Fanboy Friday: Fabulous Freebies!
by Bill Womack on June 29, 2012
I talk about a lot of payware add-ons on this blog. Mostly that’s because of the amazing variety of top-notch work available from so many talented devs. Even though they’re great, you could drain your bank account pretty quick buying all of these goodies, so every now and then I think it’s nice to point out notable freeware that’s out there. Luckily, two awesome addons that fit the bill perfectly cropped up in the last few days.
A Wing on the Weird Side
If you’re a registered member of the Aerosoft forums, you might already know about this offering. As part of their ongoing program of providing occasional free addons, Aerosoft recently released Dave Rowberry’s Mitchell Wing. This is about as elemental as a plane can get: it’s basically a big boomerang-shaped wing with a tiny 40hp engine attached.
I’ve never even seen on of these oddball wings in real life, so I have no idea if this one flies like the real thing. What I can say is that it definitely has a personality all its own. Taxiing takes nearly full throttle to unstick the tiny wheels, but once it gets rolling you’ll be airborne in no time. The rudder(s) are actually a pair of deflecting winglets, and they have some serious authority. Even though it’s relatively unadorned with doo-dads, it does manage to have retractable landing gear. When the gear’s down, in fact, you’ve got a ruddy great hole in the floor right by your feet. It’d be great for sightseeing, or venting a relief tube…
The modeling is outstanding, and the texturing even better. You really get the feel of being inside a thin fiberglass shell, inches from the rushing wind. I took it out last night for a quick hop across Portland from 7S3 to KTTD, and had a blast. For such a minuscule engine, it can get this little bird hopping–I managed an average of 100-110KIAS the whole way. The only glitch I found was a wrong-reading directional gyro, but they’ve fixed that now with a 1.01 patch, which I believe is already rolled into the installer if you get it now. And really, why wouldn’t you?
And Some Wild Lands to Fly It Over
You know what would go great with the Mitchell Wing? Some small farm strips in a glorious outback setting to explore. Hey, look at that… Orbx just released a series of three small farm strips that are just the ticket! The price? Zippo.
Developer Tom Brooks put together a great little package of airports in the PNW (northwest Washington state, more precisely) that are well worth checking out. The three fields are 7WA3 West Wind, 4WA8 Riverside, and an unnamed farm strip just west of Riverside. All three are situated along the winding Nooksack River, which is rendered as photoreal terrain. Each strip has its challenges and rewards. For the unnamed strip, part of the challenge is just finding it! You can always look through that hole in the floor, I guess.
Orbx has a history of providing intriguing freeware releases, and this is one of the best yet. Get your copy here (you’ll need to be a registered forum member for this one, too) and clear your schedule this weekend. Just be prepared for odd looks from the locals when you and the bat plane come swooping in on their quiet afternoon.
For my American readers, have a great pre-July 4th weekend. For everyone else, do likewise!
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