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CessnaGuy
07-09-2009, 12:27 PM
Simple question, but would be nice to know how you all learnt to fly your aircraft of choice?

There are hundreds and hundreds of Boeing / Airbus simmers on here, and the majority have built a simulator based on their aircraft of choice.

But how did you learn to fly that 737 or whatever aircraft you fly, did you learn through flying the GA first, or doing tutorials in FS? Or are you dead lucky have have real world experience learning to fly!

Basically...to build a 737 you need to know EVERYTHING about flying it (so you know what to build) and it seems very technical.

So where did you start?

tomenglish2000
07-09-2009, 12:52 PM
I started of in FS98 with the 737. I had no concept of proper speeds, takeoff and landing configurations etc. It was a game to me and just some fun. Then I started to try landing without crashing and did some reading online and at the library on principles of flight. With that understanding I became a much smoother pilot and managed to land consistantly from then on.
I then bought FS Nav and started doing small European routes in the 737, learning to navigate and to plan for fuel etc.
Then by the time FS2002 came in I was introduced to the realistic weather and ATC which I again studied and read about online, then applied that knowledge in the sim. I soon started using checklists (as I attempted landing without gear down a few times). That got me introduced to cockpit procedures which I learned for the 737.
Then with FS2004 and me going away to university I found that I wanted more of a challenge so bought the level-D 767. I relearned the different checklists and procedures for that, and then started to learn how to navigate and fly using an FMC, which in turn got me into performance calculations.
Again more reading online and in the library at Uni got me some pretty good ideas on aircraft performance calculations. Plus ITVV videos helped with some details, especially the Virgin 747 and Concorde ones.
After that I stayed with the 767, practicing procedures, cockpit flows, manouevers and such until I was competent at flying her properly, every time!
With the 767 I had been doing larger European routes but then decided that I should extend from Heathrow to the USA, down to Africa and accross to the far east, so I learned NATS navigation and ETOPS rules.
In 2007 I graduated university and got a job programming aircraft maintenance systems which got me interested in all the paperwork that pilots have to fill in (such as tech logs and load sheets) which enhanced my level of realism.
In november of that year I was invited to take part in World Flight 2007 as one of the Simfest crew, which I did again in 2008 and hope to do later this year. Simfest taught me how to interact with more than one person in the cockpit (multi-crew operations) because although I had read the theory I had never applied it in practice (things such as calling out speeds and monitoring the PFs flying, along with proper checklist use).

So over the last 11 years it has taken a LOT of reading and pratice to keep evolving and getting better. I am still studying the 767 now as I design and build my flightdeck. Its a 10 year project so Im in no rush to complete it!

Tom.

CessnaGuy
07-09-2009, 01:13 PM
Wow....

You sure have learnt your stuff.....

I started with Flight Sim 95 and has been hooked ever since but never really touched the jets, I found so much pleasure in flying VFR and now Instrument flying, that maybe I may venture into ME flying but within GA still.

I would love to get into 737 flying one day but I don't know if I love the 737 that much that I am willing to spend the multi-thousands building a 737 sim. I am worried that I will regret not spending that money on PPL training and become a real pilot but for pleasure and private flying....

Although I am studying A-Level Travel & Tourism now, I hope to become a Passenger Service Agent or cabin crew member so if I get to work with aircraft or at any airport I think I will still be able to admire the jets!

But as for learning to fly.....I cant get enough of it....it is one long learning curve for me and a bug!

Stijn
07-09-2009, 01:27 PM
Well how i started with FS (1,5 year ago) is a strange story.
We had a assignment for school to plan a trip. We took as transport a plane. A friend said he had flight simulator so we did a simulation of the flight. It was awesome! The day after that I started planning the build of a 737-800 cockpit (without even knowing that there were other guys doing that) and i diden't even had FS!!!
When I had the game i started with my mouse trying to land and take-off a beech baron 58 and later bombardier crj 700 and 737-800. I did it all by my self. After a month flying i found out what flaps where and used them as speedbrakes:p so i came in way to fast and when i retracted the flaps the plane was taking off again because of the lift:P
When i could normaly land a plane i started foccusing on the sim again. First 737-800 (desktop sim), 727-200 (desktop sim) ,A320 (single seater), 747-400(full cockpit) and i'm thinking about turning back to 727.



Stijn

CessnaGuy
07-09-2009, 01:32 PM
Stijn I really admire your enthusiasm...you sure are a get up and build simmer!

ran56
07-09-2009, 02:58 PM
As I see it, my learning to "fly" is split in to 3 major time indexes.
The fist one, from about age of 12, got my first AT PC, with a sort of
space ship arcade game.
That thing hooked me in to flying.
Then got Falcon, and was able to take of, land dog fight all through the keyboard (I don't think I'm able to replicate it now :mrgreen:)
As time went by, FS5,98, 2000 came by, learned to fly with a stick.
Can't say I knew what I was doing, but ****, was able to take off LLBG
and land at EDDF ;) DCT on a GPS, but hey we got there.
Then FS9 arrived, started those training and test that came with it.
Learned more and more, but then on Sep 2003 a friend of mine told
me that there is a VA call IAL, Israel Airlines that simulates ELAL, Israir and Arkia all together.
Joined them and from there the route to VATIL and VATSIM was direct.
Now started the second phase of my learning to fly.
Scraped everything but the basics and learned again, how to plan a flight, take consideration of weather, rules of flight like RVSM etc.
After about 2 year, VATIL started a joint project with ELAL air lines.
That's were the third chapter of me learning to fly.
At about that time I got "lucky" and got fired from my job.
Lucky enough to be part of this great cooperation project, where
I learned to fly B737 B767 and the mother of all airplanes, B742 which I become to love and hate :) and was the chief pilot of the B742 fleet for VATIL.
In that project we assisted new trainee pilots getting the grip with B737NG and the B767.
We build 2 Sims, one based on the PMDG 73NG , MCP + EFIS +CDU and 5 displays.
The 76 is based on the LDS 767. with MCP + CDU and 4 monitors.
There I learned how to really fly those A/C with Normal and abnormal procedures.

Now one of the best stories I have from that time is on one of the times I've
assisted the B742 trainee, they didn't have a FE to help them.
So they asked me to help.
Got in to a 1:1 mock-up they have at ELAL for the B742, and the CP tells me,
OK start APU.
I say hey no problem, shift 5 FE upper panel, the APU start switch (RFP V2).
Look up the FE 1:1 panels and my jaw drop like a stone :grin:
Holly ****, where the **** is that switch ... ok found it ...
OK now iso valves ... damn that panel is much easier in the RFP :-D

Two days later one of the trainees was sick, so they ask me to assit them and take his place , and this time as the captain in a pilot monitoring job.
The fastest promotion from FE to Captain in two weeks :D
So the trainee is asking for checklist this and that, I do the PM job,
we ware taking off EHAM on Arnem 1S, Raw data takeoff, with very high
load of, setting the power + changing frq to intercept radial etc.
I the middle of the takeoff one of the fleet captains comes in and watch us work our asses and at the debrief, his telling me, you did a good job for a trainee and I'm all smiles :mrgreen:
I think I was hovering all the way home:grin:

After that I think I joined at least 3 ground schools of the B737NG and one on the B76, B744 and B742 and each time I learned some thing new.
That's why I love this hobby, it's a non stop learning.

Well that about it , 27 years of "flying"

Trevor Hale
07-09-2009, 06:11 PM
This is a very interesting forum topic, and will be neat to see how it grows. I thought I would add my $0.02

When I was 13 my brother started working towards his Glider pilots license. We were both what we call in Canada "Air Cadets" its kind of a cub scout organization but Militarized "AirForce" the concept is great, do what your told and you can get a free Pilots License. At any rate, I watched my Brother Achieve his glider license and his PPL shortley there after, and Before I got the chance we ended up moving and I never got to attempt either, nevertheless Watching him soar, and taking my first trip with him I was in awe.

I mean we both had FS since the "Monochrome" Orange and Black screen. But until you could compare it to being in a real aircraft it was to me just a game.

The entire Simulator craze for me came when my wife bought me a copy of FS2000 in 1999. I started hanging out with MSN Kiddies on the Gaming zone, and met quite am amazing bunch of people with Roger Wilco. <-- some of you long haulers will know what that software is. :)

Anyway I became part of an organization organization, called "FSTower", and Joined Virtual Air Canada at the same time. We Hosted a flight server "Before FS Host Existed" and Although the Virtual airline got put on the back burner, I started learning from these people (And My brother) on how to use the instruments of the cockpit. I would always see instruments and as soon as I wondered what it was, I had to ask questions on how to figure it out.

Anyway, What I realized is that every aircraft has the same Fundamentals. and instruments. they are just laid out differently. Be it the Autopilot in the Barron or the Lear Jet and although they look different they do operate the same functions.

Anyway, moving on.. FSNavigator came out and we changed form Hosting a FS Server to Hosting Air Traffic Control sessions "Mostly" between KPHX, KLAX, and KLAS.

At some point we were introduced to the Creator of FS Host, who at the time wrote little programs that paid for the chocolate to give his wife so he could keep flight simming. He intern wrote FSHost Primarily for our group, and he released it to the public at the same time and then there were Flight servers everywhere. it was so stable compared to the Zone, and it wasn't limited to the number of connections like FS was limited to.

At this point I had a server and was learning how the instruments worked, so I started a website that allowed me to teach people one on one how to fly Approaches, and use their instruments.

Everyone teaches someone else a little at a time. even if you are reading it in a forum, or hearing it when you are listening to Vatsim (Which back then was very freeking scary) LOL.


Anyway, To summarize.... I don't need to get into how I ended up here, just the point of the matter is that, we all learn something just about every time we fly. I learned from Air Cadets "the why and how things fly" My brother (and strangers) were there to help answer my questions, and forums like this all contribute to the "Total learning experience" As long as you continue to meet friendly people in this Simulator world, the circle of learning will never stop.

I just look at every aircraft as the same thing, only buttons are just located in different places, I personally found I picked it up way faster.

Enough of me using up the worlds oxygen supply... I hope I wasn't just rambling, but for the record, My Brother is now a Chief Corporate pilot Flying some pretty big Tin, and he sits in my 737, and hasn't got a clue where to start LOL.

Trev

CessnaGuy
07-09-2009, 06:28 PM
That's a very good account of your experience, and it just shows the diversity of how people learn and take FS into their own hands!

Trev: I bet your wife wished she'd never bought you FS! LOL :)

Lets hope that more people add to this topic because it is always a pleasure listening to members learning experiences, and especially learning the big jets!

Trevor Hale
07-09-2009, 07:45 PM
Trev: I bet your wife wished she'd never bought you FS! LOL :)




You have no idea! LOL :cool:

Geremy Britton
07-09-2009, 08:16 PM
I'm inspired by the long posts of your 'roots' into the FS hobby.

I too found the hidden depths of flight simulation through an old copy of Flight sim. None of my familly or friends are interested in flight simulation which means it was entirely me. My first FS was 1995 i think it was. Maybe not as far back as the two colour flight sims, although i'm not as old as some of the others here :cool:

Anyway the improvement has been key to attracting more and more people into the endless realms of flight simulation. I was talking to my dad, Have you got any good games i asked. I picked up FS, i said can i play this. (Being a kid at the time) Getting my own way and proving it's not to difficult to do as my dad insisted, i was up and flying in no time. I loved it and that was over 10 years ago.

That was the top of the slippery slope down to where i am now if you like. I played, and desktop simmed for about 5 years, but wanted more. It was seeing the web which made me see what people could do. Particular inspirations at the time were Kev Saker and James Price. Half a year into my reaseach i found Mycockpit. And i've never left since. Been with the team since ou, it'll have been at least a couple of years now and it's great to see others following in our footsteps.

A big help is owed to members here, not for cockpit building but for the real pilots and experienced amoungst you all who have uploaded video tutorials onto the net, posted pictures, etc etc. I needed others to be where i am now.

I've now been building 2 years almost and i have to say you learn along the way as well as building but in the time you are flying too. As Like Tom said, you make the transition from a game to a serious simulation and from a desktop flyer to a 'airline pilot'

However make no mistake, effort is needed. Reading, watching, learning is crucial to fly your chosen planes like the pros do. Which at the end of the day we want to be as realistic as possible.

jmig
07-09-2009, 11:43 PM
I got into Flight Simming from real flying. I went to pilot training and flew in the USAF.

I went to work for a company that didn't allow you to fly yourself for business so I quit flying. Years later, I started my own company and I got back into flying for business. I bought MSFS to help me practice instrument procedures.

XOrionFE
07-10-2009, 01:19 AM
I started with aspirations to become a fighter jock as a career. I learned to fly the sims first starting with the very first flight simulator rendition on an Apple II Plus (anyone remember that?). Went through the many versions of flight simulator, Falcon 4, Janes F/A 18, and LockOn all from a desktop platform.

While in college back in the 80s I joined the US Navy Reserves and after boot camp I went to A school to learn how to work on planes. I became an AME which basically means I worked on Environmental systems (Oxygen, Press, Air Conditioning) and on Ejection Seats. After 3 years of working in a reserve squadron on Lockheed P-3 Orions I got noticed and asked if I wanted to train to become a Flight Engineer. Who on earth would say no to that! So off to more training in NAS Willow Grove PA. I passed the schooling and became a reserve Flight Engineer. I did 3 years more of this and then in 1994 the military budget cuts shut down my squadron. I was making good money in my civilian job so rather than transfering to another squadron i decided to call it quits. I also had no desire anymore to stay in the Navy and go after fighters as again, my civilian career in computers was blossoming and the money was too good to pass up. I had many good simulator rides and real flights in the P-3 and miss it. (that is where my screen name comes from).

Well finally a few years back I got to a point in my life where it made sense to get my pilots license and finally went through the training. I picked it all up really quick and after about 50 hours I got my checkride and passed. I then immediately started into an instrument ratiing when I learned I was going to be the proud father of triplets. I was blessed with 3 kids at once and obviously that put a quick end to my real flying.

This brought me back to the sim world. And there I have been up until about 2 months ago when I finally jumped back into the seat of a 172 and started flying again. I am now just beginning the instrument rating track again and in the meantime have picked up a wonderful hobby and community. I have learned much new including how to operate a cnc so I am making my own panels and building a sim (Lear 45). Have also been toying with some other planes.

Regards,
Scott

BlackWidow
07-10-2009, 01:50 AM
This is a fantastic thread.

I was born on Edwards AFB and grew up watching all of the fighter jets scream across the sky. My grandpa would take me on to the base (he was a retired Chief Master Seargant) and i would get to watch the shuttle land when it used to land at edwards alot mor then it does now. My mom worked on the base and I remember one summer i got to work with a bunch of mechanics who worked on F-15s It was the greatest job i have ever done (not that i did much). That was it for me form that summer on I wanted to fly but...... unfortunatly i did not apply myself in school so I joined the Army.

A friend of mine told me to get FS9 and we could fly online together I hesitated for about 3 months then i finally broke down and got it. My friend would instruct me while on TS and we would fly all over the place. Since then I have learned as much as i can from the web and reading various books. I still dont fully understand how to fly approches with presicion but I am always ready to learn. Thats how i learned to fly and how i am still learning. thanks for reading.

Goldmember
07-10-2009, 05:32 AM
That is what I like about MSFS: real pilots that actually benefit from it by practicing procedures. I can't wait to have real pilots in my 737 sim practicing freaky emergency things. To illustrate how rare this is, I've been a real life racing car driver and I've never found a realistic racing game. Not with motion, wrap around vision or whatever. The handling is fundametally wrong.

Goldmember
07-10-2009, 05:48 AM
Damn, I'm old!

- 1983: some flight simulator that only presented numbers on the monochrome screen of my Atari 1040ST
- 1984: A wireframe sim on the Atari
- 1989: An F16 sim on Silicon Graphics (I was working in computer graphics)
- early '90's: First PC with FS. Had to search for extensive manuals to learn about navigation. No internet back then, at least not at home. Flew from VOR to VOR in the area FS covered at that time. Also practiced with aerobatics planes or tried to land a Chessna on Chigago Meighs between the runway treshold and the runway number.
- 2000: FS 2000 and I wondered what idiots tried to fly those heavy 737's that don't react at all. The helicopter was cr*p as well. Put the whole program away.
- 2001: Many hours with Combat FS over the internet.
- 2006: Read about FS Weekend in a little magazine article. Sounded funny so I went. Laughed my pants off over these guys who built a complete cockpit. On the way back in the car my buddy and I were drawing the first scetch though. Got FSx, mastered the schoolbus landing with Loopy Larry and went to the ATP lessons. Failed the exam (b.t.w. is the annoying voice of the examiner a woman or a man?).
- 2009-jan: an afternoon in the full size 737 sim in Bruges, Belgium.
- 2009-feb: started my 737 sim build.
- 20??: complete pit with shell, dome projection and hexapod motion platform.

B.t.w., I'll never, ever wear a pilot shirt in my sim. I'm building a replica simulator, not a replica plane. Real life pilots also fly sims in their casuals.

CessnaGuy
07-10-2009, 06:21 AM
B.t.w., I'll never, ever wear a pilot shirt in my sim. I'm building a replica simulator, not a replica plane. Real life pilots also fly sims in their casuals.

I must admit, those simmers that wear stripes while simming do make me chuckle!

It would be quite interesting to know how many people do take their sim that seriously that they wear a uniform while flying, personally I haven't met one yet but I recon there are a few!

Down my local flying club (nothing more than 172's and Pipers) if someone comes into the clubhouse wearing pilots uniform and stripes, the myth is they have to buy the drinks for everyone in the clubhouse! And because of that myth, believe me Knowone wears uniform in the clubhouse.

Why would you wear pilot uniform and stripes for flying a Cessna 152 for pleasure?, I think these guys fancy the look of being airline pilot! lol

I am not criticising anyone that does wear a uniform but it sure does add to the realism I guess especially big jet flyers! But GA pleasure flyers in a uniform with stripes is rather unusuall (though I know instructors do have to wear uniforms alot of the time which I understand)

Peter Dowson
07-10-2009, 07:40 AM
Damn, I'm old!
You are old? Makes me ancient then! ;-)

I always wanted to fly. In the 50's we lived near Northolt Aerodrome (home of BEA and also a USAF base), a little to the North East of Heathrow. My Dad worked for BEA by then (originally an Underground train driver), but ground staff.

But flying was prohibitively expensive to even consider for a poor working class lad living at home in his parents council house.

Time passes. Marriage (1964), children (three by 1968 ), pretty nearly broke all the time, till ... 1977 or 78 (?) By now a Manager on a reasonably good income. Got one of the first Commodore Pet 2001 PCs to arrive in the UK. Wrote the Wordcraft word processor on it. Eventually it was selling enough for me to give up working for others and work for myself, at home (1979).

Now I could afford to fly, but, boy, was I busy ... too busy, growing a small business. No time for flying lessons, so ... got an Apple II specifically for the first wireframe flight sim! When was that .. dunno, maybe 1980/81 ish? Anyone remember?

So it goes -- Commodore Amiga flight sim, IBM PC flight sim. Etc.

Then, some year (I don't recall now, even, which year exactly), I found I could actually afford to fly AND I had the time to do so. Joined a flying club at Sleap, Shropshire -- about an hour's drive from home (by now in Biddulph, Staffordshire) -- after trial lessons in Tatenhill (Derbyshire) and Sleap -- both in Cessna 152's, BTW.

I subscribed to 3 lessons a week at Sleap, weather permitting, and even an odd "trial" flight in Bristol (a Piper Cherokee, which I really loved!). Within a few weeks (I started in Summer, this was mid-Autumn), my Instructor said i was ready to go solo in preparation for my test. Before going solo I had to get a medical certificate, so I was referred to the regular Club medic, some miles away.

I passed all the medical checks with flying colours, until it came to the point where the Doc apparently held up his hands somewhere in front of me and asked how many fingers I could count on each hand ... I couldn't see his hands, let alone any fingers. He gradually brought his hands more and more in line with the way I was facing, until I could see them and count the fingers.

Oh dear ... failed due to lack of peripheral vision. :-(

This was when I discovered I had hereditary Retinitis Pigmentosa. I would not be allowed to fly solo. I was so upset, I have never flown for real again. Some folks suggested that I should still fly with an instructor (at the usual exorbitant rates of course), but that wasn't the point. I had ambitions to get my PPL, go on to get IMC and ultimately full BCPL -- just to prove to myself I could do it, not for any desire to fly as a commercial pilot.

So, instead of real flying I ploughed deeper and deeper into flight simulation, a form of sublimation, obviously. And since I am a programmer, programming stuff for it too, with all sorts of bits and pieces from FS4 onwards. Really, I suppose it is thanks to my RP that there is FSUIPC and WideFS, though I expect someone else would have done something similar if not I.

I'm making the most of my simulators at present. The days of spending 100+ hours a week on FSUIPC and the other programs are over. My eyesight is getting worse -- the central vision is now gradually losing resolution (right eye next to useless, left still okay for reading and programming, at present). My wife (June) and I are also taking more holidays, travelling, seeing the world, and indulging in my other interest -- steam railways -- before we are both too old to get very far!

So, here I am, boring everyone to death with my "learn to fly" history. Sorry, it was a bit longer than I intended!

Best Regards

Pete

CessnaGuy
07-10-2009, 08:07 AM
No...Believe me Pete your not boring us....your life is fascinating, I never knew you were a British man, I didnt know you lived in London and so close to me!

You are a true legend in FS world, and without you, my sim would have no functionality, I understand FSUIPC and its the only thing that I need to and want to understand! You have helped thousands!

It's sad to hear that you couldn't pass your medical, I passed my Class 2 medical and thought it was pretty tough going because my ears let me down, but I just scraped the hearing standards, I spent years worrying if I would ever pass the medical, Luckily I did, but sadly I don't have that much money for lessons as I was made redundant and have gone back to studying!

If you did get your medical and achieve your pilots license, would us FS geeks have FSUIPC today?, would you of still ventured into the FS programming side of things while flying?

Anyway Pete, love your story pal, very interesting man you are!

Alex

Goldmember
07-10-2009, 09:05 AM
Thx Peter for this pesonal background on the program that changed the world of flight simming. Just out of curiosity, as I'm a programmer myself as well, how on earth did you find out those parameters (if you wish to disclose that)? Trial and error or was it done in cooperation with MS?

Peter Dowson
07-10-2009, 09:08 AM
No...Believe me Pete your not boring us....your life is fascinating, I never knew you were a British man, I didnt know you lived in London and so close to me!

I was born in Hillingdon. Lived in the area till we got married, in '64, and moved to Staffordshire. When I started work in computers I was working in North Acton, for Leo Computers (Lyon's Bakeries own computer company) -- they made the first commercial digital computer in the world, remarkably enough! IBM were still doing card tabulators wnen the Leo I was built!).


If you did get your medical and achieve your pilots license, would us FS geeks have FSUIPC today?, would you of still ventured into the FS programming side of things while flying?

Hard to say, but certainly less likely. In fact I was dreaming of emigrating to someplace like the Bahamas, somewhere real fun to fly, and buying a little floatplane.

Best Regards

Pete

mauriceb
07-10-2009, 09:15 AM
So, instead of real flying I ploughed deeper and deeper into flight simulation, a form of sublimation, obviously.

Strange how someone's misfortune sometimes ends up benefiting countless others. I wonder how the flight simulation world might have evolved otherwise. It is always inspiring when people are able to rise above their misfortune and turn it into a positive outcome.

Thanks for doing just that.

Maurice

Peter Dowson
07-10-2009, 09:30 AM
... how on earth did you find out those parameters (if you wish to disclose that)? Trial and error or was it done in cooperation with MS?

A process called "hacking", in the original sense, not the malicious sense sometimes used today. Reverse engineering is another way of saying it. I used proper tools -- the Soft-Ice debugger, which can get under Windows as well as inside anything, and the IDA Disassembler. Hours and hours of traipsing through FS code.

It was quite fun, back in the early days. I did it in FS4 and FS5, under DOS -- very easy then, as much of the code was hand-coded assembler so not convoluted like any compiler output. And a lot of the original code structure existed right through the early windows developments, FSW95, FS98.

By the time FS2000 was developed, I'd actually made a few helpful contacts in the FS team - Tim Gregson being the most helpful. In fact Tim came over and stayed here for a few days at the time of one of the FS shows. He added loads and loads of additional FS controls into FS2000 at my request, most of which still exist to this day. Real good chap.

But cooperation from MS was closed off by FS2002 (management changes, different policies enforced), and things began to get more difficult as more and more parts of FS were re-written in C++ with horrible class structures, black boxes, virtual functions etc etc, making the code more and more convoluted. I hate OOP! (I'm a bottom-up programmer, always have been since being an engineering test programmer). I only managed to get anywhere because some parts, at least, were still similar in structure, giving clues and hooks into the rest.

Then FS2004, my worst nightmare. so many things were so completely different. I nearly gave up several times. And it was taking all my waking time -- allowing for not much sleep either. It was then also that my income from my business declined abruptly, and I realised that I'd have to do something else, give up FSUIPC, or look at raising money from it. You know the result -- I tried a voluntary scheme which failed miserably, so went "payware" for the first time.

I did make a few new contacts in the FS team for FS2004, but they weren't allowed to give any direct information, just hints and clues -- until a political argument blew up with someone saying I was getting a commercial advantage (as if they couldn't make friends too?!) and everything got closed off. No team contact at all.

Then, when FSX was being developed (new management again), wow! I got an invite from Microsoft to go over to Redmond and discuss with them the designs for FSX add-on interfacing capabilities. I provided detailed requirements for SimConnect, and enjoyed, along with other developers, a really good technical relationship with the developers. Things were really looking up -- until the bean counters took over, foreshortened development times, and ... well, you see the result. SimConnect is good but is missing a lot of vital parts which would certainly have been forthcoming by the original schedule, and the weather machine went out still with serious bugs in it which will now never be fixed.

And here we are!

Best Regards

Pete

mauriceb
07-10-2009, 09:30 AM
When I was nine years old, many, many, many moons ago, I borrowed a book from the US library in Casablanca, Morocco (Stick & Rudder). I spoke French at that time & hardly understood English but I read that book from cover to cover many times over. This was the beginning of my 'downfall' :D & the he rest is history .

Maurice

ps. This book by Wolfgang Langewiesch is a classic and still very relevant today

Peter Dowson
07-10-2009, 09:38 AM
I borrowed a book from the US library in Casablanca, Morocco (Stick & Rudder).... ps. This book by Wolfgang Langewiesch is a classic and still very relevant today

Yes, that must have been one of the first flying books I read too. My copy is First Edition, but a late printing, 1972 in fact. It was first published in 1944, but I was only 1 then, not quite up to reading yet! <G>

Pete

mauriceb
07-10-2009, 09:48 AM
but I was only 1 then, not quite up to reading yet! <G>

Pete

And all this time I thought you were a child prodigy :roll: ;)

Maurice

CessnaGuy
07-10-2009, 09:55 AM
And all this time I thought you were a child prodigy

Peter Dowson is child prodigy...he's just a 21 year old that spends all his time on sims and writes the odd multi award winning program every now and again that sells by the thousand! lol!

Hang on...does flattery get you anywhere these days? Pete have you got any free FSUIPC upgrade vouchers for FS9 TO FSX lying around that you dont need lol?

Peter Dowson
07-10-2009, 10:27 AM
Hang on...does flattery get you anywhere these days? Pete have you got any free FSUIPC upgrade vouchers for FS9 TO FSX lying around that you dont need lol?

LOL! Sorry, it's SimMarket you have to chat up. They have the exclusive. In return for the good deal they make. ;-)

Pete

CessnaGuy
07-10-2009, 10:30 AM
LOL! Will do!

If you don't ask, you don't get!

Then again... I am pretty good at blagging freebies, so I will try my charm!

All the best!

Goldmember
07-10-2009, 04:56 PM
It's hard to believe that they have never developed a 'driver' themselves or at least cooperate with you. Almost all hardware depends on it. But maybe their focus is on the mass that uses FS with a mouse and keyboard. In the end, it's a package of EUR 49,- so even if there were 1000 cockpit builders... what is EUR 49.000 for them?

Peter Dowson
07-10-2009, 05:02 PM
It's hard to believe that they have never developed a 'driver' themselves or at least cooperate with you.

They did. As I described. SimConnect was their more modern approach to the same problem. It was intended to have regular updates to gradually expand its coverage to do much more than I could ever do in FSUIPC. But the budget and timescale was severely curtailed, and everyone moved on to FSXI and ESP, and then Aces was chopped, and .. wel that's where we are.

Pete

deering
07-10-2009, 06:58 PM
I was born in Hillingdon. Lived in the area till we got married, in '64, and moved to Staffordshire. When I started work in computers I was working in North Acton, for Leo Computers (Lyon's Bakeries own computer company) -- they made the first commercial digital computer in the world, remarkably enough! IBM were still doing card tabulators wnen the Leo I was built!).
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Pete

This is my first post on this site and it's completely off-topic; but, Pete you've just warped me back 45 years. I started my career in computing by programming a LEO III: Cleo and Intercode. It's always good when I come across someone who knows what they were.

Thanks for the memories.

Jim.

(My two kids were born in Hillingdon Hospital).

Peter Dowson
07-10-2009, 08:43 PM
Pete you've just warped me back 45 years. I started my career in computing by programming a LEO III: Cleo and Intercode. It's always good when I come across someone who knows what they were.

Hey, 45 years? It was 45 years ago last month that I left the Leo factory in North Acton and moved up to the English Electric place in Kidsgrove -- they offered us a house to rent when we got married! Couldn't have afforded a place in London in any case, and hated commuting. Worked on the KDF9 then.

You must have been in Hartree House programming when I was in North Acton devising bootstraps for the newer versions they were building then -- the Leo 326, the one with the denser circuit boards! My stuff was all either binary (punched by hand on paper tape with a unipunch), to bootstrap in a hex-converter, then on a teletype in hex to boot in an assembler, then assembly code. No high level languages -- we didn't even have an operating system. Wrote our own, for engineers!


(My two kids were born in Hillingdon Hospital).

As was I! Small world, eh? ;-)

Pete