The best addons 2018 for P3D (and how much they cost)
#1
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The best addons 2018 for P3Dv4
And how much they cost

   

How much does it cost to fly realistically with P3Dv4? As real as it gets comes with a cost. Like every hobby, flight simulation can be expensive leisure. Whilst it is quite possible to fly Lockheed Martin Prepar3D v4 out of the box, it is well known that addons will greatly improve your flight experience.

Assuming that you have already the necessary hardware (joystick, yoke, throttle, rudder), below is a bold calculation of the cost to fly realistically in the simulator. Of course there are freeware alternatives to payware addons, but IMHO the best in class often involves a cost. Obviously you will need to make a compromise and select relevant items in the list below according to your taste, need, and budget over time. Prices are for P3Dv4 at the time of this writing and subject to change. But overall you will get a bold idea.


Aircrafts

  • $49.99 Cessna C172, Trainer (A2A Simulations)  
  • $49.99 Bonanza B35 "V Tail", Cruiser (A2A Simulations)
  • $89.99 737-800/900 (PMDG)
  • $139.99 747-400 V3 (PMDG)
  • $134.99 Airliner Boeing 777-200LR/F (PMDG)
  • $69.95 Ultimate 787 (QualityWings)
  • $139.95 Airliner Airbus A-320 (FSLabs)
  • $72.58 A320/A321 professional (Aerosoft)
  • $58.00 Majestic Software Dash 8 Q400 Pilot Edition
If you don't have much budget and can only afford one addon, I would recommend to get an aircraft. After all, it's all about flying! Typically you would choose a  trainer or a high performance light aircraft depending on your profile and experience. There are numerous aircraft addons makers but the best is currently A2A Simulations since RealAir Simulations stopped business late 2016. Purchasing an A2A airplane is a no-brainer. If you expect high quality in terms of flight model, start-up procedure, textures, cockpit, and documentation you can't go wrong with them. Two A2A aicrafts are featured in the list, the classic C172 released in 2013 and the Bonanza B35 "V Tail" available since september 2018. They have other light aircrafts but unfortunately no twin-engine aircraft.

If you are into flying airliners: are you a Boeing lover? Yes? Then go for the PMDG 737 or 777. Another no-brainer and top-notch. There is a particular case for 787 aficionados: the only choice is QualityWings. Cheaper but below PMDG. Now if you cannot live without Airbus: the study-level sim within the simulator is clearly the A320 by FSLabs, for hardcore simmers. The Aerosoft A320 targets the simmers who are happy with a quality sim focused on day-to-day operations.

The only quality regional airliner is the Dash 8 by Majestic Software.

In the days of FS2004, some freeware aircrafts were famous worldwide. Today, the expectations of the public is so high that the knowledge, time, manpower and money required to manufacture a high quality and fidelity aircraft is considerable, making it difficult for freeware developers to compete with "companies".


Sceneries

  • $71.37 FTX Base (world): enhanced ground and building textures, 3D night lighting (OrbX)
  • $36.00 FTX Vector (world): accurate coastlines, rivers, lakes, motorways, power lines,... (OrbX)
  • $37.13 FTX openLC North America: enhanced landclass, cities, 4 seasons support,... (OrbX)
  • $39.24 FTX Region: Base + Vector for a region (OrbX)
  • $90.00 FS Global Ultimate - Next Generation: 80 Gb download (PILOT's)
  • $23.53 One Small / Bush Airport (OrbX)
  • $30.00 One Big or International Airport (FlyTampa, Taxi2Gate, FSDT, FlightBeam)
The products fall here into two categories: those that enhance the scenery all across the globe, and those that detail the scenery locally (a region, a zone, an airport). The best scenery addons makers are listed (value for money).


Utilities

  • $49.95 Reality XP GPS Garmin GNS 530W/430W V2, GTN 750/650 Touch (price is for each)
  • $48.00 Professional Flight Planner X (PFPX), flight planning tool for airliners (Flightsimsoft)
  • $34.00 FSTramp, flight planning tool for General Aviation, annual subscription (Helge Schroeder)
  • $00.00 Plan-G (freeware)
  • $00.00 Little Navmap (freeware)
  • $57.00 Active Sky for Prepar3D v4 (ASP4), weather simulation engine (HiFi Simulation Technologies)
  • $41.67 or $00.00 FSUIPC, required by many complex addons (Pete Dowson)
  • $34.95 FS Force, provides realistic effects for force feedback joystick (Dirks Software)
Ideally you would need a flight planner and real-time and dynamic weather software. FSUIPC is an utility required by many complex addons aircrafts. The paid version allows you to program and calibrate your joystick with a high degree of customization. Plan-G and Little Navmap are two flight planners widely used in the flightsim community worldwide.




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#2
RaiderOne (RO),

You owe me USD $20 for this special and custom article written upon your request!

It is informative, straight to the point, and provide practical advices.

It will save you countless hours of resarch, analysis, and forum discussions.

So money well spent Wink

Any question?

USD $5 per answer Mrgreen




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#3
Thank you for the excellent and very objective and information rich article Simicro !

I would like to buy $10,00 of questions :-)

Do you use Hervé Sors Navdata and Declination database updates, or recommend using it with P3D ( after all the Declination update is automatically suggested by the FSLabs A320 / 19 installers too ) ?

What do you use / suggest for enhanced Terrain Mesh ?

Finally I would like to point out that P3D v4 can now also be used with ELITE Hardware, and actually as a visuals engine for both ELITE IFT v9 and Aerowinx PSX, for free or payware for the later, very expensive for the former.
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#4
Hervé Sors Navdata and Declination database updates: sorry I don't know this product.

Mesh: I recommand $90.00 FS Global Ultimate - Next Generation (PILOT's). Updated in the article. PILOT's is the developer of the FTX series sold by OrbX if I recall correctly. Now FS Global Ultimate is downloadable (80 Gb) but a couple of years ago, only DVDs were available. I don't use mesh: in 2014 when I flew the 777, I was high and decided that I did not need mesh.




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#5
Ok,

good suggestions again.

Regarding Hervé's updates, they can be found here:

http://www.aero.sors.fr/navaids.html

But the whole site is worth paying a visit - full of valuable information:

http://www.aero.sors.fr/
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#6
Thanks jcomm, I had a quick look, interesting and content oriented!




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#7
(10-16-2018, 11:35 PM)Simicro Wrote: RaiderOne (RO),

You owe me USD $20 for this special and custom article written upon your request!

It is informative, straight to the point, and provide practical advices.

It will save you countless hours of resarch, analysis, and forum discussions.

So money well spent Wink

Any question?

USD $5 per answer Mrgreen

Yes ... true !

Very usefull for me when I will jump into the P3D adventure ...!
Very well done too !

THX a lot ! Thumbup
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#8
And for French landscapes ... nothing from the AddOns studio "France VFR" is advised ... ?
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#9
Did you realize that this article is international? Laugh 

I cannot make recommendations for every country!

Seriously: of course France VFR addons are well known but personally I have never bought one and don't follow the news.

For freeware sceneries you can go there http://www.gratisim.fr I recommend Occitania VFR (South of France).




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#10
RaiderOne (RO),

No need to ask you where you will fly when you come to P3D Wink 

However I am curious: what plane are you going to fly when you start with P3D?

An airliner right away? If so, an Airbus?

An small aicraft? If so, which one would you like?




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