Exhibit: Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004
Almost without funding and perhaps naive in their ambition, two bicycle shop owners changed history with the first powered flight in a craft scarcely worthy of praise as lofty as "rudimentary"... at least to modern eyes. Difficult to control and incapable of carrying more than 150 pounds including even the pilot, the Wright Flyer bettered other, bigger (and lavishly funded) engineering teams then working to solve the riddles of powered, controlled flight.
Today we can easily imagine the exhilaration of that first flight, but we may not at first pause to consider the realities of the airborne experience: wooden propellors driven by bicycle chains, muslin-covered wings, an engine generating 12 horsepower. Takeoffs and landings are unpredictable at best, and the first successful flight lasted all of 12 seconds. The elegance of such astonishing success belies a crucible of self-sacrifice and daredevil perseverance.
Descriptions from - www.microsoft.com/games/flightsimulator/aircraft.asp >> 2009 update - web page is gone <<
Re-create the Wright Brothers’ first powered flight at Kitty Hawk. Before taking this flight, read the Overview. Estimated time to complete - 12 seconds
The Flyer flew for only 12 seconds and 120 feet (37 meters). Can you do better? In this flight you'll re-create this historic event.
There is a headwind.
The flight begins with the Wright Flyer restrained and the engine running. Advance the throttle (move your joystick lever or press F3) to release the restraint. See how long you can stay aloft. The four stone markers indicate the distances of the four flights made on that historic day in 1903.
These images were taken using a GeForce 6600 GTgraphics card,
on a Pentium-4 - 3 GHz - rigged for silent running