Virtual Festival of Aerobatic Teams
The Virtual Festival of Aerobatic Teams (VFAT) is the world's biggest virtual airshow, flown using the Lock On Lock On: Modern Air Combat flight simulation. VFAT is held annually in November or December and spectators can watch the virtual airshow live using internet streaming technology Streaming media. The virtual airshow usually attracts a total of 5,000 to 10,000 spectators during the weekend long festival.
The first VFAT took place on November 18 and 19, 2005. Six LockOn aerobatic teams and three solo pilots gathered on a game server and showed their display to each other. Around 50 spectators were able to watch as in-game spectator. Due to the high stress on the gaming server, multiple server crashes occurred.
The second VFAT took place on November 17 and 18, 2006. Seven teams and four solo pilots flew their display for a reduced amount of spectators of 30. The immediate publicity of the recorded ingame tracks made it possible to reach more spectators during the weekend.
The third VFAT took place on November 16, 17 and 18th, 2007. Thirteen teams and five solo pilots flew their display and for the first time in the history of VFAT, internet streaming technology was used to show the displays to spectators. Due to the use of this technology, spectators were not required to own the simulator and VFAT became accessible for a much greater public. VFAT 2007 was viewed live by 4500 identical spectators and show replays were downloaded 21000 times during a one year period.
The Virtual Festival of Aerobatic Teams 2008 will take place on the 12th, 13th and 14 December.