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 online experience flying against real humans has no parallel in the single player world. The ability to simultaneously coordinate your efforts with a human wingman using voice interaction via Roger Wilco or similar software adds great fun and improves the rate of survival.
Microsoft's Fighter AceII is also in the midst of revision. Fighter Ace III aims at being more accessible to the novice, but like the other MMOG combat flight simulations is expanding game play to include naval operations. FA III will add naval aircraft, as well as improved graphics and weather effects.
The strategic dimension will be enhanced by the addition of radar and a new resource system. Tracking and limiting resources will reduce the waste of aircraft, fuel and ammo but can also be used the enemy as a strategy to starve out airfields. Tanks and trains are the only ground vehicles currently in the Fighter Ace world.
Air Warrior is also in the process of change. Recently ultra-realistic flight models have been added, and the view system has been expanded. An entirely new version is in development that will greatly improve damage resolution and bring Air Warrior into the modern world graphically. The new version is slated for release in 2002
Playnetís WW2 Online, meanwhile, is attempting to model the complete battlefield environment. Players can captain ships, command tanks, pilot combat aircraft, or fight as infantry or marines. All this takes place in a persistent world where combat results effect supply flow and territory ownership.
The degree of detail is high, and WW2 Online is a unique experiment in the simulation world. Strategy First will be the retail distribution partner.
This article is ©2001 Leonard Hjalmarson and Thrustmaster ® and hosted with permission in the Flight Sim Museum. Unauthorised reproduction is forbidden.