Once again, it was time for me to attend the Aerosoft Flight Simulator Conference that took place in Paderborn last Saturday, October 21st. This has quickly become an annual tradition which I find very enjoyable as it gives me an opportunity to meet face to face with friends and developers who I don't often get a chance to see, other than online on our messenger systems.
This year's event turned out to be the biggest so far, with over 800 people in attendance. It was even more significant because it was the first show in Germany that had Microsoft Flight Simulator X on display, after its release last week. As expected, the Microsoft stand was impressive, with two desks fully equipped with Saitek joysticks and throttles and large wide screens displaying an immersive view into the new product (More on FSX in a bit).
While walking around the stands, I also noticed some new offerings in the hardware and cockpit building category - I missed our good friends from Engravity who had some conflicting schedules and couldn't attend, but I had a glimpse of the CockpitSonic 737NG and Airbus offerings that show some promise in that aspect.
VATSIM and IVAO were there manning their respective virtual skies, and so were Just Flight and Flight One with their wares on display.
I am sure I am forgetting others, but I didn't have too much time to roam around, as I was busy putting the final touches on my presentation of the brand-new PMDG product, the McDonnell-Douglas MD-11 aircraft that we're going to release "some time very soon" (tm).
I already knew that many of our customers have expressed interest in the MD-11, but I didn't know exactly how passionate many of you are on this large ocean-crossing aircraft. Well, it turned out to be a packed conference hall with no empty seats and some of you standing around wanting to catch the first glimpse of what our product looks like - I was really impressed by the attendance!
I'll post a separate article on the MD-11 as this one focuses more on the conference in general.
The day ended with the Captains' dinner, an event that's quickly becoming tradition for the conference. It included (apart from a very well prepared buffet meal) the presentation of the SimFlight 2006 Awards. PMDG were once again contenders in the voting and I was very pleased and honored to receive the award on behalf of our team for the 747-400 Freighter, which won the 2006 Airliner Aircraft award. I only wish I were a bit more photogenic (and I promise to start my diet again ;)). Perhaps next year we'll hire Jennifer Aniston to receive it on our behalf :-).
Next, I'll be posting my thoughts on FSX and a recap of the MD-11 presentation. To end this, I'd like to thank Winfried, William, Mathijs and the rest of the Aerosoft team for a nice weekend. It's great to see you guys again in person!
(For more information on the Flight Sim Conference, head over to FSKonferenz and Aerosoft).