Thursday, February 7, 2008

"How Dare She!"

"How Dare She!"

A note to the detractors of my aerodrome and Royal Caledon Air Force...

First and foremost. I love Caledon and I love Victorian Steampunk.

My Second Life Group "Royal Caledon Air Force" was created as a military branch within Caledon to coincide with the opening of Connolly Aerodrome in Caledon Penzance in October 2007. RCAF and Connolly Aerodrome were created after consultation with - and the blessing of - Guvnah Desmond Shang (sim owner).

My definition of what is steampunk may be more liberal than your own, but I would certainly not say anything publicly against you or your opinion. We are not debating grand issues of our times. Let us agree to disagree and be done with it. Caledon is certainly big enough to encompass both our visions and RCAF is not a template you must follow.

RCAF is a military branch within Caledon. There are other military groups here if one so chooses and some citizens are in several of them. We are NOT a maritime group although some of us may fly seaplanes or sail our ships with the RCAF Ensign. We have NO INTEREST in competing with ANY maritime military group and encourage all our maritime sister organizations. I am always open to joint exercises with any other interested parties.

Another point I must repeat: Though it may appear so at times on the surface, we at Royal Caledon Air Force are NOT WW1 re-enactors! Officers of the RCAF may fly many assorted flying machines. For instance: My preferred means of flight is Group Captain August Breed's 1909 Bleriot and 1912 Blackburn. Both are pre-WW1 monoplanes and I think quite smashing builds! I do fly other craft but these two are my favorites. I have fun flying them and will continue to do so.

A few may see a surface resemblance to a WW1 group and have visions of the horrific trench warfare that occurred so much in that war.

Here's what I see...I see a Caledon group that loves to fly planes in a friendly and fun setting. What I promote within RCAF is individual achievement, group fun in a Caledon military branch, and a place for people to chat about flying and collaborate with each other on building projects related to flying machines.

When I think of RCAF, I do not see trench warfare, I see role-models from across RealLife history...

The Wright Brothers
The Lafayette Escadrille
Eugene Bullard
Bessie Coleman
Maude Rose "Lores" Bonney
Amelia Earhart
Chuck Yeager
Scott Crossfield
Alan Shepard
John Glenn
Armstrong and Aldrin
....And so many more!

I support anyone in my group having fun flying, creating, and I'm supportive of all of us building a community together. We're just one of a great many within Caledon.

Desmond Shang is my role-model for how I approach my group. People approach me with ideas and designs and for the most part I say "Ooooo" "That's awesome, let's do it!" or "When can that be ready for the group?" Seldom do I say No and I gently prod people away from using planes that are far beyond the WW1 era. I admit that sometimes running the RCAF is like herding cats, but I would not trade it for anything. What has happened within RCAF is more than I ever dreamed. It's one of the most dynamic, fun, and creative groups I've ever had the pleasure to be involved in within Second Life -- whether as an owner or member!

Let me now formally announce that both RCAF and Connolly Aerodrome in Caledon Penzance are here to stay!
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