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Len "Viking 1" Hjalmarson
20 Years of Military Flight Simulations on the PC by Len "Viking 1" Hjalmarson.

Flight sim guru Len "Viking 1" Hjalmarson chronicles the first 30 years of computer flight sims, the software, hardware, people and the culture.

The Mature Years: 1997-2000

The pace picks up...

The pace in 1998 was grueling, the advances... legion.

Improvements in hardware were enabling programmers to realize many of their dreams, and 3d accelerators were still new to the mix. Rendition and Nvidia were contending hotly with 3dfx for the 3d accelerator crown.

In the fall Novalogic released F-16 Multi Role Fighter and MiG-29 Fulcrum - (Novalogic - 1998), boxed simulations that were aimed at online play.

At the close of the year, in a kind of macabre capstone to the proceedings, Microprose released the long awaited Falcon 4.0.

Falcon 4.0 had been at least four years in development. The project had almost ended in the garbage bin two or three times. In the end Gilman Louie salvaged it, and with the help of Leon Rosenshein as Lead Engineer, Kevin Klemmick writing the campaign AI, and Pete Bonanni (a serving USAF Viper pilot) pulled off a sweeping simulation of the F16 and its combat environment.

F-16 cockpit in Falcon 4.0
F16 Cockpit in Falcon 4.0

Read on

This article is ©2001 Leonard Hjalmarson and Thrustmaster ® and hosted with permission in the Flight Sim Museum. Unauthorised reproduction is forbidden.