The Microsoft Flight Simulator Around The World Race will be held for the fourth time beginning the Sunday after Valentine's Day - February 19, 2006.
The FlightSim.com team won the 2005 race by just 3 hours and 10 minutes - after flying 28,251 nm in 60 official legs around the world - all in real time. The 2006 race is expected to be even more competitive.
You are should review the information on the official website of the race: http://mw0.ath.cx/%7Ematt/RTW/home.htm
The FlightSim.com team members encourage new pilots to participate. You may fly for only one participating team. This forum is hosting the FlightSim.com team again this year.
The race is not a typical multi-player event, although participants are strongly encouraged to fly online. It is a relay - each pilot carries the "baton" for a short flight, normally two hours maximum time, up to 800nm. An individual pilot cannot carry the baton in two consecutive legs. The realism settings have to be high and crash detection must be on. Should a pilot crash, either while flying or because of a computer issue, the baton reverts to the last successful landing airport and another pilot must carry the baton.
For the first two races, screen shots of the Flight Analysis screen were used as verification. For the third race, John Mueller wrote an excellent program called the RTW Duenna, although the Flight Analysis screen could still be used.
The race is only for (1) helicopters, (2) piston engined aircraft, and (3) single and twin engine turbo-prop aircraft.
Though some payware aircraft will be used extensively, the freeware P-38 and Mike Stone's freeware BeechStarship are as fast and reliable as any payware. Reviewing the race reports from last year - the P-38M version was the fastest aircraft with a two hour range used. We should emphasize that flying a familiar aircraft and making a safe landing is much more important than risking a crash in an unfamiliar aircraft.
This race is expected to start at an unknown airport at 1700 UTC (1200 EST) on Sunday February 19, 2006. It is anticipated the race will take about 90 to 120 clock hours to complete, based on the experience of past races.
The first race started in Athens Greece, the second at Princess Juliana International Airport on Saint Maartan in the West Indies, and the third at Cairo, Egypt. The start point of the fourth race will normally be released between two and 24 hours before the race is scheduled to begin.
The race runs from start to finish time - if a team chooses to take a rest during the night - that "down time" counts. Last year, the FlightSim.com team did an excellent job of handovers of the baton. The race is in real time - no acceleration allowed - even for any wild card leg across an ocean.
The general route will be chosen by the team, with plenty of input from people who choose to participate. All of the past races have required at least one landing on each of the five continents - Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America. Each of the past race winning teams has flown "east about". The race rules require use of MSFS Real World Weather and weather patterns generally favor that route in February.
The organizers normally release the general rules for each year's race about ten days before the race. Specific rules and final requirements are released within the last 24 hours before the race.
The FlightSim.com team is organized as follows:
1. There will be a public forum for general team information. For the FlightSim.com team, the forum will be at the following address: http://johannesmueller.com/fsforum/index.php
2. There will be a private forum for strategy, route planning, etc ( the real important details). Join the forum above and then follow the instructions there to particpate in those discussions.
3. This forum will have all of the official handoff and verification screenshots for the FlightSim.com Team in an official race thread to be started by the race organizers. A team cannot start the race until the official notice is posted on the official race thread. (Based on last year's race there will actually be four or five continuing threads as the length of the original thread grows.)
4. There will be backup / alternate forums and servers. The volume of traffic for the race has stressed the web resources in the past.
The teams work together to make this event successful.
Our special thanks to Matt Smith (Vcaptmattsmith), Ian Dale (tornado wilkes) and Mike MacKuen (MM) for creating and organizing this exceptional event.
Please come join the fun. It will be unique and challenging. You will be come a better pilot and meet some intersting people.
What you need to do:
1. Contact the team at the Team FlightSim RTW Forum - http://johannesmueller.com/fsforum/index.php
2. Obtain the free RTW Duenna program - http://johannesmueller.com/fs/web/duenna/ - Please ask if you have any questions about using the program.
3. Practice in your favorite aircraft. If you don't normally fly these type aircraft, try the default Beechraft King Air 350, then one of the freeware aircraft. There is no need to purchase an aircraft just for this race.
4. You are strongly encouraged to obtain the freeware TeamSpeak Client software. Being able to talk with each other is a HUGE advantage and several servers are already lined up to ensure open communications during the race. You should have a headset with a microphone for best clarity, but a desk mike can work.
You can download the TeamSpeak client from: http://www.goteamspeak.com/index.php?page=downloads
Download and install this FREE software - even if you do not have a mike - you can listen to and communicate with the team via text messages.
A final note about practices. You will see some threads on this forum about practice. Some will have specific goals, such as following specific routes. Some may strictly apply to race procedure, some may not.
Most practice will be on an individual basis when folks have time to fly. Much will be done on the multiplayer server.
There will be a few organized practice events on this forum.
If you would like to speak with and/or fly with an experienced member of the team - let us know. We will make sure our time schedules work out to answer your questions and help you practice and participate in the race.