Aerosoft's Airline Flights 2
By Iair Arcavi (8 July 1999)
Airline Flights 2 is a series of adventures (23 of them actually) which cover many different airline flights in Europe and the Far East. In addition, the package includes some basic scenery locations, and several aircraft.
The program comes with several Jeppesen charts for the airports which are involved in the adventures. The maps include airport diagrams, STARs, SIDs, and so forth, and are very helpful and necessary. Some basic knowledge in reading these maps is required.
In addition, the package includes all of the flight plans (see
picture to the right) for the flights included and this is very
helpful and necessary as well, but also requires a basic knowledge
of how to read them.
The installation is quite straight forward. I liked the fact that one does not have to install all of the adventures, but can choose which ones to install.
The requirements for this program, as written on the box
Flight Simulator 98, 95 or 5.1 with Flight Shop, a CD Rom drive, and Windows 95. That’s all it says.
This is the highlight of the program, which includes, as I said before, 23 adventures. The adventures are:
|Paris - Vienna
Paris - Zurich
Paris - Rotterdam
Paris - Oslo
Paris - Palama De Mallorca
London - Copenhagen
London - Basle
London - Dublin
London - Glasgow
London - Moscow
London - Stockholm
London - New Castle
|Tokio - Bangkok
Tokio - Hiroshima
Tokio - Hong Kong (Kai Tak Airport)
Tokio - Sydney
Munich - Athens
Munich - Cairo
Munich - Innsbruck
Munich - Istanbul
Munich - Warsaw
Frankfurt - Brussels
Frankfurt - Maastricht
Messages from Air Traffic Control
can be received in either text, voice or both text and voice. The
user is prompted with this choice before beginning the flight. The
flights themselves are very complete, and they begin with the
aircraft positioned in front of the terminal with engines shut off.
One has to receive clearence for the flight, speak with the Ramp
Control for push-back and engine start, followed by Ground
clearence to the runway, and then request the Tower's permission
for take off. The departure procedures involve the SIDs as they are
described in the charts, and I liked this very much, and found that
it was truly realistic, in that aspect. On arrival, expect to be
put in a holding pattern as well, before given clearence for
approach or landing.
A very nice option included in the adventures is the ability to use a co-pilot. If one chooses to use such a co-pilot, he will do all of the frequency changes of both radio and navigation, which is very helpful.
I did notice some glitches, however. I didn't hear any background chatter on the COM, even though I had that option turned on. Also, I chose to both be able to hear and read my instructions, and such was the case at the beginning of the adventure. But, just after departure, I paused the adventure for a while, and when I unpaused it to continue, I couldn’t hear ATC anymore. All I had was the text messages.
Another thing I noticed, was the lack in artificial intelligence
for the controllers. Sure, they'll tell you if you're deviating off
course, but nothing happened when I broke the holding pattern, or
changed my altitude in it (by 1000 feet).
All of the airports one needs in order to fly the adventures are included. However, they are very basic, and include only runways, taxiways and the default terminal buildings. This was quite dissapointing, but since this isn't a scenery program, it doesn't really require they add any scenery at all.
Still, if you don't like landing and departing using
default-like airports, I strongly recommend downloading the scenery
you wish to fly to, before making the flight.
The box states that the aircraft included are:
B747-500 of ASIA (actually, that seems like an error on the box, because the plane is a B747-300 of Japan-Asia), B747-100 (Delta) B747-400 (British Airways) and the B767-300 (SpanAir (see picture) + American Airlines). Unfortunately, they do not come with their own panels, but utilise the default panels instead. The planes' outer looks are quite good, and include nice flaps and spoilers.
As to their flight model, I don't know how accurate it is, but
they are pretty easy to fly. A corresponding aircraft is loaded
automatically with the adventure, but it can be changed if one has
a preferred aircraft other than the one loaded.
All in all this is a very nice product which includes several airline flights, that are quite fun to fly, and quite realistic (as far as I could tell). It is well documented with all of the flight plans included, and most importantly, the maps as well. It comes with the planes and sceneries that one needs in order to fly the adventures, (even though they are basic sceneries only). For those of you who like to fly adventures throughout Europe or the Far East, I would recommend this product, since it really helps "tune up" the flight sim experience.