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Review of the

 

FS GLOBAL 2005 3rd Edition

Add-on for Flight Simulator 2002/2004

 

By Exx

 

 

 

Rating: Excellent

 

 

Review Date: May 18, 2005

 

 

Product Developer: Pilots GesmbH

 

Cost: 51.90 EUR (includes shipping & handling)

Format: DVD Discs (3)

 

System Requirements:

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002 or 2004

DVD-ROM Drive

14GB free space on any hard-drive of your PC

 

 

Test System:

Pentium 4 3.4GHz

2GB Ram

Nvidia GeForce 6800Ultra 256MB Ram

FS2004

 

INTRODUCTION:

 

FS Global 2005 3rd Edition is the latest Mesh-Scenery add-on brought to us by Pilots GesmbH. FS GLOBAL 2005 is a worldwide Elevation Mesh scenery based on the most current and recent SRTM data. Unlike other scenery add-ons, FS Global covers the entire world in FS with this data. How Mesh works is according to the following hierarchy as posted on their site:

1: "SHAPE" or ELEVATION MESH
This basic scenery defines the elevation for each point of a grid (or mesh). That is how the surface is defined, the shape of the earth. One basic principle is that higher resolution mesh data always overwrites lower resolution data.

2: "COLOR" or LANDCLASS SCENERY
landclass scenery defines what each cell of the grid looks like. Flight Simulator uses this information to load textures and to generate the autogen scenery like generic trees and buildings.

3: "OBJECTS" or VECTOR SCENERY
On a basic level, this includes all coastlines, water bodies, rivers and roads. These objects are made of lines and polygons which are defined by distinct coordinates and they may modify the shape of the terrain. For example, a lake will flatten all the terrain it covers to one level which is defined with the object. On a more complex level, this category also includes buildings.

4: AVIATION OBJECTS
this covers navigation aids and you may also put runways and airports into this category.

5: DYNAMIC SCENERY
these are moving objects, like other airplanes, cars or any other vehicle.

And the best comes now: all these components combine seamlessly into one virtual world. You can add landclass scenery and coastline scenery to high-resolution mesh scenery without losing anything. And many such sceneries are available as freeware on the Internet or as commercial product.

This product covers the SHAPE or elevation mesh - worldwide and on a high quality basis. It does not include any landclass data, any coastlines, roads or airports. But after installing this scenery all these objects from the default scenery (and add-ons) are drawn on this higher-resolution terrain.

So in short, FS Global 2005 provides FS with a highly detailed mesh on which to draw the scenery.

 

THE PACKAGE

The moment I received the package I was quite surprised by the look of it (the pic above is a shot of the cover). It comes in a good quality DVD case, not a paper envelope or generic CD case. Inside youll find an install/registration manual and of course, 3 DVDs. The installation procedure is quite easy to follow as the install program does all of the work for you. Even tells you to go for a coffee while its installing. This is accurate as it installs over 14GB of data on your hard-drive and it does take a while to complete the process. During the initial phases of the install it asks you where you would like to install the files. I found this to be a great concept due to the fact that the user is not tied down to installing it directly into the FS directories or folders. Like we dont have enough stuff in their already!? So I popped in the first DVD, assigned the drive for the install and grabbed a java. Then at 5 minute intervals I would come back and insert the next DVD in the series as prompted by the installer and before I knew itit was done! Such an easy install for an add-on that provides so much! They really did a great job on the installation procedure.

Now should you encounter any problems, the support section of their website is sure to solve it! You walk thru a 4-step procedure where you are guided through troubleshooting the install with various options available to you for verifying correct installation. Should you be unable to resolve the problem, you are then taken to a support form that you complete and that is forwarded on to their support staff for further analysis. Or, you can use various diagnostic software available via their site (free) to troubleshoot or verify correct install. The way they have this package installation procedure downI doubt their support section will be very busy! Overall, the install was one of the easiest Ive ever encountered for such a large FS add-on.

 

THE RESULTS

Wellamazing is one way to put it! At first it was hard to tell if it made any difference at all as I sat on the runway at CYVR, but then I started to notice the difference! The horizon was filled with peaks of the Rockies, I could see the definition of the Lower Mainland as it really is and my first thought was no waycant be that accurate!?!. But it was! No more flat landscapes or round mountains! By the time Active Sky had generated the metar, it became really clear as to how accurate the mesh was! The clouds were no longer sitting therethey brushed up against mountains, hovered over the landscape and hung in the valleys. Rivers had banks and some parts you could see the old river beds as they snaked across the landscape out to sea. I was amazed. Being a lover of the big jets, I decided not to use one for a reconnaissance flight and decided to check out the mountains around my area via a prop. I didnt want to just fly over the scenery, but to fly into it. I was not an avid VFR/Prop user of FS but nowwellits certainly changed me! Its a great joy to fire up the Pilatus and go cruising through valleys and mountain ranges. A very new and exciting experience for me! And the kicker...no loss in frame rates!! FS still has to draw the scenery, landclass and objects no matter what the mesh. Its just the elevations are accurate now so its doesnt really need to draw anything newjust has more accuracy. But dont let me tell you how it islets get to the good part and take a look at some shots of what it really does!

 

An image is better than thousand words!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONCLUSION

As real as it gets. We hear this term a lot when it comes to making FS better, faster or more accurate than it is. Well, FS Global will get you one step closer to that reality. In my opinion, its a must-have along with TTools, Active Sky, FlightSim Manager, FS Clouds 2004 and FSUIPC. Cant imagine flying without it! I highly recommend this add-on for those of you who are looking for that realism, or for those that want to enjoy VFR flight to the maximum!

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Id like to thank Stefan of Pilots GesmbH for providing us with this package, and Gonzalo for passing it onto to me for review.

 

Exx

Copyright 2005 Bapsterd Design Group. All rights reserved.

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