• Review: Thinning Out

    Review: Thinning Out

    By Ron Blehm

    Greetings friends, I hope this review article finds you well and prosperous in the New Year. I spent some time over the holidays going through my FSX hangar. Do you know that I still had models in there left over from FS2002? You may have read my Head-2-Head Review of two versions of the BAe Jetstream-31. Well, that Mike Stone version was from more than ten years ago! What's even more of a travesty is having aircraft in there that I have never, ever flown before! And really folks, if I haven't set foot into a virtual A320 in over three years, do I really need 50 liveries? So it was that I set about to delete about 4 GB of unused or under-used aircraft.

    Some of the casualties were:

    • The never flown Spirit of St. Louis
    • The never flown Val Divebomber
    • The haven't flown since FS2004 Ford Trimotor
    • The haven't flown since FS2004 Beaver-on-Floats
    • The flew-it-once in FS2004 B-58 Hustler
    • A pretty lame version of the Gulfstream-V
    • An aging FS2002 version of the T-38 Talon
    • An outdated B747SP
    • Eighteen never-used liveries for the A330
    • Fourteen never-used liveries for the B773
    • Twenty-five liveries for the B734
    • All but one livery for the Learjet 45
    • I've kept three favorite liveries for the A320 and only one livery for the A300, the VC-10 and the Boeing Stearman but I have no clue when I will fly them
    • I no longer have any helicopters

    Well, you get the idea of my time off! I've said it before, and I'll say it again, "The beauty of FS is that we can fly what and however we like to fly; no one is better or worse because they do or don't fly what we do." Bizjets are okay but I think I'd honestly rather fly BBJ versions of 735s, 737s or E170s, so I was clearing out the Reytheons, Citation IIs and Lear 35s from that folder as well when I came across the "Stratojet Amphibian":


    I had totally forgotten about that. The Stratojet "Albatross" is a light, twin-jet amphibian with high-mounted wings and engines and a T-tail; a bit bigger and heavier than the larger Learjets but smaller than a Gulfstream IV. This aircraft is a bit more rugged than either the Lear or GS-IV and can land anywhere - including on your favorite lake!

    I decided that even though this thing is old and lacks some of the new eye-candy you can get, it was worth a review. I have this unquenchable need to share and so, if you'd like a great handling little jet with a 2000-mile range and the flexibility to land anywhere, this is a definite keeper!

    I went into the file library at www.flightsim.com to learn that the original model had been uploaded in 2006. Eight years in the world of technology is a lifetime I know, but this really is a great aircraft. "It is very easy to fly, can take off and land everywhere, is very fast and has a long range too. Features include dynamic virtual cockpit; six liveries; reflective textures; opening doors; full moving parts; panel with custom gauges. By Eugene Heyart." It said that the previous version had 3731 downloads so I'm guessing that was for FS2002? This current model has nearly 8000 downloads so several of you likely already have this aircraft in your hangars - but maybe you too have forgotten about it.

    There were some repaints offered by Mike Barnes with this quote, "An overlooked freeware masterwork, one of the few fictional aeroplanes that 'looks right', and is flat out one of the nicest flying freeware amphibians for FS yet made." That quote was from 2010.

    Below are some screen shots and my own, non-professional observations:


    • Because this is an "older" FS model it's not super-detailed which means it's pretty easy to repaint. Having played around with some painting and short-hop flying I figured it was time to get into the numbers. (Photos above, left and center)
    • This aircraft weighs in at 20,000 pounds empty. The fuel capacity is 12,060 pounds leaving just over 5,000 pounds for passengers and their cargo. (I may have to lower the empty weight in the CFG file.) (Photo above, right)
    • Max altitude for this thing is in excess of 50,000 feet! (Photo below, left)


    I loaded up a Pan Am livery (my own) and set in a 2188-mile route down to central Venezuela. I departed Key West at MTOW and climbed easily to 33,000 feet. I read a review recently about a payware E-170 (the E-jets are hands-down my favorite FS rides) and noted that the payware model has the same issues as my AI models in that they struggle above FL290. No such issues with the Stratojet! I was cruising easily at MACH 0.83 which was a ground speed of 485 knots. (Photo above, center)

    I was running pretty low on fuel so I landed up at Simon Bolivar with just a couple hundred pounds of gas left in the tanks. This left me with a range just over 1900 miles. Better call it 1775 depending on reserves and headwinds. (Photo above, right)

    1. asos's Avatar
      asos -
      Thanks Ron,

      I will download it and fly it. Good review.

      I usually thin out by transferring a/c to a folder on another drive inside a folder named HANGARS FSX or HANGARS FS9 and from there to DVD discs named H1, H2, H3, etc... System is simple and I can always recall them to the sim through the copy\paste action. I often zip the transferred a/c folders with 7z, which makes a 200 m b a/c to a 30 mb zip with its high compression ratio. That way more can go into a Dvd disc--3 times more, usually!

    1. blaunarwal's Avatar
      blaunarwal -
      Thanks Ron, a very good idea to clean out things. On the first run, I removed 66 aircraft, 5.05 GB of disk space. A lot of nowadays not working or just poor quality aircraft which I didn't fly for some years are history now.
    1. goodpaster's Avatar
      goodpaster -
      I don't think this was ever made in the real world. I'm a big fan of amphibians and this seems to have missed my notice.
    1. swanny's Avatar
      swanny -
      Nick, Good plan to keep archives.
      I figure if there's really anything I need or want (again) I can download them from flightsim.com (again)
      Yes, too bad this isn't a real aircraft, looks like it'd be a winner!
    1. jochensachs's Avatar
      jochensachs -
      Thanks Ron,
      I downloaded the Stratojet-Albatross and installed it into my FSX/SP2 and it works fine.
      But I had to download the newer textures dated 2010 because the 2006-textures didn't work.
      Flying this aircraft is real fun !!!
      But I have found a problem:
      During the final approach with the "call out" switched ON FSX stopped working with the error message "Creation failed - check if sound file is available" and I have to restart the program.
      I have put the "GaugeSound.dll" into the FSX-main folder.
      Can somebody help me with that?
    1. panther33's Avatar
      panther33 -
      buy a new puter
    1. Flanker251's Avatar
      Flanker251 -
      Hi Ron,
      Good review and nice tips.
      May I know if I can download your Pan AM Albatross livery?
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