Flying Free in Microsoft Flight Simulator Part 4
By Adrian McCormick
Hello again and welcome to my fourthFlying Free article.
Last time around,I focused on freeware files for X-Plane, one of my favorite flightsimulators of all time. As a keen "X-Planer" for the last eight years,I have watched it grow and develop into a truly wonderful platform,and so can't wait for X-Plane 12 to be released.
However, in this article I am back with the relative new boy intown, that being Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, or whatever name youwish to give it. For all its bugginess, there is no denying that it'san impressive looking beast, and as such, I have lost count of thedays I've spent flying around its virtual world (one of the joys ofbeing retired).
So, with that said, what three files are we focusing on this timearound? Well, read on and find out...
Our first file on the list is Sandown Pier by the talented KeithHackett.
If the author's name seems familiar to you, it's probably because Imentioned Keith in the very first Freeware Focus articleI wrote for FlightSim.Com, and this rendition of Sandown Pier is yetanother wonderful addition to the Flight Simulator world by Keith.
Sandown Pier is located on the Isle of Wight, a small, ratherscenic island just south of Southampton, England. Plans for the pierwere drawn up in the 1860s with construction starting much later in1876. The first section of the pier measured 360 feet (110 m) and itwas opened in May 1878. Work to extend the pier to its full intendedlength began in 1894 but were badly damaged in a storm in January1895. Finally, in September 1895, the pier reopened followingmodifications which lengthened it by 545 feet (166 m) giving it atotal length overall of 870 feet (270 m).
As you can see from the screen shots, Keith has yet again done afantastic job at bringing the pier to life in Microsoft FlightSimulator. Not only are the shops modeled at the front of the pier,but you also have a play area located at the far end. Night lightingis equally impressive and really sets the scene, and I'm sure that ifI had a few virtual pounds on me, I could have had even more fun (solong as I pass the age limit)!
Dornoch Firth Bridge
Our second file on the list is the Dornoch Firth Bridge, modelledthis time by Christian Grimsel.
Located in Scotland, the bridge spans the Dornoch Firth, a part ofScotland deemed a national scenic area. In fact, the Dornoch Firth isjust one of 40 designated national scenic areas (NSAs) in Scotland andfrom the video below, it's clear to see why.
The Dornoch Firth Bridge has a total of 21 spans, with each onemeasuring around 44 meters (144 ft) in length. The bridge is made ofprestressed concrete instead of steel as this was considered thebetter option in terms of longevity. The bridge was opened by TheQueen Mother on Tuesday, 27 August 1991, and at the time, was one ofthe longest bridges in Europe. Being a road bridge, it connectstraffic (via the A9) from the nearby towns of Tain and Dornoch. As youcan see from the screen shots, Christian's rendition of the bridge isexceptionally well done, and provides a wonderful addition to an areaof Scotland I am sure many will enjoy.
Power Station Cooling Towers for the UK
Our final file comes from Neil Birch, a developer known for his scenicWestwood Walksseries of airfields and scenery.
In a slight departure to what we normally see from Neil, thispackage concentrates on a series of power station cooling towerslocated in England.
These monstrous, looming behemoths of yesterday might not appeal tothose of a certain delicate nature, but to low and slow VFR flyers,they will be greatly appreciated. The cooling towers included in thepackage are as follows: Drax, Ferrybridge, Ratcliffe on Stour, and asa bonus, the Runcorn Bridge. On a clear day, these towers can be seenfor miles and so make wonderful navigational points.
So, there you have it, three generously shared add-ons forMicrosoft Flight Simulator which I feel you will get a lot ofenjoyment from.
There's Sandown Pier by Keith Hackett, just one of the wonderfulsites you'll see whilst flying around the Isle of Wight, then there'sthe Dornoch Firth Bridge by Christian Grimsel, a wonderful site to seewhen flying over the firth, and finally, the selection of forebodingcooling towers from Neil Birch.
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