• Member Focus: Michael Hayward

    Member Focus: Michael Hayward

    Michael, how did you get involved in flight simulation?

    Hmm... This takes me back to 2005 when my brother received a copy of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 ACoF. Since I was only 6 years old at the time, we installed it onto our old computer in my father's office and played on it for hours. I myself would always take the Mooney Bravo and fly in-between Heathrow, London City, Northolt and Biggin Hill, as these airports are all within close proximity to each other (London area). My father's computer at the time was an AMD Athlon XP 2600+ running at 1.2 GHz, coupled with some unknown motherboard, an ancient form of Nvidia graphics, 1GB of DDR RAM and a 220 GB hard drive!

    Michael Hayward     Michael Hayward - my entire physical flight simulator collection

    I also remember my first add-on aircraft, a freeware A320 British Airways, with one of those Ethnic Livery tails off of Simviation. At the time I really liked it, but now looking back, I think it's just plain ridiculous!

    The first time I really became serious about flight simming however, was back in 2014. I was looking for our old FSX Gold Edition disks which had gone missing (again) and because I couldn't find them, ended up taking the plunge and purchased FSX Steam Edition. Funnily enough, the FSX disks were found the next day...typical! From then on I've been learning about the different aircraft, installing as many modification packs as I could physically fit on my drive (at present FSX takes up a whopping 165 GB), breaking down and modifying the config files, learning about the simulator itself, you name it, I've done it! It's with this period I'm currently in, which I'm enjoying the most! The reason being, there are so many high-quality add-ons released, from a range of developers, that I'm simply stuffing my simulator with software, so as to get the most out of it.

    Michael Hayward - the setup I like to call The Firehazard     Michael Hayward - my more usual setup

    What is your best flight simulation memory?

    I've had quite a few memorable experiences (across multiple simulators), but let me share two standout memories with you...

    Both of these highlights come from Flight Simulator 2004. The first would be my circuit flying in London, where I was hopping between Heathrow, London City, Northolt AB and Biggin Hill for about two hours in the default Mooney Bravo. I was 8 years old at the time so what in reality was maybe an hour and a half, felt like days, to which I was most proud of. I flew to each airport, maybe four or five times and completed a full taxi, shutdown and [Ctrl] + [E] start-ups, which as a kid blew my mind!

    The second memorable experience comes from the first time I completed a 'full' commercial flight. This was from Stansted to Rzeszow, in Poland. I remember being at my nan's house playing on my laptop at 11 pm as a 12-year-old when I decided to fly this route. This was using a modded Project Open Sky Boeing 737-800 in a Ryanair livery. At the time, I didn't know that much about what was going on as I was used to flying GA aircraft, and therefore did the whole three hour ordeal without using the autopilot.

    Stansted to Rzeszow route map

    I also had no idea about trim, and as I was flying with an Xbox 360 controller, was constantly adjusting the left stick for the entire trip (up and down). It's safe to say that the cramp I experienced at the end of it was one to remember, but I was proud at the time to have completed the flight, and since then I've never looked back!

    Stansted     Rzeszow

    Last year I also started a YouTube Channel, which emphases more on the simulator genre of gaming. I like to talk when I game, something I've always done. The channel lets me open up to the community in my own style which has generally been well received.


    1. DominicS's Avatar
      DominicS -
      Hi Michael,

      I've really enjoyed reading your numerous contributions here at FlightSim.com...great stuff!

      All I can say is...thank you for everything you do and keep up the great work!

    1. Johnny Boy the Pilot's Avatar
      Johnny Boy the Pilot -
      Great article. Never knew you wrote for Flightsim (I've seen your YT channel before and subbed you).
    1. darrenvox's Avatar
      darrenvox -
      Congrats on a thousand subs there man...ill always try to comment back as much as I can...never asked youre name and glad flightsim would mention you, and someday my name will be here too!
    1. widowmaker320's Avatar
      widowmaker320 -
      Hi Michael..love your Dog..Is he a Collie-cross?
    1. DrawyahGames's Avatar
      DrawyahGames -
      Quote Originally Posted by widowmaker320 View Post
      Hi Michael..love your Dog..Is he a Collie-cross?
      Nobody knows...All we know is that he's a crossbreed of something with another!
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