Category Archives: Aircraft Reviews

Sim Saturday!

Work from home, they said. Be your own boss! Set your own hours! Sounds good, doesn’t it? Only I’ve been doing the freelance thing full-time for six years now, and the promise of freedom is a whole lot sweeter than the reality. On a typical day, I’m up early, racing around from project to project, working way harder than I ever did as a salaried employee. Sometimes, when I’m feeling burned out, I have to remind myself that one of the supposed benefits of being self-employed is not having a jackass for a boss. So, I let myself punch the alarm, roll over, and go back to sleep yesterday. All of which is a long way of saying that Fanboy Friday has become Sim Saturday for one week only.

So what’s being going on in the FS universe this week? Continue reading

Fanboy Friday: the Slick, the Smoky, and the Bizarre

Usually, I try to organize these Friday posts around a central theme. Today you get a grab-bag of random stuff that’s floating around my desk (and my brain). Prepare yourself. Continue reading

It’s Fanboy Friday Time Again…

And that means another heaping pile of stuff that you could spend all your money and time on, if you were so inclined. This week has been a real mixed bag of releases, so you’re sure to find something here that tickles your fancy, makes you roll your eyes, or both. So, what’s new? Continue reading

A Date from Hell

Nothing pleases me more than when two of my favorite pastimes come together. I’ve been writing for several years now, and have managed to turn out one novel manuscript and start on another. In addition to my fiction, I’ve written a few FS aircraft reviews for my good friend Nick Churchill’s website, ScreenshotArtist. Nick and I were chatting recently, and I mentioned that I was growing restless with the standard pro/con review format, and wanted to try something a little different. The result is the Flight Stories series, reviews with a fictional slant.

Blind Date

The series began with Joyride, a tale of a reluctant plane thief and his gung-ho sidekick who liberate a restored B17 from her moorings for a jaunt over the Oregon coast. This weekend, Nick and I posted another entry. Blind Date is a story of lust gone wrong in the sky above the Idaho/Canada border. The star of the show is Eaglesoft’s lovely Columbia 400, showcased against the backdrop of a libidinous encounter that proves the old adage be careful what you wish for. As usual, Nick provides the stunning illustrations. If you haven’t gotten hooked on FS fiction yet, now is an excellent time. Check it out!

With that tail, it must be a Comet…

Although many new freeware add-ons for Microsoft Flight Simulator hit the Web every week, I seldom have the chance to explore the latest offerings because of how little time I have for flying these days. Occasionally, a new airplane will come to my attention that’s so detailed, so clearly a labor of love, and so downright satisfying to fly that I have to drop everything and try it out. I’m happy to say that one such shining example of virtual aircraft design is David Maltby’s new DeHavilland Comet.

I find the Comet one of the more interesting of the early jetliners. It stands at the crossroads between the old propeller-driven airliners and the modern jet age, incorporating design principles of both. The tail and wings are pure propliner, but the faired-in engine nacelles are poetry, sleek with the promise of the coming age of speed. Inside, the cockpit is not only detailed, but oozes with character. As someone on a forum message aptly put it, you can practically smell the cracked leather and stale cigar smoke.

Although it was designed for FS2004, I’ve tried it in FSX and it works quite nicely. David mentions one or two smallish compatibility problems with the new sim, but I was too blown away by the gorgeous visuals, visceral sound, and excellent flight dynamics to pay them much mind. I’m a virtual cockpit (VC) flyer, exclusively. When I loaded up the Comet, I knew David and I must be kindred spirits. Check out the pics below and you’ll see what I mean.

DH Comet Exterior CH Comet VC, from the back seat DH Comet, from the left seat

Bravo, David! Thank you so much for the obvious effort you put into this creation. And thank you for making it available to everyone free of charge. I only hope that the outpouring of oohs and ahhs I’ve already seen over this lovely bird will make it all worth while for you.

Joyriding in a B-17

As readers of this blog know, two of my primary passions are writing and flightsimming. As time goes on, I’m finding new and interesting ways to combine the two. The latest endeavor is Joyride, a short story based on a sim flight experience. I provided the words, and my buddy Nick Churchill did the images. This was fun, and I’m sure you’ll be seeing more work in this vein soon. Grab a coffee and head on over to check it out!