I can still remember clearly (when I finally got a 486 with a maths co-processor) the weird lurching as the flight model switched from low-fidelity to hi-fidelity at about 200 knots. But hey, I was flying an F-16 with all the bells and whistles, and in an atmospheric, complex and dynamic world. This was no game!
The ACMI recorder ( Air Combat Manouevering Instrumentation) could record your entire mission and then play it back from cockpit, external or 3D diagrammatic perspectives.
The mission designer.allowed you to create complex strike missions, tasking different aircraft types with Wild Weasel (SEAD - Supression of Enemy Air Defenses ), CAP ( Combat Air Patrol) in Interdiction/ Strike.
The Heads Up Display (HUD) displayed an incredible amount of information for a 1991 flight sim.
Even today it's a hoot and if you only have a 486 you really can't get much more excitement than what's available in the Falcon battleground. Luckily you can adjust the AI of the SAM operators, AAA and enemy pilots because on the higher settings they are professionally murderous!
Be warned though, Falcon 3 requires quite a lot of skill in configuring DOS memory to get it running.
The dynamic campaign involved you in complex and long struggles which lasted for days, with the FEBA (Forward Edge of the Battle Area) moving back and forth as the fortunes of war waxed and waned. This meant you could come under attack as you took off or returned to base , and added to the sense of urgency.
It was probably the first sim to have a working Padlock view.
Your wingmen were very capable and you soon learnt to listen to their radio messages!
The inclusion of multiplayer network play saw the growth of "Virtual Squadrons" worldwide as players discovered that even the most capable computer opponent wasn't as scary as a human with a grudge!
MiGMan thanks Lars Gramkow Nielsen for the scans.