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A Flight of Fancy

I wouldn’t normally blog about our customers, but we’ve been consulting on some of the technology behind their latest product and I have their permission to mention it 🙂 

Aerosimulations Ltd is a new startup software vendor formed by Chris Norris (formerly of Xenvision) and Peter Wilding (of Flight Environment). They have just released the first flagship product, Flight Environment X over the weekend and it looks amazing.

FEX_screen4

My involvement was that Evolved Software Studios Ltd assisted Aerosimulations Ltd in the later stages of their project, providing help with Microsoft technology consultancy, throughout August and September.

Flight Environment X makes Microsoft Flight Simulator X looks like a completely brand new simulator. It is what you would expect from Microsoft, if they had a couple of years of extra development time to work on textures.

FEX_screen35

The product itself is essentially a pack of very high quality, high resolution textures and a designer which allows different combinations of effects to be applied to them in order to create “Themes”. These Themes can then be used inside Flight Simulator, where they override the existing textures in favour of using the customised ones. Textures are provided for replacement Water, Sky and Clouds. The textures are all original artwork, captured and processed by Peter Wilding and the software itself allows for a truely unique and awe-inspiring flight environment every time. The FEX software is built around an online community, so you can download Themes, modify them and submit your own themes – completely from within FEX – in minutes.

In addition, the way in which these textures are injected actually improves the performance of Flight Simulator X. As much as I’d love to provide you all with code samples, this is top secret!

FEX_screen5

That’s not to say there aren’t problems with Flight Environment X. My desktop wallpaper is quite dark, and the FEX theme is dark, so can be difficult to make out at times – an ability to change the colour of the interface from within FEX would be helpful. All the choices in the designer are very well laid out, but can be a bit bewildering the first time you see them. A very simple “Getting Started” tutorial or a couple of pre-set “Try Me” themes would be supremely useful, particularly for those of us who are impatient and don’t read manuals 😉

I wonder what we can expect to see next from Aerosimulations. I’ve heard on the grapevine that they are planning to release a free weather engine shortly (retrieves real-time weather from internet sources and configures FEX automatically for your flight). As a new company, I can say from experience that they have done a remarkable thing getting such an awesome product, packed full of technology, finished in good time.

Flight Environment X is published by Flight1 at a retail price of $49.99. You can read more about Flight Environment X and purchase online at: www.flightenvironment.com.

I expect many more great things from Aerosimulations! Well done guys.

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