Eurasian Adventure 8 – Budapest to Marseille

Wow… I can’t believe I never posted this. Wrote it months ago, but somehow left it sitting in drafts! I’ve really neglected the whole site really, but some big, important, exciting things have been happening as of late, which I’ll be sharing shortly!

Budapest (LHBP/BUD) to Belgrade (LYBE/BEG)

Aircraft: JARDesigns A320 “neo” (AirSerbia)
Scenery: Aerosoft (FSX Conversion) / SkyHighSim

This is a second visit on this trip, which I think is fair since I now have an X-Plane native version of this scenery, which is very, very nice!

Foggy Day in Budapest

Climb-out

Countryside

Cruising

Final Approach

Almost down…

Parked

Album here.

Belgrade to Tivat (LYTV/TIV)
Aircraft: FlyJSim 737-200 (Aviogenex)
Scenery: SkyHighSim

Classic

Takeoff

En-route

Mountains

Angled Approach

Mountain Parking

Tivat has some of my favourite approaches – in the other direction you have a steep 180-degree turn to make below 500ft above the lake! It’s very like a cross between St.Maarten and Kai tak.

Album Here.

Tivat to Split (LDSP/SPU)
Aircraft: Jrollon CRJ-200 – Star Alliance (Croatia Airlines opb Adria)
Scenery: SkyHighSim / TDG

Preparations

Steep Turns in Valleys

Dalmatia

Approach

Touchdown

Parking

Split is another really interesting little airport with plenty of tricky approaches – one similar to Tivat’s 180, and another running through a very narrow valley! The Dalmatian coast is probably my favourite area to fly in right now thanks to the spectacular scenery and challenging approaches!

Album here.

Split (LDSP/SPU) to Ljubljana (LJLJ / LJU)
Aircraft: JARDesigns A320
Scenery: TDG / Unknown

Loading

Turn-out

In-Cockpit

Finals

FULL ALBUM

Ljubljana to  Zurich (LSZH / ZRH)
Aircraft: JARDesigns A320
Scenery: Unknown / Aerosoft

Taxi

Mountains

Zurich

Crosswind

Touchdown

FULL ALBUM

Zurich  to Marseille (LFML / MRS)
Aircraft: JARDesigns A320
Scenery: Aerosoft / Jetstream Designs

Rocket

Ridge


Sprawl

Impact

Wow, there were some amazing screenshots on this flight! I’d recommend you check out the FULL ALBUM here!

Look out for more news here soon. Big changes are on the horizon, and I mean it this time!

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Eurasian Adventure 7 – Antalya to Budapest

Antalya (LTAI/AYT) to Yerevan Zvardnots (UDYZ/EVN)

Mountains

Today we’re flying JARDesigns A320.

Turn

Turns out Antalya has some beautiful scenery nearby!

Approaching Ararat

This volcano is seriously impressive to fly near – and is visible for an incredible distance!

Final Approach

Safe Parking

Album Here!

Yerevan to Istanbul Ataturk (LTBA/IST)
Gate

This flight will be done in FlyJsim’s 737-200 – mainly because I didn’t want to do another flight in a Turkish aircraft!

Foggy Take-off

Breaking Out Of Clouds

Wing

Seriously has to be the best-looking wing built in X-Plane.

Minimums

Vacating Runway

Istanbul

Scenery is a conversion of Taxi2Gate’s Istanbul.
See more images here (and I really recommend it, they’re gorgeous!)

Istanbul to Bucharest (LROP/OTP)
Engine Start

More flights with the A320 – The more I fly, the better I get with this aircraft and the more enjoyable it becomes! Still not quite greasing my landings but I don’t bounce all over the place now!

Departure

Sunset

This flight was so, so pretty. Skymaxx really knows how to make sunsets GORGEOUS!

Gradient

Look at those colours…

Baneasa

This is Bucharest’s old international airport, now serving GA and private aviation.

Decelerating

Nightlight

This is the first night movement I’ve done on this tour – normally I fly in daylight for better screenshots (and because most sceneries lack night lighting!), but now I’m not so sure that’s true…
Album! Click me!

Bucharest to Budapest (LHBP/BUD)
Not a confusing destination pair at all…
Windy

Pretty grim day here in Bucharest – Fair crosswinds and a lot of overcast cloud. I know the livery looks the same as last flight, and that’s something I don’t normally do, but I made a lot of modifications since that last flight to make it different!

Escape

Always a good feeling to get clear of the bad weather by climbing over it!

Wizz

Really pleased with how this update turned out. The changes are subtle but make a big difference! This was shot on descent into Budapest.

Landed

Budapest

Quite a nice airport, but I had to do a lot of work merging two FSX sceneries together to make it look right! Sadly, this means the ground markings differ from what the objects suggest so getting lined up to park was a bit tricky!
Here’s the album.

Eurasian Adventure 6 – Doha to Antalya

Doha (OTHH/DOH) to Dubai (OMDB/DXB)
Today I’ll be trying to fly the Jetsim A330-300 and… botching it [biggrin] I’m still making these photos look like I did a decent job of it though!

Gate

This scenery is one of the rare few to have modeled gate areas, which is nice!

Engine Start

Wing View

I really love the A330’s wing…

Climbing

Don’t ask what happened between here and the runway… [eek]

Ubiquitous Nose Shot

Thankfully, things settled down enough to get this shot!

Dubai!

Just starting to see some of the buildings along the coastline!

Dubai! (2)

This is FlyTampa’s FSX scenery converted to X-Plane, and it is AMAZING.

Crosswind

Pretending this went well would be a lie… Turns out the problems I’d been having through the flight were actually due to a glitch leaving a UNIVERSAL 55 knot wind… meaning even this low on approach I had a groundspeed of under 100kts… makes for a very weird landing! We got down in (just about) one piece… Probably want to get a good maintenance check done though!

Dubai (OMDB/DXB) to Bahrain (OBBI/BAH)
Time for a flight to Bahrain in FlightFactor’s B777-300ER, wearing an Emirates livery (they’re everywhere in real life, and there’s no escaping them in the sim world either!)

Pushback

Engine Start

Taxiing

Airport Overview

Dubai

Cliché

Seriously, this angle is just the best. Trust me.

Planespotter’s View

Decelerating

Look, this view works at any stage of flight!

Runway Vacated

Gate

Full album here, as always!

Bahrain (OBBI/BAH) to Sharm El-Sheikh (HESH/SSH)

A350

Today we’re flying in the newly-released Flight Factor A350 – and she’s gorgeous! I originally planned this with a custom-liveried 777-200ER but the release of this aircraft overtook that imediately!

Departing Bahrain

Not the prettiest of sceneries today unfortunately, this area has no payware airports and I didn’t fancy making photo texture for the ground… The A350’s bandana-ed beauty more than makes up for it in my opinion though!

Winglet – Up close and personal

Can’t help but stare at these unusual looking winglets – they’re very cool!

Approach

Such a pretty plane… really smooth flyer as well, it has the QPAC plugin driving the FBW systems, making it have some of the most advanced Airbus behaviours of any aircraft in X-Plane.

Sharm

Just a bit of scenery eye candy for you. I don’t normally focus enough on the airports with these screenshots as it doesn’t tell much of the flight story sometimes, but would you like to see it more? [biggrin]

Busy

There are far more ground services for this aircraft than any other. Really makes being at the gate exciting! Album.

Sharm El-Sheikh to Antalya (LTAI/AYT)

Ramp

No Title

Is this getting overused now?

Clouds Off The Coast

Got quite bumpy on our initial descent into Antalya…

Mountains

…But cleared up for some fantastic views later!

Reverse

Another safe touchdown! Album here.

Eurasian Adventure 5 – Larnaca to Doha

Larnaca (LICC/LCA) to Doha (OTHH/DOH)

From Larnaca, I was to set forth to Doha on what should have been the longest leg of the entire journey, at roughly a whopping (to me, anyway) 1,300mi! At the sake of full disclosure, I did suffer a system crash somewhere near Amman, due to a bad graphics driver, so I did continue the flight from there (still the longest planned leg so far, at 1,047mi direct!). However, I have no scenery for the area (other than some awful default buildings I hurriedly added to give me something to look at) and so took no photos of the takeoff. I have included it in the journey plan though, as the planned Larnaca to Doha route followed a very similar path to avoid Syria and Iraq.

Anyway, now that’s out of the way – on to some more screenshots!

Loading Cargo

Today we’re in the amazing SSG B747-8F, just released days earlier!

Takeoff
The 747 is one of the coolest aircraft when it comes to takeoff. Personally, I think the -8F has the best looks of any 747, too…
Climbing out (1)

…And this is why; isn’t she gorgeous?

Climbing out (2)

If you answered no previously, please consider revising that answer…

Passing Beirut

Beauty shots!


Seriously. How could you not love this aircraft?!

Cloudy Bahrain

We’ll be seeing you again soon, Bahrain. Please be sunnier!

Decelerating

Like crazy. Slightly forgot to set descent altitude, had to fall like crazy and now I have to deal with speed management [biggrin]

Doha City

Final

Nice and windy today – we have a constant 11kts crosswind from the right

Landed!

Doha’s new airport is pretty cool, and this scenery does it so much justice! One of the nicest I have.
Bizarrely, the 747 stops on a dime – I managed to make the first high-speed exit with only half autobrakes – it was so fast I didn’t even get chance to react and open reverse thrust!

Parked at the gate

Unloading all the precious cargo – who knows what’s in all these boxes? Maybe a few extra photos from this flight, which you can see here!

Eurasian Adventure 4 – Athens to Larnaca

Athens (LGAV/ATH) to Skiathos (LGSK/JSI)
This will be a a GA flight  using Carenado’s Mooney M20J, recently updated to V3, with X-Plane’s new GNS430 GPS system.

Overflying the sprawl of Athens

Passing Mountains

Skiathos in sight

Downwind

Touchdown!

Parked – next to a very nice business jet!

More images here

Skiathos to Mykonos (LGMK/JMK)
Next, We’ll be flying the Cirrus SR22, trying out what I now know is an excellent G1000 simulation!

Climbing out of Skiathos

Admiring Clouds

Mykonos in Sight

Overhead Join

Finals

Touchdown!

Parked at the Gate

More pics of this flight here

Mykonos to Larnaca (LICC/LCA)
Following on from Mykonos, I quickly prepared to fly the next leg in my Jetto A320.

Preparing for Departure

Climbing Out

Money Shot

Approaching Larnaca

Final Approach

(If it looks off, it’s because it is – Glideslope/Localiser data isn’t normally part of scenery packs, and in this case the conversion from FSX was slightly south of the X-Plane data to match photoscenery – Thus, I’m slightly north of where I want to be!)

Touchdown

As you can see, I didn’t quite correct the error from the last image, and I’m still a little off centreline!

Parked

More pics of this flight here

Eurasian Adventure 3 – Bratislava to Athens

Bratislava (LZIB/BTS) to Belgrade (LYBE/BEG)
Ramp

Today we’re flying the mighty 757 once more, in Titan Airways livery as I didn’t have anything better for the route. Let’s say they’re operating on behalf of Air Serbia!

Taxiing

Can’t get over how well-made this airport is.

Climbing above the clouds

Cruising

Parked

Safely landed in Belgrade! See more of the flight Here.

Belgrade to Naples (LIRN/NAP)
This time we’ll be flying in an Pratt & Whitney powered 757 operated by Air Italy

At The Gate

Climbing

Over Italy

Threshold

Approaching beside Vesuvius is a great experience… wish I’d installed photoscenery beforehand!

A Safe Landing

As always! [biggrin] Similarly, you can view the rest of the album here.

Naples To Catania (LICC/CTA)

Parked at the Gate

Turning South

Beauty Shots

Overflying Lamezia Terme

Safely parked

Catania To Athens (LGAV/ATH)
After climbing out of the B1900D, it was time for a night’s rest before an early flight to Athens the next morning – this time in JARDesigns A320neo, with a custom Jetto livery.

Preparing for departure

Taxiing

A steep right turn after departing to point us towards Greece

Climbing through some gorgeous clouds…

…and watching the sun rise

Cruising over Greece

Landed!

Eurasian Adventure 1 – Humberside to Tampere

So for the past few months, I’ve been enjoying flying in X-Plane as much as I can, having finally found a way to give myself a purpose: Fly to all the amazing sceneries I have in Europe! I never really flew enough to visit all of them, and so I decided doing a point to point journey around Europe and parts of the Middle East would really give me a great opportunity to do this!

The main rules for the trip are that I must depart from the same airport I arrive at for each destination, and that I can only visit each airport once – thus ensuring I see as many airports as possible! I’ve also tried to keep my routes below 1000nmi (most of the time), so I have to visit loads of places, and also to keep times short!

Anyway, here is my current routing as of the time of this post’s last update:


You can view the route in more detail (because that map is fairly chaotic) by clicking here!

As of writing this post, I’m just beyond halfway through this adventure – currently I’m in Doha, with my soon-to-be next stop being Dubai! Before that, here’s some catching up – might take a few volumes!

My journey began in Humberside (EGNJ/HUY), since I’d just made a real world flight there as part of flight training and got to taxi behind a KLM Fokker 100!

CRJ-200 From Humberside (EGNJ/HUY) to Amsterdam (EHAM/AMS)

I then made a flight in the same aircraft, from Amsterdam to Southampton (EGHI)

Southampton (EGHI) to Hamburg (EDDH)
Climbing out of Southampton: Glorious evening lighting!
Overflying Heathrow (since updated)

Following this, I made a flight from Hamburg to Berlin Brandenburg (EDDB) but unfortunately didn’t take any photos!

Berlin Brandenburg (EDDB) to Helsinki Vantaa (EFHK) in the FF 757-200RR.
At the Gatez3z34wT.png

Left TurnoutPLihO1w.png

Landing!P2BqZ91.png
I also compiled a larger albums which can be found here. I get a lot more screenshot-happy from this point onwards!

Helsinki (EFHK/HEL) to Oulu (EFOU/OUL)
This flight was made with a quick turnaround before heading back down to Vaasa (EFVA). My ride was OH-LBT; Finnair’s old livery looks great on the 757!

Overflying Helsinki

It seems I’ve developed a habit of choosing SIDs that take me back over the departure airport – and they make for some nice views!

Approaching Oulu

For this landing I made sure I practiced using the ILS and autoland – Thankfully, everything worked perfectly and the aircraft performed a perfect autolanding!

Quick Turnaround

Oulu (EFOU/OUL) to Vaasa (EFVA/VAA)
Climbing (and then descending again)

The trip to Vaasa was so short that almost as soon as I hit the t/c point, I had to start descending again! A shame, as I had barely any time to enjoy Finland’s glorious coastline.

Finals for Vaasa

Performed a manual landing this time – might as well make the most of each!

Touchdown(ish)!

I may have drifted a tiny bit further past the touchdown point than this, but nothing too problematic!
As usual from now on, there’s a few extra shots if you click here!

Vaasa to Tampere (EFTP/TMP)
The next trip I made after I last posted was down to Tampere in a Flybe Q400, which was a very short flight I almost entirely forgot to screenshot, apart from this one, taken as I was climbing away from Vaasa.

Anyway, that’s all for Volume 1 – I’ll be coming up with these pretty quickly while we catch up, so watch this space! Also to look forward to is a livery catch-up; I’ve been busy!

As always, fly safe!
Jiggyb2

PPL Skills Test and CTC/Virgin MPL!

So a few weeks ago I finally finished the second half of my PPL Skills Test – my final checkride, making me (technically) a fully-fledged pilot! Now I just have to wait for the CAA to check my paperwork so they can send me my license!

I did my test in two flights, the latter being the navigation section (normally done alongside the general handling section, but weather was poor last time so we rescheduled the second part), and while the weather was still far from perfect, I managed to get everything done surprisingly accurately! Despite being blown around by 30kt winds, I managed to get my first planned leg of the journey (to Skegness) quite close, but the unplanned diversion I was given (to an airfield north of Nottingham) somehow worked out so nicely that I stayed precisely on track! We never finished the leg because the wind left us travelling with a groundspeed below 60 knots (way too slow to get anywhere), but considering I was so accurate my examiner believed I was more than capable!

Unusually, we didn’t do any work with VORs or simulated IMC conditions, but I’m very confident with those two things anyway (thanks to X-Plane!) so I’m sure I would have passed that section easily.

In other news, I have also applied for CTC Wings’ MPL programme with Virgin Atlantic, and have got through to the assessment/interview stage! I wasn’t planning on applying so soon, however Flying A330s for Virgin Atlantic was too good an opportunity to miss! I’ll report back after Thursday 4th describing how the process went – it’ll involve a nice list of firsts for myself!

Thanks for reading, and fly safe!
Jiggyb2

A very large shipment of models!

It has been a while since I got an arrival of models but I just received my biggest shipment yet, so here they are! I’ll do a proper review of some of these later at http://www.aviationdelightforum.com/ however I don’t know if they’ll be worth posting here.

Air New Zealand A320 (Sharklets)
This is my first model which is completely outside of my normal collection criteria. I really wanted an A320 with Sharklets though and liked the ANZ one the best. A very nice model it is too, with all the antennae you want!

Fiji Airways A330-200
I loved this livery since I first saw it, Obviously I had to get it in model form! Again very nice and with lots of antennae, Phoenix seem to be putting these on more and more new models and it really makes them look good.

SriLankan A340-300
Again, another very fine model. These A340s are great, I have good memories of sitting on a beach in Sri Lanka with these things roaring overhead.

Qantas A380
My best flight ever was on this aircraft. This model, by Witty, probably isn’t the best I’ve had but is pretty good still. I’ll definitely do a proper review of this!

KLM B737-700
The blue colour of the hull seems a bit dark to me. What do you think?

Singapore B777-200
I liked the look of this model, it is pretty nice but the very end of the tail was chipped, as can be seen in the bottom image. not sure if it is worth complaining about as it is obviously a manufacturing defect.

British Airways B777-200
This just about sorts out my BA widebody fleet that is easily attained – All I need now is a 767 and a 787. Anyone willing to sell one?

On a slightly unrelated note, I also got a new mouse mat since my old one was a bit… old! I chose this Boeing one, it is quite plastic and provides less resistance than my old one but I still quite like it.

I’ve also taken a few collection shots since I haven’t done so for a good while. I barely have any room on my shelves! Tempted to get another shelf or to replace my current ones with even bigger ones. My current ones could do with a replacement anyway.

An Overview of the Worldwide collection:

A better view. I try and keep these aircraft as ones that would realistically fly in to somewhere in the UK. I think the only exception is the ANZ A320 but the CO 757 may also be an odd one.

Next to these, the ‘Russian corner’, for soviet-age aircraft that don’t entirely fit my collection but look great anyway!

Up on my top shelf, I have all my British aircraft. Firstly, my nice collection of BA Aircraft. The 777s take up so much space! I still want a BA 767 and 787 for the wide-body collection, and the A318/19/20/21 in normal colours would be nice. They haven’t cropped up for a while though

And finally, the miscellaneous UK collection. Pretty much just Virgin right now, on my ‘want’ list for this is a Monarch A320, Thomson 787, and possibly some sort of Easyjet if one ever crops up again (ebay ones are TOO MUCH!). Narrowbodies are more important in filling this up since they’ll actually fit on my shelf.

Thanks for reading!
Jiggyb2

Fairchild-Dornier 728: The RJ that never quite made it

In the very early 2000s, Fairchild-Dornier were planning to try and make it big and create a family of regional airliners going from the 34-seat 328JET up to the 95-110 seat 928. The first new aircraft in this series to come about was the 70-85 seat 728, and the family was launched on the 19thMay 1998, with orders from Lufthansa Cityline and Crossair (who later cancelled their order due to the fuselage layout) for up to 120 aircraft. In August of the same year, Fairchild announced that General Electric’s CF34-8D engine would be the power-plant for the 728, instead of the Pratt & Whitney SPW-14.

Originally, the first aircraft were planned to be 728-100s, which would then be followed in 2003 by the longer-range 728-200. This would have had a 750km range advantage over the -100 with a 3000kg higher MTOW. The 728 had a very slightly larger cabin than any aircraft in its class, with a 51mm greater width than the E170/190 that would have served as a main competitior. This would have allowed for a 5-abreast cabin.

Soon after the 728-200, the 928 was expected to have its first flight towards the end of 2003, providing a longer cabin and increased wingspan but keeping the same flight deck as the 728, allowing for commonality with it and a planned shortened version, the 528. There was also a private jet version called the Envoy 7 which was expected to enter service in 2004 with an intercontinental range and “Super Shark” winglets. There was also a plan for an AEW&C variant.

The first prototype of the 728-100 made its official roll-out on the 21st March 2002, with the intent of making its first flight that Summer. However, this aircraft never got the chance as Fairchild-Dornier filed for insolvency only weeks later, terminating the program and causing the three partially-completed prototypes to be sold. The most complete aircraft, seen in the rollout and with most instrumentation already installed, was sold to the DLR (German Aerospace Centre) for cabin testing at the price of only 19,000 Euros, though this meant that the wings were cut off, leaving only stubs and destroying the most complete example. The other two incomplete and unpainted aircraft still stand in the locations they were left in; one in the former firm area of Dornier and one in Dresden.

This was not quite the end of the line however, as the Chinese D’Long group bought the project but this also fell through due to bankruptcy in 2004.

So, what are your thoughts on Dornier’s ambitious plans that never quite made it? Would it have been any good as an airliner? Does anyone else think it looks an awful lot like a Sukhoi Superjet?

Sources:

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=9268.0

http://www.aerospace-technology.com/projects/728jet/

http://www.airliners.net/aircraft-data/stats.main?id=214

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairchild_Dornier_728_family#928