• Interview With Erwin Welker

    Interview With Erwin Welker

    Conducted by Dominic Smith

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

    I've worked in satellite communications for thirty two years and during that time (late 80's) our group was the first at our earth station to receive a modern PC. It sounds strange now, but on that PC there was the very first Microsoft flight simulator installed and I was so fascinated by the simple yet functional instrument panel, complete with working gauges. Ten years later, I had my own 2GB PC at home and the first software that I purchased and then installed, was Microsoft's Flight Simulator 98. That was it, I was ready to fly. To aid me in my flying I also purchased a book which told me everything I needed to know about the simulator. Included with this book was a CD which included numerous aircraft add-ons.

    Unfortunately, I was disappointed to find that both the panels and sounds of the B-24 and Spad XIII (included on the CD), were aliased to the default Cessna! This spoilt my immersion to a degree, so I began to experiment with painting my own panels and to configure it with gauges. From this moment on...I was hooked!


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

    I began with creating panel configurations (picture above, left) for certain aircraft, and from there I moved on to editing missions in CFS2. This included configuring different weapon loads on aircraft. An example of this is the V1 bomb on the back of an Arado 234 (picture above, center). I also painted different liveries (pictures above, right) and created cockpit views for CFS, FS2002 and also FS2004. For the WW2 aircraft, this included views of the gunners. In 2004, I created a tow plane feature for gliders (picture below, letft), and I think I'm correct in saying that I was the first...and only person to have created this feature. I also work with sounds, and I always try and push the limit in terms of what is possible with these effects. Another aim of mine is to create cabin and wingman views (picture below, center), so that the 2D panels match that of the virtual cockpit (VC).


    Those of you who know my work will know that I am also a great lover of ships, and so one of the things I enjoy doing, is creating pilotable ships. This is achieved by using AI ships, and the navigational bridges of these ships are created with 2D panels (picture above, right). I've even managed to display up to 16 deck views in my FS2004 models.

    Since I now use FSX as my primary simulator, it is far easier for me to create these models with virtual deck views. One of the areas I specialise in, is with camera views. I always try to find the best and most interesting spots on both my aircraft and ships. However, this is not without its difficulties. Once I created a U-boat with the option to dive, but whilst diving I realised that there was no change in the 2D view! After a while I found a solution, and my idea was to set a camera at the point of the periscope and to insert a graphic of a periscope (picture below, left). From this viewpoint I could monitor the submerging U-boat through the periscope. This worked well, as it could swivel, be raised and lowered and also be zoomed in and out.


    With this new feature available, I was able to put it to good use. I created: swivelable AA-guns on bombers, ship turrets, torpedo launches and cranes (picture above, first row right), positioning aircraft onto empty ship catapults (pictures above, center) and also helicopters onto helicopter decks (picture above, lower row). It was also used with launching VTOL jets onto aircraft carriers (pictures below, left), and lastly, and almost magical, having the option to set a virtual frigate in front of a piloted aircraft carrier (picture below, right).


    Tags: erwin welker

    1. zswobbie1's Avatar
      zswobbie1 -
      Erwin, thank you so much for what you have done for this amazing hobby of ours. I'm always looking out for your next addition. Great stuff.
    1. DominicS's Avatar
      DominicS -
      Great interview Erwin, many thanks!!

      Thank you also for the many enhancements you have so generously shared with the flight simming community
    1. napamule2's Avatar
      napamule2 -
      It's one thing to be 'hooked' on sim, but it's another thing to be 'good'. You're good. And your generosity is equaled only by the prolific add-ons features out there. I have a folder with your files in it. If the sim offerings were to stop coming right now, I would still have years worth of enjoyment by going in that folder and installing and enjoying your add-ons. It's overwhelming, sometimes.

      And when I see a file available for download and it starts with 'pilotabele_..' I know it's yours. (And 'pilotabele' must be French (?) because in English it would be 'pilotable' (hehe) - had to rib you on that). Cheers and thanks again for your most interesting work.
      Chuck B
    1. kaspha's Avatar
      kaspha -
      Thanks for your help when I had a problem with the flight simulation. Always helpful and have a solution and get an answer. I would be very happy if that can stay that way. If you now are starting with the 3D design of aircraft etc. the community of Flugsimulatores must surely be looking forward to your designs.
    1. MadMogh's Avatar
      MadMogh -
      Thx mate for all the stuff and for your support with my own projects
    1. thunder100's Avatar
      thunder100 -

      I tried several of your creations.Its not easy to say newest is best but I am really stunned about the Blohm&Voss Ha-139
      Very cool rendering of the plane (and a boat) and one which never made it to FS (to my knowledge since FS4)


      Thank you

      Roland AKA thunder100
    1. lightsscreaming's Avatar
      lightsscreaming -
      great ships. do you think you will ever do a carnival ship ,
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