Recently, I indulged in a simmer's paradise. A virtual weekend in
London! Occasionally, a diehard flightsim nut like myself must
continue the tradition to other avenues. "Why just stick to flying,
when there are many other great virtual ways to escape?", I ask.
Ready to push. Just look at
those terminals courtesy of Aerosoft's German Airports
2/2000! The 767 is from Wilco's 767 Pilot in Command with my
My excitement for the recent release of Wilco's 767 Pilot in
Command, had me thinking about how much fun it would be to
experience flying to London, using the new Heathrow scenery by Gary Summons. After
getting there only to be enthralled by the lavish details of the
terminals, what would I do then? Surely I could. But, that will not
be as thrilling as another Microsoft product that has stolen my
non-flying heart away.
FL350 with the English coast
in sight ahead. We'll be starting down soon for London.
I started my leg in Germany using the great Aerosoft scenery for
FS2000. The weather was fine, some snow had been occurring the last
few days I was there, so it was a typical winter day. Great flying
weather. Takeoff and climb were perfect in the BA767. I had
programmed in the routing to Heathrow's 27R approach, via a set of
VORs on the arrival path.
Upon getting ATIS, I discovered it was VFR and a visual landing
would be planned to 27R. Right over the city! Once at cruise
altitude for about 40 minutes, it was time to start down. The
English coast loomed ahead out the windscreen. The English Channel
was brilliant under the sun, and nary a cloud was to be found.
Slats out. Slowing over
downtown London for the 27R arrival. Soon, we'll be touring the
city like never before!
Slowing and descending from a 300+ kt descent took some time, even
with full spoiler action. See, the 767 in PIC is so accurate,
you'll learn that real heavy jets will descend at idle and NOT slow
down like all other FS airliners do. You'll need to run spoilers at
idle power to get to the 250 kt transition level at 10,000 feet.
But, in England, ATC often allows much faster speeds below 10,000.
Turning off the active at
Coming in from the south, I was able to turn a nice left base over
the city, eyeballing some famous landmarks I'd be in a hurry to
visit in person. My landing on 27R was great, as are all my
landings using the PIC 767. After slowing to taxi speed, I was
astounded at the great visuals the terminals contained. Parking
gates! Just like in Germany. And, the frame rate held in the low
10s. Normally, not acceptable to me. But without any stutters
resulting from this panel, and the recent removal of mesh scenery
from my computer, I am happy with 12 fps and detail like this. See,
you really won't see this detail on landing, so it's not going to
slow you down.
What a beautiful sight! If
you could only hear her fans like I can now...
Lumbering slowly into the parking area, I finally found a bay that
was clear and open. Nestling in besides a "senior" Speedbird 747, I
was eager to start my rampage. No. Adventure. That's the word.
One hour later...we're off.
In a London Cab. Gad Zooks, that's a dumb place to put a tree.
An hour later I was in London. I was at the controls of a London
cab. The little cute ones that are famous for nimble driving and
have back and fourth seats in the rear. I remember them from when I
was only 9, in London with my family back then. What fun it was!
Now, I am going to wisk through the streets myself, lapping up all
the sights. FlightSim.Com is paying for the cab, I must be careful
This is not what I had in
mind for fun. Well, not really...
What went wrong!?
Some place famous right? I'll
just take a picture of it anyways...
I lasted only 20 minutes. I tried to obey the law, but found
myself compelled to have mischief. I went through parklands. I
zigged and zagged at pedestrians. I made old ladies jump for their
lives. I ran over popcorn poppers, sausage stands, and big twisty
pretzel makers. I played chicken with double-decker busses. I
skidded right past the Queen's house, honked my horn outside of
Westminster Abby and was a real big "Fly in the Ointment". I
couldn't get a hold of myself!
Crossing the London Bridge,
the civilized way. Should I be left or right of the line?
Suddenly my ride was over. After dodging the local Bobbies, I ended
up all wet. I accidentally found myself in a moat, river or pond.
Something that only ducks were supposed to frequent. I snuck away,
and hid in a hotel that night.
The Tower of London. You
could loose your head, looking around in there.
The next morning I obtained rights to an official double-decker
bus! Oh what fun I'd have today! I'd go looking for the Tower of
London. Maybe I could find my way inside to view the "chopping
block". As a kid, that was the highlight of my trip! I did find my
way inside the tower...I really remember what it was like. From
there I drove a few times over the bridge, narrowly escaping the
rising and falling of it to allow some water vehicles under.
This is what you might see,
if you should drive down a flight of stairs!
My time was running short, if I was to catch the next flight home
to the States. I wanted to try something really sporty, so I rented
one of the new Beetles. That little car will go 110 mph. Did you
A moment of calm came over me
here. Similar to Boston traffic. Note my scrapes, dents and dongs.
Maybe I should use that phone booth to place a call.
My last harrah came when I took the challenge to jump my little car
over the opening London Bridge! Could it be done? No sense in just
wondering - at some 60 mph I hit the peak of the rising roadway.
Airborne! Yaaaahhhhhooooo! Then a really hard smash landing told me
I'd better stick to flying.
Just like in the "Dukes of
Hazzard"! I am one hazardous Duke.
Not ready to go to prison for my misgivings, I decided just to
"hide" the car. Perhaps in the river. I gently crept towards the
embankment, got out and let the little blue Beetle plunge headfirst
into the moat. Problem is, she didn't sink! It was too shallow and
now she lied there wheels up in the air, pointing at the guilty
I am ashamed, to have left
such a nice little car, one that I would love to own in real life,
in the drink.
I ran as fast as I could into the crowds. Hidden. Too ashamed to
take a cab, double-decker, or any other kind of vehicle back to the
airport. I would never be so irresponsible to any type of flying
machine. What had happened to me? Oh yea, the red dots. Those are
the areas of the reign of terror.
Time to go home. I have a lot of explaining to do. Or better
yet, maybe I don't. Maybe some of you out there are about to plan
your own "virtual weekend" that combines the love of flight with
another means of transportation. I must say, since I didn't get
caught...maybe I'll go to San Francisco next. I hear they have some
pretty nice hills out there!