(Writer's Note: Hello everyone! I am continuing my British career [see main forum for "Geoff Williams" thread detailing my last flyer] in the Dead-is-Dead style of playing with a new pilot. Here are my rules of engagement:
1) Dead - is - Dead! I believe this can be modded, however, I'm not running the mission editor for this one, and therefore I have no backup pilots, so Dead is truly Dead for any reason. If I do die, I will be starting one day after death with a fresh, new, different named (but still British for now) pilot.
2) Flying rules set to (mostly) "historical"...the only "non-historical" setting I have is I have reduced the accuracy of rear gunners...I have read many posts that suggest this is a good idea. Also, I am going to use Bucksnort's Reduce Rear Gunnery Accuracy mod on Moderate...in my previous career (Geoff Williams) I noticed Pfalz A.I craft opening up on me (and hitting) at about 200 yards.
3) All aces included, and historical weather. I actually tend to prefer games that allow you to change history (think Hearts of Iron or Victoria series), however, based on posts, and my own experiments, I feel it will be best to go ahead and play into history as opposed to changing something I cannot (within the framework of this sim). Yes, I might shoot down Boelke six times, and in flames even, but it is more the challenge of facing pilots like him that make this fun, interesting, and challenging.
4) Controls. I will not use labels, I will not use the "z" button for stats, I will use in-flight maps for now, but I hope that I can abandon them one day, or at least clear out the green airplane cursor that tells me exactly where I am at. I will turn off the text display (shift-D) ...you know, those messages at the top of the screen when bad stuff and other stuff happens (low fuel, health, stall, etc.), but use it for bombing. Now, because of how some planes are set up, I might feel compelled to use F5 just to see the compass to get an idea of my direction, however, when I have the time, I can also use mouse-tracking to look down, or even fidget with eyepoints, to find my compass. But, with all of this said, it really doesn't matter too much, as I am not going for DiD points, but survival. I am going to do my best to survive to November 11, 1918! Flame-outs especially scare me (see poor Geoff Williams), and so do structural defects, but otherwise I feel OK about the possibilities...
5) Controls, part deux. I have an old Logitech Wingman with a left throttle control slider, and except for a trigger and top joystick button, no other programmable buttons exist! It is from another era. I may use the slider throttle in either all up or all down to simulate a blip button on rotary engines...a bit gamey, but I must admit I prefer it to trying to find the "b" button on my keyboard! duh
6) Transfers. I have found one source of an obscure pilot (Lt. Daniel Joseph Sheehan) who original flew for the RNAS in at least 1915 and perhaps 1916 before being injured. He was then allowed to transfer to the RFC and he became a trainer until being let back into combat. He became part of 66 Sqn RFC and was killed on 10 May 1917. If our WOFF:UE squadrons are accurate, it looks like he may have been flying a Pup...either way, it shows that transfers between the air services did occasionally happen, so, I am willing to judicially transfer between services if the opportunity arises. Not terribly historical, but I found one instance, so hey!
7) Game speed...I will use time compression, especially in situations that seem "safe" or "dull"....if I am going to get through a career, I feel it will be necessary to do this
OK, this is pretty much the framework, now to some background biographical information about my second British pilot, George Lyons!)...
From York, North Yorkshire
5 December 1883 (31 years old at time of enlistment as a pilot with the RFC)
Bit of a troublemaker in school, more of a prankster, and things had transitioned to compulsory schooling in England around the time of Lyons' childhood.
Came from a lower class family, went to school until age 13 (thanks to recent compulsory school act in England), and then did odd jobs for a few years as a teenager to help his family including selling food in the streets...
and for a while, a chimney sweep, although he was a bit too large for this...
Was fortunate enough to meet some young people who took an interest in billiards, and he learned how to play...very well. He became a decent professional billiards player, being able to live well enough off of his proceeds, and this took him around many parts of England and Wales.
Lyons enjoyed tinkering with things that were fast like motorcycles, and taught himself how they worked and how engines worked as well. Being a “happy bachelor” he also enjoyed a bit of drink and also women, but he balanced that with his continued passion for billiards and continued to do fairly well for himself. He eventually made his way to Southend-on-Sea was able to purchase a flat on Heygate Avenue...
and Lyons spent considerable time at the billiards tables at the Kursaal Southend amusement park (by the way, this actually came before Coney Island in the USA and is considered to be the very first theme park in the world) in the later part of the first decade of the 20th century,
...and this is where he first became acquainted with aeroplanes, seeing some of the first craft at the Rochford aerodrome in 1914, but also coming into acquaintance, by chance a few years before, with Victor Forbes and Arthur Arnold who had been testing a homemade aeroplane in the vicinity (Westbarrow Hall Farm to be exact, abutted to the place where Rochford aerodrome eventually went up).
In addition, Lyons noticed the work then being done by the “Colony of British Aircraft” just up the way in South Fambridge run by Noel Pemberton-Billing and had folks such as Frederick Handley-Page and others testing out new designs.
Even though the “Colony” turned out to be a bit of a failure, Lyons became keenly interested in flight. Of course, this tied in well with his enjoyment of motorcycles, having owned a few including a Trusty Triumph (1912 Triumph model)
...and a 1907 Norton.
Lyons taught himself about motors and became very good at it, eventually on occasion having the chance to work with aviation motors and other aeroplane parts. Lyons' reputation spread as some one who was good with mechanics in the Southend area. In addition, Lyons had made some flights in Farman and then Blériot aircraft, part of his daring but collected nature.
Eventually, war clouds came on the horizon, and whilst not particularly inclined to join the armed services, some acquaintances convinced Lyons to join the Royal Flying Corps at their new Rochford aerodrome, where he was directly entered at the rank Air Mechanic 2nd Class (after passing the trade test) in the late summer of 1914. Excellent work helped Lyons develop a great reputation, and although he had now suspended his professional billiards career, he had banked enough quid to maintain his flat, making him someone who was unusual in the ranks, being a bit older and more world seasoned. His hand-eye coordination and natural aiming abilities (seasoned in billiards play) made him an excellent candidate for becoming a pilot, and he was encouraged to obtain his Royal Aero Club certificate 1051 which he earned in January 1915.
He then encouraged relatives take care and live in his Southend flat as he headed first to Sutton's Farm to complete his training, and then to Flanders as a part of RFC 3!
(and thus, another saga begins!)
Last edited by stljeffbb; 07/09/1704:33 PM. Reason: Converted from photobucket to imgur!
WOFF:UE Computer Specs and set-up: Homebuilt Computer! Intel i5-3570k mildly overclocked to 3.8ghz AsRock Z75 mobo Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB (EVGA one fan version) 16 GB RAM 42 inch Sharp Aquos LCD TV with 120hz refresh Very old (over 20 years now) Aiwa Receiver/Amplifier Very old giant stereo speakers with newer sub-woofer Very old Logitech Wingman joystick with two buttons and a throttle slider Very old CH Thurstmaster analog footpedals Manhattan analog/USB converter W10