Flight Simulation

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My FlightSim Background

I've been using Flight Simulation since (egads) 1985, starting with my Tandy 1000EX with two (count 'em, two!) floppy disks and maybe 640K of memory.  In college my roommate and I used to get on the Boston "T" to Logan Airport where it was still possible to visit the abandoned observation deck in the tower.  We would sometimes lug our gear along and race from Logan to Martha's Vineyard in the simulator while listening to the airport traffic on a handheld radio.  I'd scour the computer shops in Harvard Square waiting for a SubLogic Scenery disk to come out, just so I could have some new airports in a glorious 16 colors at 300 by 200 resolution.

As the years went by, I kept upgrading the software and hardware, and tried flying SubLogic's FlightAssignment:ATP.  Even then, each new release of the FS platform required a new generation of hardware on which to run it. Flight Sim became more expandable as well, as folks figured out ways to expose the inner workings of the sim (a bow in the direction of Peter Dowson is in order here), and other developers started to build ever-more-realistic aircraft and scenery for the platform.  As I learned to fly real airplanes, I continue to use Flight Simulator as a training tool, as a rehearsal for a flight to a new destination, and just for fun!

The internet has wrought huge changes in flight simulation as well.  Bulletin Boards evolved into web sites such as FlightSim.com and Avsim (and many more), and real-time/real-world weather was introduced.  Now it's possible for one group of obsessed lunatics (the FS crowd) to interact in real time with another group of obsessed lunatics (simulated air traffic controllers) on networks like VATSIM and IVAO.  This has spawned virtual airlines, group flights or events nearly every day of the week, and actual conventions where members of the hobby will travel great distances to enjoy the fellowship of their fellow lunatics.

Flight Sim X has just been released, and the usual griping about how poorly it performs is taking up all the forum bandwidth.  But the hardware will no doubt catch up, and since MS has finally opened up the engine and turned it into a true platform, I expect fantastic things in the future.

Book in progress

I've written tutorials for PMDG's 737-600/700 series in the past, and version 2 was very well received.  Unfortunately, it had some Jeppesen material in it and because of potential copyright liabilities I no longer distribute it.

Because the tutorial was well received, I am now going to try my hand at a full length book, and perhaps a series.  Flying the Line will cover the PMDG NG (737-6/7/8/9) series in a fair amount of depth, and also address things like flying for virtual airlines and flying online with VATSIM.  It will be available in an electronic (PDF) version, and if demand merits in a printed/bound version as well.

Because creating a book takes a great amount of time and effort, the book will be a payware product.   I am targeting a price of $10.00 for the online version, and the printed version  is targeted for $20.00 plus shipping and handling, depending on printing costs.

Because of the commercial nature of this work, I won't be discussing it on the PMDG forum any more.  To do so would really be taking unfair advantage of PMDG, who host a forum to support and market their products, not mine.  You will still find me posting specific responses to questions however, and occasionally referring people here if I have a free download that will help them with their issue.

 

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