The Texas Shoot-Out: F4:AF LAN Meet Page 2

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The Return of the Jedi

Paul “Rightstuffer” Miller was back, and had brought reinforcements in the form of his lovely wife Lynn and his son, callsign “Rhino”, who would soon get his first taste of online dogfighting against one of the other squadron members. Paul had also brought a toy. A big one.

Clark's F-16 Cockpit

Clark's F-16 Cockpit

Clark’s F-16 Cockpit

Isn’t she beautiful? Think the Hornet pit was expensive? The sticker price of this monster is $171K. Geared more for government procurement, this beast had been wheeled in the previous day and while it was hoped that it would be flyable, that wish didn’t come true. But still, the cockpit of a Block 52 F-16C before my eyes made any doubts of the will (which were nonexistent) of the staff of Clark’s Precision Machine and Tool vanish. The main computer running this behemoth was enshrouded in a rack mount server case and housed a 3.6GHz Intel dual-core processor, 2GB of DDR RAM, a Creative Audigy 2 sound card, and a NVIDIA 7800GTX video card. Nestled in the nose, this was beauty and innovation that pumps out enough raw computer power to keep Gary Kasparov up at night.

Rhino at Work

Rhino at Work

Miller wasn’t the only Clark’s employee to make the meet. Also present were Steve Joyner and his warm and gracious wife, Penny. You guys remember Steve don’t you? There’s a picture of he and I leaning on his resume’ on the assembly floor at Clark’s. He was there to show off his new creation, a fully articulated throttle assembly for the home cockpit builder.

Steve's "baby"

Steve’s “Baby”

Beaming like a proud father, he demonstrated this device to the amazement of a crowd of pilots gathered around him, shaking their heads in admiration. Penny, a simmer in her own right, was on hand to market stencils for the home cockpit builder. The stencils, a creation of Jason “Killn” England, a NASA engineer working on the replacement of the Hubble Space Telescope, boasted accuracy of 100%. Steve could make them for you, she explained, but it would cost you. Little wonder. Her husband’s talent in metal fabrication is legendary.

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