• Lago's FSTraffic

    FSTraffic

    By FlightSim.Com Staff (October 13, 1999)

    INTRODUCTION

    FSTraffic is here! Lago Online has just released its shareware program designed to finally fill up the flightsim skies over your favorite airports!

    This may just be the biggest add-on yet to the flightsim world. Well, if not the biggest, it is certainly a tie between other historical products such as the Microsoft Converter, Aircraft Factory 99, Real Weather Pilot, ProFlight 98, Squawk Box / Pro Controller and David Drouin's GPS.

    WHAT IT DOES

    You never have to fly alone again! Now, I know many of you out there have flown multi-player for years or have used Squawk Box, but there are still many of you like me who usually just fly alone, either for simplicity or lack of time to "man the house" on long haul journeys. Just as I type these words, I am flying a DC-10 from Hong Kong to Hawaii. I would love to have ATC the entire way, and see the other multi-player planes out there, but simply don't have time. When the autoplilot's on, I could be far away from the controls! But now, if you're like me, you will get a thrill when arriving at ANY airport in the world that has an ILS equipped runway!

    USING FSTRAFFIC

    FSTraffic is easy to use. Take it from me. I figured it out without reading instructions in about 15 minutes. Upon installation, you'll automatically be given "tracks" for all ILS runways in the world. So any airport that you're near (and this distance is settable) inbound and outbound aircraft will begin showing up. I have my radius set around 35 miles. Before you hit the button to generate traffic, don't forget to give FSTraffic something to work with. You must give it your favorite planes out of your FS98/Aircraft directory. So all your airplanes that you like to fly - you can convert over to live traffic using FSTraffic's menus. Within seconds the skies will come alive with the highly detailed visual models that you're used to piloting! There is no difference in what you fly and what you see flying around. The biggest thrill was seeing my first landing after slewing to a runway end. It was just like being a "roadside peeper" as the giant 747-400 roared over my head at ORD. I couldn't believe it. When these other aircraft land, you will see the spoilers pop up and the ground run will slow realistically. No rocket sled approaches like we're all used to with the default red 727s. And yes folks, FINALLY there will never be any more slipper sized 727s scantering about the runways at SFO! Finally, that bug is put to rest! Actually, that was a fun bug, I used to think they were loose dogs on the runway.


    Check out my Hong Kong IGS 13 action I made myself!

    Each type of aircraft can go into categories for realistic movements. There is so much flexibility and fun here. I have not even tried out some of the other areas, like making ground vehicles yet. Now, as for the rest of the traffic that can be generated, you'll have to do that yourself, or download premade tracks off the net. You can easily record your own departures, arrivals or ground movements, save them, import them and then make FSTraffic use them. There is perhaps no more spectacular place in the world to view arriving jetliners than the old Hong Kong airport. While the real one is closed now, you can relive the action by using FSTraffic's recorder. This is how I made my Hong Kong 13 approach. I flew the approach while recording and now I get to watch instant replays of my flying qualities everytime someone lands on 13 at the old Hong Kong airport. It's great fun. Where you put down the landing gear, the dynamics will do it, where you float or bounce over the runway, the dynamics will do the same at the same spot! (I can see it now, contests based on the very finest IGS approaches) If you fly aircraft with animated parts, the dynamics will be wiggling their ailerons just as you did! I don't think I've had so much fun with an add-on in years. Not since the days of Aircraft and Scenery Designer at least, when I used to make Dynamic Scenery.

    The brilliance of this product is vast. You can set up many parameters to control how many aircraft are seen, how close they get, how often they generate on final or at the runway, your minimum framerate you want to always be guaranteed etc., etc. I have not had time to investigate all the neat things FSTraffic offers but in just several hours of flying with it, I can tell you it works, and works great. Frame rates are surprisingly not an issue. I guess if you're running FS on a P200 or something you will have trouble, but then again there is a frame rate controller. (I wish that existed for all scenery...maybe LAGO will do it!) On my PIII 500 with a TNT2 card, I never noticed more than a few frames off my normal rates with as many as 8 aircraft in sight. When a plane is close up and it's all you see, there is no frame rate hit. Brilliant I say! Cheers to Lago and the crew!

    CONCLUSION

    This is a winner! You can run the shareware but who would want to. This is the kind of thing that all simmers will go ape over, and the ones who don't normally use anything but freeware will weaken after being exposed to FSTraffic! If you want to see other aircraft of all varieties operating around you at ANY airport, complete with exterior lighting, moving parts, and accurate physics - then download FSTraffic right now. If you're a fan of Flight Unlimited II or III because of its amazing AI aircraft but always thought Microsoft Flight Simulator was missing something - you'll really love FSTraffic! Also, if you are into skydiving, FSTraffic has a little bonus for you.

    FSTraffic gets a 98! Gotta go, time for some more TRAFFIC!

    Visit the official FSTraffic Website here and get your shareware version!


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