Tuesday, October 28, 2008

F-14D Tomcat for FSX: first flight!

F-14D for FSX:Acceleration: first flight nearby China Lake NAWS

F-14D first flight: testing the moving parts....OK! Well....almost!

Above are two pictures of the first flight of my new Tomcat. There is a lot of work to be done - I think It will take one or two months before the project is ready for a Beta release. Still. I think it is looking good.
By the way, thanks to all the people that wrote me offering their help, support and appreciation. In particular, I wish to thank Stefano Napoli who sent me the F-14D Pilot's Manual - which will be really helpful!
If you're wondering which scenery I've used for the pictures...well it is a self-made scenery of China Lake NAWS I did with FS Earth Tile (and it is also my very first project with that software). FS Earth Tile, which, shame on me, I discovered just today, is an open source project lead by a guy known by his pseudonym "HB-100" (which I assume he used to avoid any legal annoyance for the "improper" usage of Google Earth / Virtual Earth imagery).
Basically, FS Earth Tile downloads the image database of Google Earth, Virtual Earth (or potentially any similar database) and converts it into Flight Simulator scenery. Unlike TileProxy, it DOES download the images to your HD(which violates the terms of usage of the aforementioned web sevices) and then compiles them into a permanent scenery. And unlike SBuilderX, as long as you do not want to add a water mask (i.e. FSX "water"), the process is fully automated.

Results will depend on the database itself (color consistency, detail, etc) - but if the database coverage is good, then the result is excellent. Italy, for example, is fully covered at 1m/pixel in Virtual Earth - with exception of blanked military areas. You can set the application, let it work overnight and have the full scenery of Northern Italy in few hours. That is what I'm going to do before going to bed. Long story short, if you like photosceneries, you MUST try FS Earth Tile.
PS As the starting location of FS Builder is Genova, Italy (my hometown), I assume the author is one of my fellow genoese citizens. If so: i miei piĆ¹ sentiti complimenti e grazie mille!

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