International Flightsim Convention Denver 2006 Page 6

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Angle of Attack

If you haven’t seen their website and checked out the brainchild of Robert Trent and Chris Palmer, you’re missing out. Not many of us have time to flip through hundreds of pages of manuals — even ones as entertaining as Mike Ray’s — so the guys at Angle of Attack have come up with something new.

They intend to create training DVDs intended for the flight sim enthusiast for the Level-D 767-300 airliner. They’re going to take you from ramp-start to full shutdown using in-game video narrated by voice-over, giving the user detailed instructions on flight in the 767-300 for Microsoft Flight Simulator. No detail will be left out and each chapter of the DVD covers separate systems so that the entire flight deck goes from mystery to mastery.

I got a chance to talk to Robert — who is an Air Force firefighter at Eglin AFB in Florida — at the convention and I’ll advise everyone now to look for these guys on the cover of Fortune or The Robb Report in the near future. Trent and Palmer have a unique idea, and while it’s never been attempted before, theirs is one that will takeoff — so to speak — and really make a difference in how people learn the methods of aircraft flight.

Visit www.flyaoamedia.com

NaturalPoint

I have to have one of these now.

My entire mention of NaturalPoint’s TrackIR4 head-tracking device could have ended right there. That wouldn’t, however, do justice to the team of Warren Blyth and Kevin Fox, who had apparently worked though all hours to get their demonstration machines set up. They were a hit with everyone and I don’t think one convention attendee didn’t sit down and say, “Wow…” when donning the visor and looking around the cockpit.

Kevin invited me to sit down and give it a try and I think what did it for me was the fact that I had slid down in the chair a bit and noticed my forward visibility had diminished somewhat. So, I sat up a little straighter and was suddenly able to see over the dash of the Cessna I was flying. I think I said…wait a second, let me look at my notes, here. Yes, I believe I said, “Whoa…” in my best Keanu Reeves impersonation.

Transload Virtual Airlines

I’d never heard of a virtual airline before and I was delighted to meet the CEO of the longest-running virtual airline in the world, Ken Paulick of Transload Virtual Airlines. Ken is a homebuilder in the Denver area and is one of the people responsible for bringing an IFC event to the United States. Transload has more than seven major divisions making flights all over the world. From military aircraft to heavy airliners, they span the globe in membership.

International Flightsim Convention - Denver 2006

“We wanted to build a virtual airline that anyone could take part in.” Ken explains, “Too many of them, if you don’t make your scheduled flight, you’re downgraded. We understand that people have real lives and real jobs.” Transload has events nearly every night of the week and their busiest time is the Friday and Saturday nights, with about 20 or more participants. While we were talking, Dan Jones — Paulick’s second-in-command — was flying on their server and three other members were already online and making their scheduled flights.

They have their own skins for their aircraft that are downloadable from their website after a free registration as a member, and these are beautiful models. Paulick takes great pride in being the longest-running virtual airline, and his operation serves as a model for future endeavors. While their membership includes many experienced simulation pilots, they are always looking for new members and are happy to teach the incoming pilots how to operate in an airline.

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