Monday, November 26, 2007

the vw beetle of the skies.

You know you're beyond help when you geek out over something like this:

That is a screenshot of Flight Simulator X, specifically the virtual cockpit of a meticulously recreated Cessna 150L built in 1971. A bunch of French guys spent about 2,000 hours combined on the creation of that little two-seater, and the end result looks pretty much exactly like a well-used 150 with thirty-five years of flight school service and pleasure flights on its back. If you download the large version of the picture, you can see that the original dashboard is faded to a dirty gray in some spots, and that the 1970s salmon-colored trim is ripped near the top of the dash. Everything works like it does in a real 150--every switch and toggle. Even the key in the ignition has a well-worn Cessna factory fob that looks like the key's been changing hands frequently for a few decades. The key fob and the microphone wire even swing with the bank angle of the plane. That's attention to detail.

I guess I'm getting old. Tooling around the pattern in that beat-to-shit little C150, with its basic VFR instrumentation and complete lack of modern avionics amenities is more fun to me these days than loading up some combat simulator where you can strap on an F/A-18 and blot enemy fighters from the sky.

Oh, for those of you who have FS9 or FS X: that little Cessna 150 is freeware, available here.

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