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Friday, July 21, 2006

Virtual Thunderbirds

The first time you watch this video, you'll think it's a news report or promotional material about the real-life Thunderbirds. But it's not. It's produced by the "Virtual Thunderbirds," who, as their Web site ( states, are "an elite group of formation and aerobatic pilots flying the flight simulator game Lock On: Modern Air Combat."

So, I guess these pilots log onto the Internet from their homes around America, get together in the flight simulator's virtual airspace and then "fly" Thunderbird-style maneuvers, each using his own simulated Thunderbird jet.

You know, the Internet is just an incredible, astounding thing.

Enjoy the real-life air show tomorrow at Grand Forks Air Force Base!


Blogger Grand Forker said...


The Internet truly is amazing, but let's also give credit to those who designed and programmed "Lock On," the flight simulation that made realistic flying possible in a virtual world.

Also, the flight sim off the shelf doesn't enable anyone to fly as a Thunderbird. That part was designed as an independent modification to the game by flight sim "geeks" who are often criticized for having too much time on their hands.

When I was a kid, I built model airplanes and dreamed of what it was like to fly them. Today, thanks to computers and programmers, my son can take the controls of a World War I German Fokker Dr. 1 triplane or a state-of-the-art U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor experience firsthand what it's like to fly such aircraft.

Now I need to go get ready to watch the real Thunderbirds out at Grand Forks Air Force Base.

10:21 AM  
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