The Tomahawk

To call an airport, even an empty one at that, a boring place would be an affront to common society. The tropical glaze of the midday sun blazed like streams of holy light though the canopy of the palms which dotted the sandy dunes of St Martins, it’s soft whispering beaches only laid to disguise the Airfield as a remote paradise, but one could never ignore the grunts of the turbo props as they belched around on the thin tarmac which layered the ground like some sort of Asthmatic Tuba.

Their owners paraded around on the sand, thumping their manly chests as they set about with wrench and wielding torch. My gaze happened across something gleaming in the corner and a manly smile curled up from my incredibly manly lips. Of course no sleek and slender business jet could compare, nor could any Busty bush plane hope to match the experience I had with one tiny, cute little aircraft come only known as Zora’s Tomahawk……..

Deploy

……”This is a contract between me and you” She coolly whispered to me, sliding the parchment across the table towards me. I licked my lips nervously, my fingers trembled and my brow wept with sweat. I was nervous but also excited and my body, trembling though it was, urged at the chance for new experiences. I signed shakily and pushed the parchment back across to the waiting mistress. It was done, with just one easy payment of L$ 2000 the plane would be mine…..

….”what shall we go for?”, she asked presenting me with a number of liveries, as well as interior and seating textures. “Red Stripes, Thicker Red Stripes, Blue Stripes, Thicker Blue Stripes, how about the top all Blue” She moved in closer, her choices of exterior panelling causing my fingers to tremble with the anticipation “Yellow stripes?” she inched closer “Hell, we could throw caution to the wind and go for all red with flame decals or…” she leaned in closer still, whispering gently into my ear “or shall we go full Australian” It was too much for me….

tomahawk 1_001

….She was nervous, I could tell. She shone like a brand new sports car as she stood before me laid bare to the world. She had never taken to the air before so I decided to be gentle. I entered her like a Panther. My delicate fingers making light work of her interior as my thumb pushed in gently the Main battery Switch. As the sparks flew she burst into life and the lights came on, though I felt the photographic style textures of the lights clashed with the Cartoony exterior textures but the sound of her tiny engine roaring into life made up for any insecurities I was having.

tomahawk 1_002

Like an innocent Ballet dancer she teetered onto the Runway, her insides audibly shivering from the manly touchy of my rough manly hands, the sound was repetitive but quiet enough to not be irritating, it was a nice touch I felt. Finally She gave me that tiny indication, the way only a woman can, letting me know she was ready. I slapped her down upon the tarmac, lined her up and with an almighty roar I thrusted up vigorously and pointed her to heaven. Her flat four piston engine screamed out to me and with a simple flair to the terrified onlookers we were airborne…..

tomahawk 1_003

….at 200 meters I eased off the thrust and let her slide, she was now high enough to pull her own weight and it gave me time to admire her instrument panel. I ran my hands over her instruments like a curious schoolboy fumbling at her protruding knobs. Her LOD’s on some of the dials were disappointingly low but I’d taken many a bird to Sky Fortress Love and never before had I seen one where all the dials worked. It was impressively sexy and she knew it….

tomahawk 1_004

…I jammed her into full throttle and tilted her to one side, her Yoke turned with the rhythm of my hands but on the bank she lost power letting me know the Dynamics of her flight engine were not going to tolerate cowboy antics. I rolled with it, stroked on her navigation lights and slowly trailed my hand south to deploy the flaps for landing……

========

All seriousness the Zora Tomahawk was one of the most anticipated Aircraft of this year. It’s only been out a short time and already it’s popularity has dwarfed almost everything that came before it.

It’s flight engine has to be one of the best I’ve ever flown, certainly one of the most realistic flight cores I’ve ever seen in Second Life. It has a number of liveries, including separate customisations options for the Interior textures and the seats as well as being fully moddable allowing you to do whatever crazy shit comes to mind.

Then there is the weather system, something we’ve not seen before in any Aviation product to this point, while it has no visual nor audible effects the system itself does add an extra layer of intrigue for the plane allowing you to cheat by sticking more wind up your ass or plow yourself into the terrifying experience of flying in a thunderstorm.

That said the plane isn’t perfect, the LOD on some of the dials on the instrument panel seemed a little low and a few of them would vanish unless I stared directly at them and being that the HUD vanishes in mouselook (this is a plane best experienced in Mouselook btw) you really need those dials.

As I said earlier the phototexture of the lamps looks somewhat out of place and clashes with the textures on the rest of the plane, the inside handles on the doors look a bit squidgy and the flaps instantly slam into the down position without apparently travelling through any space in-between.

I was also none too happy with the choice of liveries being that ,aside from two, it was down to a choice of what colour of stripe you wanted on your white plane.


Don’t get me wrong it looks stunning and flies better than anything I’ve seen on the market but when it does fly it flies slow, very slow. This is not a plane for people who want to fly from A to B and look good doing so this is a plane for people who subscribe to the ideology of Fly for Fun and don’t mind being overtaken by sail boats and cargo barges.

But at L$ 2000 it’s also one of the cheapest Dynamic flight planes you’ll ever find. Highly recommended, specially if you’re a fan of Zora’s work or just like something that’s fun to mess around in.

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16 thoughts on “The Tomahawk

  1. Well written. And thanks for the soundtrack memories. Grin.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jess MacDougal (Tesserra) says:

    There’s not a lot I’ve found more fun – and challenging – than trying to get a Tomahawk from A to B in a thunderstorm. Microbursts, updraughts, downdraughts, crosswinds, tailwinds AND headwinds… sometimes in the space of only a couple of sims.

    Don’t buy this plane to /look/ like a real pilot. Buy it to feel like one. Watch all those Dani-fliers and Poser-Pilots, safe in the smug knowledge that, with your tiny little plane, you’re having a LOT more fun than they are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jess MacDougal (Tesserra) says:

      Landing in a thunderstorm is its own, unique challenge. It wasn’t the prettiest landing on the planet, but I landed her intact!

      Like

    • From the sounds of it, this one isn’t realistic at all when it comes to it’s airspeed. To me, that would make it less than fun for a fixed wing and simply boring and plodding to fly. It’s too bad because it sounds like it would be a really fun aircraft with a speed range that was tuned for SL. If I want to feel like a real pilot at those speeds, I have airships and hot air balloons to do it in. Finally, you have no basis to judge the fun anyone else is having flying any aircraft. I’m glad you are enjoying your new aircraft. It’s arrogant and idiotic to think you have the omniscience to know how much fun others are having in other aircraft.

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  3. eowyn southmoor says:

    I regularly read this blog so have probably picked the worst topic to make my first comment, especially considering it’s going to present an alternative point of view regarding the awesomeness of this plane.

    I love flying small planes, and I was frequently out at Jadu every few weeks ogling this plane before it was released, seeing how well it was made and how great it looked. Upon hearing of the feature list, all the options, knowing it had a working cockpit (I always fly in mouselook) I was very excited to get my hands on a demo, thinking after a minute I’d be parting happily with some lindens to add yet another plane to my fleet (I’m sure this is a familiar story to many).

    What I got though was a rather rude shock, as I was quite disappointed in it. It was simply, for me, just very boring to fly, mainly due to the extremely slow speed. Now of course everyone is saying it’s so realistic and its RL counterpart is slow, but to me I am not seeing this realism.

    At 100% throttle it barely manages 10 metres per second – a speed most other aircraft in SL do when they are hitting the runway to land, or even taxi-ing in some cases. If you want to back of the throttle and cruise round at 60-70%, then the Tomahawk becomes as slow as a yacht! This is realistic is it?

    Now, I’m no RL pilot, and have very limited knowledge of aircraft, so I’m certainly not speaking as an expert, but there’s no way that this plane, in RL, is as slow as a yacht!

    I didn’t test the fancy weather system (which frankly sounds great), nor did I do any crazy aerobatics and see if i could stall it (saw that tested well enough one day out at Jadu), I just hopped in it, wound the throttle up to max, took off, flew around a bit, a normal flight I guess you’d say, then landed it.

    Flown that way, it all felt too simple, too slow, like I was in a noisy balloon LOL. I cannot fathom how something that is so slow is, as everyone is saying “the most realistic plane in sl” – ALL planes are fast, relatively speaking, and you just dont get that sense of speed with the Tomahawk. You could spend all day in it and never need to touch the throttle, just max it out and leave it.. I can’t believe that’s realism – if it is, I don’t want it LOL.

    It never feels as though it’s going to scare you… something a number of other planes easily do when you start hurtling them over sims with the engines screaming at high throttle, I guess to me that’s half the fun of it, knowing if I don’t show some restraint, the plane is going to bite me.

    The Tomahawk is a wonderful plane no doubt, and is great value for money considering it’s quite cheap compared to some other planes, but realistic or not, it didn’t inspire me to want to spend much time in it. In this case, realism certainly didn’t equal fun.

    Like

    • Tank Kwaszes says:

      To be fair, rl aircraft speeds are impractical for sl. All planes use a scaled speed for sl. If you would like an example of what rl speeds feel like drop me a line in world and I’ll be happy to share with you the “icarus” cub mod. Which while the handling isn’t scaled to rl the speeds are and it will give you an idea.

      Like

      • eowyn southmoor says:

        I completely understand that, and as personally I have a pretty crappy internet connection then I know only too well the impracticality of trying to fly too fast in SL. The key though IMO is trying to create the illusion that you are still going relatively fast, which the Tomahawk fails to do.

        My average cruising speed in SL is about 14-16 metres per second, which makes for fairly safe and crash-free flight, and every plane I own is easily capable of this. However of course I rarely, if ever, use close to maximum throttle because of SL’s limitations, but at least I have the option to do so.

        I don’t have any issue with the Tomahawk being slower than others (there’s a world of difference between ‘slower than others’ and ‘barely moving’), but I do have an issue with claims about how realistic it is when it can barely out-race a yacht. Honestly I think that if it was tweaked so that maximum speed increased to approx. 17 metres per second then it would be a good improvement.

        In conversation in the SL aviation group yesterday I was told that the plane received several months of testing. I am amazed that during that time, nobody said “jeez it’s a bit slow, maybe we should speed it up a bit” LOL.

        Like

  4. I didn’t say you weren’t having fun, I was saying I don’t find it fun and I’m not alone in thinking it’s too slow to be fun. Those who want a plane that makes a paper airplane look fast will love the Tomahawk. I will say they look utterly ridiculous hovering around overhead. It makes me want to attach a kite string to them. The same people who have derided other makers for allowing hovercraft landings in their aircraft are now praising one that can’t fly in any other mode. Shill for it all you want, but when I’m asked about it, I’m going to give my opinion of it. and that is to save your money or maybe get the new AVA Junkers F-13 which actually flies rather than floats like a balloon on the wind. That’s right, I’d recommend a plane made by Aeon over the Tomahawk. That is how much I hate the Piper.

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    • Jess MacDougal (Tesserra) says:

      I don’t see the similarity between the Tomahawk and the UFO-type pennyturner planes. The Tomahawk is slow, agreed. It could possibly be made a little faster without harming it. But I’ve never felt this ‘floating on the wind’ thing you’re feeling. Blown around like a leaf on the wind, sure, but that’s when I’m flying it with a strong wind and I’m being thrown around.

      Like

  5. Sweecahcahche Ah says:

    With regard to the Speed of the latest produced aircraft, I think you will find if you check with Zora himself, the speed of the Tomahawk P-38 is a scale speed set inline with the other planes, the P-40 and the P-51. Yes it feels slow but he has decided to make his planes to the same scale speed as each other as there seems to be no actual ‘set in stone’ scale speed in SL, thus the speed seems slow but is in comparison to the other two planes of his, it is in the same ball park with its scale speed.
    Increasing the speed of the Tomahawk P-38 would be possible but if Zora was to want to maintain the scale with his other planes then increasing them would also be necessary and then you would have people commenting that they are too fast and unrealistic, so its bit of a catch 22 when it comes to speeds.
    Also speeds of yachts in SL are very unbalanced as with cars and many other vehicles, there is no set scale speed in SL and this is where the real problem exists. If we were to have a set scale speed in SL then builders could have a target to work by that would keep everything in the same balance and ratio of MPH, KPH, M/s, Knots etc.

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    • There is no catch-22. If the P-38 could go twice it’s current speed at the top end, there wouldn’t have been one person who said it was out of scale to the P-51 or P-40. It’s not a combat plane. It’s not for the same type of pilot. Scale speed doesn’t work in SL. The usable speed range is too small for that so you have to make some compromises. Zora insisted on following what his calculator said rather than using some common sense and making the thing go at a reasonable speed.

      Obviously I’m not going to change anyone’s mind who bought it and likes it and that’s fine, but it’s also far from ‘the best airplane in SL’ for an awful lot of people and there are some other aircraft I’d suggest a pilot try before deciding to buy that one. Some of them even made by the same group of makers.

      Like

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