re on a slip and slide.

Crazy. In that live feed something is burning at Heathrow, and it ain’t tiny.

I think I’ll pick up Skypark myself. I’m aware of Neofly et al, but to my shame I’m seduced by the much prettier interface that Skypark has. :D

I just don’t really see the point of it without a career/economy. For me, that’s the entire point of using a third party mission generator. If I just want to fly somewhere, I can do that just fine in game.

I kinda get that. And usually, I feel the same way. But I often find myself fighting analysis paralysis trying to figure out where to fly a lot of the time even if I’m just going to “pick a place”. I’ve found that Skypark’s good for breaking that by giving me some more focused options.

(That said, I’ve been playing with the idea of making a free mission generator with various categories (distance, payload, runway type) as a side project because I’ve never been fully happy with any of them.)

Debating whether to pick up the Seneca with my Bing Rewards credit or hang onto it for later… I already have the Seminole, so not sure how different they’ll be.

I have both. I think I’ve flown the Seneca more in the past 2 days than I’ve flown the Seminole since it came out. It fells more “alive”, plus it’s a much more capable plane. And it has some touches that the Seminole doesn’t, like actual feathering props.

They’re not worlds apart, but I mostly got the Seminole so I could have a piston twin with steam gauges, and ended up feeling like it didn’t have much more going for it. I got the Seneca so I could have a piston twin with steam gauges that can cruise at 200 KTAS at 25000’ and I’ve enjoyed it more.

It’s really early morning in Surgut, Russia as I start out with live weather and time.

Nicely done Surgut. And I thought you didn’t have any beauty to dole out.

Live time/weather flight over Netherlands in the Seneca.

Way too dark. .NL is light-poluted to shit. Every street is lit, everyone is thinking their front porch is so awesome it needs a spotlight, every bridge or monument is lit and then there’s a whole region covered in glass growing houses that are lit like the day. The sky should be a dirty orange glow over most of the country.

This was somewhere over Gelderland or Overijssel, which I think are some of the lesser-populated provincies, toch? I believe the community ahead at this point was Almelo.

Not saying you’re wrong, you’d know better than I would. But this was more rural NL, and looks pretty dark in a night time satellite view. I wasn’t over Rotterdam. :)

Heh well if its Almelo… Haha!

Does the game actually light up the night sky orange or yellow when you get near cities?

I remember that from my childhood well when we lived in the city of Doha in Qatar. We used to visit some friends on Fridays in Umm Said, and driving the hour long drive back to Doha, we would hit total darkness when we could see the stars clearly, and then the horizon would glow orange, brighter and brighter as we got closer to Doha.

It definitely does to an extent, although perhaps not as much as it should.

This is me just outside Chicago, to the NW of KPWK, at about 16000’ with clear skies and the aerosol density cranked up a bit to get some diffusion in the atmosphere. You can clearly see where the bulk of the lighting from the city is, and the near total darkness of the lake to the left.

It’s hard to tell, but it feels like it’s showing some refracted light from towns on the east side of the lake, too, if you look a bit further east. There are some blobs on the horizon that could be east-shore towns.

I had a few minutes, so I slewed across the lake to that light. It’s definitely Holland and Grand Rapids.

More impressive, here’s looking back across the lake from there to Chicago. Definitely looks like there’s a giant city 80 miles away or so. (There’s a smaller splotch of light where Milwaukee would be, too).

That’s actually a lot better than I thought it would be.

Edit: Another thing of note… see how you can easily make out details of the plane in the first two photos due to light in the atmosphere? It’s not just a black hole in the shape of the plane over the ground below? The same plane in roughly the same position was in the second two photos, but it’s a lot harder to see because the overall illumination is less. Definitely some smarts in the rendering there.

Updated my little airport… Latest SDK, fixed the windsock direction bug, added some more small details to the area.

I started the Padegonia bush trip. It’s already gorgeous.

Out my left window.

Out my right window.

This is a strange little plane. The engine sounds like there’s something wrong with it.

I’ve been in small planes at night and for me the biggest item missing is moonglow (when visible and not cloudy.) It is NOT as pitch dark as the game displays it most of the time. Sure, no moon and overcast is going to be a bad time while flying, but VFR night flying is perfectly viable in clear settings and following roadways and cities for a reason, it’s quite visible. I believe the required minimum sight distance at night is 3 miles for VFR.