Flight simulators and realistic world scenery

A while back I posted on games and nostalgia, and current Linux games that remind us of the past.

Watching Zeb on his truck simulator recently rekindled my desire to run some simulations myself, particularly flight simulation.

I fired-up Flightgear on Debian Stable and am very-much enjoying learning it, though a tutorial seems to be locking-currently, unless I’m missing something :slight_smile:

Back in around 1994 when I built my first PC (initially running DOS 6 and Windows 3.11, later builds multi-booting Windows 95 with WindowsNT, Windows 2000, Slackware then RedHat, which later became Fedora) Microsoft Flight Simulator thrilled me specifically for it’s global data and scenery, which was very primitive at the time, but still allowed me to do a real-time flight from London to Paris, for example!

I would be interested to hear from fans of flight simulators, especially of Flightgear and any recommended scenery to view while running the simulator, as “the whole world” is quite a huge download.

Coincidentally, the same day, I believe, a story broke about Microsoft planning to revive their flight simulator using global data from Bing. Competition is also a good thing!

Let me suggest geo-fs.com

$10 per year gets you HD scenery.

I have three monitors and stretch my browser across all 3 monitors. Works surprisingly well for me. Even works on a laptop with decent graphics. My desktop has a Ryzen 7 and RX580.

I also play X-Plane 11 in Steam. VERY heavy load on CPU and GPU.

I experimented with downloading and creating HD scenery for X-Plane 11. VERY complex to accomplish in Linux. Very little documentation, that is very hard to find. Numbingly time-consuming to download and convert HD scenery. Works, except when it doesn’t. Meaning, works very well for areas that have excellent satellite imagery. However, I like to fly gliders near Lima, Peru. It seems that all satellite images, from all image providers, split Lima right in the middle of the city. So, one image tile will look amazing, and the adjoining image tile that runs through the city and the Andes mountains, has a completely different coloration, time of year, elevation and resolution.

Geo-fs.com on the other hand is really simple, has low requirements, and has lots of options.

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X-Plane 11 is my favorite FlightSim. It is developed on Mac and is cross platform.

You can create your own scenery and you can get very detailed when creating Ortho scenery. You’ll need a bit of disk space and a fairly powerful GPU. XP-11 can bring my 1080 w/8GB of VRAM to it’s knee’s.

There are a lot of youtuber’s posting XP-11 videos. Catstrator is probably my favorite.

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I was working on my private pilot’s license about 5 years ago and used Microsoft Flight Simulator X with a ton of addons (such as REX and many others). It wasn’t a very good experience and felt very cobbled together. I never made the jump to X-plane or Prepar3D but they did seem promising. Not sure if you’ve seen but Microsoft is working on a 2020 version that looks incredible. If I were still flying/simming I would definitely give it a look. https://www.flightsimulator.com/

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Thanks everyone, for your replies :slight_smile:

I’m just running on old, basic hardware so I don’t get the excellence of panoramic views with HD monitors or any fancy GPUs. I just meant if there are particular parts of the world that have been well modelled that are worth downloading sooner rather than later, or randomly, that would be worth knowing. In any case, looks like Flightgear is so popular it even has its own forum!

I’ve not been to the MS site but I did read they were planing to use data from Bing. Even back in '94/'95 I think the MS product actually counted for flight training hours, as I recall!

A couple of weeks in, with very light use on my part, but still not really needed the world scenery… This simulator is so realistic it’s taking me a fair few hours to get the routines right just for starting-up the engine, let alone taxi-ing, but I’m working on it :slight_smile:

One of the things I loved about Elite, my favourite game of all time, all those years ago, was having to practise flying the Cobra Mk III before really being able to do much else. This reminds me of that but is far more complex and realistic of course!

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I lead a player faction in Elite, well I did for a couple of years. It’s still around, but I don’t play Elite much anymore because FDeaf ( Frontier Development ) has all but completed ruined the game, IMHO.

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I haven’t ever played the new version. The last one I played was Frontier on the PC. I’d still rather play the original C64 version than any of the others :slight_smile:

What’s gone wrong in the new versions of the game, I wonder?

FDeaf have catered to the snowflakes of the game and have neutered the BGS. Being “bad” in the game no longer has much effect.

It’s still a great game, but you will soon come to the point to where there is nothing left to do. They don’t address some bugs and new content comes into the game very slowly. Their concept to make the game last is to make you grind for mats.

My faction in game is named The Late Night Murder Hobo’s, look us up and come fly with us.

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