When a flight sim models the whole world... where do you start?
The sim comes with several categories of preset flights including the "Scenic Wonders" which take you to areas recreated in extra detail by the team. Most of these flights start in the air, and they are often set at dawn or dusk in order to display the natural and artificial (city) lights to best effect. I usually:
- load them up
- have a fly around
- call up ATC or look under the "World - Map" menu to find a nearby airport
- Then create my own flight starting at that airport.
I enjoy taking off and finding my way visually around the local environs, eventually coming back to land. Virtual joyflights!
While most of the world is apparently modelled in mesh with 1.2 km between elevation points, some areas are modelled in much finer detail and with the addition of famous architectural landmarks.
Here are the most interesting areas I've found so far:
- Giza at dawn | Pyramids and the Sphinx
- The islands of Hawaii are ideal for visual joyflights. You can't get lost! Just take off from any of the numerous airports, follow the coastline and you'll end up back where you started in about 10 or 15 minutes. The islands are close enough to be visible from each other so you can go island hopping wihout fear of getting lost at sea.
Or you can just land at any of the airports you'll see along the way.
Honululu city is jam packed with skyscrapers and backs onto some incredibly rugged terrain. Many of the prominent scenery features are obviously created by hand because the mesh and autogen system wouldn't pick up this sort of detail.
- Hong Kong. Suspension Bridges, mountains and a high-rise city all in close proximity make Hong Kong a great environment for virtual joyrides.
- Kilauea eruption, Hawaii, 1982