• Interview With Alan Ashforth

    An Interview With Alan Ashforth

    Conducted By Dominic Smith

    Interview with Alan Ashforth

    Alan, thanks for taking the time to talk to FlightSim.Com.

    Could I begin by asking about how you started developing for X-Plane, and how your interest in aviation began?

    Hi Dom. Well, my interest in aviation seems to stretch back to when I was a kid, as it is something I have always been interested in. I remember there being plenty of books available on the subject, especially those covering Soviet and British aircraft. At the time, you still had the very real threat of nuclear war, so as a youngster, I found it to be of the upmost importance to know who had what and how many!

    When I was slightly older, I was lucky enough to experience the home computing revolution and was the proud owner of a ZX Spectrum 48K. One of my favorite games during the early 80s was "Gunship" by Microprose, it was just so detailed, especially for the time.

    Interview with Alan Ashforth     Interview with Alan Ashforth

    Most of the simulators I have enjoyed since then have been of the military variety, mainly because of the additional challenges they employ. At present I use IL-2 Stalingrad and DCS, but I also use civil sims such as FSX and P3D.

    However, my go to sim is X-Plane 11, as that is the platform I develop my mods for, plus it has one of the best flight models available at present.

    To answer your question about how I started developing for X-Plane, I think it comes down to the fact that I saw quite a few gaps in what it offered, plus I wanted to push the boundaries on what was possible.

    Trying anything new at first is always daunting, but I was greatly helped (still am), by the kind and generous Ray Hill. I've learned so much from him, as he too is one who likes to push the boundaries in X-Plane. Ray has also let me mod some of his designs, which is of course, always exciting!

    Interview with Alan Ashforth     Interview with Alan Ashforth

    Could you tell us a bit about your mods?

    The mods I create are for X-Plane's military models. These are usually freeware aircraft found in earlier versions of X-Plane, but which are not yet available for version 11. As well as updating these aircraft in terms of compatibility, I usually try to add additional combat features to them.

    Alan, out of all the mods you've created, which ones do you consider to be your best or most popular work?

    My most popular work has got to be my X-Plane 11 conversion of the venerable and iconic Grumman F-14. Both FSX and DSC have excellent versions of this aircraft but unfortunately not so with X-Plane 11. Earlier versions of the sim had both freeware and payware variants available, but X-Plane 11 was sadly lacking, hence the reason for my mod.

    Interview with Alan Ashforth     Interview with Alan Ashforth

    To be honest, my ability in certain areas is quite limited, so I teamed together with Domhenry and MGouge, and with permission from Sailor (the author of the original freeware model) developed it so that it was compatible with X-Plane 11.

    The great thing about working on a project like this, is not just the finished item, but the fact that all three of us became friends due to the project.


    5 Comments
    1. b52bob's Avatar
      b52bob -
      Great job. Just downloaded the F-14 and it looks great. Thanks so much to you and the team for giving us these iconic aircraft. Keep the faith!
    1. Alpeggio's Avatar
      Alpeggio -
      Thanks b52bob , and you're welcome. Yeah the F-14 was missing from XP11, glad you like it.
      Al
    1. brosenguy's Avatar
      brosenguy -
      I just flew the F-14 and really enjoyed it. It is very nice to have the 3D cockpit even if it is a simple one. I had the F-14 with the 2D cockpit and your version is quite a nice improvement. Your version has better looking pilots and seats too.
    1. Alpeggio's Avatar
      Alpeggio -
      Thanks brosenguy, glad you gave it a try, and like the improvements.

      If you look at the panel in 2d (alt+w) there are a couple of dials in the centre to control the Nimitz speed and heading, if you're into carrier landings.
      Main reason was to stop the Nimitz after landing, so that if you make video's, it wouldn't have that judder in playback.
    1. brosenguy's Avatar
      brosenguy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Alpeggio View Post
      Thanks brosenguy, glad you gave it a try, and like the improvements.

      If you look at the panel in 2d (alt+w) there are a couple of dials in the centre to control the Nimitz speed and heading, if you're into carrier landings.
      Main reason was to stop the Nimitz after landing, so that if you make video's, it wouldn't have that judder in playback.
      Alpeggio, Thanks for the tip regarding carrier landing videos. I have made a few carrier landing videos and the judder in playback is annoying.
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