Monday, December 30, 2013

ADX FirstLook: Orbx Fairoaks!

P3D. Digital serenity. If I could come up with a better terminology to best describe the quality and environment Andreas and Heiko has created here, it would still be an understatement. Sure, we are here to fly. But sometimes a scenery comes along that is so good, it is almost just as satisfying to walk around, sit on a bench, listen to the sounds, and watch the world go by. The attention to detail and accuracy is right on par with what I have come to expect from the guys at Orbx over the years and Fairoaks hit's the nail right on the head of what I consider to be the "ideal" GA airfield. Come along with me to an area just outside London and discover a prime destination that is as fun to look at as it is to fly into. We are off to Fairoaks! Bandwidth Warning! Lots of digital photography inside!

And here I trapped you into another ADX FirstLook! Before heading into Fairoaks, I really need to show off the ride that got me there. I recently discovered Inverness and Stornoway by the Sim720 guys. I arrived into Inverness in the lovely Jaibru delivered by the Iris guys and when I was set to depart, I noticed it had been replaced by the brand new Orbx Vans RV-4. Now by heart, I am a huge Vans fan. So much in fact, the BayTower Studios RV-7 is in my top 10 favorite prop aircraft in FS. I recently showed it off at Misha's Vernonia

Thus, being the Vans fan I am, I was looking forward to the release of this bad boy and I will admit... It is far better than I expected it to be. This little toy has a lot to offer and it's loads of fun to fly. Jared really put together an aircraft that is perfect for exploring Orbx sceneries. The big bubble canopy offers great views all around. Take her down to just a couple hundred above, lower that speed a bit and you have a nice VFR sight seeing tool. Crank the power, point that nose up, and you have a sports car with wings!

Jerk the stick to the left, then the right. Go into a barrel roll. I found no matter how I tried to dog it, it responded quickly and with ease. And it looks good too!

Moving in to the interior, we get a look as just how far Jared's modeling and texturing skills have come since the Lancair. The depth in the texture quality really shows and it all comes easy on frames. It's a very non complicated layout making the RV-7 a hop in, start, and fly aircraft. 

Great views all around. I use Track-IR which allows me to make the most of view movement without taking my hands off the controls. As you can see, the RV-7 is most fun to fly at low ALT. But you can take her far above the weather if you wish.

Okay. Not to be disrespectful. I am sure the pilot fellow is modeled after someone important. But I have to be honest, there is just something about the facial modeling that rubbed me the wrong way. A bit scary freaky looking... But a welcome change to the young and hip looking blokes we see in Lionheart and Carenado aircraft... I really like the chick in the BayTower RV-7... The pilot is fully animated. I would like to see a variety of pilots for the plane though.

Okay, enough screwing around up here. Let's find Fairoaks and take some digital photography!
I decided to overfly the airfield to get a look around before coming back down on the opposite side. Can I make one quick complaint? When will Orbx make some European GA AI???

Welcome to Fairoaks folks! As I grabbed the camera and began to get to work, something very odd caught my eye. What is the orange odd looking aircraft across the airfield? Could it be? I think it is! The Razbam Metroliner! I was aware the aircraft had been released but I had not had the opportunity to experience it for myself yet. I quickly made my way across the airfield to see it up close. 

I was a bit late as this aircraft was in final stages for departure. Damn! Too much screwing around in the RV-4. The Metro really looked great!

The first officer gave me a funny look as a made my way around the aircraft. I didn't care. Had to take pictures! Jerome and Captain Hoffen will produce their own discoveries of the Metro on soon ADX. For me though, I am here for a different reason today.

I left the Metro behind and headed out to see the landscape that contains and almost hides this beautiful airfield.
Hanging out under the 06 approach along one of the many unnamed dirt roads surrounding the airfield. Fairoaks is a very quiet and lovely place to just sit and watch the animals. I am very impressed with how realistic the movements are with the creature flow as well. It's much better to just leave this screen up on the monitor in lieu of a screensaver. With the nature sounds going and clouds passing over, it's very calming to leave the scene alive in the background. Wow has FS come a long way. Try it! Who says the sim has to be just for flying?

Now back on the airfield, we get a look at some very crisp ground textures and dense trees. It is easy to overlook this airport on the ground. It's very well hidden.
Love the photoreal building texture work.;

A nice quiet place to hang out and spot. I would do so myself if Orbx would just make a UK AI package. (Second hint!)

Love the fence work and digital shrubbery! Both are always a big deal for me.

Lots of people and static flows.

A very typical London suburbesque setting. I'm making up words again...

No naked ladies on the screens? Lol! Sorry to bring that back up John... couldn't help it.
A great view of the airfield from the tower.
Really respect the texture work. Lots of depth and detail.

A view along Chertsey Rd. The airfield looks great. Very well detailed. I haven't seen a UK airfield this detailed since Russ White's Elstree. In other words, a huge compliment to the developers! 

Wrapping up my quick photoshoot of Fairoaks, I recalled flying over a very distinct building just south east of the airfield. Being a huge fan of architecture and Norman Foster, I was told I needed to head over and explore the nearby McLaren Technology Centre.

Two out of the ten of my favorite buildings in the world developed by Norman Foster. They include the nearby 30 St Mary Axe in the City of London and Hearst Tower in New York. Both I have visited several times.

Now if you are into cars and Top Gear like me, then you are already familiar with McLaren and what they are all about. This was 2 pluses for me. One of my favorite architects and car technology manufacturers associated with the same building made this part of the scenery a real plus for me. The boys did a great job capturing it all in the sim. 

Ooh!! Got a nice toy out front!
Love the way the parking lot was modeled. Well done here. After a couple hours hanging out, I decided to head back to the airport. Once back on the airfield, I noticed something that really caught my eye. Could it be?
The recently released Bell 407 by MilViz! Alabeo did a terrific job with their first helicopter this year and MilViz's is even better. I just need to get a hold of Nemeth's latest toy. Just sitting there on the pad, on a visual scale, it's easily one of the very best looking helicopters I have ever seen. But by all means, see for yourself. I will be taking 407 up myself in a separate review coming soon!

The visuals are amazing and details superb!

It seems MilViz keeps raising it's own bar further and further with each release! I am very proud of this team. And the same can be said about Orbx and it's ever growing team of developers. For Fairoaks, I just couldn't come up with anything I did not like about the scenery. Everything was done so perfectly and with ease on framerates. Hopefully, I was able to do this scenery some justice for you to consider adding it to your own collection of destinations. Fairoaks is a must have for all VFR enthusiasts! Great job to Andreas and Heiko.

Discover Fairoaks and all it has to offer here:

The Vans RV-4 here:

The Vans RV-7 here:

The Metroliner here:

And the B407 here:

This wraps another edition of ADX FirstLook!

Happy Flighting!
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