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Sometimes it feels like this newsletter writes itself but this has been one of those times when it doesn't want to happen. I have tried coaxing it out with Christmas music playing quietly in the background, a plate of mince pies by the keyboard and a small but perfectly formed bottle of brandy to hand. My wife thinks I've left them out for Santa #Istillbelievehesreal :)

No, it's still not writing itself so I'll have to start - I guess a quick review of where we are would be a good place to start. How about our fleet of repaints - earlier this year one pilot passing through (his name escapes me!) made a repaint for the Dornier 228 and shared it only with Ruud before leaving then Ruud lost it!  (in fact now I think about it that was last year but it's staying in because I find it hilarious!). One evening this year (definitely this year) I forgot to lock up the paint shop and someone took advantage letting themselves in - Charlie Zulu has produced some welcome additions, particularly if you want to fly something free, quirky and/or rotary! They are repaints of older models for the 32-bit sim’s such as FSX:SE and earlier but they are no worse for that. Hopefully Santa will bring him a 64-bit paint brush.

UKDirect cast it's shadow over our antipodean cousins last year when Phil Elliot opened a dusty barn looking for a home for his Flying Doctor service but who would have guessed his true motive was to take over the Formula One logistics operation? After a spate of bad fortune including a high incidence of broken windows, flat tyres and bent flaps to say nothing of the mystery surrounding the missing engines the cargo giant TNT could no longer handle the F1 contract. UKDirect was in the right place at the right time! I caught up with Phil earlier who talked me through his plans for the future. Phil has updated the schedules several times in 2018 and he talked excitedly about his expansion of the route network out to the middle-east and his ’gut feeling’ that Emirates may have trouble securing enough fuel next year!. We finished the day with a ‘barbie’ round the back of the hangar alongside his impressively large collection of engines!

While you were reading the above I tried tempting it with Christmas pudding but it still refuses to write itself! However the brandy must be evaporating as there is less than when I started,  ahem, moving on...
Well it feels like the last twenty years just passed in the blink of an eye! I wonder what we'll all be doing in another twenty? Taking it as a given that we will still be flying for UKD, what will the sim’s be like? Will we still be using PC’s with keyboard, mouse and joystick or will we slip on a virtual reality suit fitted out with sensors and kit to simulate movement? Oh, sorry I didn't realise that was meant for the bedroom!

While running this website I keep an eye on the ‘opposition’ i.e. other Virtual Airlines (VA’s) and look at what's appealing to other flight-simmers and when I find something of interest I bookmark the page. Actually I internet-stalk anyone who dares to leave so I can see what has lured them away but the less said about that the better!  I recently re-visited every page I've bookmarked - 73 in total (and most of them added within the last 2 years) but found less than twenty of them still operational! I guess success must be built on something more than a flashy website but I'm still searching for the answer.

As I touched on last issue I have been busy creating many, many routes but really I am standing on the shoulder of giants like Simon, Ruud and Graham by adding to the network they created (there will be other people I've missed so apologies to those not mentioned). If the mood takes you try visiting Athens where our new resident Greek pilot George is based (Ελπίζω να απολαμβάνετε αυτόν τον Γεώργιο)- there you will find a range of aircraft and varied routes short and long. I have been shadowing Darren around the UK too and adding more varied and diverse destinations wherever he lands where practical. Wikipedia has been invaluable here in listing the most popular destinations for each airport but other factors I consider are requests,  realism and new scenery releases mostly in that order.

Oh dear! I've tried feeding some cookies to the PC but it still won't type anything and now it's making strange noises so I better finish off here. Please feel free to browse the following. Hopefully I’ve included something for everyone - videos, news, education, updates and a little humour.

To all our pilots wherever you are in the world on behalf of the hard-working staff behind the scenes may I wish you all a very Merry Christmas from the team at UKDirect and here's to the next twenty years!!

Merry Christmas from UKDirect

UKDirect has pilots from around the world and of course not everybody celebrates Christmas so for those who don't please just enjoy this newsletter in the spirit it is intended.

Flying an aeroplane with only a single propeller to keep you in the air. Can you imagine that?
Jean-Luc Picard, Captain U.S.S. Enterprise D



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A selection from some of the best UKD screenshots on Facebook in 2018
A big thank you for the Photos by Ruud Blaauwijkel, Graeme Smith, Phil Elliott, Charley Zulu, Simon Dobby, Tarık Şeker, Darren Williams, Paul Murphy‎
and myself!
Do you have a screen shot you are proud of and wouldn't mind seeing messed up on here? Please send it in and share it with us.
To enter in the next e-magazine send your entries to Newshound: mark[at]



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Rabbit Stew Anyone?

The aviation industry took a step towards making commercially-viable sustainable aviation fuel a reality – thanks to a world first flight by Virgin Atlantic and LanzaTech, supported by long-term partner Boeing. A bacteria found in the gut of a rabbit helped Virgin Atlantic fly a 747 from Orlando, Florida, to London, England in an eco-friendly way.

The bacteria, identified by biotech start-up LanzaTech, helps turn factory carbon emissions, a.k.a. pollution, into ethanol, which can then be blended with petrol for cars or converted into a liquid fuel that is blended into conventional jet fuel. The goal in both cases is to reduce the amount of petroleum-based fuel used by planes and cars.

Virgin Atlantic, the airline arm of the Virgin empire founded by Richard Branson, has been working with LanzaTech since 2011. The goal of the partnership was to produce jet fuel made from carbon waste gases. LanzaTech produces next generation ‘advanced’ fuels by recycling waste industrial gases like those produced from steel making and other heavy industrial processes. LanzaTech takes these waste, carbon-rich gases to first make ethanol. The ethanol can be used for a range of low carbon products, including jet fuel. The innovative alcohol-to-jet process used to make the fuel in this flight was developed in collaboration with Pacific Northwest National Lab and the US Department of Energy.

Virgin Atlantic is calling on the UK government to commit to making this fuel a commercial reality in the UK. LanzaTech says it could have three UK plants running by 2025, producing up to 125 million gallons of sustainable fuel per year – enough to fly all Virgin Atlantic’s UK outbound flights (as a 50:50 mix) while bringing multiple benefits to the UK. These include: saving nearly 1 million tonnes of life-cycle carbon in a hard-to-decarbonise sector; and supporting a burgeoning bio-economy sector, thousands of clean growth jobs across the supply chain, enhanced fuel security, and providing important trade import and export potential – all benefits the UK desperately needs as we face a post-Brexit Britain.




A220-200 Air Tanzania has become the first African carrier to take delivery of the Airbus A220 aircraft, the newest addition to the Airbus family of commercial aircraft. Air Tanzania (The Wings of the Kilimanjaro) also becomes the latest member of Airbus aircraft operators and the fifth airline globally with an A220 family aircraft.
“After Europe, Asia and America, we are proud to see the A220 fly now also on the African continent and in Air Tanzania’s livery. With over 240 Airbus aircraft flying in Africa and a large network of flight service offices in the region, we are ready to contribute to the airline’s success,” said Philippe Balducchi, CEO of the A220 partnership.

The A220 is the only aircraft purpose-built for the 100-150 seat market; it delivers unbeatable fuel efficiency and true widebody comfort in a single-aisle aircraft. The A220 brings together state-of-the-art aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines to offer at least 20 percent lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft. With a range of up to 3,200 nm (5020 km), the A220 offers the performance of larger single aisle aircraft.

With an order book of over 400 aircraft to date, the A220 has all the credentials to win the lion’s share of the 100- to 150-seat aircraft market, estimated to represent at least 7,000 aircraft over the next 20 years.



Embraer E195-E2

The Embraer E190-E2, nicknamed the Profit Hunter, is part of the E2 family of regional jets, which encompasses the E175-E2, E190-E2, and E195-E2. The plane has a 2-2 configuration and can seat up to 150 passengers on board and burns 17 per cent less fuel than the E190, its predecessor.


No, it's not some nightmare scenario brought about by severe flooding, but a real-deal Embraer E190-E2 aircraft, painted up in a special great white shark livery.
In recent months, this ferocious flier has been turning heads and starring in travel Instagrams from the Maldives to South Africa while on a world tour and in October, it was spied at Nepal's Kathmandu-Tribhuvan International Airport following a fly-past of Mount Everest.
Nicknamed the Profit Hunter, this is the show plane for Embraer's E2 family of regional jets, which encompasses the E175-E2, E190-E2, and E195-E2, and it's stealing some of the attention that's lately been lavished on its competitor, the Airbus A220.
The A220 series was originally created by Canadian manufacturer Bombardier as the C Series, with the first jets off the line sold to Swiss International Air Lines, which has been flying them since 2016. AirBaltic became the second C Series operator in late 2016, and Korean Air took delivery of its own in December 2017, with Delta also placing orders and planning to commence regular A220 flights in 2019.

E2 vs A220
However, it was in October 2017 that Airbus announced a partnership with Bombardier, which evolved into a majority stake in the manufacturer's C series program and a rebrand of the C Series to A220 during the Farnborough Airshow in July 2018.
The rivalry between the Embraer's E2 series and the Airbus A220 reached its zenith at Farnborough, when JetBlue Airways ordered 60 A220s over the E2s, to replace its Embraer 190 fleet. First deliveries of these aren't expected until 2020, but for travelers who have come to know, and perhaps love, the smaller aircraft of the JetBlue fleet (the airline currently only operates Airbus A320s and Embraer E190s), the change to Airbus A220s means losing an overlooked amenity that's a trademark of Embraer: no middle seats.
Embraer's country-hopping world tour is the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer's chance to demonstrate to clients, as well as to the traveling public, that it has new aircraft too, and with technical and comfort advances developed since the early 2000s introduction of the first E-jet generation, of which more than 1,400 currently fly for operators around the world.


The Five Freedoms of Aviation  [14:04]

Behind any commercial flight is centuries of political negotiations and accords that dictate who, how, and where airlines can fly.


Chubu Centrair International Airport   [47:14]

Please enjoy the beautiful movies of the airplane that we can look at Centrair(NGO/RJGG). The movie of a large-sized freighter "Dreamlifter" transporting a part of Boeing 787 is included.

Contents: 1. airport overview,  2. Japanese airlines at Centrair,  3. foreign airlines at Centrair
4. cargo terminal and freighter,    5. sunset and night



Boeing Forecasts Demand for 2,300 New Airplanes in India

Boeing raised its long-term forecast for commercial airplanes in India as unprecedented domestic passenger traffic and rapidly expanding low-cost carriers (LCCs) drive the need for 2,300 new jets – valued at $320 billion – over the next 20 years. This year alone, more than 10 million passengers, on average, traveled within India each month.

"To meet this increased domestic air traffic growth, we see the vast majority of available airplane seats coming from LCCs," said Dinesh Keskar, senior vice president of Sales for Asia Pacific and India, Boeing Commericial Airplanes. "The success of this market segment will mean more than 80 percent of all new airplane deliveries in India will be single-aisles. And the superior economics and fuel efficiency of the new 737 MAX airplane will be the perfect choice for Indian carriers."

Green Africa Airways Announce Landmark Commitment for up to 100 737 MAX aircraft

The commitment represents the largest aircraft deal ever for the African continent. Lagos-based Green Africa Airways announced a commitment for up to 100 737 MAX 8 aircraft, evenly split into 50 firm aircraft and 50 options, as the airline gears up to begin commercial operations. The total deal carries a list-price of $11.7 billion, the largest aircraft agreement from Africa.

flyadeal Sign Commitment for Up to 50 737 MAX Jets

Boeing and flyadeal announced the Middle East carrier is growing its fleet with the 737 MAX to take advantage of the airplane's fuel efficiency, range and passenger comforts. The airline committed to ordering 30 airplanes with options for 20 more in a deal that would be valued at up to $5.9 billion at list price.

The deal is subject to both sides concluding final terms and conditions and a purchase agreement.
flyadeal, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabian Airlines, offers affordable flights within Saudi Arabia.


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Go See Santa and Rudolf !

Having made some flights to Rovaniemi a while ago (Mark has added some too) I've just put up the flightplans to fly from Gatwick to Ivalo and back using the usual Airbus and Boeing equipment. If you're keen there's some very nice freeware scenery for Ivalo FSX at by Tatu Kantomaa. It's around 850mb and they recommend you use it with other scenery files but I have installed it in P3Dv3.4 and it looks very good (although it's not very light even at midday in flightsim)

Any A319/320/321, B734,737,738,739,752,753 or even the E170,175,190,195 are capable of making the 1300 mile trip with good planning. So I'll knock up some flights and the rest will be up to you..
If you decide to download the scenery read the PDF file as there are a couple of things to put in the FSX.cfg file so take care and make a back up first!
There are usually online events to Lapland (Charlie) and they are well supported by the community so have a look for any advertised.
Just keep your eyes peeled for a Jolly fatman in a red suit when airborne as I heard Rob Wright may be back!

Seasons Bleetings, Graham UKD140.

Graham's gone to Ivalo
UKD 737 at Rovaniemi by Tatu Kantomaa

EFIV Ivalo and EFRO Rovaniemi

Do you have a screen shot you are proud of and wouldn't mind seeing messed up on here? Please send it in and share it with us.
To enter in the next e-magazine send your entries to Newshound: mark[at]

[P3D] Flying to Lapland with Nicolas Cage | Manchester (EGCC) - Rovaniemi (EFRO) | VATSIM | Full ATC [The last 7.00]

It's Matt Davies - so I cut to the end where he lands at EFRO!!! At least you see the scenery!
He disabled the link so you need to click the video to watch direct from YouTube.


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CAPTAIN JOE meets KENNEDY STEVE - The interview! [16.00]

Dear friends and followers, welcome back and to the first proper interview on my channel.
I´ve have used "Kennedy Steve´s" voice in countless intro or to explain a ATC related question until I reached out to Steve via one of my videos. A day later he wrote me an e-mail and we planned out to meet for an interview at JFK airport. So I took the next flight to JFK and met with Steve and flew back a couple of hours later.


Cockpit Middle East Airlines MEA Airbus A320 Landing Izmir, Turkey HD [10.16]

Middle East Airlines Airbus A320 T7-MRF Cockpit Landing in Izmir, Turkey for our Digital Network trip with the Chairman Mr. El Hout.

Flight: ME7269 (Charter)
Airport: Adnan Menderes Airport (LTBJ),Landing Runway: 34L,  Flight Time: 1 hour and 25 min


Hovering a Helicopter is Hilariously Hard [9.44]


The Rise of 20-Hour Long Flights  [12.32]

Flying over the pole in a Boeing 777 carrying 237 passengers, 15 flight attendants, 66 gallons of soda and 390 pounds of wet ice may not match Adm. Richard E. Byrd's heroic attempt in 1926, but the ''pole vault,'' as it is called, remains a thrill nonetheless, even for the most jaded of frequent fliers.



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Lockheed Martin posted the awaited info about the new update v4.4 for Prepar3D.

Among the new features, many simmers will appreciate the drawing distance and the addition of PBR support among the various enhancements.

PBR means Physically Based Rendering, and it makes textures look like they do in real life with accurate lights effects. Significant changes will be visible between metal and non metal objects for example as demonstrated in the video below.

Chicago O'HAre native PBR materials for Prepar3D version 4.4   [2:08]

Watch the preview demo of FSDreamTeam with Physically Based Rendering (PBR) effects on the textures. The lights reflections and colors react differently according to the material, the angle of vision, time of day and weather conditions..

This preview is shot with the upcoming scenery project of KORD Chicago O’Hare, in P3D v4.4.

FSDreamTeam – GSX PBR Preview


FSDreamTeam is already working on the integration of PBR effects in their products. All GSX objects library will receive the advanced material effects and reflections in the future. They have started with the jetways as illustrated above.

PFPX 2.0 Update


Professional Flight Planner X updates to version 2.0 with a new and free update ready for download by all registered customers.

New plotting charts and ETOPS map make part of the enhancements awaited by hardcore simmers who use this advanced flight planner editor for P3D, FSX, FS9, X-Plane, many airliners add-ons FMC and even with weather utilities.


christmas deer


New UK2000 Sceneries of 2018

Manchester (MAN) to Guernsey (GCI) in an ATR42-500 (FS9)   [7:39]

(Video: Sim; FS9, Model by ISDT, Panel by Flight 1 ATR. Paint by Edward Cox, Manchester EGCC UK2000, Guernsey by UK2000, Real weather by  Active Sky Evolution
Clouds/sky by HDE v2)

This year UK2000 released the following airport sceneries:

10th November 2018 Belfast Int V2 Released.
28th April 2018 Guernsey Xtreme V1 Released.
24th February 2018 Belfast City Xtreme V1 Released.
26th January 2018 Gatwick Xtreme V4 Released for Xplane 10,11

Planned for 2019 - Bournemouth (EGHH) will receive the Extreme treatment, previously it was only available in the VFR range. Luton and Bristol will receive updates after that.

UK2000 sale

The sale only applies to download versions but includes the latest releases and ends 31st  Dec 18.
Save 25% if you order 1 product, 30% if you order 2, and save 40% when you order 4 or more.


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Quick Updates

MilViz PA-30 Twin Comanche 
v1.181112 Update (21 Nov)
EPKK Krakow X v2 - v2.1 Update (21 Nov)
Cologne/Bonn Professional - v1.0.3.0 Update (15 Nov)
Bergamo Professional v1.0.1.0 Update (14 Nov)
Napoli X - v1.1 Update (8 Nov)
Ground Environment X Europe - v2.60 Update (7 Nov)
iFly 747-8i Free Update for 747-400 Service Pack 3 (26 Dec)
PA-28-181 Archer III v1.1 Update (29 Oct)
Aerosoft  Mega Airport Prague
 for P3D4 (20 Dec)
Flight 1  UTLive Winter 2019 Schedule Free (23 Dec)
Aerosoft – Simstarter NG Update for P3D4.4

FSUIPC latest versions:    

FSUIPC5 5.15 for Prepar3D Version 4. Released  November 27th 2018 (3.3 MB)
FSUIPC4 4.971 for use with FSX, FSX-SE and Prepar3D 1.4-3.4.  Released August 16th 2017 (3.3 MB)

SODE V1.6.4


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Will Ferrell Acceptance Speech At The Mark Twain Comedy Award 2011 [10.26]

Taped at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Will Ferrell’s Full Speech As George W. Bush At #NotTheWHCD {11:40]

Here’s what you missed if you weren’t in the audience for Full Frontal’s Not The White House Correspondent’s Dinner.

The Fairy Tales of Chemtrails! [11:07]

Another Tinfoil Tuesday awaits!  Today we look at Chemtrails and the conspiracy theory that apparently says we are being sprayed with chemicals and metals from above!  Let's set the record straight....

The Ultimate Paper Airplane | WIRED [7:35]

Over the last decade, designer Luca Iaconi-Stewart has been building an incredibly detailed model of a Boeing 777, right down to the tiny seats and moving landing gear, using only paper folders and glue.


The FASTEST gaming PC money can buy [21.14]

Linus tries to build a fast PC!


Merry Christmas
christmas lights
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