In early 2000, with my recording studio project slowing down and after a somewhat scary flight while on a business trip, I became interested in airplanes which led me to purchase Microsoft Flight Simulator. I learned that Microsoft had designed the Flight Simulator so programmers and airplane enthusiasts could create and add their aircraft to the game. I saw an opportunity to develop my Microsoft Flight Simulator add-on package and thus started Project OY-KGR.
Microsoft Flight Simulator Add-on Package – Scandinavian Airlines DC-9-41: Project OY-KGR
My project is based on the Scandinavian Airline Service DC-9-41 airplane OY-KGR. It has evolved from a general flight simulator to a much more sophisticated and graphically intense experience. Additionally, the project included the assistance of many flight simulator developers, pilots, and enthusiasts from around the globe.
Add-on Package – Scandinavian Airlines 2D Cockpit
My project has two main components: a 2D cockpit and a 3D cockpit with an external airplane model. The 2D cockpit comprises hundreds of computer-generated renderings and image files I had to create. The images range from the cockpit panel backgrounds to the flying instruments’ tiny needles. Using XML programming code, I merge all of the image files in real-time so that when the game runs, it gives the person playing the experience of sitting in a real DC-9 cockpit.
Add-on Package – Scandinavian Airlines 3D Cockpit and External Plane Model
The 3D cockpit is much more complicated to design than the 2D version. Therefore, using 3D modeling and animation software, I had to construct the entire cockpit. Additionally, the development process is time-consuming, and my only reference materials are photographs on the Internet. Most of those photographs could be of better quality, so careful analysis and planning are required when building certain features in the game environment. Below are screenshots of the 3D cockpit environment taken during game testing.
Microsoft Flight Simulator Add-on Package Project Comes to an End
My Microsoft Flight Simulator Add-on Package came to an unexpected and abrupt end one day. It all started after Boeing’s legal department contacted me. Subsequently, the person I spoke with had many questions about my flight simulator add-on package. They expressed “concern” that I could purchase official Boeing flight operation manuals and other technical documents online.
Ultimately, they did not wholly object to my developing the project. But they wanted me to register it with their “toy” and “legal” departments and pay a “licensing fee.” As a result, it was going to cost money, and more time, to continue with the project. It was their intellectual property that I had. Also, 9/11 had just happened, and everyone was hyper-cautious about security, and projects like mine were coming under increased scrutiny. I heard reports that the terrorists involved in 9/11 used Microsoft Flight Simulator to practice their attack plans.
The Boeing representative explained that the airplane I was modeling was still in use worldwide. In the end, my hobby had become too complex. These developments with Boeing were also going to make it more financially costly. If 9/11 had never happened, I doubt anyone would have cared about my project. Many ultra-realistic add-on plane packages already existed because what I was doing was part of the design of the Microsoft Flight Simulator. The entire project got more extensive than I cared to deal with, so I shelved project OY-KGR.