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Alan Blencowe's Microsoft Flight Simulator Airfield Design - 3D FSX models for Western Australia!

Did you get the model & texture library (8th Jan 2010)

Download Merredin Town Strip YMDN

  Built by request (8th Jan 2010)

Merredin, a town better known for its wheat and sheep exports. But for almost a decade, it's where one of Asia's busiest carriers, China Southern Airlines, has been sending its trainee pilots to learn how to fly.

They come from a country with a population of more than a billion people. Right now they live in Merredin - population, depending on who's visiting, around 2,000. For nine years now, they and hundreds like them have travelled to WA's empty, sprawling Wheatbelt to learn how to fly. The middle of the Wheatbelt is not the first place you'd look for the future of Chinese commercial aviation. But before these fledgling flyers can spread their wings with China's largest airline, they must pass six months of boot camp in Merredin. Most of them are from China's southern provinces. Their backgrounds are varied. For many of them, it's the first time that they've operated some form of machinery, which includes those students that haven't even had an exposure to driving a motor car. It's early days in their careers. The students are putting in the groundwork. First, mastering the art of piloting single-engine two-seater planes. It's all preparation for the Boeings and airbuses they'll eventually be flying on major international routes. The pressure is intense. Every aspect of the student's progress is measured. Failure can have serious implications for their hopes of becoming commercial pilots. It's part theory and part practical. But flying isn't the only thing that these young men have to get used to in Merredin. For one, there's the incredibly slow pace of country life.

Merredin Shire sold the defunct airport for $1 - that's cheaper than a bag of lollies. The locals say the monetary sweetener has paid off. (From ABC transcript)

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Declaration:  Alan Blencowe does not have any financial interests in any payware companies or sites and apart from FSX and FenceBuilderPro, all scenery projects are developed totally free of reliance on payware.  Models created by Alan Blencowe with freeware can be used in freeware projects with permission.