Monday, January 23, 2006

Bell 206B III included in top 20 best heli's for FS 2004

I was delighted to see on a recent screenshots forum post by Steve (Bear) Cartwright that the Bell 206B III I developed last year has made #19 of his top 20 helicopters for FS 2004. Many thanks for that!

The project pretty much fell into my lap due to a unique opportunity I was presented back in January of 2005. My brother is currently a video photographer for WBTW in Florence, SC, but several years ago worked at WIS in Columbia, SC. During that time, WIS held a 50th anniversary celebration in the streets near their studios. My brother had let the right people know that I did flight simulation development, and they asked me to put a quick demo together of the default Bell 206B (at the time in FS 2002) of their newshawk helicopter (a small picture of it is seen on the WIS homepage). I set up a small kiosk next to the real helicopter, and low and behold, it was a huge success. There were people lined up all day to have a chance to fly the virtual newshawk over Columbia.

That demonstration stuck in the heads of the leadership at WIS, and presented me another project - this time a bit more involved. They asked if I would do the same for them, but the demonstration would be on display at the South Carolina State Fair. Since this was going to be a week-long event, I felt that I needed to give more attention to the project. I had plenty of time - the project was offered in January, and the fair was to occur in October - so I decided to build a new 206 from ground up.

It took approximately 2 months from start to finish for me to get it done. I actually modeled the news heli from WYFF in Greenville, SC as the publicly released news version (the paint scheme has been changed slightly), adding the appropriate camera and antennae for the WIS bird later on for the SC fair demonstration. Heck, since the fair has been long since finished, I probably could release the WIS version - if there's enough interest.

Anyway, the Bell 206B III was a nice diversion from my normal fixed-wing development - I had a lot of fun doing it!!

1 comment:

George said...

Hey Owen,

Glad to see that your B206 made the top 20 freeware helicopters. You also mentioned that you create a separate version of the 206 for WIS-TV, would like to know if you plan on uploading this version to the community :)