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Quick-Hit Review: Warbirds for FS2004


Joker
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Okay, let’s talk about airplanes some. We get cranky when we don’t.

Been messing with FS2004 of late. Yeah, I know, general aviation, can’t blow anything up, yadda yadda yadda. Look, it’s an amazing game, from a simulation standpoint. Dynamic weather, global maps, air traffic control -- okay, I won’t get into it. But I’m getting into it. Just saying.

Anyway, there are numerous warbirds available for FS2004. Even though you can’t blow anything up with them. Notwithstanding (how often do you see that word at the start of a sentence; don’t try this yourself without professional supervision), they can be a real challenge to fly.

So recently I tried three payware (yes, I said payware) add-on warbirds. Payware is common in the FS2004 world. Sure, there are tons of freeware add-ons, too. Guess what, though -- you get what you pay for. Myself, I paid US$15-30 apiece for these warbirds. It’s okay, I have a job.

Whatever, here are three short reviews:

  • Westland Whirlwind by Classic Warbirds Design Team, US$15
    Nobody doesn’t like the Whirlwind. It’s kinda cute, with that stubby fuselage and those oversized engines hanging from each wing. If this flight model is anything close to accurate, it was sorta tricky to operate, too. Those two mills aren’t synchronized, and they generate a metric ton of torque. Yaw will become part of your daily diet. Stalls come on rather suddenly, too. The physical model is quite good -- you can even pull off the nose and admire those neutered cannons. Two versions and several skins are included, including a fantasy USAAF skin. Virtual cockpit is above average, but relies too much on 2D panels, for my taste. Still, it’s the best Whirlwind I’ve ever seen in a flight sim (think about that).
    Rating: 8.0


  • Vought F4U Corsair by Aeroplane Heaven, US$30
    This one just came out last week. I’m not going to comment on the flight model, because I’m no expert on flight models. Heck, I’m not even a pilot. Let’s just say it flies and it stalls and it doesn’t feel all that different from the Corsair in PF. Not that I’m much on flight models, as I said. I can say that you have to stand on the rudder when you take off, and you’d better lock that tail wheel. The physical model is every bit as good as anything in PF, to my eye, although the skins aren’t quite as sharp. There are several liveries, including aces like Kepford and Boyington, and a couple of others you’ve seen in Osprey books; there’s even an El Salvadorian skin from the Soccer War. (I should mention that I bought the early Corsair pack, which includes the birdcage, the –A, and the –C. The full pack includes two later variants and an air racer, but costs $40. Wasn’t worth it, to me.) The virtual cockpit is close, but not quite up to PF standards. It’s those darned 2D panels again. Here’s something really interesting: the pilot model is a dead ringer for Greg Boyington. He even leans forward when you open the cockpit, and starts looking around as though he’s trying to see over the Hawg’s nose. Nice detail, that. By the way, there’s a dirt airstrip at Munda in FS2004.
    Rating: 8.5


  • Supermarine Spitfire XIV by RealAir Simulations, US$30
    If you only buy one warbird for FS2004, make sure it’s this Spit. Gawd, this is one gorgeous airplane. Everything is first-rate. The flight model is skittish and purposeful, just like a thoroughbred should be, delightful to fly but a handful at the same time. Loads of torque, light on the controls, but don’t get too comfortable or you’ll find yourself ass-over-teakettle faster than you can say "taka taka taka." Stress the aircraft and she actually creaks, audibly. G forces are modeled too, so your head bobs around under maneuvering, just as it does in PF. The physical model is a work of art, that’s all I can say -- even better than PF. As for the virtual cockpit, it’s the finest I’ve seen on a FS2004 warbird, yet I must admit it’s not quite as good as PF. Others might disagree, but it still looks a tad flat, to me. Several XIV variants are provided, with clipped and unclipped wings, each sporting two or three skins. There’s even the dual-prop prototype. As a bonus, RAF West Malling scenery is included for that WWII period feel, complete with a traffic pattern full of AI Spitfire XIVs. This is value for the money, I tell you.
    Rating: 9.0

There you have it, three likely FS2004 warbirds. Any one of them is worth a try, if you’ve got the sim. Be warned, though --you’ll get frustrated every time you pull the trigger on your joystick!

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Sounds like a personal problem to me! Better go to the Doc and get some of the lil' blue pills!  :lol:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hey, there's a reason I root for Mark Martin ... ! :o

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Well, I've looked at the Corsairs offered in that pack, once again, they didn't get the Corsair right! <_< The F4U-1D is using two Brewster bomb racks instead of the factory pylons? :huh: And what's with the F4U-5N? Four 20mm cannons :thumbsup: , but six shell ejection ports and six powder residue stain streaks? :blink:

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Hey Joker,

I have been trolling some sites for military aircraft for FS2004 and have seen screen shots where they dropped bombs on stuff.

Just for fun the other night I flew a U-2 flight from Turkey, over Iraq, Iran and Afgainistain and landed in Japan. 82k, mach .7 it was cool, but boring.

http://www.vusaf.org/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=1009

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Well, I've looked at the Corsairs offered in that pack, once again, they didn't get the Corsair right! <_<  The F4U-1D is using two Brewster bomb racks instead of the factory pylons?  :huh:  And what's with the F4U-5N?  Four 20mm cannons :thumbsup: , but six shell ejection ports and six powder residue stain streaks? :blink:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Stans you need to correct them maybe they will give you a free download for your tech advice if you tell them...that gunports thing is pretty bad actually. I had a look at the site and the models look damn nice except for the little errors. :thumbsup:

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Yeah, sorry you didn't like 'em, Stans. I've enjoyed them, myself.

Try that Spit though, it's a dream.

Shep, one thing I've tried is landing in France late at night while flying a Westland Lysander I found. Cloak-and-dagger stuff, just like the SOE, makes a nice change of pace.

:thumbsup:

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Joker have you tried VATSIM?

That will bring a whole new world to fs2004 for you man and then you can get fsnav and do real worl weather. I was flying today for a test and flew into a thunderstomr as it was really happening in Hunstville, ALA.

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Nope, not yet. When I get a chance, I plan to build some fields lighted with the L signal that Resistance operatives made using their torches.

I built a similar mission for IL-2, but had to use a Gladiator, since there isn't a Lysander in that game.

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