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norfolk mike

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About norfolk mike

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 08/18/1961

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  • Gender:
    Male
  • Location:
    Norfolk-England
  • Interests:
    Vintage aviation. 1940s re-enactments, pussy and beer.

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  1. norfolk mike

    Blackbird over Suffolk

    Absolutely! Living in Norfolk throughout the 1980s was a great time for an aviation enthusiast anyway. The A10 'Warthogs' were (seemingly) always overhead! The Victors and Canberras were a daily sight, and then you had the F-111's inbound to Lakenheath and the Lightnings from Coltishall. So, the Mildenhall Air-Fetes were undeniably brilliant, but I was there more for the 1940s warbirds! I'd wonder why photographers were getting so animated at the sight of yet another A-10 Thunderbolt, but I guess I'd just gotton too familiar with the sight and sound of them! The things I REALLY loved about the Air-Fete (besides the Lancaster and 'Sally-B)...were: The Vulcan standing on its tail, with your internal organs reverberating inside your rib cage!, the German Starfighters, the Harrier Jump Jet hovering, then slowly crabbing along the flight-line, 'bowing' to the spectators. The F-27 Fokker Friendship demonstrating its engine out capabilities, and the C130 showing off its short landing and cargo deployment abilities to name just a few. Just a few memories from what was an amazing annual event! There was talk of a swan-song in the form of a final airshow prior to Mildenhall's eventual closure. I don't know if there is any substance to it, but if it comes off, it'll be a bit busy won't it?!
  2. norfolk mike

    Blackbird over Suffolk

    Now you are talking! There is a forum thread somewhere on which an ex US serviceman tells how those burgers were 'sauced up'. Apparently, it was any available BBQ sauce, but the vital ingredient was beer! They'd thin the sauce with Schlitz beer, then sit the burgers and sauce in a hot tray over heat. The beer would evaporate over time, so they'd just thin it down with more beer! I like the American's way of thinking! Yes, living in Brandon at the time, the Blackbird was not quite a 'familiar' sight, but certainly something we saw climbing out of and descending into Mildenhall a few times. I was speaking to the ex Blackbird pilot/author at Duxford a couple of years ago, and he said Mildenhall was his favourite posting. Maybe he was being polite. Schlitz beer? Now there is a blast from the past. I haven't seen that here in the UK for years! We do have a local 'Beers of the world' emporium, so maybe I'll check it out!
  3. norfolk mike

    First airplane ride

    My problem is, I was so young when we started doing hops from the UK to Holland, I haven't got a clue as to what we were actually flying in! My first real vivid memory (circa 1960's) was clambering into a BEA Vickers Viscount. I treasured the 'flight bag' my dad bought for me for a very long time! The second memory is that of being reassured that the Aviation Traders 'Carvair' being loaded up with vehicles at Southend Airport, REALLY would be able to fly. That was a relief, because we'd be getting on it! I remember it landing at Ostend in Belgium, and then continuing on to Eindhoven (unless that's some kinda distorted recall)? Then (1970s) came the DC3 era. Yes, I realise that most airlines had retired their fleet by then, but Air Anglia, based at Norwich Airport had a few examples, and Norwich to Schiphol became a regular route for us. Cockpit visits for us kids was fairly routine, and an anticipated part of the flight. THEN came the day when (standing on the viewing terrace at Schiphol) we gazed across the apron, anticipating our yellow, white and black Dakota, only to see a yellow, white and black 'thing' called a F-27 Fokker Friendship. What a high pitched screech of a trip back to blighty THAT was! I blame my bloody tinnitus on those Dart engines! The last 'classic' I remember flying in was a Dan Air BAC-111 from Gatwick to Alicante in the 1980s. Everything since has been a bit lacking in charisma .
  4. norfolk mike

    True Earth as seen from a 737 flightdeck

    I'm usually WAY too impatient to sit through flight sim videos without fast forwarding, or abandoning them altogether. The video here was actually really relaxing to watch, thanks! . Bloody hell I envy your cockpit!
  5. norfolk mike

    Netherlands TrueEarth various.

    If you are taking requests Iain, could you manage a shot or two around Eindhoven?. Okay, so its not the prettiest town in the Netherlands, but it has got a very special significance for me, and I would like to see how the airport looks with the surrounding landscape. Lets face it, I'm going to buy it anyway, but just if you get time. Cheers.
  6. This does look pretty incredible! FSX probably can't handle it (in terms of VAS), and my current PC can't handle anything other than FSX, so it will definitely be upgrade time if I'm to invest in these True Earth titles (I will be). I was just wondering (in regards to the UK airfields). Development of several proposed airfields for EU England was stopped due to sales falling short of expectations. Welshpool was later finished in the hope it might rekindle interest, but presumably sales were less than inspiring? Its early days of course, but apart from the existing UK airfields getting ported over to True Earth FS2 & X-Plane, are there any other gems similar to Barton in the pipeline? I know Cambridge and Old Buckenham were once on the radar for EU England.
  7. To add to the positive reception, I have to say that those screenshots depict the sort of in-sim scenery I've always hoped for, but never really believed could happen. To think that England, Scotland, Ireland and Germany are also on the cards is pretty exciting stuff! I'm going to cut down on the pies, exercise more and drink less than excessively so that I might enjoy it for longer! If the ships are static models placed upon photographic wake, then that's fine by me! I've never been a fan of "ai" wake anyway, and its not like container ships move that rapidly. If they are ai models, then bloody hell! Of course, the benefits for 'low and slow' are quite obvious. However, once we have the addition of the UK, Ireland and even Germany, its going to open up some great routes for the 737 jockeys amongst us, and scenery as realistic as that portrayed is going to have a significant immersion appeal, regardless of what aircraft we have strapped to our arses! The only real decision I'm now having to make is what platform to upgrade to (I'm a longstanding FSX user). I can appreciate that FSX could soon hit the VAS ceiling with such hyper-detailing, so I'm guessing a 64 bit sim will be pretty desirable for anyone (such as myself) eager to embrace these True Earth sceneries as they become available.
  8. You'll 'probably' like Walter Sutton's private strip. It has to be the ultimate 'back home' airstrip, because in order to land there, you'd probably have to live there! . It has such a great atmosphere, and (if memory serves me right), it isn't THAT far from Bowerman? Actually, I just Google Earthed it, and its about 70 nm. I've had the A2A cub based there in a weathered cockpit texture, and now the A2A C172, again with a weathered cockpit texture, and Walter Sutton's just seems made for those planes in those worn liveries!
  9. Okay, so you was viewing it on your mobile phone screen, easy mistake to make. I'm in for everything UK, Ireland and continental Europe. USA regions will have their appeal (I currently have all of the NA regions), but I think I'll have to draw the line somewhere .
  10. Photo Scenery with autogen will be as real as it gets Fizzelle, BUT........ Erm.......... Christ, I don't know how to break it to him? That was real footage Fizzelle. Probably taken by JV on his way back from his holidays.
  11. I couldn't believe what I was seeing when I saw this announcement! I couldn't even publish what I said to my wife, as a forum ban would undoubtedly follow, but lets just say, Gordon Ramsey would have blushed! Nothing in the flight sim world has compelled me to even remotely consider a PC upgrade, until this! I currently have the UK (Playsims) in photoreal, together with the Earth Simulations Channel Islands, freeware Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Switzerland, Canary Islands, Corsica, Malta, Sardinia and the Balearics, and (to my mind), even with its obvious shortcomings (colour shifts, lack of autogen), it is fantastic! It not only looks great, but without autogen, it performs brilliantly. I would gladly give that up for just an Orbx UK, Ireland, Netherlands and Germany with full autogen and colour correction. That in itself gives huge scope for VFR, as well as short hop and domestic tube-liner flights, and with that level of detail/autogen, why would I need to go further afield? . Giving the option of seasonal upgrades is a good idea. Personally, I've never even thought of going beyond 'summer' in land-class scenery, and I certainly don't miss 'seasons' in Photo Real. I was a little surprised at the strength of feeling with regards to seasonal change that so many users expressed in the 'Netherlands' thread, so clearly there is a demand for it, so optional upgrades would be the way to go. Given that so many commercial airline flights from the UK, Ireland and Netherlands fly to the Canary Islands and the Balearics (Majorca etc), might you consider future "experience packs" for those Island chains using the same technology? I currently have freeware versions, and they are great places to explore in themselves, but are also excellent (2 hr and 4 hour) hops for the PMDG guys.
  12. Living in the East of England (as I do), many of the VFR turning points and reference points on our navigational training flights were those long abandoned WW2 era airfields. Some looked so intact you could almost imagine a ragged formation of battle scarred B:24s joining the circuit, whilst others were only discernible through the discolouration of the underlying soil, giving a clue as to where the concrete runways and hardstands once stood. I was working on the former RAF base of Bexwell last year, and watched the contractors remove the last few metres of main runway. For the local economy, it represented a few more tons of hardcore, but for a sentimental fool like myself, it was SO much more than that! (Google "Operation Fido"). Driving from Swaffham to Watton, I doubt many would realise the historical significance of the otherwise unremarkable crop field to their left. USAAF Bodney, where aces such as Major George Preddy were based with their 'Blue Nosed Bastard' P:51 Mustangs. The more observant might just spot the remains of the old control tower half hidden behind the ivy and trees, but from the air, the boundaries of the old grass aerodrome become quite clear. Yes, they are conspicuous in 'generated' scenery only by their absence (in most cases), and it was something I missed when I started simming as a way of creating my early PPL student 'eyeball' flights. As Nick said, recreating thousands of hardstand remnants and segments of old runway (many of which now house 'Turkey Sheds' here in the East of England) would be a performance diminishing logistical nightmare, not to mention a bit of a mess. Its just one more reason to hope that OrbX will ONE day create a photorealistic England/UK with autogen .
  13. norfolk mike

    Germany Photoreal?

    Yes, Alderney was my introduction to Earth Simulations too, although I was rather late to the party. I wasn't into photoreal scenery at that time, and hadn't even heard of Earth Simulations, but I saw it for sale at £1:00, and THAT got my attention. I quickly snapped up Guernsey for £5:00, but then they ceased trading and that was that! I seem to recall some talk on a forum at the time regarding a pending release for Jersey, but I don't remember ever seeing it available for purchase? In fact I don't think I ever saw screenshots of their Scotland scenery? All this mention of an ES England (and now Scotland) is news to me, and I'd be interested in seeing some YouTube footage of either/both! I did get all three Playsim's Scotland sceneries for £5:00 each two or three years ago, so I haven't done too badly . The UK was a bit more expensive, but the rest of Europe is free, so I'd call that reasonable value! . Luckily, I'm not even remotely concerned about seasonal change, so the possibility of a Photoreal Germany still excites me!
  14. norfolk mike

    Germany Photoreal?

    I had no idea the project was that far advanced! I imagined it was something still in its infancy and didn't realise it was already being offered for sale. 1500 Euros? Christ, you'd have to think long and hard about that one! . In my mind, I thought I'd read that the imagery was actually going to be the same as the older Horizon/Playsim's stuff, only with some serious post processing, but I guess I'm wrong on that point, given your mention of the imagery being unrealistically expensive. Oh well, I'm sure as the tech improves and automation becomes a bigger factor, a photorealistic UK with quality autogen will happen. One of my old 'away landing fields' in the mid 1980s was Nacton near the town of Ipswich. Its been a housing development for donkey's years, but in the Horizon/Playsims version, the active aerodrome is still quite visible! So as nostalgic as it is, it could do with bringing up to date! .
  15. norfolk mike

    Germany Photoreal?

    I'm sure you (collectively) do understand, and in truth, the remark was meant to be rather superficial anyway . It is after all a selling point of many regional and LC products as well as being a feature of most OrbX airfields. The point I was trying to make was really this: The concerns generally raised by people not accustomed to 'high quality' photoreal are (a) "It won't blend with OrbX 'generated' scenery", and (b) "It won't look good low down". Of course, there are many other perceived negatives, but those two feature quite frequently. The fact is, many people will be aware that a region has a photorealistic mountain, volcano or bay (for example), but they won't really notice them, simply because they DO blend into the surrounding landscape so well, they don't visually grate on you. The point about photoreal not looking fantastic at low level is a bit of a non starter too. Most of the OrbX airfields and airports have photorealistic surroundings, simply because it looks so much better when approaching, doing circuits or climbing out of an airport, all of which are performed at low level. JV did make the point of saying the Germany PhotoReal was "pristine", so most of the comparisons with badly coloured and washed out low resolution imagery are unfounded. For a proper comparison, we should take Earth Simulation's Channel Islands (etc) as an example! I think you are right about the landclass tiles being produced from imagery. I hadn't really thought about it much, until about three weeks ago. I think I was in the Turbine Duke by RealAir, flying out of Houston. I remember turning East and looking down at fields and a complex of farm buildings, thinking how sharp it all appeared. Within ten minutes, I saw the same farm nestled in the same fields, and somewhere further along the line, I saw the exact same thing again, at which point I abandoned the flight because I thought I'd been going around in circles. Okay, that sounds harsh, and it really isn't meant to be a criticism of the hard work, dedication and craftsmanship of the OrbX developers. Its just one of the things I find jarring about 'generated' scenery, regardless of whether its hand crafted, or originally compiled from photographic imagery. The worst aspect for me personally is the vector roads, and again, that's not a fault of FTX, because in that regard, UTX is really no better. Its merely the nature of the beast. For me at least, Photoreal wins hands down on that one, with no performance penalty for having every highway, layby, road, lane, track, footpath, street and dogging site visible in sim. The Open Landclass project has alleviated the repetitiveness to a degree, I'll give you that, but logistically, it can never be eliminated entirely. Photoscenery on the other hand is never repetitive, and the sensation of actual travel is therefore much greater, even over relatively short distances. That doesn't mean I don't have concerns regarding the Photoreal region of the Netherlands (and possibly Germany). Well, "concerns" isn't really the right word. Lets say, reservations. I still wonder if these photo realistic countries will sit well with neighbouring countries compiled the 'traditional' way? Its not the blending, and it isn't the 'low and slow', as I'm sure that will all be fine and dandy. Its more the fact that in comparison, the vector roads of lets say, Belgium, overlying fields and cutting through towns, and the small villages and hamlets looking strangely angular might make the transition from photoreal to landclass a little disappointing? OrbX regions and Open LC with its photoreal inserts, imagery based landclass and photoreal airport surrounds is always going to look great when bordered by the same. Photoreal always looks better when surrounded by photoreal, even though some of the commercial offerings out there suffer from serious state border inconsistencies with regards to tonality! How this new tech will be recieved in something like P3D/FSX-SE will be interesting to see. I (like many others have already said) wonder if the spiritual home for this stuff is really Aerofly FS2, but its new territory, so I guess only time will tell .
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