Too Many Planes - Not!
By Art Burke
(1) Fred takes issue with the quantity of repaints. We can address quality later. Why DON'T we need five repaints in BA, Qantas, etc.? I personally don't care what the outside of my plane looks like (except for screen shots). If John Doe wants a 737 in the livery of Lower Slobbovian Airways and he, or someone else, is willing to create said repaint, what's wrong with that? If FlightSim.Com has disk space to support 467 different repaints of the default 737, no one will force me to test 'em all! I'll get the ones I like, John will get the one he likes and you can have the one you like. Should we establish a committee to determine what airlines can be created?
(2) "You can't find semi-popular planes like some models of the Beechjets!" Perhaps the term "semi-popular" answers the question without further elaboration! Besides, there are conflicting opinions about "too many heavies" in the freeware market. Some say yea, others say nay. I personally have a limited number of them but, like above, if there are 57 varieties, I only have to possess the one(s) I enjoy.
(3) There is an implied criticism of planes put out by people who didn't spend that much time developing their craft. I ask again - should we have a committee to determine what can muster inspection and only have those planes uploaded? (My tongue is so far in my cheek on that one it hurts!) True, not everyone has the time (or wants to spend it) of FSD, PSS, DreamFleet, etc. Those types of ventures may be the wave of the future at any rate. It is indeed painstaking for a single individual to create the wares we see from the "groups."
(4) Fred states he received about 200 e-mails and 195 of them agreed with him. As a professional economist/statistician, that doesn't mean all that much. What he has is 200 e-mails of those who (a) even read the article and/or (b) bothered to respond. Statistically, if you laid all these e-mails end to end, I wouldn't be a bit surprised. (Humorous non sequitur intended!) A few e-mailers said most people wanted airliner aircraft and Fred uses his "statistics" to support this. Rather than investigate the quantity of downloads on the recent Pilatus Porter (which is indeed a wonderful creation - I like to fly it, but even if you don't, it's still an excellent rendering of what can be done with the sim), compare the download quantities to ALL the 737s, 767s, 727s, etc. What about the guys (and gals) who downloaded this fantastic plane but don't fly it? Victor the Virtual pilot may have downloaded it because it was popular, tried it once and then went back to his over-the-pole flights from New York to Tokyo in his 47th 777 repaint!
(5) "We don't need repeats of models where we already have a great plane!" Goodness. Why would anyone need the Pilatus Porter when Fred Banting already gave us the Beaver? Why do we need Paul Golding when we already had Staffan Ahlberg, Eric Ernst, Chuck Dome, Steve Small (there won't be enough room for my list!)? After Gone With the Wind, War and Peace and To Kill A Mockingbird, why would anyone bother to write any more novels?
In a recent thread on the FS2000 forum here at FlightSim.Com, a stellar comment (in my opinion) was made. To wit: "No single sim satisfies everyone." Amen. The same goes for the planes, the quantity, the quality, the panels, the gauges, etc. There is plenty of room in the sim for everyone and their wants/wishes. (As long as Nels doesn't run out of room at FlightSim.Com!)
Peter James recently stated his opinion of how one should fly. I agreed partially with his assessment and disagreed partly with some aspects. To me, the beauty of flight simming is the variety available. If we could conceivably find a way to limit (and I see that currently as a form of censorship and therefore undesirable) what and how you were to use the application, many would turn to something else.
I like flying in IMC. Sometimes, I like flying in the mountains. The scenery in FS2000 is, to me, a golly, gee whiz, look at this, type of reaction - for a time. For others, it's the raison d'etre! To me, if you've seen one 737 you've seen them all. To others, au contraire, Pierre! I want panels that work, are highly functional and easy to use. Others want forty-seven bells and whistles - if it ain't pretty it stinks!
Can I prove I'm right and Fred's wrong? No way! That isn't/wasn't my intent. I too have no desire to antagonize or offend anyone else, including Fred. I only offer an alternative viewpoint. To reiterate, the beauty of simming is: there's something for everyone - you only have to eat dessert. If someone uploads squash your mommy isn't going to be here to make you eat it!
Now, let's start another Op-Ed about scenery. I've seen some scenery designs lately that look like the guy planted forty-two trees, plowed a dirt strip, adopted some bears and turned on the lights in the cabin. Looks pretty far-fetched to me. Some of my "bush buddies" are falling all over each other to download it. How can you not love this?