A passion for Jumbo Jets
Camil Valiquette creates long-range airliners for Flight Simulator
by Serge L'Heureux (free translation by Jean-Pierre Bonin for the benefit of english speaking visitors to this web site)
In LaPresse newspaper, Montreal, Wednesday January 3rd 2001, page 7, Multimedia section .
His planes fly over the five continents, bearing the colors of the most prestigious airlines. No one from Boeing or Airbus can say the same.
But Camil Valiquette's planes are made out of polygones not steel. This young retired employee from the MUCTC is recognized as one of the world's best conceptor of airliners for Flight Simulator, Microsoft civilian flight simulator for personnal computers. Captivated by Jumbo Jets, he his interested by Boeing and Airbus aircrafts, putting out a new model almost each week for amateurs to download from his web site.
« I have always been interested by Jumbo Jets, he explains. I started out making planes for Flight Simulator 4, after discovering FS 2 on a Sinclair. Since then, I followed the evolution of the software.» Today, his collection includes the major models of the two giant manufacturers, though he chose to concentrate his efforts on the most recent planes. The biggests, thus : 767 et 777 from Boeing, and the different Airbus A340.
Photo : Pierre McCann, La Presse. Reproduced with permission.
The making of a new model requires, on average, nearly a year of work and fine tuning; afterwards, he makes them available in differents airliners color schemes. « I receive a lot of emails. Recently, I recreated color schemes of Chinese airliners because I was requested to», Mr. Valiquette explains.
These requests do not come from amateurs only, he points out. Professionnal pilots also write him. « A British pilot ask me to paint a plane in the colors of the company that was to hire him. On an other occasion, an Air France Airbus A340-300 pilot sent me a file with flight data from his plane, but he forgot to take into account the fuel autonomy of the plane! »
Indeed Camil Valiquette's planes are not just beautiful they are also realistic (within the limits of a 70$ software that is). After having meticulously reproduced the aircraft dimensions with a specialized 3D software, he takes at least two months to fine tune the aircraft performances, to the builder's specifications. To obtain this result he says is « 90% realistic », he must complete about one hundred flights, modifying a parameter, correcting an other . « It's like a game of dominos : one change here affects something elsewhere» he explains. When you go into ultra-long-range airliners, like his new A340-500 Airbus, other problems occur : « This plane has a range of 8500 nautical milles; to check it out, I must complete a 17 hours flight. So I take off and go to bed. The morning after, I go and see if the plane did not crash somewhere over the Atlantic! »
Mr. Valiquette gives great care to insure color fidelity to a point that Corsair has onced asked him permission to use images of his planes on their web site. He his mostly interested by night textures and in this domain, he is considered a pionneer : « I was the first to light up fins on the planes, something others have copied since. I am still the only one to put light effect on engines casings and windows reflection on the wings», he says proudly.
Image from pages.infinit.net/camsim web site, reproduced with permission
This care for detail as brought him praise from professionnals who say his planes behavior is very close to real thing. « One day, an American airline pilot who suffered a heart attack told me that he kept flying with my planes. It was like a second life for him. Today I am still moved by this. », says the quebec conceptor, who was surprised to learn that his planes flew also in simulators Boeing used to recreate crashes. « They have much more sophisticated softwares but one of their engineers installed my planes just to see. He even sent me pictures », he explains.
The Boeing and Airbus web sites are daily destinations for Mr. Valiquette, always seeking information about the new planes as he makes them available months before the real thing. One of his last production , the Boeing 777-200LR, will not fly untill 2002, and he is planning to reproduce the future Airbus A-3XX, due to insisting amateurs. « I receive so many demands that I do not have the time to fly my own airplanes! » he says.
You can call that the price to pay for glory.
For more information : Yyou can download Camil Valiquette's planes for free from his web site : pages.infinit.net/camsim
You can add sound and instruments panels from FlightSim web site : www.flightsim.com
Text and photo reproduced with kind permission from
Marcel Desjardins, Vice-président et éditeur adjoint, La Presse
A-340-500 image reproduced with kind permission from
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