Home Computing Weekly2nd April 1985
Published in Home Computing Weekly #106
Real time flight simulators often require the skills of an ace and the appendages of an octopus. This is no exception to the rule but at least it gives you two practice modes to develop your skills and manual dexterity.
The scenario for this simulator takes you back to the Summer of 1940 and an airfield somewhere in the South East of England. You have just been assigned to fly with a Spitfire squadron and as your experience increases so will your flight log and decorations.
This is the nice part about this simulator, as you fly each mission to locate and defeat the enemy, your flight log can then be brought up to date and saved to disc ready for flight another day. Eventually, you may even achieve the rank of Group Captain with a coveted VC.
The program has three basic screens: the control panel, the view from the cockpit window and a plan view showing your plane, the enemy and your position over the South East Region.
The cockpit view is a very realistic representation of a Spitfire, with a few dials and lights added to compensate the lack of controls which would normally take the form of levers or pedals.
The cockpit view is unspectacular except when engaged in combat. Suddenly there are planes of all colours flying at you from every conceivable angle. The forward view is complemented by a small mirror which shows if the
enemy are on your tail. Enemy bullets striking home are indicated by sound and the flickering of the border colour surrounding the screen.
In practice I found the Spitfire to be extremely responsive to the controls and spent much of my early flight practice in an inverted position due to an extremely steep climb which resulted in a loop, generally followed by panic as the ground started to loom up towards me. Eventually, thanks to the detailed instruction manual, I managed to iron out these problems.
During combat practice I soon discovered how to avoid attackers but found that hitting them was very difficult and in the combat mode, which is the main program mode, 1... well let me put it this way, if they had left the Battle of Britain to me we'd all be eating sauerkraut and wearing lederhosen.
Bandits at one o'clock?
Certainly not, it's a bargain at any price. Never have so few given so much to so many.