By Bill Rambow


The R4D version 4.75 is now available at AVSIM OnLine, for those of you who have been awaiting this news.


However, for some inexplicable reason, the upload of our R4D v4.75 for FS2002 Package was, initially, posted in the AVSIM Library without the description I wrote for it and which I sent to AVSIM and other sites.  This would have been inconvenient and troubling enough, but still only a nuisance, except for one thing.  The AVSIM librarian had put up his own blurb, taken out of context from my “readme.txt” as a “file description, in its stead.  Still, no big deal, right?   Well, sure --  except that he had chosen the most negative sentences in the whole document!  They did not describe what the package contains – only what it does not!  More importantly, he had left out all the details about the package being Donationware and time-limited! 


Tom Allensworth, AVSIM OnLine’s founder and publisher, has now corrected the situation and tells me that “only” 106 downloads were made before it was fixed.  Well, that’s a potential of $530.00 in donations to MAAM jeopardized, as I see it, and 106 ticked off down-loaders!  So if you were one of those 106 and found your way here, please read on.  NOTE: There are some unrelated, but important notes to others, too, down toward the bottom of this post.


Following are both “file descriptions” for your comparison. First, the one I submitted for inclusion:


R4D-6 (DC-3) version 4.75 for FS2002 -

Updates the world's most-downloaded FS plane and panel. All new gauges, sound.cfg, and flight model make it compatible with FS2002. It's complete, but time-limited Donationware.  Free to Donationware CD owners, MAAM donors, and members.  $5 registration fee goes to the Mid Atlantic Air Museum to help re-engine the real R4D. Requires FS2000 R4D installation.

by and Roy Chaffin and Bill Rambow


Now the AVSIM librarian’s choice of words:


File Description:
This version does not contain any changes to the physical aircraft model (***.mdl or Model.cfg files) This means it does NOT include a virtual cockpit, rolling wheels, telescoping struts, or working landing lights. It was never the intent of the team to produce a complete redesign of the entire package for FS2002 at this time. We have too many other pots on the fire and deadlines are looming. This is not to say Jan Visser won't update the aircraft model files at a later date. If and when he does, we promise not to charge anything for it! :-) (MR)


Once again, this second bit was the AVSIM librarian’s (MR’s) chosen “File Description”.  I’m not going to take the time to put his excerpt into context by reproducing the whole “readme.txt” here.  You will see for yourself when you read that document (as I really hope that you will ;-).

Do you see why steam was coming out of my ears when I read this?  What makes it far worse, personally, is that when I discovered this screw-up, I had just posted the following (and a lot more!) to the Flightsim.com FS2002 Forum in reply to a complaint about the concept and use of the word “Donationware”:

“I took great care in the FILE ID, every press release, the readme, and every forum post to let everyone know up front what the expectation was from us, and what the limitations were on you. I thought (silly me) that if I didn't try to trick anyone, everyone would be free to make his decision before committing to a lengthy download, and no one would have (just) cause to complain.”

Now do you see why it was high pressure, live steam venting from the old aural canals!!  Roy is usually the partner in charge of getting steamed on our team ;-)  – but not this time! 

As I said, Tom promptly attended to the mix-up, so all is well now.  He has also given me the proper address for my Press Release (see below), so I’ll get that off to him and I’m certain he’ll see to that, as well.  I am very happy that removal of the file from the AVSIM site was not necessary, because a number of you good folks have asked for the file to be uploaded to AVSIM, specifically because their library supports resumed downloads.   

We value our relationship with AVSIM, which fine organization has always supported the MAAM cause since we first brought it to the attention of the FS community, and who honored us with their Bravo Zulu award, naming the R4D both BEST PLANE, and BEST PANEL for 2000!  Also, Steve “Bear” Cartwright, a senior reviewer on staff at AVSIM, made our DC-3 packages his pick for best Freeware Aircraft this year, as well, against some wonderful competition! 

Because of all this history, and because I know Tom and a number of his senior staff, and the class operation they run, I’m very happy to tell you all is now well.  If anyone was inconvenienced by the lack of correct info concerning the nature of this package, we are all sorry.  Hopefully,  no lasting damage has been done to our reputation and that of the Mid Atlantic Air Museum. 

OK, to other items: Neither AVSIM, nor Flightsim.com have managed to post the Press Release I sent them, (which would have somewhat alleviated any misunderstanding engendered by the aforementioned goof-up. Flightsim.com, in particular, (Thanks Nels ;-) was surprisingly prompt getting the R4D 2k2 package up, despite the Christmas rush/slow-down.  But neither site found time to post my Christmas message Press Release in a timely manner.  Perhaps I screwed it up somehow –wouldn’t be surprised, or maybe the news departments weren’t working, although the files posting people were?  As I said, Tom will receive the PR and get it up right away, and I hope Nels will not be far behind.

In any case, following is my no-longer-so-timely  PR for your perusal.  You may have unwrapped all your presents, but it is still not too late to give one to the grand old lady known as R4D-6 #50819 at MAAM.  To all you great guys (a very heart-warming number of you) who have already done so, flooding the MAAM web-page and office with donations, our deepest thanks, on behalf of the team and MAAM for your generosity.  Rest assured, Roy, Pete, and I are burning the midnight oil (our usual state of being) to get you your key codes in an expeditious manner.

I’ll also take this opportunity for one last bit of illumination.   If you are scrupulously following the instructions in the “readme.txt” concerning donating on-line, you may be confused by the donation links at MAAM.  We intended for there to be a special, registration- dedicated page by this time.  But, I'm afraid we have caught the MAAM web-master flat-footed.  Many peopled have ferreted it out for themselves, though, found their way to the existing Engine Fund donation page and plunked down their five (or more ;-) bucks.  That’s fine.  For now, it’s the best and fastest way to go, if you are using a credit card, short of catching Pete in the office by phone (which you certainly may do!)  You may then make a copy of the e-mail receipt you’ll get and send that off to Pete, Roy, or me and we’ll issue your personal key code lickety-split, with our thanks – IF you remember to copy send your R4D_2k2 serial number.  We can’t generate the code without it.  All together now, “It’s all in the readme text!”   Nicely done – I hear the Vienna Boy’s Choir has a few openings. J  We hope to have the dedicated registration page up soon – please bear with us.

By the way, in case you missed the announcement on the main MAAM donation page, you will NOT be charged the $3.95 shipping charge shown on the e-mail receipt in addition to your donation-- only the $1.00 credit card handling fee mentioned in the readme will be debited from your credit card.  The receipt you’ll get was generated by the browser, whereas the actual charge to your account is made by Pete, the MAAM Program Coordinator.  He swears on a stack of DC-3 technical manuals that he’ll only charge you $6.00 total! J

Hoping your Christmas was wonderful and the New Year ahead will be all that you wish.

Bill Rambow Dec.26, 2001