• Interview With Bruce Erwin

    Interview With X-Plane Scenery Developer Bruce Erwin

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

    It's hard to recall, but guessing it would be around early 2014 when I first started building airports (X-Plane 10). At first these were local regionals associated with the western end of the Ohio River where I've lived, worked, then later retired to the huge twin lakes area of western Kentucky. Prior to X-Plane 10, I previously had X-Plane 9.0 running on a highly overtaxed Mac Mini.

    Bruce Erwin scenery

    Therefore, my first hometown build was KEVV, later KPAH which is now considered our home regional airport nearest the retirement lake house, although we airline-fly out of BNA. Next, I branched out in all directions throughout the mid-south.

    Worth looking up is the historical Republic Aviation, WWII relationship between KEVV and KFRG, Farmingdale NY where the war's number one U.S. European campaign fighter aircraft was built. Therefore, KFRG was also an early build along with a few other northeastern airports surrounding it.

    It should be noted, my primary fight sim preference is GA and corporate aircraft, never airlines. Therefore, build preferences up to now* have been GA/executive airports such pilots prefer to avoid, due to airline traffic congestion, jet turbulence and long taxi-line waits.

    *Recent and current build efforts will be explained below.

    Could you tell us about the nature of your designs?

    The nature of my designs (all exclusively for X-Plane) are 3-D airports which are made using freely available 3-D structures and other objects from third-party sources. Having taken a stab at 3-D CAD/CAM art, I decided it consumes too much time which detracts from airport builds (I want to go places, to immersive airports).

    Mostly my attempts (where possible) are to pull existing airports into compliance with AirNav specs and satellite views; in many instances adding scenery immediately adjacent to airports. However, the latter only happens when the default scenery lacks-good shopping center-motel/hotel structures, etc.

    Bruce Erwin scenery     Bruce Erwin scenery

    As a prime hobby, I try to attack airport builds with the immerse intensity of a model railroad builder and consider it my daily work replacement with similar hours devoted (or more). Call it an addiction, but it helps sweep out the mental cobwebs and is easily affordable.

    Builds from here are usually submitted to the XP Gateway first, and omit third-party scenery elements (non Laminar), which at present, the Gateway unfortunately refuses to accept. Later, I either add or replace WED default scenery objects with third-party scenery elements, and place them into Dropbox for a select group of XP flying friends and FlightSim.Com to download.

    Bruce what have been your favorite projects so far?

    Favorite builds off the top of my head and which are now bundled into XP are: KBNA, KIND. There's also the intense build of PANC-PAL, plus the complex airports of KFRG, KPWK, PAFA and KNEW. However, all are far more immersive with third party objects and aircraft added (hats off to the numerous authors of OpenSceneryX and especially Mister-X's outstanding work for making this possible).

    Tags: bruce erwin

    2 Comments
    1. DominicS's Avatar
      DominicS -
      Great interview!

      Thanks for sharing with the community Bruce; keep up the great work!
    1. SkipFerg's Avatar
      SkipFerg -
      Bruce, having lived in Puerto Rico from 1955 to 2012 and flying throughout the islands, as a passenger, I am absolutely delighted that you've taken on the task of building the many splendid airports that are to be found up and down the chain. And, coupling your airports with Didier's Ortho4XP files makes for an incredible GA experience in that area! Te saludo!
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