• Perth City And Surrounds

    Review: Perth City And Surrounds By Dave Sheridan

    By Andrew Tucker (7 January 2010)

    It has been some time since I have written a review for this webpage, the hustle and bustle of everyday life with three children has prevented me from doing so. However, recently, I have obtained some additional spare time, and have had a chance to get myself back into our wonderful hobby.

    For our newer readers, to recap who I am, I am forty-two years of age. I have worked as a computer network engineer for some twenty years, and I have also held my private licence (fixed wing) since I was aged twenty-six. In that time, I have accrued hours on five different aircraft types. I usually fly out of Jandakot airport (YPJT) in Western Australia. This is a small, but busy GA airfield just a few miles south of Perth, Western Australia.

       

    I have also been a flight simulator fan since a program called JET by Sublogic. For some of our younger readers, you may have to Google that one! In this time I have seen considerable change in our hobby, and one of the most significant changes came with FS2004 and that was "autogen". You only need to take a quick glance through the forums to read peoples "autogen woes", but like everything else, you can reach a compromise.

    The city of Perth itself also poses some major challenges to Flight Simulator in that the place is relatively flat all over. As a result, FS2004 and FSX both run relatively slowly in this area, due to the vast flat distances, and the number of autogens objects that must be drawn. As an example of the flatness of this city, Jandakot airport (YPJT) is only 99 feet above mean sea level, and Perth airport (YPPH) is only 67 feet above mean sea level.

    In recent years, we have been relatively lucky in Australia, given the output of the ORBX team for scenery, and whilst this is a good quality payware product, good Australian freeware has fallen by the wayside. The detail levels in ORBX are very good, but again, with this project, autogen is the killer, and can drag a system to its knees.

       

    Then there is David Sheridan.

    Dave has made a scenery package for Perth and the surrounding areas that uses no autogen. As a result, frame rates are maintained relatively high. I have been testing this scenery, with some very pleasing results. I have been able to conduct correct GAAP (General Aviation Airport Procedures) as I would in real life. It is interesting that some of the Jandakot VFR reporting points are relatively simple structures, and yet they have never been incorporated into the simulator.

    But now, thanks to this scenery, they are.

    I conducted a very "non standard" VFR flight with this scenery, which had I done in real life, would have almost certainly lost me my licence. But we are in FSX world now, so...

    There are several key areas that I have placed in my screen shots, and they are the key VFR reporting points:

    Fremantle Golf Course
    The "Powerhouse"
    Belmont Park Racecourse
    Kings Park
    Hillarys Marina (also known as Hillarys Boat Harbour)

    I have also included shots of the "Mitchell Freeway North", and "Perth Cityscape", which I am using to emphasize the difference between this scenery and the default scenery. So, enough of my ramblings, on to some more screen shots:

           

    As you can see, visually, this scenery makes quite a difference - at no frame rate hit as well!

    With the possibility of there being "no FS11" at any stage in future, we need to make the most of what we have, should FSX become the last civilian flight simulator released. People like Dave Sheridan breathe new life into our hobby; bringing us new places, and new features. We need to support these freeware designers as best we can, as they are getting fewer and fewer in number.

    Who knows; the next release could be YOUR local aerodrome, which is not fully represented in FSX.

    Thanks to all the freeware designers out there for their tireless work and efforts. Know it is appreciated.

    Andrew Tucker
    [email protected]

    Download Here

    Also available from David Sheridan

    Alice Springs
    Bathurst
    Broken Hill
    Kalgoorlie


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