Tuesday, January 13, 2015


I have NOT closed RCAF, yet...

A scant few minutes after my post about closing the SL Group "Royal Caledon Air Force" the group chat sprang into life with understandable sadness and "is there any way to save it?" chatter.

To be honest, I've been down this runway before. But I'll oblige the current sentiment. For now, RCAF remains on life-support as a few of us sort out its future.

A Brief History of RCAF:

In the early days of 2007 I couldn't imagine flying a vehicle in a virtual world. My computer was not up to the task, so I didn't really think about it. When I began exploring steampunk in April 2007, I spent a great deal of time in New Babbage, where I discovered the joys of flying hovering craft . In no time I was hooked on flying and could be seen all over the steam-lands in various flying machines.

While exploring Caledon by Land and Air, I noticed there was only one runway (no rez) in the entire nation. My vision for Caledon was to provide a runway and rez area for any citizen and any interested aviation enthusiast in SL. I mentioned this idea to Desmond Shang who was delighted at the prospect of adding another fun attraction in his fair steamland. At the time, he had a rather odd-shaped parcel in the yet to be created Caledon Penzance. He wasn't quite sure how anyone would use it. With a little more tweaking from Des, it was perfect for a runway.

In October 2007, Virrginia Tombola and I reserved the two parcels that are now known as the Connolly Aerodrome. At the same time, I started the Royal Caledon Air Force Group.

In 2008 RCAF, SL, and my newest computer were in sync... All "In The Zone"

The RCAF group grew in membership and stature. SL seemed to be working well for vehicle users, my latest computer could handle SL quite well, there was an abundance of "Void" sims and the aviation life was good! RCAF was in the sweet spot in 2008. About a dozen core people would help me organize, build structures, design airplanes, insignia, and uniforms. There were creative people in RCAF who loved aviation and expressed it well with their creations. There were so many great ideas I rarely said no. Another 6 to 8 people might show at events such - from dances to dogfights - as their schedule permitted. I had an easy time leading that dynamic group of excited participants.

But as the saying goes "all good things must come to an end"

By the end of 2008, Linden Labs announced the end of the void sims. Virrginia Tombola left SL. A dear friend and aircraft designer, the sweet Sumie Kawashima passed-on in RL.

From 2010 onward it's been more and more difficult. Partly because (and prior to SL GO) SL has been such a chore to use. The other difficulty has been the missing "RCAF special sauce" of building and participation. Designing and initiative.

Ah that's it!... that's the key ingredient that's been missing for years. RCAF needs 10 to 15 % of its member base to take the initiative. NOT two people, or one person, but a strong core of 10 or 12 dynamic event-coordinators, recruiters, builders and designers to make things happen. The above RCAF logo was designed by a member. I didn't have to tell him to create one, and he didn't ask for permission to do it. He just took the initiative, made it, then asked if I liked it... I LOVED it!

(RCAF Connolly Aerodrome, January 2008)
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