Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Flight Simulator 1

I have never been inspired by computer games, though I did play Captain Comic when it was first introduced on the PC.  Recently I have found some flight simulator programs for my computers which I have quite enjoyed.
F18 Carrier Light is a sim for the tablet pc market for Android users.  It is a cleverly crafted program which allows the aircraft to be controlled by the motion sensor in the tablet.  The aim is to take off from a carrier, fly around one of three landscapes and then land on the carrier deck.  EEK! the F18 falls out of the sky below 165 kts, its fast stuff.
There are a couple of airfields to land on and take off from.  This view is the game in chase mode.
There is also a cockpit mode, where you get a restricted pilots view of the action.
My favourite mode is head up display.  The simulator has a limited scope, but you have throttle and flap control, wheels up and down, brakes and a well balanced control column by moving the tablet.  There is a calibration screen, so you can set the horizon to a suitable position for yourself.
Airstrip take off is straight forward.  The jet starts on the runway and you just set 50% flaps and push the throttle to full.  Slight nose up and the aircraft lifts off at about 180 kts.  climb to 1000 feet before turning and don't forget to lift the wheels and set the flaps to zero.  Throttle down to 60%
The satisfaction of this simulator comes when you make your first good landing.  Approach at 500 feet 1.5 miles and 200 kts.  Descend on low power with 100% flaps and the wheels down (That bit is important).  Hit the runway threshold at 160 kts and 40 feet, power off and brakes until you stop.  Take care as the runways are short.

Every time I try to land on the carrier I crash and burn.  Being a qualified glider pilot, these fast jets just respond too quickly for my nerves to cope with.  Still, its an excellent game for a small platform like an android tablet, and you can fly the sim in the comfort of your own bed......

If you want to move beyond the free game, you get a choice of 6 aircraft of all types, and a selection of extra game options.

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