• Interview With Ron Blehm

    Interview With Ron Blehm

    Conducted By Ray Andersen

    People generally want to know how you got interested in aviation. Do you or anyone in your family have any real world aviation experience; do they fly or own any aircraft?

    The short answer is no. The house I grew up in was just at that point where aircraft lock on to their final approach into KPDX. My mother still insists that my first words were "MOO" in regards to the glowing orb in the night sky, and "A-PPER", while pointing to the flashing navigation and landing lights overhead.

           

    While I have no recollection of this I do clearly remember parking out along Marine drive on Saturday afternoons and watching the aircraft. The Pan Am 707 and Northwest Orient DC-10 were always highlights. Of course, now we must pass this legacy on to our children! Nothing I know of in life combines the power and grace found in aircraft or flight. ("Breaking the surly bonds" sort of thing.)

    When did you start your interest in flight simulation?

    I do not work in the aviation industry but obviously have had a lifelong fascination with aircraft and flying, I guess flight simming was a natural occurrance. I had one of the early variants in the mid-1980s - operated on a 1984 IBM PC. Mount Rainier was a single, jagged white line across a flat grey sky; you could fly over or under the line. LAX was four white lines on a dark grey screen.

    For Christmas 1999, my wife bought me the newly released FS2000 and truly that was the start of my "real simming" life.

    What is your favorite flightsim platform?

    My computer systems have always been "marginal" at best. My wife and I have consciously invested our time and money into our kids not our technology. (As of last year our TV still had TUBES in the back!) Therefore I've always been a step behind in FS. I was on Microsoft's Beta Test team for FSX in 2005-2006 but I'm not too proficient at computer or techno stuff so I could never really get it to work on my machine at that time. When we finally bought a new HP in 2012 I was only then able to move up to FSX (six years late)!

    Have you tried X-Plane or Prepar3D?

    Honestly, I have not. I had a neighbor that had seen my articles on the web and invited me over to try his X-Plane sim. That was in about 2007 or so. While the aircraft seemed comparable I really didn't get much "awe" from the scenery (maybe it was his set-up) and since I was very happy with my FS2004 at that point I saw no reason to look any further. The concept of aircraft design is interesting but I guess we'll leave that up to the more engineering-types. As for Prepar3D, I've seen screen shots and videos and to me it looks a whole lot like my FSX. I have not tried the platform myself but I have some hope that future generations of the program may pick up where Microsoft have left off.

           

    Many of the people we have interviewed have been programmers or designers. What is your experience with that?

    LOL, none! I took a computer class in high school; I remember writing pages of code and having the monitor display a random star-field. It was arduous and pointless; I was totally lost the entire year.

    In the mid 1990s I had to start using Windows-based programs at work and was basically self-taught on that platform. I don't know what a CPU is and couldn't boot up a Mac if you paid me! Basically the members and forums at www.flightsim.com have taught me how to download add-ons and rename aircraft in the CFG files. That's about the extent of my "programming" knowledge.

    We sincerely appreciate your humor and candidness on knowing how to develop (or not). Where in the world is that CPU? But let us put all your future fears to rest by saying - a CPU is a central processing unit - there now you're good to go.

    So ... that wasn't a question was it?

    Tags: ron blehm

    5 Comments
    1. DominicS's Avatar
      DominicS -
      Ron, let me be the first to thank you for all you've done for the flight simming community.

      Your quizzes especially have been great fun (sometimes painfully so, LOL)

      It really is people like yourself who make this hobby so enjoyable, so again my sincere thanks!

      Cheers

      Dom
    1. captdennison's Avatar
      captdennison -
      Ron, Great to see what you look like. Keep up the great job on Where in the World, remember me if you need a substitute again.
    1. airausquin's Avatar
      airausquin -
      Happy to be his friend during all these years and all those to come. Being the father of that last child that was born just a month or so after we started up, and the someone that Ron's kids know in Venezuela, I am grateful of his friendship, support and guidance. My life changed thanks to the TooMuchFS group, and if there is a reason for me not spending the time I used to spent with them, is just because I am working in my real passion, Aeronautics, Aviation, and Aviation History. I started doing research and writing articles for Flight Of The Month features, and now that it is part of my new second career as an aviation historian. Thank you Ron, and thank you guys. The best friends all over the net, and all over the world.
    1. billsmith's Avatar
      billsmith -
      When I briefly visited Central Oregon in May , Ron drove a hundred miles to meet up with me again. (Presumably because he couldn't quite understand me the first time in '09.). He is one of nature's gentlemen for sure.
    1. swanny's Avatar
      swanny -
      Thank you one and all for the priviledge of hosting a feature, for the honor of the interview and for your kind and humbling words. It is my hope that each one will do their little part to help keep this hobby we love alive and thriving. May you each look for something motivating that will keep you simming for years to come.
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