Jump to content

Interview: David Robles


Interview With David Robles

Conducted by Dominic Smith
















David, could you start by telling us how your interest in flight simulators began?


Well, if I'm honest, Dominic, my interest regarding flight simulation began with my late daughter, Donna, who sadly passed away just over five years ago. Donna was into flight simulation and video gaming in a big way, and when I say big, I mean big! My daughter had the controllers, the aircraft, the scenery, you name it, she had a complete flight simulation world contained within her PC, and she loved it. Donna created her own add-ons, got involved in numerous flight simulation forums and made many friends. She loved every aspect of it, and now I know why.


One day, I think it was when FS2002 was current, she showed me how real flight simulation could be. As she was explaining what everything did, I was struck by how real it really had become. The more she showed me, the more I could see how practicing on a simulator could aid you in the understanding of real aircraft procedures. The transition from simulated flight to real was clear to see. That was when the interest hit home!














After Donna passed away it took me two years to really start to complete her dream; a promise made to continue her work. However, by that time, FS2002 was no longer the platform to create for. FSX had taken that mantle.


Luckily, Donna kept instructions with everything, which helped me enormously! She also kept the work I had done for her, along with repaints. With the aid of these instructions, I went about designing and creating additional add-ons. So far these have been pretty popular, so I hope Donna's proud of her dad (I know she is).


For me, I'd like to think that there is a little bit of Donna contained inside each one.





Could you tell us a bit about the nature of your designs and what you do?


My designs, for the most part, are about breathing new life into add-ons which are beginning to look slightly dated. Bringing them up to FSX standards is aways a pleasurable experience (I think). However, if I see an FSX aircraft which I feel is lacking a certain livery, then I'll attempt to reproduce it.


What do you consider your best or most popular work?


Going by downloads, I'd say that my most popular work has been the Boeing 717-200 Revised Package, F9F5 Grumman Complete Package, and the FSX Lockheed C-130 Hercules.


David, what do you find to be the most challenging aspect of a project?


I think the most challenging aspect of design work always centers around the unknown. Many times I've started a project, looked at the task ahead of me and thought...what have I gotten myself into?














What have been your favorite projects?


My favorite projects would include the following: FSX Upgraded Grumman HU-16 Albatross, FSX Alpha CONECT B52H, and the FSX Agusta Westland EH 101 v2 Updated.


What software packages and tools do you use to develop?


I use a wide range of software packages to create my designs. These include Martin Wrights BIT Map Editors, Audio City WAV file creator, Smartdraw and last but not least, Photoshop 6.


Who would you consider to be your mentors or inspiration in the development world if you have any?


We are lucky to be blessed with many talented developers, a lot of whom have been a great source of inspiration. If I had to name a few they would be Alejandro Rojas Lucena, Henrik Nielsen, Manfred Jahn, Michael Pook, Milton Shupe, and Tim Conrad. Where would our hobby be without these great names?


Do you develop payware/freeware or both and why?


Definitely just freeware. This way it stays an enjoyable hobby and keeps everybody entertained, including myself!














The Team

How many people work with you or your team?


I don't have a team as such, more a group of advisers. These talented and generous individuals have helped me enormously over the years and to them, I am eternally grateful. Here are just some that have helped me along the way; Michael Pook, TuFun, Charlie Aron (Mr Zippy), John J. Thuot II (Ragtopjohnny) and Jan Henk Peereboom (Peer01). I must also mention; Alejandro Rojas Lucena, Henrik Nielsen, and Michael Pook who have been like tutors to me!


Real Life

David, do you have any experience in real aviation?


I do, as I am a retired Aerospace Engineer.


That must have been pretty interesting! Could you tell us a bit about what you did?


I was involved in what you might call 'aircraft survival'. This meant working with electronic jamming equipment and chaff systems. It was very involved, but also very rewarding.














David, could us when your interest in aviation began?


I think it was during the Vietnam war. I was struck by the high loss rate of US aircraft during the conflict. I really wanted to do something about aircraft survivability, and that's what got me started.


Would you like to share what you do in real life?


Well, like most in their sixties, I'm now retired! However, I am kept busy by rebuilding a '67 Ford LTD Fastback' for my granddaughter! I'm figuring by the time she's 16, it'll be ready!


What other hobbies or things do you do for enjoyment?


I like to keep abreast of the latest developments regarding targeting systems for military aircraft. For example, how far away they need to be to launch and time taken to reach IP.


Have you ever considered doing flight simulator development full-time?


I have, but it would break my promise to Donna.















David, how do you choose your next new design or project?


This is usually done by reading and responding to communications with fellow members of the FlightSim.Com and Sim-Outhouse community. For example; Can you do this? or Can this be made to work with-in FSX/P3D?


What simulators do you design for now and which ones do you plan to develop for in the future?


At present I am currently working with FSX Gold/Acceleration and Prepar3Dv2.5/3


In what ways do you see development changing in the future?


Development for FSX and P3D has, in my opinion, become far easier (and will continue to do so) as developers have access to tools and programs that create items much faster than what was possible just 5 to 10 years ago. Coupled with the advancements in hardware, this combination creates the almost ideal environment for the budding or experienced MSFS/P3D developer.














ARNO's MDLX is one such program: http://www.scenerydesign.org


Prepar3D is a different story. As the military aspect of it progresses, so too will its emphasis on weapons. I expect we'll see a complete weapons platform added in the future (for its commercial military clients), one which incorporates target tracking and evasions tactics.


Your Thoughts

What can sites like FlightSim.Com do to support you and the hobby better?


This is an easy question to answer, but before I do, let me say one thing. FlightSim.com and the other quality flight simulation sites, have always had an excellent support system, and one I've found extremely useful. If there was a certain aspect of development which was hindering my progress, I would always post my question here at FlightSim.Com or at Sim-Outhouse. Within minutes there was always an answer to put me back on track!














So the answer to this question is, keep the forums open and the flow of information available to all. However, if I was allowed to be picky, I would like to see an easy reference FAQ section.


David, how do you feel about the future of flight simulation in general?


Very optimistic! With all the advances in quality freeware and payware for FSX, plus the continuing development of Prepar3D and its growth with real world simulations and training aspects, the future seems bright!


What I am really waiting for, is the release of the Augmented Reality Simulation platform which Windows 10 will have available next year. Just imagine...you're sitting at the simulator, controls in your hands and a complete virtual world surrounding you. This is where simulation is heading and I can't wait!


What are some of the most important things a site or community can do to help the developers?


Easy access to the team that maintain/run the site if there is a major issue. Not only should they be there for support, but also to say 'Allowed' or 'Not Allowed' when something questionable occurs.














David, lastly, what would you like people to know about your work?


That my work is free and always will be free. It is for those that love to fly, those present and those who have left us. We are a small group connected by the one thing that defines us all...the joy of flight. Surely there is no better connection or memory.


There are three videos on my YouTube channel that explain it all. Their titles are: "Because" "Blue Jay 517" and "The Letter".






Thank you for reading.


David Robles & Donna
Download David Robles' files

User Feedback

Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...