• Interview With Dino Cattaneo

    Real Life

    Dino Cattaneo

    When did you first get interested in aviation and do you have any real world aviation experience or memorable experiences?

    Well, I've been interested in planes and aviation since I was a kid. I remember trying to build a fighter plane out of my Lego bricks when I was 7 or 8 years old and failed...no suitable parts were available. Too bad I stopped playing with them just a few years before they started selling "Lego Airport" kits!

    I was lucky enough to have fantastic parents that always supported me and my interests, and gave me the chance to earn a Private Pilot License, when I was about twenty - that is almost twenty years ago. I had the chance to fly a Socata TB.9 Tampico, a Piper PA-28, a SIAI-205 and an incredibly old but extremely funny Aviamilano P.19 (in a very rare tricycle configuration).

    I will never forget the emotion of my first solo flight. I'd have few memorable stories to tell...but I don't want to waste too much of your time. Suffice to say that flying for real it is awesome, and even if I had to quit since it is a very expensive hobby, I feel privileged for having lived such experiences. It was one of the things I really wanted to do before I die - and I'll never regret the money spent flying.


    Because of my pilot license, I could pick the Aeronautica Militare for my draft service (which was still mandatory for ten months in Italy at the time). I courageously defended the Italian skies checking IDs and filling paperwork at the 46ma Brigata Aerea in Pisa (which is the main tactical transport unit in Italy, and has C-130s and C-27s). Too far from the planes for my tastes...but that was my role. And my office was pretty close to the runway, so it could have been worse.

    Tell us about some of your favorite real world aircraft and what it is you like about them?

    Well, again, too many to mention! As you may know I have an obsession for the F-14 Tomcat - because I saw Top Gun when I was 12, and completely blew me away, and because it looks awesome.

    Then, if you are an Italian aviation enthusiast you must be in love with the Aermacchi MB.339, the trainer flown by our beloved Frecce Tricolori, the awesome national aerobatic team.

    The F-35 Lightning II is another incredible flying machine. It is an absolutely amazing piece of technology - which is receiving a lot of bad press, mostly unjustified. It is having its share of growing pains, sure, but it is an amazing project - and the STOVL version is impressive.


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

    I am a mechanical engineer, working for a local subsidiary of a relatively large engineering corporation. My job involves the design and development of high reliability electrical connections - which are also employed in several military aircraft.

    What other hobbies or things do you do for enjoyment?

    I have many other hobbies and interests - which, unfortunately for the flight simulation community, tend to slow down the development of my projects. I am an avid video gamer and reader, and I like a lot going to the movies. I am also a martial arts enthusiast (although I am getting old!) and I am lucky enough to live pretty close to very nice beaches (where I spend most of my summer weekends swimming and reading) but most of all I like talking with people, especially my friends - very interesting folks!


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

    I started developing for Flight Simulator in 1999, and I started modifying an existing T-45C model - reason was simply that I thought that model was nice, but it could have had better textures and a better panel... and here we are, 14 years later...


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

    I am a Flight Simulator aircraft model developer - mostly focused on 3D modeling (both external model and virtual cockpits), texturing and flight modeling, although I also do XML programming, if need be. Being a military aviation enthusiast, my models are military jets - and loving the sea as much as I do, they are mostly naval aviation models.

    1. dpcc112's Avatar
      dpcc112 -
      Thank u for for sharing your life and most of all.. thanx for the FS development.. you are a very interesting man.... keep up the great work and I will Re-download the F-14 and run it thru the paces... thanx again
    1. dpcc112's Avatar
      dpcc112 -
      PS... Thanx also for keeping it FREEWARE...its as good as Payware with exception of PMDG 747,,737 ,,not payed for and NOT going to pay for Triple 7 ...thats how good urz is especially F35 thanx again DINO
    1. hypercide's Avatar
      hypercide -
      Dino is one of those extraordinary people who make this such a wonderful hobby. His work is consistently exceptional. The Goshawk has been my go-to mount for years when I just feel like blasting around mountain passes and chasing ai airliners.

    1. flyerkeith's Avatar
      flyerkeith -
      A very big Thank you for the excellent work over the years. I probably log more sim hours consistently in the T-45 than any other aircraft in my inventories. However, I am definitely looking forward to the S-3Viking.

    1. amanlulo's Avatar
      amanlulo -
      thnaks for all the magnificent work you've done and developing for our simmers community; even if I'm and oldster (67). Even to me the Tomcat is one of my most favourite planes; and hoping for a next issue of the Viking, a most neglected Navy aircraft.
    1. bepino's Avatar
      bepino -
      Hello Dino! I hope you read the comments to this nice interview.
      Are bepino (Giuseppe Chiacchietta) developer of the "F16C" for FS2000/2002 (it was around year 2001) we also met once in our city Genoa!.
      I am over 10 years are just EX developer of aircraft for FS :-(
      In the meantime, never had time to draw planes for FS ... just work! with satisfaction, but so much work!.
      I do see that you manage somehow to continue to develop and I'm happy for you and for the community of flight simulators.
      P.S.: sorry for me english (google translation! :-)
    1. jamminjames's Avatar
      jamminjames -
      Thanks Dino for all you have done! Your work rivals any payware jets out there...
    1. azurdia's Avatar
      azurdia -

      Congratulazioni, il tuo F-14 e veramente fantastico. If you are ever in Arizona contact me and I will be delighted to give you a tour of an airline training center and our 757 and Airbus simulators. Io sono istruttore di volo ed ho volato per TWA, Ozark, America West e Mexicana.

      Maurice 480-495-1165
      Phoenix, Arizona
    1. rcbarend's Avatar
      rcbarend -
      Hi Dino,

      Great interview; I loved reading it.

      Ciao, Rob
    1. CegonaxMan2's Avatar
      CegonaxMan2 -
      Dino thanks for your work on the T-45,F-35, F-14 I truly enjoy flying these military aircraft...Is there in your busy schedule future work on the F-4 Phantom? A2A Simulation they are in work in progress on that aircraft? Well take care and thanks alot for your contributions to the flight simulation community.

      LT Starbuck
      U.S. Navy [Ret]
    1. cagvf84's Avatar
      cagvf84 -

      Thank you for your service as well as the aircraft you have made here for all us to enjoy. Whether its a hobby flying around in virtual airspace, or just logging flight hours. I can tell you I'am very happy with your work and aircraft you bring to us. Like many here my favorite is the F-14 i can see the future and direction as well advancements if they would have designed a newly designed tactical platform. Thanks again and you be safe.

      Michael Rivera
      US Navy (AD)
      USS Carl Vinson CVN-70
    1. kford's Avatar
      kford -
      Thanks for all your work!
    1. divan's Avatar
      divan -
      thank you very much, sir. best regards.
    1. graaant's Avatar
      graaant -
      Brilliant models, Dino, giving so much pleasure to so many. Thank you.
    1. conrod's Avatar
      conrod -
      Seriously Dino, there is plenty that is special in what you do, and we are all fortunate that you do it. I love the T45C. Thank you!
    1. Flytsimmer's Avatar
      Flytsimmer -
      You have enhanced the experience of many people. I count myself among them and you have my heartfelt gratitude.
    1. wstava1's Avatar
      wstava1 -
      Dino - your models are amazing. Better than most payware out there. Thank you for the time you have spent making these models. Thousands of flight simmers enjoy your aircraft often. THANK YOU!
    1. dodiano's Avatar
      dodiano -
      Amazing work Dino! I am making a Simulator based on your F-35 software! THanks for your great input to simulation!
    1. familysharpe's Avatar
      familysharpe -
      Dino - The F14 is my 'favorite' and spend countless hours flying them from different developers. Yours by comparison is an outstanding, exceptional, piece of art and programming. I'm awed and grateful for your all your contributions to the Sim community.
    1. Jet's Avatar
      Jet -
      Thank you very much for the jets, so at least I can fly on the computer
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