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  1. Next week I am going to do my first intercontinental flight since nearly 3 years. Plus, it is even going to be holiday. What an adventure! Zurich Jo´burg At least I had the chance to practice such trips in the sim.
  2. It is a pity that flights between South Africa and Europe are mostly scheduled so that you won´t be able to see the land below. In simmers words: The beautiful scenery. But what shall we do: LH577 starts in FACT at 17:45 hrs. So we see them getting stuffed (that works faster than before Covid, as they now save on service, "upon customers request"). Pushed back into the evening... ... and today we start in southerly direction, towards False Bay. Not the smallest town, this one near the Cape. As we are talking about the Cape: Chapmans Peak in the evening sun... ... and a view back to the Mother City. The wineyards near Winterhoek. And the fascinating view down to the Equator. Hours later with just a slight different look: This is Vicenza. And, still in darkness, Mannheim (to the right) and Ludwigshafen (left), connected by two Rhine bridges. We help the people of Mainz to wake up with our engine sound... You can spot the famous cathedral near the Rhine, south of the bridge. Gliding down into the 07C of Frankfurt. Time to stop. And the beautiful european weather welcomes us. Pretty straightforward the route was. And you can see how many interesting countries we passed in the darkness.
  3. When exploring the world low & slow we clearly see the progress with MSFS - or the non-progress without. At least I could choose a helicopter for this tour out of Cape Town. The harbour of Mother City, with the correct layout (and the iconic mountains) but with so much missing. Touring down the exclusive suburbs appears okay. To Hout Bay... ... and along the famous Chapman´s Peak Drive... ... brings us towards the Cape of Good Hope. Then back north again along Simon´s Town with the penguin colony at Boulder´s Beach. Could you imagine how cool it would be to have some NatureFlow down there? I have not found out what this signature on Steenberg mountain might be. Any ideas? However, we pass Kirstenbosch Gardens... ... and get back to FACT airport. Here we were.
  4. Airlink will take us out of Hoedspruit today... ... departing over the nearby Balule Game Reserve... ... and with some fine views of the northern Drakensberg mountains. For those sitting on the left. This flight passes Jo´burg, ... ... and Kimberley (yes, there is also a Kimberley in this mining country), ... ... before we descend towards the Ceres mountains (no, they are not close to Geelong). But there are some famous winelands around, ... ... for example near the city of Paarl. We head into a town with some famous sights, ... ... and from the cockpit you catch them best. Okay, sitting on the right would do as well, and compensates for the missing Drakensbergs after takeoff. Slightly offset, ... ... but safely arrived in Cape Town. Quite a straight way, with about 2:45 h block time.
  5. Today we leave Hoedspruit airport and follow the R40 southwards... ... with a great perspective of the North Drakensberg mountains west of us. Just before the lake at Bushbuckridge we need to turn right... ... onto the R533, which leads uphill... ... to Graskop "city". A good base to stay and explore the nearby Graskop Gorge (just below our 337) https://www.graskopgorgeliftcompany.co.za/#continue . A little detour brings us to a lookout called "Wonder View". Back to Blyde River we cross "Bourke´s Luck Potholes" - to small to be seen from a safe altitude. But the Lowfeld Lookout gives a good impression why the R532 is called "Panorama Route". The hills to the right are called "Three Rondavels", with Blydepoort Dam underneath. A full panorama behind us, and Moholoholo Animal Recovery Center below. We can´t see much detail of Balule Nature Reserve in P3D. Given the phenomenal detail of the Okavango scenery in MSFS the (potential) differences become clear: No safari in this flight. That´s the explaining documentation for today.
  6. found a missing scenery tile along the OMAN coastline between OOSA and OOMX airports. I have openLC Africa and the freeware Global openLC Africa Mesh and Photoreal installed pics below:
  7. A short domestic Airbus A319 flight from Cape Town (FACT) to George (FAGG) located in the Eastern Cape. I've ensured that the majority of screenshots have sufficient lighting so as to project the fabulous Orbx scenery. Fasten your seatbelts and let's go... Herman Ready for departure at Cape Town International Airport Pushback has just been accomplished and we are ready to role after a few final checks Taxing towards our designated runway 34 We climb and see the City of Cape Town with it's famous Table Mountain in the distance We do a sharp turn to the right so as to fly in an easterly direction and continue our climb Passing over rugged mountain terrain Cruising along at FL190 As dusk takes hold, we decend initially to FL120 followed by FL70 and later to FL32 Lined up for the approach to runway 11 Touchdown at George Airport On the apron at George Airport with engines shut-down and ready for a good night sleep. Thanks for looking.
  8. A short distance coastal flight today that took a long time with the de Havilland Tiger Moth. Departure airport: George (FAGG) - Destination airport: Plettenberg Bay (FAPG) Join me for a ride along this beautiful coastline... Herman PS. Compliments to the Orbx Team for making such splendid scenery! Ready for departure from George Airport Having taken off from runway 29, we turn in an easterly direction Flying parallel to George Airport we head east Up ahead we pass the beautiful coastal areas of Wilderness & Sedgefield Many forested areas with lagoons & lakes along the way We pass the rocky outcrop on the right called Buffalo Bay (Buffelsbaai in Afrikaans) and head toward the Knysna area We now clearly see the Knysna Heads (entrance to the Knysna lagoon) Much sought after residential area! Beyond Knysna we follow the coast till we have Plettenberg Airport in sight and start the approach Approaching the modest P3D airport terminal building (I'll have to find some good freeware to fix that) The Tiger comes to a standstill... time to soak up some sun & enjoy the surf! Thanks for looking!
  9. Having experienced considerable soundcard issues since upgrading Windows10 to v.2004, I think I've finally gained an improvement so here's a short flight from Kimberley to Cape Town, South Africa. Flight time was approximately 1.5 hours. The weather from the moment of departure right up to arrival was very poor with considerable turbulance along the way. So fasten your seatbelts & lets go... Herman Ready for departure Kimberley Airport Having taken off from runway 28, we're up & away doing a 180 degree turn We continue heading in a SE direction Cruising at FL280 Descending through the thick cloud layers we get a first glimpse of civilization Plenty of farmlands producing some very fine wines a sharp turn so as to get a good line-up with the runway Flying over the extensive Capetonian suburbs On approach runway 19 Cape Town International Airport, Gate A10 Thanks for looking!
  10. This flight goes out of Ougadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso... ... over the plain lands into Ghana. Since 1992 it appears to be a working democracy, ranked #55 of 167 countries in the Democracy Index of british "The Economist". One of the "upper" arms of Lake Volta, ... ... which we follow on our way south over Digya NP. Completed in 1965 it is still the world´s largest artificial lake by area. Lake Volta is important for transportation, providing a waterway for both ferries and cargo watercraft. Lake Volta is the location of a vast population of fish and large fisheries. This should be the Akosombo Dam, but it does not (yet) look so. It provides electricity for much of the country, as well as for export to Togo, Benin, and nearby countries, to earn foreign exchange. And here we dive into Accra at the Atlantic coast, the capital, biggest city and biggest airport of the country. In non-pandemic times I would have many commercial airline connections from here, and I´ll take one of those in my next flight. If you are interested to learn more about Ghana, read here from the United nations webpage - it seems to be more actual than ever: https://www.un.org/africarenewal/magazine/december-2018-march-2019/2019-year-return-african-diaspora
  11. The next interruption of my african adventures has to be done: I have to visit some of the other sceneries bought in the meantime... And this flight starts with three dreams: The dream that I come back to (virtual) Africa soon The dream that "South African" will catch up the former airline activities of SAA The new Dreamliner that they leased to replace the old 4-tubers. SAA had a commercial connection out of Accra... ... along Ivory Coast... ... and over Mauretania´s desert, with this remarkable lake near Djonaba. Noukachott is the last african city this flight meets... ... before heading out over the Atlantic. Could this be the milky way above us? I turned the clock a bit (or you may imagine 4 hours in a holding) to arrive in the morning light. Under us is Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. Or better "was", as someone who will not be named has just taken the occasion and removed the protection. Of a national monument, to repeat that. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northeast_Canyons_and_Seamounts_Marine_National_Monument The Hamptons to the right, New York City to the left. Landfall in the "new world". Philadelphia... ... and the american tax heaven: Delaware. Heaven next to hell here: Three Mile Island. Negleting the reactor core meltdown in 1979, it has been operating at a loss for years and is now mothballed. It is stated it would cost $1.2 billion over nearly 60 years to completely decommission it. Multiply this with the remaining reactors, eat up all the nuclear waste and then you see what it takes. But we go on to the destination of SAA´s connection into the US: Washington. And finally I can even see the runway! Nearly ready for immigration.
  12. There are seven photoreal areas included in OLC Africa, and this flight from Timbouctou will finish this list for me. First I crossed the Niger river again, ... ... southwards over Mali´s deserts. The country is not as peaceful as it seems in the sim, it suffers from terrorism. French and German soldiers are on duty there for many years now, keep my fingers crossed they all return safe. BTW: This is the only paved road in this part of Mali. Boni village below... .. and the Boni Rocks ahead. A nice addition, indeed. 160 miles further south, in Burkina Faso, we turned into final... ... over the city of Ougadougou... ... and towards the international airport. At least some houses to be seen there, maybe even a pub?
  13. When I took off for a quick relocation flight southbound from Tamanrasset I did not expect to see much more than sand, stones or even some exciting rocks. But obviously following an official airway presents you even with human encounters. That one was exactly on my flight level (350), I was just fortunate enough to climb early enough (climbing after the ATC warning would have been too late). And then even a river and vegetation came up. The Niger. Just a little change in landclass plus some good vector data, and the sim satisfies. Not so much does the view of the airport. Hey, I was booked there! And Tim book two. Here we are, the airport of Timbouctou.
  14. Irrespective of the current layoffs at the real book producer (due to Covid-19), I follow the hints of one of our best forums lonely planet guides: @jean marc has suggested to visit the highest mountains in the Sahara desert: So I took a quick plane to fly out of Takhamalt DAAP... ... over the Tassili N´Ajjer mountains. Or is it the moon? No, there are too many tracks down on the rocks. Unless this was an alien civilization? Dschebel Afao mountain behind. Hard to imagine the Tuareg people live and travel here for ages. At least I found a (nameless) road... ... and the Sahara´s highest mountain, Mt. Tahhat. Well, there are hills enough to make hiking more difficult. The usual sand clouds on the approach... ... into Tamanrasset DAAT. There must be a runway...? There is. Once again you can enjoy the entire airport in this one shot.
  15. A huge delivery of solar panels and fresh water pumps needed to be transported from Gran Canaria to Takhamalt, Algeria. After careful preparation my FO and me entered the plane in true Mule Service style... Nevertheless we managed to get the 777 into the air. Turning eastwards ... ... and passing Fuerteventura ... ... we quickly reached Western Sahara. An interesting "hill" came up over the Adrar desert. The mountain ridge of Erg Tiffernine - flying too high to see details. I always love it when you lose visibility during the approach. But to my experience AS16 shows conditions quite realistic... this may be a sandstorm. No ILS, no instrument advise... but at least the runway came into view at 1100 ft AGL... ... so that I could land at DAAP Takhamalt. You can see the complete airport with all bars and restaurants in this shot - we were lucky enough having loaded one or the other refreshment.
  16. Hi there, After looking closer at the files included in OLC and OLC mesh & photoreal for Africa, I realized that the mesh files are duplicated : OLC_AF2 folder exists in both OpenLC products and the Mesh & Photoreal freeware and they both contains the exact same data, is there any reason? Both are adding a scenery layer (one named "Orbx!OPENLC_AFRICA2" and the other named "Orbx!OPENLC_AFRICA2 (1)" ) in the sim while it's totally unneeded. I would like to keep the freeware for the photoreal parts but I don't really want the mesh to be added twice as the only thing it does is that it adds 3 additional Gb to be read by the simulator without any reason, as FSX/P3D is already CPU heavy it would be nice if one of these 2 layers could be deleted from one or another product. This may not sound that important but when you have a simulator that already load a whole Tb of data, you don't really want to add useless files in it. Could something be done on this? Why not including the photoreal data in OpenLC itself and keep the mesh as freeware addition as anyway it requires OpenLC to work?
  17. ... we have some european-managed touristical hotspots: The first one is Madeira, out departure airport for today. An outstanding airfield, with a tricky approach similar to the old Hongkong Kai Tak. A short hop brings us to Tenerife, ... ... with Spain´s highest mountain, the Pico de la Teide. But we go on to well-known terrain for me, Gran Canaria. Puerto de Mogan below, ... ... the artificial beach of Playa Amadores, ... ... and the harbour of Arguineguin. If you ever come there, visit Marino Chico and get yourself the Café Mexicán! https://www.tripadvisor.co.nz/ShowUserReviews-g580323-d3372651-r661338713-Restaurante_Marino_Chico-Arguineguin_Mogan_Gran_Canaria_Canary_Islands.html We descend along the settlements of Maspalomas. I have seen this approach often in real life, now we get it in the sim as well. (I have to admit I even added some photoreal on top of the great improvement by OLC.) Pozo Izquierdo. One of the worlds hottest windsurf spots. It is guaranteed no sand will be flying there (it has only rocks...). Welcome to Gran Canaria.
  18. Unfortunately I looked for the clip only after choosing the plane for this flight out of Casablanca - I should have taken an Electra. But the sound of the DC-3 is great and the city lights look so fine. Escaping over the Atlantic... ... and out of the sunset... ... to portugese territory. OK, in contrast to the movie plot this is Madeira. Quite the panorama, ... ... and that 3rd party product fits flawlessly.
  19. Herman was totally right: Gibraltar is a place where flying to Africa is already prepared. So let´s get off... ... pass the Rock, ... ... and have a look back across the city. Africa already ahead. But not completely: Ceuta is a spanish enclave in Morocco. The street of Gibraltar is really narrow here. And now we dive into North Africa at Tanger... ... follow the coast down to Larache. There is some landclass repetition up here. No much worry. Kenitra seems to have a big new airport next to the river, according to my map. But not here... And Casablanca even has two of them: The old one in the city center... ... and the one I selected today. Which looks boring in default, so I won´t show it here.
  20. Now with the correct livery out of Addis Abeba, Ethiopia,... ... and diving into the Rift valley at Nazret. Yes, we do have compressed rock formations at the borders of the rift ... ... and the pilot still needs to manage the altitude. Which is not easy giving the temperature and the high ground level here - the DC-3 always requires management of the engine temperatures. Lake Abbe at the border to Djibouti. It is the center of the Afar triangle and should show extended salt flats, as well as stalactite-like limestone chimneys, forming a surreal landscape https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Abbe . The lake has no outflow, all water from the nearby rivers evaporates here. While the Arab sea is so close... ... and Djibouti city awaits. Does anybody know if they serve cold beer here?
  21. After updating the Aerosoft Airbus I had some unexpected trouble and decided to give it another test flight. Just a short hop from Beirut. But immediately after takeoff it turned out that the autopilot was still not working, unfurtunately. The result was a mainly manual flight (regarding lateral and vertical paths) to Cyprus... ... but at least I could land successfully at Larnaca, to grab a rental car and visit @mikee! Then I found out the secret: The updated Bus only works with p3dv4.5. So, after forgetting this for a year, I finally had to make this move (and it was totally flawless, only EZCA needed to be updated).
  22. Today we fly from Ben Gurion Intl. ... ... to Tel Aviv. What an impressive city. And even with a little "cityscape" here, some houses wth Hebrew letters. Beach after beach, though in Corona times with no PeopleFlow. Waymarks at Netanya... ... and the harbours at Habonim Beach. At Haifa we turn inland... ... towards Lake Genezareth / Lake Tiberias. It is the lowest freshwater lake on Earth and the second-lowest lake in the world (after the Dead Sea, a saltwater lake). It is approximately 53 km (33 mi) in circumference, about 21 km (13 mi) long, and 13 km (8.1 mi) wide. Just some info for Angus, the elderly Scotsman - and Karl. The main inlet of the lake is the upper Jordan river... ... which leads us to the Golan Heights. We all know about their strategic relevance and the conflicts in this region. John Lennon was just so right. Kiryat Shmona, the northernmost Israel city. Just seconds later we descend towards the beautiful Lebanon coast... ... and into Beirut. Who needs L.A. when you have such a location? Just the peace is missing in this region...
  23. Jerusalem. In OLC really looking like a mediterranean city. This should be the old city, with sacred places for three religions. I could only spot the Dome of The Rock, but places like the Via Dolorosa and the Western Wall should also be on this picture. In the right area of this picture is Yad Vashem. Lest we forget. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yad_Vashem The landscape changes a lot on the short hop down the coast to our next station...
  24. This is just a short flight, but, as per today, crossing many countries. We start from Eliat, Israel at the Red Sea. What you can see is not only the airport twin at Aqaba, Jordan. Also the two roads heading north on both sides of the border join our way. On the Israel side, left from us, a new Eliat airport has been built - in reality, not in the sim. Yotvata city. I wonder if it looks this way in reality? By plane we can take a shortcut to the east... ... over less crowded lands... ... to the valley of Petra, Jordan. I would love to travel there one fine day. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petra Back to Israel we can see the Dead Sea salt works in the south part of the lake. It looks like water in the sim, but in fact it should look like the salt flats near Avalon, Victoria. The Dead Sea. With 1,412 ft below sea level it is Earth's lowest elevation on land. It is 304 m (997 ft) deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. With a salinity of 34.2%, it is one of the world's saltiest bodies of water – 9.6 times as salty as the ocean – and has a density of 1.24 kg/litre, which makes swimming similar to floating. This salinity makes for a harsh environment in which plants and animals cannot flourish, hence its name. The west coast of the northern part of the Sea belongs to West Bank / Palaestina. And only seconds later we approach into Jerusalem. Amazing how these artificial lines called "borders" can split a landscape.
  25. Returning from the Abu Simbel tempels I took the DA62, ... ... after I found out how to enter a flightplan much easier than described in the manual: Just flip out a keyboard. First sight is Luxor again, ... ... before following the classical bus roads... ... to the initial touristic (and divers) village at the Red Sea: Hurghada. Just a short hop over this water, which will become an Ocean in a few million years... ... brings us to Sharm-el-Sheik, the next diver´s hotspot. These roads look like in any touristic settlement around the Mediterranean or the Canaries. And we go on to Eliat, another place for tourism. Do not mix up the runways, we want to take the left one (in Israel), not the right one (in Aqaba, Jordan). A nice flight training this was, now off for some snorkeling!
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