MiGMan’s Flight Sim Museum

MiGMan’s Flight Sim Museum

Flanker 2.0

MiGMan’s Combat Diary

One of the crowning achievements in the Golden Decade of flight sims which presaged the fluidity and detail we would take for granted in the years ahead.
I originally tried the Nordic release, which I bought in Denmark 2001. Then I read somewhere about the "checklists on card and joined by a ring binder"... Huh?
Moving at Mach 1 I headed to the Museum archive and opened the Australian version which I'd been keeping shrink wrapped for posterity. Lo and behold it contained 8 full colour card checklists and cockpit diagrams! Sim publishers take note - this is what virtual jocks want!


The Su-27 cockpit is a virtual cockpit with working dials... AND... the ability to zoom in and out.
I flew around for days before finding this feature - DUH ! Note that these are captures of the FULL SCREEN view - this is what you see from the pilot's seat. They are not cropped images (of course they have been resized to fit on the website).

As you can see in the shots above, you zoom in and out depending on the needs of the moment. Navigating and dogfigjhting are wonderful in the fully - zoomed - out wide screen view, then you can zoom in to focus on a particular instrument.
Actually, at 1024 x 768 resolution on a 17" monitor I found all the instruments quite legible even on the fully - zoomed - out setting. The main uses I found for zooming in were:

15 minutes of fun?

The Instant Action module is a great way to practice your combat skills. When they say "instant" they mean instant so be prepared! Luckily the sim allows to to choose your foes - so a "sitting duck" opponent like the IL-76 Mainstay or maybe a KC-10A Extender is a good starting choice.
If you select, say, F-14 or MiG-31's as opponents you get a "Missile Evasion" practice session... which for me don't usually last long at all!
Actually I found the F-117 Stealth an entertaining opponent. Lacking any offensive air to air weaponry the Stealths got right down in the weeds and led me on many a hair raising chase at frighteningly low altitude.
On one of the few occasions I managed to survive a missile onslaught from a pair of FA-18 Hornets I was surprised, after several minutes of high-G wrangling, to see them break off the fight and come in to land!!! Like me they had run low on fuel after a few minutes in afterburner. So, being chivalrous... ah ... what the heck... he he he..

Air Combat

Air combat in Flanker is fast and furious. I have to say that using a good HOTAS makes a big difference to whether or not you'll survive close quarters duelling.
Not that the Su-27 isn't suited to dogfighting - on the contrary!
Folks used to Western cockpits like the F/A-18 or F-16 might think the Flanker with it's quaint single Display is at a disadvantage,
But the cockpit layout is actually optimised for air combat. You actually never have to look away from the HUD during an engagement.
Here's a typical sequence of events:

Mission editor

Quite simply Flanker 2.0 has the best mission I've ever had the pleasure to use.
Unlike many mission editors which are bug ridden afterthoughts - this one actually works!
The level of control in object is awesome - as you can see by the pictures at right. Flights are easy to create and task.
Different aircraft in one flight can even have different tasks and loadouts.
A tool like this is to me the strongest incentive to get involved with a sim. I can set up missions to suit my pace of learning and explore the world in my own way. Not to mention being able to enjoy the work of other fans.
Often the mission design is the weakest link in a flight sim - with a mission editor like this that's no longer an issue.
I put together a few simple missions. They are all based at Khersones, which is the airbase on the southernmost tip of the Crimean peninsula just south of Sevastopol.

Cultural Artefacts

The first thing I usually do in sims with a good mission editor is create a simple circuit training mission.
I dragged put my Operational Navigation Chart (ONC) and chose Khersones airbase near Simferopol - right at the bottom of the Crimean peninsula.
After doing screeching touch and goes - and crashing more than once I headed East for a little sight seeing.
I was amazed.
The level of cultural detail in this sim is... amazing. Zoom the cockpit out a few notches, turn on "Natural head movement" (Ctrl - F1) and get amongst it!


In case of Engine fire or a Spin below 1,000 metres eject immediately!
The ejection sequences are nicely detailed... follow the sequence.
Russian ejection seats proved their capabilities to a world audience at the 1989 Farnborough Air Show where 2
MiG-29 Fulcrums collided during a low altitude display. The wing of one aircraft cut clean through the second MiG just behind the cockpit and both planes hit the ground a second or 2 later in enormous fireballs.
Despite the low speed and altitude of the collision both pilots walked away!!


The program includes training modules on:
Once in the lesson an instructor pilot takes you through all the procedures verbally and by demonstration. You then have the option of replaying the mission yourself and in fact can take control of the aircraft at any point. This is the best training system I have seen in any flight sim!

Aircraft in the sim


Su-27 looks set to take the lead in Combat Flight sims again.

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