OZx 1.0 Released!!

Jay Kae of Orbix writes “……..Welcome to our new world! OZx (pronounced Aussie-X) is the new collaboration of scenery designers that began life under the auspices of the FTX Freeware Development Team. The invigoration of a new name and our own dedicated site means we are able to develop and refine our skills and techniques in an environment that is removed from those intense pressures associated with commercial scenery releases. However, as a group, we still remain committed to the success of the OrbX Full Terrain eXperience ideals, and as such we will be doing our utmost to ensure the scenery we release will install without conflict and blend properly into FTX.

The OZx family takes great delight in presenting the OZx Freeware Pack Version 1.0. Within this package we feature the work of many of Australia’s finest developers. Joining our family are some extremely talented newcomers, offering new insight and unique perspectives to the challenges of scenery design.

OZx Freeware is a collection of over 130 texture matched airstrips and various other photo scenery objects that have been designed to blend seamlessly with the FTX_AU scenery series. The majority of strips you will find in this package are small airfields designed for general aviation (GA) flight. Some are farm strips — sharing a paddock with crops; some are mining strips — designed for twin engine turboprop fly-in, fly-out operations; some are small strips servicing rural communities or tourism operations.

It is a truism that our flight sim hobby caters for many tastes. I like the simplicity of single engine, low and scenic. For me, it is the environment that counts; I like to see the rolling hills, patchworked pastures and tree-filled valleys passing under the nose of my aircraft. If you’re like me you will enjoy the challenge of navigating to an airstrip not serviced by navigation aids and the thrill of landing on rough and remote airstrips. No doubt your pulse will start to race when you attempt to land on these bumpy, unflattened strips, dodging the fences, the cattle, the ‘roos and the powerlines! Now this is what bush flying is all about.

Many of these little strips do not have facility information recorded in the FSX database. You will not be able to select these fields from the GO TO AIRPORT menu. Like a real life charter pilot, you have turned up at the briefing office and you have to plan your flight to arrive in the vicinity of the airstrip. You will need to utilise the services of your Mark 1 eyeball to identify the runway. This adds a whole new dimension to your simming. No longer can you just dial up the airport in your GPS and slave the planes systems so the aircraft acts like a train on rails. Now you need to think where you point the aircrafts nose; wind will re-quire you to make heading corrections to find the appropriate track; and visibility, or the lack of it, be-comes so much more of a problem. Your eyeballs now gain a renewed focus that had slowly been lost amidst the sea of NDBs, VORs, GPSs, and DMEs.

When you next visit FSX, why don’t you strap yourself into a Cessna 172 and try a low, slow scenic flight. Aviate to some little bush strips that will require you to keep a sharp lookout and utilise some very basic navigational skills. Come and step back in time with us to an era when pilots used road maps, com-passes, watches and dodgy estimates of wind to find their way from dot to dot on the map. Basic naviga-tion can provide an intellectual and stimulating challenge which will give more purpose to your simming session.

Seat of the pants flying is back and it is good. Don’t stay absorbed in those instruments, look out the window and be amazed. …….”.

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