Saturday, January 30, 2016

JJ Cycles - Pricing Update and New Bike: Fatboy Custom Roadster

JJ Cycles - "Why Pay More For Less"
New Pricing!

You get what you pay for, right?  Usually if you buy on the cheap, you get cheap stuff.  I've written about bargain bikes in a previous article and honestly, if you look, you can get a pretty nice bike for under L$1,000.  There are what I would call the premium bike builders and less than premium bike builders.  Some try to market cheap bikes with premium prices but when does it happen that a builder would sell premium bikes at a bargain price?  Never?  Nope, JJ Cycles has just slapped some bargain prices on their already premium bikes with a new slogan...WHY PAY MORE FOR LESS!

I've said L$3,000 was the limit I would pay for a bike and would only consider more if the bike was truly special.  JJ Cycles are pretty special!  I love how they roll slow into a turn, leaning over as you would expect a big bike to lean in RL.  While they are beautiful on the outside, they are ugly and raw inside.  A real Beauty and the Beast marriage made these bikes possible.

New Pricing!
So the news....?  Instead of paying upwards to L$3,000 or so for a JJ Cycles bike, Jimmie Jax has slashed his prices.  His slogan now is Why Pay More for Less. All of the JJ Cycles bikes are now being sold for L$999.00.  For less than a grand, you get a premium bike.  

With a great lineup of 2016 bikes, revamped Marketplace and improved pricing, Jimmie continues to market bike parts and full perm, unscripted bikes for sale. 

New Bike!

Along comes a fat boy!  Not really a husky dude but the bike.  Jimmie is releasing his FatBoy Custom Roadster, a single seat beast with some progressive tank graphics.  It's as fast as greased snot, mean as your mother-in-law on a bender and as smooth as the best single malt scotch. 

Put the kick stand down when you wanna go for a joy ride in a 1988 Buick ;-)
I'm liking the real life looking bikes coming out in SL.  The fantasy bikes can hit me a little cold at times (not always).  This Fatboy looks like a RL fatboy.  The textures are laid out well and are clear. All I had to do was adjust my avi to fit the bike.  It was easy enough!  The menu will be familiar to anyone riding KCP scripted bikes and common to other JJ Cycles bikes. 

About JJ Cycles

At the JJ Cycles Main Store you can try out different bikes on the test track and you might even meet Jimmie. Do ask him for his autograph.  You can also buy on Marketplace.  With so many great bike builders, JJ Cycles is one you need to look into.

Find me on Facebook

You can get updates and new reviews through my Facebook group "Things that Moves in SL".   I review bikes, boats, cars and aircraft.  If you would like me to review something that moves, send me a message. 


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Q Customs Speed King Bobber - NEW RELEASE

 Q Customs SpeedKing Bobber 

Q Customs has released quite a few bikes since I last wrote about this amazing bike builder.  Recent releases include an Aprilia race bike, military Harley Davidson (with your own campground), another Harley called the "Roadrunner" and now the Speedking Bobber!  The Speedking Bobber also comes with sex animations...81 of them.

Lizzy and I gave the Speedking Bobber a try around the Crossing Sands test track and both of us said the bike handles very well.  We liked the rough look of this retro styled bike.  Like many of Q's bikes I've tested and own, they all ride as well as they look.  The menu settings are familiar for those with KCP scripted bikes and you should be able to fit resize the bike and your avi quite easily along with adjusting settings for your riding style. 

Out of the box, the only two things I did was to resize the bike and adjust the banking.  I pushed the bike to the top gears and was still comfortably in control through the turns and twists without any surprises or "mesh grabs" from the walls.

We didn't try out the poses. You're encourage you to do so and tell us what you think.  No, we don't want any pictures or details.  From the quality of the riding animations, I'm sure the poses are of equal impressiveness.

About Q's Customs

Q's Customs offers some very well scripted and designed bikes.  The textures are generally very well done.  Most of his bikes cost L$2200. The bikes with the sex engine come in at L$3,200.  Try them out at his inworld store.

Find me on Facebook

You can get updates and new reviews through my Facebook group "Things that Moves in SL".  I review bikes, boats, cars and aircraft.  If you would like me to review something that moves, send me a message. 


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Dani Airplanes D109 "Agusta 109" - NEW RELEASE

Dani Airplanes D-109  "NEW RELEASE"

Today, Dani Airplanes released its D-109.  The D-109 has been long watched as it was being developed.  When I saw the pictures come out in the group, my attention was caught!  Having reviewed the Dani Grand Caravan not long ago, which is a great plane, I was betting the D-109 would be equally as good and maybe even better. 

The Agusta 109 which is the foundation by which the Dani D-109 has been built is a lightweight twin engine jet powered helicopter.  It has been used in military, search and rescue, law enforcement and civilian/general aviation roles. 

Features of the D-109

Like other Dani aircraft, the panel layout is fully functional with operational switches for the lighting controls, battery, master power and engine start.  Sounds...well it accurately sounds like a jet spooling up as it should.  As the engine starts turning the rotors, you'll see the tailrotor and the main rotor turning at the same speed just as you would in a RL helicopter.

By clicking the fuselage of the aircraft, you'll get a menu including "Paint".  From here you can select quite a few paint schemes to fit your mood.  By clicking on the glass, you can changing the window tinting.  Dark works if you're carrying someone important.  The manual provides you a well written guide explaining all you need to know.

The HUD allows you control over the aircraft's systems.  Your co-pilot will be given a HUD.  This proved very interesting.  Lizzy likes to push buttons.  As we were flying out from Frozen Banana (cool place to visit), Lizzy decided to push a button.  Well she turned off the power, we fell into the water and the helicopter disappeared.  Good to know not to push some buttons while in flight. Yes, we're still partnered after could you not laugh?

Rescue operations are easy.  Click "Rescue" on the HUD, come to a hover and then type SV for 'stabilize vertical'.  Now you can operate the winch.  The winch and harness are always onboard the aircraft which means you don't need to rez a new object.  Holding the left mouse key and PgDn lowered the harness.  Raising it brought the harness and Lizzy back into the cabin, using left mouse and PgUp.  Very easy!  See?  I kept her after all!!

Texture and cabin seating are rich and beautiful.  In fact, all of the textures are very nice and well done.  You can carry four passengers in the back, one in the co-pilot seat and of course the pilot making this a six place aircraft.

Flying the D-109

I've flown all sorts of helicopters in SL.  This one flies the best and is the most realistic (as much as realistic is possible in SL).  When you pitch forward to go forward, you will notice a change in your vertical speed.  Fortunately the HUD instrumentation provides you all of the information you need to have a stable and controlled flight.  Like other helicopters, control inputs are best made incrementally.  I cruised around at over 40 knots without problems.

The D-109 is a light 57 LI making sim crossing a breeze even at speed.  Approaches can be easily planned and executed and what I liked the most is the D-109 banked as a helicopter should.  It is nimble and agile and...acts like a helicopter.  I couldn't find anything wrong with it.

Final Thoughts

After doing some research on Dani Airplanes this week and reading some blog posts, I recognize one salient fact about this builder...they are building and selling aircraft consumers want and are flocking to buy.  When you build a better mousetrap, expect the old guard mousetrap makers to pitch a fit.  Screw 'em!    From the Grand Caravan and D-109, I'm pretty impressed with Dani Airplanes and if you want a great helicopter that behaves as a helicopter, you would be misguided in passing up this builder.  Nope Dani Airplanes did not pay me or give me anything to write this nor was I asked and yes...I offered to write this blog.  Sadly they ignored my offer but hell, this is a good aircraft and I wanted to write about it. 

The D-109 is a slick little chopper.  In a few minutes I adapted to all of the systems and flight controls.  Anyone could fly this with the least amount of time and I wouldn't call it a beginner aircraft by any stretch. 

Dani Airplanes

This builder makes aircraft ranging from the D-109, Grand Caravan to business jets and the big old Boeing 737.  I would consider them setting a new trend for SL aviation and it shows with the D-109.  Give them a try by visiting their inworld store or visiting them on marketplace

Find me on Facebook

You can get updates and new reviews through my Facebook group "Things that Moves in SL".  I review bikes, boats, cars and aircraft.  If you would like me to review something that moves, send me a message. 


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Armistice Customs - Even the Little Guys Hit It Big

Armistice Customs - Even the Little Guys Hit It Big

What happens when you find the biggest motor and build a bike around it?  No!  That motor isn't big enough...go bigger!!  Okay let's move on because you're still not getting it.  Sigh, well Armistice Customs gets it.  Ravenheart Armistice found the biggest motor in SL and bolted it on a frame, slapped on some tires and injected the bike with this beastly attitude and is selling it as the Long Fang.  He's selling this two wheeled evil bike can you believe this?  I mean what was he thinking?  He'll have little old women shaking their fingers at us! 

Okay so maybe this isn't a bad thing.  As bikers, we like to be noticed and those little old women, well I just stole some apple pies and a 1988 Buick while riding this bike.  It puts the bad in bad ass!  Bad Ass isn't just for guys either.  The Long Fang comes sized for female avatars too.  I don't like this at all, not at all!  I don't want to give Lizzy any additional opportunity to show her bad ass self.  I'll never win a battle with her again! 

AC isn't one of the big bike builders in SL.  I referred to Ravenheart as one of those mad scientist bike builders and he is.  These bikes are some kind of awesome out of the box.  He builds for the cruisers not the racers though with a few tweaks, you could be ripping around the tracks setting some good times.  Why though?  I was happy in 4th or 5th gear enjoying the scenery and sounds.  So yeah even the little guys hit it big and AC's bikes are what I call hitting it big.  They are done right!

How it Rides

"Well it's like this" as my dearest friend Drea would say.  This is a chopper and it is a long chopper...Long Fang indeed!  A lot of choppers turn as sharply as an aircraft carrier in a swimming pool.  The thing is, this chopper performs amazingly well on the mesh tracks.  On the twisties and older tracks, you might need to slow down on the corners.  Oh no, you have to slow down?  Stop you're whining, you got a chopper and you're a bad ass.  Besides the only person remotely thinking of complaining is the lady in the mini van behind you slurping on an ice cream cone wondering where her youthful beauty went.

I tested the bike at the Grim Reapers track and it rode like a champ!  The sound was aggressive when the throttle was twisted and again, it's like this....out of the box, the bike handled flawlessly.  Isn't that what we want?  Out of the box and I was ready to ride!  That's kind of nice, I have to say.  This evil looking piece of mayhem on two wheels is a reliable cruiser. 

Other Bikes from Armistice Customs

Ravenheart Armistice has some very nice bikes.  At the Grim Reapers sim, I played with a  couple.  I was impressed with his attention to detail and quality workmanship.  All of the bikes are tested to see if they will break.  That's the only way to test a bike.  Here's the other thing again, if you want to do business with someone who is the real deal and good actor, I don't think you can go wrong with Ravenheart.  He's not pushing out bikes to make a buck.  He's making bikes you'll enjoy riding and that kind of commitment shows.

Black Shadow
I kind of fell in love with the Black Shadow.  It was my test vehicle for the Grim Reapers track.  They use one of the more common mesh tracks, which is good, so I was somewhat accustomed to the layout.  Again I didn't tweak the settings at all, even with Avatar sizing.  This bike was out of the box spot on!  You can also change the colors to suit your mood...because you're so smooth.

Green Lantern Corps

As I was riding I was in chat with Ravenheart.  He mentioned the Green Lantern Corps bike.  Honestly the thought hit my head "ugh not another glow in the dark design".  So I rezzed it and my attitude changed.   This is a cool looking bike...a really cool looking bike and then I twisted the!  It sounded like a P-51 Mustang that was really really angry!  The bike handled quite well and I looked good on it which kinda mattered.

About Armistice Customs

I met Ravenheart Armistice recently and I have to say he's a nice person.  What I heard from him when we were chatting is he cares about what he makes and sells.  He's not ripping mesh from GTA5. Instead he is building.  He tests his bikes until he is confident they are ready to be sold and he's into selling bikes to MC folks and those who like to ride with a significant other.  When he told me he had bikes for women, I was impressed.  Lizzy isn't very big but I've seen her ride and she goes like the wind.  Having a bike to fit her avatar says a lot about customer service.  Would I recommend AC for you? Yep and without hesitation.  In fact, I'm going to close out of this and look at the Black Shadow a little longer.

You can test and buy AC bikes at the Grim Reapers MC sim (thanks GRMC for letting me use your sim).  AC has a shop at this link.  AC's MP store doesn't have all of the bikes but you can get a flavor of what is available here.  AC bikes are very reasonably priced and worth every linden.  Give AC a shot!

Find me on Facebook

You can get updates and new reviews through my Facebook group "Things that Moves in SL".  I review bikes, boats, cars and aircraft.  If you would like me to review something that moves, send me a message. 


Flying in Second Life a Quick Guide

Flying in SL - Quick Guide

If people were meant to fly, we would have wings!  Well dammit, I have some wings!

When I was very young, I purchased aviation magazines.  Living near an Air Force base, I would dart out the door when I heard a different sounding aircraft just to see what was overhead.  Even as an adult I do this.  Once while driving on I-20 near Shreveport, I saw a B-52 on final approach and as it passed over the car, I had the windows down to hear the roar and to smell the jet fuel.  So aviation has been a big part of my RL.  On August 28, 2008 I finally earned my wings after a couple of years of trying when life kept stepping in the way.

What's in my wallet?  THIS!!
One of the most attractive features to being a pilot is we do something VERY few people can do.  As pilots, we walk on the other side of the velvet rope where nonpilots aren't allowed.  We experience the excitement of arrivals and departures all while looking down a runway.  We also experience our role as a systems manager during the long cross country flight.  Each of us has stories to share and we do so mimicking flight using our hands and when we're together, we argue about what is in the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR).  My closest friends in RL are all pilots.  These are the people I trust without question and have always been there for me through thick and thin.

For the time being, aviation has been pushed to the very back burner in my life.  It is a very expensive activity and to be proficient and safe, a pilot needs to fly frequently which isn't a possibility for me right now.  I have other priorities in the way.  I do miss flying and take up offers to ride along with friends. 

I'm sitting in the right seat.  Glass panels are COOOL!
Aviation exists in SL and like other inworld communities, aviation has its subcultures and fair share of drama.  Mostly though, SL aviation is a lot of fun.  You can fly from airport to airport while crossing mainland sims just exploring SL.  From the early days, we visited Apolon and purchased some pretty slick (at the time) aircraft to bother our neighbors and friends.  Today, aviation in SL is moving slowing to more realism within the constraints of of the game.  The introduction of mesh has been so welcomed.  We can now fly aircraft that closely resemble existing RL aircraft and we forget how to spell Apolon. 

So here is what I thought I would do, I'm going to give you a little guide about how to fly in SL without boring you with theories of lift, angle of attack and the four forces.  The truth is, if you've flown MSFS or X-Plane, those simulators are far more complex and difficult than flying in SL.  I'll stick to airplanes because helicopters are a little different in SL and a whole lot more different in RL.

Flight Controls

Ailerons bank the airplane to the left or the right.  This is called rolling.  The rudder essentially turns the aircraft by pointing the nose left or right.  This is called yaw (use this in words with friends because you can).  The elevators cause the airplane's nose to move up and down.  The wings make the airplane fly and the tail keeps the plane stable in flight.

"Stick and rudder, stick and rudder, don't use one without the udder"

In RL, these flight surfaces operate independently from one another.  In SL, the rudder and ailerons are linked.  When you press the left or right arrow keys, the plane will bank or roll and the rudder will cause the nose to point in the direction of the bank creating a turn.  Pushing the up and down arrow will cause the plane to climb or descend.  This is also not really accurate to RL but we'll go with it.

Power is controlled usually by pressing the PgUp key to increase power and the PgDn key to decrease power.  Now it's important to note that unlike cars or bikes, on a car, when you press a control input you go faster.  In SL aviation, everything input is done incrementally.  The more you hold down on a key, the faster you'll go, the more the plane will roll/turn and the more it will go up or down.   Now this isn't a lesson in aerobatics.  Just the basic facts!

Set your power for takeoff, then set it for cruise and finally set your power for approach then landing.  It's all done by single clicking the PgUp or PgDn key incrementally rather than holding the key.  Your local chat while help you with feedback.

Starting Up

Read the manual to the plane you have.  It will tell you everything you need to know operate the controls.  Usually by typing "start" or "s" in local will start the motor.  Once the motor is started you may want to turn on the lighting (strobes, navigation red/green, beacon and landing/taxi lighting).  After that's all done, you'll need to "drive" the plane or taxi it to a runway.

The hold short line at Fruit Islands...Runway One Eight and taxiway Alpha is behind me.
Bump the power so the airplane is moving.  You might need to release the brakes if you aren't moving.  Use just enough power to slowly move the plane to the runway by following the yellow taxi line if there is one.  Once there, give a look around, you aren't the only person flying and others may be on the runway or landing, you can line up on the runway.  I'll have the minimap open and the draw distance pushed out.

Once you're lined up on the runway and have referred to the manual, add enough power to begin moving forward then add power as required to takeoff.  Hold your heading (the direction you're going) until you leave the airport.  Many SL airports butt up to a sim border.  Holding your heading will help you cross the sim with the least amount of disruption.  Oh yeah, if you go really really really fast and cross a'll learn the definition of disruption.  Go as fast as you need to take off and climb.

Cruise Flight

There are essentially three parts of flying (more really but we'll stick to three because it isn't as complicated to explain):  takeoff, cruise and landing.  Once we're in the air, we will want to go somewhere....or cruise to a destination.  Just like driving a car!  When we used power to take off, we will need to adjust our power for cruise.  You won't need as much for cruise as you used to take off.

In SL, you can't successfully firewall an airplane and get great results.  It is those pesky sim borders.  Cross them at the corners or at high rates of speed, you'll probably crash your game.  Going slower is okay and less frustrating.  The point is, find a speed that keeps you airborne at straight and level flight and stick with it.

I used the minimap to help me navigate the sim borders and to watch for other aircraft.  Even in MouseLook, you'll have a good sense of what's happening around you.  Some of the newer planes have an onboard map similar to a GPS or SatNav.

Turning is intuitive enough.  Using the arrow keys (left or right) will bank and turn the plane.  If you roll the plane perpendicular to the ground (wings) you might need some elevator pressure to turn.  Try it.

The one thing good pilots need to be is good planners.  A good landing begins with a good approach.  Know where you're going to land and how to safely make your approach.  Many of the SL airports are busy and some have rules about which runways you can use for landings and takeoffs.  Respect their rules and be a good neighbor.

Landing at Hollywood (Santa Catalina Island) for instance, I know I will use the left runway or Runway three six left which is used for all arrivals.  There is a sim south of Hollywood and always preferred a little more room to make my approach while watching for people coming and going.  What I would do is fly a couple of sims south of Hollywood and begin my approach over the pirate sims (cool place to explore).  This allowed me to line up with the runway early, help my view to settle down and watch for other pilots.  This is sorta like it is in RL too.  You can land a plane within one sim but if you have more space, use it.

Here is a nice little video I found that shows what Hollywood Airport is like, thanks to Terag Ershtan for this!

The approach phase involves setting the power for approach, lining up on the runway or navigating the pattern, dealing with landing gear and flaps (as necessary).  The speed you set for cruise is likely too fast to make a stabilized approach.  I'll slow the plane down to a point it remains in level flight but not so fast that I can't make small corrections without producing huge results.  By using additional sims for our approach, we give ourselves time to prepare for our final approach.

Final approach for me is when I have a clear picture of the runway, know where I want to touch down and I'm flying to that point.  The airplane is descending steadily and the power is set so everything happening is deliberate and controlled.  Remember what I said about sim borders?  At Hollywood, you will cross a sim border before you touch down.  Let the plane do it's crazy stuff as you cross the border and it will return to normal on the other side of the border.

Once over the runway, dial back the power to maybe 20% (depending upon the plane) and let it sink to the runway.  Once you hear the wheels touch down, pull the power back to your taxi speed then exit the runway when you are able.

Final Thoughts
Practice makes perfect in most things.  Gain some experience flying and learning how to fly.  You'll crash your plane or helicopter as I have and still do.  SL does crazy stuff.  If you find your plane going nuts repeatedly, maybe its not a good day to fly.  Try again another time. 

Flying in SL is pretty easy stuff.  If you've played with flight simulators, the principles are very similar.  Also, there are many people willing to be helpful so ask.  You can ask me too.  Buy a plane or helicopter and you can fly with the best of them.  As in RL, SL aviation isn't a game of extremes. To get the most out of flying, doing everything methodically gets the best and most consistent results.

Pilots see the glass as neither half full nor half empty.  Pilots see the glass at it's percent of unexpended capacity.

Find me on Facebook

You can get updates and new reviews through my Facebook group "Things that Moves in SL".  I review bikes, boats, cars and aircraft.  If you would like me to review something that moves, send me a message. 


Turlaccor Bikes

Turlaccor Bikes

So many bikes and so little time!

I'll confess to having my favorites when it comes to bike builders and I'll extend that confession by saying I'm influenced by great customer service and high quality.  What I look for in a bike is realism and incredible performance.  After riding and writing about so many different bikes I do look for a bike that is special.  This writing project has made me a little picky. 

Today I went again to Turlaccor's main store to test demo some bikes.  For the most part, I had a little time to burn and my mind was open.  Turlaccor has a lot of bikes!  The choices range from racy sport bikes to the big cruisers.  Previous experiences demoing these bikes have left me a little blah and I realize I have a block when it comes to some bike builders. I've known people who swear by Turlaccor and I've read the MP reviews (all glowing and plentiful reviews).  I don't sound convinced do I?  I'm not sure what it is.  My open mind says these are pretty good bikes and in keeping with other builders using similar scripts. 

Riding Turlaccor

The riding experience around the Turlaccor sim was pretty good.  The bikes handled as well as any I've ridden in the past.  Riding animations were nice too with turning bars and rider animations that closely followed the bike animations.  This adds to the realism thought when I've ridden in RL, I don't tend to move the bars around much in high about high siding a bike and I've done it!  Still, I like that feature, the bars not high siding.  I also like the headlight beam being cast to the ground such as you would find in a RL bike. 

Looks and Features

The styling of the two bikes I tested today (The Indian and the Rough Craft) were very pleasing.  Yes, I like the bobbers and that hasn't changed but I do like the visual appeal of a realistic bike.  The graphics seemed a bit more painted on than I'm seeing with other builders but perhaps my graphics card isn't keeping up to the demands of SL.  Certainly for taking pictures my settings are pushed to my PC's limits though they always are when I take pictures. 

One of the cool features, beyond the headlight beam I mentioned, was the engine vibration.  Both the Indian and Rough Craft featured engines that vibrated visually.  It was a nice visual!  The textures on some of the bikes seemed a little more clear to me than in others. 

Script settings will be common to many.  The menu is the same as you would find with any KCP/ACS scripted bike and it is very intuitive.  After resizing the bike then repositioning my avatar, I didn't find I needed to do more with handling though I didn't push the speed. 

Final Thoughts

At Turlaccor you can ride before you buy.  Pricing for the bikes is L$3K with some variations plus or minus.  Perhaps the pricing is a little steep for me at the time and for that kind of money, I would expect better graphics.  This is where I'm hung up.  I've said before I have a top end for what I'll pay to buy a bike and L$3K is the top of my price range and for that kind of money, I want something special.  I've seen very special at a fraction of the cost.  These are good bikes but for what I'm seeing, they are out of my price range. 

Your standards and expectations might be different.  Of course this is my personal preference and I'll concede this point which means I probably won't share this review with anyone from Turlaccor as I normally do with my reviews of other builders.  So why did I write this review?  Such a good question and I wanted to say I have given a fair review to one of the more prolific builders/sellers of bikes in SL. Done!

Try Turlaccor out and let me know what you think.  Their inworld store is located via this link (yes click the color) and you can find 223 bikes plus other stuff at their MarketPlace store.

Find me on Facebook

You can get updates and new reviews through my Facebook group "Things that Moves in SL".  I review bikes, boats, cars and aircraft.  If you would like me to review something that moves, send me a message. 

Coming soon will be my review on some rear engine vintage Formula 1 cars.  Lizzy and I have had some fun the past couple of days with these two little screamers even terrorizing the sea life at Fruit Islands. 


Monday, January 18, 2016

B.C.C. 76 Custom Iron Head - New Release

B.C.C. '76 Custom Iron Head - New Release

I've written about B.C.C. bikes before.  We often take new riders to B.C.C. because Brummie's bikes are easy to ride, predictable and they don't break the bank.  They are incredibly well built and scripted.  Simply put, you can't go wrong with a B.C.C.

This weekend, B.C.C. released the '76 Custom Iron Head, a chopper/bobber that is very old school and a sweet ride.  Lizzy and I jumped at the chance to demo the new bike and had a blast on B.C.C.'s test track.  For a limited time, the bike is being sold for L$950 as a promo. 

Brummie has released a few new bikes over the last couple of months and after some RL responsibilities kept him occupied, he anticipates more releases over time.  Come see the '76 Custom Iron Head.  We had a great time riding it and I suspect you should add it to your garage as soon as humanly possible!

Buy them here:B.C.C. MarketPlace

B.C.C. In-world

Get more updates from my Facebook group!

Spartan Industries Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King

Spartan Industries Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King

What does the President of the United States and Prince William have in common?   Many may recall Presidents leaving from the White House and stepping aboard a helicopter, Marine One.  Prince William's aviation career has grown from military aviation into air and sea rescue.  Marine One and Prince William's helo was and is a Sea King.

The venerable Sea King was the work horse of many maritime rotorcraft aviation forces.  It remains a valued asset for many air and sea rescue authorities.  Though it was retired from service by the US Navy in 2006 in favor of the SH-60 Seahawk, the Sea King served from land and sea bases from 1961 with stellar service.  Missions included antisubmarine warfare to search and rescue.

Spartan Industries has built an amazingly beefy SH-3 (and UK based variants) for role play or just plain fun.  Helos in SL are a little easier to fly in SL than fixed wing aircraft or at least I think so.  They are reasonably slower and the controls are a little more intuitive.

I met a former Vietnam era Huey pilot, well several of them.  This one in particular said of fixed wing pilots in comparison to rotary wing pilots, "fixed wing pilots like the concept of flying but are afraid to try it."  I'm a fixed wing pilot in RL.  One of my flight instructors was this crusty old guy who had been a Navy pilot at the close of WWII.  We were walking by a brand new helicopter and I commented on it.  He grumbled, "I would never fly one of those things, they aren't supposed to be flying."  Opinions aside, physics trump my flight instructor's poor attitude.  Helicopters fly quite well and perform specific missions fixed wing assets cannot perform well at all. 

Controls of a helicopter include a Collective (throttle and lift), Cyclic (directional control of the rotary wing) and the anti-torque pedals which control the countering rotation of the fuselage from the rotor's spin and function similar to a rudder.  What I've been told is flying a helicopter is like balancing on a chair resting on top of a ball.  Having seen a helicopter lesson, I still don't have a desire to try aviation ;-).  Yes, rotorcraft pilots are a special breed.

Flying the SH-3 Sea King

Spartan's SH-3 is pretty slick. With the HUD or simple voice commands, you have several flight modes: hover, taxi, flight advanced and fx.  Interior switches control exterior lighting (landing, anticollision and navigation).  Rotor settings include preflight testing of the rotors and aircraft lighting.   The HUD also provides the pilot to change camera views which I found very convenient.

In addition to lighting controls, the cockpit gives the pilot control over the landing gear and hoist.  With exclusion of the hoist controls (by menu) you can fly and change the lights from mouse look.  Flying from the inside is amazing and adds to the realism.  The instrument panel is functional and truly aids in piloting this helicopter. Both the attitude indicator and vertical speed indicator work.  Be sure to disable your AO as you'll be buried in the seat. 

Control of the hoist uses something Spartan calls ARRS (All Region Rescue System).  This system does not require rezzing a new object.  The hoist is already rezzed as part of the aircraft.  The menu controls deployment, hoisting (by selecting the number of meters), return and stowage of the hoist.  I found it easy to deploy the hoist then move the helicopter to the target which would allow the "passenger" to sit on the hoist to then be reeled up to the cabin.  Again, the system is highly intuitive.

Once you rez the Sea King and board, press the up arrow on your keyboard to power up the engines.  You'll observe local chat messages giving you updates on the status of the engine power up process.  This is cool because you can't just jump in say "start" and then take off.  Most aircraft can be somewhat quick.  They aren't quick to begin moving.  Even in RL, the process from preflight to taxi can take a good amount of time. 

After the engines are powered up, you can choose to taxi in position of a runway or you can simply push page up (incrementally), push forward (incrementally) and this big beast will begin moving.  Page up/down controls lift such as the collective does in a RL helicopter.  Pushing the up or down cursor keys controls forward speed. Each of these keys operate like "clicks".  One "click" of the cursor keys will set the speed.  For the Page Up/Down in FA mode, ascent or descent is controlled as long as you hold the key down.  This is unlike other helo scripts which use a percent of lift incrementally controlled by the page up/down key.

Helicopters are not fast in comparison to fixed wing aircraft.  While the SH-3 has held some speed records, speed isn't really its mission.  Once you set your speed of between 30 to 40 mph, you'll find this cruise speed range plenty fast when crossing sims.  Faster than 40 and with passengers, ugly things happen.  Oh I might add, if you are separated from the aircraft, it will self destruct.  This ends the battle of having inventory items make their way to your lost and found.

As you can see from the pictures, this is a really big aircraft!  The RL SH-3 is also quite big.  Gone are the days of sub-sized vehicles in SL?  Well I hope so.  If you're into realism and you know a RL SH-3 is big, wouldn't you want your SL SH-3 to be big too?  I hope the answer is yes.  That's the upside.  We know SL sim crossings can be temperamental especially on weekends when more people are inworld.  As the SH-3 is a big beast (255 prims), some sim crossings haven't been pleasant.  If you find yourself losing the helo a few times in a row, maybe today isn't a good day to fly.  It is big and it is a bit primmy but this is the price to pay for realism.  For the most part, I crossed sims easily and without problems unique to this aircraft. 

Spartan Industries included a flight suit, helmet (with add-ons) and flight harness.  All are rigged mesh and look pretty cool.  I added the boots!  At the Spartan HQ or through their MP store, you can buy immersion suits for your search and rescue teams. 

About Spartan Industries

I've owned other helicopters and other Spartan helicopters.  There are features I really like when flying Spartan aircraft.  As I've observed some improvements to styling and features with Spartan's aircraft, I'm finding these improvements are really well done.  Pricing is very reasonable compared to other helicopters ranging from just under 2K to 3.5K.  The Sea King is a reasonable L$2,600. 

Visit the Spartan Industries HQ before you buy on MP.  Here's why.  Spartan releases Beta models at reduced prices. You can get a really cool helicopter at a pre-release price and have some fun.  All of their aircraft are on display via three temp rezzers.  Though you can't fly before you buy, I've done the testing for you.  Remember to read the manual to learn about flight controls and aircraft systems.  This will eliminate a lot of frustration and the manual is well written.

Good Job Spartan Industries!

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