This is a blog about the worlds of aviation and PC flight simulation coming together into something magnificent. I write editorials, short historical pieces on aircraft and tactics, news and events from the simulation world, technology and more.

Stormbirds turned three years old in April 2019 and the blog continues to be a place to go for reliable information on some of the big flight sims that I’m currently playing. I want to share my love of this hobby with you and help people find their way into flight sims. It can be a lot of fun and I hope you’ll join me in the virtual skies!

A passion for the hobby

When I was just a few years old I was introduced to Blue Max on Commodore 64. That first experience with a very basic flying game and my constant pointing at the skies whenever an aircraft flew over haven’t changed in decades. I’ve flown the greats from companies like Dynamix and their A-10 Tank Killer, Aces of the Pacific, and Aces Over Europe series. I’ve flown many of Microprose’ titles such as F-15 Strike Eagle II and Strike Eagle III as well as F-14 Fleet Defender, and I spent over a decade flying the original IL-2 series including IL-2: Forgotten Battles, Pacific Fighters, and the ultimate IL-2: 1946.

We’re now living in a golden time for people who want to experience the joys of flight but may not have the time or luxury to experience that kind of thrill first hand with the latest flight sims. We now have graphics and VR features that I used to only be able to dream of and current flight simulators range from the civilian focused Flight Simulator, P3D and X-Plane to the combat oriented IL-2: Great Battles Series and Digital Combat Simulator (DCS) all make the most of the latest technology.

No matter which sim you choose, you’re entering a world of flying and aviation with plenty of challenges, a wealth of information to learn, and a real passion for escaping into the digital skies for a few minutes or a few hours.

This is a hobby and one that I and many of you feel very strongly about. I hope to share that with you through this blog.

Thoughts on combat flight sims

Most of the coverage on this blog features combat flight sims. They can be fun and entertaining but I think it’s important to separate our experiences in the sim world with exploding pixels and the real conflicts that they sometimes represent. War is a terrible thing and its true horror is something that I feel requires constant study. Simulated combat flying is not like real combat flying but it does give us a chance to understand it a little better.

My goal with the blog is to promote the hobby of flight simulation first. While titles like IL-2 and DCS do have combat as the backdrop of the flying experience, I feel strongly too that flight simulators like these are much more than just shooting things on a screen. The flying, navigating, understanding the mechanical operations and the overall piloting experience matters and all of these together help to understand both civilian and military aviation.


29 Comments Add yours

  1. Michael says:

    How do I get IL-2 Battle of Moscow?


    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Well, you can buy it direct through the IL-2 website (maintained by the developers) at http://il2sturmovik.com. The other option is wait for Battle of Moscow to appear on the Steam store. Should be any day now. IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad has been there for some time now.

      IMHO, I bought it direct from the devs and that works pretty well. Their auto update system is excellent.


  2. Michael says:

    thanks for the reply I check out steam thanks


  3. Nil says:

    Thank you very much for your blog, like you I am a big fan ot IL2 BOX. I find your blog very informative and beautiful! keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Thanks Neil for the kind words! Much appreciated!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. bonehead462 says:

    I visited via Battle-fields.com, thanks for linking your posts to the site, also what many people who play on B-F servers wont realise is how much hard work is done by certain individuals (yourself included) to provide the enjoyment they take for granted.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Joshua Cook says:

    Two thumbs up! I am very much enjoying this site. Keep the posts coming.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Thanks Joshua! Lots of great stuff to post in 2017 so the updates will keep coming!


  6. Alex says:

    Hey, recently i found your blog, and i am so glad i did! Keep up the good work, really good writing, interesting topics and good screens. Makes me keep looking forward to your next post! Alex

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Many thanks Alex! I appreciate the kind words!


  7. Wlliam J says:

    would you ever consider adding another writer?


    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Hi William,

      I’ve thought about it before and I have divided opinions on it. On one hand, it’d be great to have a second writer contribute extra content. On the other hand, this blog was setup for me to stretch myself as a writer and its kind of a hobby for me so adding a second writer ups the complexities in terms of scheduling content and coordinating efforts. It gives me reason to pause and hold back on that.

      I have considered entertaining the idea of the odd guest writer with one-time articles. Could happen!


      1. Wlliam J says:

        I’d be happy to work on a piece analysing the mechanics of a specific aircraft in the series, from a “how does it work” standpoint. I think it would be a welcome break from the (amazing) norm (seriously, I’m not trying to downplay this blog, I love it. I love the stories and other pieces on IL-2 that you do, just wish you’d update the Gazetteer), and maybe even allow me a repeat section. I take great interest in aircraft (obviously) and how the pilot’s interactions are transfered into moving the hulking slabs of metal we fly, and I hope my enthusiasm will show if you give me the chance. Just realised this sounds like a pitch, so I suppose it is. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Ali says:

    Great blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Thanks Ali!


  9. Freeragepunk says:

    Most beutiful and informative blog of aviasim ever!! Thanks!


  10. Jp says:

    Just wanted to give my support for this site. I discovered it last week and pretty much went back to read every single post. The Il-2 aircraft reviews were extremely useful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Glad to hear it JP!


  11. Blade_meister says:

    ShamrockOneFive, when are you going to take the plunge and buy WOTR? While it only has the Hurricane and 109 right now it is quite good and the Campaign is awesome. Check out the WOTR section at SimHQ. The AAR section is really good


    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      It’s more of an if for me right now. I’m pretty overwhelmed trying to keep up with DCS World and IL-2 and anything beyond those two is probably too much for me to check in on consistently, much less, play. I would need a lot more time to spend and I already don’t feel like I’m really getting the most out of what I have. This blog has to be fun for me first.

      I will try and check in on things and see if there’s news I can post about here and there.


  12. Jeroen says:

    This is something I’ve rarely if ever done; writing to the author.. 😁

    I really like your website. It covers both sims I’m interested in. And not only that, you do it in a very pleasant way. Your writing is excellent and a joy to read. The website itself looks very good. And the actual content of the articles is exactly what I’m looking for. This is also the only thing I can critique.. There should be more news!

    Keep on going, and add a donate button please..


    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Hey Jeroen, many thanks for the kind words! I’m doing my best to keep on top of the news but there’s so much of it (not a bad thing) so I’m working to curate and bring the most important things forward first.

      Thanks again!


  13. Amiral Crapaud says:

    Dear Shamrock,

    I very much enjoyed your blog over the months. You show the sort of love and dedication that I wish I still had from my early days in the 90s. It’s too bad the community is so fragmented today, and the glory days of Combatsim or SimHQ seem gone with everybody sticking to their own developer/game-based community, whether it is ED or Il2. In days when Microprose didn’t even have their own forums, we’d gather naturally onto content hubs like yours to find our kind and exchange. Those were the days, and I am happy that someone like you manages courageously to make them linger a little around longer! ^^

    My question is a bit awkward and has nothing to do with combat simulations, actually. I am very much interested in knowing what you’re using for your website in terms of architecture, services, etc…
    I see a small WordPress logo in the corner of this box, so I suppose it’s WordPress-based. Any idea about the template you’re using? Is it any sort of complicated to use, do you have any background in that regard? Because the result is very neat, and I’d gladly pick it for my own usage too…

    Thanks in advance for your input! And keep up the great work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Hey Amiral,

      Many thanks for the kind words! I remember those days well and spent lots of time on the SimHQ forums under one moniker or another. Clearly there are lots of niche areas to spend time in and I visit them all in the hopes of trying to bring together content on the blog.

      I’m using WordPress.com as my provider with the Premium package (as the site outgrew the free option). The template is called Dyad 2 and its very easy to work with.

      I do have a background in web. I ran various fan sites in the 90s that I did myself or with small groups. These days I don’t really enjoy the coding so something like WordPress really makes it easy to focus on the thing that I do like doing – the content. I have a background in digital content as well so this all comes fairly naturally to me.

      I highly encourage starting up a free WordPress.com account and seeing where it goes. It can be daunting at first but if you’re creating something you love then it makes it a lot easier!


      1. Amiral Crapaud says:

        Well, thank you! Informative and useful. I might just do that, I realized that wordpress isn’t blocked in China anymore it seems (that was an old problem from a few years ago, happy to see it’s been “solved”), and response time are actually much better than whatever I have hosted in France right now. I will try that and see what happens. Looks fine!

        Now, considering I have your attention and seeing you’re actually PAYING for that, how come you haven’t been listening to your wise community just yet? Where’s the donation or the Patreon or the whatever-gimme-your-money button? I’ll take donations over ugly ads any day (except if the aforementioned ads actually help you keep going of course ^^)


      2. ShamrockOneFive says:

        I’ve looked a little into donations via Patreon versus the limited ad revenues that the site makes. I haven’t figure out if there’s a way to do a Patreon supporter pass so there are no ads for example – Either way I’d like to make sure that if there are donations that I was offering some sort of added value.

        There could be more YouTube or Twitch content in the future but with those platforms I’m also thinking about what is practical for me to do and can I offer something that others aren’t doing. Most of all I need for whatever I do to be fun because I do this in my down time.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hello Shamrock,

        Well in the end in neatly followed your advice. I have to reason no complain about WP.com, it’s doing great so far.
        Let’s see what the future brings – we just launched the website this week. Although it is nowhere as close to yours in terms of fine design, it does the job I guess.

        Besides, I know you’re not the kind who dislikes a trip to the PTO now and then (I do remember reading something about your ancestral AotP vibes ^^) so don’t hesitate to drop by and have a look, I am pretty sure that you might have an interest in what you will see.
        We also released a pre-alpha tech reel that showcases some of our tech. We’re still a long way from actual gameplay, but there again I suppose that some aircraft-related features will probably be close enough to your own area of expertise to tickle the right parts of your soul, amma rite? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. ShamrockOneFive says:

        Great to hear. Cool demo reel! Hope your project goes well!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Thanks!
        Although I have to say that now that I am more familiar with WordPress, I can see that there are quite a few ways available to have people send you some funds – you won’t escape our wallets forever, just give us a way to help, and I am sure many of us will 🙂



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