Archive: February 12th, 2008

Adding Altitude Callouts to FSX (pmSounds)

I’ll be posting a major update really soon regarding my desktop simulator (I just need to get some pictures lined up); however, today I just wanted to add a quick post regarding a nice bit of add-on software called pmSounds.

One minor annoyance with FSX is the lack of automatic radar altitude callouts during landing. This is where the cockpit computer calls out 100, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 feet off the ground. Not only does it sound cool, but it helps with flaring at the right moment and you to keep your eyes on the runway without having to glance down at the radar gauge.

On a quick side note, I was once asked what the difference between ‘radar altitude’ and ‘altitude’ is. In short, the normal altimeter is based purely on air pressure and is set relative to sea level. This is why, for example, when sitting on the ground the altimeter isn’t at zero (unless the airport you’re at is at sea level). The air pressure based altitude is very accurate, although as minor pressure changes will cause fluctuations in the readings during takeoff and landing it helps to have an accurate, pressure independent, reading of the aircraft’s actual altitude.
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