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Salut to a happy, peaceful and prosperous new year for you.


UPDATE: I believe we have gotten all the links active again. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if something isn’t working as it should.

Arrghh…looks like OneDrive has changed all the links on the download content from this website.

My most shocked and contrite apologies that I did not notice sooner.

Please bear with me for a few days while I straighten this file host created confusion.


Here are a couple of annotated screen caps that (very) succinctly (almost too succinctly) illustrate the process of programming Thrustmaster MFDs for Dino’s T-45C v2.8.

LINDA is not required for the actual programming, it was used only for enumerating the LVARs in the MFD gauges. You will need FSUIPC to do the programming, however.

T-45MFD1Decoding the gauge programming

T-45MFD2Writing and programming the code

Here is a link to the lua file from the screenshot: T45-MFD1-13

Before getting to the results of our survey, it is very important to harsh out all the limitations in the data collection.

-The purpose of the survey was to assist me in deciding how to spend my time creating add-on sceneries for the community. We are in a transitional period for flight simulator development with many possible options for content generation.

-Overall, none of the questions were designed to be predictive in interpretation.

-The sample size is relatively small, about 30 people gave their time and thought to the answers. Given that my sceneries have been downloaded approximately 1000 times, a 3% sample size for a voluntary questionnaire is actually pretty good response.

-In no way were the results of this survey intended to represent the flight simulator community as a whole. It was published only on 3 weblinks, all closely affiliated with my personal flight sim activities. The most succinct way to state this is: the community (hopefully) represented in this survey is the community to which I feel most closely conjoined. Please apply this filter to any of my comments regarding flight simmers in general, or the unspecified “community”.

Question 1 hopefully quantifies an idea stated in a previous brain fart , namely that most flight simmers are using more than one simulator these days. Within the limits of the community that responded, easy to have predicted more skew toward DCS/P3D than to X-Plane as an alternate platform. This skew is repeated in other question responses as well. More interesting is DCS=P3D and it’s implications for the other elements measured by the survey.

Q1Question 1

Question 2 presented some pleasant surprises regarding online MP activity. Given how restrictive the ability to multiplayer in P3D is, most surprising was the high percentage of activity on this platform. The “Other” category had a lot (relatively speaking) of responses including many of the WWII and WWI combat flight Sims.

Q2Question 2

Question 3 was designed with the least amount of pre-conceived notion from me. It did not distinguish between MIL vs CIV flying or any other subtleties. Heartening to me to see 30% of my community say they use these resources. As I have mentioned in private conversations to many of my fellow flight simmers, real world military pilots are under ATC on every flight with most of their flight hours under civilian ATC.

Q3Question 3

Question 4 gets to the meat of the survey’s purpose. The most interesting elements here are DCS being the most widely used secondary platform and the low showing of FSX-SE as a primary.

q4Question 4

Question 5 is online equivalent of Question 4. This is the 3rd set of responses that highlight the P3D/DCS comparison. Note how in Question 4, 31% of folks reported P3D as their primary solo sim but only 14% reported it as their primary MP sim. DCS has a complementary presentation. In Question 4, no one reported DCS as their primary solo sim. In Question 5, DCS ranks very favorably as secondary MP sim platform. Lastly, Falcon BMS presents as a 3rd or 4th choice for solo sim but ranks very favorably as an MP sim.

q5Question 5

It should come as no big reveal that I will continue to develop sceneries for FSX for a long while to come. With the introduction of FSX-SE, FSX has at least 3-5 years left in it. If designed with some forethought, many of my FSX sceneries should go to P3D relatively easily. There may be features that do not translate or other limitations but the basic elements should convert well. For the USN MIL flight simmers, DCS may well be the next frontier. A lot depends on how much effort Eagle Simulations is willing to put in SDK or other “helper” applications.

A final note of appreciation and gratitude for all those who took the time to answer the survey questions. Thru messages and forum posts, I know that many of you are also folks who actively contributed to one or more of my scenery projects. Your support and interaction makes the process worthwhile.


FSX-SEJudging by the number of internet hits

Although we have never taken the controls of a real world aircraft, we have spent way more than a few hours in small aircraft as passenger, navigator, and/or cameraman. The specific aircraft being Cessna C-337, Cessna 172 and Piper Archer. Very little of this experience was in IMC conditions but a lot of it was in windy conditions.

FSX, even with addons such as OpusFSI and Accufeel, has never, for me, replicated the real world airplane/atmosphere interaction. The wind in sim is usually too consistent and stable. While the turbulence is more like what you feel in a large jetliner. The atmosphere is a fluid and the motion of a real world aircraft is more like a fish in water than a dart throw in still air.

The opinions of multiple real world pilots who have flown more than one PC flight simulator have guided us to make this X-Plane investment in time and money. Agree or disagree, it’s all good. But, should you be wondering, this is why we are exploring X-Plane for aerobatics and crosswind approaches.

After about 10 hours in X-Plane, it does indeed, for us, do a radically better job of simulating that aircraft/atmosphere interaction. We will be spending some significant time in X-Plane over the next few months, doing, for us, what X-Plane does very well. Big spoiler….not going to replace the FSX family of sims as our main ride anytime soon.

So how much money were we willing to place on this bet before we flew the first hour in X-Plane? Well, under $150 US got us 3 high quality aircraft and about 10 payware quality airfields.

X1$1Our X-Plane world at this time

One of the barriers preventing some folks from trying X-Plane is its initial purchase cost. Even at full retail price for X-Plane Global, it is still competitively priced compared to, say, Prepar3d when you consider real world weather and an absolutely superior view system are builtin to X-Plane. On sale, it is a bargain.

X1$2Addons to FSX that are baked into X-Plane

There are, perhaps, other thoughts about X-Plane that we may record as we use the sim more. If you have anything specific you would like to suggest, ask, or explore…you know how to get hold of us.

Website changelog:

  • Re-organized the widgets at the bottom of the page to include a search function and top viewed posts
  • Deleted the “Community” tag
  • Added the “Downloads” tag
  • Added the “Random” tag
  • Reviewed tags on all posts for relevance and consistency
  • Edited the pinned quick links post to reflect the most current usage statistics


Difficult for me to believe it has been 3 months since we last updated this page. Every weekend we’ve been very busy with family commitments, mostly the child’s sports meets. As a result, we filled up what little flightsim time we had before the new year. Ah well, things should slow down a bit come April.

Not that we haven’t been doing sim “stuff”. Lots of work on the KNLC scenery project (more details in a separate post), and community involvement thru social media. Even my boss has gotten interested in our hobby as a result of some (tragic) current events.

So starting tomorrow, besides working 1/2 day on Saturday, we have 3 days to focus on nothing but flight simulation. The short list looks something like this:

  • Compose forum support request for Airfield Lights Toolkit, the latest version is not working so well for me UPDATE: Don G. of figured out I was doing something wrong. No surprise and really appreciate his great support for the AFLT.
  • Update ModelX converter and OF COURSE test it UPDATE: done
  • Test my Aerosoft OV-10 Bronco after applying an update from Aerosoft
  • Install and test a scenery package for a compatriot who is helping me with KNLC project UPDATE: Looking good from my side of things…I went ahead and purchased it.
  • Post on forums about a “see-thru” texture problem with a certain add-on aircraft (an oldy but goody)
  • Update and test the new version of SketchUp UPDATE: working with all my 2013 models.
  • Work some more on KNLC scenery project, trying to get the final beta done, and finally…
  • Install new 8 core, 4.2ghz processor (YEAH!) and cooler

Processor and fanUnboxing

If there is any time left, we will continue our search for a video recording software. Maybe even get to do some flying!

Pappy's Phantom over KNLCPappy’s Phantom over NAS Lemoore KNLC

The catergory tag cloud at the bottom of  the page is a good way to navigate the different types of content on the site.

Some quicklinks for the most popular topics are:

DOWNLOADS – to the filtered list of posts with content download links

REFERENCE – to the filtered list of posts devoted to documents, diagrams, and info held to remember for current and future use

BUILD – to the filtered list of posts devoted to the project build (this one has the most pictures!)

SYSTEM – to the filtered list of posts devoted to the software and computer tech of the project (not very many pictures)

Please feel free to use any information here for your private use. If you feel guilty about stealing, don’t hesitate to comment and offer your experience in return!

A fair warning to all those considering the foolishness described in this website:

Sad caseMy suffering flightime