I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth …

I had some genuinely “free” time to myself today; no RL worries, nothing to rush to or get done in-world (well, nothing that couldn’t wait…), so I gave myself an hour of pure indulgence. It’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to take to the air in SL, but this is September, and while there are still a few days still to go before the 15th, I decided that heading over to Santa Catalina’s Hollywood Airport and putting my Spitfire IX through its paces sounded like a good idea.

I’ve reviewed the aircraft – a quite generous gift from the creator, Eric Gregan – in the past, so am not going to do so again here. Suffice it to say, I think it is once of the best aircraft I’ve flown in SL, and I’m totally in love with it.

Post start-up checks, getting ready to taxi, Hollywood Airport
Post start-up checks, getting ready to taxi, Hollywood Airport

Having run through pre-start-up checks, I hit the ignition and waited as the big Merlin coughed, paused, coughed, and then with a snort of flame from the exhausts, roared into life. Confirming all my switches were set, I ordered the chocks away and opened the throttle a touch more and eased the plane around for taxiing.

Heading over Crows Nest
Heading over Crows Nest

I was admittedly a little leery about taking off; coming out from the other side of the airport was a humongous great US air force bomber (which, given the little avatar running frantically along side of it as it turned out onto the runway, may have forgotten / lost someone…). As I didn’t fancy impersonating a leaf in autumn and back flipping in the jet wash from the beast, I gave it plenty of room before turning out myself and pushing the throttle all the way to the stop and giving the engine a little bit of boost.

Flying out of Hollywood airport can at time be a little ugly. The end of the runway is the region boundary, which can make things a tad interesting when the grid is in a mood. Not this time, however. Letting the tail come up, I eased back and to the right on the stick and started a climbing turn to the west, wheels coming up tidily.

Somebody call for a low-level pass?
Somebody call for a low-level pass?

Continuing west, I passed over Crows Nest and the Fastnet light house, one of the great landmarks of Blake Sea, then dipped the nose for a fast pass over Half-Hitch. This took me over Barbarossa as well, And I spent some time flying around the two before heading back east towards Santa Catalina, before finally turning south and then west to put down at Honah Lee Surf.

Happy to oblige!
Happy to oblige!

The last couple of times I took to the air things were not that pleasant when it came to region crossings. This time, while I encountered three rough moments (one of which I actually recovered from by editing the plane and dragging it back to the middle of a region after getting snagged on the Blake Sea Arabian / Blake Coast regions), things were very smooth, and even rapid and repeated region crossings while flying in a tight circle caused few problems. About the only major issue I did have was in trying to fly the plane and position the camera for a decent snapshot …

All-in-all it was a good trip and fun to be back in the air – although I need to brush up on my landings. A couple were decidedly rough; there’s an art to alanding atail-dragger I’ve not quite mastered – but plenty of time to get better! I can say that I certainly didn’t miss finding myself sitting at 0,0,0 sans ‘plane and thinking”?!?” this time around :). I think I even pleased someone with a couple of low fly overs!

Climbing sunward ...
Climbing sunward …

September 15th is approaching, so I’ll be airborne again to mark the day; hope I can do something a little special.

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5 thoughts on “I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth …

    1. It’s the bounce that comes between the stall and the landing I’m have slight issues with. Mind you, trying to fly with ALM and all the bells and whistles on in order to take photos probably doesn’t help :).

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  1. The outfit I use is the TURB Bomber Jacket, which is a rather non-specific sheepskin jacket that resembles the Irwin, over the RAF Flight Lieutenant Uniform by Bunny Kilby. There are various parachutes, and a good generic Mae West, but I prefer to avoid excessive scripts when flying. As a bear, proper leather flying helmets are a bit tricky. Jet-Age bonedomes work better.

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  2. I’m finding that crossing sims while in air or sea are much more easy now then on gorund, but still All much better then in a few months ago!
    When we manage to take a 172 Li mottor yatch of 62m lenght across more then 200 sims, from Honnah Lee Jaq to New Norway and then all the way up till Vimba on the north west of Nautilius, in 1h and 25 min with only one rough crash on my side and none from my companion and without truly need to avoid sec orbs or private regions or edit the boat but once to avoid those!
    When riding bikes or cars, on Bay city, all is smooth and even on Zindra my bike handled pretty well for a few sims around!
    The only problem is that we travel faster then all tales to rezz, so to grab some snaphots of the surrondings better to go really slow:)
    I do hope that finally LL did understood that smooth cross sims in mainland is some that is a big oportunity to improve Sl overall and that explorers that enjoy the use of vehicles are not a minority!
    Still would like to know if thre is any explanation already from the lab about the major failure of the grid during Sunday and yesterday, where most could not full rezz during long periods of time!

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    1. In terms of the grid issues, we may hear more on the matter today. Keep in mind that it was a long weekend in the USA (Labor Day Weekend), so the Lab’s offices were closed yesterday, so additional reviews etc., into what happened, won’t get underway until core staff resume work.

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