Articles: Ordered by Date - added January 11th, 2008

ExhibitTitle Comments Year Thumb
History of Military Flight Simulations on the PC: The Mature Years 1997-2000 As promised here is part 3 of Len "Viking 1" Hjalmarson's History of Military Flight Simulations on the PC : Combatsim.com founded, 3D wars heat up, Voice Control!, SimHQ.com founded, European Air War, DEBRIEF, F15, WW2 Fighters, Total Air War, Microsoft's first Combat sim, The Pace picks up, Falcon 4.0, USAF, Enemy Engaged, Su-27 Flanker 2.0, 3DFX and Nvidia, AMD, Nations, F/A-18 by Janes, Helicopters, Combat Flight Sim 2, Jetfighter 4. 15-Dec-2001
A free sim ignites a passion "My first experience ever with a flight sim was when I had a job in the media department of a Toronto advertising agency doing research runs on an original IBM XT. Hiding in the corner with all of the other computer documentation was a copy of Microsoft's Flight Simulator 1 - I guess the computer store threw it in for free?" 15-Dec-2001
Still experimenting Mark Hermonat was already known to the Flight Sim Community as one of the driving forces behind Game Tool Technologies. GTT has gone but Mark is still experimenting with sims: "I am slowly developing my own sim. Nothing fancy, nothing cutting edge. Just something to fool around with to learn the various aspects of a flight sim. Spectrum Holobyte's Falcon was the basis for the landscape. It is modelled in detail down to the three airbases, all of the mountains and even the suspension and cantilever bridges. Those nostalgic for that sim may have fun exploring the world here." 15-Dec-2001
Flight Simming on a budget It doesn't have to cost the earth and you don't need a brand new computer with all the bells and whistles to enjoy Flight Sims. I've just played 84 missions - NOT counting replays - in Microsoft Combat Flight Sim. I played the campaigns which come with the sim - there's 48 missions - and then downloaded Mike Eustace and Doug Attrell's fabulous Korean campaigns which gave me another 36 missions of fast jet action and carrier ops. Microsoft Combat Flight Sim will run quite well on a Pentium 233 and a modest graphics card - I used a Banshee 2D/3D Graphics Accelerator Card the first time around. For a controller I used the Top Gun Afterburner II. 23-Dec-2001
Hardware 101 - Setting up your sticks Flight sims can be pretty darned confusing for folks. I remember it took me years to be able to land in the things! I manage it now - most of the time anyway. And those controllers - what are all the buttons for? What do they do?
I was reminded about this dilemma just the other night when watching an air combat "epic" on video. It was the classic jet combat scene. The bad guy gets on the hero's tail. He decides to pull up vertically... the camera zooms in on him pulling back on the throttle!!!! OK - sometimes you do pull back on the throttle but there seems to be a lot of confusion about what those dangles and dongles actually do. Here are my tips on setting up your throttle and joystick for basic combat flying.
23-Dec-2001
25 minutes to load a mission When we complain about missions taking too long to load in Falcon 4.0, hear this: 25 minutes to load a mission on the tape version of Gunship on the C64. Twenty-five minutes, I kid you not. Anyway, it was worth it. 23-Dec-2001
Thrustmaster - why the stiff springs? Ever wondered why the springs are so stiff in the upmarket TM gear? Digging back into the PFCS Mk II manual I found all the answers. 04-Jan-2002
Spectrum's BASIC Interceptor Read Francisco J. Campos' description of what it was like to fly this 1983 sim. "The program was entirely written in Spectrum's BASIC, but it looked wonderful despite Sinclair's poor graphic abilities. It was considered a "serious" game, compared with the ZX hits of that time: JetPac, Jet Set Willy, Cookie, and 8-bit versions of classic arcades." 05-Jan-2002
Emergency Checklists in Fighters Anthology! Fighters Anthology is usually referred to as a "survey sim" - meaning that it covers a range of aircraft but doesn't go into great depth on each one. Well that may be so, but I for one never ran out of interesting things to do in the series. At one time I wrote a set of emergency checklists - and at one time or another every one of these problems happened to me! It was fun finding out just how many ways the programmers had provided to break the aircraft! Who can forget that screeching, irritating whine when you threw a turbine blade? 11-Jan-2002
Jet Pilot ran in only 32 colours I received more info from Vulcan Software about their classic "Cold War" sim. It ran at 320 x 200 pixels and in 32 colours. No - not "32 bit colour" - thirty two colours only! Those were the days when gameplay meant all! 11-Jan-2002
Ka-52 Team Alligator: wrong code shipped? The sim looked fantastic and should have been a flagship product for the publisher. Sadly it was released without fanfare and at a budget price in April 2000. Unfortunately an early build of the code appears to be the one shipped to consumers. 11-Jan-2002
Sinclair Spectrum screenshots for 1980's Ace of Aces Francisco J. Campos sent in some Sinclair Spectrum screenhots of this 1986 sim featuring the Mosquito: Ace of Aces. 11-Jan-2002
Fly the Grand Canyon - Box Scan 18-Jan-2002
Fighter Wing - Box scan 18-Jan-2002
Europe 1 - Box scan 18-Jan-2002
Comanche: Over the Edge Box scan 18-Jan-2002
Apache box scan 18-Jan-2002
Air Warrior SVGA - Box scan 18-Jan-2002
The expanding world of Flight Sim Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002 has 20,000 airports. Flight Simulator 1 had.. .. .. .. ONE airport! The world of FSI seems extremely small 20 years later - but at the time it opened a whole new world to fans of aviation and computers. 18-Jan-2002
Tahiti - Box art 18-Jan-2002
Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Campaign report The Campaign consists of 25 missions ranging from 1938 to 1956. Here are my impressions of the first 6:
1940 - 1st Feb - Morning Patrol
1940 - 1st May - May Day!
1940 - 9th May - Battle of Britain
1941 - 1st March - Shipyard Protection
1941 - 12th June - Long Journey home
1942 - 8th August - Blackwater
18-Jan-2002
Air Power: The Cold War - Box Contents 18-Jan-2002
Pearl Harbor (2001) Box contents 18-Jan-2002
Gunship 2000: Phillipine Islands and Antarctica Scenario Disk - Box scan 18-Jan-2002
WW2 Air Force Commander - Box art 18-Jan-2002
ThunderHawk - Box contents 18-Jan-2002
San Francisco - Box art 18-Jan-2002
Rescue Air 911 - Box scan 18-Jan-2002
Royal Air Force 2000 - Box contents 18-Jan-2002
Reach for the Skies - Box scan 18-Jan-2002
Pacific Strike - Box art 18-Jan-2002
Microsoft Flight Simulator 5 - Box art 18-Jan-2002
Luftwaffe Collection (1999) - Box contents 18-Jan-2002
Jetfighter II: Advanced Mission Disk - Box art 18-Jan-2002
Japan - Box art 18-Jan-2002
iF16 - Box art 18-Jan-2002
Incoming - Box art 18-Jan-2002
Red Baron Mission Builder - Box art 18-Jan-2002
80 page mega-guide to Luftwaffe Collection Luftwaffe Collection was developed by Flight Sim Developers and published by Just Flight in 1999. It recreates 20 classic aircraft from the Luftwaffe's 20th century roster and includes a couple of surprises like a gyrocopter, the V-1 Flying Bomb and a Zeppelin. 05-Feb-2002
Su-25 Sturmovik - Box art 05-Feb-2002
Obscure 1988 sim by SSI Francisco J. Campos drew my attention to this obscure 1988 sim by SSI. 05-Feb-2002
Air Warrior - Spanish manual cover 05-Feb-2002
Air Power: The Cold War - The N.A.T.O. Missions Chuck Yeager's Air Combat is remembered as a classic sim from the early 1990's. Would it cut the mustard today? Well... no! The graphics are primitive, the cockpits basic, scripted missions limited in number and scope. - READ ON.. 14-Feb-2002
Air Power: The Cold War - The N.A.T.O. Aircraft I test fly all the N.A.T.O. aircraft. 14-Feb-2002
Easy Flight - Recce mission in a Canberra from Gibraltar As the aircraft in Air Power - The Cold War install straight into Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002, I've put together a fun run across the straits of Gibraltar and through the valleys of North Africa. A low level sortie which you can complete in 15 minutes. I flew it in the Canberra but any of the N.A.T.O. jets will do the job. High speed and low altitude in a fast jet - yeah! 14-Feb-2002
Using the Virtual Cockpit I've put together a little tutorial on using the virtual cockpit. I do most of my flying in virtual cockpit mode, head up and looking about while getting the essential flight info from pop-up windows or the Text readout in the case of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002. 14-Feb-2002
R.A.F. Woodbridge in Microsoft Combat Flight Sim R.A.F. Woodbridge R.A.F. Woodbridge appears in Microsoft Combat Flight Sim when you install Air Power: The Cold War. 14-Feb-2002
E.G.A.F. Scholdmow in Microsoft Combat Flight Sim E.G.A.F. Scholdmow appears in Microsoft Combat Flight Sim when you install Air Power: The Cold War. 14-Feb-2002
The Mis-named MiG The MiG-15 'Fagot' out-turned, out-climbed and had a higher service ceiling than the North American F-86K Sabre. It's original NATO reporting name was "Falcon" - it would be interesting to get the story behind changing the name from that of a 'Bird of Prey' to a 'block of wood' ! 21-Feb-2002
Cold War continues This week I continue the look at Air Power - The Cold War, an add-on for Microsoft Combat Flight Sim and Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002. 21-Feb-2002
Warsaw Pact Aircraft Ilyushin IL-28 Beagle, MiG-15 'Fagot’, Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-19S 'FARMER', Sukhoi Su-11 'Fishpot’, Tupolev Tu-16 'Badger’, Tupolev Tu-142 'Bear’, Yak-28 'Firebar’. 21-Feb-2002
Warsaw Pact missions I flew the Warsaw Pact missions 1-10 in Air Power - The Cold War, an add-on for Microsoft Combat Flight Sim and Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002. 21-Feb-2002
A Cold Date at Hakodate Hakodate is the airport in Japan where Lt. Viktor Belenko defected from the Soviet Union in his MiG-25 in 1974. This mission takes about 20 minutes to fly. 21-Feb-2002
Flight Sims donated by Simon Robbins in 2002 In early 2002 Simon Robbins kindly contributed these sims to the Flight Sim Museum Collection: Afterburner by Sega, F-19 Stealth Fighter, Gunship 2000, Falcon and Mission Disk 1, Jumpjet, Shuttle and TFX.
MiGMan thanks Simon Robbins for donating this sim to the Museum collection.
21-Feb-2002
The N.A.T.O. Aircraft test flights concluded B-47E Stratojet, B-52F Stratofortress, Dassault Mirage IVA, F-101A Voodoo, F-102A Delta Dagger, F-104S Starfighter, Handley-Page Victor B.1, Vickers Valiant B.1. 01-Mar-2002
Harrier Jump Jet - those were the days! Those were the days! A 270 page manual printed on glossy stock and well bound in a size ideal for throne room reading. As well as heaps of tables detailing air-to-ground weapon effectiveness there was diagram after diagram on air combat manoeuvres. Not to mention the 3 full - colour maps! After scanning the material for this museum entry I moved with bated breath towards my P166 laptop, 3 disks in hand, all psyched up for some retro-viffing. Alas it was not to be.... there was data corruption on Disk 1 ... Aaaaaaaaaaaaagghh! Never mind. 01-Mar-2002
F-16 Fighting Falcon/Harrier? Yes, yes, I know that's not an F-16! It's a Harrier.. .. .. with TWO vertical tails.. .. !Francisco J. Campos sent in the splash screen from this 1980's Spectrum sim: F-16 Fighting Falcon by Mastertronics. 01-Mar-2002
First sim to involve multi-tasking Dam Busters consisted of just one mission. It simulated the daring raids against dams in the Ruhr Valley which were heavily protected by flak emplacements and fighter patrols guided by German radar. The bombs were dropped with a back-spin (like a cricket ball), skipped along the surface of the water and then dove to the base of the dam before exploding. The Dam Busters sim was the first one to involve multi-tasking. You could be pilot, engineer, gunner or bomb aimer - in fact you had to do all at some point in the mission. Not a bad effort for 1984! 08-Mar-2002
DID extravanganza I've taken the feather duster to the Museum exhibits on the classic sims from Digital Image Design. This UK based development team have created a string of innovative Flight Sims which manage to place the gamer in the most sophisticated air combat environments while maintaining a high level of accessibility. They consistently pushed the limits of 3-D modelling and portrayed the most up-to-date combat avionics systems, reaching an apogee with the 1998 sim Total Air War, which reproduced a modern air war as seen from an AWACS and from the cockpit of the next generation fighter, the F-22 . 08-Mar-2002
Really easy flights Here are the first of my really really e a s y flights for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002. Microsoft have thoughfully provided preset scenic flights which take you to the world's natural wonders. But, as usual, I reckon they could have done better. One of the most immersive and fun parts of any flight sim is take-off and landing. So in this series I suggest quick and easy ways to combine the wonders of the world with a complete joy flight. Who can resist flying under or through a suspension bridge? Forget about rules and regulations, jump in, take off - and 15 minutes later come back in for a 3 point landing. 15-Mar-2002
RAF 2000 Royal Air Force 2000 was developed and published by Just Flight in 2000. This week I look at: 2002 compatibility,
Box contents - Box Art, Campaign scenario, Cockpit gauges, BAe Hawk T.1A, English Electric Lightning T.4.
15-Mar-2002
F16 Combat Pilot This sim was a classic. I first played it in the 1980's on an Atari ST. The scenery was very basic but the cockpit was awesome! I used to fly on instruments most of the time and play with the comprehensive information available on the 3 Multi-Function Displays. I even managed to play it head to head with two Ataris joined by a null modem cable. Added: Splash Screens, Ready Room, The cockpit, Reference material, The box, Photos of the video display. 15-Mar-2002
Jump Jet box art Francisco J. Campos sent in the box art for this 1980's sim and Simon Robbins has just donated a copy to the Museum Collection - thanks lads! 15-Mar-2002
MSCFS3 interview with Tucker Hatfield www.combatsim.com has a great interview by Len "Viking 1" Hjalmarson with Tucker Hatfield about Microsoft Combat Flight Sim 3. Combatsim - Tucker Hatfield talks about the new features in Microsoft Combat Flight Sim 3 - new aircraft, better clouds, a dynamic online campaign engine. 15-Mar-2002
Joyflights in Microsoft Flight Sim 2002 I went exploring in Flight Sim 2002 and found a few more areas ideally suited to joyflights, either because of the spectacular terrain, the architectural wonders or both! While most of the world is apparently modelled in mesh with 1.2 km between elevation points, some areas are modelled in much finer detail. 22-Mar-2002
Royal Air Force 2000 tour of duty concludes Nearly finished the Museum tour of this sim add-on pack - 70 pages and counting! I'm done with the jets and next week will look at the aircraft and missions for Microsoft Combat Flight Sim. 22-Mar-2002
Hawker Hurricane Mk I I take a look at this famous marque in Microsoft Combat Flight Sim. Some regarded the fabric covered fuselage as an asset as it was less likely to fall apart after a few hits. Also, unlike in the Spitfire, the pilot wasn't sitting directly above the gas tank. 22-Mar-2002
Jagdverband 44 - Screaming Eagles enters the Museum Jagdverband 44 - Screaming Eagles was released in 1999 by Hammer Technologies. Translated into English it means "Hunting Group ' 44" and features the Luftwaffe super-weapons. Francisco J. Campos points out : "Flight sims always have high sales in Spain and a videogame shop isn't complete here without a specific simulation section. That's why, at the end of 1999, when I heard first time about Jagdverband 44 - Screaming Eagles I jumped for joy. The bad thing about being a flight sim collector is that you buy everything just for the sake of having it... and sometimes you get bad surprises in nice boxes! " Despite Francisco's feelings about the quality, a flight sim is a flight sim so we covered it in the Museum's usual detail (over 60 pages). 29-Mar-2002
Strike Commander - Heart of Darkness? It's hard to believe today but I the public (including myself) was absolutely awestruck by the graphics in in this sim in 1993.I know one (Danish) fellow who upgraded his PC about 9 times in order to play it! To quote the creator, Chris Roberts: "To make RealSpace truly revolutionary we decided to gamble on two major graphics techniques: Gouraud shading and texture mapping. Both of these techniques are used extensively on high-end military flight simulators costing millions of dollars.. . .. our biggest mistake was thinking that we could achieve all of this in a single year." - Chris Roberts: "Recently, I watched the film Heart of Darkness.. " 29-Mar-2002
What is a H.O.T.A.S. ? 05-Apr-2002
1995 Hardware standards This Su-27 Flanker Customer response survey gives a good indication of what kinds of PC hardware people were using in 1995 - having only 1 Megabyte of system RAM was not uncommon!. 05-Apr-2002
Su-27 Flanker Developed by The Fighter Collection and published by Strategic Simulations Inc. in 1995. It was designed by a Russian team of programmers to run on 386 and low end 486 machines. The project was taken on by SSI and revised to SVGA graphics resolution. The Russian designers didn't have access to the faster PC's, and as a result the code is very efficient.... it ran very smoothly! 05-Apr-2002
Early sim Top Guns Rob "Bomber" Henderson, the UK's top airplane caricature artist, remembers his first multiplayer flying experiences in a a split - screen sim called Top Gun . 12-Apr-2002
The Red Baron in 1983 Francisco J. Campos sent in some screenshots from this early 1980's sim. 12-Apr-2002
First look at Flanker Following on from last week's look at Su-27 Flanker, this week I dived into Su-27 Flanker 2.0, it's glorious successor. 12-Apr-2002
Crimean comparison I thought it would be interesting to compare the rendering of the Crimean peninsula in Su-27 Flanker 2.0 with the version in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002. 12-Apr-2002
MiG goes to Paris The first time the west good a good look at the MiG-29 Soviet "Superfighter" was at the Paris Airshow in 1989. 19-Apr-2002
My first MiG sim 19-Apr-2002
When MiGs collide: RAF Fairford 1993 Rob "Bomber" Henderson was at RAF Fairford in 1993 when 2 MiG-29's collided during an airshow. Read his dramatic account here. 19-Apr-2002
Incredible free upgrade I finally downloaded the upgrade to Su-27 Flanker 2.0 - which then becomes Su-27 Flanker 2.5, and allows you to fly my favourite a/c - the MiG-29 ! 19-Apr-2002
MiG-29K in Flanker 2.5 New, animated stick and throttle graphics have been added to the MiG-29K, Su-27, and Su-33 cockpits. Additionally, higher resolution art has been added to the lower and side portions of these cockpits. 19-Apr-2002
Su-27 in Flanker 2.5 19-Apr-2002
Artistic enthusiasts When he's not fighting in the virtual skies, Francisco J. Campos pilots some of his artistic abilities toward painting leather and miniatures. Check out this replica of a Flying Tigers blood chit and these detailed WW2 miniatures. What is a Blood Chit? 26-Apr-2002
Solo Flight on the AMIGA One of the earliest sims, SoloFlight hails from the days when the Commodore Amiga reigned king of the graphics world! 26-Apr-2002
Origins of the Falcon Dynasty Mark Hermonat reported : "Deep in the bowels of the Falcon 2.2 - the Mac version manual I found this and was quite intrigued.. " In 1984, Gilman Louie and Les Watts wrote F-16: The Real Dogfight Simulator for the MSX, a Japanese computer. From the outset, Gilman wanted players to be able to compete against each other in aerial combat.." - READ ON 26-Apr-2002
Graphics Innovations: Texture Mapping Texture Mapping is taken for granted in the 21st century, but in the 1990's it was a revolutionary step, and activating it placed huge demands on the graphics hardware of the day. 26-Apr-2002
Sabre Ace - 3DFX pioneer Back in 1997 3D FX cards were hitting the market. The quantum leap in graphics capabiliies this provided to the average gamer can't be underestimated. But 5 years on it is difficult to remember those first steps. 26-Apr-2002


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