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5 years ago today...

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5 years ago today...

Postby J Maverick 16 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:19 am

Five years ago today, back in 2012, I downloaded my first version of FlightGear, which was 2.6 and lasted about 3 weeks because soon after 2.8 came out. With that simple download, my live changed entirely.
I was in search of a good flight simulator after having past experience in the simple Google Earth one which was simply an HUD which allowed ya to hang around.
I was at school during an informatics lesson just about one month earlier that I was a bit bored and had a look on what that Linux PC had, and per chance I found a kind of game store where it listed some, mostly open source I think. At some point I was in the simulation area when I found a game called Flightgear rated around 4.5/5 stars and there were some pics of it, in particular (will never forget it) the Cessna 172P cockpit which literally amazed me.
I couldn't realize such a game could have been so cool and freeware so I asked a friend information about it and he said he used it for some time and told it was 100% free and nice to use. I was very tempted to download it.
Well, school ended and I went on holiday for 1 month at the seaside, but yet I couldn't forget that sim. Once back home, I asked my father if I could install it on his laptop (mine was a bit older and weaker) and he said "Well, OK". So one afternoon of July 2012 I went on the official website and got it. All I had to play with it was a controller (like those Play Station ones) at that time (which I'm still using today for additional controls) and started messing around KSFO with that C172P which was very difficult to me at first. Two weeks later I convinced my father buy a cheap Thrustmaster joystick for playing in a better way, and that began a true love with aviation. Exactly, a flight sim created my deep interest for aviation.
I started messing around and learned quickly how to fly and use the essential parts sim itself and (didn't wanted to go through the FG manuals, I was too lazy for that, so I mainly learned things “on the field”). At some point I started to use multiplayer too, and that made things even more funnier.
With even 25 people online flying at KSFO at the same time, it was a great deal. I started with the callsign “Maverik” because of the 7-letter limitation. But changed it to “Maveric” some time later.
Obviously I'd been inspired by Top Gun, which I saw entirely for the first time on TV in that very period.
The C172P bored me soon so when I learned how to properly install planes, I started to go on the Hangar daily to check for interesting planes. I've learned the job on the Alphajet, which was a nice trainer for that time to me (F-14B was always breaking wings even before take-off for some reason). Took me long to learn how to fly in a decent way, especially t/o and landings were extremely difficult (as for every newbie). Then I learned how to use TerraSync and moved to Italy by literally flying to UFO from KSFO to Europe using the in-game map to know where I was going (lol).
I've started operating from LIPA, LIPQ and LIPI, which are somehow my “home airports” IRL.
Suddenly around November the PC broke itself, and scared that it could have been FG's fault, I've sadly stopped using it till February 2013. When I restarted, since the FG program was broken, I moved to 2.10 which was my last version on that PC. Within some months I've started to meet some people regularly and started making some friends. One of them taught me how to use OpenRadar, and so I began doing some kind of ATC at LIPQ and mainly LIPA. I've also learned how to place objects with the UFO, so I built up LIPA and LIPQ 3D on my PC. In the mean time aviation had become my main interest. At the end of that year I met some people which were doing ATC in the area often, and with them I founded The Northern Italy ATC Controlled Area (NIATCA) with me as CEO, Elgaton as admin and Iss96 as additional admin, based on what Jomo did in Germany with the EDDF Triangle. It soon expanded in members and in airports involved and we had several people flying there.
In that period I've changed my callsign to “J-Mav16” which is the same I use nowadays. Later Elgaton, taught me how to use WED for modifying airport layouts and started working on the Aviano AB scenery (which is still WIP, to be finished this summer hopefully). That year the first Festival of FlightGear was held in the Iberian peninsula in November, and the NIATCA offered to provide ATC coverage for it. 2014 was also the year when I joined the FG forums: the official one, Italy's and FGUK. How I joined FGUK was a kind of joke, I posted a screenshot of me landing their F/A-18D at EGOD on the “What/Where did you fly today?” forum thread and StuartC asked me to pay £500 of landing fees because I wasn't part of the community. So I said to myself “If I join them, no need to pay”. So I got there, and started to mess around with them. Soon I began to attend their Saturday FlightNights, which were and are one the best ways to have fun in MP with some good camaraderie. Since they were using voice comms, I bough a headset that allowed me to talk.
2015 arrived and I was spending most of my time in FG around EGOD flying their planes. In March I planned my first FlightNight “The Adriatic Sea Trip” starting from Rome and ending at LOWI. Learned tons with them and I'm so grateful for that.
At the Spring Festival in Argentina I occasionally met someone who was flying a “KC-137R-RT” (WTF?) so I asked him where did he got it from. He told me he was the developer and gave me a link to it. Basically it was a 707 retrofitted with CFM LEAP engines from the A320neo. I fell in love and started doing some minor contributions on it.
I started using some social media related to my FG activities like Google+, Instagram etc. Later that year my PC broke again, and never got fixed properly, which led me to download version 3.2 on my father's iMac (which is somehow mine today as I use it most of the time lol). Presently I'm still using that version with some minor additions from latest 2017 releases.
2016 arrived with plenty of expectations: they didn't last long. Due to my old Mac OS X, Teamspeak3 wasn't supported anymore by developers of the application so I had no way to communicate with them anymore. That, along with other issues, made me lost interest in attending FlightNights. In March, I met some guys around Nellis AFB flying fighter jets and doing dogfights. They told me they were a military group and was told to visit the forum thread about the “KSUU Crew”. They had a big event happening in USA and I joined as an observer, that marked my join in what today is called the Op Red Flag (OPRF) group. I began to use their modified planes and attending the events they planned and soon become good at dogfighting, in particular during the operations help over in Korea during the Spring FG Festival.
Again in March, the KC-137R got back to life when I decided to ask on the Jwocky forum (which I joined in the last months of 2015, did missed the ban affair entirely due to my previous PC issues) for someone to help me improve it. A guy called it0uchpods offered to help me. We worked on it nearly every day and it soon become a good plane. Apart from developing, we became friends and I'm so thankful fro him for all the things he taught me and all the fun we had and have. Thank you Josh! KC-137R got soon included in OPRF's approved planes as me and Josh kept working on it for the rest of the year with some pauses in between, adding stunning features and variants.
I progressed fast in fighting with the OPRF guys, and soon reached the rank of Lt. Colonel by flying mostly F-15s and for winning monthly events. With Josh I got involved in further aircraft projects and decided to build my own VIP plane the C-32J, inspired by other people having their own. Some time before the Fall Festival, I had an accident with FGUK which led me to have a break from them in order to settle down. I decided to join back on Xmas day flying to EGOD with my C-32J.
Finally 2017 arrived and so my 18th birthday, and I so bought myself a new decent Motorola smartphone which improved my FG experience a lot. Soon after I was promoted to Colonel rank in OPRF. Development continued on my projects and others came to my way. In March I bought the Teamspeak3 phone app which allowed me get my voice comms back with FGUK finally after nearly 1 year without, helping me to really get back in FlightNights.
In all this time I've kept flying and presently I've reached the #150 position in the FGTracker with nearly 780 effective flight hours with my callsign. I've made many friends around the world too, sharing the same interest in aviation and which I enjoy time flying with them. I'm so thankful to all of them.
I have loads of projects I started and want to finish so that the community can benefit of all of them. I have to say a huge thank you also to all the people who through the years helped me, supported me, trusted me, taught me things, contributed in what I'm doing now and enjoyed flying with me, they are a lot and I can't really mention each, but a special gratitude goes to the NIATCA members, the FGUK Family, the OPRF Crew and Joshua Davidson for all the good time I spent and keep spending with them. Another special thanks goes to the developers of the FlightGear project, for obvious reasons. Keep that up!

If you have been reading all that so far, then you're a boss, thanks! ;) I've tried to summarize it as much as I could, 5 years are a lot.

5 long, great but also tough years they've been, and I want to celebrate them with you all by organizing a kind of World Tour flying in MP to some destinations which have been part of these 5 outstanding years for me. I invite everyone who is interested and has time to attend, even for just having some fun out there.
(I'm gonna add details to this thread later about dates, destinations, routes etc.)

Image


I don't think there's much more to add, it's getting long enough already, so see ya in the FlightGear skies!
Kind regards, J Maverick 16
Breakin' the sound barrier every day!
5 YEARS OF FLIGHTGEAR (2012 - 2017)

Scenery designer, basic livery maker, aircraft developer.
Using Thrustmaster FCS Flight Pack.
Follow me also on Instagram & Twitter @j_maverick16, Google+ and YouTube.
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J Maverick 16
 
Posts: 632
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Location: Northern Italy
Callsign: J-Mav16, OPFOR96
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Re: 5 years ago today...

Postby Hooray » Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:58 am

Hi there, that is something that you may want to add to the newsletter - people will certainly enjoy reading that ! :D
Please don't send support requests by PM, instead post your questions on the forum so that all users can contribute and benefit
Thanks & all the best,
Hooray
Help write next month's newsletter !
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Re: 5 years ago today...

Postby J Maverick 16 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 3:53 pm

I will surely consider it as an option, thank you! ;)
Cheers, Mav
Breakin' the sound barrier every day!
5 YEARS OF FLIGHTGEAR (2012 - 2017)

Scenery designer, basic livery maker, aircraft developer.
Using Thrustmaster FCS Flight Pack.
Follow me also on Instagram & Twitter @j_maverick16, Google+ and YouTube.
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J Maverick 16
 
Posts: 632
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:26 pm
Location: Northern Italy
Callsign: J-Mav16, OPFOR96
Version: 3.2 custom
OS: OS X 10.6.8

Re: 5 years ago today...

Postby Catalanoic » Sat Jul 08, 2017 7:14 pm

"Hi there, that is something that you may want to add to the newsletter - people will certainly enjoy reading that" : Nice idea, writting an user experience per newsletter would be a nice to gain content and shared knowledge from personal point
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Re: 5 years ago today...

Postby J Maverick 16 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 10:16 am

Well, here you are:

Image

Cheers, Mav
Breakin' the sound barrier every day!
5 YEARS OF FLIGHTGEAR (2012 - 2017)

Scenery designer, basic livery maker, aircraft developer.
Using Thrustmaster FCS Flight Pack.
Follow me also on Instagram & Twitter @j_maverick16, Google+ and YouTube.
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J Maverick 16
 
Posts: 632
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:26 pm
Location: Northern Italy
Callsign: J-Mav16, OPFOR96
Version: 3.2 custom
OS: OS X 10.6.8

Re: 5 years ago today...

Postby Hooray » Sun Jul 09, 2017 10:21 am

Catalanoic wrote in Sat Jul 08, 2017 7:14 pm:Nice idea, writting an user experience per newsletter would be a nice to gain content and shared knowledge from personal point


We used to do something along theses lines semi-regularly when we were conducting "interviews" for the newsletter - where our people would interview other FlightGear users/contirbutors: http://wiki.flightgear.org/FlightGear_N ... js_de_Rooy

Thinking about it, that would be another simple way to populate the newsletter again, by reaching out to other people using/improving the sim :D

http://wiki.flightgear.org/FlightGear_N ... _Interview
Please don't send support requests by PM, instead post your questions on the forum so that all users can contribute and benefit
Thanks & all the best,
Hooray
Help write next month's newsletter !
pui2canvas | MapStructure | Canvas Development | Programming resources
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Re: 5 years ago today...

Postby stuart » Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:18 pm

Great to read of the positive experiences you've had over the last five years across the wide variety of FG communities. It really highlights the diverse ecosystem that exists. Thanks for sharing.

From a selfish perspective, I'm delighted to read that someone has developed a love of aviation through FG.

Please do add this to the next newsletter. If you could include links to the relevant groups, all the better.

Here's to another five years of discovery and contribution!

-Stuart
G-MWLX
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Re: 5 years ago today...

Postby J Maverick 16 » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:29 pm

Thanks for all the kind comments, much appreciated.

I'm gonna add it to the newsletter during the first pause of my World Tour, will fix a few things and add some few more pics as well.
Regards, Mav
Breakin' the sound barrier every day!
5 YEARS OF FLIGHTGEAR (2012 - 2017)

Scenery designer, basic livery maker, aircraft developer.
Using Thrustmaster FCS Flight Pack.
Follow me also on Instagram & Twitter @j_maverick16, Google+ and YouTube.
User avatar
J Maverick 16
 
Posts: 632
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:26 pm
Location: Northern Italy
Callsign: J-Mav16, OPFOR96
Version: 3.2 custom
OS: OS X 10.6.8

Re: 5 years ago today...

Postby Johan G » Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:51 pm

Wonderful write-up. Seeing people getting intrigued and curious about FlightGear and starting to learn and acquire new skills and friends and starting to contribute in one way or another is one of the main reasons I have stayed around so long. :D

In other terms FlightGear is a gateway drug to personal and interpersonal character development, and a great plot device in our adventure of learning new and exiting things. ;)
Low-level flying — It's all fun and games till someone looses an engine. (Paraphrased from a YouTube video)
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Re: 5 years ago today...

Postby J Maverick 16 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:46 am

Hey, I've just found time to upload the content to the Wiki page: http://wiki.flightgear.org/FlightGear_N ... unity_news
Most if it's done, yet it needs some improvements like the quote part for example and I need to add some content to the World Tour part. Check it if you have some time ;) .
Cheers, Mav
Breakin' the sound barrier every day!
5 YEARS OF FLIGHTGEAR (2012 - 2017)

Scenery designer, basic livery maker, aircraft developer.
Using Thrustmaster FCS Flight Pack.
Follow me also on Instagram & Twitter @j_maverick16, Google+ and YouTube.
User avatar
J Maverick 16
 
Posts: 632
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:26 pm
Location: Northern Italy
Callsign: J-Mav16, OPFOR96
Version: 3.2 custom
OS: OS X 10.6.8


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