Thursday, February 25, 2016

"Straighten Up And Fly Right"

While Nautilus City, which I featured in my last post, is fascinating to visit, it is by no means all of Nautilus. The continent itself is comprised of a great number of lakes and waterways and a complex, interesting coastline. Today I visited two other locations on that vast and watery continent, the 1930s/40s era aerodromes at Tsurlington and at Waddon (aerodrome being a much more commonly used word than airport prior to WWII). I was welcomed by pilot Tom McGregor (mastersinn resident, left photo below) who spoke to me about vintage aviation in Second Life, and these two locations in particular.

According to Tom, the aerodromes "have just changed hands; a group of old aviators clubbed together and saved them from oblivion." The main buildings at each location feature lovely art deco style details; make sure to check out the stained glass windows from the inside.The aerodromes request "Light Piston Engined or Rotary Prop Aircraft & Helicopters Only," in keeping with the vintage era of the builds. Interested aviators can rent a hangar at either aerodrome, both of which often hold 1920-40s era themed events and dances. 

In addition to pilots, passengers are also welcome to visit. A large yellow sign at Tsurlington encourages people to join the "Passengers of SL" group, which regularly announces flights. According to the group's founder, Laben Core, "As a pilot, you have the thrill of directly affecting the outcome of the trip through your navigational abilities – server conditions permitting, of course. Passengers, on the other hand, have the freedom of surveying the churning landscape before them without having to concern themselves with the details of flight operation." I've been fortunate enough to fly as a passenger with Marianne McCann as a pilot, and the experience included "passenger goodies" such as tickets, a wearable drink tray, a safety card, an in-flight magazine, and even an air sickness bag!

Those wishing to learn more about aviation in Second Life can delve into the extensive resources available on the Wiki page. There you can find lists of active airports, available aircraft, and working airlines, as well as a very handy "Aviator's Toolkit" that includes a glossary of terms and a list of useful aviation-related groups. You can also view a video of the services available at Tsurlington here. There is an active SL Aviation Flickr group, and even a radio channel called "Music to Fly By." So come visit the lovely aerodromes at Tsurlington or Waddon, board a flight as a passenger, or rez a plane and light out on your own to explore. Just remember to take the Andrews Sisters' advice!

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