Saturday, July 15, 2006

Back to the Future (and the past)

Orbiter and its add-on developers continue to amaze me. The creators of two must-have add-on packages for Orbiter 2005 have just announced updates (in one case, an interim patch) for Orbiter 2006.

I've written before about both Project X-15 and World of 2001. Greg Burch and Scott Conklin have updated their X-15 packages (there are three, X-15, Edwards AFB, and X-15 Delta) for Orbiter 2006, taking advantage of the advanced features of Vinka's spacecraft3.dll to improve aerodynamics as well as usability and immersiveness. I've just downloaded the packages and haven't tried them myself yet, but the original add-ons were great and the early reviews on the forum are strong.

World of 2001 (Wo2001) by Erik Anderson (Sputnik), Alain Hosking (80mileshigh), and Wolfgang Schwarz (Nautilus), is another work of art for Orbiter. They have just released a patch with fixes required for everything to work in 2006, and their web site says a full 2006 rework is planned for later in the year. In the meantime, get the original and the patch, and watch this cool video (15 MB wmv). The picture above is a Phobos base from Wo2001, which implements bases and spacecraft described only in Arthur C. Clarke's books in addition to the well-known ones from the Stanley Kubrick movie.

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