Meet Gateway Artist YawString

Jennifer Roberts

YawString is a Gateway artist located in Southern Germany. Some of their outstanding airport submissions include LSZA Lugano and EDDH Hamburg.

Why did you choose X-Plane as your flight simulator?

I was a long-time FSX user, had tried X-Plane off and on but never stayed with it. That changed when I wanted to get into helicopters; I was drawn to X-Plane’s superior helicopter flight model and the excellent Dreamfoil addons. Once I’d gotten into X-Plane in earnest, I started flying other types of aircraft and exploring how to make contributions to the Scenery Gateway. The Scenery Gateway community and the extensibility of X-Plane in general are a big draw.

What motivates you to develop X-Plane scenery?

I started out adding or modifying glider airfields that I had flown from in real life, scratching the itch of wanting them to look more like their real-world counterparts. That got me hooked on the process of creation itself and the satisfaction of seeing an airport rise from the ground as you’re creating it in WED.

I also like the challenge of working within the constraints of the Gateway — using only the objects in the standard library and trying to come up with creative ways of using them to depict scenery elements for which the library doesn’t contain a dedicated object. It’s inspiring to see the creative tricks that Gateway contributors have come up with — Julian’s technique of using terminal kit facades to create hangars, for instance, is really neat. Some unusual uses to which I’ve put library objects include using roof pipes as overhead fuel lines for a fuel station and building a helipad foundation out of walled dumpsters.

Finally, there’s the gateway community. The mutual encouragement and positive attitude of learning from each other and building on each other’s work is really motivating.

Do you have a favorite airport that you have submitted to the Gateway?

If I have to choose, I would say Lugano. Its location among the mountains and water is really scenic; the fact that it’s a smaller airport means I was able to pay more attention to the details; and the circling approach to runway 19 is a real challenge. Two important landmarks on that approach, the hospital and the TV station, have helipads, so I recreated those for the gateway too, and both are fun and challenging places to land a helicopter.

Do you have any advice for newbie Gateway artists?

Janov’s tutorial videos are a must-watch — they have tons of useful information. Start out with a smaller project, ask on the forum if you have questions, and before you know it, you’ll be hooked!

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