RealATC Goes Donationware

In a press release issued today, RealATC developer Ralph Zimmerman announces that he is converting the package to be Donationware.

The pioneer of RealATC for Flight Simulator, Ralph Zimmerman, writes to say “I said in June of 2003 that I was going to retire RealATC due to the changes in Microsoft Flight Simulator and associated programming languages. But I keep hearing from folks who enjoy and/or want the huge collection of over 4,100 RealATC files!” The website for the Ultimate Real ATC Collection for Radar Contact V4 and Enviro! is realatc.net. We’ve been there for several years now.

This now donationware add-on, will double your pleasure with Radar Contact 4.3 and earlier and works great with ALL previous versions of Microsoft Flight Simulator, and every other civilian or military flight simulator out there (Enviro! required except for Radar Contact).

To read the full Press Release, please click on “Read More” below.

Full press release text:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 11, 2012

 

Ultimate RealATC Now Available as Donationware!

The pioneer of RealATC for Flight Simulator, Ralph Zimmerman, writes to say “I said in June of 2003 that I was going to retire RealATC due to the changes in Microsoft Flight Simulator and associated programming languages. But I keep hearing from folks who enjoy and/or want the huge collection of over 4,100 RealATC files!” The website for the Ultimate Real ATC Collection for Radar Contact V4 and Enviro! is realatc.net. We’ve been there for several years now.

This now donationware add-on, will double your pleasure with Radar Contact 4.3 and earlier and works great with ALL previous versions of Microsoft Flight Simulator, and every other civilian or military flight simulator out there (Enviro! required except for Radar Contact).

Also available to the folks who haven’t been able to keep up with the hardware upgrades and still fly FS2000 or FS2002 and absolutely FREE is the Three Real Flights package. “If you haven’t tried to fly them then in you in for a real treat. They are very difficult but will immerse you into the flight.” says Zimmerman. While this is not new and in a way a trip down memory lane for many, there are still lots of simulator pilots still flying the older versions.

Ralph Zimmerman pioneered the RealATC concept for Flight Simulator in 1996. The current form includes the largest collection of RealATC sound bytes available from a single source, over 4100 sound bytes!

Zimmerman was reluctant to sit back and just accept what the marketplace had to offer. To maximize the experience, it simply had to be more realistic! His vision evolved to the first Turboprop SGA sound for FS4.0, praised as a significant enhancement to flight simulation technology. Zimmerman helped designed the Las Vegas scenery for the FLY-IN 11 held on CompuServe in the early 1990’s. This enhancement package was on the iup server for several years, and proved compatible with FS98 when adapting the Las Vegas scenery to work with FS2000.

By 1996, Zimmerman had produced the most realistic flight simulator experience ever for Microsoft Flight Simulator. He had created the first RealATC .wav files for use with BAO’s Flight Shop, overwriting the rudimentary 30 enroute files that played.

A new era had emerged: RealATC was born in the CompuServe flight simulation forum as a $5 shareware concept. This led Zimmerman to the development of a commercial product: RealATC, creating adventure coding and the low altitude sound files for the product. The original RealATC initially was written for FS5.1 so the concept is certainly not new. Technology moves forward but the interaction between pilots and controllers stays very much a human experience.

“My ambition to turn the real Air Traffic Control recordings into a real time interactive flight experience is unsurpassed in the level of real ambiance it brings to flight simulation,” says Zimmerman. “But the real credit for any of the product’s triumphs goes to the pilots who flew the flights, and the controllers who interacted with them and to the people who brought me some of the tapes and shared my vision of bringing a new dimension to flight simulator. Most of it, however was my trusty scanner and a high end tape deck.”

Zimmerman has participated in the adventure coding and sound editing for several other commercial products as well. They include Airfield, Flight Academy and Fly Lauda and the very successful Lauda 425 as well as Three Real Flights, RealATC and RealATC 2.

Zimmerman grew up in New York State, but spent several years in Florida and Las Vegas before finally settling in Colorado. After fourteen years in Denver, he currently resides in Colorado Springs.

“This is a great hobby,” adds Zimmerman, “challenging, affordable and just plain fun. Just when you think you’ve got it down, somebody comes along with something bigger and better and you get to be the ‘student’ all over again. I’m proud to have been among the pioneers in this hobby, taking simulated flight to new heights.”

Ralph Zimmerman
Colorado Springs, CO

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Ian P
Saturday, January 14, 2012 16:49

Thanks for the clarification, Ralph.

Saturday, January 14, 2012 16:44

What has changed is the price. For me it’s not about the money but simply wanting to make the product available to as many as possible for whatever they feel like paying. By using direct download it’s easier than the mail. I have a disability and can’t always get to the post office especially in the winter. Guess I could have called it shareware or just “pay what you want” but the end result would be the same.

Regards,

Ralph

Aaron
Thursday, January 12, 2012 17:34

No problem, thanks for the replies Ian.

Ian P
Thursday, January 12, 2012 16:59

Sorry Aaron, you know as much as I do.

As far as I can tell, what’s changed is that rather than being a fixed price, he’s now offering to let people pay what they want/believe the product is worth.

I can’t really comment on why he’s doing it or calling it what he is, unfortunately.

Aaron
Thursday, January 12, 2012 16:28

So is that the case here as well? I’m struggling to understand what exactly has changed…