AviatorCast Episode 55: Jeroen Doorman - Flight Sim Video | Tweaking | Hardware | FSX | Prepar3D | X-Plane


Today’s Flight Plan

Join us as we speak to Jeroen Doorman. Jeroen specializes in creating stunning videos in flight simulator. These videos are not only cool to watch, but he’s not picked it up as a profession, creating videos for add-on companies.

In this discussion we also talk about how to get stellar visuals in the simulator through buying the right hardware, tweaking, software, choosing the correct simulator, and more.

For you out there looking to improve your simulator visually, or those looking to get their first simulator, this episode is for you.

Useful Links

Jeroen’s Youtube Channel
Jeroen’s FlightSimGlobal
Jeroen’s Facebook Page
FSX Configuration

RealAir Turbine Duke V2
Carenado Citation II
PMDG 747 V2
PMDG 737 SP1d
Charlotte Airport


Jeroen Doorman

Thanks for joining us, Jeroen. Your videos are totally awesome! Keep up the great work.


Major thanks to the amazing Angle of Attack Crew for all their hard work over the years. Our team works incredibly hard, and they’re very passionate about what they do.

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Tweaks, hardware, software and simulators. This is AviatorCast episode 55!

Calling all aviators, pilots, flight sim enthusiasts and aviation lovers, you’ve landed at AviatorCast! Join us weekly in our efforts to become better masters of the air through interviews, refreshers, lessons, training topics, simulator set-up, hangar talk, news and more! Buckle up and prepare yourself for this week’s episode of AviatorCast! Preflight complete, fuel on board and flight plan filed. Let’s kick the tires and light the fires!

Here’s your humble host, Chris Palmer!

Chris: Welcome, welcome, welcome aviators. You’ve landed at AviatorCast. My name is Chris Palmer. Clear blue or rainy IMC, I love to fly in the land above solid earth. The machines, the technology, the psychology, knowledge and more makes flying a complex and complete part of what makes me tick. I caught the flying bug long ago. I’m not even trying to seek a cure. The only prescription is more airplane.

So thank you for joining us on this, the 55th episode of AviatorCast. I’m your host, Chris Palmer, the founder and owner of Angle of Attack, and we are bringing you this podcast today. AviatorCast is weekly podcast where we talk about flight simulation topics, flight training topics. We bring in great interviews with influential and inspirational people from the aviation industry, whether that be actual aviators, airline pilots, authors, people of that nature, or simulation topics and interviews there. So, lots of different information to get here for your flight training needs and for general staying in the game in aviation and getting a weekly dose of some information and inspiration that will help you along the way.

So on today’s episode, we have Jeroen Doorman. Jeroen is from the Netherlands. He is a flight simulation guy. Jeroen talks about his work with doing flight simulation videos. He has a very popular YouTube channel. This guy does a fantastic job in making flight simulation videos. He’s even hired by many of the software developers out there to create promotional videos for them. So we talked about that work that he does. We also talked about creating awesome visuals in the simulator because obviously with the sort of work that he does, he has to do that sort of thing. It has to look absolutely fantastic. We talked about what hardware to buy for your simulator. We talked about what simulator to actually use between FSX, Prepar3D and X-Plane. We talked about tips for tweaking your simulator and we also get into getting your first simulator. So a lot of different topics there and some others in between. It will be a really interesting topic there with Jeroen so I’m looking forward to that.

Before we get into that, we have some news for this week. So we are going to get into the flight sim and the flight training news separately, so we go for that.

Now, flight simulation industry news…

Chris: Now, for the news items for flight simulation. First off we have the RealAir Turbine Duke Version 2 that has been released. This is an upgraded version. We’ve got better sounds, better flight dynamics. We’ve got the ability to introduce the GTN-750 or 650 into the cockpit, so some great GPS there. Overall, what was already a great platform with the RealAir Turbine Duke Version 1 is now Version 2. Lots of great upgrades to check out there.

We’ve also got the Carenado Citation II that has been released. Carenado makes great products and that will obviously be a great addition to their library of amazing airplanes. Definitely an older panel there on that Citation but something worth looking into still.

A couple news items from PNDG. First off, this came at the end of December. The 747 Version 2 screenshots and a little bit of information about the development process there. Some interesting stuff to see. We all love the 747. It’s a beautiful airplane and PNDG is going to do a fantastic job modeling it. So they’ve started to talk more about the process because that will be the next product or full product, new product that they release, the 747 Version 2.

They also released a news item about the 737 Service Pack 1D being released soon coming up that will have weather radar integration like you saw in the 777 and some other improvements, and they also came out and started to talk about their Prepar3D updates that they will be doing for their aircraft or going to be coming out with the 777 first, both the 200 and the 300, and then they also talked about the future of that, a little bit about pricing and also a lot about the rights to that sort of thing. So obviously with Prepar3D, we’re looking at more of a professional platform and they talked about all of those items there.

Also a couple other updates, just very short. ImagineSim continues to update their library and they recently released the Charlotte Airport for Prepar3D version II and also there’s been an Accusim update. So we talked to Scott Gentile a while back. He is the CEO or rather the headguy there at A2A Simulations and he will essentially, this update will essentially update all of your Accusim products so basically all of their airplanes. This is a core Accusim update, so make sure to check that out.

So that is it for the flight simulation news for this week.

Now, flight training news…

Chris: Just one news item in training news. So a lot of you have already seen this, but this last week we had quite an event that happened that was very interesting to see, and that is a Cirrus pilot who ditched his brand new Cirrus SR-22 in the Pacific Ocean on a ferry flight from California to Hawaii. He almost made it to Hawaii, he’s about 250 miles short, and he had to ditch in the ocean. Now, this isn’t the first time that an aircraft has been ditched in the ocean. It’s not the first time that the Cirrus CAPS System has been used, in other words, their parachute system, their ballistic parachute system. But the interesting thing about this time is that we actually got to see the entire process take place in the wild on video.

So this guy had the time to call up the coast guard. They were there circling around him in a C-130, filming the entire event. You basically see him run out of fuel. You see the propellers spit to a stop, and then he eventually pulls the parachute several seconds later and we get to watch the entire driftdown process all the way to touchdown on the water. And he gets out, the waves are crushing there on the airplane and he gets out and jumps in the life raft, and there is a nearby crew ship that was sent to help him out and rescue him. Lots of cool information coming from that and it just goes to show that great decision-making and great planning can help you in an event like that and huge kudos to Cirrus and congratulations to them for a successful deployment of their already stellar system that has proven lifesaving many times before but in this very public event, being able to see that happen is just really, really cool to see. So if you guys haven’t seen that, go ahead and head over to FlyAOAmedia.com. There is a link there, a blog post about this event and it’s pretty interesting to see. It shows the video there. So go ahead and check that out. That’s it for the flight training news this week. There will be more coming up soon.

So now let’s get into hangar talk with Jeroen Doorman.

Now, a special hangar talk segment…

Chris: Alright everybody, we are honored to have a special guest with us today. Jeroen Doorman, how you doing man?

Jeroen: I’m fine. How are you Chris?

Chris: Great.

Jeroen: Great to be in this show.

Chris: Yeah. Thanks for coming on the show. So a few seconds ago, I said “Hey, how do I pronounce
your name?” and you said “You want the Dutch?” So how do you pronounce it in Dutch?

Jeroen: Alright. If you pronounce it in Dutch, it’s going to be . It’s a typical Dutch name so it’s hard for people from the other side of the pond to pronounce it.

Chris: Yeah. I’m one of those for sure.

Jeroen: Absolutely. So don’t worry.

Chris: Right on. So tell us a little bit about what you do. This is going to be largely a flight simulation show because you are heavily involved in flight simulation. So give people a rundown of what it is that you specialize in.

Jeroen: Well, it’s pretty simple. My specialization is in creating videos. I’ve been doing this for the past eight years now, maybe nine. But the professional part started about three to four years ago when Aerosoft contacted me and asked me to do some promotional videos. Back then, I wasn’t as experienced as I am right now. It took a couple of years to get where I’m at but that’s pretty much it. And next to that, we run a website from FlightSim Global which provides readings, news and video services and that has been for the last two years.

Chris: Great. So from professional you obviously mean that you kind of started off as, let me call it a flight simulation YouTube star. A lot of people really liked your flight simulation videos. And then you got contacted by some add-on makers, some software makers that came in and said “Hey, make our stuff look great on screen and make some promotional videos for us,” right?

Jeroen: Well, that’s pretty much how it started out. Back in 2006 when FSX was released as I recall it, I took the leap and bought it but my experience with flying wasn’t that good so taking off was easy but landing the plane was a total different thing and a challenge for me. So that took me like two years after I put it on the side next to my FS-9. So back in 2009, I picked it back up and started learning myself how to land the plane, how to use the ILS, get more knowledge of the things to do in order to get the plane back on the ground without crashing.

I think it was 2011. I was doing this as a hobby, just creating. No promotional videos, just doing stuff, and that’s the moment that a company saw my work and was like “Would you like to create something for us which is going to be on our website?” And who am I to say “Well, I’m not going to do that.” So that’s pretty much where it started.

Chris: Even you and I at one time were thinking about working together. So you obviously do really great work.

Jeroen: Absolutely.

Chris: So yeah, great stuff. And that kind of brings us to the first question we ask everybody kind of outside of what you’re doing now and what makes you kind of unique and special, and that is how did you fall in love with aviation? You’re not a pilot but that doesn’t mean that you don’t absolutely love it, so tell us about that.

Jeroen: Well, when I was a little boy, I always dreamed I could fly.

Chris: Every boy does.

Jeroen: Every boy does. From when I was like five years old, each year I went to the US, to the Hawaiian Islands, and pretty much dropping in contact with a lot of different planes. And back then, before the attacks, you can go into the cockpit during the flight and just stay there for five to 10 minutes and take a look around and I was always impressed by the amount of buttons that were over there and just back then three people sitting in the 747 and bringing up plane from A to B. So that grew my interest in my planes. Back then, we didn’t have the camera recorders in order to footage everything so I never did that. But back in 2006 when I saw a video from somebody on YouTube, that brought my attention to flight simulation and got my interest into making videos.

Chris: Great.

Jeroen: The amount of planes I’ve been on in the past is from a 747 to a small Cessna or an old double decker. I don’t know how they call that. So I have seen a lot of different planes and everytime I see one flying in the air, I’m just looking at it and I think it’s just amazing that that thing goes up and it comes back down considering the amount of weight it has. So I have a large interest in the fact that it’s something unique. People aren’t made to be in the ground and we’re just going into a big iron thing and going up in the air and going somewhere else and we land back on the ground and we get out. That’s pretty much where my passion for aviation

Chris: It is very fascinating. I think it’s something that captures all of us and the great thing about whether it’s aviation as a whole or even if you’re talking about simulation, there’s obviously so much knowledge to be learned between the two that it seems to always keep things interesting. You speaking about your particular case with having this passion and going to do videos and things like that and then having to learn how to do things like the ILS and landing and things like that in the simulator. It’s one of those hobbies. Obviously for you it’s more professional than just a hobby but it’s one of those hobbies that is really immersive and you’re continually learning a lot of things, so that definitely keeps it dynamic.

Jeroen: Well the fun thing I find is that it began with a passion for aviation and then I discovered flight sim and I was like “Well, if I can have that passion, I can just figure out how to fly a plane.” But that was a bit more difficult than I thought. It started out as a hobby to create the videos and it gave some extra professionalism to it afterwards. So it’s a good combination. And I think you have to have passion for something in order to do the other.

Chris: Yeah, definitely. I think our stories are actually very similar in how we got started professionally in the simulation market because I was much in the same space where I was kind of a video guy and I had to do video from high school where I did football highlight reels and volleyball, basketball, all that sort of thing, did a lot of it and spent hundreds and hundreds of hours kind of honing my skills there. And then obviously I’m an aviation nut so I went to college and did the aviation thing and then later on got heavily into flying simulation with the level D 767 so I started to make cool make videos just for fun because I wanted to do it. And then one thing led to another and I ended up doing it professionally so kind of funny how that works.

Jeroen: Yeah. And what I found interesting as well is the editing part because a friend of mind creates trailers from his own vision and I saw that and I was like “I want to edit like that as well.” But I didn’t have any knowledge on how to do that so that had to be created by myself as well. So it was a complete learning process from learning the basics from a plane, learning the editing, switching to different editing software which is more professional, and even today I’m still learning stuff with that so it’s an ongoing process of learning.

Chris: So takes us through a typical episode or a typical YouTube video that you put up or whatever or a trailer. Take us through how that is actually created, and I don’t think you’re going to be giving away any trade secrets here and if you are, maybe you can throw in a wrench or two but tell us about that.

Jeroen: Yeah. We’re not going to give the complete recipe. But you start out with the software. You get the software. Sometimes it’s in beta, sometimes it’s already released. You add that to the flight sim and first of all, you need to check if there are any big issues. So after checking that and if everything’s fine, then I can just go ahead and get the plane’s landing, taxiing, doing the stuff I need to do in order to get the planes in the video which takes up some amount of time because I like to get it interesting in order to create my own traffic with different add-on planes which is a challenge because different PNDG planes will conflict with each other when you’re not attached to the plane. When that all is done, I need to start searching for music. This is a big challenge each and everytime because finding a song that you have a certain click with isn’t going from listening to one song and then it’s done. It’s a rare case which happens every now and then but most of the times I listen to a hundred to 200 songs before I even think about picking one.

Chris: Right. I know how that goes.

Jeroen: And that’s something else. And then when that’s done, you have to start filming the footage that you created with FS recorder, a very handy tool which I use in order to… It’s like a VCR. You record that and then you play it back and then you start recording with reps. And after that, if I got way too much footage, I’ll start editing that in the Sony Vegas and create something. Sometimes I have a plane, sometimes I just do something and the plan comes while I’m editing.

Chris: Right. Yeah, so gathering just a bunch of cool shots of that airplane as a focus or the scenery as a focus or whatever it is, getting a variety of different angles and shots and situations kind of shows that area or that object in an immersive way, so I’d imagine that’s kind of what you do.

Jeroen: And then after, I think it depends on the video. If you take up the total amount of time with filming and flying and editing, it can be a total of two days as in 48 hours.

Chris: Yeah. That’s a lot of work.

Jeroen: That’s a lot of work.

Chris: It’s an intensive process. I don’t think people realize how much goes into making a great video but if you ever go and try, good luck.

Jeroen: And the thing is, it’s next to my job. I have a regular day job from 9 to 5 so if I’m going to do this, it’s out of that time. And when I come home, I have been sitting in front of the computer screen all day and sometimes I’m just like “I’m not gonna sit in front of that screen anymore. I wanna see some television or just do nothing or whatever.”

Chris: Yeah, do something useful and immersive. I think a lot of people are like that these days. I wouldn’t be surprised if cable and satellite companies are seeing a huge decline in subscribers just because people have Netflix or they have this hobby or that hobby. I’d imagine that’s the case.

Jeroen: I’d imagine as well.

Chris: So let’s talk a little bit about what you used as, I guess kind of getting into the tweaking and the hardware and the visuals thing because obviously, as a guy that makes videos, you’ve got to have top notch visuals at all time. And it doesn’t only have to look great because you can make a simulator look great and it will be a slideshow so also getting decent frame rates. So let’s start to get into some of those subjects. First off, what is your stance on tweaking? Are you constantly tweaking or do you kind of tweak your machine and leave it alone. What’s your stance there?

Jeroen: I just recently installed FSX again because I had some issues. Who hasn’t? After installing it, I go to a website called Venetubo. You pretty much add your CFG file in there and it puts in the most known tweaks so that you can use that in order to have a smoother experience with FSX. But the CFG file only is not enough so you have to overclock yourself. The higher the clock, the better the frames. I’m not constantly tweaking the CFG file because you just put it in once and pretty much that settle then and you can go ahead and go to other things.

There are a lot of different things as in when you have Rex, when you take off or you land, there’s a certain height that you have a glitch, that you see the clouds shimmering or popping in or popping away real quick. It only happens once. Even that can be fixed by clearing your shaders, removing those folders. So in order to get all that stuff first done, you can later on experience a good FPS inside FSX. And people are always asking “What’s your FPS?” Well, it depends. It depends on what airport you are on and what settings you are on. If you put your sliders to the right, you’re going to have issues. It’s going to be s stutter paradise.

Chris: You got to find the balance.

Jeroen: You got to find the balance, and FSX is really, it seem that when you got to heat throw, you have to turn down the sliders. When you go to a small airport like let’s say something from Orbx over in Australia, you can go further up, but even then you can have issues.

Chris: Right. Because their stuff is so detailed.

Jeroen: Exactly. And the more you put up to the right, the more problems you’re going to experience. So getting good hardware is something that is important as well. I think about six months ago, I bought myself a new computer. With the new knowledge I have right now, going one system or two systems back, this is the best I’ve bought so far. It’s not the best of the best as in getting the best CDU or the best GPU, but it’s decent enough to enjoy FSX the way you need to enjoy it because when I’m in a virtual cockpit approaching heat throw, I don’t want to see 15 or 10 frames, I want to see the 25 to 35 frames a second with some traffic and some clouds.

So it’s really important to know what you’re going to buy before you’re going to buy it. And tweaking FSX, it’s the most simple thing to do if you know where to go and one of those websites, I don’t know how many people know of that but it’s Venetubo and I don’t know if you’ve even heard of it.

Chris: Yeah. I actually used that myself because it is such a quick way to get things done, then I’ll make sure to put that in the show notes for you people out there because it basically reads your system and what you need and then automatically inputs the codes into the CFG or the configuration file for FSX that you will need that will kind of do the best things possible. Yeah, it’s a really good tool. I know that a lot of the heavy tweakers out there, they kind of want to do everything manually you know? And I’m not really of that camp because I feel like I’m not in this hobby to tweak the simulator. I’m in this hobby to fly the simulator.

And interestingly enough, there are the two different demographics within flight simulation. There are people that just like to upgrade their hardware and their simulator hardware meaning like panels and controls and things like that and they hardly ever actually fly in the simulator. It’s more just kind of a mechanical thing if you will or a software thing rather than a flying thing. I’m of the camp that I want to set up my simulator, and I don’t want to touch it. I want it to be ready to go for when I load it up and want to fly somewhere and do something and get the most maximum use out of it. And I think for all of our listeners, maybe not all of them but for the vast majority, that’s what people want especially if you are a real aviator and you’re using your home-based simulator as a supplement to your training and gaining better proficiency and staying sharp and things like that. You definitely want a simulator that you can kind of just load up and go and be good to go and so even along those lines, I often even suggest that people use X-Plane in that sense if they aren’t planning on creating a lot of the top notch best visuals and that sort of thing that go with X-Plane because it does fly pretty realistically and they can just kind of load up and go.

Jeroen: And it’s 64-bit.

Chris: Yeah.

Jeroen: And it’s a 64-bit version. I do like to add to that because I’m just mainly a video creator. I mean, I have a passion for aviation and I’m always surprised about the plane taking off and landing and everything has my interest but I don’t fly from A to B. I’m not a pilot that sits in front of his computer, takes off from Amsterdam and flies through Saint Martin and lands over there. That’s not my business as in doing that because I don’t have the knowledge to be quite honest on how to program the FMC. And I think that’s the difference because a lot of developers and other people say “Don’t tweak your CFG because it’s not good and it can create problems when you add more add-ons to FSX.” Myself, I don’t have that experience because I just add the scenery I’m going to use and the tweaks are already there and I’m don’t experience any problems but some people say that you’ll get problems by tweaking the CGG file.

Chris: If you’re not tweaking your CFG file, then you’re living in 2005. You’ve got to tweak it a little bit.

Jeroen: Yeah. Some stuff you got to change. Even nowadays with for instance the Aerosoft Airbus X, the newest versions, you have to get the high mem fix in your CFG file in order to get it to work. And I’m surprised about the amount of people that when I’m looking at forums don’t know that they have to do that in order to get it to work the way it’s supposed to work.

Chris: Right. So here’s a public service announcement for all you listeners. Configure your CFG file.

Jeroen: Or stay in the past.

Chris: Or stay in the past, if you really want to do that. And we’ll put a link to that in the show because that is a very simple place to go and configure it. So for those of you out there that are kind of wondering what the heck we’re talking about and I know I kind of touched on it earlier but you get a base simulator so you get FSX or you get FSX Steam, I’m not sure to what extent people are really into tweaking Prepar3D yet but there’s essentially a file that comes with the simulator and it’s called a config file. It’s a .cfg extension on the file.

What this is is it’s pretty basic code that essentially talks to the computer or to the program and says “Do this” or “don’t do that” or “Use this many CPUs” or “Use this amount of resolution on this.” And although you can’t tweak some of those things dynamically through the user interface right in the simulator, some of them have to be done manually outside the simulator to get the best performance. So the tool that Jeroen and I are talking about is basically this website where you upload your config file and it does pretty much of the tweaks for you. You put that back in the older, load up your simulator and you should see a better experience essentially.

Jeroen: Do make sure that you back it up before you even replace it and what I also understand is that if you do forget to back it up, you can just like remove the tweak file and start up FSX and FSX will create a new CFG folder.

Chris: Yeah. I’ve done that before. If everything goes wrong, don’t reinstall everything. Just delete the configuration file and then it will automatically rebuild a default one, so yeah.

Jeroen: And they are good to go.

Chris: Yep. And then you’re good to go from there. Alright, so we talked about your video work and what you do there. We talked a little bit about the, I guess the software end or tweaking. Let’s talk a little bit more about hardware. You said you recently got a new computer. What types of things would, say that I’m going to get a new flight simulation PC, I want to set up a flight simulator, what sort of things do I need to look out for? What sort of nice things do I need to have in the simulator? What doesn’t matter as much? Talk a little bit about this.

Jeroen: It all comes down to the money you have, how much are you going to spend on the system. If you have a large budget, I would go for the newest stuff. Make sure that you buy the correct CPU. Do some research on most forums. They have a hardware section where you can ask questions or even look up questions that are asked to see what the answers are. Make sure that if you buy a CPU… In my experience, it should be an Intel CPU and don’t go for an AMV because yeah, I don’t know exactly why but as far as I know, Intel is better. I have had an AMD video card and I was absolutely not pleased with the visuals. Once you have that Intel Core i7, make sure that you can overclock it, so always buy an Core i7 with the K in it. If you don’t buy it with the K, the overclock is going to be less.

Chris: Yeah. The K versions are overclockable. And by the way, CPU is also known as a processor which a lot of people call it.

Jeroen: Yeah. Then when you’re going to go overclock, make sure that you have the right cooling, Myself, I went for the Corsair Series, an H100i. It’s a closed system and it works perfect for me.

Chris: Yeah. And it’s out of the box too so you’re not dealing with your own liquid or anything like that. That’s what I use. And again, I’m of the mindset to do everything as easy as possible and kind of, cause although I’m a mechanical guy, I grew up building Legos, I think we all did, which by the way are Dutch, right? Isn’t Lego a Dutch company?

Jeroen: Yeah, I think it is.

Chris: Anyway, random fact there. I’ve been able to build my own computers. I’m pretty tech-savvy that way. But when it comes to overclocking and doing the liquid cooling, I try to keep things pretty simple. I overclock, I definitely do, and then with the Corsair stuff like you mentioned, it’s a lot more simple because you don’t have to deal with your own liquid or tubing or anything. It’s all just like a closed system.

Jeroen: Exactly. And it doesn’t need to be refilled or anything like that.

Chris: Yeah. Just out of the box, all good to go.

Jeroen: Plug and play.

Chris: Exactly.

Jeroen: Then you get down to the motherboard which you can go always. If you’re going to go and look up these days, you have websites which specialize in building flight sim computers.

Chris: They charge though. They definitely charge for their services.

Jeroen: Yeah. Absolutely. When I looked at the prices they charge for getting your flight sim computer, it’s just like I’m looking at those prices and those are dollars and I’m like “That’s way too much.”

Chris: Would you say it’s double the price generally of what it takes to build it yourself?

Jeroen: Well, to start out, I have an Alienware that was my first game computer and I made a lot of mistakes. I could like modify some stuff when I was ordering it but not a lot. And when I looked at the total price and looked back at that compared to what I have now, I paid way too much. You pay for the brand. Alienware, in the end it’s Dell but it’s a brand name, so you’re paying for the name. Then the next one I bought was prebuilt but it was a system from just a company that built system. It’s not specialized in flight sim computers. Paid way too much when I looked back, because the system I bought now was from a more professional bunch of guys. Those guys are IT guys. They work in the computer business so they know what they’re talking about. And I pretty much selected the stuff that I want knowing what will be best for flight sim.

And I paid not too much. I paid way less than what I paid in the past. And of course, hardware gets cheaper by the day and if you buy the newest stuff, you will pay the grand price but considering that you will buy a system, don’t let it come from a shop that specializes in building it for a flight sim. Select your own stuff and if you have the knowledge, build it yourself because that will save you an enormous amount of money.

Chris: And there’s a tradeoff here right? So if you want to come a mostly headache-free situation and you just want a simulator and you have the money to go out and buy it, then it actually is nice to just have someone take care of everything for you because there is a lot of knowledge and information that you have to gain to be able to your own PC, to do things like overclocking. I’m sure there were some people listening on the show today that kind of wonder what the heck liquid cooling was and what even overclocking was, and these are common things that happen with these PCs now.

So there is the argument too that you go out and you actually just buy the simulator if you have the money, and you also brought up some good points in that you don’t have to buy the latest and greatest stuff. If you buy the latest and greatest stuff, it’s obviously going to be really expensive, that’s how it always is and in the industry, whether that’s shoes or computers or airplanes or paper, whatever it is, you’re going to pay a premium for the newest stuff.

And hardware these days that’s a couple years old, it actually runs the simulator pretty well and so that’s the nice thing about FSX now, it’s kind of a mature platform, is it’s kind of, the hardware has caught up to being capable of producing the visuals and the software developers, that being PNDG who make airliners, Orbx who makes sceneries, some of these guys that do third-party scenery products for the simulator, they are very familiar with the platform now too so they have it optimized really well.

So anyway, you can get into a very nice flight simulation PC that’s a couple years old, basically the hardware is a couple years old, and you can build it yourself or someone else can do it or whatever. Lots of different options.

Jeroen: Absolutely. And if you have the knowledge of the stuff that you want for a computer and you want to do it yourself, then it’s always something you can do. And then the motherboard I bought was one of the newest or at least that wasn’t two or three years old but still was available. The amount of memory I have, 16 gigabytes, useless for FSX because it doesn’t use more than I think 3.8 or 4 gigabytes of memory. But for me, when I’m video editing, it’s really useful because if you don’t have that, you’ll get a stutterfest on your computer when you’re rendering something out.

The speed of the memory does matter as far as I know. Mine is currently at 1866 megahertz. You can go higher but I don’t know if that’s going to be any benefits for the sim. What I did do is I bought up a dedicated FSX SSD. I don’t know if that actually makes a difference in running it smoother but it does booth up FSX a lot faster than it does on a regular…

Chris: And that’s hard drive by the way. An SSD is a solid state drive.

Jeroen: Absolutely. And that’s completely dedicated to FSX and I have another one running my operating system on and then I have some external and internal hard drives just for backup and the software. The video card, you can get like the GTX-980 I think is the latest with 4 gigabytes if I’m saying that correct, but that’s also the most expensive card so I went for a 760. A good Corsair power supply from 850 watt and that’s all combined together and put into the Corsair card by a 500R which makes it look pretty good and it runs the flight sim even better than it did on my previous system.

Chris: Great.

Jeroen: And I began Flight Simulator X back in 2006-2007.

Chris: Yeah, right when FSX came out at least. Sounds like you’re on FS-9 but.

Jeroen: Yeah. I was on FS-9 and then I saw FSX and I bought that. And I played it on a really standard computer back then and you don’t want to know how that went down. It was terrible. And it still stands here because I have a lot of stuff on there, old email and some files, and I think it has two gigabytes of memory in there.

Chris: Oh my gosh. That’s hard to believe.

Jeroen: Yeah. Exactly. If I look to the left, I see the new computer in the right and the difference is so huge compared to what you can buy these days.

Chris: Okay. So this is just a little side joke and I’ll try to find this picture to put it on the show notes so you guys can see it too. But I saw this image the other day and it’s this huge cargo entertainer and they’re loading it in a 747 I think kind of in the back. They had that big cargo door open in the back and they’re loading this huge cargo container in there. And it was 5 megabytes. It was like this 5 megabytes storage space. It was literally this part of the computer that they are putting into the 747 but it was put it in meters for your term. It was like 5 meters by 5 meters square you know. It’s crazy.

Jeroen: And that was a computer part.

Chris: Yeah. It was a computer part, 5 megabytes. And here we are running around with thumb drives now that are probably, I don’t know, they’re probably getting up to 64 or 128 I’m sure, some of them.

Jeroen: Exactly. Or you go into your car and the car drives you to your work.

Chris: Well have you seen the Tesla cars that do that now, the autopilot?

Jeroen: Yeah. I think they’re going to test that stuff over here in the Netherlands.

Chris: Yeah. It’s pretty cool. It’s getting crazy. Who knows what’s going to happen in aviation. I mean, we’re seeing some of it…

Jeroen: Oh we have Prepar3D.

Chris: Yeah.

Jeroen: And that’s I think in some way the future of FSX.

Chris: I agree definitely. Tell us about that. How much have you played with that? Actually, before we get to that, let’s first kind of finish off the hardware thing and emphasize kind of the three most important components of that hardware thing that if you’re going to splurge and spend money on, you spend money on those things because they’re good for the simulator basically. So what would those three things be?

Jeroen: The first thing would be the processor. Don’t hold back on that but you can go for a Core i7 26 or 2700K which is good enough these days to run FSX on, and it’s decent price. So, good cooling and that’s going to be a hard one. I would go for a good memory.

Chris: Really? You wouldn’t go for the video card?

Jeroen: The video card has to be well… Yeah. The video card, that’s the problem. For me, when I look at it, I wouldn’t go and pick three things. I would go and pick all the things that need to be in there.

Chris: Yeah, I know. It’s hard.

Jeroen: It’s hard to pick. Yeah. If you really have to pick three, then I would go for the video card because that’s important as well.

Chris: Alright. It’s a tough one because obviously, I mean was surprised by you picking the cooling one but the thing that makes sense there is that you’re pushing that processor beyond what its base clockspeed is. So in other words, for you people that aren’t familiar with that information is you can increase the processor output by 30 or 50 or if it gets really extreme, some people can do it by like 100% but that’s pretty rare. You’d have to really know your stuff to be able to do something like that. But anyway, if you can get 25 or 30% more performance out of your processor, that’s a huge increase in computing power. And when you’re doing that, you’re pushing more voltage essentially into the processor from what I understand. As such, that processor is heating up more and then you need a cooling system that can cool it down quicker.

Jeroen: And for those that don’t know how it works, if they do overclock, it doesn’t mean that your computer is constantly running at that clockspeed. It will only start working at that speed when it’s needed, so when you’re going to play FSX, eventually it’s going to go up so then the cooling is very important.

Chris: Yeah. So do it dynamically when it’s burdened or whatever. Alright, so we are going to talk about Prepar3D. So how much are you getting into Prepar3D these days?

Jeroen: Well, I just installed it yesterday again. I didn’t bought the V1 version because reading all the feedback and complains. It wasn’t really a leap forward other than they did change some stuff. Then V2 came out and I was like “Ah, this is maybe a bit more interesting.” And I think waited when it got to 2.2 or 2.3, I don’t know, I don’t remember, but when they got the shadows in the clouds and all the other stuff that made it look better, that was for me that I thought “Okay, I’m going to buy this.” I bought it, I installed it, and I didn’t see a significant change as in performance once, but I did like the visuals. I do like the shadows, the fact that they implemented the DX-11 instead of DX-9 or DX-10, which makes it look better. I think when they end released the 64-bit version, it probably is going to be the future if you want to stick with FSX because that’s pretty much what it is. For me, Prepar3D is FSX on steroids.

Chris: Yeah, definitely. So, for those of you that aren’t familiar, FSX is a term that you’ve heard about a lot. It’s Flight Simulator X or 10. It’s the 10th version of Microsoft Flight Simulator. However, Lockheed Martin essentially bought the rights to the simulator. Not exclusive rights but they basically bought the rights to be able to use the simulator and write their own codes. So they’ve taken what was FSX and they’re now developing it even more to do great and new things and it’s modern and it’s taking advantage of hardware to a greater extent.

You know, a lot of complains that us really in-depth flight sim nerds have is that FSX was terrible on hardware. It didn’t jive well with the latest and greatest and that’s because a lot of the code behind the scenes was code from years and years back and just kind of wasn’t redone by Microsoft in the correct way. So a couple things that happened, there’s the Lockheed Martin which is taking the software forward and doing great things with it, and then more recently is Dovetail games actually bought the rights to Flight Simulator. So it’s no longer Microsoft’s anymore. It is fully outside of their brand and would you say that’s a good thing Jeroen?

Jeroen: I don’t know. I actually thought that Lockheed Martin bought those rights because they were developing the platform further. But it seems that Dovetail bought it. And I’m not sure if it’s going to be a good idea because I don’t know which way they’re going to head. They already announce as far as I know that they’re going to release some DLCs but that right away set me on a way of thinking that we already have the DLCs, they are just not compatible at this moment with sim because the developers have to do something so that their files that you are installing are directed to the correct folders. I don’t know. If they make it better, if they’re going to improve it which they mentioned are not going to do because they’re not going to develop the platform any further. I would rather have seen Lockheed Martin buy the full rights to FSX.

Chris: Yeah. And this gets into politics and stuff because Lockheed Martin also has kind of a different pricing structure. You can get an academic version, a professional version. I don’t know if you can get an educator version. Anyway, there are all these different versions and people are a little bit confused about that too. Whereas with kind of just the gaming direction, it’s more straightforward. So really I mean, kind of what it’s boiling down to for me is it seems like Prepar3D is going the professional direction where you can use it for education and you can actually use it as a commercial outfit. And then Dovetail has taken it as kind of the gaming market and they’re using it for gaming still.

Jeroen: Absolutely. And they’re doing wonderful stuff because they brought back the online play for multiplayer. They fixed a couple of things which are now standard when you install it direct from Steam as the high mem fix and other little tweaks that you do when you got the website which we’ve mentioned earlier. That’s pretty good, and they’re attracting a new kind of gamers simulator fans, whatever you want to call it.

Chris: Yeah, definitely. It puts the simulator back out there on the market especially in such an easy place like Steam where anyone can really download it from there and be good to go. It’s really helpful.

Jeroen: Absolutely. And that’s the same thing with Prepar3D. Because of the confusion which license you should buy, it always kept me away from actually buying it because I was confused as well. Then when I figured it out, I thought “Well, I’m going to buy the 60-dollar version because that’s the thing I’m going to use.

Chris: Right, exactly. And they have some language there and you kind of self-qualify for what you will use.

Jeroen: Exactly. But then when I’m looking at the end user license, I’m thinking what are they trying to say? They listen to the community that uses FSX which switched to Prepar3D but still they’re saying that their licenses are for professional use and not entertainment use. So that makes me confused and I’m thinking like you’re listening to a community, you’re doing stuff with that but you’re still trying to keep it professional, probably a business model having over there.

Chris: Yeah, and it could even be part of the license rights for them buying things from Microsoft. Maybe Microsoft said “Yeah, you can buy the rights to this but it’s only going to be the professional use of it.” For example, maybe they bought the FSX or ESP or whatever it is for the professional markets and then the other one which is kind of the gaming was still up for grabs and that’s what Dovetail got. I’m not sure exactly on the details but they are now basically two separate entities and two separate simulators to deal with because they’re just completely different teams.

Jeroen: And a completely different market.

Chris: Right. Market and strategy and all sorts of things. So it will be very interesting to see how you like Prepar3D. Personally, I like it. It seems to actually run better on my machine and I have an older machine, it’s from 2011, still does decent and okay. Because at that time, I actually did good on the hardware. I got an i7 2700K just like you said and overclocked it and I have the Corsair cooling and I have the right video card and all that jazz.

Jeroen: And that’s the fun thing. When you buy something like that with the system you have right now, you can always put in a better video card or switch your power supply or put different memory in there if you didn’t hold back on buying a good motherboard or other stuff that make sure that you can expand later on.
Chris: Right. And that’s why you can get so much more out of a very nice PC that you buy from a professional outfit or one that you build with the best parts on the market because if you got to Dell or HP or something like that and you guy their stuff. I’m not knocking their stuff and saying it’s not good quality but it’s definitely not the best quality that you’re going to get. You’re not going to get the best bang for the buck with their material. You’re just going to get something that’s meant to last a year or two I mean in all honesty.
Jeroen: Yeah. Exactly. It is changing however with the hardware these days. It does get a bit better but still it’s mainstream computers as when you got an buy a game computer, you know that you’re going to buy stuff that’s going to last longer.

Chris: Right, exactly.

Jeroen: And I have to agree on Prepar3D running better because I installed it yesterday and I installed a lot of Orbx stuff because I’m working on a video at the moment and I’m actually using Prepar3D to get some of the footage. I’m mixing it up with FSX. And the visuals are so much better. You have more options and I do have to say that it’s more stable than FSX.

Chris: Yep. Stability is a big issue. They’ve definitely done a good job with it and I’m encouraged with the direction it’s going especially that we’re seeing additional things added to the simulator like cloud shadows and getting rid of some of the plagues that have been on the simulator for so long. It’s actually really nice to kind of see it move forward in a positive way.

Jeroen: Exactly. And even like the waves with the water with FSX being it just flat.

Chris: Yeah. And there’s a lot of different things visually that are subconscious that you wouldn’t think would make a big deal like cloud shadows. It makes a big deal. You can tell this dynamic light difference, and when you pass under a cloud, it actually casts a shadow on your airplane and that sort of thing. And although we were all convinced earlier that it couldn’t get any better than FSX when FSX was all upgraded and stuff like that, it couldn’t get any better than that. But then Prepar3D comes along and they put in some of these ideas like cloud shadows and some different things which has just really enhanced it and made it amazing.

Jeroen: But even FSX is still getting better. With Orbx creating stuff that was mind-blowing back in the time that they started. Even back then, people thought well, FSX pretty much reached the top and then Orbx came along with people flow, objects flow and all their high detailed airports of 1 cm and 2 cm pixels. And then we have a different company coming along called FSFX Packages creating effects for the PNDG-777 which gives a new immersion to the plane and adds more realism for those that are looking for that.

Chris: I’m glad you brought that up because you’ve been doing a couple videos for these guys and this is right along the lines of our conversation. It’s right in that same category as cloud shadows and waves and things like that. So tell people more about exactly what those packages are.

Jeroen: Well, the first package that I brought out was PrecipitFX which pretty much changed the rain and the snow and the fortresses behind the plane.

Chris: Which has always looked awful in a simulator. It’s always looked that.

Jeroen: Exactly. And they changed that which made it look a lot better. Also, the spray behind the plane. And that package works for old planes so it doesn’t matter if you use a default plane or an NGX plane, it works. And what they done was bring the 777 immersion package which was just for the PNDG 777, 200, 300. No other planes. Just a specific plane add-on and that adds so much immersion as in when you spool up the engines, it sucks in the water when it’s rainy. You have condensation. The lights, they change the lights when you have low visibility. And that brought something unique. So when I saw that, when they were doing the preview videos, I was already impressed because FSX was at a point that I was like “Okay, they bring out airports.” Then you have a region over here. You have FTX Global which was pretty cool to see back then. But for me as a video creator, nothing new happened as in unique, and then this came along and I was like “Well, there you have it. Something unique. Something new.”

And as far as I know, they’re going to do more packages. The next one will be for the NGX and from there on they will create I think for most planes this package. And that also I think going to be available in Prepar3D when they release the next update. I think it’s going to be Prepar3D 2.5 and as far as I know, they will be able to use that stuff in Prepar3D as well because there is a limitation right now.

Chris: Okay. And there’s another cool thing, is these guys probably went to Prepar3D and said “Hey, these are the things we kind of need change. Can you guys do it?” And I bet there was some reaction on that to put it in the next version.

Jeroen: That will be cool indeed. As far as I know, PrecipitFX, the first package that they released, has limitation when it comes down to, let me check real quick, the precipitation effects because that doesn’t work right now as it is. So we’ll see what it changes with the update.

Chris: So it looks like, let’s see, for the 777 and I’m guessing we can see similar for the 737. Wing condensation, so that’s those little clouds that appear above the wings when there’s a high moisture in the air. Engine condensations. That’s when it looks like there’s a cloud like inside the engine, you guys have seen pictures of that. Engine spray, so when you’re at a low speed or you generally see that when an aircraft is spooling up and there’s water on the ground. It starts to spray all the water back.

Jeroen: And that’s a really cool thing because it depends on how much throttle you use, so when you’re going idle, you see it but it’s not overly present. And when you throttle up, it will get more. I think it has three stages and when you go full throttle, it just blows the ring from the ground.

Chris: Cool. Let’s see. Alright, so wing tip vortices, you guys have seen pictures of that. Probably contrails. Everybody knows that comtrails aka chemtrails are so it does that. Volumetric lighting and then some other effects too. I think I saw break dust in there somewhere.

Jeroen: Yeah. Break dust is there.

Chris: Raindrops from fuselage. Goodness.

Jeroen: Yeah, and the engine and the wing. It’s amazing. It’s really detailed and you really have to look for it but it’s there.

Chris: Yeah. And even if you don’t have to look for it, I’m guessing your mind subconsciously already knows it’s there so you’ve already seen some pretty amazing stuff. I’m also looking at the precipitation program here too. Very similar. It looks like it has wing tip vortices, contrails, wheels. The wheel effect and rain is coming soon for Prepar3D Version 2 so it does say that some of these things are coming for Prepar3D Version 2 so not all of them are available. But cool. So yeah, that’s one of those examples of just different immersive packages. I’m looking at a picture here of snow that looks absolutely incredible, and I don’t have this add-on yet. I’m going to have to grab it because this looks great.

Jeroen: It’s really worth the 15 bucks for the PrecipitFX.

Chris: Yeah. Definitely. So I’ll put a link to this in the show notes and make sure that you guys can see it. Yeah, this snow looks incredible.

Jeroen: And it’s funny to read comments on people saying “Well, it looks great but I’m a cockpit flyer so I don’t have any use.” And of course I understand that because probably most listeners of your show are cockpit flyers as well. Thy don’t go outside to look at the engine spray or the engine condensation or the wing condensation or the vortices or the chemtrails. They just sit in the cockpit. So it’s probably not for any use with them but for others it might be. So it’s a give and take. Some like it and some don’t.

Chris: Yeah. Well here’s my argument. So the first image I saw actually was from the view of the cockpit and you see all the snow coming towards the windscreen and it definitely adds a lot of realism to the situation. So even if you are in the cockpit and all you see is that new effect of rain and snow kind of coming toward you, I would say even that is worth it to get that effect because it looks real snow. It’s kind of flurrying along and it has some really great motion blur or something to it. It just looks much more realistic than the other stuff. Because before, when you are flying through a snowstorm or whatever in FSX, it looked like you are in the Starship Enterprise, going warpspeed passing all these stars. It just didn’t look anything like actual snow or rain.

Okay, so outside that, so after you’ve done your practice approach or whatever, everyone likes to look outside the airplane, everybody. When you go and replay and review your simulation, review your performance of landing or whatever it is, then you have a cool immersive environment to look at, so why not?

Jeroen: Exactly. And it adds something new to something old.

Chris: So you’re not part of this company or whatever right? You’re just more the guy that did their videos?

Jeroen: Absolutely. I’m just a freelance video creator.

Chris: Great.

Jeroen: I’m not linked to any company. Even though for most of the companies I make the video. We have Aerosoft, we have Orbx, we have FlyTampa but I’m not like working for them as in getting paid from them to work under their name.

Chris: Great. Right on. Well that stuff looks cool. So yeah, I mean a lot of what we talked about kind of later on here on this show is just this nice immersive stuff that is coming for the simulator and has already come out and how Prepar3D is pushing that forward. Hopefully we see some of the same from Dovetail games. And really the best thing is them allowing the simulation code to be opened up more to third party developers that can just come along and do an awesome job with stuff like this.

Jeroen: Exactly. And we still have X-Plane. It hasn’t been mentioned. You mentioned it earlier but X-Plane also is there.

Chris: Definitely.

Jeroen: And I do own it. I tried it once, installed it, tried setting up my X-52. I failed and uninstalled the game. It was so hard for me to get that set-up that I was like “I’m not going to spend any more time on trying to figure this out.” I thought four hours in just configuring the controller or even get it to work was more than enough. And for FSX I just plug it in and I can use it.

Chris: Generally I tell people that it’s one of the easiest platforms to set up because it’s pretty much plug and play. Because the entire show here, I mean just as an example, most of the show here, you and I have been talking about how to tweak FSX and Prepar3D properly whereas generally I feel like you can just kind of get right into X-Plane and fly. Maybe I’m mistaken in that but that’s kind of have been my experience with it.

Jeroen: Because it uses your hardware way better than FSX does as far as I know. I mean, my knowledge about X-Plane isn’t that large but if you say that you plug and play them, I believe you.

Chris: Yeah. It’s something went right and yeah, I don’t know. And I support all the simulators. I think it just depends on kind of what your mission is. If you’re purely kind of a gamer type and you plan on getting great visuals, then FSX and Prepar3D is for you. If you have older hardware then FSX is probably for you rather than Prepar3D or maybe even FS9 but I’m not one to really suggest anyone get FS9 right now because the third party add-ons are so great for FSX. So generally FSX and Prepar3D but if you’re purely just a guy that kind of wants to set up the simulator and go and you’re not looking to get scenery or add-on aircraft or anything, I typically like to suggest people give X-Plane a try because it’s multiplatform, highly compatible, doesn’t give you a lot of problems outside the box. There is no tweaking website you have to go to or anything like that so it seems to work out pretty decently.

Jeroen: And they keep updating it as far as I know.

Chris: Right. They’re very active in updating it. And they just have a different possibility. The basis for what they do and they meaning X-Plane is all based around actual flight physics and things like that. So these days, they’re actually not spending so much time on the simulator as they are spending time taking their simulator technology over into the real world. So I don’t know if you’ve seen this but something X-Plane has done is they’ve actually created a software that I believe it either goes into your panel somehow but I think it’s an app. Pretty sure it’s an app that gives you a drift down procedure for your airplane, for an actual airplane.

So say that you are flying along and your engine quit, this app or whatever it is will give you the exact path and kind of a synthetic vision or heads up display format on where to fly to reach the airport or whatever so you literally fly through the boxes to get there. That’s all done with the base kind of X-Plane software but for a real world application that’s pretty incredible.

Jeroen: That’s pretty unique.

Chris: Yeah. It’s definitely different. You wouldn’t see that with FSX because what a lot of the FSX developers have to do is they have to lie to the simulator and say “You need to fly this parameter just to get it to look and work right.”

Jeroen: Exactly. Yeah.

Chris: But at the same time, I do think that Microsoft Flight Simulator and Prepar3D, they look better. They’re more believable from a visual perspective which at the end of the day has realism too right?

Jeroen: Yup. That’s the most certain thing.

Chris: Alright man, I feel like maybe I talked too much this show so I apologize. We have this back and forth for simulation that we don’t get to talk a lot about here on this show so it’s interesting to get into some of these topics. So in kind of finishing this show here, if someone was going to get started in flight simulation today, if they are going to go and want to go out and get a simulator, what are some very simple steps that they would have to take in order to get a simulator set up for themselves?

Jeroen: Do some research on the hardware, what’s the best thing to get. You can either ask people that are familiar with the sims or go to the forums of the bigger companies that sell add-ons and try to figure out on the hardware pages on the best things you can buy. Then when you figured all that out, make sure that you buy the right components. So it’s pretty much doing some research and if you’re going to buy a good system, I would head out to Prepar3D and maybe buy FSX as a site but don’t use that as a main.

Chris: Great.

Jeroen: So that’s pretty much what I would suggest to anybody that would just go into wanting to fly and figuring out which they should buy. And it comes down to what you said earlier. It depends on what you want to do. If you want to plug and play, then maybe X-Plane is the better choice for you. If you want to go for better visuals, you can go to Prepar3D or FSX.

Chris: Yeah, or if you’re a heavy Mac user, you would use X-Plane.

Jeroen: Exactly, runs better.

Chris: And you’re not forced to do that. You could run Prepar3D and Parallels or something like that but cool. And then from there, you can get add-ons to make the simulator better and there are add-ons for all platforms. So if you fly a Beechcraft Bonanza in real life, you can go and find one, find an aircraft that someone has done to put inside the simulator to make it even more realistic for kind of what you do and what you’re trying to emulate in the real world, or just the aircraft you want to fly or the place you want to fly. Go search. You’d be surprised what kind of software is out there, both payware meaning stuff you pay for and freeware, stuff that’s completely free that you can just download.

Jeroen: There’s so much.

Chris: It’s crazy. It’s so crazy. You can download the funniest things. You can download flying lawnmowers and you can download Santa’s sleigh and actually fly around a simulator.

Jeroen: And it keeps on going. It never stops. They keep on developing freeware and payware so that’s pretty good to see.

Chris: And that’s the good news about kind of the position the simulator market is in right now. Really, all platforms are healthy again. FSX, it is based. Prepar3D was already breathing life into the market, and then X-Plane has kind of always done its thing. So it’s a pretty healthy market right now. It’s good for the businessmen on one side and it’s great for the users on the other side that are picking up the simulator more.

Jeroen: Exactly. And that’s a good thing for everybody. I mean, then we have FSX Steam which attracts the new kind of people.

Chris: Definitely. Well we appreciate you coming on the show. We’re excited about the work you’re going to be doing in the future and I know that you’re going to be working with Prepar3D more in your videos so make sure to let me know about that. We’ll make sure to share it on social media. I’ll share it in the news section of the show as well so people can hear about that. Just keep in touch and we’ll keep moving forward here. Maybe you’ll be kind of my liaison on simulation matters.

Jeroen: Who knows. Thanks for having me on the show Chris and if anything pops up, I’ll just let you know.

Chris: Sounds good. Thanks for having us, and I know it’s late over there because we have such a huge time difference, 10 hours, so I appreciate you doing that as well.

Jeroen: No problem at all.

Chris: Alright. Thanks Jeroen. We’ll catch you soon.

Jeroen: Thanks. Bye.

Chris: Bye.

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Chris: Alright, so let’s close out the show. Thank you for joining us on this episode of AviatorCast. It is really my pleasure to have you here. I hope you are enjoying the content. I look forward to seeing you next week as we bring a new and exciting guest to the show or a great topic. And also big thanks to the Angle of Attack crew. Go out there and get it guys. Keep working in your passion, chase your dreams, make this thing happen if it’s something that you want to go for, and we will talk to you soon.

Until next time, throttle on!


This entry has 10 replies

Thanks Chris and Jeroen for an interesting episode of Aviator Cast. One topic not covered that is a real issue for us FSX users is the available memory restriction. We have excellent visual enhancement addons that make FSX more immersive as you mention, but try loading an NGX, Rex textures, Active Sky weather, Photo scenery and an enhanced airport and you can forget completing your flight, even with top end hardware and every possible tweak. Since there appears to be no solution to this on the horizon, new comers and those spending on expanding their addon portfolio to achieve the ultimate realism, need to make some tough choices, since whatever the system, tweaks and addon budget, you just can’t run it all, even if you’ve got it. Above anything else in Flight Sim ( having already invested substantially in FSX) I’d put a solution to that problem right at the top of my wish list! For now, with top end everything in FSX, it’s a choice of sacrifice some of the immersion or fatally run out of memory turning on finals at your destination airport. VERY frustrating!!!

Hi Andrew … I indeed forgot to mention that. One of those, maybe, solutions is to uncheck any scenery in the scenery library which you are not using. FSX seems to load photoreal scenery eventhough it’s on the other side of the world. Next to that the memory gets filled with unwanted scenery and can result in an OOM. As an example, from what i’ve been reading on many forums, when doing a flight from OMDB – EHAM make sure you disable any scenery you are not using to minimize the OOM problem. Hope this helps 🙂

Hi Jeroen. That’s true of course. I use a very handy program called Scenery Config Editor to solve this. I use the program to turn on the absolute minimum scenery possible for a given flight plan. Sadly, if for example on my top end, overclocked system,, you fly a PMDG J41 with UTX, GEX, Rex 4 textures, Active Sky weather, Megascenery Earth Maryland, Ultimate Traffic 2 and an enhanced KIAD, (ie the stuff that makes the flight potentially FSX standard immersive) then your flight from KHPN to KIAD will surely end unhappily right right about on finals. Turn most of that off and you can arrive safely. So us ultimate imersive experience FSX uses have to decide – to arrive or not to arrive – that is the question. Whoever can solve that problem, will make a lot of money and keep me loyal to FSX.

Hi Chris and Jeroen,

I have really enjoyed this episode. I also like the new format of AviatorCast, like the news from Flight Simulation world at the beginning – excellent idea. Hope we will hear soon about new ORBX Homer airport – Chris – I guess it is six degrees below horizon at max and coming up. Maybe you could shoot some video – short flight showing us this place I believe you know well. You can take us to some places we could saw on your video from “flying with the floats”, which I believe was linked in AviatorCast a few episodes earlier. “See, there is my house” 🙂 But it would be a little harder to hide your place in a shadow like Simpsons did 🙂 I believe not many people knows where Springfield actually is (including me), even thought it was actually revealed in one episode (I think).

Ok, lets write something constructive now 🙂 I would like to mention one very useful program I use – SimStarter. It is nice utility that allows you to define up to 9 profiles to run your simulator (FSX or Prepar3D v2.3+). Each profile can use different config file (fsx.cfg you talked about), scenery configuration file, exe.xml file and dll.xml file. What is this good for? Well, for example in my case, I have profiles to fly in Europe and USA both for VFR and IFR (so four profiles). So when I am flying in Europe, the simulator does not have to load my ORBX USA regions. VFR profile have “higher” graphics settings. All the required changes are done by the program by one click and than the simulator is started. It takes some time to set-up, but pays off (even thought it might be a little advanced topic for someone).

Sorry for the long, “boring” looking comment.

Happy and safe flying.

Hi Guys, great interview Chris.

I have two questions:

1) I see that the Bojote’s tweaks ( http://www.venetubo.com/fsx.html ) that you mention are 5 years old. I know that FSX is in a way frozen in the past, but I am wondering how do these tweaks compare with famous Kosta’s ( https://kostasfsworld.wordpress.com/fsx-software-and-hardware-guide/ ). Do you have an opinion on that?

2) I thought you were pushing a bit too much on the “over-clocking” issue. Is it really that crucial? It is the classic point that will completely turn off new people potentially interested in the FS world. It sounds complicated and expensive. If an overclocked CPU was “stellar” 5 years ago, today it certainly can be matched by a standard new generation CPU, isn’t it? I am using a i7-4790 (quad, 3.6Ghz) on FSX with ORBX Basic, Vector, OpenLC, few FTX Terrains, ASN, REX4 (with SoftClouds), UT2 and single piston GA aircrafts by Carenado and A2A. I am not over clocking and all seems fine (FPS locked at 30).
Am I missing anything?

Thank you again for your time. I am looking forward to another episode where Chris might talk about “hardware” as in “controllers” (yoke, rudder, quadrant, etc).


Hi Giovanni,
Kosta does a magnificent job and you have to choices in that case 🙂 you can try both or combine them where you see the need to 🙂
Overclocking makes sure that you can enjoy a smoother FSX. It’s not easy to do but many vendors can do it for you and with todays hardware it’s easier to do and it will not kill your CPU as fast as in the past. FSX is known to run smoother from 4Ghz and up, below that it can be less smooth (doesn’t mean it’s not useable)

Many thanks for your reply, Jeroen.
Without getting too technical, I think this is an issue which interests a lot of simmers out there.

I have i7-4790 @ 3.6GHz and my motherboard could support up to i7-4790K @ 4.0GHz.
In your experience, would you spend >$400 to upgrade (even without over clocking)?
Is there really an obvious jump in smoothness between 3.6GHz and 4.0GHz?


Sorry for the late reply Giovanni. I can only say that I enjoy FSX more at 4.6Ghz than at 4.2Ghz on my last system 🙂 if it’s worth the upgrade is all up to you 🙂

Thanks Chris, excellent discussion.

I love all the flight simulators I have tried, and have no great loyalty to any of them, but I felt I must write a little bit more about X-Plane. I feel almost any of the current simulators give us the cake, and we must fork out a little more money for the icing and decorations.

If we remember what FSX looks like straight out of the box it is nothing short of cringe-worthy when compared to what can be done with some wonderful scenery (eg: ORBX) and planes (eg: Carendo). Add REX, cfg tweaks etc and it looks great. (Although, I admit I never felt it ran both looking good and running smooth, even after hours trying soooo many tweaks.)

I also did what Jeroen did – tried X-Plane briefly, and ran away again. Then I did what he suggests everyone does with FSX – research and tweak a little.

With just a few addons, X-Plane now runs so smoothly, with such great scenery and dynamic lighting I find myself double clicking it’s icon each time I sit down to fly. I find myself frequently pausing the sim just to look around.

(Specifically the addons are: http://www.alpilotx.net/ HD Mesh (Free!), Skymaxx Pro and Inside Passage for scenery, then flying anything from Carenado or DreamFoil.)

Oh, and the happiest moment for me was when I finally found an ORBX equivalent for scenery in X-Plane. CZST (Stewart, CA) airport, from http://beti-x.com/.

Now if only X-Planes ATC, general air traffic and interface would step up a little.

Thanks again guys! Jeroen – I LOVE your videos. And Chris, great work, keep it up.



Excellent episode, after many years of flightsim hiatus, I started flying again and wanted a good podcast to listen to and stumbled onto this episode. I’m HOOKED! Well done and you added a subscriber 🙂 Cheers!

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