content_paste 747 was a civil flight sim created for the Atom computer, running in 12K of RAM ( !!!) in 1981. To give you an idea, 12k is about the size of a small web page these days. Or a few pages of text.
content_pasteThis sim may look primitive today , but bear in mind the the CPU speeds in 1989 were 8MHz, computers had 640k of RAM and there was no dedicated video hardware.
To put it in perspective, a standard PC only 10 years later ran at 3,000 MHz with 1,000,000 k of RAM and a video card that is probably more powerful than the host PC!.
content_pasteThe PC port of this game didn't look as good as the arcade machines, but bear in mind that these were the days of 386 25 Mhz processors and 2 MEG RAM! Although this was definitely an arcade game rather than a sim, it is worth a mention because it had a pretty good moving cockpit in the arcades and probably got many people interested the flight sim genre. Anyway the fact remains that if you tell someone that you're into Flight Simulators there is a pretty good chance they'll say "Oh, yeah, you mean like: Afterburner!". It is an iconic game.
content_pasteAir Strike USA was published by Digital Integration and released on on the PC in 1985. Really an arcade game rather than a flight simulator it is mainly of interest because the Publisher / Design Team Digital Integration went on to produce some of the finest PC Flight Sims ever to grace screens worldwide. From humble origins grew one of the giants in air combat sim development.
content_pasteOne of the earliest and most addictive real time strategy games, it also had a flight simulation element. A classic sim in it's time which integrated many of the elements of addictive gameplay.
content_pasteIn 1989 F-15 Strike Eagle II had one of the richest and most interactive sim environments ever seen.The world was full of activity from enemy fighters and ships. Who can forget "Director Mode", which let you sit back and watch as the sim followed the action. Pour a cup of coffee, grab a donut and watch the action unfold!
content_pasteThe simple graphics of this sim belie the amount of information it presented to the pilot in real time, a milestone achievement for flight sims of the era. I first played it in the 1980's on an Atari ST. I used to fly on instruments most of the time and play with the comprehensive information available on the 3 Multi-Function Displays. It was the first flight sim with a dynamic battlefield.
content_pasteF-19 Stealth Fighter was the first version of the wildly successful release "F-117A Stealth Fighter". The smoothly profiled aircraft you can see on the box was based on aerospace industry observer's best guesses about what the mysterious 'Stealth Fighter' actually looked like. Bear in mind that the F-117 was flying in secrecy for about 10 years before the general public got a look at it! Quite a remarkable achievement. The Atari version had digitised sounds, I distinctly remember the "click" of the recon camera. The manual was probably the largest and most informative we had ever seen for a flight sim. Playing this sim on my Atari ST prompted me to get back into scale modelling, so I went out and bought a 1/72 scale F-117 model, which although more accurate in general shape than the F-19 guesses, still wasn't quite right, being too short and stubby.
content_pasteFalcon was created for the Atari ST, IBM PC and Commodore Amiga and Apple Mac by Gilman Louie's Spectrum Holobyte team in 1987. In Falcon you piloted the F-16A Falcon on 12 preset missions. Falcon was my initiation into hard-core simming and like many others, I've only looked back since to check six.
content_paste"Falcon A.T. (PC DOS 1988), also known as Falcon 2, was one of the first flight sims to use EGA graphics as well as one of the earliest commercially released games to require a 286 or better PC. In comparison to the older game, this version allows external viewing of the player aircraft, enables a "head-to-head" multiplayer mode, and includes the MiG-29 as an adversary."
content_pasteFighter Pilot was the first combat flight simulation from the British developer Digital Integration. The game earned the distinction of being the first attempt at simulating the undoubtedly complex F-15 Eagle interceptor. Not a very impressive attempt by today’s standards, but in 1983 the coding was fairly complex and the result quite respectable. There were a number of successive versions created for several platforms over a period of a few years, which makes it harder to determine the release date of the original, but it was probably in 1983.
content_paste" This is a real-time flight and landing simulator for a small plane similar to a Cessna. You're approaching the air strip, and must use your instruments and the view from your cockpit to land safely. You control pitch (angle with the ground), yaw (angle about the plane's vertical axis), and power with your joystick. You may choose flying conditions and decide whether or not to use your instruments. Overall, this is an excellent and convincing simulation." - courtes of Digital Antic Project .
content_pasteFlight Simulator 1 was one of the first flight sims released for personal computers. A whole generation of flight sim fans were hooked for life on the wire frame graphics and the "dogfighting" in the Sopwith Camel. The graphical splendour rested mainly in the mind of the player - but it was a beginning! This was my very first exposure to flying on a personal computer and I was hooked!
content_pasteMichael Woodley reported: "At the time, there were three 6502 versions of FSII. There was one for the Apple II, one for the Commodore 64 and one for the Atari 800. When the the Atari ST and Amiga were introduced (which ran the Motorolla 68000 processor), new versions were released for those machines, for the Tandy and for the MacIntosh through Microsoft. The versions of FSII for the 6502 processor DID have solid filled graphics not just wireframe."
content_pasteIn Gunship there were no external views available, just a cockpit with a bedazzling array of engine sensors and weapons displays. Engine start left, Engine start right then drop the clutch to start the rotors spinning. Collective up and the rotor blades bite savagely into the air. With a leap and whoops, you're airborne! 1987 had never been more exciting!