• Interview With William Ortis

    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.

    1. clutchcargo's Avatar
      clutchcargo -
      Shocking to hear that Lionheart was not paid a single penny for the excellent Acclaim. It is my "go to" aircraft when testing things out in P3D (that is, when I am not flying their Kodiak!). I sure hope the publicity/marketing of being part of every Prepar3D sold makes up for it in increased exposure and potentially more sales.
    1. b52bob's Avatar
      b52bob -
      Bill is one of the nicest and truly gifted people in our hobby. If you haven't tried one of his creations you are missing out on a lot. Flew his LT around the world and still use it.
      God bless you Bill.
    1. lionheart's Avatar
      lionheart -
      Hey Clutch, I had offered to do it for free. They needed a new Mooney and I wanted to help them out. They have helped me immensely. We all help each other.
    1. yraglac's Avatar
      yraglac -
      Thanks for taking the time for the article, it makes some very good points. Helping one another is what makes life so much more. Your time is appreciated.
    1. Jimmi_Swe's Avatar
      Jimmi_Swe -
      Really like the Mooney in Prepar3D. Great exterior model, VC and paint schemes. It's also amazingly fast (as fast as many twin turboprops), great for getting places in a hurry.

      I also have the Lionheart Kodiak, Diamond DA40 and Piper Pacer package. Out of those, the Pacer is probably my favorite. It comes in so many varieties that one will almost always fit your mood - some have the feel of an old, lovingly restored classic airplane, others that feel like a beat up bush plane and some have been modernized for IFR flying.

      For the future, I would love to see a classic twin such as the Apache or Travel Air, Cessna taildragger or straight-tail tricycle such as the C170, C175 or early C172/182
    1. Leo112's Avatar
      Leo112 -
      I for one hope we see more FS9 releases from these guys...
    1. lionheart's Avatar
      lionheart -
      Thanks YRaglac.

      Thanks Jimmi_Swe. I was amazed to learn how much more faster the Acclaim was over the Bravo in the Mooney series. Fast! Well made planes as well. Their quality inside (on the real planes) is very well done, clad in leather, and nice instrumentation and Avionics. An updated flagship for P3D.

      Hello Leo. Unfortunately, no more FS9 models. It was terribly exausting, building planes for two simulators. Finally, I am back to building planes for one sim. Im sorry. You might try the 'one month only' trial of Prepar3D. You might change your mind and make the change. I didnt think it was possible for me to ever leave FS9. I was wrong. So much more. I am not knocking FS9. I know what its like to be there.
    1. DominicS's Avatar
      DominicS -
      Thanks for your thoughts Bill; really interesting interview.

      In regards to your aircraft; I must say your Wittman Tailwind is one hell of a fun bird!! She climbs like a rocket which is amazing considering she was a kit aircraft.

      Thanks again and keep up the great work

      All the best

    1. TheDcn's Avatar
      TheDcn -
      I love the Kodiak, Fly it in Papua New Guinea and the States. the Epic LT is a rocket. Another great thing about Lionheart is the support. All their doing and still time to shore up old customers.

      God Bless you Bill

      Ken Alger
    1. betelgeuse's Avatar
      betelgeuse -
      Bill's planes are just delightful. I flew the Junkers JU W33 from Madrid to Manila. It was a re-enactment of the opening of the airmail route from Spain to the Far East and the Philippines. The Junkers is the boss but if you do as you are told, she is a perfect lady. The modelling of the pram-like undercarriage is superb, relying solely on the in-built springiness of the struts. The shuddering exhausts are wonderful too!
      And I have reason to thank Wayne Tudor too for his advice and support as he patiently guides me in the art of painting aeroplanes.
      What a kind, generous and multi-talented group they are at Lionheart Creations!

      John Hubbard
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