More Comms work

Another evening of experiments and testing.  I now have a rough “fold back” happening in the Skyhawk so that pilot and instructor can talk on open mics, then by activating a push to talk (from either cockpit) both mics transmit to the other sims via TeamTalk.

Now we have pilot and instructor in the Skyhawk, pilot in the Arrow, and the Laptop upstairs in the ManCave…

TeamTalk v5 is an awesome, light weight VOIP/Conferencing package which works really well, and has features which really work for my sims!

BearWare – Home of TeamTalk

Comms system check

Nathan and I spent some time this afternoon repairing, configuring and testing headsets and helmets in the Arrow and Skyhawk sims. The Skyhawk pilots helmet needed a bit of rewiring and re-soldering, but is now working well.   Sadly my GA headset adapter didn’t work, only providing a “buzz” when the mic was touched. Swapped the headset and adapter out with my old faithful PC headset and it all worked beautifully.

Final testing was successful, with Skyhawk pilot and instructor as well as the Arrow pilot all being able to communicate well.  Nathan and I went flying and tested the system in “action” 🙂

The helmet also got some TLC and a clean, and had the visor cover removed.  Without the cover it looks a bit like an Alpha, so maybe it will stay like that… not sure

Back in the Arrow

After all the recent work on the man cave and 737 it was nice to spend the evening back in the Arrow for a night IFR cross country.  I took off from Gisbourne at dusk, and flew down to Napier, battling strong headwinds all the way.  A quick refuel and a drink, and off to Ohakea.  More strong winds, cloud and bad turbulence made it a challenging flight!  DME arc on to the ILS, which wasn’t working, so it turned into a VOR/DME approach….

A great challenging flight!


The combination of real weather and quality scenery makes the fightsim experience something quite special!

Nathan and I flew the Arrow from Galatea to Rotorua, and the combination of scenery and weather made for a spectacular arrival.

From Rotorua we flew up to Tauranga, meandering aimlessly around NZ again 😉


A single line I read in “The Long Patrol: History of 1 Sqn RNZAF” lead to some interesting research into Galatea Airfield (NZGA) near Murupara.

I read that the Andovers of 1 Sqn did some STOL training at an airfield in the “Kaingaroa Forest”, which after some research, appears to be Galatea, which was a WWII dispersal field, and has a 3400ft long grass runway.

Tonight I decided to check out the field, and the scenery I have installed but never visited….

Departed Ohakea and headed up across the desert, a nice day for VFR flying!

Tracking the Ohakea VOR outbound, making pretty good ground speed at 5,500ft

Probably should have checked this on takeoff!

Which meant a wee stop at Waiouru for gas before continuing to Galatea.


Nice to see an Andover stopping over at Waiouru.. considering this all started by reading about Andover ops..

From Waiouru the flight went well, landing at Galatea and imagining Andovers practicing STOL Ops there in RNZAF_AI’s future 😉

While I was cruising over the desert I finally applied the graphics Nigel kindly supplied to the Man Cave door…….

I am really happy with the result, starting to get a cool collection of memorabilia on the wall… must be time to start the other wall, which will be about commercial and GA aviation, focused on the Arrow, Boeing 737 Classics, and Pan Am (the single coolest airline in the world!)

iBNet Work

Last night I was working on getting iBNet to show “effects” properly across the multiplayer session….  to no avail…   More work needed 🙁

So, after some configuring and restarts of sims, I figured I needed to get both aircraft in the same location to test… The Skyhawk was at Ohakea, while the Arrow was at Rangitaiki….  Cue an excuse for a couple of flights, which turned into a bit more than a couple 😉

1 – Skyhawk to Rangitaiki, buzzed the Arrow, then headed to Taupo and landed…
2 – Arrow from Rangitaiki to Taupo… Buzzed the Skyhawk then landed.
3 – Arrow Taupo to Napier
4 – Skyhawk Taupo to Napier, joined on the Arrow for some formation practice enroute….

Ready for Departure in Taupo

Together in Taupo

Formation enroute to Napier


Dusk arrival in Napier

Landing at Napier

And finally the Arrow arrives in Napier

Arrow Arrival

Not successful from a technical perspective, but a really great evening of flying…  More work required on the “effects” stuff for iBNet, but when I get it working it will be awesome!  It will let other players see things like the guns firing, and bombs dropping from the Skyhawk, and WP Rockets firing from the Arrow, when working as a FAC 😉

Ohakea to Rangitaiki in Winter

Had a great flight in the Arrow tonight. With the bad weather crossing the country I flew from Ohakea, across the central plateau to Rangitaiki on the Napier-Taupo road.   It was a great flight, dodging clouds around Waiouru, then descending through the snow covered Kaimanawa’s.

Rangitaiki is a strip which has interested me ever since reading about it being used by jets in the 1960’s! Photos of Vampires blowing HUGE clouds of pumice dust were posted on the Wings Over NZ forum, and since then I’ve wanted to visit this strip 🙂

Ticking a couple of small items off the list

Having a To-Do list is good for motivation…  I use the “list” as a way of recording thing that either need fixing, or ideas I’ve had to upgrade the sim.  This makes it easy to find something to do on the sim 😉

Knocked off a couple over the last few days;

After getting my headset adaptor working I really needed somewhere to hang the headset!  On an unrelated trip to Bunnings I found these really nice, black plastic brackets, 2 for $6 I couldn’t miss!  Now I have headset hooks for the Arrow and the TA-4K Instructor.

Next up was replacing the broken ejection seat handle.  The old one was quite flimsy, made from a thin piece of copper pipe with a yellow fabric wrap around it.  The new one (this is only the test-fit sample) will be 3D printed ABS painted and vinyl graphics applied.  This test fit was a success, and with a couple of small mods it will be ready to print!