One of the most impressive booths belonged to the UK-based company, Just Flight. Their two emissaries, Alex Ford and Martin Wright, were in the process of loading about a dozen of their add-ons on three machines when they realized they hadn’t had anything to eat or drink in the past eight hours. I I having just checked in to the hotel not an hour and a half ago and similarly starving, the three of us adjourned to the bar for a small restorative.
Alex and Martin have a passion for flight simulation, but were quick to point out one very striking difference between them and other third-party developers, a money-back guarantee that they rarely have to enforce.
“You see,” Alex explained, “we look at a lot of offers and there’s more than a few that we don’t publish because we want the highest quality.” Hence, the reason the return rate of their titles is low. By enforcing high QA standards, Alex reasoned, they’re better off because those that do gain acceptance traditionally do very well.
Martin is a military flight enthusiast and the man behind some of the tools they use in their own in-house development. Martin is also the only exhibitor to make me physically jump, using one of their many product trailers being displayed on a plasma-screen TV. I was conducting some ‘man-on-the-laptop’ interviews with convention attendees playing around with the FSX demo when I literally nearly jumped out of my shoes at the unearthly roar emanating from the Just Flight booth. It was their trailer for the RAF Tornado add-on and the twin-engined beast was literally shaking the floor of the convention hall. Martin turned around, a huge grin on his face, pointing at the screen and raising his fists in triumph. The Just Flight add-on for the RAF Tornado is not to be missed.
Another add-on I got some stick time with was their recently-released Captain Sim C-130 Hercules. My usual test pattern for most MSFSadd-ons is a very short hop from the Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, Texas to D/FW International, an approach I’ve shot hundreds of times over in numerous aircraft. The Hercules didn’t disappoint, feeling both graceful and ponderous. Graceful only in the sense that as long as you didn’t ask it to do too much, it didn’t fall out of the sky. With beautiful external models and a drool-inspiring cockpit view, a standard has been made that few can match.