Wednesday, June 28, 2006


One of the reasons we flightsim is the sheer pleasure of watching airplanes fly. To fully appreciate the form and beauty of the machines one needs to view them dynamically- to see how they move, and to move around them to see them from multiple points of view. A good flight simulator model gives us an appreciation that you cannot get from either a static model or a still photograph. I believe it is second only to witnessing the aircraft flying in person.

One of the most memorable airplane designs is the Lockheed Constellation (the "Connie"). I won't attempt to describe the history of this airplane, you can find that here and other places. The shape is unmistakable, with the lovely porpoise-shaped fuselage and triple tail. So much more character than today's straight-tube airliner designs. This airplane produces am array of visual impressions. It is futuristic, in a nostalgic way, embodying the age in which it which is was created. It is powerful and graceful. At times it reminds me of a fish, and at other times a bird (goose or swan).

This plane looks awkward on the ground, with the seemingly too long nose wheel assembly. It is this trait that reminds me of the large birds--graceful fliers, but ungainly on their feet.

Once it it in the air it is beautiful to watch. One wants to view it from every angle to see the different profiles it presents.

We are very fortunate to live in an age in which we have a great tool at our disposal for enjoying the aesthetic and technical achievments of the great aircraft designers.

The model shown here is a collabrative effort. The original airplane model is by the prolific freeware designer Mike Stone. An additional person created the lovely paint scheme, and yet another person added a nice instrument panel. (I apologize for not having the other individual's names handy)

1 comment:

Paolo Dallorso said...

Hi, thanks to your post I downloaded the Aero 500 and flew sometime on central Tasmania, last night.
A shot, this , on my blog.