08 December 2005

Another tribute to Sarah

My mind keeps wandering off. I am out of ideas for new scenes right now, and I think I need the motivation from writing circles and class deadlines to keep moving forward. I will enroll in a new novel writing course which will start late January. In the meantime, to keep things focused on Sarah, I decided to do another "exercise" on my computer software.

Just like Sarah (and her grandfather Warren), I have an interest in aviation. In fact, I used to log a lot of virtual flight hours using Microsoft Flight Simulator; to support this hobby, I repainted many aircraft models into my favorite airlines' color schemes, and flew them according to the actual airline schedules. (Some airlines, including Sarah's airline United, in fact encourage using their trademarked logos like this, for noncommercial purposes.) I eventually stopped "flying" in order to concentrate on Perfect Girl.

As I looked at Sarah's representation in The Sims 2 (see my last post), I wondered: what about having her represented in the Microsoft Flight Simulator virtual world, considering her own aviation interests and career? I decided to do this by naming an aircraft Sarah used to work, in her honor. After all, United's first 777s were named after employees and loyal customers, and one of its newest 777 was named Spirit of United as a goodwill gesture by Boeing. And the 777 is supposed to be Sarah's favorite model to work. And I already had done a repaint of the 777 into the United color scheme, so all I needed to do was some minor editing.

So behold, the newest virtual addition to United's 777 fleet - Sarah Radcliffe, Flight Attendant. I haven't decided yet if I want to upload this to the flight simulation enthusiast websites, or just keep it for myself. The flight simulation world is extremely male-dominated, and I don't want to out myself there by talking about my novel.

Here's a nose view from the ground. The name is very prominent.

A passenger in the terminal would most likely get this view. If United actually named its planes after flight attendants (and treated them well accordingly), I would be happy.

Here's the tail, showing the details of United's new 2004 color scheme. In the real world, United's 777 registration numbers run N766UA-N799UA and N205UA-N230UA. N231UA was in fact ordered, but cancelled when the post-9/11 doldrums hit United.

For Sarah, the sight of the Golden Gate Bridge told her that she was heading out for parts unknown - most likely somewhere in the Far East - or that she has returned home to San Francisco.

Another inflight shot, with a good view of the Pratt & Whitney engines. Sarah will definitely talk about their sounds as she describes her inflight work experience.

Thanks to Melvin Rafi for designing the virtual 777 for the Microsoft Flight Simulator world.

You may want to read the relevant Wikipedia article.

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