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FSElite Original: Interview with Orbx’ John Venema

2017 4 3 14 27 19 689

Orbx has grown massively in the past few years. The number of product releases outpaces pretty much everyone else in the community, and for the most part, the quality has always been extremely high. With a talented team of developers, marketing managers, and web experts, someone needs to manage them all and drive business forward ensuring releases remain of a high standard and boundaries are pushed. That person is John Venema.

John was kind enough to take the time to chat to us. This isn’t your standard “when will product X be out” interview, but I wanted to invest time in speaking to him about Orbx as a business. A few months back, Orbx turned 10 and John gave some interesting accounts on how he built the company it is today. He also gave insight into the future of the brand, so that’s the direction I took this interview.

Enough from me, I’ll let John take the spotlight now.

Q: Orbx has one of the largest libraries of products available. How has your role developed and changed since the beginnings?

JV: My role these days is focused on managing the management team and joining the dots on technology deals and IP acquisitions and partnerships. I do miss the heady days of developing and creating scenery, but I don’t think I’ve developed anything for at least five years or more. I do a lot of work behind the scenes to keep the overall team focused on Orbx’s goals and putting the right people in place to do so. Having a management team that runs Orbx day-to-day gives me the time to focus on growing the business overall.

 
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Developer Month – Orbx Developer Ken Hall

orbxdeveloper_ken-hall

Welcome to the FSElite Developer Month. Our theme this year is about delivering for the community and part of that is delivering great content to you all. As part of our commitment to you all, we’re pleased to announced Developer Month – a month themed solely around celebrating our great development community. Over the course of March, you’ll be treated to some behind the scene looks at some of our favourite developers, stories from the FSElite team, exclusive interviews and more.

Ken Hall, a developer who works with Orbx, took the time to speak to us about some of his past projects and how he managed to get involved with one of the most recognised developers in the community. His work on Catalina and Pago Pago is some of the best and most detailed work you can find in the simming world. Find out how and why he does it below.

Don’t forget, you can read our review on Catalina Airport (KAVX) here.

Tell us a little about yourselves and how you got started?

I have always loved anything to do with flight, always look up when any kind of aircraft is flying over.
Learned to fly ultralights at Warnervale in a skybox, had an awesome instructor who was so confident in his ability to fix any mess I could create that he allowed me so much freedom at the controls, that I discovered what not to do very quickly. Had my first solo at 10 hours, something you never forget, I concentrated so hard on that cct, still the best landing I ever made. Because Paul my instructor had been a commercial pilot with thousands of hours experience he pushed hard, I’d be setup for a great landing and about to flair and he’d mess things up and see if I could correct it or power on and go round. The skybox was a taildragger and a bit twitchy because it had a VW / Aeropower engine the C of G was a bit forward making the conventional 3 pointers all but impossible so Wheelie landings were preferred

We practiced landing in paddocks, something which proved very comforting during a circumnavigation of Queensland flight, I had a forced landing emergency no far from Rockhampton and managed to get into a paddock, it was a tad hairy but we both walked away safe, replaced a damaged bungee strap on the undercarriage and after fixing the problem continued on to our destination.

Well, after that trip I was determined to get my own aircraft, started with a typical rag and bone ultralight, a single seat fully enclosed cockpit version of a thruster, named her “Red” and had a love affair with her that lasted 5 years, most of the flying done around Mudgee N.S.W. nothing like owning your own aircraft you get to know her so well, she became part of me. We herded goats, did river runs at 50 feet, dropped flower bombs, even dropped toilet rolls out of the cockpit at 5000 ft AGL and chased them down, cutting the streamer with the prop, won spot landing competitions, attacked balloons filled with helium, pretending to be some reincarnated WWII fighter ace, red was the best pure fun flying I ever did. I tried other ultralights at Holbrook ultralight club, most memorable was a B1RD, or Bird.

 
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Developer Month: Vatsim and Cross the Pond Interview

vatsimctp
Welcome to the FSElite Developer Month. Our theme this year is about delivering for the community and part of that is delivering great content to you all. As part of our commitment to you all, we're pleased to announced Developer Month - a month themed solely around celebrating our great development community. Over the course of March, you'll be treated
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Developer Month: Orbx Developer Misha Cajic

ORBX_developer_MISHA
Welcome to the FSElite Developer Month. Our theme this year is about delivering for the community and part of that is delivering great content to you all. As part of our commitment to you all, we're pleased to announced Developer Month - a month themed solely around celebrating our great development community. Over the course of March, you'll be treated
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Developer Month: TOGA Projects Interview

TOGA-projects-envtex
Welcome to the FSElite Developer Month. Our theme this year is about delivering for the community and part of that is delivering great content to you all. As part of our commitment to you all, we're pleased to announced Developer Month - a month themed solely around celebrating our great development community. Over the course of March, you'll be treated
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