PC Pilot - September/October 2004

£4.99 (Approx $6.22 or €5.64)

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Two new joysticks are on their way, in the shape of Saitek's X52 joystick and throttle combo and Thrustmaster's new Force Feedback unit. Gauge specialists SimKits are working on an impressive new Robinson R22/R44 helicopter cockpit. Visual Flight release a masterpiece of scenery design with their RIAT Fairford scenery package for FS2002/2004 and we're pleased to see a couple of RAF classics making an appearance in the FS skies. Heroes of The Pacific looks set to be an entertaining game counterpart to the forthcoming Pacific Warriors sim from Oleg Maddox and crew and there's a new CFS3 freeware expansion which brings the Korean war to Microsoft's latest combat sim. Sadly it looks like there's no longer any chance of getting a flight in the Concorde training sim, but younger readers can do their bit for the environment and aviation in a competition to design an eco-friendly airliner.


A brand-new Concorde has finally broken cover, albeit in a surprisingly stealthy fashion, and we get stuck into our manuals and take on the challenge of flying Altitude's supersonic creation (it's impressive, but not for the faint-hearted or anyone short on study time!). At the other end of the complexity scale, a tidy 3D-cockpit-only Bucker Jungmann provides some aerobatic entertainment and the MAAM-Sim R4D-6/DC-3 shows that the R4D Team are going from strength to strength. Flight One's new USA Roads scenery expansion puts all the missing highways and byways back on the stateside FS map and the neat TweakFPS utility proves to be a cheap and functional way of optimising your frame rates according to the type of flying you're doing - simple and foolproof! We wonder whether the payware Warbirds 2004 has what it takes to shape up as a viable alternative to the free IL-2 based online combat arenas and ask one of our reviewers for a pilot's-eye take on X-Plane 7.41 - delight and frustration in equal measures, it seems! We find the answers to all those FMC queries and Boeing cockpit complexities in a set of real-world pilot's manuals that are proving to be something of a hit among the FS community.


Those who attended June's FS show in Blackpool had the chance to see an early version of Pacific Fighters, and mightily impressive it looked too. Oleg Maddox, the legend behind the IL-2 series, gives us a few hints as to what we can look forward to enjoying later this year.


Swapping your joystick for a yoke and pedals is an easy step up in the realism of your flight controls. CH Products' USB yoke and pedals prove to be surprisingly competent performers at a price that won't have you weeping over your keyboard.


If extreme low-altitude flying, secret Russian technology and unusual cockpit instrumentation sound interesting, then you'll enjoy our feature on FS ekranoplans. Once seen as the answer to swift and effective troop deployment, it seems that we haven't heard the last of these wonderful machines. PC-based flight trainers are becoming more and more relevant to real-world flight training, so we doff our hats to Edwin Link, the grandfather of flight simulation, and see just how simulated flying is finally becoming a valuable addition to real-world pilot training.


Following on from Issue 28's tutorial on Instrument Approach Procedures, we take a look at how Departure Procedures, SIDs (Standard Instrument Departures) and STARs (Standard Terminal Arrivals) will ensure you get from A to B without incident.