• Freeware Focus: Art Poole


    When did you start developing for flight simulators and what got you interested in it?

    I purchased SubLogic's flight simulator program back when personal computers were becoming popular and acquired most of the Microsoft versions that followed. It wasn't until I studied the FS2004 SDK that I got involved with the use of XML files, Gmax and AFCAD to create scenery for my home airport near where I lived after retirement. I guess what got me started was that I needed a hobby, there appeared to be a real need to upgrade scenery at most of the airports in the simulator, and Microsoft had provided the basic tools which were expanded by others.

    Tell us about the nature of your designs and what you do?

    Since the airport scenery is for my use, I currently design for the flight simulator configuration on my computer. Therefore, it is optimal for FSX with UTX. The intent is to make an airport in Flight Simulator look as nearly as I can to the actual airport so that a real world pilot would recognize the layout and buildings. My interest is in general aviation, and I concentrate on small or mid-sized airports.

    What do you consider your best or most popular work?

    KDAB (image below, left) is my home airport and has received my earliest and continuing attention. Based on the number of downloads, Montego Bay (image below, right) has been the most popular, I guess due to the international interest. More techniques are learned and more tools become available the longer you do this, so different aspects of the work get better. Therefore, the best work is hopefully still to come.


    What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of a project?

    Currently, finding time. After retirement, I have found so many fun things to do in addition to the weekly chores. Limiting efforts to small airports helps. When the airport is larger, there is a lot of repetition and boredom sets in. I got about half way through Fort Lauderdale Executive KFXE and gave up. It must be the most densely-populated general aviation airport anywhere.

    What are some of the more unique or special aspects of what you create?

    What I do is the way I visualize that it should be, so I don't consider anything unique or special. I use tools provided by others in a manner that I think those software creators intended to allow those with limited knowledge to create or improve scenery. I'm trying to find a compromise between complete reality and the mass-produced airports in the original simulator package.

    What have been your favorite projects?

    I was provided extensive photos of everything at Plant City Florida Municipal Airport (KPCM) allowing me to model and texture everything as in real life (image below). That was fun. Usually, I have to rely on outdated aerial photos from Bing and make my own textures from scratch.

    What software packages and tools do you use to develop?

    Airport Design Editor, Flight Simulator Design Studio, Paint Shop Pro, DXTBmp, LibraryCreatorXML, ModelConverterX, AI Flight Planner and so forth.

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

    In addition to the developers of freeware that I use (who provide endless support) there are a large number of individuals who have answered my questions in the FS forums and elsewhere on the internet. Tutorials on Farfy's Page have been especially helpful in the use of FSDS to create the models.

    Do you develop payware/freeware or both and why?

    Freeware only. I want a hobby, not a job.

    The Team

    How many people work with you or your team?

    One other than me. My wife.

    What do the various members of the team do?

    I do the computer research and design work. My wife provides sustenance, love and a great deal of tolerance and understanding.

    What other developers or teams have you worked with and what were their roles?

    None, other than individuals who have furnished photographs for airports that they requested be done, and the developers of the software.

    Real Life

    Do you have any experience in real aviation?

    I learned to fly as a teenager and obtained my license in 1958. I quit flying when it conflicted with the cost of supporting a family and my life insurance terms sometime in the 1970's, so it didn't really last very long.

    What started your interest in aviation?

    Like my friends, I grew up with model airplanes and was fortunate enough to find resources to learn to fly in the local flying club.

    Tags: art poole

    1. SmittyBRS's Avatar
      SmittyBRS -
      TX Art,

      Guess I use just about every airport you've modeled, especially in Florida. My favorite is the Winter Haven/ Jack Brown package. It's nearly in my back yard and nicely rendered. You're a real friend of the "low and slow" crowd.

      TX again.

      Near KGIF
    1. Zero_355's Avatar
      Zero_355 -
      I use most if not all of Art's scenerys. My favorit so far is KJAX, KCRG, KDAB, and KTLH. Art's KJAX scenery is the only one out there thats up to date with the new terminal.
    1. Kent33's Avatar
      Kent33 -
      I'd like to contact Mr. Poole for a question but perhaps someone tuning into this page could help? I'm from Central Florida myself, actually close to KDAB, and was pleasantly surprised to find Mr. Poole's handiwork.

      Here's the question: In his KDAB scenery there is an mdl file for the Ponce Inlet lighthouse. His instructions were to place the mdl files in the FSX>ADD ON SCENERY>SCENERY folder and they could be used with ADE.

      I'm new to this...and I can't seem to use ADE to find the lighthouse model file in order to use it?

      I did put a Library Object lighhouse in position but it doesn't light up as Art says his will.

    1. rb5235's Avatar
      rb5235 -
      I'v been into FS since the Sublogic days and a private pilot too. I came a cross Art's work in 2014 and have enjoyed them more than any add-on scenery I have every used. What a great job Art in bring all these airports alive. What makes these airports so exciting to me is there in the area I love to fly too being my home airport is KMHP and KSAV. Thanks and can't wait to see whats next.

      Thanks! Art
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