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Goodway + Simplates + REX


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These addons are well worth paying for, as they considerably enchance flight simming experience and I recommend getting all of them, no matter how or where do you like to fly.

Goodway is a complex, yet easy and friendly to use flight planner dedicated for X-Plane. With it, every flight is not just a few hours in your logbook, it's a real journey through navaids and airways. It adds a healthy amount of immersion to flight planning and executing. With little additional data input, it will also calculate time of flight and fuel needed. It can be operated as a freeware, but I recommend buying it, as you'll get some additional capabilities and support people doing fantastic job. You can get it here: http://www.xpgoodway.com/

Simplates X is a collection of IFR charts for hundreds, if not thousands, airports and airfields around the world. ILS, NDB, VOR+DME approaches, STARs and SIDs, airport diagrams and info, navaids info, additional charts and procedures - it's all there. Before I get those, I used to search for charts on the Internet, with quite good results (and sometimes still have to do for places not included in Simplates), but the time savings are dramatic. Also it's easier during a flight to use a nice software with easy interface than dig in tons of pdf files :) You can read more about it here: http://www.dauntless-soft.com/products/simplates/ however I recommend buying in x-plane.org store, where is cheaper and client support is WAY better and more professional (from my personal experience).

REX stands for Real Environment Xtreme for X-Plane. It's a total remake of default X-Plane weather modelling, with cloud textures made from high definition photographies of real clouds. The result is that, I often have better looking skies on screen, than outside of window ;) Another great features are use of real aviation METARS - coded and brief weather informations - as well as it has an additional window, where you can check a given area for hazards like rain, thunderstorms, icing and turbulence. You can get it here: http://www.x-aviation.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=23&products_id=55

Here's how does it work for me:

If you look closer on the notebook screen, you'll fing the following items opened:

- Goodway flight planner with current plan (NZAA-NZCH, FL250, VOR-to-VOR)

- NZCH ILS-DME STAR chart (flight destination, ILS approach because of weather, METAR supplied by REX even before take off:))

- MU-2 Pilot Handbook (opened on checklists :)


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  • 3 months later...

You could buy a secondary notebook or other minilaptop on Windows, just to run additional software like Simplates. I got mine dirt cheap on eBay and having second screen and all the data at hand during flights is a real blessing. Before that, I had to either task-switch during flight or painfully note everything on paper, before takeoff. I also use the notebook to save backups my payware planes and other important stuff, instead of recording them on CDs. The notebook is also great for reading all of these pdfs ;) Almost like a book - I don't have to print them anymore or be stuck to my desktop while reading.

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One thing, I like in Simplates, is the user interface coupled with search engine. You type in ICAO code or name and after brief pause you get a complete description of the airport, along with list of available charts. Then you can open needed charts in separate windows, so you have all of them easily accessible at once. No more panic, when approach sets you up on a different STAR, than you've originally planned.

Often, for small airfields (like private ranch the ones used by cropdusters) there are no charts at all, but still you get basic info like elevation, runway direction and length, remarks on the surrounding terrain hazards and the like. This information is also present on the Internet, but do you really have the time to look for it? You could be flying already ;)

In the pre-Simplates era I had a wealthy collection of pdf charts. The problem was that in order to have it accessible and searchable on a similar level, I had to painfully rename and catalogue every file I've downloaded. This renaming and moving to desired folders took too much time. So Simplates aren't just a collection of pdfs, they bring a lot of additional data, as well as huge time saving.

I wish someone would develop VFR and IFR enroute charts collections like this.

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  • 3 months later...

I think Goodway is ok, but I don't feel it's at a point where I will spend money on it.  Once it becomes closer to something light Flight Sim Commander 9.  Something like Flight Sim Commander for multiple platforms would be worth the cost.  The features are just too few, and the UI is not the best; I think it's a good start.

I fly on an iMac, and use an iPad for my checklists, charts, notes, and weather updates.  I have various apps that contain all of the approach charts, and use skyvector.com for my enroute charts.  I also have a second monitor hooked up to my iMac, and would like to have a program as robust as Flight Sim Commander running, but I also use it to browse the web.

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  • 2 months later...

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