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[2006-11-23] Movie Download: Smoke On & Viva Las Vegas

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 4:55 pm
by Lawndart
Viva Las Vegas!

Click here to download our new movie Smoke On! (Please be patient as the server could experience heavy loads at times). We would like to thank JaBoG32 for graciously hosting this download for us at the beginning. Go here to read their news about Smoke On!

Download mirror:
Download mirror 2:
  • Quality: WMV HD 720p
  • Length: 50 minutes
  • File size: 1.05GB
Streaming video available at: and at

Please post your comments here after viewing. We look forward to reading your thoughts and two cents worth!

The premiere of Smoke On and Aviation Nation 2006

The Virtual Thunderbirds have marked the end of our 2006 season in memorable fashion with the premiere of our new movie, Smoke On at the big screens, made possibly by our partner and sponsor, Thrustmaster Guillemot Inc. This event also coincided with a visit by the entire team to their spiritual home, Nellis Air Force Base, the home of the USAF Thunderbirds.

The events of the week kicked off with Smoke On having its gala premiere at the Boulder Station movie complex (Regal Cinemas) in downtown Las Vegas. Smoke On is one of the most ambitious computer game or simulation movie projects ever attempted; produced in High Definition Video and surround sound, it captures the essence of the Virtual Thunderbird mission; emulating the skills of the USAF elite aerial demonstration squadron in a totally unique and accessible way. Smoke On is the culmination of months of work by the team throughout most of 2006 and in particular Kris Langdell who, after the flying was captured, dedicated enormous amounts of time to editing and a producing this masterpiece.

The Virtual Thunderbirds are sponsored by Thrustmaster who generously made the premiere at Boulder Station a reality. At first envisioned by Mike Jobe to premiere this feature on the big screens, we pursued that vision and as we've done many times before, hit the press to test button! The theatre featured 376 seats and was equipped with the latest sound system that brought out the true impact of Smoke On. We'd recommend anyone who watches this movie to take in all the sound effects! Apart from the team and their families, honored guests included Lt Col. Doug Larson, former Thunderbird No. 2 (Left Wing) and Jim Coomes, honorary Thunderbird, and also the man (together with artist Robert Belinski) behind the hand painted leather gloves the USAF Thunderbirds use during their show season.

Before the movie commenced, a simple ceremony took place to induct Steve Watts into the team as its newest member. Steve was presented with his Thunderbird number (currently No. 11) and formally welcomed into the team by all present. Then the lights went down and the audience were treated to a visually stunning epic on the big screen. Forty-five minutes later, Kris Langdell was receiving a standing ovation and all were looking forward to the internet release of Smoke On during Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 23, 2006.

Friday was a special day for the team as they arrived at Nellis AFB for the practice day of the big end-of-year air show, Aviation Nation. First stop was the Thunderbird Hangar where the Virtual Thunderbirds were privileged to meet some of the current team including Maj. Ed “Pinto” Casey (No. 6), Maj. Scottie “Zen” Zamzow (No. 2) and Maj. Jeremy “Kid” Sloan (No. 7). Also present were some of the new pilots for next year’s demonstration team including Maj. Rob Skelton (No. 7), Maj. Scott "Kidd" Poteet (No. 4) and Capt. Samantha "Combo" Weeks (No. 6). The Virtual Thunderbirds were then given a guided tour of the hangar by Lt Col. Larson, the highlight of which being a question and answer session on the finer points of formation flying from the master himself.

In the afternoon the team had the high honor of viewing the practice Thunderbird demonstration from show center, where the commander of the USAF Warfare Center, Maj. Gen. Mike Worden generously gave of his time and expertise to give the team an insight into the demonstration we were witnessing. All of the team (but mostly our own No. 7, Marc Muhlestein) were given the unique opportunity to listen to the show comms through the actual comm cart at show center, a rare privilege and greatly appreciated! Watching the Thunderbird demonstration, from show center, in perfect weather and together as team was a true highlight of the weekend. Hard to believe when we had just showed Smoke On the previous night in a major movie cinema complex as well!

Friday night was capped off by a team dinner which included a ceremony to include all the wives and girlfriends of the Virtual Thunderbirds as honorary members. The rest of the weekend was dedicated to watching Aviation Nation and other team activities (see Go-Karting & more) plus the diversions that Las Vegas is renowned for. While some members headed off for some much needed shuteye, others went downtown into the early hours.

The Virtual Thunderbirds would like to thank Winn Keaten and Thrustmaster for their involvement in our team and in particular for allowing Smoke On to be premiered in such grand style. All the team are looking forward to the new year and once again raising the bar for ourselves as well as the simulation community!

Written by Cobra.

Premiere photos! (Additional photos from Aviation Nation will be posted in our image gallery soon).

Viva Las Vegas!

Boulder Station Hotel & Casino. This is where Smoke On had its premiere!


Chris Curtis showing us the "grandness" of the big screen!

From left to right: Chris Curtis, Mike Jobe and Kris Langdell by the entrance to the theater.

Artwork by Mike Perry displayed outside the entrance to the theater.
Image Image

Next stop Hollywood for this kid?

Thrustmaster Cougar on display at center stage. As Virtual Thunderbirds, we perform with flightsticks identical to the real Thunderbirds' as found in their jets.

From left to right: Kris Langdell, Chris Curtis, Mike Jobe and Ian Roberts prior to showtime!

Measuring in at 40 by 70 feet, we're not kidding when we say this screen was BIG! Just imagine what the soundtrack sounded like...
Click here for a short video clip just prior to the actual premeire of Smoke On! Click here for another quick clip of the actual presentation of Smoke On as well.


From left to right: Lt Col. Doug Larson, Jim Coomes, Reid Martin and Kris Langdell. In the presence of "royalty"! We're sure it's mutual...

Speaking on behalf of the team, from left to right: Marc Muhlestein and Mike Jobe.
Click here to watch a short video clip of the introduction.


Our proudest and newest member: Steve Watts was surprised by the team when he was presented his own number just moments before the show!

From left to right: Steve Watts, Marc Muhlestein, Chris Curtis, Tab Harris, Mike Jobe, Ian Roberts, Reid Martin, Kris Langdell and Mike Glynn.
Not able to attend the premiere, but in spirit: Mike Perry. These are your 2006 Virtual Thunderbirds!


Top left to right: Chris Curtis, Ian Roberts, Mike Glynn and Tab Harris.
Bottom left to right: Kris Langdell, Mike Jobe, Steve Watts and Reid Martin. Not in picture, but very much part of the premiere: Marc Muhlestein.


This marks the completion of the 2006 Virtual Thunderbird season. We're pleased to have been with you, to fly for you and show you the quality in action and pride in performance that are very much a part of today's United States Air Force. Your Virtual Thunderbirds are very much alike, a team of professionals that puts integrity first and achieve the same level of excellence you witnessed here today.

And now, for your continued support, the Virtual Thunderbirds salute you!

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 7:11 pm
by Kilahurtz
download server must have gone offline, my download stopped and I can't get it downloading again.
Someone contact the server people!

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 7:25 pm
by necigrad
Yeah, same with me. We probably overloaded it or something.

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 7:29 pm
by Canuck
Can't wait to get it up on my site :D
When i can get it that is. :)

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 7:39 pm
by Lawndart
We killed the JaBoG32 server... YEAH! :wink:

Kidding aside... the server is still up looks like, but with 600 downloads in the first 2 hours at 1GB a piece, the bandwidth is being stretched to the limit as you can imagine and the server probably cannot handle the amount of simultaneous download requests. Just be patient, try to download off peak hours and rest assured we're also looking into adding more mirrors in the near future!

If someone has the bandwidth to mirror this file for us, let us know, but it would almost take unlimited bandwidth considering we're guestimating the total number of downloads to hit tens of thousands within only a matter of weeks and at 1GB each, that is a lot of data!

That's all the info I have at this time for ya'll! 8)

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 7:40 pm
by 310thFalcon
Down still... :cry:

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 8:07 pm
by Kilahurtz
yeah, down and I think their download counter is broke too as it is probably registering a download everytime someone clicks the download link.

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 8:15 pm
by Lawndart
Could be the case, but unfortunately we have no control over this what-so-ever. Check back off peak hours and tomorrow after the JaBoG32 admins have had a chance to check the status of the server. (It's currently night time over there and people are asleep).

Sorry for the inconvenience!

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 8:42 pm
by Rhino
O well.......we've waited for months, I guess we can wait another week until the capacity is such that people can download it. As of 8:42 PM Eastern, there have been 911 downloads. This is nuts!

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 8:45 pm
by Kilahurtz
I think that download count is based upon how many times people have clicked the "download" link, not actual downloads as the server has been locked up for hours.

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 8:45 pm
by Canuck
I have over 600 gigs still available :)

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 8:47 pm
by Lawndart
Rhino wrote:As of 8:42 PM Eastern, there have been 911 downloads. This is nuts!
I believe the official time it went online was 5:46 PM Eastern, November 23, 2006 plus-minus a few minutes and we haven't even announced anything outside our forum and JaBoG's news page (and probably won't until we have the server A-OK and at least one mirror available). Keep your fingers crossed!

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 8:49 pm
by Lawndart
Canuck wrote:I have over 600 gigs still available :)
Are you offering your bandwidth? If so, we appreciate it, but I'd also like to warn you that 600GB will probably be gone in less than one day if you host the movie over there and I'd hate for you to run out of bandwidth on your site.

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 8:51 pm
by malignwarlock
May want to consider torrenting in addition to direct downloads for future releases. Just an idea.

Can't wait to watch it though!

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 8:56 pm
by Lawndart
Rhino wrote:O well.......we've waited for months, I guess we can wait another week until the capacity is such that people can download it.
I'll echo what Rhino said. There just simply hasn't been enough time to do all the various forms of download, renders and to do it all in between everything else we've had going as well as real work etc. This is the first step of putting the movie online, so bare with us and be patient. :P

I'll have more info sometime towmorrow after speaking to JaBoG and potentially one or two mirror sites.