• Interview With Tibor Kokai

    Interview With Tibor Kokai

    Conducted by Dominic Smith

    Bence Benedek and Tibor Kokai


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

    When did I start developing? Well it was long time ago and it began way back with FS5.1. My first aircraft was a Zlin Z-142 (what a surprise). Because of the limitations that came with Flight Simulator at that time, my model only contained a few polygons. It also had no custom sounds, no custom panel, but...importantly, it flew!

    The next project I worked on, and a big graphical step up (for me), was the Zlin 526AFS for FS2000. This aircraft was made with FSDS, a fantastic tool which made creating MSFS add-ons a whole lot easier. With this aircraft, I learnt a lot of new techniques and the results were quite pleasing. With the knowledge I had learned creating the Zlin, I started on my next project, which was the PZL 101A Gawron. This aircraft I dedicated to my friend and also owner of the real aircraft. If you download this aircraft, you can actually see that I modeled his face onto the model pilot!


    With the release of FS2004 however, everything changed, as here was a simulator that could finally produce what I wanted. My first aircraft for FS2004 was the Zlin Trener family of aircraft which proved to be very popular among simmers. This aircraft had three updates in all, with major fixes in each update.

    For a short time after this I created repaints for my aircraft, but after a while my friends starting pushing me to produce another aircraft, a bigger aircraft! With this in mind, I set about designing the Tu-154. This was a large project, but the end result was the first Tu-154 for FS2004 with a photoreal virtual cockpit. This aircraft proved to be immensely popular with simmers and was downloaded over 50,000 times (from various web sites).

    A while later, I met up with Bence Benedek, a very talented 3D modeler, and together we founded Pannon Wings Design Team (PWDT). After setting up the team, we began working on our first project which was the Let L-410 family of aircraft. As neither of us had any experience making gauges, we looked for help, and help came in the form of Jirka Masnik, from the Czech Republic.

    Jirka offered to create the gauges for us, and so with his help, the Let L-410 project became our first international collaboration. All together we ended up creating the whole of the L-410 family; beginning with the FG and finishing up with the UVP-T variant.


    Before the release of the L-410, we were unsure of how popular it would be, but when we started to see the amount of downloads it was accumulating, we (as a team) decided to continue with our freeware venture.

    Our next release was another classic Czech aircraft, the Zlin Z-43. As with the Let L-410 project before, Bence created the model (his work really is outstanding), I created the semi-photorealistic textures, and Jirka made the gauges. In my opinion, and judging by the downloads, I think the end result of the Zlin Z-43 was pretty good.

    With the release of Microsoft's latest (possibly last) simulator, FSX, we moved all development over to this platform. Our aircraft model of choice? You guessed it, it was another Zlin, but this time the Zlin Z-142. This aircraft however was quite difficult to create, especially to FSX standards. With all animations and texturing finished, we only had the 3D gauges to complete, but they were proving difficult; mainly because of the standards we had set ourselves. In the end, Bence, decided to leave the team and for a long time our connection was broken.

    So, there I was, with an aircraft that was nearly complete, but unable to release it because the gauges were proving problematic; how frustrating! So for the next few years I put the Zlin project on hold, and decided to concentrate on other projects. As well as creating numerous repaints for aircraft, I also participated in the development of some LHSim sceneries. These included: LHPP Pecs-Pogany, LHPR Gyor and the last one, LHBP Budapest. My job for all of these sceneries was to create the static aircraft and minor objects.


    It was near the end of LHBP that my mind returned to the Zlin. I really wanted to get the aircraft finished, but I still had the issue of completing the gauges. I had a lot of interest from other developers, but none really worked out. I even discussed the Zlin with Mathijs at Aerosoft, but for one reason or another nothing came of it, so it was left in limbo.

    Then one day, something unexpected happened; my good friend Bence contacted me and said that he wanted to finish the gauges. It was fantastic news. So finally our little gem was released (for free) and our story comes to a happy ending!

    Tags: tibor kokai

    1. ivanmiki's Avatar
      ivanmiki -
      Szia Tibi,

      Esetleg a Gawron FSX verzióját nem tervezitek ? Szintén örülnék az R-26 Góbénak, ennek a static modellje LHPP-n ott áll, de hiányzik a szimulátorból a röpképes verzió.

      -- sorry guys for the hungarian comment, this is a small query about the PWDT future plans, maybe an FSX version of the Gawron, or R-26 Góbé glider, which static model parked in LHPP.
    1. dstarda's Avatar
      dstarda -

      Your generosity is commendable. The Z-142 is delightful to fly. Thank you

    1. kalizzi's Avatar
      kalizzi -
      Beautiful and lovely models, thank you I enjoyed long hours on the zlin trainer on FS9. Looking forward to seeing fsx version of the trainer and acrobat. Best wishes
    1. Sodacan's Avatar
      Sodacan -
      The Z-142! What a beautiful plane. Z-142 over the hils surrounding Nice/Cote d'Azure in autumn at sunnset. Beautiful. The amazing visibility, it's ease of flyinging and the quality of the model. This is now my favourite single engine prop. Thank you.
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