This past weekend, I had the opportunity to go to the airshow at Hammond Northshore Regional in Louisiana. Truth be told, aside from watching the Blue Angels on Biloxi Beach in 2018, this was the first airshow I'd properly attended since I was a child in 2011 - since before I even joined YSFHQ, as a matter of fact. It gave me the opportunity to not only say hi in person to HQ's very own Scarecrow, my personal "idol" of an airshow announcer, but to once again take in the atmosphere of what a real airshow is truly like. Between the Aeroshell team, the A-10 demo and Heritage Flight, Skip Stewart, the Third Strike Wingwalkers, and more, this was one hell of a day of flying, and one that I'm going to remember fondly for quite a long time to come.
This experience at Hammond also brought me to the realization of just where our events here at VCAP have ended up. Much like how Dana Carvey's SNL impression of George Bush in the 90s eventually became a parody of itself, it dawned on me during the show that I've allowed YSFlight airshows to slip so far away from the high-energy atmospheres that they're supposed to try and capture. They've instead become just another YS event, feeling less like our takes on real airshows, and more like impressions of YS airshows past, in large part because I'd long lost sight of why I ever loved airshows in the first place.
I've hinted at this before, but the truth is that, almost since VCAP began, I've only continued to host YSFlight airshows out of a sense of obligation to our community, and with much less of a care for the work that goes into it all. That being said, I'm very glad to now tell you that attending my first airshow in forever was the spark I needed to reignite my passion for the art of aerobatics, both real and virtual, and I now feel more energized than ever to push VCAP as far as it can go.
With such little time left until the Chicago Air & Water Show, we obviously can't significantly change our modus operandi. Once the show has concluded, however, we at VCAP will be embarking on...
For VCAP to evolve, the onus is on me and my team to lead the way, and that means putting our noses to the grindstone. Rising to the challenge of delivering what YSFlight airshows at their best require will mean a whole host of advancements in both our skillsets and equipment, including YSFlight modding, aerial performances, live production, media creation, and more. The learning curve is going to be quite steep, and I can't promise you that we'll succeed, but we're going to either achieve our goal, or collapse trying.
What this also means is that, as VCAP enters a period of hiatus to undergo this evolution, Chicago may be our last full-scale event for a long time. Our hope is that, by the time Project Endymion reaches its conclusion, we can become the first organization to officially host an aerial event in the upcoming YSFlight Community Edition, currently under development.
On our server in the future will appear a harder, better, faster, and stronger VCAP Aerobatics, a new soul for an old organization.