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When did your aviation hobby begin?


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Per my thoughts developing from another thread, I've decided to pose the question here. I have a theory that most people were bitten by the aviation bug very early in life.

 

I'll start out the discussion with my own story. I got into WWII aviation because my older brothers were building models of various planes when I was knee-high to a grasshopper. One of my earliest memories was being intrigued by a PBS drama miniseries (that I don't recall the name of) about pilots during the Battle of Britain. Seeing them stuffed in their coffin-cockpits, the noise of the engines and guns... that was enough to hook me for life.

 

While my initial aviation interest was firmly based on WWII, I did briefly explore WWI and the post Cold War era. There is no other era in aviation history that comes close to my fondness for WWII aviation, mainly because I consider the period to be the best balance between the crude lack of refinement of early technology and the overly-computerized later tech developments.

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Snoopy and his battles with the Red Baron in the cartoon pages and tv special when I was a five year old. Then some modeling and mostly reading pilot biographies. Then board games like Air War by SPI, Air Force/Dauntless by Battleline/AH. Then computer games starting with SWOTL and Red Baron.

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When I was in Preschool I would frequently see my dad playing IL-2 Sturmovik (2001) and CFS3. After a short while I got on and started flying, with him showing me how to fly using the Joystick. Eventually, I was able to fly without any help. It was somewhere around there that I began telling my Preschool teachers that I want to be a pilot when I grow up.

 

By the time that I was in Kindergarten, I really enjoyed playing IL-2 Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles and Pacific Fighters. There was a time just before the winter break that year, the students and parents were watching a movie in the gym, and there was a brief scene in which a character had a model P-38. My dad pointed that out to me, which I recognized. But, I'm not to sure any other students in my Kindergarten class or the school would have known what a P-38 was. Same thing goes with the H8K "Emily", if you had mentioned an Emily to me I would have known what you were talking about, while others would be like... " Who's Emily?"

 

A year later when playing PF I would run through a mental checklist in my head when taking off from an Aircraft Carrier: Engine Start, Wings Fold down, Flaps Takeoff, Canopy Open, Radiator Open. Sometimes at recess I would even go through that checklist.

That year for my birthday I got FSX, different from Combat flight sims, but still technically a flight sim. I crashed on my first attempt at the First Tutorial, but succeeded on the second attempt. I greatly enjoyed the missions in FSX, especially those in FSX: Acceleration, in particular, the UFO Intercept mission, Kwazulu Rhino Rescue, Baltic Sea Rescue, P-51 Racing missions, Amsterdam-London Airline Run, Civil Air Patrol Search (Last 2 were in the Deluxe Edition).

With free flight, I would frequently fly the 737-800, and for some reason found myself flying in and out of Cleveland and Charlotte, NC.

 

For my 9th birthday my family flew down to Disneyland. At the LAX and San Diego airports, I was excited to see all these planes like the A320, A340, etc. That was the first and only time that I saw a Northwest Airlines and Continental Airlines planes in person before they merged with Delta and United several years later.

Then when I was 13 I went up on a Discovery Flight (which by the way was very long overdue). 

 

Overall, that's how my aviation hobby began -- with flight simulator games. Today, I am a real world pilot with my pilot's license, and I am several weeks away from writing my CPL Written.

 

Thank you @oc2209 for starting this subject.

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1 hour ago, oc2209 said:

Per my thoughts developing from another thread, I've decided to pose the question here. I have a theory that most people were bitten by the aviation bug very early in life.

 

That is entirely true in my case. It all started with an Airfix Spitfire Kit in the early 80s. When I bought me my first PC in 1991 I also bought Dynamix Red Baron which got me hooked for the genre.

From then on it was both Lawrence Holland Sims "Their Finest Hour" and "Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe". I still think those "old" games have game elements way superior to todays sims, especially in the SP department nothing comes close, the strategic element of SWOTL by example was genius.

Then this was followed by Aces of the Pacific and Aces over Europe and then European Air War. After that I had something of a flight sim hiatus because Red Baron II (3D) didn´t click with me and neither did Janes WW2 Fighters and I didn´t come back to the topic until IL-2 Shturmovik got released in 2001. Then of course all add-ons until the 1946 pack, which I occasionally still play today with some mods.

I had high expectations for CLOD but shelved it because of all the bugs and then I revived my flight simming activities at the time when Battle of Moscow got released. Since then I am "on board" with the GB Series.

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40 minutes ago, Enceladus said:

Overall, that's how my aviation hobby began -- with flight simulator games. Today, I am a real world pilot with my pilot's license, and I am several weeks away from writing my CPL Written.

 

Thank you @oc2209 for starting this subject.

 

Congratulations!

 

And yes, I figured it'd be fun for people to reminisce how it all began.

 

I started sims with Their Finest Hour and Aces of the Pacific. Absolutely loved the latter especially. The chats you'd have with pilots in the bar, all that silliness. Great game for its era.

 

I'd still be interested in aviation history even without sims and games. But the virtual versions really help your imagination at least approximate what combat would've been like. And in your case, you're even closer to the real deal.

34 minutes ago, sevenless said:

 

That is entirely true in my case. It all started with an Airfix Spitfire Kit in the early 80s. When I bought me my first PC in 1991 I also bought Dynamix Red Baron which got me hooked for the genre.

 

 

I've played several of those games you mention, but somehow never tried SWotL. Not sure if I played Red Baron, or... Knights of the Sky, I think, was the only WWI game I played from that era. Needless to say, I didn't pick any of these games. I just hijacked my brother's PC when he was at school.

 

I also went through the requisite model building phase circa the age of 10 or so. Can't remember exactly which was my first kit, though... probably a 1/72 scale which I soon abandoned in favor of 1/48.

 

I've built models of, in no order: Yak-9K, Bf-109 E and K, Bf-110, Spitfire Mk II, Fw-190 A-8 and D-something, Me 262, Me 163, Do 335, A6M5 Zero, MiG-3, de Havilland Vampire, Bf-108...

 

...yeah, I could go on. That's off the top of my head. I now see the suspicious lack of American planes, despite my Americanness. Not sure why they don't appeal to me more. Wait! I did build one P-47D. I think that might be my only American plane.

 

*edit: just as an aside, I first learned of Lilya Litvyak when I wanted to buy her Accurate Miniatures plane in a model shop once. But if I remember correctly, it was a really expensive kit at the time, and I wasn't skilled enough to do it justice. I never even learned to airbrush, tragically. Consequently my planes have that... rather rough handpainted look to them. Not bad from a distance, but not exactly showstoppers either.

Edited by oc2209
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I grew up near the Möhne-dam (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Chastise). Standing below that massive wall as a kid is impressive enough to become a civil engineer. Just there a relative told me the story of the raid and the following disaster - one bomb? Below one plane? What a might! Most important for me: in the early 1970s it was so obvious even for a kid to see and feel the impact that war had on the grown-ups. The civilians "at the home-front" still were shaken to the bone - 30 y later. During that time my uncle took me to a RAF-flight show at one of the airfields in northern Germany. Standing next to the huge Lancaster-bomber - "We've been at the dam - that's the plane now, boy!" The four Merlins starting, that sound ... KLICK! :o:

Edited by Retnek
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It started with plastic model kits like Monogram's Texan AT-6 and many other WWII planes (ánd tanks).

 

AT-Texan.thumb.jpg.9796a88cc5303777d5e5ef12c39a4940.jpg

 

And with the comic book series Buck Danny.

As soon as the series moved further to jet planes it lost my interest.

 

1339594596_BuckDanny.jpg.52a13614ffa0686e364540012095c14a.jpg

 

That is how it started.

As far as I remember because it is such a long time ago already.

 

Edited by Uufflakke
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One of my first memories - I was about 3 years old walking with my mommy and a loud military jet flew over and I was fascinated to the max as my mom explained it to me. My daddy was an ejection seat tech on F-86s at the time. Then at 5 years of age we flew from Chicago to San Francisco in a Lockheed Constellation and that is one of the strongest memories of my childhood. My 4 year old bro' and I got a tour of the cockpit, they gave us little kids pilot wings to pin to our shirt. We sat in the first row and I spent the whole flight marveling at the world below! That was 1960 and I still can't believe how lucky I was to fly in a Constellation such a gorgeous plane. 

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23 minutes ago, cardboard_killer said:

Am I the only one here that dislikes actually flying? I get motion sick in the back seat of a car.

 

I have absolutely no fear of flying, from gliders to jumbo jets I'm totally happy up there. Can't stand on the edge of a cliff though without getting horrible nausea.

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1 minute ago, 216th_Cat said:

 

I have absolutely no fear of flying, from gliders to jumbo jets I'm totally happy up there. Can't stand on the edge of a cliff though without getting horrible nausea.

 

I have no fear of flying, it's the motion sickness and the wretchedness of being a passenger if flying commercial. However, I too dislike heights in the sense of cliffs and rooftops.

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As a child of the 80s, for me it was watching Top Gun, The Final Countdown, and Iron Eagle. I remember playing Microprose F-15 Strike Eagle on my dad's Apple IIe - I had no clue what I was doing. Same for Microsoft Flight Simulator on the same platform. I got into scale models of WWII aircraft a little later on - I had many (poorly done) 1:72 scale models hanging from my bedroom ceiling.

 

I'm sure it's the case for so many of us - the interest was always there, even from a very early age.

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Early 60-ies there were Radar system equipped Neptunes with added booster jets taking off day and night at Valkenburg Airfield.

(Airfield been there from before WW2, but not on the fringin' Bodenplatte map too, and i cannot correct it alas as Map edit doesn't work in the ME. Trees in the way)

 

Patrol flights on lookout for Russian submarines they said. Cold War period.

As kids it was quite exiting to crawl through a hole in the fence at night and see who was bravest in getting as close as you can to the runway ...

wow, what a spectacle and noise.

 

Then all of a sudden one plane set on his landing lights during take off and yep, we were spotted.

Blue flashers on military jeeps appeared in the distance, and boys, we really ran off and dashed through that sacred hole in the fence.

 

Neptune Koninklijke Marine2.jpg

 

==============================================================================================================================

Sideline: one plane was stolen by two young mechanics who wanted to sell the plane in Libya they said.

They took off too hasty in the dark, here's the hushed up story, auto-translated article:

 

Flight of death Neptune 212 may be theft

Earlier this year I (the writer of this article) wrote an article for Quest History about the near-disaster in 1965 with a Lockheed Neptune of the Naval Air Service. Two young airplane mechanics hijacked the plane and flew to certain death, leaving a big why. Recently I spoke to a new witness who thinks he has an answer.

MLD212nostalgium-300x181.jpg

 

Two young guys with no flying experience got into a big, four-engines plane and start it. Ten minutes later they are dead at the bottom of the North Sea. What happened is soon clear. But why ? What got into these men? According to the Navy leadership, they had been drinking, but witnesses I spoke to dispute that.

And then again: how drunk do you have to be to think that you will 'just' fly away with such a plane?

 

Frans Bolk

FransBolk-175x300.jpg

 

Huib van Oosreinde

HuibvanOostende-214x300.jpg

 

Recently I spoke to a new witness, Lentjes, who thinks he knows an answer to the question why.

 

Lentjes (71) at the time worked as an electrician / instrument maker at Valkenburg Air Base and stood his nose up. He says he was forced to remain silent at the time, but is now willing to break it. “I knew Frans Bolk and Huib van Oostende (the mechanics who hijacked the plane that evening, ed.) Very well. That evening I sat playing cards with them in the canteen. They both had weekend leave and their weekend bags with them. That is strange, because it was almost eleven and after that you were not allowed to leave the gate. But we all knew plenty of other ways to get out anyway, so I assumed they were planning something like that. ” The official account that the men had been drinking is also strongly denied by Lentjes. He left the canteen with Bolk and Van Oostende to walk to the sleeping barracks.

Lentjes was on duty at the main gate from midnight to four. He just got there when he saw the plane coming over. Shortly afterwards the buzz of rumors started. When Lentjes heard that it would be two mechanics who had stepped into the Neptune, he immediately said 'that must be Balk and Van Oostende'.
“The next morning I boarded the train for leave to Nijmegen, where I lived at the time. To my surprise, the Marechaussee (MP) was waiting for me. Before I could even say anything to my parents and girlfriend, I was taken in a van, back to the airfield. There I was immediately interrogated by Commander Moekedano, in the presence of an officer and a non-commissioned officer. I was told that the cabinets of Bolk and Van Oostende had been broken open and that the manuals of the Lockheed Neptune had been found there. They forbade me to speak about the matter. ” Lentjes has been amazed half his life that the detail of those handbooks has been concealed in the research report. "That indicates intent."

 

Cerberus-2-300x289.jpg

 

What is also incorrect in the official account is that the affected aircraft, the Neptune 212, was on standby for rescue missions (OSRD), says Lentjes: “Such a device always has a large inflatable boat in the bomb bay. It has never been there with the 212. ” What the 212 did have, as the only one of the twelve Neptunes that were stationed at Valkenburg at the time, was a brand new radar system, Lentjes knows: "That was built in the day before in Woensdrecht."

Lentjes therefore thinks that Bolk and Van Oostende stole the plane to sell it to Libya. Why precisely that country? “A year earlier, another engineer, Theo van Eijck, had hijacked a Grumman S-2 Tracker in Malta to fly it to Libya. Since then, people at the air base have sometimes joked 'what would they do for a Neptune?' That brand new radar made the 212 extra valuable. ”

 

This does not detract from the fact that both engineers had no flying experience and their flight was therefore doomed to fail. Lentjes is not so sure: “They knew a lot about airplanes and Bolk had had a few flying lessons. You could almost land a Neptune on automatic pilot. ”

Yet it went wrong almost immediately. Lentjes: “That was because they were way too hasty. The artificial horizon of a Neptune took eight to nine minutes to work properly and without that instrument you are nowhere in the dark. ” And something went wrong on board, says Lentjes: “There was a switch in the cockpit to activate the oil pressure of the steering. I was there when the instrument panel was raised and saw that the red safety valve was still over it. They also took the short track and therefore had to use the jet engines (a Neptune had two extra jet engines in addition to the normal propellers, ed.), While a Neptune normally only took off on the piston engines. ”

According to Lentjes, not only was much concealed by the navy, but there were also pertinent inaccuracies in the final report. “There is talk of two sentries on the platform, but that was only one. The second was at the fuel depot and that's a long way off. Moreover, the guard would have been ordered to puncture a tire with his bayonet, but that really does not stop a Neptune. And that the sentry went to the watch commander is impossible. There was no watch commander near the planes, only at the main gate, about three kilometers away. ” By the way, I spoke to the sentry for my earlier story and he told me the story as I described it before.

 

zoektocht-300x196.jpg

 

Finally, what astonishes Lentjes is that the weekend bags of both Bolk and Van Oostende were never found, officially at least: "Everything that was brought up from the plane was displayed in the hangar, but I never saw those two bags."

So an attempt to steal the plane after all, as suggested by another witness in my previous article? It sounds unbelievable, but that they weren't drunk is certain and how believable is it that two young, healthy guys commit suicide together?

 

 

Edited by jollyjack
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I was into WWII since I've was able to read (I'm from Poland, my family from both sides was heavy.. "influenced" by WWII, so a lot of stories, a lot of books about it), but whole WWII, not just aviation. I tried model kits as a kid, but I hated it. My fascination with WWII aviation started in 2012 with my friends playing a new game (War Thunder). I was at first skeptical, but after a while, I give it a go, and I fell in love with flying. It was mad, I've stopped playing other games. I was only flying for a few years straight. After a while I tried the Cliffs of Dover and started flying there, then I've switched to the Battle of Stalingrad.

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I had the unusual fortune of being born into a multi-generational family of pilots.

My father, both of my grandfathers, 3 of my uncles, and 2 of my great uncles all flew at varying times over the past 80 years in both military and civilian roles. 
Notably my great uncle Jack flew P-47s with the 396th Fighter Squadron over Europe and downed a Bf-109 in late 1944 at the Battle of the Bulge.
Naturally growing up I was surrounded by toy airplanes and flying stories from about the point that I was old enough to comprehend them.

I was born in 1999 a year after the original Microsoft CFS came out, so a good chunk of my early childhood was spent watching my dad play it and then learning how myself from him and my grandfather.  I haven't stopped since, having gone through the entire CFS series as well as IL-2 starting with Forgotten Battles in 2003.

As might be expected, I'm a real world pilot myself now, having completed my PPL in the summer of this year. 
Odds are I'll be doing this for the rest of my life, and I've got no problems with that.

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I can't remember not loving aircraft. One of my very earliest memories is of sitting in the back of my parents' car looking up at a load of aircraft flying in circles. My father told me that he had stopped to watch what turned out to be some of the filming of The Battle of Britain film! I must have been four at the time.

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On 12/3/2020 at 5:13 PM, oc2209 said:

One of my earliest memories was being intrigued by a PBS drama miniseries (that I don't recall the name of) about pilots during the Battle of Britain. Seeing them stuffed in their coffin-cockpits, the noise of the engines and guns... that was enough to hook me for life.

There was a PBS BoB series called Piece of Cake based on the book of the same name in the late 1980s. Not sure of your age but perhaps that's the series you remember?

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12 hours ago, CanadaOne said:

It started when and because I was born as a male.

 

Just like all the rest of you. :drinks:

 

Ha ha, you're getting into dangerously gender-normative territory there. I estimate there are at least... 4-6 women in the world who are heavily into WWII aviation. Possibly as many as 8, depending on my calculations.

 

In all seriousness though: while I agree that if you take most men to an airshow, they'll feel the primal tingle in their loins at the sound of a 2000 HP engine being revved up, it doesn't mean they'll become lifelong devotees of all things aviation-related. It takes a little something rarer, psychologically, to create a hardcore fan. I think enjoying the studying of technical data is a large part of it. The artistry of the lines of the aircraft is another important factor. And then the study of history and how it all fit together in the real world is another passion in itself.

 

To put it another way, I think there are certain men who are more likely to fall in love with machines of a certain type. Some go the car route. Others go the plane route. While others love trains or boats or guns or watches or computers. Everything artificial is a kind of machine in a way. And the complexity of the machine is part of its allure.

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2 minutes ago, oc2209 said:

 

Ha ha, you're getting into dangerously gender-normative territory there. I estimate there are at least... 4-6 women in the world who are heavily into WWII aviation. Possibly as many as 8, depending on my calculations

 

Gender normative am I.

 

 The chicks get shoes, we get airplanes. Fair 'nough. :cool: 

 

 

2 minutes ago, oc2209 said:

 

In all seriousness though: while I agree that if you take most men to an airshow, they'll feel the primal tingle in their loins at the sound of a 2000 HP engine being revved up, it doesn't mean they'll become lifelong devotees of all things aviation-related. It takes a little something rarer, psychologically, to create a hardcore fan. I think enjoying the studying of technical data is a large part of it. The artistry of the lines of the aircraft is another important factor. And then the study of history and how it all fit together in the real world is another passion in itself.

 

To put it another way, I think there are certain men who are more likely to fall in love with machines of a certain type. Some go the car route. Others go the plane route. While others love trains or boats or guns or watches or computers. Everything artificial is a kind of machine in a way. And the complexity of the machine is part of its allure.

 

The developers should give you a free cope of every game they make and use that as their new catchphrase:

 

"IL2 Great Battles - You'll feel the primal tingle in your loins!"

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15 minutes ago, Rjel said:

There was a PBS BoB series called Piece of Cake based on the book of the same name in the late 1980s. Not sure of your age but perhaps that's the series you remember?

 

I just checked it out on YouTube. Despite not seeing it for 30+ years, it strikes me as very familiar. I think it must be the one. I've looked into a few other shows from that period and none rang a bell. Thanks a lot for the reminder!

 

It's possible I saw it first-run or a few years after it originally aired as a rerun. Since I was barely sentient in '88, it might be the latter.

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Growing up on Air Force bases. F-16s roaring overhead in formation at low altitudes was a constant of my childhood in Misawa, Japan. And the airshows on base were great.

The shops outside of base in downtown Misawa had tons of quality model kits from Hasegawa and Tamiya and such, so building those was one of my first discernable hobbies.

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My Father was an officer in the Canadian Armed Forces. Would drag me to the bases often and we had a couple postings around Helicopter groups and airfields.  I became enamored with all things flying. Spent a lot of time modelling aircraft and playing with model rockets with him. He also made sure I played 'Red Baron' and 'Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe' on the family PC.   I joined Air Cadets when I could and rode that out till my late teens.  I kept flight simming the whole time sporadically but got busy with college, work, marriage, family. etc.   By my mid 30's I had a friend who rebuilt aircraft for a job, specifically Aeronca/Champion Aircraft/Bellanca's. My wife and I went for dinner with him one time and over drinks he tried to convince me to get my PPL and buy a plane from him.  Next thing you know my wife and I had bought an aircraft and I spent a couple years fixing it up and working on my PPL, which I completed after about a year and a half, in my free time.  Concurrent to that, I got back into flight simming pretty hard and have been avidly flying IL-2 and DCS since. 

 

Flying will sink it's insidious hooks into you I say!!   I just hope my daughter loves it as much as I have. 

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5 hours ago, unlikely_spider said:

Growing up on Air Force bases. F-16s roaring overhead in formation at low altitudes was a constant of my childhood in Misawa, Japan. And the airshows on base were great.

The shops outside of base in downtown Misawa had tons of quality model kits from Hasegawa and Tamiya and such, so building those was one of my first discernable hobbies.

 

I frequently see (and hear, as they're quite loud) F-35s near my home. I alternate between resenting the noise, and secretly wanting to buy a diecast model of an F-35. They're kind of cute in a stubby, totally-overpriced-government-boondoggle sort of way. Actually, F-16s are still plenty fetching despite their advanced age; especially in the modern Japanese paint schemes.

 

And Hasegawa and Tamiya are great, especially the former in my opinion. I loved the looks of them and the detail, but I didn't bother to buy any since it'd be a waste for how much effort I put into building. I hope you kept some for nostalgia purposes.

 

48 minutes ago, =420=Syphen said:

Flying will sink it's insidious hooks into you I say!!   I just hope my daughter loves it as much as I have. 

 

I'll cross my fingers for you! Gently nudge her into playing IL-2, and get her the Yak-1B so she can fly with a female pilot for immersion.

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As a young kid I watched a movie about a British sqn in France during WW1. Pretty much started the hobby.
Building kits for a number of years and having a military airfield not to far away from where I lived also "helped".
From there operated the 32 TFS with F-15's. Always nice to see and hear these (and the Dutch F-16's and NF-5's that visited regularly).
But my focus stayed on the old propellor driven military stuff mostly.

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Can't remember when I first got the bug.  I do remember a white plastic model aeroplane at about the age of 5.  And my grandmother making rom-rommm noises, in imitation of the sound German bombers made as they passed overhead.  My pre-school teacher giving me a copy of Biggles of 266 just before the holidays and saying keep it...  I never stood a chance!

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I'm not sure I could claim that aviation is a hobby, just one of numerous interests in my life. However I've been making models since I was knee high to a grasshopper so the occasional Airfix kit passed through my hands when very young. Before I was born my parents both worked in computing and this was a time when they were still mechanical devices rather than silicon chip based, so when the home computing revolution came along they were first in the queue and so I remember being introduced to MS flight sim v1 when very young. Similarly as Feathered_IV  mentioned Biggles books were also a major part of my early childhood pretty much from the time of learning to read...

 

As I said I don't really consider aviation a hobby I just can't imagine life without a Sopwith camel somehow casting it's shadow over me in some vague and ethereal way.

 

 

Edited by HappyHaddock
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On 12/4/2020 at 11:59 AM, Uufflakke said:

It started with plastic model kits like Monogram's Texan AT-6 and many other WWII planes (ánd tanks).

 

AT-Texan.thumb.jpg.9796a88cc5303777d5e5ef12c39a4940.jpg

 

And with the comic book series Buck Danny.

As soon as the series moved further to jet planes it lost my interest.

 

1339594596_BuckDanny.jpg.52a13614ffa0686e364540012095c14a.jpg

 

That is how it started.

As far as I remember because it is such a long time ago already.

 

 

Prachtige collectie ... geen Tandje en Lamaardure erbij? Heb er nog een of twee ...

 

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10 hours ago, HappyHaddock said:

As I said I don't really consider aviation a hobby I just can't imagine life without a Sopwith camel somehow casting it's shadow over me in some vague and ethereal way.

 

I see. So it's not strictly a hobby in your case... but it is nevertheless a man-plane love affair.

 

By the way, I'd like to thank everyone for their responses so far. Just because I don't remark on them all doesn't mean I haven't read them.

 

The pattern is pretty clear: plane fixation occurs during early childhood. Most interests do develop then, obviously, but... you'd think young children wouldn't be drawn to metallic monstrosities of death and carnage. You'd assume it'd be a more teenage thing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Watching Top Gun as a kid, driving  up to EAA every summer for the airshow, watching Wings on Discovery Channel each night after dinner. Then finally downloading Air Warrior on AOL and playing online. Completely mindblowing gameplay for mid-late 90's gaming. Flying online with hundreds of other real people, capturing bases, resupplies, fully crewed by people heavy bombers...stuff we still don't have in a lot of modern sims Air Warrior was doing back then.

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