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Antarctica X Preview (released, topic closed)

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Ok, to answer all questions about if "base XY" is in the package, here's a complete list I just compiled yesterday (the final list in the manual will have a few more details like runway dimensions, headings, frequencies etc...).

Also attached is a Google Earth file that shows you the locations of all airports and helipads done.

AirbaseList.png

Hello!

Congratulatioons on the very nive preview pics!

Will you be including the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station's Jack F. Paulus Skiway

(USA, ICAO:NZSP, 12,000 ft RWY, Location: S 90º 0'0", W 0º0'0", Info here)? I don't

see it on the list...)

Many thanks!

Cheers,

- jahman.

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Hi. This looks wonderful..... I have had the 'deluxe' version of FSX on my PC for some years, but never fly it - I much prefer FS9 (with my 100s of GBs of addons!). But this scenery will definitely be getting FSX up on my screen more often. I do have a couple of questions though (remember, I consider myself an FS9 'expert', but FSX 'dummy', so sorry if they are a bit basic!).

1. When I fly in Antarctica in FSX, I cannot land on the ice. I assume the ice is treated as water, which is why my a/c is flung back up into the air if I land 'off piste'? That's the way it is in FSX, no, not a glitch in my setup?

2. Will the Aerosoft scenery make the ice a real surface so that an aircraft can land on it? If so, all over the continent?

3. Have been talking with Volker at FS Commander - but am still not quite clear (yes, I saw there was a question about this earlier in this thread). If I am flying/taxiing, with Aerosoft's scenery installed, at say 88oN, will the landscape move away underneath me in a sideways direction, as in FS9? Flying at that latitude in FSX pre-Antarctica X seems a lot better than in FS9, I don't seem to have the terrain moving underneath me in the 'wrong' direction (or am I mistaken?): was the issue of true/magnetic north fixed in FSX? From what I read, I should be having the same issues there as in FS9 - and would need to install FS Commander too to make things flyable at very northerly latitudes.

Thanks!

Martin

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As most of the previous questions ask about FSX Limitations, let me answer them all at once by adding the complete Antarctica X manual's chapter on FSX Limitations:

FSX Limitations

You may have noticed that The South Pole Station is not part of “Antarctica X”, which is due to FSX limitations. While FSX was the first Microsoft simulator that made the earth round (YES, it took Microsoft longer to admit that than the Catholic Church!), the terrain system itself is still based on a flat earth tile system.

Landclasses are mapped in these tiles, like cities, forests and fields.

Let’s take a crop field as an example for a landclass: This field is displayed as a nice square in the USA or Europe. 1.2km long, 1.2km wide. The same field at the equator (let’s say in Kongo) is displayed about 1.2km long but about 1.4km wide, meaning it’s stretched a bit! Why is that you may ask? The circumference at the equator is longer than further north or south meaning that the tile is stretched to the sides. Microsoft created this tile mesh to look best around the areas where most customers live, meaning somewhere around Latitude 30 and 60, both north and southern hemisphere.

The problem now is: The same number of tiles that cover the whole equator with a length 40,075 kilometres, applies for the spot around the South Pole. Therefore the tiles are so heavily squeezed together here that the Poles can only be described as a weird looking place and are impossible to fly at. We are still working on a technique to avoid this but cannot promise anything.

The Pole problem also means that the LOD technique gets a bit confused. FSX thinks you are further away from the landclass tiles in front of you than you actually are and therefore sharpens them a lot later than it would do the same on more common latitudes.

The stretching problem also applies to – surprise! – CLOUDS! The further south you get, the more stretched/squeezed those nice fluffy clouds look. That’s another reason why we didn’t cover the Pole because things would just look odd there once you add some weather there.

Things become even weirder when talking about navigation. That’s right, in times of GPS Flight Simulator X only recognizes the two magnetic poles for directions! No matter if it’s a magnetic compass or a GPS. When flying “south” FSX always directs you to the magnetic South Pole, NOT the actual South Pole at S90°! This leads to some strange behaviour when flying in the southern- (or northern) most latitudes. VORs don’t work properly anymore, the instructions of the ATC are not reliable anymore (don’t let ATC direct you to your destination; you will never arrive there before fuel runs out!). Even the FSX default GPS won’t tell you where true north/south is but it can still guide you to your destination if you use your autopilot’s Nav mode to follow the magenta coloured line.

In fact there are some tools and add-ons whose developers are aware of the problem and have solved it: FSCommander as well as the panels of PMDG- and Level-D aircraft switch from magnetic to true headings when passing S72.5°. There may be more add-ons that solve the problem in a similar way – therefore it’s always a wise decision to study the manual of your navigation tool or add-on aircraft before going out to the cold.

In addition to that: I gave the South Pole another try after I finished the release files because I just don't like the idea of not having it in Antarctica X. Problem is that FSX doesn't allow us to place 3D objects at a latitude lower than S85° - they just never appear. This also takes us the opportunity to cover the pole with a large 3D terrain similar to that in Lukla but larger. Sadly but true: It will never be possible to cover the poles itself with a scenery in FSX. What a shame that is but we have to bear with it... :(

Anyway - although the Pole is the first place that comes into mind when most people think about Antarctica it is certainly not the most interesting one! There are skiways in Antarctica that are higher, colder, more dangerous and/or surrounded by a way more entertaining landscape. While the pole is just a flat white plateau, the interesting places to fly are around the coastlines and mountain ranges,

Bests,

Sascha

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1. When I fly in Antarctica in FSX, I cannot land on the ice. I assume the ice is treated as water, which is why my a/c is flung back up into the air if I land 'off piste'? That's the way it is in FSX, no, not a glitch in my setup?

2. Will the Aerosoft scenery make the ice a real surface so that an aircraft can land on it? If so, all over the continent?

The strange behavior of FSX's ice was a tricky one but we solved it in Antarctica X. The surface is now solid and you will be able to bring your aircraft to a halt assisted by your brakes as in real world. Try that in default NZIR or NZPG...

Bests,

Sascha

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Thanks for posting, Sasche. Very interesting and informative. Nice thing reading about now working runways in that region. I had a hard time every time I've tried the default scenery so far. :mellow:

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Yes, many thanks for that Sascha. Not too worried about flying at 88oS (not per 'N', as my post - though the earth's magnetic field is due to flip round any time soon, they say!!), but it's great that we will be able to land on the ice.

BTW, does the scenery come with its own terrain elevation data, or is what is already in FSX good enough; or is there any commercial terrain mesh available for this area otherwise (don't think FSGenesis has any - maybe the data isn't available)?

I sort of dabble in scenery creation (some stuff in the AVSIM library) but am in awe of stuff at this level! Look forward to being able to download this scenery in the hopefully not too distant future!

Martin

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Thanks Sascha,

You have explained it so well that I now understand why I have had some very strange things happening (navigation wise) when I fly down to McMurdo Station from Australia or New Zealand. I love flying down there to have a look around, even though there is nothing really down there. And that is about to change thanks to Antarctica X.

:groupflip_s:

Mark

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BTW, does the scenery come with its own terrain elevation data, or is what is already in FSX good enough;...

That was a good one. :)

Hell, yes! Antarctica comes with unprecedented elevation data for the area!

While we're at it let me add another chapter from the manual:

Elevation Data

While most of Antarctica is covered by a sometimes several kilometre strong ice shield, there are quite a few mountainous areas like the Antarctic Peninsula, the Transantarctic Mountains and the Vinson Massif just to name a few. Here and there you can find so-called Nunataks peaking though the ice shield, which are the summits of mountain ranges covered under the ice. The South African Station Sanae IV is placed on top of such a Nunatak.

Getting elevation data was one of the hardest parts of this project because there is just no good elevation data available for the whole continent. SRTM data used by most developers is not available for Antarctica.

Recently NASA published some ASTER DEM files, which also cover Antarctica but are full of peaks and holes, especially in ice and snow covered areas (guess what: that causes a problem in Antarctica). LimeSim developed a technique to enhance this data to make it suitable for FSX. In other words: “Antarctica X” brings you a complete elevation terrain in a quality that wasn’t available to anyone else before – including Government Organizations.

In addition to this we have added some high definition elevation terrain by Government Organizations that we either received as digitalized DEM or maps that required a difficult (mostly manual) digitalization of contour lines.

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I should read the Antarctica manual - is it out in advance of the scenery then?

I'd better let you get back to what you do best. I'll just sit and wait for the scenery to come out now ..

Martin :excellenttext_s:

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Hi, 2 questions regarding this promissing addon.

1. I wanted to pre order, but this doesnt seem to be possible anymore, can you confirm that?

2. I spotted that on an online shop: "DIRK STUCK DESIGN - ANTARCTIC STATIONS", the building textures looks 'cheap' but still, can we expect some kind of compatibility ?

Etienne

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Hi, 2 questions regarding this promissing addon.

1. I wanted to pre order, but this doesnt seem to be possible anymore, can you confirm that?

2. I spotted that on an online shop: "DIRK STUCK DESIGN - ANTARCTIC STATIONS", the building textures looks 'cheap' but still, can we expect some kind of compatibility ?

Etienne

Etienne,

some time ago in this thread it was said that the development group working on this split up and that one of the developers continued his part on his own and released it on his own. I think you just found the results ;)

See here for further information on this topic.

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some time ago in this thread it was said that the development group working on this split up and that one of the developers continued his part on his own and released it on his own. I think you just found the results ;)

Let me clarify that again: The project of Antarctica X has NEVER been split up also the developer of those Antarctic Stations has mentioned that due for whatever reason. He was never affiliated with Antarctica X in any way as a developer and has as much to do with LimeSim/Aerosoft as Taburet's aerial imagery sceneries have to do with the US Cities X series.

In fact we had a telephone conversation almost a year ago where we agreed to work together in the matter of making both of our add-ons compatible. I agreed to drop the bases of Sanae IV and Neumayer to avoid having them twice in two add-ons while he agreed to stop development on his project until Antarctica X is far enough developed to make both compatible (in terms of terrain scenery).

A few months after that conversation I was taken my surprise when those stations were released without any previous communication on making both of our projects compatible. That and the doubtful quality of that product (in my personal opinion - because you just get a few 3D objects placed in FSX default Antarctica) lead me to make SanaeIV and Neumayer a part of Antarctica X - also because of comments made by users in forums and a well-known FS news website.

Just to let you know the backgrounds. I don't want anyone to get the nasty feeling that Antarctica X is something that has been left after a split up. In fact the features and bases covered have by far exceeded the original plans from that time when the scenery was announced 2 1/2 years ago (heck is that SO long ago already? ;))

Bests,

Sascha

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I don't want anyone to get the nasty feeling that Antarctica X is something that has been left after a split up.

I really enjoy watching every pic posted here......Every pic!

I dont have any nasty feeling.........I only have beauty feelings about this project and my nearest location in it (Marambio)

So I will go after this project as soon as it will be released!

Cheers

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You said it Kai! It sure does look amazing! :D

This is making the wait for its release hard.

Mark

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I was just thinking... If this is what can be done for Antarctica, then I'm anxious to know what can be done for Greenland. Same kind of place I guess, except that there is airliner traffic to and from Greenland.

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Sascha, please can you tells us a release date. :)

We have today decided to separate the download and boxed release (but the boxed release of this rather huge project is only days behind the download). This means we are now checking the final installers. As the project is so large this is not a small process. I really dare say this is one of the most complex and most complete scenery releases ever done.But we are talking days, not weeks now.

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