Interview With William Ortis
About William Ortis
When did you first get interested in aviation and do you or people in your family have any real world aviation experience or memorable experiences?
Since being a child, kindergarten, dad was taking me up in his planes on early Sunday mornings. We as a family also went to 'fly-ins' and dad sometimes competed in contests. He was a member of the local EAA in San Diego back then in the late 1960's.
Tell us about some of your favorite real world aircraft and what it is you like about them?
The classics have always pulled me in as well as the concept planes of tomorrow. On classics, I loved how they tried to make things modern 'way back then' and seeing how they did it intriques me. They were trying to figure out how to make aircraft back then. Some amazing stories of manufacturing, such as with Bellanca, early Cessna, Fairchild.
Who do you consider your mentors in the flight simulation development world and why?
Bill Lyons - a master and craftsman and he taught me about kindness. The owner of Carenado - he has done well with them and now has Alabeo as well. My dream has been to speed up production and make my planes incredibly real, and his assembly time and realism is way up there. I admire that.
When did you first start developing for flight simulators and tell us about how you started?
Man, I think it was like in FS2002. FS started carrying Gmax and I thought I could make some of my concept planes in FS, so I started then. I did a futuristic four seater turboprop. I think it's still on the major download sites.
[Editors Note: Some of the earliest aircraft we have for Bill were for FS2002 in 2003. Great aircraft like the Pilatus Visage high speed turboprop, Fairchild 24R, Voight V-173 Prototype Fighter, Stargate Goa'uld Death Glider 2, Death Glider Kah 2, Jabiru B, Seruphum Delta Wing Concept Aircraft and Seruphum Jet version and Quad Dleta Wing, Falcon Twin Jet Concept Helo, Sport Blimp, Wasp Personal VTOL Concept Craft, Disco Vollante STOL Concept, and many more.]
How many designs have you done?
I am afraid I do not know. There are countless planes on the hard drives that I have never finished. Lots of concept planes, some production planes, etc. So many aircraft... sigh. [Editors Note: currently 193 files show up on FlightSim.Com when you search Lionheart].
Do you have a team and if so how many people work with you and what are their roles?
I have a small team. Dwight does instrumentation that I cannot do. When we are stumped, we go to the great guru Bill Leaming. I have a master model maker, John MacNeil, and an excellent air files maker, Wayne Tudor. I am looking forward to a world class model maker and painter that is known for his 3D artwork, Ronnie from the Netherlands.
How did your Mooney Acclaim end up being included in Prepar3D as a default aircraft?
I offered to make a new version of their old Mooney Bravo for free. I learned a lot about Mooneys and the newest model Acclaim. I never dreamed there were so many and that they were that fast now.
What do you find different about developing for Prepar3D than developing for FS2004 and FSX?
Well, in P3D, planes do not need materials, like back in the FS2004 days. You can have untextured parts (prototypes) in the sim running fine, where in FSX, they are black and tend to mis-locate in the sim during a flight. Also P3D tends to run code that might have a slight error that FSX just cannot run. P3D is like a designer's dream as a sim platform to design for.