How Much FS is Too Much?
By Bill Smith
April 12, 2012
Historical flightsim adventure, finally adapted as a movie!
"8 Days Around the World": 18 flights in 8 days
See the trailer for the movie here:
Back in 2001 I submitted to flightsim.com a rather long and breathlessly excited editorial piece which chronicled a "round the world" trip that was flown non-stop for 120 hours in FS98. Re-reading the article recently I was drawn back into the five-day period of relentless hit-and-miss global navigation and very little sleep as I jumped rapidly from one aircraft type to the next. What I lacked in knowledge and preparation back then was more than made up for with a boundless enthusiasm to discover exactly how much flight simulation was too much.
My overriding memory of this five day period is how I survived in a kind of semi- hallucinogenic twilight existence right up until my FS time ran out when real world responsibilities came crashing back in on me. I have to admit, as exhausting as it was, it was fun while it lasted.
Now of course I like to think that I have matured considerably since 2001, but the truth is that the astronomical advances in flight simulator technology over recent years have drawn me even deeper into the increasingly realistic world of simulated global flying. We all take for granted nowadays the integration of real weather systems and very precise trans-continental navigation over highly detailed terrain in our much improved flight sim programs. There is so much more complexity that we need to come to grips with but the resultant illusion of flight is more complete.
So I wondered if it would be possible to somehow capture the essence of that marathon voyage using modern day hardware and software and presenting the story as a motion picture full of exciting flying sequences.
A Few Ground Rules
I thought that it was essential to fly the entire route incorporating the correct real world weather over eight sequential days. I would try as far as possible to fly to the same destinations as I had eleven years ago. Using present day air schedules of course it's no surprise to find the airlines' aircraft have changed. (No more shrieking 727s or scary DC-10s.)
I definitely wanted to incorporate the mad parachuting sequence over Key West and to re-visit the half naked beach babes in Rio De Janeiro. (Perhaps I haven't matured as much as I thought I had). I figured that as my RTW attempt had ended prematurely in Hong Kong, I should start this voyage re-creation where I had left off, with a plan to arrive back at the start point one week later.
Thanks to the huge assortment of FS add-ons that are available today, the flying sequences look sharp and the trip went far better than I ever anticipated. Also, thanks to a savage regime of editing, the pace of the finished movie is fast; perhaps even relentlessly so. This time around, in recreating this epic voyage I managed to reaffirm my natural place in the world; one step removed from reality. This is something that only other similarly addicted flightsim fanatics can relate to.
Enjoy the movie at Youtube:
8 Days Around The World Part 1
8 Days Around The World Part 2