Getting back into flight sims after a very long hiatus!

Aviation & Simulation Topics
Post Reply
User avatar
Jaybird
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:44 am
Location: Redwood City, CA - USA

Getting back into flight sims after a very long hiatus!

Post by Jaybird » Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:50 am

Hello, Thunderbirds!

Jaybird signing in for an introduction and a thanks.

I have been playing flight sims since the good old Commodore 64 days (Microprose F-15 & Gunship,) moving onto IBM XT/AT machines (Spectrum Holobyte Falcon, Falcon AT,) and 286/386/486 (Falcon 3, Falcon ATP mod, Jane's F-15, Strike Commander,) and beyond (Falcon 4.0, FS9/FSX.) I actually won Thrustmaster FCS/TQS/Rudders as a prize in a CompuServe competition way back. I used to actively compete in the Falcon Ladder back then. I even started offering a "Dial-N-Aggre$$or" service, in order to offset the monsterous phone bill (dial-up modem days!?) I used to keep track of competitor's flying styles - strengths, weaknesses, favored tactics - and fly the profile as an opponent for an upcoming match. In return, my clients paid for the phone connection of the game time. :)

I haven't kept up with the developments in both flight sims and PCs for a while, though. So I missed a lot, and I'm just getting back into it - triplehead monitors, Saitek X-52 + Rudders, TrackIR5. Trying different sims, but I really like how the DCS is developing. And I'm very impressed with what I've seen so far, of the networking. Last time I flew on a "network" was back in the dial-up modem days (9600bps, 14.4K if we were lucky!?) ;)

IRL, I can land a Cessna un-assisted, and can hold a good hover on a Robinson R-44. Didn't quite get far enough for licensing, though. That objective has always been just out of my reach for one reason or another. Those lessons are expensive! One of these days!

As a trade, I'm a full-time fencing coach, and I have trained national/international medalists (even a veteran world champion, and a youth Pan-Am champion), using the very same lessons I learned during my younger years as a combat flight simmer. Who knew that the copy of Fighter Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering (by Robert L. Shaw) I bought in order to enhance my gaming experience, would one day be an integral part of my primary gainful employment!? Not to mention the mind-opener that was 'Art of the Kill,' also released by Spectrum Holobyte, for the combat sim audience. I live and breathe its concepts in my day job every day.

My other endeavor is actually something I suspect would be very useful in my learning to fly multi-ship aerobatics. I'm a concert violist. Wedged in between the violins and the cellos, I play the mostly supportive role of holding everyone together. Aside from the obvious objective of following the conductor, I have to constantly make micro-corrections, based on the visual/auditory cue of how the other sections are doing (i.e. ever-so slight deviations from the score.) If the audience doesn't notice the problems that popped up, then I know I did my job well. :) Back in the practice room, though, I understand very well the importance of skill development and refinement... as well as the sacrifice and work ethics required in order to increase skill set, and pretty much obsess over perfecting every detail. And then replicate it over and over.

I happened across your forum, and videos, by accident. But I was quite impressed and inspired! The "smooth culture" of aerobatics, as opposed to combat flying, is something I can definitely appreciate and see myself getting into 100%. But I still need a lot of work before I can officially send in an application. I learned a lot just by watching your videos, and giving consideration to what's spelled out in the application process. I researched a bit more, and I ended up discovering the Virtual Aerobatics Server. I've been flying there for the last several days, and I had a blast picking up new skills on formation flying! Even got to try a multi-ship formation last night.

So far, I can follow a lead with about 50-ft separation. Comfortable in holding #2, #3, #4 positions on a diamond formation. Not quite comfortable yet, on getting closer. Quite comfortable with formation landing, to my surprise, and onto taxi and parking. Still working out the details on joystick settings (curves, etc.) Haven't quite absorbed the fundamentals of the 4-pt turn, 8-pt turns yet.

Anyways, thank you for keeping the aerobatics community alive, and pursuing excellence! Once the competition/concert season slows down, I'd love to devote more time toward this endeavor, and officially apply!

- J
User avatar
Teej
Virtual Thunderbird
Posts: 1497
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:29 pm
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Post by Teej » Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:29 pm

Hey, Jaybird.

Good to hear from you...we'll look forward to seeing your application. Sounds like we're similar vintage (I was aware of the Compu$pend ladder but didn't participate much...).

I think you'll fit in well if you do apply. We've got 2 airline pilots and 2 student pilots on the team.

Curves, we typically use something in the 40% range (based on DCS' numbers).

Don't worry about formation landings. Not saying we don't mess around with things like that on fun flights, but not as part of "show practice" since that's not part of the Tbirds routine.

T
User avatar
Jaybird
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:44 am
Location: Redwood City, CA - USA

Post by Jaybird » Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:01 pm

Thanks for the welcome! Very much excited about taking my skills to the next level! :)
User avatar
Jaybird
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:44 am
Location: Redwood City, CA - USA

Post by Jaybird » Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:47 pm

OK, I'm on the final stretch of a very busy season! I have my 6th and final concert of the (calendar) year this weekend. After that, I'm off-the-hook for a while! Also, another good news since my last post: I coached a fencer into winning the world veteran team championship!

I'm planning on dedicating a lot of time increasing my flying skills and knowledge. :)
Post Reply