# Phil's Jan 2018 Newsletter #

Phil's January 2018 Newsletter


Welcome.
 Can I take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy New Year. I hope Santa was generous to you and you all had a little Flight Sim magic to enjoy over the festive period.

I thought I would start the year by taking a moment to look forward to some of the software that is in development, to give you something to look forward to and possibly save your pennies for.




Developer
Platform
AH
FSX & P3D
AH
FSX & P3D
AH
FSX & P3D
AH
FSX & P3D
AH
FSX & P3D
JF
FSX & P3D
JF
FSX & P3D
JF
FSX & P3D
JF
X Plane
Ca
FSX & P3D
Ca
FSX & P3D
Ca
FSX & P3D
Ca
FSX & P3D
Al
FSX & P3D
A-29
Raz
DCS
C2 Greyhound
DC
FSX & P3D
T45 Goshawk Professional
DC
FSX & P3D
A

A
P3D v4


Key
AH-Aeroplane Heaven  JF-Just Flight
Ca-Carenado                  Al-Alabeo
Raz- Razban                    DC - Dino Cattaneo
A-Aerosoft

I am already clearing space in the hanger for the two, four engine Avro bombers!!

Interestingly, A2A simply state on their website state that they have 2 significant projects underway, fully integrating an improved ACCU-SIM experience, benefiting from the enhancements available with P3Dv4. The 1nteresting thing is they haven’t announced the aircraft!

For accuracy, I have copied a significant portion of the end of year newsletter from DCS World. The developer had a very busy 2017, with a number of ‘modules; released. The newsletter contained the following list of products lined up for release in 2018
• DCS World 2.5 by the end of January
• DCS: F/A-18C Hornet
• DCS: Strait of Hormuz Map
• DCS: F-14 Tomcat
• DCS: JF-17
• DCS: MiG-19
• DCS: Mi-24P Hind
• DCS: F-4E Phantom II
• DCS: Bo-105
• C-101CC variant for the DCS: C-101 module
• DCS: Yak-52
• DCS: I-16
• DCS: Christen Eagle II ( interesting- 2 non- military modules -Ed)
• New aircraft carriers
• Other new maps and continued updates to our existing maps
• Several other unannounced projects

“We will be releasing DCS World 2.5 by the end of January 2018. This is not an estimate, this is a promise. DCS World 2.5 will be released as a new download. DCS World 2.5 will unify our projects and several exiting new modules such as the F/A-18C Hornet: Strait of Hormuz combat theater map and The Yak-52
We will also be working on improvements to clouds, explosions with improved proximity damage, virtual reality, spotting system, network play, Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR), air-to-air missiles. In parallel, we will continue to support and improve our existing modules.”

All in all, potentially a very busy year for Eagle dynamics.

2018 is also likely to see the launch of two Brand new Flightsims:-

As we discussed after Flightsim 2017: ‘Deadstick’ is a Bush plane based simulator, where your role as the pilot is to carry out tasks, to build up resources to improve your aircraft and so take on greater tasks. The developer is clear he wants this to be an engaging ‘pilot’ centred simulation. Expect this to be launched in the autumn.
The second is currently called the Flyinside Flight Simulator and is being developed by the team that brought you Flyinside- the VR software. (stop press- Flyinside now supports P3Dv4). The team claim Our new flight simulator is designed to take advantage of modern multi-core processors and GPUs to provide great frame-rates, accurate flight dynamics, and a flexible, open platform for add-on developers’. 

Links to Useful Sites
www.avsim.com              www.cbfsim.org
www.fullterrain.com ORBX Scenery

Whilst we have mentioned this before, we would be most grateful for your observations on this newsletter, its content, depth and style.  Please pass any developmental feedback, via the website.  We always welcome any items by group members for inclusion in future newsletters. All contributions would be greatly appreciated by the editor. All pictures are taken from the respective developers’/ organisation’s websites and remain their intellectual property. All opinions expressed are my own and are not representative of the SWFSG. (P.C)




Phil's November 2017 Newsletter


Welcome.
So, as we look back over the last year, I guess we must ask ourselves, ‘What’s changed?’ and, as far as I can see, the answer is ‘Quite a lot.’

The launch of Oculus Rift CV1 and the significant price reduction in the second half of the year has certainly made VR Flying more accessible; as evidenced by the number of headsets on a Sunday at Ipplepen.

Dovetail’s FSW has been launched and appears to be a bit of a slow burner, with increasing ‘add on’ content becoming available alongside relatively regular and meaningful updates.

Prepar3d V 4 and X Plane 11 seem to be the platforms of choice, with a launch of the former and then significant updates to both during the year.

DCS World   gets ever nearer to the ‘merging ‘ of 2 and 1.5  to update to 2.5   which will allow unification of the two parallel developments, so that the new platform  can access all maps currently available and those on the horizon.

Aerofly 2 is becoming an increasingly popular sim, especially with the introduction of additional ‘free’ scenery packages being made available. It still remains the prettiest sim.

So, not a bad year after all, lets hope for the same pace of development  through 2018.

News
DCS World followers will doubtless have picked up on the imminent release in beta format of the RAZBAM developed  AV-8B Harrier  Study level simulation.  There are already quite a lot of video’s featuring late alpha development  aircraft on Youtube, some good quality reviews being conducted by ‘JABBERS’, inclding a good demonstration of a vertical take off and landing. Link  Here.

I anticpate the Harrier launch will be followed very shortly after by the release of their F18 Hornet and the Straights of Hormuz map, you can see how those are shaping up by clicking here.

Dovetail FSW has announced the imminent release of it’s  first non GA payware aircraft, a Curtis P40 Warhawk developed by Blue Sky Flight Simulations.  I have to say this is a brave choice of subject, I don’t know how much  of a ‘draw’ this particular aircraft will have. The good news is that, as with all add ons for FSW, their incorporation helps push the development of the sim too. Interestingly, Dovetail have just announced that they will shortly  release the FSW SDK so we can anticipate  a wider diversity of add ons in the not to distant future. Follow this link to check out the Warhawk



Just Flight are continuing to develop a  number of aircraft, including some interesting ‘British Heavy Metal’ although, in truth, two of the three seem to have been ‘ on the drawing board’ for years!  Firstly, the Gloster  Javelin FAW 8/9 still continues to show external shots of the model only at this time- I guess we will know how things are progressing when we have some internal cockpit shots.-  Their development of the Vickers VC10 appears to be making speedier progress, with a multitude of internal and external shots to have a look at.



Finally, in October, Just Flight announced their next big project, their interpretation of a Vulcan B2. Again there are some interesting screen shots, albeit only unrendered external views at the moment.  Click Link to the Just Flight development pages.

Sticking with Just Flight, you might wish to consider their recently released  DHC -3 Otter. Available for the FSX family of platforms including P3d v4. There is also a time limited demo on the page to ‘try before you buy’.

Things seem to have been a little quite of late for Australian Developers IRIS,  but they have ended the year releasing a CT/4F AKALA, a small antipodean ‘bulldog-esq’ trainer, with a fully updated glass cockpit. Click Link for further details



A few months ago I drew your attetion to the Scottish Aviation Bulldog developed by Black Box Simulations.  Well, they have added to their hanger by releasing their interpretation of ths classic Cessna L-19 – Bird Dog. Both have been updated to be fully compitable with P3d v4 and the even better news is that you can download a free, time limited demo of both aircraft. Click Link to have a look for yourselves.






And finally…

Which is the Best Sim?
Now, if you have looked at the title and thought you would find the answer here then I’m sorry, but you’ll be disappointed.  I do however have a suggestion on how we might find out.

Just Flight have released a Piper PA28R Arrow for both X Plane 11 and Dovetail FSW and a Piper 28 Warrior (ok not a perfect match but close enough!!) for P3dv4.

All we now need is someone running all three 3 platforms to purchase the 3 models; install; fly and let us know the results…

Any volunteers?

Links to Useful Sites
www.avsim.com              www.cbfsim.org
www.fullterrain.com ORBX Scenery

Whilst we have mentioned this before, we would be most grateful for your observations on this newsletter, its content, depth and style.  Please pass any developmental feedback, via the website.  We always welcome any items by group members for inclusion in future newsletters. All contributions would be greatly appreciated by the editor. All pictures are taken from the respective developers’/ organisation’s websites and remain their intellectual property. All opinions expressed are my own and are not representative of the SWFSG. (P.C)

Phil's October 2017 Newsletter

Welcome.

So that’s Cosford over for another year and I think we can classify it a success. When the show organiser notices that ours was one of the busiest stands, we know we must have been doing something right.

With the group Saitek panel and with Matt, Paul & Alan demonstrating their systems, we were able to offer a wide range of platforms, to keep the visitors interested.

Here are a few pictures, which I hope convey how busy we were, from set up on Friday evening……….




















………..throughout the day.

Tiring but worthwhile. Find more pictures on the SWFSG Blog.

One of the benefits of being at Cosford was the opportunity to attend some of the seminars in the nearby leture theatre. I thought it might be interesting to share a couple  of the presentations….

Deadstick is the name of a brand new simulator, destined for release in the next 12 months.  The premises of the simulator is to give the sim pilot the best expirience of bush flying . The sim will concentrate on  small area of forested, moutainoius terrain, modelled to the highest fidelity, realistic and dynamic micro climate weather. The sim will follow a ‘career’ mode, where you undertake  transporting goods and passengers which, in turn,  earn credits which can be used to  service or upgrade you aircraft, to enable to to access more complex missions.

Early screen shots were impressive, especially the trees and grass which were both very convincing. Expect the grass to be blown about by the propwash! Follow the link on their Homepage to their Facebook pake for further screenshots.

Flight Sim World gave us the final presentation of the day. Some time was spent resuming how far the Sim had come since launch in May 2017 and the almost fortnightly updates since then.

The presentation highlighted how the sim would be developing in the future, driven mainly by the ‘payware’ developers they are currently working with.

In each case they approached a developer to produce an add on for the sim. The developer in turn looked at the sim and identified those areas it needed, to be able to deliver the product. The example they gave was how one of the payware mission packages required the windscreen on an aircraft to shatter following a bird strike. The sim was updated to accommodate this (a claimed first in a Flight sim). Similar accommodations were made with the first payware scenery ‘Big Bear City  Airport’ designed by Turbulent Designs and the first aircraft, a Pipe Pa 28rr Arrow developed by Just Flight.

There is no clear timeline for the ongoing development of the sim, however,  the team are keen to accommodate further enhancements to the weather engine; a state of the art ‘intelligent ATC’  and native VR. The next  six months should be an interesting.




One of our near neighbours at the show  FS Elite, a  HUB of Flight Sim News, Previews, Reviews and Community Content.  A  visit to their website  shows lots of up to date content, presented in an accessable format. They also run the occasional competition, with Flight Sim related prizes,  so why not Click Here for a link and go and check it out for yourself.
And Finally, an ‘unusual’ FSX aircraft, the Fairey Barracuda available as freeware from the prolific hand (should that be mouse?) of Rob Richardson. I’ve mentioned this site below and it is a goldmine of mainly, vintage British aircraft. The good news, for me, is that he is continuing his efforts on a TSR2. More power to your elbow Sir!!    Rob's Aero Files



Links to Useful Sites
www.avsim.com              www.cbfsim.org
www.fullterrain.com ORBX Scenery

Whilst we have mentioned this before, we would be most grateful for your observations on this newsletter, its content, depth and style.  Please pass any developmental feedback, via the website.  We would welcome any items by group members for inclusion in future newsletters. All contributions would be greatly appreciated by the editor. All pictures are taken from the respective developers’/ organisation’s websites and remain their intellectual property. All opinions expressed are my own and are not representative of the SWFSG as a whole. (P.C)

Phil's September 2017 Newsletter

Welcome.
Well. Summer's gone and Christmas is just around the corner. Where did that year go?

I hope the summer gave you a chance to relax and maybe get out and about in this glorious part of the world and, maybe for some, sometime overseas.

However you have spent your time, you can rest assured our Hobby hasn’t been ‘sleeping’ and whilst there have been very few ‘big’ releases, there is evidence of a period of consolidation for many of the new ‘sims’ to market.

Dovetail Games Flight Sim World

Since release, FSW has undergone 10’ upgrades’ over the summer, with numerous bug fixes but also with some significant additions such as the Weather Engine and the ability to have ‘cold and dark’ starts.

FSW has been criticised because it launched as a ‘closed’ simulator, but all that could be about to change with Just Flight’s recent announcement that it is developing the first third party add-on aircraft in the form of an FSW version of their popular Piper Arrow III. Clearly this could act as a barometer for the popularity of he sim and a possible vanguard for more to come? (Released 7/9/17!!)

DCS World

Work continues to move towards the ‘unification’ of Versions 1.5 & 2, which actually means the programme will be able to manage multiple maps.

The release of an F18 Hornet and F14 Tomcat appear to be quite close and certainly these herald the way to a “Straights of Hormuz/Arabian Sea” map and scenarios. This is backed up by various images of modern military warships to act as a backdrop for these maritime military encounters.

Onetime FSX developers Razbam continue with the development of an AV8B Harrier (Arabian Sea Scenario?) and Mig 15 (Korea/Vietnam scenarios?). However, quite out of the blue, they revealed an HMS Ark Royal/Invincible class Light Carrier of the Falklands Era. So, there might well be a chance of a South Atlantic Scenario with the AV8B being reprofiled for FAA Sea Harriers FRS1’s and RAF GR3’s.  I guess we must wait to see if A4 Skyhawks; Pucaras; Mirage 5s and some Super Etendards make an appearance.

VR

The £399 Oculus Rift Bundle has doubtless tempted a large number of sim enthusiasts (myself included). I thought it might be interesting to look at the current crop of popular Flight Sims out in the market place and look at their VR credentials.

Where a SIM is VR Native, it means it can ‘drive’ you VR Headset from within the programme (normally within the display options menu).

Interestingly, programmes like Flyinside, sit between the original sim and ‘project’ the video signal to the headset. These programmes tend to offer more adjustments and enhancements over the ‘native’ programme. This is possibly best demonstrated in a programme like Prepar3d Vr 3 which has a ‘native’ setting but the Flyinside option offers a little more flexibility and a slightly better presentation. Clearly there a judgement call if  the extra expense of Flyinside is worth that enhancement- the could news there is a limited free  trial option follow the link for more information.

To add to the confusion the Developers of Flyinside are currently developing their own standalone Flightsim. Given their expertise in VR that is certainly worth keeping an eye on!

The table below is a round up of where we are at the moment. Click on the links to take you to the individual programmes.


Native VR
No Current VR Option


Battle of Stalingrad/
Moscow


Cliffs of Dover






Dovetail Flight School




FSX




Prepar3d 1





Prepar3d 4


X Plane 9




√ (By End of 2017)
√ ( Beta)




Diary Dates Flight sim 2017 at the RAF Museum, Cosford near Wolverhampton has been confirmed for Saturday 7th October 2017.

Advance tickets are on sale for £8 (plus £0.93 booking fee per ticket) and all advance ticket buyers will get a free Goodie Bag on the day of the show!   Alternatively, just go on the day and pay £10 admission on the door.


There's no admission charge for Under-16s accompanied by an adult and entrance to the RAF Museum is free to all visitors, so there is more than enough going on to make a day of it.

Links to Useful Sites
www.avsim.com              www.cbfsim.org
Dino Cattaneo    Rob's Aero Files
www.fullterrain.com ORBX Scenery


Whilst we have mentioned this before, we would be most grateful for your observations on this newsletter, its content, depth and style.  Please pass any developmental feedback, via the website.  We would welcome any items by group members for inclusion in future newsletters. All contributions would be greatly appreciated by the editor. All pictures are taken from the respective developers’/ organisation’s websites and remain their intellectual property. All opinions expressed are my own and are not representative of the SWFSG as a whole. (P.C)


Phil's June 2017 Newsletter

Welcome.
So, it appears that 64 bit flight simulators are a bit like busses; you wait for ages with no sign of them and then you get three of them along in short succession.
After a period of relative calm in the industry, there arrival of Xplane 11 (XP11), Dovetail’s Flight Sim World (FSW) and, latterly, Prepar3d Version 4 (P3D4) have obviously ‘stirred the pot’ for developers big and small. 
Being first out of the blocks, XP 11 has been building up a slow head of steam, with more and more developers aligning themselves with the simulation. For example, FSX diehards Alabeo and Carenado are porting over their respective hangers. Similarly, Milviz have announced they are working on an ATR Regional Jet.
 P3d4 not only arrived with a significant level of compatibility with ‘add ons’ which worked with VR 3 but also P3d4 stole a march, by additionally announcing a list of developers who were actively working with the simulation; A2A announced a fully compatible Cessna 172 on the day of release.
Unfortunately, this is the direct opposite to the experience with FSW, where there appears to have very little direct engagement with developers, other than a ‘wistful’ promise of things coming down the road in the future. Given the strong support for the other two titles, I do fear for FSW. I can almost see it following their earlier ‘Flight School’ into oblivion. This view seems to be supported by some of the industry’s biggest commentators.  In short, their view is simply ‘choose between P3d4 or XP11 & just go flying & enjoy.’
Whilst already posted on our Website, Frooglesim has recorded a video blog review of the current state of our hobby. Click this link to go straight to this vlog.
+++
Now, I have already mentioned the value of YouTube to our Hobby and again I thoroughly endorse Frooglesim’s weekly news update to you, but YouTube can be a great instructional tool as well.  I’ll let group member Brendan H tell you more:-
“I guess like many others, I use YouTube tutorials to improve my knowledge of flightsim techniques. Despite doing lots of searches, I'm surprised that I continually come across videos that I haven't seen before. For that reason, I thought there might be some value in encouraging club members to contribute suggestions of tutorials etc that they have found useful, either in the newsletter or via the Website.
I'll start the ball rolling with videos from Ralph Freshnour and, in particular, a series of 23 tutorials (yes 23!) describing how to use the PMDG 737 MCP. They are very clear, very well produced and present as being authoritative as I believe he was an instructor for Boeing on the 737. Here's a link to the first (introductory) video of the twenty-three.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5YbzxLpom0
DCS World appears to be having a very busy year with the close release of a F18 Super Hornet ( 5 years in development apparently) to be joined by an   F14 Tomcat and, as discussed last month, a USMC  AV8B Harrier.  Clearly these suggest a very maritime environment and all sit well with a ‘Straits of Hormuz’ Campaign & map set. The aircraft are also joined by some very detailed maritime assets including superbly modelled aircraft carriers. They also seem to be developing aircraft for a Korean/ Vietnam series of missions with some early development shots of Mig 15 & 21 being circulated.

Diary Dates
With the summer and the ‘display’ season approaching, I though it appropriate to include dates and links to the few airshows we have down in this part of the world. We are in interesting times at the moment, with air displays & aerobatic manoeuvres being significantly limited, other than over the sea/bodies of water.  In date order these are :

 Flight sim 2017 at the RAF Museum, Cosford near Wolverhampton has been confirmed for Saturday 7th October 2017.

Advance tickets now on sale
Advance tickets are on sale for £8 (plus £0.93 booking fee per ticket) and all
advance ticket buyers will get a free Goodie Bag on the day of the show!

There's no admission charge for Under-16s accompanied by an adult and entrance to the RAF Museum is free to all visitors, so there is more than enough going on to make a day of it. Alternatively, just go on the day and pay £10 admission on the door.
As I can attest, Cosford is a reasonable 31/2 Hour Car journey from the Westcountry so ‘doable’ in a long day!
Links to Useful Sites
www.avsim.com              www.cbfsim.org
Dino Cattaneo    Rob's Aero Files
www.fullterrain.com ORBX Scenery


Whilst we have mentioned this before, we would be most grateful for your observations on this newsletter, its content, depth and style.  Please pass any developmental feedback, via the website.  We would welcome any items by group members for inclusion in future newsletters. All contributions would be greatly appreciated by the editor. All pictures are taken from the respective developers’/ organisation’s websites and remain their intellectual property. All opinions expressed are my own and are not representative of the SWFSG as a whole. (P.C)

Phil's May 2017 Newsletter

Welcome.

So, as was hinted at last month, Dovetail have now formally announced the beta release of their new flight sim, to be known as Dovetail Games Flight Sim World (DG FSM).

The choice to release this in beta format  is either an interesting or clever choice, as it allows the users to ‘drive’ the simulation forward. In short, those with the loudest voices will be heard so it is their particular ‘must have’’ that will go to the top of the queue for future adoption.

As I write this, there are no firm details of a price on release (I’m guessing about £30) but you will see some smug looking individuals because Dovetail will be gifting DGFSW to those people who purchased DT Flight School.

There are a number of promotional videos doing the rounds so I will place links to some of these at the end although I know this is duplicating some of the items already on the group website.

The tone of DGFSG is set by the ‘free’ aircraft in the initial release, 7 GA aircraft, some of which you will be familiar with from DTFS. No Tubeliner jets, helicopters or military aircraft in the first tranche although these are promised in the future, probably from third party developers.

So, what are the headlines around the release. Well the sim will a 64 bit operating system. Long considered the holy grail for flight simming as it removes the 4GB RAM limitation of 32 Bit operation.  This allows your onboard RAM  to offset some of the load on the CPU. (No more out of memory issues?)  The rewritten code also allows a greater split in the workload between the CPU and the GPU, so your investment in a new Graphics card should really pay off. Linked with the ‘graphic updates’ includes adoption of DX11.

Dovetail quote ongoing collaboration with A2A and ORBX  for early inclusion of ‘Accusim’ and FTX Global at release.

There is one area which possibly comes as a bit of a health warning. DGFSW is released on the STEAM network and there has always been a bit of history around their pricing structure around down load content (DLC)

STEAM have, apparently, always looked at a 30% profit margin on all software sold through their site. It is strongly suggested this might be the only method of obtaining third party software. This commercial model might put some developers off, as they are going to have to pitch their price point including STEAM’s percentage to cover their development costs. In short ‘add ons’ might be quite expensive. Clearly some manufacturers might ‘hold off’ until the market is more clearly defined and stable before investing in ‘new’ models. Anticipate a number of ‘port overs’ in the early months after release.

As to free content, if Dovetail do follow their Train simulator franchise (also on STEAM), there is an active community providing some free content so this is worth monitoring for DGFSW.

The one good thing, as most STEAM users will attest, is that, like DFS, here is always a sale on, so it may always be better to wait for that DLC you fancy, rather than jump in first thing.

We are set for an interesting next 6 months.

Quick Video Links:-

DCS World’s next big release will be their Normandy 1944 map & scenery , the perfect scenario for flying your Spitfire in!  Visually the map, landclass and placed objects look fantastic as you can judge for yourself by following  DCS Normandy and watching FROOGLE’s take on things.

Whilst we look at DCS World, RAZBAM simulations are well advance with their AV8B Harrier and are currently modelling the weapon systems. Let’s hope for an appropriate UK style GR9 version/ scheme to be available early doors.



Razbam are also developing a Mig 19 for the same platform, something to pit your F86 Sabre up against!!

Aeroplan Heaven appear to have limitless capability at the moment,  as they announce the very close release of their C46 Commando military/civilian transport aircraft and their latest ‘in development’ shots of a Republic P47D ‘Thunderbolt’.  Both are in development for FSX & Prepar3d.

And finally
Here’s an aircraft I have been waiting for for ages. I had the Alphasim version in FS9 but nothing seemed to work on it. Rob Richardson is developing a TSR2 and, whilst still in early stages, the screenshots already look promising. The even better news is that all Rob’s offerings are free, Rob’s site is always worth a visit for some classic British metal.



Diary Dates
With the summer and the ‘display’ season approaching, I though it appropriate to include dates and links to the few airshows we have down in this part of the world. We are in interesting times at the moment, with air displays & aerobatic manoeuvres being significantly limited, other than over the sea/bodies of water.  In date order these are :
2nd Torbay Airshow (centred on Paignton Sea Front) 4 & 5 June 2017
Plymouth Armed Forces Day Saturday 24 June 2017

On the flight Sim front, the Live Drone Racing and Flight Simulator Convention is Planned for the weekend 22nd & 23rd July at the National Helicopter Museum, Weston Super Mare



 Flight sim 2017 at the RAF Museum, Cosford near Wolverhampton has been confirmed for Saturday 7th October 2017. Details to follow.

Links to Useful Sites
www.avsim.com              www.cbfsim.org
Dino Cattaneo    Rob's Aero Files
www.fullterrain.com ORBX Scenery

Whilst we have mentioned this before, we would be most grateful for your observations on this newsletter, its content, depth and style.  Please pass any developmental feedback, via the website.  We would welcome any items by group members for inclusion in future newsletters. All contributions would be greatly appreciated by the editor. All pictures are taken from the respective developers’/ organisation’s websites and remain their intellectual property. All opinions expressed are my own and are not representative of the SWFSG as a whole. (P.C)

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