MAIW 10 Years and Counting!

All things Military AI that don't fit anywhere else.
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MIKE JG
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MAIW 10 Years and Counting!

Post by MIKE JG »

Well here we are getting ready to celebrate a decade of this little hobby of ours which somehow has managed to stay together this long. When we started this site a decade ago, no one had even heard of an IPhone or IPad. Computing power was a fraction of what it is today and Henry Tomkiewicz was the only person who had ever made anything specifically military related for AI traffic. Back then we all looked forward to the release of FS10 (FSX) and all the cool things it would surely offer. There were even a few people still using FS8 back on that day in August of 2006.

Well here we are ten years later with this beautiful website started and funded by Danny Martinez and currently maintained and administered by Greg Loones with help from several others. Over the years people have come and gone but for most part, the people that signed up on day one are still around along with the thousands that have joined since. During that decade we've seen some amazing things accomplished by all sorts of talented people from all around the world that despite language and cultural barriers can cooperate and thrive. We've had some characters that have made their mark and others who have quietly added so much variety to our little hobby.

It is with amazement that I sit here typing this today and thanking everyone for making this one of it not the most civil and fun FS related websites around. Ten years from now we'll probably all be wearing some sort of virtual reality glasses but who knows. I hope we can all keep in touch and keep this going as long as it remains fun for everyone.

Having said all that, I thought it might be fun for us to use this thread to look back over the last ten years and share some memories and stories about all the things that have gone on here.

In the coming days I will be adding my own stories of some of the behind the scenes things that have gone on, stay tuned!
-Mike G.

Recovering flight sim addict, constant lurker.

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Re: MAIW 10 Years and Counting!

Post by Greg »

I can't believe we've been doing this for 10 years. More if you count the pre-MAIW days on the FSGateway.com forums. The hobby sure has changed a lot and we've come a long way if you think what limited tools we had back then. As an AFD designer ten years ago, I had become quite good at tracing airfields on a piece of paper put over my CRT monitor with Google Earth displayed and then switch to AFCAD to place the nodes below my traces. That was long before AFX and ADE existed and finally presented the opportunity to place a sat image below one's airfield design.

It was when I created a bunch of RAF stations this way for Barry Tailor's RAF Seakings package that I was introduced by him to this group. I daresay that many of us, even if most have never seen each other in real life, have become good friends.

Here's to all the extremely talented people who have left our team, all those who are still here or joined us later and all our users who have supported us for a decade. Long live MAIW! :smt041
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Re: MAIW 10 Years and Counting!

Post by Dave Waffler »

Congrats guys!!!! The stuff you guys have been putting out over the years has done wonders for me flying. Being an ex- US Navy guy, it's a blast when I happen to be flying and catch a glimpse of a military aircraft, or landing at a base with a good amount of military aircraft on it. Makes me long for my days at NAS (now MCAS) Miramar and NAS North Island. Keep up the great work guys, and as we would say in the Navy for a job well done, Bravo Zulu!!!!!
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MIKE JG
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Re: MAIW 10 Years and Counting!

Post by MIKE JG »

What was the deal with the World of AI installer??

So when we first started releasing packages in 2006, quite honestly, none of us really knew what we were doing. None of us had ever created a package that made use of an executable (installer) file. Seeing how successful World of Ai was at the time and still is, we worked out an agreement with them where our packages could use their installer and be installed just like any other WoAI package.

This worked ok at first but as our packages got larger and more complex, we realized that the WoAI installer just couldn't do the sort of things we needed it to do for our packages. What they did and what we did while similar, were two different animals and we needed to branch out on our own.

We ended up purchasing a licensed copy of Install Creator and began packaging our own packages into their very own unique installer files. We are forever grateful to the folks at World of AI for getting us on our feet and getting us started.

When people first discover MAIW and our packages, we seem to always get asked why some of the early packages require the WoAI installer to install.

Now you all know the answer!
-Mike G.

Recovering flight sim addict, constant lurker.

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Re: MAIW 10 Years and Counting!

Post by VulcanDriver »

I joined MAIW as one of the original team, not many of us left nowadays ;) My background in FS starts with FS95 & 98 making scenery for all of the UK under the name of the VFR Scenery Group some of you may have used it? I also produced the RAF Collection that was issued in the shops to tie in with the RAF's 80 years anniversary. When FS9 was released the need for UK Scenery was satisfied by the excellent Just Flight Photographic scenery, I still use it, so the VFR Scenery Group was shutdown.

IIRC the founding members of MAIW met on a FS9 Military AI forum where we moaned about the lack of Mil AI aircraft etc. And as they say the rest is history.

I turn my hand to scenery design (something spooky is going to appear soon!!!) and aircraft models, although I'm not as fast as John Young, how does he do it!? :)
John

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Re: MAIW 10 Years and Counting!

Post by John Young »

I see that I became a member of MAIW at 3:15pm on Saturday July 12 2008. However, like John, I have been designing FS2002/FS2004 scenery for much longer than that.

It wasn’t until I made some static aircraft for the ACG Duxford scenery in 2011 that I got hit in the face with a revelation that going one step further and putting an FDE with the aircraft produced a new joy. When I programmed my newly built AI DH Rapide on a circuit around Duxford, I was amazed that the aircraft came back to me. I have been hooked on AI ever since, but I needed knowledge to develop.

MAIW has been really instrumental in that. I’ve particularly liked working with Mike McIntyre, the King of AI FDE, who has taught me much in that area. I’m no XML programmer, but I have been amazed at what Kevin Reed has achieved and I’ve always been glad to be able to test for him and to put his code to work in my models. The Osprey is testament to that.
VulcanDriver wrote:I'm not as fast as John Young, how does he do it!? :)
Well, firstly I have a passion for what I do and to do it well. I also like to learn something new every time I make a model. I know Gmax very well and I know how to make most parts because the method is the same each time - it’s just the shape that changes. As an ex-project manager, I'm quite well organised and can stay focused on the process from the moment I open a blank Gmax file through to the last paint scheme. I try only to work on one project at a time and drive it through to the end.

Being retired gives me plenty of free time and designing for MSFS is a great way to keep the brain active, particularly when switching between FS9 and FSX procedures. I’ve always been a lark, which is why there are two magic hours in the day for me for modelling. That’s between 6am and 8am, when the house is quiet and I’m at my most productive. I might have another session late afternoon, but I tend to avoid evenings. I’ve never been an owl.

I have to know when to finish a design. Dragging it out with re-work that means opening and closing 6 LODs in perhaps in 4 or 5 models can be really tedious and de-motivating. It’s a case of being able to assess the benefit compared to the additional time required for the change. With that discipline, it means I can aim for projects of around 150 hours to give variety without getting bogged down.

Above all though, it’s the members here at MAIW who provide the support and motivation to keep doing it. Along with the expertise in things like FDE and XML already mentioned, we have a good number of users, often with a detailed knowledge of real-world military aviation, who are willing and able to advise on the authenticity of modelling. Uploading work to the big FS sites generally results in 99.7% of people just grabbing without saying anything. Here in the closer knit community of MAIW, it’s not like that. It’s a great community that keeps communicating and provides the primary reason to keep going.

The 10 years of MAIW have been a God-send for AI design and I am grateful for all the people who enable here – the people that pay for and run the site, the designers and painters, the forum and most of all, the users who keep coming back for more.

Long may it continue.

John Y
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Re: MAIW 10 Years and Counting!

Post by Firebird »

For me stumbling across the early posts from Rip about an intended A-10 AI model was a goldmine, and even though I just followed the posts in those days I couldn't help but get caught up in the enthusiasm.
Of course in hindsight we were too niche to stay on the FSGateway site and although I thought it bold at the time it did seem obvious that all those like-minded soles would want their own place.

At that time I stayed quiet mainly due to my complete ineptitude when it comes to creative things. What MAIW did offer was beta testing and for the first time I had a chance to use the skills I used in my day job. Awesome, I was useful.
I learned a lot over the years, even about creative stuff. Not that I can now use it but I occasionally was able to be useful to people that could. Somehow I become a staff member, I don't think I necessarily took a step forward to volunteer. It may even be that everybody else took a step back but I do enjoy it even when we get conflict, it has to be said though that for an internet forum we get remarkably little of that.

I did find that I had a knack for fdes, again mainly due to my day job skills I think. I enjoy that a lot.

The only regret is that I can't remember the last time I actually booted up FS to actually fly in it. This little feature of FS seems to have taken over.
My best moments are seeing people joining us as non-contributors finding the enthusiasm and confidence to take on a skill and then share it with the world. What people associated with this org have produced is mind blowing compared to what we had when FS9 came out.

I even bet that if we were to find ourselves in a brewery that we could organize a drink up.
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MIKE JG
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Re: MAIW 10 Years and Counting!

Post by MIKE JG »

Here here! It's hard to think back 10 years and not think about some of the folks who helped things get going and for whatever reason, ended up moving on to other things. Some of them even check in from time to time which is great.

Dan Bourque comes to mind. He was one of the originals that put together the Seaboard ANG package with Rip's new AI A-10 model. He helped establish some of our package standards, naming conventions, etc.

Of course Rysiek (aka Rip) Winawer was the first person around here (that I can remember) to combine XML coding with military AI specific modelling to give us the standard items we build into every single model today. He had the XML knowledge and modelling knowledge to combine the two and there was a rapid learning curve as he explored the possibilities. He gave us great models like the A-10 and AN-2. What he really gave us was the inspiration to start other people down this AI modelling path. For that we are and will always be ever grateful.

Can't think about the past without mentioning Nick Black. He came along and literally took the bull by the horns and produced model after model after model, each one better than the next. Most of us watched in awe at his ability to produce a new model in a matter of days. We were lucky to have him as part of the team and he has retired not once but twice and we love hearing from him when he stops by from time to time. He is a proud father these days which I know takes most of his free time.

Kevin Reed (aka Weescotty) gave us the F-117 with an opening drag chute, that was HUGE at the time. Kevin is still here quietly working behind the scenes and his XML knowledge related to all things FS and AI traffic is unmatched. He and Nick first worked out the helicopter animated lift XML code that John Young is using to this day in his new V-22's! That code has grown and evolved and is still evolving.

So many others to mention that it will take many more posts to thank them all. Couldn't do this without mentioning Mike MacIntyre. He's done almost all of the FDE development work that makes these AI models actually fly and behave like their real world counterparts. He's helped others learn the 'black magic' that is the art of creating the flight dynamics of a given model. The modelers seem to get all of the credit for their creations but without a texture artist and someone to program the flying characteristics of the model, you might as well have a flying cube buzzing around your virtual simulated world.

Gotta mention Graham King, he was the original paint factory around here, painted practically every model we had at the time. He was meticulous in his approach to pounding out individual serial numbers.

I think back to the all of the Exoctic Alberts packages that Stew and Barry put together, so many countries that fly the C-130!

There are so many that have come, that have gone and that are still here all these years later. I'm sure I'm forgetting people! I apologize in advance!
-Mike G.

Recovering flight sim addict, constant lurker.

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Re: MAIW 10 Years and Counting!

Post by Makadocias »

Long live MAIW!!!! Thanks everyone for all the awesome packages!!! Absolutely love it!
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Re: MAIW 10 Years and Counting!

Post by Bosshogg »

Happy anniversary MAIW. If not for all of you talented designers, modelers, and painters I would have lost interest in fltsim a long time ago. Thank you all for the hard work and for sharing your product with us. Here's to many more anniversaries!
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Re: MAIW 10 Years and Counting!

Post by MIKE JG »

Today's the day! Happy Anniversary!!!

:smt026 :smt033 :smt038 :smt041 :smt113 :gif:
-Mike G.

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Re: MAIW 10 Years and Counting!

Post by VulcanDriver »

Here is to another 10 years :D
John

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Re: MAIW 10 Years and Counting!

Post by SeanG »

Raising a glass (or 2) tonight! Amazing how stumbling across this forum back in 2008 changed my flightsimming for the better. From that first visit it seemed that *this* was the best, friendliest and most like minded group out there... 8 years later (for me that is) and that hasn't changed. Even though I really only lurk, messing around with some small bits and bobs of my own, I really enjoy the discussions here, visiting every day, and reading every post!

Here's to another 10 years!

SeanG
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Re: MAIW 10 Years and Counting!

Post by Victory103 »

+1 on the tip of the glass. In the last couple of years, 2 of my favorite models have been built and released in more versions than I could have hoped for with incredible attention to detail. My real world home has come alive with accurate mil AI in the sim. I really appreciate all the non-paid, selfless hard work the many members have contributed to the hobby, those that have come and gone. It's really time for me to give back, I have got to find the time to learn how to paint to MAIW standard this year and push out updated USN CAGs.
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Re: MAIW 10 Years and Counting!

Post by TheFoufure »

I don't know why, but I think that WSMG AI F-16 will be in a anniversary pack. Perhaps number 10, with a big pack with all versions ;-)
I hope so.

Thanks a lot to all MAIW modellers, painters, FDE makers, FP planners, sceneries builders and other members for all your work. Thanks thanks. And I hope you'ill be there for next 10 years... and other lol
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Re: MAIW 10 Years and Counting!

Post by bismarck »

Hello all.
I became member of this group on 4th Jan 2007.
From the beginning of my experience with FS simulation, I've always searched to add as many military aircraft as possible. It's not a case, if my first MS simultaor was CFS1.

With the possibility given by FS9, to manage the AI traffic, this Forum became immediately my Homepage!!!
Here I have learned a lot of things related to AI. I started to create my own traffic files, in many cases, using also user-aircraft as AI, create basic AFD, and also trying some really basic repaints.

ADE9, was the real turning point for me. Thanks to it and the to the wide variety of libraries used in MAIW packages, I started to produce some sceneries for my preferred Italian bases.
On late December of 2012, the MAIW team, invited me to join the group as a contributor!
Beleave me. That was one of the most appreciated Christmas presents of the last years!!! :smt026
As contributor, with the unvaluable support and help received from many members, I was able to produce a good number of packages, that have my name, as Project Manager!!! Such a honour!!! :smt040

The list of people I'd like to thank, is long, and comprise ALL of the team members, starting from those who left, to those who are still here.
A special mention to someone in particular.
Mark Campbell - Campbeme
He was my mentor when I became a contributor. He helped a lot with my first packages.
Michael Pearson - Mikeblaze
Without any requests from me, he created some specific F-4 and Kfir models, for the IDF packages. When I beta-tested his
F-104 and G-91, he asked which model I'd like to see in my skies. Now the community has the AMX.
Mike McIntire - Mikewmac
What to say about his Harrier wet-FDE?
Tim Mayhew - Timbob
He helped in particular for Pratica di Mare Airshow package
John Stinstrom - JohnStinstrom
For Pratica di Mare Airshow package
Giacomo Gramazio - James84
Great collaboration for Italian packages
MIKE JG; Firebird; Greg; John Young: GSNDE;Miljan and Stewart Pearson for many aspects.
Last mention for three non-Contriburos members, at maverick69, F4nutter and Chrisb, for their repaints.
Forgive me if I forget someone.

How to close...
Due to all the magnificent production published here, I can't remember when I last put my hand on my joystick... If I remember right, F3 increases the thrust... :roll: :smt017
My wife can't understand why I can't make money with this hobby... Women! :smt009

Again, thanks to all. To all who have teached me, helped me or simply answered me, with patience, courtesy and education.

Long live MAIW!!!

Giorgio
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Re: MAIW 10 Years and Counting!

Post by rocket_26_ »

I joined the site from the beginning and previously had been on the Fsgateway forum back when the F-16 and C-130 were pretty much the only Military Ai Models available. I actually built my first scenery Spangdahlem when we were using that forum.

Although most will know me as being one of the original ACG members I was actually part of MAIW team from 2006 until we opened our ACG site.

I think the first custom scenery used for a MAIW pack was Coningsby, Mike McIntyre and I built that together followed shortly with Lakenheath.

Both of those packages were extremely enjoyable to do, more so than the new versions because we could build them in a month and have a finished product. I worked with some great people on those packages and it was a real team effort. I would go as far to say that was my favourite time designing even if my sceneries were not up to todays standards.

MAIW for the last ten years for me has made this hobby far more enjoyable both flying and designing, I doubt I would have continued building scenery (or flying) without the packages and AI models produced by the group.

So a big thanks to all those who have been apart of this site particularly Steve Holland who was my beta tester for years until I dropped Fs9.

Cheers

Ian
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Re: MAIW 10 Years and Counting!

Post by Weescotty »

MIKE JG wrote:Today's the day! Happy Anniversary!!!

:smt026 :smt033 :smt038 :smt041 :smt113 :gif:
Yup, I was in almost right at the start.
I think that the group existed a day or so before I joined on Sat Aug 12, 2006 8:15 am.
Was invited to join after doing some repaints I made available for the Osan F-16s.
(Our first package?)
From there it was only a matter of time before I was seduced by the dark side of FSDS and aircraft modelling.
Mainly active in the background now, but still may have a few surprises left in me yet.
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Re: MAIW 10 Years and Counting!

Post by Sophie Marketa »

Good Morning guys, just dropped by to offer my congrats on your 10 years of operation, may you have another decade of fun and excitement to look forward to.
Sophie
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Re: MAIW 10 Years and Counting!

Post by btaylo24 »

Hey Sophie

Hope you are well.Nice to see you here .....

Barry
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