• FlightSimExpo Day 2

    Flightsim Expo 2018 part 2

    It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

    By Tony Vallillo

    FlightSimExpo 2018
    Las Vegas Strip from the CAP C-206. What a place for a flight sim convention!

    We had heard it would be big. It stands to reason; after all, the venue was to be central to the Western USA, perhaps the major hotbed of hobbies of all kinds, let alone flight simulation. And it would be held in Las Vegas, Sin City itself! Granted that the temptations of Glitter Gulch are probably wasted on many of us in the Flight Sim community, if for no other reason than our financial resources are in high demand from our hobby and thus unavailable to tempt Lady Luck, or any other ladies. But the airfares, hotel rates, and rental car rates are among the cheapest in the world (which is why you see many off-duty or retired airline pilots roaming around!). So by rights Flightsim Expo 2018 should indeed be big.

    FlightSimExpo 2018
    An overall view of the briefing room

    And it is. They sold out sometime last week, save for a few Sunday slots. And the space they rented was among the larger at a huge resort hotel, the Flamingo. With over 1000 registrations in hand, and dozens of exhibitors and speakers, this was shaping up to be the best convention ever. This is all the more remarkable since, due to circumstances I shall not comment on, there are going to be two flight simulation conventions this summer (the other will be in Dallas, later in June). Far from dividing the interest, this strange situation may well multiply it. We shall see.

    I am able to attend this years event, and share these impressions with you, due to a fortuitous alignment of the stars - I am out in Vegas three or four times a year for a Civil Air Patrol mission, and it so happened that there was one in early June. So I would, in the event, be able to double my fun and both fly and look in on the latest in virtual flight.

    FlightSimExpo 2018
    The 2D view of the virtual reality cockpit - just no way to convey how real it looks without putting the headset on.

    Nels Anderson and Evan Reiter, the organizer of the event (and its predecessors back in Hartford), kindly arranged media credentials for me to "cover" the event for FlightSim.Com. Although I lack an education in journalism I have been known to write a thing or two, and thus I took a ride down to Henderson yesterday to observe and report on a flight simulator session. Today (Saturday) I betook myself over to the Flamingo, right smack dab in the middle of the famous "Strip", to see just how big this thing-of-ours has become.

    1. bdliddicoa's Avatar
      bdliddicoa -
      Key question re: VR X-Plane 11: what brand and model of VR headset were they using at the demo?
    1. avallillo's Avatar
      avallillo -
      I should have written that down, and a dyed in the wool journalist would have, but I am just a cub reporter (!) and I was so enthused about it that it slipped my mind. I do recall it was not Oculus Rift.
    1. avallillo's Avatar
      avallillo -
      It was the HTC Vive, the other system XPlane supports.
    1. bdliddicoa's Avatar
      bdliddicoa -
      Quote Originally Posted by avallillo View Post
      It was the HTC Vive, the other system XPlane supports.
      Thank you, friend!!
    1. MrUnSavory's Avatar
      MrUnSavory -
      You also have to have a minimum of a 900 series video card for X-Plane to even allow you to enable VR.
    1. rtrubin@yahoo.com's Avatar
      [email protected] -
      That was a thorough and accurate description of the Expo. It was a great event, but a group of us was very disappointed - by the almost complete lack of coverage for helicopters. Not one helicopter setup in the exhibit hall, and only passing mention of rotorcraft in the presentations (e.g., Nimbus's Huey UH-1). Helicopter flying is spectacular in VR, especially with good scenery, and a major opportunity to promote VR through helicopter flying was lost by the organizers. We protested mightily to the organizers, who promised to do better in the future. Let's hope they do.
    1. avallillo's Avatar
      avallillo -
      I see your point. I myself, although having one intro flight in a real helo, have barely mastered the art of rotary wing flight in FSX. In XPlane it is, for me at least, impossible!

      Even so, if you build it (or lobby for it) they will come - so hopefully your wishes will come true next year, or perhaps even this year if the organizers of the Texas version of FlightSimCon are reading these commentaries!
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