There are many times that you want to share some important things that happen in your life, either they concern your professional career, your personal life, or your hobby.
The last one will be the reference of this small text that describes the history behind the creation of a production that could be characterized as a “revolution” in the area of Flight Simulator.
Many times in the past, those involved with the excellent experience of Flihg Simulatot, expressed their wish for a better simulator.
This was expressed, focusing mainly, on the representation of the environment in Flight Simulator through sceneries, 3D objects, and issues of ground/water improvements, which in fact is the most common you experience in a virtual flight, especially in countries like Greecem, which was ideal for such “dreams” due to its geological variety.
In the course of development in our internet experience, the first big surprises came with satellite pictures which through certain people pioneering thought, changed the information we knew of the planet and its depiction to everyday people who used the Internet.
All, or almost all, of us, downloaded the first version of Google Earth, and started to look for the first signs of our region, house and any other known place/landmark on planet earth.
To some simmers, this was the beginning of thoughts and ideas about the future picture of Flight Simulator.
Then, some utilities started to come out - in experimental stages– that aimed towards this goal, tthe incorporation of satellite imagery and their conversion to ground within the Flight Simulator.
A time too early for bold thoughts and ideas, a time of waiting for improvement of this stuff in the future… until the moment that a first message arrives in Greece from the old buddy John Dermitzakis with "Attica Photoreal".
A scenery used daily that always had the same impact, the feeling, the look, the reality when approachin rwy 03L @LGAV, with Varkiza under there, and the region of Spata up front, the "Attica road" becoming more and more visible as the aircraft reached 1,500 ft.
But something was missing… continuation!
The real picture of Attica was becoming the same known territory just a few miles away! Of course, we didn’t decide to “excommunate” what we have been using for so long but, anyway, the best is the enemy of the good.
And the best was manifested an evening of April 2010, if I remember correctly, when two friends from Dodekanisa presented their work offering it to Simmers.
The beginning started with Rhodes, Kos, Thessaloniki, etc, in a time that it caused damage to GAP… since we abandoned the conversion of our newly released RHODES INT'L 2010 to FSX for few days, and started flying in the satellite Greece of Makis Korkidas and Antonis Gkikas.
Wishing to thank Makis and Antonis for their wonderful gift to our FS experience, we sent them the commercial scenery of Rhodes along with our “thanks” for their hard work, and as a result we came in contact online and began exchanging opinions on sceneries.
When kindness and the feeling of sharing is spontaneous and comes from the heart, then what follows is that best described in an old Greek saying, “ money and love cannot be hidden”.
To this feeling, Makis and Antonis wanted to add dignity, by presenting and offering to us all the other good stuff they had preparwd, the islands of Paros and Naxos.
Somewhere in between there, the big decision was taken to create a photoreal Greece, at least the islands, and we see where it takes us from there...!
But how can you help on something you don‘t know?
You just leave these two guys, these two friends, to guide you, and the only you have to do is to let yourself free, and let the surprise and the enthusiasm created by their knowledge and all that they have discovered until the moment we met .
All the programs (software – utilities), differentiation of regions, study, adjustments came into operation, as well as the relevant teasing on who would be the one to create more first.
Every day, the Skype and telephone conversations "lighted up” from the consecutive discoveries of Makis, or Antonis, sometimes mine, until we started feeling that what originally seemed as a “mountain” started to look more like a "hill".
The daily agenda had to do with solutions in big or smaller problems, interventions and comments, but always the respect between the members of the team for our common objective, "to finish until September", as I used to say.
However, in this life one thing is wrong: to calculate out with logical estimations in this hobby, since when we reached to a satisfactory point, a new idea was getting in the head of Makis for a better Samos, which firstly I had made and when Samos was made three times better, came the turn of Mytilini, Lefkada, Zakinthos, Skyros and anything that floats in Greece.
The climax of this "kinky" behaviour, came with a morning call from Antonis Gkikas, and since Makis was the one always calling me with a new idea or discovery that showed a gap, I would like to describe in every detail the conversation so that you can understand what may happen to someone out of the blue.
Ant. Good morning, Mike.
Mih. Hello Antonio, good morning.
Ant. Yesterday I made flight from Rhodes to Athens.
Mih. Good, my congratulations (joking...)
Ant. Yes, but something essential was missing, something very essential.
Mjh. What was missing…??? fuel, coffee, staff ??? (laughing)
Ant. Evia was missing, and this is a big part, it deserves to enter the collection….
Mih. Come on Antonis, be serious, you start to worry me… Evia is huge, this is not possible… Rhodes, Mytilini is different matter... let it be… can’t be done…
Ant. Oh no, it can, since yesterday it has been downloaded by the good server… (we do not say which one), and I believe that in 20 days we will be able to fly with it.
Mih. What do you want me to say, Antonis? good luck! I continue working with the flat areas… and I withered…!
Somehow this is how this enormous part was included in the first package of Hellenic Actual Scenery that you, at least as many of you want, now enjoy...
Of course, everything needs an “aesthetic care” like circulation, presentation, and hospitality. This has been taken care of by Alexandros Zafiris who designed the manuals of the scenery sets in a really unique, professional way, so that this work coincides to those you may encounter in commercial productions, if not better...
The stay of the sceneries of Hellenic Actual Scenery in the library of Virtual Flight e-magazine is, in my opinion, all the best for this work since it is identified with the same love that helped organize, design and accomplish the first part of Hellenic Actual Scenery.
For me, it is surely one of the best and craziest dreams in flight simulation that now I feel it has materialized ,since a new friendship added knowledge to my hobby, and probably a unique experience in my "carrer" in this field, that many times I personally asked myself if it deserves it, but always, in a distant corner hides a pleasant surprise as it is the realization of this dream under the name of Hellenic Actual Scenery.
Editor and Promotion
Aristotelis Marinis – Katerina Zouganeli
I thank them all for their friendship...
GREEK AIRPORTS PROJECT FOUNDER