While weeding my Second Life inventory, I found Terra Windrider — the hot air balloon I made in 2006. It’s totally obsolete now, of course, being made entirely out of prims rather than sculpts or mesh. And I stumbled on a little easter egg I’d totally forgotten about.

The result of the inexplicable "drop" command.
The result of the inexplicable “drop” command.

If you say “drop”, Windrider drops a penguin over the side. Splat. I honestly have no idea why I thought it was a reasonable feature to include. It’s so completely random.

Flying out of Montbard

Terra Twin prototype waiting on the runway at Blue Sky in Montbard, Second Life.
Terra Twin prototype waiting on the runway at Blue Sky in Montbard, Second Life.

Went for a little joyride in my Terra Twin prototype today. I’m enjoying the smooth motion that I’ve created for the moving parts. In the early days of Second Life, landing gear would suddenly appear in position when lowered them; the gear door swing open and Twin lowers its gear slowly until they lock into position.

It’s the little details that make a plane really fun to fly.

Next up: twin engines, retro design

As I posted previously, Terra Atom launched at the beginning of this month. The launch event brought virtual aviators both old and new and even attracted the elusive and mysterious Governor Linden in the form of a hamster with some excellent dance moves.

I’d like to say thanks to everyone who dropped by to support the launch, the skilled testers who helped me finish Atom, and the pilots who bought and fly Terra Atom. Without all of you, Atom wouldn’t have happened.

Twin-engine plane prototype in Blender.
Twin-engine plane prototype in Blender.

Atom isn’t the end, though; it’s only the beginning. As I write this, I have my latest prototype open in Blender. For this one, I’m building around a classic teardrop fuselage: larger at the front and tapering to a point. The wing shape is inspired by aircraft of the 1930s, and the cockpit is as far back as possible. The entire shape is intended to give the impression of a powerful force pulling a tapered shape through the sky.

It’s a prototype at this stage, so fundamental shapes and features may still change, but I’m happy to be at this stage after a couple of weeks, especially considering that a hard drive crash left me dead in the water for several days.

Keep an eye on this site for updates. I’ll post pictures and news.

Blue skies.