Events, Worldflight and voice codecs

Posted by The BoG - November 4, 2018

Events, Worldflight and voice codecs

Hi all, Gunnar here with my first blog post about some things I care about a lot.

It’s been a busy few weeks on VATSIM. We’ve had several weeks straight of seeing some awesome events across the network with record attendance, and tonight we hit over 5,000 unique VATSIM members logging onto the network over a 24 hour period: an achievement we’ve only managed in the past during Cross The Pond!

I want to take a moment to thank every single person who plays a part in organising VATSIM events across the world. Events are a huge part of the VATSIM community and take many, many hours of work and problem-solving to be a success. I’m always blown away by the dedication shown by VATSIM members everywhere to continue to build this great hobby. One of my favourite types of event is when we come together in one location to fly and control together, or to show VATSIM off to the public. This has always been one of my favourite aspects of the network and I love coming along to these: below are just a couple of photos from some live events we’ve seen over the past week.

Members of VATSIM Pakistan travelled to a hotel in Lahore to meet, network and control a hugely successful event on Sunday 28th October.

VATSIM Scandinavia members travelled from across the Nordic countries to Stockholm to participate in Sweden Live on the weekend of Saturday 27th October.

Marc Eijkens, of Dutch vACC, gives an overview of VATSIM to members of the public visiting FSWeekend in Lelystad, The Netherlands on Saturday 3rd November.

Controllers and pilots gather for ZNY Live 2018 in Philadelphia, featuring two hugely successful VATSIM events over the first weekend in November.

This brings me nicely onto another topic close to my heart, and to that of the whole VATSIM community, and that is Worldflight.

Worldflight is an annual round the world tour on VATSIM led a number of fixed-based sim teams based all over the world, all to raise money for charitable causes. Over many years, hundreds of thousands have been raised for charities, and the 2018 edition kicked off on Saturday 3rd November at 2200z from Sydney, with 48 legs seeing the teams visiting five continents. VATSIM facilities along the route will provide air traffic control for the event for the duration, and all VATSIM members are welcome to join the horde too! To check out the route and timings, check out this link. The event runs for a week, with the final sector due to arrive back in Sydney at 0845 on Saturday 10th November.

Worldflight has always been a blast and I’d encourage you to join at least one leg!

The Worldflight 2018 route, visiting dozens of VATSIM facilities across five continents.

Finally, a brief mention of the talk of the town: the voice codec.

Now I refer to it as a ‘codec’, because that’s what most of our community refer to it as, but the upcoming changes to voice on VATSIM go so much further than this. The upgrade that is in the late stages of development will revolutionise the way pilots and air traffic controllers communicate on VATSIM. With a massive reduction in latency (delay), an end to constantly muffled transmissions, and realistic VHF simulation (and many other features: see here for details) this will bring your online flight simulation to the next level. Having tested the new system live on the network, I cannot say enough how much of a difference this will make.

So how are things going? Testing is going well and development continues at an excellent pace; another test is planned in the very near future and the feedback from this will feed into the next build. Over the next week or two, development will pause as two of the main architects of the new system, Gary Oliver and Mark Barnes, prepare for and participate in Worldflight, where they are long-standing members of the Simfest team. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Gary, Mark and everyone who has contributed to this massively important project!

That’s all from me, until next time.