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Back to P3D after a break...or how I found fun in Air Hauler 2

Started by jskibo, January 01, 2019, 09:37:28 am

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Really haven't had time to Flight Sim in awhile, Sold my 737 back around 2014 and have moved around quite a bit since then.

I had about a month off at the end of 2018 (seems odd to say end of 2018), and a few projects to mess with including a printer from Bob I am still learning......

With the down time I wanted to move a few things around on the PC (flight sims to SSD drives) as well as try to update all the sims and addons I had.

As I was doing so I was looking at the various sales on addon products.  There's a few I wanted (like I have time to fly), so I grabbed Twin Otter Extended, the Flight1 B200 and Cessna Mustang and a couple from FlySimware.

I also happened upon Air Hauler 2 nearing the end of its early access.  I had played around with Cargo Pilot years ago, but never looked into the original Air Hauler.  I like the idea of "simulating" a company while also flying.  It seems to give me a purpose to finish a flight, or fly somewhere I normally wouldn't think of.  Quite a lot I would fire up MaddogX, PDMG XXX, Majestic Dash or some other complex plane and after I spend an hour getting ready to depart I would find myself at FL360 45 min into the flight and stopping, or fast forwarding to the end.  I have a tone o addon planes in addition to the previously named iron I have a few MiViz and A2A light duty stuff, QW BAE146, Aerosoft CRJ and Airbus Professional and some other stuff.  Rarely to I get a chance to use the smaller stuff.

There's a few options you can start AH2 with, and you get to pick anywhere in the world for a base.  Since I wanted to play with the small stuff and build up a "company" and my wife is from the Philippines (a place I will eventually retire to), I decided to pick and airport I knew well (RPVP - Puerto Princesa, Palawan) to start with and fly small cargo around the pacific while building up my company.  AH2 forces you to to get a type rating in any aircraft you buy.  Its not difficult, but something you need to finish for yourself (as well as any pilot you hire...yes you can hire AI pilots......and you probably should).  Its just a short flight with various headings and altitudes then an OK or better landing.

There's a lot of options in the sim for Pax routes, humanitarian missions that pop up, courier work, ad hoc PAX missions, etc.  Plus you can develop more bases, mfg facilities that you fly for, etc.  I haven't dug into them all as of yet, but still having fun.  Best thing to for to keep my interest is you can't just stop in the middle of a flight.  Sure you can pause, and there is a save function but it wasn't working for me, but it forces you to fly the whole flight , land, park, offload, etc before it lets you back into the AH2 interface.

Now since I don't have a hardware sim, I have been flying in VR.  I had an Oculus for a few years and I was a kickstarter backer for the PIMAX 8k that just launched. I ended up selling my Pimax 8k as I was an early backer and people were paying insane amounts to get their hands on one.  While the Rift was OK, I didn't like all the wires for the cameras and required USB3.0 holes.  I grabbed a Lenovo Explorer (Windows Mixed Reality Headset) for $99.  Its about as good as the Rift, only needs a HDMI and 1 USB, has integrated camera on headset for it positioning sensor, works with SteamVR and works great with P3D v4.4.

SO I was on a flight from RPVP (Puerto Princesa) to RPLL (Manila) in thew MilViz C310 Redux in VR.  There's not a lot of scenery for that part of the world (some PacSim stuff for RPLL) so I was using FTX, AS for P3D, and the ENVDIR TOGA stuff.  The Milviz C310 Redux has a license for True Glass and Real Light from TFDi which I had seen before in the 717 but only on a monitor screen.  Holy Cow what a difference it is on VR.  I was at 8k between layers about 40 miles south of manila when the rain started.  The effects are just incredible in the headset.  Rain over the wing, rain hitting the side windows and rolling off, same with the windshield!  The haze and fog effects were impressive as well.

So enough rambling!  Though I still have to time or room for a full size sim right now, I will be back to a few flights a a week in P3D VR enjoying a whole new world, low, slow and in the unpredictable pacific Island weather masses delivering my rubber dog $%^> to Hong Kong.

If you haven't tried VR and want to, the cheaper Windows Mixed Reality headsets like the Lenovo are an easy way to dip your toe in.

I'm having a blast with Air Hauler 2, and recommend if you're into that sort of game (sim).

True Glass / Real Light are awesome.

The Twotter, all A2A and MilViz stuff is a blast to fly.

I'm also having fun in the MU-2B 60 and Lear

Have a great New Year!
Sim 1:  F16, running Falcon 4 BMS - In Build using a mix of real and repro parts + Pokeys cards
Sim 2:  737 MAX - Still in parts collecting phase (CDU / MCP / EFIS / Displays)

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