Fanboy Friday: Phoning It In

Did you ever have a week in which you seemed busy every day, but at the end of it had nothing particular to show for it? It’s been one of those around here. All I can remember is running like my hair was on fire, swinging from project to project, and then poof… it’s Friday. I didn’t have a chance to ‘sim much at all, and didn’t get a lot of scenery work done, either. Still, I promised myself I would do my best to meet my weekly blogging deadline, so here goes… (I know, way to sell it, Womack.)

The Real World, FTX + A2A Style

My lovely wife is really good about forwarding me news stories and snippets from the Web she thinks I’ll like. Yesterday’s story involved a visit paid to a local airfield (Hillsboro, Oregon – KHIO, a field you might remember from the FlightZone02 days) by one of the few restored B-17s that are still airworthy. Liberty Belle pulled into KHIO, ready to take on paying passengers.

Writer Bill Roberson was one of the lucky few who got a ride, and the story he wrote about his experience is a cracking read, well worth your time. You can ask my wife, I spend a lot of time yelling at the newspaper and TV when they get it glaringly wrong about some plane thing or another. I mean c’mon, how hard is it to do a little research, maybe hire a consultant? So I was really pleased with this article. Not only is it well written, but it’s very tight, factually. See it here.

When I fly WWII warbirds in FSX, this is the sort of scenario I’m imagining; flying a restored example over modern skies. You could use this article as a template for some great sim flying, especially now that the A2A B-17 is out. And gee, I wonder where you could find a good rendering of the Pacific Northwest?

Spirit of ’76

I might not have gotten much done this week, but I did manage to kick out one tiny project. Actually, all I did this week was add a couple of stripes and call it done, as the vast majority of the work happened a few weeks ago. This is a repaint of Carenado’s newish Cessna 185 Skywagon amphibian in “Spirit of ’76” colors. The real plane is below, along with my livery.

This particular scheme was a puzzle-worker’s dream. Owing to the way the red and blue stripes wrap up around the fuselage behind the rear windows, it took a lot of fiddling and head-scratching to figure out how to apply them to the textures provided by Carenado. In painting it, I also discovered a glitch in the texture mapping. To Carenado’s credit, they fixed the problem promptly, and shipped me an updated version. I’ll make this paint available on the usual libraries once the patch is out to the general public.

Oh, did I mention that this plane is based at Plum Island in the real world? FS geeks, get your real on.

Odds & Ends

I see that FSD has released their Beech Bonanza V35. If you’re a V-tail fan, this might be one to add to the collection.

In the absence of time to fly this week, I’ve been keeping myself entertained by watching the cross-country lessons on Aviator 90 from Angle of Attack. The vids are top-notch, and flying along with Chris Palmer across the wilds of Oregon and Washington is the next best thing to doing it myself. Thanks, Chris.

That’s about it for now. The weather is going to be fantastic for VFR in the Pacific Northwest this weekend, so why not break out your favorite weather program, set it for real-world, and go flying? Enjoy!

9 responses to “Fanboy Friday: Phoning It In

  1. I am always happy to get the email notifier of a new “Fanboy Friday”! It’s a sure sign the weekend is near.

    Thanks for the B-17 story Bill, it made my day.

    Nice repaint of the 185. Looking forward to see it uploaded somewhere.

    I finally cracked and got the 185 Bush package last night. I must admit I am not a huge Carenado fan (it’s personal taste) but did enjoy a quick first flight in it last night. It’s rare that I nail a landing in my first flight with a new plane, but I did with this one! I guess the increased virtual stick time with taildraggers is helping (thanks A2A and Flight Replicas!)

  2. Wow!! Bravo on your SkyWagon repaint!!

  3. I really, really, love the Spirit of 76 and so will the liars club at Plum Island. It’s a pretty airplane. How you got all those stripes on it is a mystery. That’s one I’ll really get to fly.
    It’s too bad that the only thing left is B-17 Gs. Most of the work was done by B-17 E and Fs. Only us old timers can remember that.
    Plus the P-51 only provided bomber escort. The real work was done by P-47s but the Jug wasn’t anywhere so pretty.

  4. Hey Bill!
    First, thanks for the mention. Really appreciate your kind words.

    I’ve always wanted to fly on a B17. I remember when I was really young that I got to see one up close at our local airport. They were charging a whopping 15 dollars to go on board and walk through the different gunner stations and things, but I was with my friend and his Dad… couldn’t exactly beg. I would LOVE to pay the 400 bux for one of those flights one day. That is pretty much priceless.

    I really like your 185 repaint! Very cool. I might have to try it out, maybe but it in one of the final videos.

    Also, just a quick correction. It’s a Bonanza, not a Baron ;). You could always call it a doctor killer, too.

  5. Thats one thing I will do after I straighten things out and unpack from a cruise and clean and pack again for a business trip. Going to do some flying on the PMDG J4100 over the PNW after running Hi Fi Evolution.

  6. Bill…

    I was also fortunate enough to receive a 45 minute flight on board the Liberty Bell for my birthday last year…AWESOME! we were allowed to move freely about the plane the whole flight…i spent most of the flight in the nose…and i took a video the whole time. 🙂

    anyhow, i sure appreciate all you’ve done for our community!

    sincerely, ron.

  7. oops….Belle. 🙂

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