Friday, 24 July 2009

a to b

Google Earth has a built in flight simulator. I've been having fun with it. Taking off and flying are easy enough. Landing is trickier!

So I set myself challenges to try to improve, and I wondered how other people would manage. Here's what you have to do...

1. Download Google Earth, if you don't already have it installed.

2. Download the placemark for your destination... Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

3. Download the placemark for your starting point... Manchester airport, about 30 miles away.
This should put you at the end of a runway, facing southwest, with a white arrow just in front of you.

4. Open up the flight simulator. This is accessed from the "Tools" menu on your top bar.

5. Select your plane. The jet is quicker, but the prop plane is easier to control.

6. Fly off into the wide blue yonder!

Your challenge of course is to

7. land safely at Liverpool Airport. Since you downloaded the placemark, it should show up as a big yellow pushpin, even in flight sim mode.

If you land on the runway, stay on the runway and bring your plane to a standstill on the runway, give yourself a gold medal!

If you land on the runway, but end up stopping off the runway, you can award yourself a silver medal.

If you manage to hit the runway, but crash or land safely somewhere other than the runway, give yourself a bronze medal.

If you get lost or crash without making it to the runway, give yourself a poke in the eye.

Good luck!

I just did a wonderful approach, hit the runway nice and early, but slid off to the right. I realised I needed to throttle back the engine, but instead of pressing the "page down" button, I pressed the down arrow by mistake, sending my plane shooting up into a vertical climb, and shortly afterwards, a stall, and a plunge into the terminal buildings.

Oops. Bronze medal for me there!

Second attempt...

Came in perfectly. Only the tiniest nudges of the controls needed. Landed nice and straight, going much slower, and the wheel brakes did the rest. Finished right smack in the middle of the runway, about a third of the way down.

Big shiny gold medal for me!