AI Traffic Spotting

One of the few things I’m obsessed with are planes, mostly commercial airliners and of course military aircrafts as well. Since my aspirations of being a Top Gun pilot never eventuated I just learned to admire commercial airlines from afar and get to ride them a few times to various destinations around the world.

I love the “heavies” the Boeing 777’s, the Airbus 340-600’s and MD-11’s. I never fail to look up at the sky whenever I get a sense that an aircraft is above me and I usually try to work out what airline, manufacturer and which current approach is on – I do this too while I’m driving on the motorway which is not a good idea.

The closest I’m going to get to piloting an aircraft unfortunately is only on my PC with Microsoft’s aging Flight Simulator X. In this simulator I can position myself in any of the 6000+ airports around the world and come across airliners and cargo planes I’ll never get to see in real life.

The default traffic in FSX is rubbish and contributes little to the experience. World of Ai and Ultimate Traffic 2 brought a new dimension to the game thus creating a game within a game. Both of these products bring real time scheduled flights, one is freeware and one is a paid but the best thing is, they can work together. Compiling flight schedules for hundreds and hundreds of airlines as well as thousands of different airports sounds boring and to most people it certainly is. The satisfaction comes when you see a Qantas A380 leaving the gate at Sydney Kingsford Smith International  bound for Los Angeles when it is scheduled to.

Qantas A380-800

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