PC Pilot - May / June 2005

£4.99 (Approx $6.23 or €5.65)

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2005 should prove to be a bumper year for jet combat pilots, who'll have not one, but two brand-new sims to enjoy shortly. Jet Thunder and Fighter Ops both look like they'll be worth waiting for. Diehard fans of older sims have also got something to smile about with the re-release of Flight Unlimited III (for just a fiver!) and a huge add-on pack of updates and patches for Fly! II.

Aeroplane Heaven have got a virtual GlobalFlyer available for budding FS2002/2004 record breakers; two more companies show off their new ranges of affordable flight instruments for cockpit builders and a new expansion for FS2004 comes crammed with a total of 17 WWII fighters.

Co-operative online airliner crewing is a reality at last (full review in the next issue!); PureFlight release a fine new Gee Bee racer and The Ultimate Troubleshooter might be just what you need to identify and ditch those background programs sucking power from your PC instead of letting it devote its processing power to giving you better frame rates.


Glider pilots are spoilt for choice these days and this issue's cover star provides yet another standalone option for the soaring simmer. Condor certainly impressed our reviewer and has much to recommend it. If you prefer your flying faster and your panel fuller, then you'll be pleased to hear that the 767 Pilot In Command team have lost none of their old class with their new name and their new aircraft - the Level-D Simulations 767-300ER.

Bill and Lynn Lyons' Challenger Two microlight package is an entertaining and comprehensive package that put a smile on our faces and reminded us that slow `n' low can be just as much fun as fast `n' furious. Proving that the popularity of flight simulation really is a global phenomenon, we look at a beautiful little Robin DR.221 from France which would make the perfect prop trainer if you're getting a little tired of the more familiar FS aircraft.

Our resident Top Gun gets to grips with Flaming Cliffs, the new Lock On expansion, and finds there's plenty more to the `T' version of Sukhoi's Su-25 than just an extra letter in its name. Going back to another era altogether, Just Flight's Spitfire package brings a hangar-full of variants of this legendary fighter to our desktops.

FS Live Traffic takes the AI traffic concept one step further by using real-world flight tracking to bring current schedules to your virtual flying, complete with real-world delays, cancellations and re-routings. A 744 PS1 devotee buries his nose in a well illustrated and clearly presented 747-400 procedures manual designed for the professionals but likely to be extremely helpful for the sim pilot.

Finally, we unleash our creative talents on some FS filming with the easy-to-use Fraps video capture utility - pair it with Windows Movie Maker and the only limit to your flight sim videos is your imagination!


After adding a yoke and rudder pedals to your sim set-up, a throttle quadrant is a logical next step in terms of realistic FS hardware. Well-known manufacturers GoFlight and CH Products have both recently released affordable units which differ in price and construction but which have one thing in common - you'll need to spend a bit of time configuring them to get them performing well. The results, however, are certainly worth it!


We thought it was high time we asked a developer for his opinions on those topics we all get so worked up about; DreamFleet's Lou Betti was happy to oblige and gave us his thoughts on bugged releases, the future of flight simulation, add-on pricing and plenty more.

Iain Dawson, himself a pilot and flight instructor, wonders if the failures options in Flight Simulator really bear much relationship to the causes of accidents in GA aircraft. Armed with a fistful of statistics and accident reports, he looks at one aspect of Microsoft's sim that's going to be tricky to improve.


This time we fly a Cessna 182 under Visual Flight Rules from the north of England down to the north of France. Our flight in three legs takes us from Leeds-Bradford to Wolverhampton, then on to Bournemouth and finally over to Le Mans.