A long time ago, in a galaxy
far… well… back around 1988… I was a big fan of flight simulators,
the World Wide Web wasn't invented yet, and there wasn't really any
place on the online networks for guys like me to hang out. Along
with a few friends like Jeff Horrocks of York, PA, Jim Ross of
Alexandria, VA and Mike Barrs of Miami, FL, I helped create a place
on CompuServe called the FSFORUM. It was the first flight
simulation online meeting place accessible internationally. (Click here for
more history) When I finally gave up my sysop position on CompuServe
in 1995, I went to work for Microsoft to set up their Flight
Simulator Forum on the Microsoft Network (MSN). After so many years
of running that type of forum I finally got burnout and quit in
1996. For part of 1996 and 1997 I kept my hand in cyberspace by
helping Alfred Poor with his Q&A forum on the Computer Shopper
section of ZDNet. I was out of the FS scene for a while, but I got
involved again due to my fascination with the helicopter in FS98,
which I consider to be the greatest addition to FS in 10 years...
thanks Paul Donlan.
A quick note
about Microsoft FS 2002. WOW. Holy cow.... this is the
FS we've always wanted. Graphic accellerator cards have
finally advanced to the point that home simulation is stunningly
sophiticated. Get a GeForce3 video card and get FS2002.
The results are mind boggling.
That's me, Rick Lee,
trying to look cool after landing a big-iron, full-motion-base
simulator into Hong Kong's Kai Tak airport… the infamous
Photo by Simon Hradecky. Thanks to Simon for
getting me into this thing.
Rick again, in the
Learjet35 sim, very pleased with myself and not
bothering to look cool
at all after landing at Houston Intercontinental.
Taken at the 1994
MicroWINGS Conference in Dallas Texas. Simulator courtesy of
|Here is an article I wrote
on how to build a "collimated display
system" for your
home PC which will give a sense of depth and 3d to any simulation or
game such as Microsoft Flight Simulator, air combat sims, Nascar,
Doom, or Quake. I've been using these for years and I know people
all over the world who have built their own device and now wouldn't
do without it.
Click here to read an article by John
Amery and Harry Streid of Boeing on their research into using
multiple monitors and fresnel lenses to create a mosaic dome display
system using off-the-shelf hardware. Fascinating
|Here is an article I wrote
on how to fly the
Microsoft Flight Simulator 98 and 2000. It's very difficult, but if
I can become proficient at it, I think most anyone can. The download
version below includes FS98 situation files, recorded videos of
flight demonstrations, and scenery BGL files of three offshore
oilrig platforms with helipads. If you think that flying this
helicopter is impossible, you need to view these demos. Download the zip file for viewing
A Lesson to
Remember. This was written by Paul Donlan who wrote the
mathmatical flight model for the Bell Jetranger Helicopter in
FS98. The article sheds some light on whether or not the
Microsoft Flight Simulator helicopter is a good
|How to fly Microsoft Flight
Simulator 98 (or FS2000) Multi-Player over the
going through the Microsoft Internet Gaming Zone. You can connect
with other FS users in multiplayer sessions over the Internet
without going through any server. This will seem a little
complicated if you have never done it before, but after you do it
once, you'll be amazed at how simple it really is. You can establish
a host session or join a session literally in seconds. It's all just
a few mouse clicks away.
How to network two or more computers in your
home or small-office
using only the built-in networking resources of Windows 95/98. Want
to play multi-player flight simulators, QUAKE, NASCAR, etc?? Home
networking is cheap and fun! It's easy but somebody has to walk you
through it step by step. Thanks to Lloyd James for this
clearly written primer.
A brief history of the beginning of
FSFORUM on CompuServe. Written at the time of
The first PC flight simulator
convention in the US. Held in 1991 at Cornell University,
sponsored by the long-since defunct organization,
A few eons ago, before there
was such a thing as the World-Wide-Web, when I was sysop on the
Compuserve Flight Simulations Forum, I wrote a regular column in
MicroWINGS Magazine. Here’s a trip down memory lane… I have
compiled some of the
articles here if you are interested in the Golden Age (or
is that the Dark Ages?) of personal computer flight
INDEX TO MicroWINGS COLUMNS
2/93 "Other people's brains" - Staff Profiles
5/93 Tom Kopke (Navy simulations physicist) interview
6/93 Commercialization of user-designed scenery
8/93 Dayton, OH - Stu "Mr Ed" Butts interview
10/93 "The year the Europeans came", Simon Hradecky interview
12/93 "Virtual Friends"
1/94 "The Future Is Now, Almost"
4/94 Virtual Fly-Ins
6/94 "Global Village, or the Virtual Water Cooler"
7/94 "Browsing the Stacks", Library statistics
12/94 "FSFORUM Staff"
Pedals - In 1989, before rudder pedals for Flight Simulator were
commercially available, I designed and built a set for myself.
Here is a DIY, do-it-yourself article I wrote for PC-Pilot Magazine
(I think there is another magazine now called PC-Pilot, but this one
has been long defunct).
articles will be posted here in the future.
Two great guys. Jon
Solon (left), former Program Manager of Flight Simulator for Microsoft
and Bruce Artwick (right), father of personal computer flight
simulation and a living legend in computing.
Taken at the 93 MicroWINGS
conference at Cornell University.
(By the way, if you heard a rumor
that Bruce died of cancer, it's NOT true.)