object of saving brought much closer

A.J. is busy behind me, working on the mastery of remote controlled flight. Never mind that he’s never touched a powered R/C model aircraft, or a glider. It’s all on the PC.

His longings for a radio control model plane started this adventure when Tee suggested we search the web for what’s available. The Wing Dragon quickly became the focus of his savings. And of his entrepreneurial sales of anything not nailed down. His three prize pumpkins went on the auction block, to be snapped up by coworkers – from a department head to the kind lady who empties our trash and recycles.

Unable to double his net worth within the month of Oct. while it was on sale for under $90, A.J. was understandably bummed. Thankfully, the web – and a dedicated bunch of flyers and coders – came to the rescue.

To the free Flying-Model-Simulator we added a free Wing Dragon profile [corrected link with many other profiles] and then tweaked the settings (see #59) to match an experienced Wing Dragon flyer’s. Something similar is available for Macs, tho focused on helicopters.

The result is an enjoyable ride, even on the aging sub-GHz Win98 gift-from-grandparents PC (for which we’re very grateful). As long as you don’t expect too much or know what you’re missing from other game systems, which we don’t. Switch models and environments and viewing angles and you’ve got a new challenge. Occasionally one of us even lands on the runway; all but Dy have tried FMS.

And it led to the disposal of the joystick of suspect quality I picked up along the way – one less thing to gather dust. The keyboard is good enough, and sometimes a running commentary supplants even the need for audio. It’s about as much virtual reality as we can handle.

So, now the thing’s on sale for more than before, but I don’t think he cares as much as he did. I’m sure those savings and earnings will find a good target – and maybe some generous uses. Just as we may. – j

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