Only a few minutes away from sunny Lisbon, in Sintra, the Air Museum was, once again, the venue for the event. Organized by the Air Museum and co-organized by the virtual squadron 509th Wild Tigers, the event grew and saw the first attendance of companies -- including foreign ones.
Moving to a larger room (an old hangar), the exhibitors were scattered around the amazing aircraft the Air Museum has for its visitors to appreciate. That made it feel like the event was not too crowded as the space available was very big and folks could approach all booths from different paths. This made it so that movement was fluid and folks were able to visit everything in a quiet and orderly fashion.
Besides the simming fans, that brought different systems and sims, there were also companies, which is something new to the event. Visitors could learn about some great products -- some of which were presented publicly for the first time.
One of the highlights was SimWorks Studios presentation of their CEX product (under development) that allows for carrier ops in FSX and P3D. I was very impressed with what they have shown and the potential is huge. You can have aircraft behave correctly on both launch and recovery, deck crew do their job and you can translate that to land operations as well where you can have marshallers doing their stuff and reacting to your presence. And yes, they are planning on supporting helicopter operations in the future as well! Now bring that to X-Plane as well, folks (X-Plane fans at the event nagged them a lot about it, don't worry).
We were placed near the veteran S-55/H-19 which made us feel right at home. The organization had told us that there were some folks asking if we would be bringing our controls as they were curious. Obviously, we wouldn't attend such an event without the Pro Flight Trainer Puma.
There were a lot of folks new to helicopters but I was surprised to see a lot of our visitors had some experience with helicopters. Some had no actual experience but knew how they operate and were eager to try them out with a set of controls that mimic the real thing. And we also met old friends. Folks that have we have met in the past and went to give it another go, talk about helicopters and just have fun with these amazing little virtual birds.
The experience was fabulous once again. The simming community is an absolutely amazing one -- a brotherhood -- and folks were up to try all sims, all platforms, all aircraft.
To be continued
According to the organization, the chance FlightSim19 will be a reality is very big. Being organized by a military organization means a lot can change meanwhile. Nevertheless, the community already knows how these events are valuable to all of us -- simmers and companies -- and it's up to all of us not to let it die.
Main photo: Air Museum.