This blog describes the experiences and flights during my personal FSX World Tour. To discover more (in a budget-friendly manner) about aviation, to improve my Flight Simulator X knowledge and to have a general purpose to regularly start up FSX, I decided to start a world tour. My trip starts at home airport Kortrijk-Wevelgem, Belgium (EBKT) and we travel East.
All flights are flown real-time and planned according to available free time.
I’m not a real pilot, so I don’t have a Private Pilot License and no “official” knowledge, but it’s still on my bucket list for the future. It takes a substantial financial effort and quite some free time (earlier in evenings and during weekends, so can’t compare it with the free time that I use to do this world tour). With 35 years old and 3 kids at home we’ll need to have a little more patience…
If you find some English grammar or vocabulary mistakes, please keep in mind that English is not my native language (I live in Belgium and speak Dutch, some French, German and English). You’re always welcome to correct my mistakes in the reactions.
I didn’t start with a specific set of rules in mind, but I’m trying to take into account these basic ideas:
- Real-time, but not “real time”: I don’t use time acceleration to speed up the flights, even not during boring long-distance good weather sea crossings. I do allow myself to play around with the time settings. My free time is usually during evening and night hours, but if I have to fly each leg in the dark, it’s no fun. So, the date setting is the same as the real-world date, but flights can start at day, dawn, dusk or night time, as preferred, but with a healthy mix to keep it fun.
- Save progress as much as needed: I work a lot with computers every day and sometimes you can’t avoid computer crashes, so I try to save my progress regularly, BUT… (see next point).
- Fly each individual leg without interruptions: From the take-off to the landing, I want to fly without interruptions, so that means that I don’t save and completely quit the program in mid-air during flights, to continue at a later time. Each leg starts at a parking spot or gate of an airport and ends at the parking spot or gate (if available, otherwise it’s parking in the grass) of another airport.
- Fueling is only allowed at airports: I mostly fly short legs (+/- 1 to 2 hours, 150 – 300nm), so fueling isn’t necessary at each stop/airport, with my aircraft fuel capacity range of +/- 1.100nm, BUT it’s not allowed to fill the fuel tanks with the fuel settings menu of FSX. However, there’s one exception: sometimes FSX doesn’t have a fuel station at a virtual airport, despite the fact that there’s a fuel station at the real-world counterpart. Since a lot of the planning is done with real-world aeronautical charts, fueling is allowed with the fuel settings menu in FSX, but only when there is a fuel station at the real-world counterpart of the virtual airport. This is to make up for the fact that the developers can’t foresee every feature of the +/- 24.000 airports included in FSX.
- Real-world weather: I use the freeware add-on FSXWX (may change to a payware add-on later), combined with REX Soft Clouds, to get real-world weather in FSX. So planning the route also depends on the actual real-world weather at the actual locations. That means, if I encounter very bad weather or storms, I probably won’t take off at that time. However, since this is simulation, we can always risk a bit more. 🙂
- Full realism: Realism settings are on hard difficulty, but with some small changes to make it as realistic as possible (because “Hard” doesn’t enable all realism in FSX), like enabling manual fuel mixture control and gyro drift.
I don’t have a full-blown cockpit setup, but to have an idea about the system that I use for Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition, you can find the specs below:
- Computer – MSI GS60 Ghost:
- CPU: Intel Core i7 4720HQ
- RAM: 16GB RAM DDR3-1600
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M 3GB
- HD: 256 GB SSD (OS + FSX) + 1TB HD (for add-ons / other data)
- Screen: 4K (UHD) IPS, resolution: 3840×2160
- OS: Windows 10 64-bit
- Orbx FTX Global BASE (payware) – since leg 1
- Orbx FTX Global Vector (payware) – since leg 6
- OrbX FTX Global OpenLC Europe (payware) – since leg 15
- Orbx FTX Global OpenLC NA (payware) – since leg 15
- FreeMeshX (freeware) – since leg 18
- Rex4 Texture Direct + Soft Clouds (payware) – since leg 1
- Aircraft: Alabeo C400TT Corvalis (payware) – since leg 1
- Weather engines:
- DX10 Scenery Fixer (payware) – since leg 4
- EZDok Camera (payware) – since leg 5
- iPad: Remote Virtual Cockpit
Lots of payware? Yeah, maybe it’s a lot, but it adds to the immersion and I want visitors to have something good to look at. There is a decent amount of great freeware available, but the support and compatibility isn’t always perfect. Also, most payware developers have sales with discounted prices (especially with Black Friday or holiday sales), so if you have patience and keep an eye out, you can make a few good deals.
- Leg 8 & 9: LTAI Antalya International Airport (Turkey) (freeware)
- Leg 13 & 14: OKBK Kuwait International Airport (Kuwait) (freeware)
- Leg 15 & 16: OMDB Fly Tampa Dubai Rebooted (Dubai) (payware)
- Planned: Aerosoft Lukla X – Mount Everest (payware)
Why this website?
Actually it’s a bit of a selfish act, because I mainly do this for myself, to keep track of my progress and to write down what I experienced and learned. I also use some of the beautiful screenshots as wallpaper (feel free to use them too – each picture has a 4K high-resolution download link). I started documenting this trip on Facebook, as a personal record, but also to show friends what I’m passionate about (nothing wrong with sharing your passion 🙂 ). If it’s entertaining to one or two people, then I’m happy man too.