Beaver Adventures in a Different Flavor of the ORBX World
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Thread: Beaver Adventures in a Different Flavor of the ORBX World

  1. #1

    Beaver Adventures in a Different Flavor of the ORBX World

    Hi all,

    Well, tonight was a night to put my new MilViz Beaver through some of her paces. According to FSCaptain, I had 3 passengers plus a bunch of cargo to transport from Seward, AK to the Bradley Lake Hydroelectric strip, a private gravel strip serving the outfall / turbine area of the Bradley Lake hydro project. Inspired by Cavaricooper's thread, I decided to document it. (This takes place in ORBX Southern Alaska).

    I'm embarrassed to say that, despite having visited the Kenai in the real world, I've never been here in FSX before, despite having owned the SAK region for a while. WOW.

    Let me say first off that I'm running a very medium-end system. My LOD radius is probably much less than the typical serious simmer... so forgive the blurries at distance. They are my computer's fault, not the scenery.

    So, we departed Seward an hour after dawn on a slightly hazy spring morning. It makes for some low-contrast photos... but a darn nice day for the Kenai Fjords!

    Climbing out of Seward, over Resurrection Bay:





    Bear Glacier at the head of Aialik Bay:





    Through the saddle on the way towards Harris Bay:





    Islands in Kenai Fjords:

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails leaving_seward.jpg   bearglacier_aialikbay.jpg   throughsaddle.jpg   islands.jpg  
    Last edited by stearmandriver; June 19th, 2017 at 04:29.

  2. #2
    ...Thankfully, Cloudy Cape isn't living up to its name today:





    ...of course our passengers get a nice view too, as we approach McCarty Fjord:





    McCarty Fjord / glacier:





    Fringes of the Harding Icefield, which most of the glaciers on the Kenai:


  3. #3
    ...turning in for the Nuka River valley, which we hope will take us through the terrain to Bradley Lake (I haven't yet told my pax I've never done this before):





    An unnamed glacier flowing into the Nuka River valley:





    Um... there IS a way through here, right?





    Yeah... kinda:


  4. #4
    "What's that, Ma'am? That mountain right there? Oh, that's nothing. Um... that'll be fine. So, uh... what kind of work do you do with the hydro project?" (squinting furiously but hopefully discreetly at sectional):





    Whew, ok... one more glacier, then Bradley Lake in the distance...:





    Home stretch... just gotta cross that lake... and, damn, make our descent twisting through another valley. Ok, one thing at a time:





    All right, we've crossed the lake, and I THINK this is our valley:


  5. #5
    Nice adventure...I can't even imagine FSX without ORBX! Thanks for taking us along
    Ted
    Vivat Christus Rex! Ad maiorem Dei gloriam

  6. #6
    Ok, made it out of the valley. Now I think we just follow this braid...





    Yes! There it is! It's just that little gravel strip running right along the left-hand side of the road. If you didn't know where it was, and it wasn't for the plane parked at the other end, you could miss it easy. Now... can we get this new-to-us bird in there without embarrassment?





    Oh my yes. In the flare, plenty of room ahead...





    I'm still making friends with wheel landings in this plane... but man, does she 3-point BEAUTIFULLY:


  7. #7
    And we made it. FSCaptain dinged me for being a bit late... but I choose to believe that the, um, sightseeing (not making 180s out of the wrong valleys twice, not that) pleased my passengers enough to overlook it. (They were still a bit pale as they disembarked... must be that Alaskan winter, they need some sun!). At any rate, the hydro engineers were pleased to have their equipment in one piece:





    And here we are leaving the Bradley Lake Hydro Strip:





    There are two more parts to this adventure after we leave Bradley lake: an impromptu visit at a very short and sloping private strip just south of there, and then a seaplane segment at a Return to Misty Moorings scenery that utterly dropped my jaw. But they'll have to get posted tomorrow, as it's bedtime. Stay tuned for Bear Cove strip... and Halibut Cove, one of the COOLEST SCENERY LOCATIONS I have EVER seen (and it's freeware!!!)

  8. #8
    How nice to see this! Beautifully done, thanks for sharing!!

    If you have time, would you please expound on the flight characteristics of the Beaver (I did watch your initial impressions video)? I am waiting for the official SP2 to install her into v4.... but am optimistic....

    Best- C

  9. #9
    Thank you for sharing these pics and the story. I might need that Beaver myself...

  10. #10
    Ok, back for the continuation. Firstly, Cavaricooper, the MV Beaver flight characteristics: very, very good. I know that I was somewhat critical of MV in the beginning of my video, and some of those criticisms still stand, but some have already been addressed by MV and my thinking has just evolved about the rest. A recap:

    General handling in flight - I love it, and I did from the beginning. It's probably my all around favorite single engine plane to fly in the sim right now, and I have a weakness for nice planes; as a consequence, I have the A2A Cub and T-6, among other singles. This thing is just a pleasure to fly - just unstable enough to feel real, but stable enough to feel solid. I would guess it's pretty close to how a Beaver is supposed to feel. Adverse yaw, slow flight, back side of the power curve, stalls, spins... man, they did a nice job.

    Taxiing - I was a critic. One of the first service packs addressed some of this. There still isn't much turning inertia; when you let go of the pedal she just straightens out instantly. But to be fair, apart from A2A, I'm not sure many sim planes DO exhibit turning inertia on the ground. It's not a big deal for me, especially because they addressed the more important issue of turning radius. The improvement completely changed how she taxis and turns and she can pretty well pivot in place now. As a bonus, while there still really isn't much turning inertia, it FEELS more like there is because the castoring tailwheel makes it easier to over-control. So the overall feeling is now pretty good, taxiing.

    Wheel takeoffs and landings - I was pretty critical of the plane's reluctance to lift her tail on the takeoff roll, or to stay standing on the mains for any length of time during a wheel landing. The tail had a tendency to bang down on the ground right away for me during a wheel landing. Now, part of this was a mistake on my part. It didn't occur to me that CG might be affecting this to the degree that it does; and again, while I've never flown a Beaver, that's believable considering it is a long plane with a lot of cargo room in the back, and a very forward-set main gear. So in my test flight, I was flying her with her default load of full fuel. There are three center tanks modeled in this thing; and when the rear tank is full of fuel too, the CG moves pretty far aft. This REALLY affects tail behavior. Empty that rear tank and the tail raises sooner on takeoff, and is easier to hold up on wheel landings. Empty the middle tank, and just fly with a full front tank and a pilot and copilot, and the tail comes up even better. This was probably why wheel landings improved for me during my video - I was burning out of the rear tank as we went. Now, my main beef with tail behavior on takeoff still stands - prop wash has zero effect, and so forward elevator does nothing until you're at a speed where the tail would come up on its own anyway. The guy who did the FDE told me on the MilViz forum that the sim doesn't model propwash and so there's no fixing that. That may be true, but of course we know A2A airplanes respond very noticeably to prop wash and therefor forward stick on a takeoff, so obviously there's a way. But, overall, this is a minor point too.

    As far as MV themselves, this is my first experience and I have mixed feelings about some of what I read on their support forum. There's a little more arrogance and defensiveness than I'd expect when users point out issues. I'm more used to payware devs saying "we'll see what we can do about that" than "well, look, that radio is old code and we put it in the plane but we aren't supporting it anymore, so sorry, but... no" in response to a user's (not me) request for a bug fix. But in the end, it seems that after the initial push-back, the points people are raising do get addressed. The amount of updates since release, and the speed with which they're being put out, is impressive. I think a lot of that distasteful tone on their forum might be mostly from one individual, and it doesn't seem like he's the one that actually gets things done... ;-)

    In an effort to be fair, I've tried to single out the points I feel could be improved, but I want to close this by stressing that they're minor compared to the overall impression of the plane, which is just... really good. Makes me smile when I load her up. I would really suggest picking it up if you like this kind of flying, which it seems you do. Don't let me scare you off. They added P3D v4 support a couple service packs ago, but I'm not sure how "official" it is yet so I won't speak to that.

  11. #11
    Now, enough of that. On with the flying ;-).

    So our last pic was the takeoff from Bradley Lake Hydro strip (and you'll note the tail well in the air ;-) ). Just a few miles south is charted a private strip called Bear Cove. I figured I'd see if it was there in the ORBX world. It is. Bear Cove... should we?





    We should:





    And... we did. Plenty of room left ;-) :





    And after a pleasant visit, it's off for a place I've been wanting to visit for quite a while. We should probably takeoff DOWNhill, eh?


  12. #12
    A little further south, in Kachemak Bay state park across from Homer, is a very cool (real) little town called Halibut Cove. It was originally a fishing village, and is now something of an artists colony with a census population somewhat under 100 people. The town is a series of stilted buildings connected by boardwalks ringing the shores and islands of a very scenic little cove. It is, by all accounts, an impressively picturesque place. Here's a collection of Google images to give you a flavor of the real place:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=hali...dTEYPo0lDJrwaO


    The scenery on our short jaunt south isn't bad either:





    Now, I'm not sure what Halibut Cove looks like in the default ORBX world, or if it's even there. But the awesome folks at Return to Misty Moorings have built us an incredibly detailed rendition, which is freely available for download at their site (if you like bush flying and you haven't checked RTMM out, you need to stop reading and go there now!). It looks like it was quite a project to create this place, and I've been meaning to check it out for a while. So as it starts to come into view, I'm excited...:





    We must have encountered a rogue wormhole or something on our way south, because as we overfly Halibut Cove, we suddenly have the appendages required to visit...




  13. #13
    Turning in...





    On final for the cove...





    And splashdown:




  14. #14
    The rest are just various shots of our Beaver moored all over town, because everywhere I went I found something to appreciate!








  15. #15

  16. #16
    Thanks so much for this thread, and also for your detailed response re. the flight characteristics. I just received an email saying she was ready for P3D v4, so I think I will install her later tonight. There have been enough changes, where (as you confirm) she may be ready to transport me over the Orbx World.

    The more time I spend with v4, the more I like it. HiFi and EZCA2 are working well now.... Orbx is well on it's way towards full terrain support ( ) and only my beloved Annuschka remains mired in v3.4..... oh how I wish there was a solution.....

    I digress.... thanks for the insight!

    Best- Carl

  17. #17
    Thanks for posting the Halibut Cove pics, I'd read about this, but tend to fly the panhandle area, so hadn't got to d/l this pack yet. I'm sure tempted now.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Portia911 View Post
    Thanks for posting the Halibut Cove pics, I'd read about this, but tend to fly the panhandle area, so hadn't got to d/l this pack yet. I'm sure tempted now.
    Pics don't do it justice. The attention to detail is amazing. I can't even imagine the time it must have taken to build all those custom 3d models. Geez, the decking and boardwalks alone would take me a year lol.

    It's one of those rare sceneries that achieves more than the sum of its parts; you really feel it. Highly recommended!

  19. #19
    Thank you so much for this thread stearmandriver! I found it a joy and an inspiration. I too love flying bush taildraggers around SAK. I should really find more time to do so though...

    Which made me think, if there an online virtual bush pilot flying club (I hesitate to say virtual airline!) where similar minded folk also fly around SAK, and hopefully use P3D too??? There are a few about, but most pages look old or inactive. If anyone can recommend one which is very much alive and well I'd be seriously interested...


    i7-4770K 8Mb OC @ 4.5 GHz, ASUS Z87-PRO, 16GB RAM,
    GTX 1080ti 11Gb GPU, Oculus Rift CV1, Leap Motion, FlyInside, Win7 Pro 64-bit
    Saitek Combat Rudder Pedals, Saitek X52 Pro, Buttkicker Gamer

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Airtrooper View Post
    Thank you so much for this thread stearmandriver! I found it a joy and an inspiration. I too love flying bush taildraggers around SAK. I should really find more time to do so though...

    Which made me think, if there an online virtual bush pilot flying club (I hesitate to say virtual airline!) where similar minded folk also fly around SAK, and hopefully use P3D too??? There are a few about, but most pages look old or inactive. If anyone can recommend one which is very much alive and well I'd be seriously interested...
    Check out Alaska Adventures. They are virtual airline, but seem to have a lot of flexibility in where and how you fly. I've done a couple of their "tours", and they're fun. They incorporate Misty Moorings locations too.
    http://flyaka.com/

  21. #21
    Many thanks for the recommendation. I'll take a look.

    Meanwhile, one from my own flight, out of Seward in P3D4. These are my preferred weather conditions for flying in SAK!


    MilViz DHC-2 Beaver out of PAWD Seward in P3D4 by Andy Ford, on Flickr


    i7-4770K 8Mb OC @ 4.5 GHz, ASUS Z87-PRO, 16GB RAM,
    GTX 1080ti 11Gb GPU, Oculus Rift CV1, Leap Motion, FlyInside, Win7 Pro 64-bit
    Saitek Combat Rudder Pedals, Saitek X52 Pro, Buttkicker Gamer

  22. #22
    Nice pic, thanks for sharing!

    That definitely looks more typical for SAK; what actually made me think to document this flight was when I loaded up at Seward with ASN live, and went "whoa, the sun is out! Kinda..."

  23. #23
    Nice.

    Another thread like the Annuschka.

    I love these.
    One day without laughter, is one day without living.
    One day without Flight Simming, is one day lost living.

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