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Help wanted: A Garry J. Smith Project

steve crewdog

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I've been involved with flight simming for as long as I can remember, and several years ago I made the acquaintance of long time MSFS repainter Garry J. Smith over the internet. In 2009 that led to us becoming involved in a project for the Heritage Flight Museum and the Historic Flight Foundation. Together we recreated both Bellingham Airport and Paine Field as they were during WWII, and repainted flight sim models in the livery of the museum aircraft.


Thus, visitors to the museums can pretend to fly at Bellingham or Paine as they were during WWII in the actual aircraft that are on display a few feet away, something that no other museum has done. We took a little artistic license with Bellingham, since during WW II it was basically a small (but beautiful) terminal, 3 runways, and dirt, so we enhanced it with a few extra hangars and hardstands.


It was a fun project. Garry lived down under in Oz, while I'm up in Puget Sound, WA so there was a large and convenient time difference between us. I'd work on research and planning all day, and send ideas to Garry before I went to bed along the lines of "Can you do this???". By the time I woke up he'd have put a full day in, and I'd pick up where he left off. To this day, if I stop by the Heritage Flight Museum I always see the sims in use.


In 2011 Garry and I collaborated again when the 39th Fighter Squadron held their annual reunion at the Heritage Flight Museum. In the days following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, there was a strong fear that the next step was an invasion of the west coast of the United States, and the 39th Fighter Squadron's P-39s were hastily deployed to Bellingham as defense. Later they were redeployed to the South Pacific, serving with distinction during the war. http://www.cobraintheclouds.com/39thorganization/39thhistory.html


As part of the reunion, we took a P-39 model and repainted it in the 39ths colors, and during a break in the reunion the two surviving original pilots who were deployed to Bellingham were brought to the sims. I was privileged to talk them through "One last mission" in the skies over Bellingham. In the photo below, Col. Frank Royal is at the controls while off camera his children, grand-children and visitors looked on.


HFM flight sim project (4).jpg


39th (2).jpg



Edited by steve crewdog
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Garry & I developed the aircraft for the Heritage Flight Museum on our own time in 2009, while he was commissioned by the Historic Flight Foundation to do repaints of their aircraft (F8F, F7F, etc), and the rebuild of Paine Field to WW II specs. But now, for the rest of the story....



To blow off steam, and as a present for Maj Gen Bill Anders, Garry, Nigel Booth, and I decided on our own time to build Anders Field, and the Pete Conrad Space Center.


Anders Field.jpg


Conrad Space Center.jpg



These images have only been seen by a very few people, and I think it's long past time they be shared.


Garry packaged all these into 3 self-extracting files that rely on each other for installation, and unfortunately, I'm not FS literate enough to be able to extract and rebuild the repaints and airports not under contract to Mr. Sessions into one that can be shared with the simming community.


HFM project.jpg


HFM Bonus.jpg



Anyone interested in helping? I think they would serve as a fine tribute to my old friend.

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