Sunday, April 29, 2007

7 Fokker Dr-I's

7 Replica Fokker Dr-I's in action in NZ.


Monday, April 23, 2007

England to Australia in a Microlight

Flying from England to Australia in a microlight aircraft would be remarkable in itself. However when the pilot is blind it is all the more remarkable.

Miles Hilton-Barber, blind for 25 years is flying from England to Australia in a microlight aircraft to raise US$1 million, to combat preventable blindness in developing countries. Miles is accompanied by highly experienced co-pilot Storm Smith.

As of yesterday Miles & Storm were in Kupang, Indonesia waiting for weather conditions to change before embarking on the lengthy (8 hour) flight from Kupang, Indonesia to Darwin, Australia.

Miles & Storm are flying in a Quik GT450.

You can follow their progress on Miles' blog or

A few related links of interest -

Update: Miles has now landed in Darwin.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

IWM DH9 restoration rollout

The Imperial War Museum has unveiled it's newly restored WW1 DH-9 bomber. It's one of two discovered rotting in a Maharajah's palace in India; originally given to India as part of the Imperial Gift after WW1. This aircraft D 5649, featuring a large number of original parts, has been restored as a non flying exhibit. It was restored by the Historic Aircraft Collection.

It is not planned to fly this particular aircraft, however the other DH-9 E 8894 is being restored to flying condition by HAC. Something I'm greatly looking forward to. I wonder what happened to the remains of the other 3 DH9's that Guy Black found?

Will I be making a DH9 for FSX? Yep... I plan to along with it's younger sibling the DH9A or '9 Ack' as it was called. I also plan to cover the DH4 series, both British and US versions. The '9 Ack' will make a great companion for a future Biff/Brisfit project.... the North West Frontier FSX style.

A few links on the restored DH9 -

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Flight Modeling & all that....

I am currently up to my armpits in aerodynamics, stability derivatives, lift co-efficients, pitching moments and a whole lot more. I am also attempting to obtain a sound understanding of the workings of .air files as in MS sims. At this stage I have to say I am thoroughly enjoying the experience.

I am interested in all eras of aviation, from 1914 through to the present. My initial focus will be on aircraft of the 1914-1938 period, and am developing my own spreadsheet which will largely cater for biplanes and perhaps early monoplanes. If a name is worth anything, I have called my system 'Vintav'... LoL. It is MS Excel based. Vintav may be able to write aircraft .cfg files. I have yet to decide. However table data will have to be entered in .air files via programs such as AAM (Aircraft Air File manager).

I am primarily still at the research and data collation stage with much more in front of me. At this stage I have only purchased two books. The first was somewhat advanced and related to aerodynamics rather than aeronautics, not much about aircraft. I still find it useful in providing an understanding of the concepts. I have just purchased Airplane Flight Dynamics and Automatic Flight Controls by Jan Roskam through ebay which will probably take a few weeks to reach Australia. In the meantime I have found Hervé Sors' Flight Simulator Aircraft Dynamics and Navdata website to be a useful portal to the world of flight dynamics creation and reference material for MS Sims.

At this stage I plan to devote at least two months, in my spare time, to this activity, perhaps more if need be.

I am not out of the loop completely as far as 3D modeling is concerned. However that activity is taking very much a back seat at the moment.... just enough to keep a few projects ticking over.

I am also most likely returning to my normal vocation for a while (FS creation doesn't pay the bills), but am still hoping to complete projects such as the freeware Sopwith Snipe, maybe a Sopwith Triplane and two payware projects. Perhaps a big ask, but many of the steep learning curves are behind me apart from flight modeling and issues such cockpit lighting. However WW1 aircraft are a bit light in the systems area. The FSX Snipe is perhaps the most complicated of the planned aircraft. I hope to include cockpit lighting and flares in that aircraft.


Sunday, April 01, 2007

Biff Diaries

I am scaling down my current virtual aviation blogging activities a little bit and for the time being suspended my other blog, The Biff Diaries, which mainly focused on 3D modeling and virtual aircraft creation.

Anything worth posting on that topic will be posted here for the time being, until I can move ahead at the speed I desire on projects for FSX, and also conceive a project that I feel will be worthwhile pursuing for that sim.