Here’s a review of the most awaited weather injector, now available for X-Plane. HiFi’s Active Sky XP is already a must have, even without its cloud textures. Reviewed with real weather charts.
Active sky XP is the latest product from HiFi team that bring x-plane platform ultra realistic weather injection. First of all we have to point out what the product is actually aiming to deliver in order to be able to evaluate correctly what the product is delivering us.
It’s aim is to do a professional level weather injection providing additional optional cloud textures that are not to be meant as the rendition of the more complex art system used in P3D and FSX that will come to X-Plane in Q4 2019.
Indeed the cloud textures provided are good, but still far from the idea you can have by knowing their stunning quality in FSX/P3D. It’s something that really worths waiting for.
In the meanwhile the product is basically a sophisticated injector. That means that you can still use your preferred environment add-ons, including xVision that works perfectly with Active Sky. It doesn’t sound bad, right?
Let’s talk about the user interface and how the software works. It’s a separate application that you need to run at the same time of x-plane (it can be minimized and also sent to system tray) and can also be accessed through it’s web server via the mobile control component. Its user interface is very clean and easy to understand. Something that I definitively love is the map/radar view inside the app that will let you monitor the weather condition in you simulator and that is very useful for add-ons that lacks one (it’s just like windy or any other radar weather app).
You may have to play a bit with its settings, sometimes not friendly as the interface in general, to get more realism. For example I’d advise to let ASXP take control of the turbolences and the other enviromental components, avoiding the interaction of the simulator that may lead to a not clean experience.
In addition to this you’ll be also able to extract the metar for your choosen airport or to retrive a full weather briefing for your whole routing (it requires AIRAC update).
This software also features a pair of frequencies (available through the ASXP connect plugin) that can be used to listen to a sort of ATIS that, to be honest, looks very different form the real ones (Europe/Italy) but that are anyway useful for obtaining latest weather data while in flight and without using the user interface of the application.
Of course this feature cannot be improved that much, but, by now, it’s fundamental to get the ATIS informations without opening the application while flying.
It would be cool if Laminar could work with HiFi to set the right frequency and syntax for each airport, just a suggestion…
Now we should come to the most interesting part of the review: how is active sky injecting weather? Is it realistic?
Well first of all we should just say that weather data are always correct, I’ve checked that multiple times as with multiple sources moreover it always reflect operational informations from weather data from the charts. But it will not always match the real situation that is evolving fastly and not fully as charts can state. It will of course be a great realism addition to your simulator but you have to accept the refresh of the weather data that will reset the weather for a second and then refresh. For me it’s not a problem but it’s quite personal.
In general, and for what we have in X-Plane by now, it’s a very complex and realistic injector, providing a very interesting experience.
The Historical Weather feature, the true battle horse of Active Sky so far, allows you to fly and train in the conditions you directly experienced in the past.
I’m sure that at least once in your life you looked outside your window thinking “I’d love to fly from/to ZZZZ today“. Of course you didn’t have time, as usually for me… That’s why I love Active Sky and its Historical Weather that, moreover, can be implemented in Simbrief.
It’s critical to underline that:
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