Monday, November 26, 2007

Damn I love Sweden...

This has absolutely nothing to do with flying but I'm totally smitten by this video and song. Can't explain it really, I just love Sweden, all of it, even if it means random attacks by gangsta gnomes in Stockholm. ;)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Stella Artois, Airplanes, and the Lofotens...

So what happens on my server after we've had a few pints and find ourselves cruising around northern Norway in FSX? Well, if we stumble upon an airport with a 1200 foot runway like this one in Svolvaer... :)

Pilots: Futureflyer, Juliet, Scooter, and Flagstaff.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hollywood Dogfighting...

Awhile back Pebble and I were asked about the possibility of doing some previsualization for a film in which a sport plane was to be chased by a fighter through downtown Los Angeles. Happily I accepted the task, primarily because one thing I loathe is seeing unrealistic aviation in hollywood films. If you're going to do it, do it correctly guys. Personally I think 99% of the technical directors in LA should be shot, they wouldn't know realism if they were sucked into a jet engine, but that's just me. ;)

Anyway, although that project never got off the ground, I learned a ton in the process of making this film, which demonstrated the realism we could achieve, at least in flight paths. Vectors wouldn't have been very good at all if I hadn't taken this on first, and unlike that film there's no trickery here. Enjoy!

Pilots: Pebble in the Turbo SF 260 Marchetti, Myself in the F-18.

Music: Gardner & Thomas - Propaganda (love this frickin track!)

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Iceland Project...

Yup, I'm making FSX scenery now too. :) Iceland... the land of Irish Monks first, then Vikings, and now the most beautiful women in the entire world... by far. I've seen most of the world, so trust me when I say that. ;) It's the land of the Elves for me, loved every second I spent there a few years ago, and it is by far the most neglected country in all of FSX, so I felt it was time to give it an upgrade. It's roughly the size of England and Wales put together, so it's not something I'm going to finish anytime soon. I've been learning to use FSXKML, which I have to say is one seriously elegant tool. It interfaces almost directly with google earth (can't believe I finally found a use for that stupid thing), and once you get your head around their interpretation of SDK scenery work, it's quite easy to use. I have the entire coastlines finished for the country, in very high resolution (what a zen experience it was tracing those out!), and I'm now working on lakes and rivers. After that I'll be tackling the landclass, ships, marinas etc, and all of Iceland's 200+ lighthouses. Given Iceland's insanely variable climate the landclass part is going to be interesting.

Slartibartfast would probably just laugh at me, but here's a preview screenshot of the Akranes peninsula so far, work in progress is on the top, default scenery on the bottom.

Lastly a fun fact for you: The oldest surviving democracy in the world is not the United States believe it or not. It is in fact Iceland. Amazing eh? Their fully democratic parliament, the 'Althing', was founded in 930 AD and functions virtually unchanged to this day.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Okay, just what is it about TNCM anyway?

Lately I've been noticing a *lot* of Princess Juliana airport FSX videos on Youtube. I scan the new arrivals daily and I keep noticing this one damned airport showing up again and again and again. I blame FlyTampa. What's the fascination?

Here's something fun to try. Search youtube for "FSX+TNCM" (the airport's icao code).

148 videos!

Now search for: "FS2004+TNCM'

299! WTH!

Can someone explain to me why there's such a TNCM fetish among simmers? Yes it's a pretty airport, if airports can be called that, yes people can get blown over by jet exhaust and wake turbulence on the beach short of the threshold, yes it's in the caribbean, and yes I know it was pretty much the only airport in the FSX demo, but COME ON. Do we need 447 videos of Juliana? No, we don't, one would have been sufficient really.

There... are... other... airports.... 27000 of them in fact.

Rant over. ;)


Back to the fun stuff...

So Acceleration adds a moving carrier eh? Too slow! Beat em to it a couple months ago. The following movie was our first attempt at landing on a moving carrier in FSX. No big trick you say, carriers could move in FSX before. Yeah they could, but they weren't synchronized in multiplayer, and they still aren't, even in Acceleration. This one however is. It's pilotless and it's doing about 35 knots off the coast of Wellington. Don't ask me how, it's witchcraft. ;) Enjoy. Oh... and the poor soul in the Texan who had *obviously* never landed on a carrier before shall remain anonymous, for now. I'll blackmail him with this video at some point, hehe.