Flight Simulators

Flight simulator games like Aces High give players a chance to test their skills and strategies against hundreds of players from around the world. Some of the strategies are ones developed after hours of play; some are based on actual World War II battle strategies.

Early on in WWII there were two basic schools of thought concerning air battle. The Japanese in particular believed that extremely lightweight aircraft with great range and maneuverability, like the A6M Zero, would dominate any dogfight. The Allies believed in greater speed and superior rate of climb. It soon became apparent that the Japanese were much more in tune with the needs of a pilot in a dogfight.

The Germans, meanwhile, worked on the assumption that sheer mass numbers would carry most fights and early in the war that belief was accurate. The European nations simply were no match for the German superiority in number of aircraft available. The Germans also had unmatched anti-aircraft guns capable of firing 88 millimeter shells 50,000 feet into the air. The number of British, French, and Russian aircraft destroyed in the first couple years of the war was astounding and crippling to their war efforts and they didn’t have the industrial capabilities to replace their huge losses.

By 1943, however, the U.S. industrial machine was producing new military weapons and aircraft that could match anything the Germans or Japanese could produce. The F6F Hellcat and the F4U Corsair were better matches against Japanese planes and air superiority started to shift in the American direction shortly after.

Towards the end of the war jet propulsion, radar, and air-to-air missiles were introduced to battles, but their military importance was experienced more during the Korean War than WWII. Until that time, air strategies and battles relied more upon pilot skill and the industrial capabilities of each nation to keep producing war machinery. As in the Civil War with the North’s superior ability to keep producing weapons, WWII was eventually won because of America’s ability to out-produce every other nation on Earth.

Combat games, and probably especially WW2 games, are a great way to test your combat knowledge, reflexes, and strategies during the heat of battle. Does speed counteract maneuverability? Does rate of climb counteract short turn-radius? Can you use the clouds to your advantage? Can you coordinate your squadron to match the strategies of your opponents? This is exciting stuff, all done from the safety of your computer desk. Strap on your helmet and have a great flight!

Flight Sim Screen Shots