• Interview With Martyn Northall - Just Flight

    Interview With Martyn Northall - Just Flight

    Conducted by Ray Andersen

    Just Flight

    Tell us about Just Flight as a company - who founded it and how did it get started.

    Just Flight was founded back in summer 1996 by Mungo Amyatt-Leir (RIP) and Roger Large, and in 1997 they were joined by Andy Payne. Originally called The Associates, they changed the name to Just Flight to give the business a more recognizable brand in the world of flight simulation. As Andy Payne explained "We had no office and worked from home, using the internet and meeting up once a month in a hotel to chew stuff over. We were a virtual company before that was even a thing. Mungo was the ideas man, Roger was all about sales and I did everything else. It was fast, furious, frustrating, hilarious and mostly chaotic.

    When we couldn't get any magazine coverage for our flight sims, we decided to set our own specialist print magazine up and called it PC Pilot. When we decided to branch into train sims, we set up our own label, Just Trains. All the time, Mungo, Roger and I would see no barriers and just get on and make things happen. We did a joint venture in Italy and one in the USA. There was very little time for planning, indeed if I did plan, Mungo took little or no notice, we just had a load of fun. We eventually got an office in Cambridge in 2000, which we shared with PC Pilot and designers Fink Creative. We painted the office and furnished it like it was our own flat way before Google made that stuff cool. We shared fantastic times with our friends and fellow workers, Alex Ford, Dermot Stapleton, Mark Embleton, Wolfgang Schwarz, Marc Siegel, Ruth Chaloner, Martin Wright, Richard Slater, Simon Martin, Richard Pomfret, Scott Phillips, Paul 'H' Hyslop and loads more."

    Just Flight - Archer XP

    What was the idea - the vision/mission starting Just Flight and how many people are today working at Just Flight?

    Back in the day, the FS add-on market was a very small niche in the computer games business, but it was growing, and Just Flight was set up with the idea of publishing, professionally, some of the great content that was being created. Just Flight then began working with developers directly to create content and the huge range of add-ons that were created for Flight Simulator and Combat Flight Simulator are fondly remembered by many simmers. When retail stores fell out of love with PC games, Just Flight swiftly made the jump to selling their content by direct download and created their own DRM and download system - before Steam was even a kettle of warm water. There are now 14 of us at Just Flight team and many of the team have been on board for over 15 years.

    What about you - how did you get interested in aviation and do you have other interests besides aviation and flight simulation?

    My interest in aviation comes from my dad who served in the Royal Air Force for 24 years. I was around aviation from birth and we enjoyed regular visits to air shows and aircraft museums, as well as using early PC-based flight simulators. FS2000 was my first introduction to the MSFS franchise and I was a keen Just Flight customer before joining the company.

    Away from aviation I love photography and travel, although both of those do involve some aviation!

    Just Flight     Just Flight

    Do you have a pilot's license and do you own your own aircraft?

    Yes, I have a Private Pilot's License (PPL). I started learning to fly aged 18 from Conington Airfield on the Cessna 152, hence our development of Conington Airfield scenery and the Flying Club Conington aircraft fleet! I don't own an aircraft but rent from the flying club when I have time to fly.

    Now back to Just Flight - you have a huge portfolio but what product is your own personal favorite and why?

    I've always enjoyed flying our Canberra PR9. It is an unusual but very capable and interesting aircraft type, and it was the first aircraft I was involved in developing. Our recent Avro Vulcan B Mk. 2 is a close second. Like the Canberra PR9 it has the vintage military jet appeal, and it is also visually stunning!

    Just Flight - Canberra

    Every company have a product which is their flagship - which product would that be at Just Flight?

    It's hard to chose just one as we release so many products each year, but I think the Avro Vulcan B Mk. 2 would be our flagship aircraft, and Traffic Global our flagship utility. 747 Classic and Traffic Global for X-Plane 11 will likely take over the flagship roles this year though!

    Just Flight     Just Flight

    Why do you think this product is so much more popular?

    The Avro Vulcan B Mk. 2 features the latest and greatest standards of visual fidelity which create a very realistic cockpit environment. It's an iconic aircraft type with lots of character and it's a pleasure to fly. There is also plenty of functionality to keep you busy either at low or high-level.

    Traffic Global is the latest iteration in our long-standing AI traffic series and our most popular product of the past year. Our Traffic range has always been popular with our customers as it provides you with a simple way to populate your virtual skies with hundreds of aircraft types and thousands of liveries.


    9 Comments
    1. Silver Simmer's Avatar
      Silver Simmer -
      No mention of the Tornado F3.
      Any adea when we can expect it to become available?
    1. squiremel's Avatar
      squiremel -
      I have quite a few Just Flight aircraft in my hanger for FSX and now Prepar3d v4 and have never been disappointed with any of them. Traffic Global is very worthwhile too. Just Flight seem to have quality, value and fun perfectly balanced.
    1. nortmar's Avatar
      nortmar -
      Quote Originally Posted by Silver Simmer View Post
      No mention of the Tornado F3.
      Any adea when we can expect it to become available?
      The Tornado F3 is due for release in the Autumn.
    1. jgmustang's Avatar
      jgmustang -
      Traffic Global is great as well as their other add-ons I have. I have the 757 Free MEUM and also the Hawker 748. I wish they had even more like the 757 previously mentioned because it flies great without being one of the complex aircraft that everyone is after these days.
    1. miriam's Avatar
      miriam -
      Very fond memories of being one of those very first developers back at the start of The Associates. "Virtually Incredible Panels" morphed into "The VIP Group", and my amazing team and I brought out the "VIP Classic wings" series of CDs till the turn of the century, produced and marketed by Mungo and his bunch! That is a long time ago isn't it? Nels, I remember you starting Flightsim.com too, we were in communication via compuserve originally. And let me tip the hat to PC Aviator while I am at it. They also were equally responsible for the best business experience of my life (so far!!).

      Well, time moved on.... Still an avid flightsimmer, I am a long way from the industry that I was proud to be part of the pioneering of. But, for those who remember those VIP years, I will share a personal note regarding the legacy of those times. Through VIP's growth, we saved a life. My wife and I adopted a wee girl from a Romanian orphanage in 1997. She's in her 20's now and still the apple of my eye and light of my life. Thanks to the former team members, dear old Mungo, and the rest of the people who unknowingly were part of that life-saving miracle.

      Best regards to all.

      Kenneth James Kerr
      Author
      www.ThisBookisthePerfectGift.com
    1. rogett's Avatar
      rogett -
      I've been avidly following Jim Keir's "Developer's diary - Traffic Global for X-Plane 11" since the beginning of the year. Early on, Jim mentioned that coding was being done so that versions for Mac and Linux users would be easier to create. I'm wondering whether the current beta testing includes versions for those platforms? According to their own usage data, Laminar Research shows approximately 36 percent of us are running X-Plane 11 on a Mac or Linux computer.
    1. ikbenik's Avatar
      ikbenik -
      I readed nothing about further releases for AFS2 as I'm a user of this FS. JustFlight has released the Duchess76 and recently the Arrow III & IV and C152. Are other planes planned to made available for AFS2?
    1. tja's Avatar
      tja -
      I had the pleasure of working with the team testing the Canberra, what an awesome product, and awesome group of people to work with. Like Martyn, I also have my PPL, and I fly when I can. Alas, I have had to move over to XPLane 11 in the last year, but I sincerely hope that more Justflight products get ported over to the sim.

      Martyn; if you read this, given the plethora of business jets that are being run off, would you ever consider doing the 1970's Hamburger Hansa bizjet? (Google this one if you have never heard of it). I think it would be rather a unique modelling topic, given some of the timeframes that you like to work in.

      All the best for the future,

      Andrew.
    1. zerocode's Avatar
      zerocode -
      Piaggio P-180 Avanti EVO, with REAL performance.
      For P3D v4, X-Plane 11 and the upcoming MS Flight Simulator 2020.

      Lorenzo
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