• Interview With John B. Loney Jr.

    Interview With John B Loney Jr

    Conducted by Dominic Smith


    John, when did you start developing for flight simulators and what got you interested in it?

    I started developing scenery for my own purposes with FS5 (I had been flying the flight simulator since the Bruce Artwick days of SubLogic), but it wasn't until FS2002 that I published a scenery for the first time (December, 2002). I wanted to make the airports livelier. The "one or two building" scenery just wasn't enough for me and I thought others felt the same way.

    John B. Loney Jr.     John B. Loney Jr.     John B. Loney Jr.

    I guess like many armchair pilots, I wanted to be an aviator. I was into model airplanes, from rubber band models all the way to control line gas models. I never made it to radio control though. Uncorrected eyesight kept me from doing it for real and so here I am enjoying the next best thing, the flight simulator.

    Could you tell the readers about your design preferences and what you do?

    I like scenery designs the best. I dabbled in aircraft design for a short while (a very short while), but I quickly discovered that scenery was my strong suit and so I put aircraft design aside. I prefer medium to small airports because those need the most dressing up.

    Out of all the sceneries you have created, what do you consider your best or most popular work?

    My most popular work according to the download numbers for FSX is Dover Air Force Base and its update (dover_afb_kdov_fsx.zip and kdov_upd_fsx.zip). For FS2004, it's Mansfield Municipal Airport and Collings Foundation (mansfield_collings.zip) which is a surprise to me.

    John B. Loney Jr.     John B. Loney Jr.     John B. Loney Jr.

    John, what do you find to be the most challenging aspect of scenery creation?

    Getting things right. When I first started out I just wanted to liven up the scenery, but as I learned new techniques and started making my own models, getting things as close to real as possible became my number one goal. That being said, I still have to work within the limits of the simulator, so I do take some "artistic license" from time to time.

    Out of all the sceneries you've created, is there a project which stands out in terms of enjoyment?

    I have many favorite projects, but the one that stands out the most, in my mind, was Ivanpah Valley Airport (ivanpahv1.zip), a proposed reliever airport for McCarran International in Las Vegas. Ivanpah was supposed to be located 30 miles south of McCarran.

    John B. Loney Jr.     John B. Loney Jr.     John B. Loney Jr.

    The thing to remember is that most sceneries for MSFS (and other simulators for that matter) are, in a sense, renditions of their real life counterparts. However, Ivanpah was only in the proposed stage, so this scenery was, in the truest sense, a real design (using our imagination) of the way the airport might look when completed.

    This project also stands out because it was one of the earliest collaborations I had with the late Maurice Butz, along with Jeff Hurd. It was Maurice's idea to render Ivanpah for FS2004. As far as I know, the airport, to this date, has never been built.

    John what software packages and tools do you use to create your sceneries?

    I use many tools to develop scenery for the simulator. My favorite model building tool is FS Design Studio (FSDS) from Abacus.

    I tried Gmax, but for some reason I couldn't master it. I use Instant Scenery 3 from Flight1 for object placement. I was on the beta testing team for IS2 and so understanding Instant Scenery so well, it has become my favorite tool. I also use ADE from Scruffyduck, SBuilder and SBuilderX, AFX, Model ConverterX and I still use the AFCAD program by Lee Swordy on some occasions.

    1. jyd's Avatar
      jyd -
      As always- a good friend and designer- extraordinaire. Robert Lacy (bob lacy)
    1. rockinrobin's Avatar
      rockinrobin -
      Many thanks for your excellent work on our behalf. My favorite of your works has always been the Camarillo Airport (KCMA), since it's close to my home. Amazingly detailed and accurate when it was made in 2007. Many things have changed in the intervening years...Any chance of an update? (I have access to the airport and could answer questions.) And maybe conversion to FSX?
      Thanks again.
    1. dbauder's Avatar
      dbauder -
      In case you're still wondering, Ivanpah never came to fruition. McCarran was considerably expanded instead. Some Grand Canyon tour operators moved to Boulder City. Therefore, your Ivanpah rendition is 100 percent correct and always will be!
    1. pilotposer's Avatar
      pilotposer -
      Thank you for all your contributions to flight simming. Maybe we could see in the future a fictitious airport named David "Opa Marshall International Airport.
    1. b747fe1's Avatar
      b747fe1 -
      There's no doubt, John, had the ability and talent to accomplish whet he starts out to do. I am a volunteer at the Dover AMC Museum at Dover A.F.B. Delaware And saw his first Dover AFB project. When we got the only C-5A in any museum at this time, One which I flew on as a Flight Engineer. I called John and asked if he could put it on our ramp.

      The Director of the Museum had gone up in one of the volunteer's P-17 and took some pictures of the ramp with all the aircraft we had at that time. I sent the picture to John, and in no time he sent what we have and more, showing the 9-11 memorial along with other items one would see if they came here to the museum. By the way it's a free museum.

      To ad frosting on the cake. John also put buildings on my field using Google Earth, because I didn't send him pictures of this place. Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised To download it. So on day's like this I can take my 1953 PA-22-135 Tri-Pacer and my 1947 Stinson 108-2 Using no gas.

      Again John. Thank you for your contribution too this site and looking forward to many more downloads.

    1. scottm's Avatar
      scottm -
      I'm convinced John must sleep behind his computer based on the sheer number of airports he cranks out every year. We appreciate you, John!
    1. dosburger's Avatar
      dosburger -
      I think John is truly dedicated to his passion for creating many great and different sceneries for the Flight Sim community. He has helped me with a personal request. He being very busy hooked me up with another truly great scenery developer Robert Lacy who made a DuPont Airport scenery in FS X they are a tribute to there love for such a great hobby.
      I can't thank you enough John Keep up the good work.
    1. kdmoo's Avatar
      kdmoo -
      Thank you John for all your scenery!
    1. scottmiller's Avatar
      scottmiller -
      I've exchanged emails with John a few times over the years about his FS sceneries. Its great to finally put a face to a name! Thanks, John!
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