• FlightSimCon 2015

    The third edition of FlightSimCon was held the weekend of June 13 and 14 at the New England Air Museum, located on the perimeter road around Bradley International Airport, just north of Hartford, Connecticut. The museum has a great collection of historic planes and makes a fine setting for a meeting of aviation enthusiasts.

    FlightSimCon 2015 location at New England Air Museum
    New England Air Museum

    I arrived just as registration was getting underway and found there was a line out the door waiting to get in...a good sign! There were in fact hundreds of flightsimmers who attended some portion of the event, many of whom traveled quite some distance to get there.

    FlightSimCon 2015 - the line waiting to register
    The line waiting to register

    The convention included several components, primarly a display area in one of the hangars and a non-stop series of presentations. It was impossible to attend everything but I spent the two full days there taking in as much as possible. Of course the other big component of an event like this is simply the great opportunity to meet and talk with other like-minded people and there was plenty of that going on!

    So, let me share with you my weekend at FlightSimCon in a more or less chronological fashion.


    The first booth I visited in the exhibition area was that run by IVAO, the well-known international organization that since 1998 has been providing an online platform for multi-player flights. US Division Training Coordinator Tom Gilmore and World Tours Director Robert Nagy were manning the booth. Their display showed was was going on on the IVAO network at that time, which happened to be a big fly-in event in Germany. From the air traffic controller's view that you can see in the photo, the airport is presented and if you could see it with enough detail you'd see that is was simply packed with aircraft, each one being a real flightsim pilot/plane participating in the event.

    IVAO was just one of several such online groups at the convention and did a good job of showing just how much multi-player flying adds to your flightsimming fun.

    FlightSimCon 2015 - IVAO staff Robert Nagy and Tom Gilmore
    IVAO staff Tom Gilmore and Robert Nagy

    1. silverheels2's Avatar
      silverheels2 -
      Was LM there officially?
    1. gene172's Avatar
      gene172 -
      Great review, Nels. Flight Sim Con 2015 was outstanding in every respect, especially the quality of the seminars, the hospitality of the hosts, & of course the comradery of the attendees. This is the second Flight Sim Con I attended & I look forward to next year.

      Gene W
    1. RatRace's Avatar
      RatRace -
      I guess this puts mgh's recent post "The hobby is contracting" in a different light.
    1. britfrog's Avatar
      britfrog -
      Quote Originally Posted by RatRace View Post
      I guess this puts mgh's recent post "The hobby is contracting" in a different light.
      there is no doubt that is certain sectors sales are down, some companies keep releasing products too frequently with the result that people are only prepared to spend so much per month on their hobby. Also as quality has got better one expects better products to be released, those that cant keep up will also feel the market has shrunk.

      However looking at the conference I had hoped it would have attracted more people and more companies, in the end it seems to have been a nice little local meet-up for simmers.
    1. ricardo_NY1's Avatar
      ricardo_NY1 -
      Looks like there was an excellent turnout. Will the venue be the same for next year?
    1. chucktannehill's Avatar
      chucktannehill -
      I thoroughly enjoyed Flightsimcon 2015 and am hoping to attend next year, for Platinum Airways virtual airline.
    1. Ragtopjohnny's Avatar
      Ragtopjohnny -
      I intend to go next year. I wanted to this year, but with health conditions it was not possible.
    1. Nels_Anderson's Avatar
      Nels_Anderson -
      I think this was far more than a "little local meetup". Consider that the two biggest sims, X-Plane and FSX: Steam, considered it important enough to send representatives. It's also growing. I suspect a larger venue will be needed next year.
    1. Clutch Cargo's Avatar
      Clutch Cargo -
      Hope the momentum keeps growing for events like this in the USA. Would like the venue to change year to year tied to various aviation locations throughout the country to attract new visitors as well as repeat "conventioneers" getting a different experience each year.
    1. Ragtopjohnny's Avatar
      Ragtopjohnny -
      How about various locations? Not just this one, but others. Please don't change it - this is the closest to my house I can get to easily. LOL
    1. mutleyshangar's Avatar
      mutleyshangar -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nels_Anderson View Post
      I think this was far more than a "little local meetup". Consider that the two biggest sims, X-Plane and FSX: Steam, considered it important enough to send representatives. It's also growing. I suspect a larger venue will be needed next year.
      Hi Nels,

      Shame, I missed this show by 10 days, I was in the USA at the beginning of June and met up with Froogle Pete. I had an invite to appear at the show but couldn't change my plans. It looked every bit as good as the FS show at RAF Cosford in the UK last year maybe we'll try to make it next year or 2017!

      Loved your report,


      Joe (mutleyshangar.com)
    1. avallillo's Avatar
      avallillo -
      I spoke with Nicole, the organizer of the event, about additional venues and they are looking at the possibility, probably based upon where a good concentration of flight simmers live. We shall have to wait and see.
    1. pchimbolo's Avatar
      pchimbolo -
      Incredible event! I went to the first one two years ago when it was held on the top floor of an old hotel in the center of Hartford. I was among 20 - 30 attendees. Not knowing what to expect, but slightly dispappointed about the 1st event, I did not attend last year -- but I was intrigued by the change in venue to the Air Museum near BDL. This year felt right to go... and what a treat! I agree with Nels... next year the Museum may not be large enough to support all the vendors and attendees. But, 100% guaranteed... I will be there!
    1. nywingrider's Avatar
      nywingrider -
      Nels, I thought this was an excellent event... I loved every minute of it... It was great to see you and others in the industry.... Can't wait until next year....
    1. richard_stratman's Avatar
      richard_stratman -
      This was a nice event and looking forward to next year. Glad to see there is a healthy interest in this hobby. Hats off to those that are behind this event.
    1. gilmo6d1's Avatar
      gilmo6d1 -
      Holy Cow, You can comment?!?! Great sitting next to you on the panel, Nels!!!
    1. porchpooch4's Avatar
      porchpooch4 -
      I had the good fortune of attending for the first time this year and for an avid enthusiast like myself, it was excellent. I was able to get some great ideas for my personal simulator in the process even though it means backing up a little bit and re-doing a couple of things on my simulator. I believe Tom's presentation and his full scale real C-172 simulator was excellent. He offered some excellent tips on planning and executing your own home cockpit simulator. There were quite a few displays of hardware were you could test out the equipment and form your own opinions based on what you are looking for in realism. It was well worth the time and effort and the connections I made while there. I am already planning for next year here and in Europe.
    1. felix69's Avatar
      felix69 -
      He, he, he, Intrepid Museum NYC, here we come. Now, hosting it there would shatter all attendance records, although it would be challenging for the exhibitors to get into the city (maybe!).
      But NEAM was a good host for the past two years, I'm sure they can accommodate for bigger participation.
    1. Iceman07's Avatar
      Iceman07 -
      Hi Nels

      Just to let you know, I was the unidentified home built panel on page 4. I was invited to display by Nicole, and though I was a bit hesitant to do so, as I knew there was going to be a lot of "Heavy Metal" types, I am glad I did. I really had a great time. I talked to quite a few people who seemed to appreciate what I was trying to accomplish with my set up. It's always nice to know that there are fellow nerds out there!

      I am mostly interested in early jet and rocket plane test flying, esp. Edwards Air Force base in the 1950's and 60's. I designed and built my "Simpit" with the idea that I could very easily and quickly change the configuration. I can, within minutes, go from a standard yoke set up to a side-stick to a standard joy stick set up. Depending on what I am flying at that time. For instance, when I'm flying the X-15 (my favorite) I use a side-stick set up. When I fly the X-24, I use the Yoke.

      Most of my simpit was built using materials from Home Depot, for a minimum cost. I designed and built the chair myself.

      This was my first experience with Flightsim Con, and I am looking forward to future events.
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