How many people work with you or your team?
I don't have a team for most projects. The SHRS F-111 Aardvark is the first real team project for me. That team consists of Roman Stoviak and me.
What do the various members of the team do?
Roman Stoviak joined the team in November of 2012. He is the gauge programmer. I was looking for a way to feed fuel from tanks in a certain order. He answered a question for me in a forum and jumped right in creating a gauge to solve the problem. We started brain storming and we were off and running. Roman's gauge programming skills are unbelievable. He always finds a way to make something work. Our current project has so many gauges that you cannot see, like three separate flight data computers, just to juggle the data around between the autopilot, instruments, and TFR. Skills aside, I cannot think of a better person to work with.
I do the panel creations, repainting, gauge and panel artwork, editing config files, and planning.
What other activities are you involved in?
My hobbies include photography, building and flying radio controlled aircraft and helicopters.
Do you have any experience, interest in real aviation?
My experience with real aviation is limited to being an avionics specialist on the FB-111A, Other than that, when I was younger I had a roommate that had a Cessna 177RG and we used to go flying in that. My dad flew gliders.
Any memorable flights in real life?
When I was in the Air Force, at Red Flag, as a thank you I got to join a Search and Rescue mission on a CH-53 Super Stallion. We had two helicopters and set out to find a downed aircrew in the Nevada desert, their penalty for being 'shot down' the day before. The high lights of the mission were air refueling from a C-130 and firing the 7.62 Mini gun into the desert. Then hanging out of the chopper to make sure we did not land on any unexploded bombs in the desert. Finding the aircrew and not being 'shot down' ourselves was completed the mission as planned.
Would you like to share what you do in real life?
I am a service technician installing and repairing digital photo labs.
Have you ever considered doing flight simulator development full-time?
I do not have the skills necessary to make this a full time career, but it sure would be nice.
How do you choose your next new design or project?
I just find something I like to fly and try to make it into what I want. Then I share it with anybody that would like it also.
What simulators do you design for now and what ones do you plan to develop for in the future?
I just work with FSX now. I use to design for Flight Unlimited II and III. It was a very good flight simulator for its day.
What can sites like FlightSim.Com do to support you and the hobby better?
I cannot thank enough the people that create freeware aircraft for the flight sim community. They keep the hobby alive and fresh. Payware developers also deserve a thank you. Providing a way to share developers' work with the flight simulator community really helps. Reviews are important, but I would like to see them written by somebody more familiar with the real aircraft.
How do you feel about the future of flight simulation in general?
My concerns are the market changes causing the PC hardware to give way to tablets and other game consoles, severely limiting new flight simulator development. I hope the PCs can hold out. Flight Simulators don't seem to generate enough money for software developers to want to create new ones compared to other games. I think the best hope for the future of sims going to be good open source flight simulators.
What are some of the most important things a site or community can do to help the developers?
Feedback is everything. If a developer never hears about bugs or other mistakes, they may never be corrected. Look to see if there is a support forum, email address, or web site for the developer. That is the best way to communicate with the developer. Reading the documentation that comes with a developer's package will make your flying experience more enjoyable.
What would you like people to know about you or your team and work?
I and the Team are trying to push the limits of what FSX can do so that others may push further.
View Steve Hess add-ons in the FlightSim.Com file library