Feed your inner geek

Screenshot#1, originally uploaded by Alex Leigh.

For every action, there is an equal and opportunistic marketing reaction. This is the third law of selling, following closely behind “There is one born every minute” and “It’s as easy as selling porn to the Internet generation

With my fly-to-crash ration running at about five quid a minute, and the weather outside reminding us why Atlantic storms are generally a bad thing, I bought this RC simulation from a real person in Leeds. Shopping by picking up the phone and having a conversation – honestly, I can see this catching on, although he was a little distracted by the tidal wave in the high street.

It was on the back of a recommendation off an Internet forum but it seems churlish even to mention that. So while the wind was attempting to wrest the roof from the barn and ducks floated serenely past the window, I plugged this into the ‘puter and sallied forth.

For only£20, you get some pretty graphics, complex physics and a controller that has been carefully crafted on the world’s nastiest molding machine. But no matter, this is no normal flight simulation – oh no, it’s uber nichey RC Sim. So is this important and what does it mean?

Well, you get that same sense of impotent terror as your plane disappears off screen while you twiddle mindlessly. The broken perspective of trying to control something that’s about as much an extension of your hand as your ear, and the whole unwieldy interface of rudders, elevators and ailerons, does lead to some spectacular crashing.

But it gets better. That’s free crashing without the whole arse of collecting the remains and buying most of a new plane. Obviously my methodical approach to landing horizontally chose the boring trainer with all the top speed required to hunt down a lettuce. And just as obviously, I soon became sufficiently bored to investigate more interesting craft. Mig-17 (twitchy as buggery, crashed), Flying Wing (never flying wing more like, crashed on take off), P-38 Lightening (woooahhh, crashed) and the Eurofighter (where the fuck did that go, crash) all received the hard ground treatment.

The Spitfire is fantastic tho. Especially if you’re method acting it with skiing goggles, bike helmet, gloves and a scarf at a raffish angle. And shouting “Ginger, watch your six, beastly huns coming out of the sun, tango, buster, roger, roger, Tally-Ho


If the winds even drop below storm force and the local fields become navigable by something other than a dingy, I’ll be back out there showcasing my new skills to an audience of bored cows. But I must remember it’s for real because a signature move of an inverted approach and half barrel roll to dead stick landing is probably not going to fly. I’m almost certain it’s going to crash as elemental physics are not so forgiving as those buried in a CPU.

I know at least one of you is eagerly awaiting the next installment of “A man’s odyssey with grout” but I’ve been too busy geeking out with my new toy.

I’ll get round to it soon. Oh, did I mention that link on the right over there? 🙂

One thought on “Feed your inner geek

  1. Pingback: I want my life back » Blog Archive » Plane Stupid

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