The Last Newsletter of 2022
While it might seem for many that “VirtualFlight.Online” is now a part of the Flight Simulator firmament, it’s perhaps worth reminding ourselves that we’ve only been up and running for a little over two years.
Until September this year, we were a small Discord server hosting somewhat regular group flights advertised on the official Microsoft Flight Simulator forum - taking advantage of the multi-player functionality built into Flight Simulator.
In September some idiot had the bright idea of starting a “virtual airline” (I’ll sheepishly hold my hands up for that one) - thinking maybe thirty or so people might be interested.
As of this morning, the airline has logged nearly 14 thousand flights, covering over 3 million miles, 16 thousand hours, and over 650 pilots. How on earth did THAT happen?
As soon as the airline began filling with pilots we realised it might be a good idea to give them something to do - so started creating tours and events. At the time of writing we have nearly 60 tours, comprised of hundreds of legs - crossing the globe in all manner of inventive directions. Again - how did THAT happen?
Alongside all the scheduled and dispatched flights we kept going with the group flights - and eventually lowered the bar in ACARS - allowing any and all flights to be recorded, rather than imposing a rank structure too onerously.
Discord has remained a central hub for all to dip into and out of - with a fantastic band of moderators working together to ensure a smooth experience for all taking part. Discord of course has it’s challenges - while new functionality this year such as the forums has improved it, it’s never going to be a “proper” forum. It does so many things well (voice chat and screen sharing), its shortcomings can perhaps be ignored (and it’s free!).
Throughout everything else, Transmitter has kept trucking - the little application I wrote to share our location with each other while flying. I’m continually surprised when I visit the “Who’s Online” page to see how many pilots are in the air. There have been thoughts about expanding it’s abilities, but so far those thoughts have been defeated by “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
We’re always open to new ideas - new ways of connecting you all with each other. If you have thoughts for the year ahead, why not drop into Discord and let us know. Remember also that everybody can create invitations and events. If you find yourself flying alone, and wish you had somebody to share a trip with - again - head to Discord and make use of it - it’s there for you.
I’ll sign off here, and wish everybody a happy and healthy new year. Thank you for being a part of VirtualFlight.Online, and let’s look forward to the year ahead.