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MTX 5.2b pro and Life Traffic 3 - mini review


darem
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Ok, I took the plunge and got myself AirNav's FS Live Traffic 3 today (worldwide edition).

Installation is very easy, and if you own MTX 5.2b pro, you just delete the folders Live Traffic Created in simobjects/misc, run the MT Editor and recompile with the box "UT2/FSLive 2 compatible" checked.

Then you download the data from their server, their program compiles it into a FSX readable format and you should be good to go, with traffic as close to real life as it gets.

But you are not.

I compared what is shown in FSX to live information that you can get from the internet. I chose a couple of airports (EDDV, EDDW, LOWW or LIMC) - and what you see is 80% completely fictional flights - departures that aren't scheduled, arrivals that do not happen and planes that should NEVER be at the airport in question.

First I thought that it was because of the interference of MTX, so I uninstalled MTX (following the procedure in the manual), uninstalled FS Live Traffic and reinstalled FS Live Traffic again. The only planes, the only schedules available for FSX were those from FS Live Traffic.

What changed was the fact that traffic didn't click in at all before the traffic slider was set to 75%, and again the traffic was fictional in most circumstances. Neither departures nor arrivals had something to do with published information.

I thought to myself that it could be an european problem, so I started FSX at Tampa International. A lot of planes there, and again: Departures and arrivals were completely fictional.

I confess it might be user error, but I really don't know what could be wrong ion my side. I mailed their support now, maybe they can help. I'll keep you updated.

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I give you an example HOW off the program is: These are the departures at Marseilles between 19:12 and 20:00 as depicted in SuperTrafficboard V2.2:

19:12 Royal Air Maroc to Almeria - in reality a Royal Air Maroc would leave to Casablanca at 20:20

19:13 Bee Line to Bruxelles - there isn't a flight to Bruxelles from Marseilles today.

19:18 Air France to Tunis - no flights to Tunis today.

19:26 Air France to Paris-Le-Bourget - one is going to Orly at 19:30 in reality, none ever to PLB

19:48 Lufthansa to Stuttgard - last Lufthansa leaving today was 18:50 to Frankfurt

19:53 Lufthansa to Munich - purely fictional again

19:56 Ryanair to Madrid - nonsense

Both arrivals are purely fictional as well.

That's more than strange, I think.

Edit: tried Phoenix/AZ now - reality factor is 10% there, better than other airports so far, which means that one out of 10 departures can be linked to something that really happens there...

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After more experimentation, it seems that arrivals tend to be more accurate than departures on the airports. In LOWS, Live Traffic got 3 out of 7 right, adding two fictional arrivals.

Cooperation with MTX is not as expected, because MTX traffic kicks in at low slider settings, Live Traffic only above 75%. So when you get your first few flights from Live Traffic, you already have a lot of (fictional or half fictional) flights from MTX. It also seems that the compiler for schedules in the MTX editor doesn't remove european traffic covered by Live Traffic, this is why you still find Lufthansa, British Airways and others in the MTX traffic.

I'll keep posting my findings here, although immediate interest seems pretty low, but this could be helpful for those thinking of buying AIrNav's Live Traffic for Europe...

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Here's some good news: The situation improves in your reality bubble with time passing. At least the arrivals at an airport resemble real life at some degree, and I'd say after app. 30 minutes you will have a reality factor of 25-30% - which IS an improvement.

But there are bad news as well: Some flight are registered under two airlines, for example Lufthansa and Austrian share a flight from Frankfurt to Vienna. These are shown as two planes in close proximity (they are also listed as two entries on the life traffic boards at the airpots' homepages), so this is something they should fix, imho.

Best results in Europe so far I get with a traffic setting of 80% or more and the altered MTX traffic added. Luckily, such high settings aren't a real problem with MTX models (cheers to Burkhard) :-)

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Darem

Unfortunately I have to agree with you, the concept is abosutely brilliant, however for some reason it doesn't work. For my local airport, EGGC Manchester, I even compared the real airports arrival/departure boards with that from FSX/Live Traffic assisted with SuperTrafficBoard. I normally used WofAI packs, but had temporarily removed the traffic files for purpose of evaluating FS Live Traffic.

The actual number of totally correct flights was 0. Occasionally a flight did show with the correct flight number and route, but the times were many hours out. First question that arises - what time should be set in FSX (I assume current local time) is this correct? Should I also set local times on each airport/country I visit?

Are there any other settings in FSX (or even in STB - which has different options with regards to flight numbers) which would help?

What worries me considerably is that many of the routes themselves are totally wrong. There are a HIGH number of very short domestic flights to/from Manchester which don't exist; although the airlines may serve both departure and arrival airports - doesn't mean there are direct flights between the two. Eg : EasyJet Manchester-Luton, MyTravel East Midlands-Manchester. The last 2 airports are less than 100 miles apart - but this "flight" uses 757s!!!

There is also a notable absence of many airlines, particularly those with smaller aircraft - i.e. one of the largest regional airlines in UK is Flybe - they're not ever shown on FS Live Traffic. However it's possible that these are not shown as they don't "track" on RadarBoxes (possibly the source of data for FS Live Traffic).

For the price charged for this product, and the claims made repeatedly on the website regarding accurate and live flight data, I expect better. In fact if this program was much more true to life, I would even pay MORE than the going price.

Mark

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I asked them a couple of support questions before the weekend, dealing with the matters we experience. While they have answered all pre-purchase questions within hours, they remained silent for days now. I will remind them in another mail now.

The next thing I will do is ask for a refund - and if they refuse, I will dispute the credit card payment with my company.

Their business conduct is pretty questionable. Just to give you another example: They offer a seven day trial for Live Tracker (with opt out - meaning that you have to tell them within the seven days that you do not want to subscribe after your trial period). I took their offer to crosscheck Live Traffic with the Live Tracker data. When I ordered Life Traffic, I mailed them that I do not intend to go into subscription, just want to use Live Tracker to crosscheck flights with Live Traffic.

They INSTANTLY disabled my Live Tracker account. How lame is that?

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