Fighter Pilot by Digital Integration
Exhibit - Fighter Pilot by Digital Integration

Fighter Pilot

Rob "Bomber" Hendersonremembers:

"Fighter Pilot by DI was one of those games that got loaded once after it was purchased and after crashing very quickly was put to one side for several months.

I don't know what made me dig it out again, but I took the time to read the instructions ( this time!! ) and gave it a go and armed with a little knowledge, found it to be a good sim after all.

OK, the graphics were sparse to say the least, but the F15 handled well. The cockpit, although nothing like a real F15, was very complex from what I remember - lots of digital readouts. This is the first sim I flew where you got an introduction to the realms of AoA, giving you the experience of landing the aircraft in a nose high attitude for example and also you would get one wing dropping to begin when you stalled rather than the usual nose dive.

The combat was quite one-dimensional as it was guns only air combat, but still it got the heart pounding especially when your airbases were under threat. The enemy aircraft was some sort of delta, but didn't resemble anything in particular. I remember you could take four hits from the enemy before being shot down - again another sim without any bail-out option.

It also introduced the fun of a wheels up landing due to battle damage. This could be avoided though - the damage display panel was just an F15 divided into 4 quarters. Each hit coloured a section in red. The first hit usually made the U/C fail, but I found that by hanging around and letting yourself get hit a second/third time the U/C would then work again!

The intercept was made a bit easier by the inflight map and also a very basic radar that gave altitude and bearing of the target. It also gave me a taste of using an ILS. It was a bit out, but it was enough to get you down on the runway in one piece. You could also add fog and turbulence for a challenge, which made combat and landing back at base as difficult as anything you can fly on a PC now. The inflight map was one of those where if you went off the edge, you re-appeared on the other side of the "world". Sometimes this made interception of targets quite easy! I also recall that this sim had beacons scattered around the place which you could tune your nav radios into to help with long distance flying. This was the first sim I had where you could fly just for the sake of flying during training missions, rather than dodge bullets and missiles."