WWII History

You can be playing a flight simulator game with the most life-like controls and interactive features on the market but if the scenery looks like a cardboard cutout you will lose interest quickly. Flight simulator games need to resemble reality as closely as possible or they just aren’t worth playing. This is especially true in combat simulations because the geography (landscape and topography) was such a huge determining factor during World War II. A pilot had to be constantly aware of the weather and ground features all the while keeping a sharp lookout for enemy planes.

Terms such as landclass, scenery objects, and mesh are used to describe the qualities looked for in simulator scenery, and we could write in-depth about the specifics of each of those terms, but in simplest terms the scenery needs to be as realistic as possible. Drop all the technical talk and it boils down to something even a novice gamer can notice, namely how realistic it is when you look at it. Do the textures of the landscape look authentic from 1,000 feet as well as from 20,000 feet? Do the geographical features look like real rivers, fields, mountains, deserts, and so on? Is the weather constantly changing, providing a constant challenge as you navigate your fighter plane? These are considerations that are so important when choosing which combat flight simulator to play.

One advantage the gamer has is the ability to download games for free from the better sites. If there is no free download or trial period then one would have to ask why bother playing that game? The established online games like Aces High offer a free two-week download to give players an opportunity to find out just how good the game is before committing to buy and that’s as it should be.

After all, people play combat flight simulation games to experience what it was really like to fly combat missions. What did it feel like to fly the Zero over the Battle of Midway, smoke billowing to the sky, flak all around you as you check your horizon, your angle of descent, your rate of speed AND the position of the enemy? What kind of adrenaline must course through your body when you are evading an attacker at six o’clock, trying to keep him from locking on and destroying your plane? What does it feel like to have your support planes on your right wing shot down leaving you defenseless against a two-pronged attack?

Gamers play online combat simulation games for the thrill, the rush, the chance to at least somewhat understand what it must have been like during WWII where one mistake was one too many in the highest stakes game imaginable.

In the words of Manfred von Richthofen (the Red Baron of WWI fame), “The great thing in air fighting is that the decisive factor does not lie in trick flying but solely in the personal ability and energy of the aviator.” Thus we have the basic concept of dogfighting, or aerial combat first seen during WWI but very prevalent with WW2 fighter planes.

Early theories of dogfighting consisted of approaching an enemy plane from the direction of the sun thus blinding the opposing pilot, or to always try to fly at a higher altitude than the opponent. Later pilots advised to get behind the enemy aircraft, in the six o’clock position, to achieve optimum firing position. As dogfighting progressed over the years actual theories of physics came into play as angles, plane speed, enemy speed, and firing rate had to be calculated. But still, at its very basic level, aerial combat came down to the human element and the ability and energy of the pilot.

As fighter planes improved and technology came more into play, dogfighting tactics had to change by necessity. The most important of these was to always keep the enemy within sight. In pursuing an enemy plane, three choices are available. Lag pursuit involves keeping the nose of the attacking plane pointed behind an enemy’s tail. Lead pursuit involves keeping the nose pointed ahead of the enemy, and pure pursuit is the classic six o’clock position where the nose of the attacking plane is pointed directly at the tail of the enemy. All positions have to do with airspeed, turn radius, angle of flight path and firing speed. During WWII fighter pilots had to essentially learn on the fly as they re-wrote the basic manuals of dogfighting techniques during actual combat. Put another way, despite the physics inherent in the situation, it still came down to the reactions of the pilot based on learned and conditioned response.

About the closest we can hope to come to that kind of experience today is by playing combat flight simulator games like Aces High. Using advanced online technology we can climb into the cockpit of our WWII fighter plane and use the lessons learned by former combat pilots as we take on the best gamers the world has to offer over simulated World War II arenas. If you have never tried one of these online flight simulators, go to the Aces High website and try the free two-week download. Fire up your plane and then try to remember the words of the Red Baron as you test your ability and energy against other gamers.

“A major ground offensive had begun the day before along the Western Front from the northwest edge of the Hurtgen Forest up through Eschweiler, Germany. The weather was terrible with low hanging clouds and light rain, but sixteen planes of the squadron took off with each plane loaded with two 500 pound bombs and a 150 gallon belly tank.

Reaching the target area, the planes had to come in under the overcast at 4,500 feet. Everything was dark and foreboding as flashes of big guns on the ground and the flak exploded in the air. Light from the exploding shells were reflecting off of the clouds as the dive bombing commenced.

One member of the squadron dived to strafe a German vehicle but couldn’t pull up quickly enough and crashed into the countryside. Finally, when the run was completed, all remaining planes turned for home on a wing and a prayer.”

Personal accounts like the one above from actual combat veterans are very revealing. The bravery and instincts of the men who flew combat missions are the stuff of legends and few of us who have never experienced that kind of action can even begin to comprehend what it must have been like. The closest we may ever come is when we step into our own 3-D cockpit and fly the skies in an online flight simulation game.

Superior graphics and ever-changing features on flight simulation games give gamers some semblance of what it must have been like to fly the skies over Europe or the Pacific during World War 2. Always expecting the unexpected, constantly keeping vigil of all directions while flying your bomber or jet fighter over enemy skies, the WWII pilot needed to juggle several balls at once always aware that if one ball is dropped it could mean the end. With online flight simulation games like Aces High a player can go it alone or fly in a squadron and know that hundreds of other players are waiting out there to engage in combat. Many choices of arenas await, hundreds of planes, ground vehicles and boats can be chosen for support, and online assistance is available to help you navigate your way through the game. You can even customize your plane for a personal touch and enter special scenarios and events to test your skill against the best simulation pilots out there. It really is like flying over France in 1942 or flying a bombing run over the Pacific against the best pilots the Japanese have to offer.

In today’s world few of us will actually get the opportunity to fly an airplane. It is a cost-prohibitive process for most of us and extremely time-consuming for the average person. There is no need, however, to be discouraged because online plane flight simulators can bring you as close to the sensation of flying as you can possibly be without slipping on your goggles and climbing into an actual cockpit.

And why is that you ask? Simply because today’s flight simulators are capable of delivering incredibly life-like action from your very own living room. Go online and check out the options but a few things should be available in the flight simulator you choose or don’t bother with it.

First, a large choice of airplanes should be offered. Much of the challenge in these online games comes from learning the controls and feel of the different planes that you fly. In the game Aces High over 100 planes, vehicles, and boats are available for your enjoyment and challenge including the famous F6F-5 Hellcat, the Spitfire Mk I, the A6M Zero and many other WW 2 legendary aircraft. Each plane offers a new set of challenges for the beginning or experienced gamer.

Second, make sure there are a number of different locales or sceneries to choose from. Quality online flight sim games will offer a variety of “arenas” to test your flying prowess on and the topographic details will be of high quality. Again, with Aces High gamers are offered multiple choices of WWII arenas over Europe and the Pacific Theatres.

Finally make sure that the game has realistic controls so that the experience is as life-like as possible. In a good plane flight simulator you can practically feel the reaction of your plane when you manipulate the controls making your plane roll, pitch, bank, and swerve in and out of action.

An added benefit of most online games is that you are never alone if you don’t want to be. Hundreds of gamers from around the world can join you in any arena you choose to make the action hectic, fast-paced, and the kind of excitement stay-at-home pilots can only hope to experience.

Look up in the sky the next time you hear a plane going overhead. From the ground looking up it seems a rather serene experience. Now imagine sitting in the 3-D cockpit of your own Hellcat, taking on all comers in a fight to the death above the Pacific Ocean in 1944. Tracers light up the sky, explosions surround you and the enemy is relentless as you try to make it back to home base and safety. You can do that and more from your favorite easy chair; all you have to do is download a flight simulator like Aces High and find out what all the excitement is about.

So you have a hankerin’ to try a flight simulator game. You have heard all the buzz about them, your friends are telling you that you just have to try one, and now you don’t know which free download to try. Well, there are some criteria you might consider before you start the download process.

You should probably start with the basic question: does your computer have the capabilities to handle the free download? When you go online you are going to see download requirements that look something like the one below:

Game Requirements


Minimum

Recommended

Operating System

2000/XP/Vista/7

2000/XP

CPU

1.8GHz Pentium 4

2Ghz Intel Core 2, or faster

System RAM/Memory

512MB1

1GB1

Video Card

DirectX 9 compatible
with 64MB of RAM2

DirectX 9 compatible
with 256MB of RAM

Input Devices

Keyboard and Mouse3

Keyboard, Mouse, and
Joystick

Internet Connection

Modem dial-up

Broadband land based4


Notes:

1) Depending on the configuration of the Vista/Windows 7 operating system it could be desirable to have a minimum of 1.5GB of RAM, and a recommended of 2GB of RAM in your computer.
2) Generally speaking, many onboard video chips may not meet the hardware standards to operate the game. It is normally better to go with an AGP/PCI-E based video card as opposed to a built-in video chip.
3) The game is generally easier and more fun to play when a joystick is available.
4) Satellite connections to the game have latencies which make it difficult to do anything real time.

Once you have passed that test you might next ask how long the free trial is and what is needed in order to experience the free flight simulator download. For example, Aces High has a two-week free flight sim download and no credit card is required.

Next, if you are a novice player, you will be seeking help. Will the gaming website give you some much-needed assistance while playing. Again, if they are a quality gaming site, the answer is a resounding yes. Aces High offers training by a team of dedicated volunteers who are there at your calling to help with training.

And if you decide to go this route and eventually pay for the service, what do they have to offer? In other words, does the game offer options, changes, and variables so that the game is constantly giving new challenges? Again, using our example of Aces High, the variables are seemingly endless. Different arenas, hundreds of planes, vehicles, and boats to choose from, and new offerings make Aces High a wonderful choice.

So check out their website at www.hitechcreations.com and try their free two week downloadable flight simulator game and experience thrills and excitement you never thought possible online.