• Review: Active Sky 2016

    Active Sky 2016

    Publisher: Hifi Tech

    Review Author:
    Michael Hayward

    Suggested Price:
    $49.99

    Buy Here

    Being a flight simmer who focuses on how the environment looks and feels as well as my aircraft, Active Sky Next has always seemed quite appealing. However, I was unsure of how it would look and perform on my system so it left me in a kind of limbo. Then, quite recently Hifi Tech announced that they were releasing a new version of the package: Active Sky 2016. Fed up of sitting on the fence, I decided to bite the bullet and quickly purchased it.

    In this article, we will take a look at what the software adds to Microsoft Flight Simulator, how it looks visually within the sim, and most importantly if it is worth the $49.99 price tag.

    Active Sky 2016     Active Sky 2016

    Features

    Active Sky 2016 is a weather simulating program that takes METAR data directly from weather stations and airports and inserts it into FSX. It also comes with a built-in flight planner and flight briefing page which allows the user to set up their aircraft and plan their routes based on the real-world weather reports.

    There are five different scenarios the user can choose from, based on real-world events in which the weather played a part. These range from Delta Airlines Flight 191 which crashed short of Dallas/Fort Worth due to a microburst, to spatial disorientation which caused the death of John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife.

    A map is also included which gives the user accurate cloud data displaying where the clouds are in relation to the weather station. This information can also be viewed within the simulator through the use of the 'XGauge' panel. This optional feature places a weather radar into each of your FSX aircraft, but you choose which aircraft this panel is installed into.

    Active Sky 2016     Active Sky 2016

    Download & Install

    Via the FSPilotShop, a ZIP file and product key are supplied. The ZIP file only contains a single item - an installer, which installs the Active Sky software onto your hard drive. IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure you purchase the correct version of the software (FSX, P3D) as it is not cross-compatible.

    Once installed, the software will ask you to install its own software similar to SimConnect called ASConnect 2016. As this additional software is required for the installation, click accept. The base files are then installed into your simulator, in my case FSX.

    Contained within the Active Sky directory, you'll find a folder called 'Documentation' which includes PDF and Word Document versions of the Active Sky API and User Guide.

    The API document explains some of the code behind the simulator and how it works, whilst the User Guide goes into depth about each and every one of the program's features and explains in more detail how the program works.


    7 Comments
    1. matthew007800's Avatar
      matthew007800 -
      great review
    1. scottm's Avatar
      scottm -
      I bought my copy during the current sale, and I have to admit that I am experiencing much fewer performance penalties than the trial version I demoed a few years ago. I am very pleased with it (having no issues running AS2016, Cloud Art, and REX Softclouds altogether).
    1. Mower's Avatar
      Mower -
      Excellent product, even worth my upgrade from ASN.
    1. Euphonist's Avatar
      Euphonist -
      It is just a great product. I do fly with it a while. Fantastic!!
    1. kar54's Avatar
      kar54 -
      AS16 and its companion product, ASCA are quite amazing indeed. Tied in with many publishers such as PMDG and iFly, these programs provide external and WX gauge incorporation that are musts for the serious simmer! I never make a flight without them.
    1. Bob Lomas's Avatar
      Bob Lomas -
      It all seems to point to 'big iron' flying, how does effect the low and slow enthusiasts?
    1. zapilot's Avatar
      zapilot -
      Great review. I needed more info and objective info at that, got it. Think I'll get it.
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