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by Douglas Helmer

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Friday, February 07, 2003

PC Game and Hardware News

Fighter Aircraft Repaints (3 items)
Three lovely new aircraft to add to your collections:
  • 141st TFS 'Tigers' (AVSIM)
    141st Tactical Fighter Squadron wearing USAF Air Superiority Grey paint scheme and low vis tiger markings on the nose. The skin includes an alternate set of drop tanks appropriate for this skin. By Nathan Anderson.

  • CFS2 Royal Navy Blackburn (HS) Buccaneer (FSFreeware)
    Royal Navy-Blackburn(HS)Buccaneer. Visual model,paintings and texture by Giovanni Clemente. Gulf War RAF Textures and CFS2 Conversion. By E.Snoad.

  • X Plane F5E Plus Tiger III v1.0 (FSFreeware)
    The F5E Plus Tiger III is an upgrade of the F5E/F Tiger II and did not involve upgrades to the engines or airframe, avionics and electronics were substantially upgraded. The F5A Freedom Fighter was originally developed by Northrop as a light, fast, maneuverable and inexpensive fighter. Deliveries began in August 1964 and its various versions have been sold to many countries besides the US, including, Brazil, Canada, Greece, Chile, Honduras, Indonesia, Singapore, South Korea, Sudan, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia and Yemen. Capable of speeds near mach 2 and a combat radius of 875 miles it is one of the most agile military aircraft ever produced. By Robert App.

Website: AVSIM
Website: FSFreeware
DVD Burners: Seven Types Compared
First it was 5.25" floppies, then 3.5" floppies, then Zip Drives, then CD-ROM, now DVDs. What's next? Oh, sorry, getting ahead of things. Tom's Hardware Guide has a ginormous review of seven DVD burners.

Website: Tom's Hardware Guide
BF1942 Update (2 items)
Only two items today:
  • Old sounds posted (for those experiencing probs with new sounds)
  • Developer chat transcript

Website: PlanetBattlefield.com
NWS: Warship Combat - WW2 V1.06 Released
6 new ship classes, several updated graphics, updated sound effects, a list of realism updates, and more game play features. Some of the major realism updates include more advanced combat mechanics for gunnery vs horizontal and vertical armor, improved AI tactical decisions, and target aspect calculations based on the tactical maneuvers chosen. New game features include game speed options, the ability to choose new random fleets, improved sound effects, and a added background musical score.

For more information please visit our website at http://www.navalwarfare.org or http://www.navalwarfare.net

For screenshots, updated players manual, and updated ship data reference chart please visit our official news forum at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NWS-SIMULATIONS

Download: Naval Warfare Simulations
Website: Naval Warfare Simulations
Tornado For FS2000 and CFS3
The LAGO Tornado in-flight refueling.

AVSIM has posted a press release from LAGO. LAGO has created a Tornado add-on for FS2002 and CFS3. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Terrain following system
  • a complete HUD
  • Active scenery
  • In-flight refueling system using a VC10 and KC10 tanker aircraft.
  • Liveries of the German, Italian, Saudi Airforce
  • Tiger Meet and Gulf War liveries

Full details can be found at AVSIM or you can click the LAGO link for details and pics too.

Website: AVSIM
Website: LAGO Developer Site
Blitzkrieg Demo Date Announced
CDV has announced they will release a demo on February 14th for Blitzkrieg consisting of three Singleplayer Missions: one from the Germans, Allies and Russians.

PR Info: The first Mission is a German counterstrike against Russian forces. First you have to get rid of two Russian IS-II tanks. The easiest way is to outflank them, and hit them from behind, where the plates are quite weak. Use a sniper to destroy the local air defense, and clear the way for the heavy bombers which are taking care of the heavy artillery afterwards. After that, you're ready to utilize the giant mortar "Karl" to destroy an important bunker in the north of the map. And these were only 3 of many mission objectives in the first mission! You will spend some thrilling hours for sure!

Website: Blitzkrieg Homepage
Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Platinum eX Released
MILPITAS, Calif.—Creative Technology Ltd. (NASDAQ: CREAF), a worldwide leader in digital entertainment for PC users, today announced immediate shipment of the only THX(r)-certified consumer sound card capable of six-channel DVD-Audio quality 24-bit/96kHz recording. The new Sound Blaster(r) Audigy(tm) 2 Platinum eX includes the convenient and easy-to-use Audigy 2 External I/O Module for home studio quality connectivity through three analog stereo connections, plus optical and coaxial digital I/O, full-sized MIDI I/O and two SB1394(tm) (FireWire(r)) ports. Featuring ASIO(tm) 2.0 support for low-latency recording and a host of music creation software, the Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Platinum eX enables aspiring musicians to use the PC as a recording studio.
US$249 Recording studio quality intended for home musicians, but how well will it reproduce the sound of a 30mm nose cannon?!

More Info: Creative
IL-2: Forgotten Battles Previews
More previews!

IL-2Center.com has posted Part III of their preview series and SimHQ has also posted a preview.

Preview: IL2Center.com
Preview: SimHQ.com
Oh yeah, one here too:
America's Army Server Utility Update Released
HAOM is a free multiplayer server utility for America's Army and stands for "Hydra's Army Operations Manager". Here's what it does:
  • Easily start from 1 to 4 LAN or Public servers using any combination.
  • Server crash protection - If your server should crash it will be restarted within 1 minute.
  • Create, Save and Manage any number of config files.
  • Config Maker has support for all the AA:O patches thru 1.5.0
  • Minimizes to the system tray (The area next to the clock)
  • Ability to schedule up to 4 servers.
  • Rotating Server logs.
  • Basic Log file reader.
  • Command Line Support
  • HAOM.exe /NameOfConfigAsListedInConfigMaker
  • Log file Statistics Export in HTML
  • Ability to set the Min/Max Honor needed to play on server.
  • Server side HUD enforcements.
  • A basic remote control to start and stop servers.

HAOM v1.0.60 adds the following:
  • Added server enforced HUD settings.
  • Added basic remote control to start and stop servers remotely.

There will also be a help page for the remote control part as soon as the developer gets time.

Download and Website: HAOM
Attn. Modders! MOHAA: Spearhead SDK Released
Now you too can make your own MOHAA: Spearhead levels

Electronic Arts has released the SDK for Medal of Honor: Allied Assault Spearhead, the World War II first-person shooter expansion by EA Los Angeles. According to 3DGamers, details on the contents of this development kit are scarce, but it includes a quick tutorial and all the tools needed to build new modifications.

Download: 3DGamers: MOHAA Spearhead SDK
IL-2 Forgotten Battles "Nightfigher" Story
IL2Sturmovik.com is running their weekly story by Ian Boys based on Forgotten Battles.
To see more pics like this, and read Ian Boys' story, click the "Nightfighter" link below.

According to Cartrix, Ian has created his sixth war story based on his experiences with the Forgotten Battles beta. In addition Oleg has provided some screenshots of the work in progress Me163 Komet cockpit.

Story: "Nightfighter"
Website: IL-2 Sturmovik Official Site

Defense & Aerospace News

Periscope Reunited with WWII German U-Boat
WASHINGTON (NNS)—A thirteen-year search has resulted in the location and return of the periscope removed from the captured World War II German U-boat U-505 by the U.S. Navy for testing after the war.

Now on exhibit at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, the U-505, a Type IXc “long range” U-Boat, was captured by U.S. Navy anti-submarine forces in 1944.
A boarding party from the USS Pillsbury (DE 133) works to secure a tow line to the newly captured German U-boat U-505 on Jun 4, 1944.

However, sometime between its capture and then transfer to the museum 10 years later, the Navy removed the periscope. Thirteen years ago, the museum's curator for U-505, Keith Gill, began a search for the periscope, but the records as to where it was taken were incomplete.

But when the Navy’s old Arctic Submarine Laboratory at Point Loma, Calif., was being demolished last fall, the U-505 periscope was found there in working order and recovered from the lab’s cold-water tank. The Navy called the museum to see if they were interested in it.

“I was absolutely thrilled to get that phone call," Gill said, “but at the same time was somewhat skeptical. Was this one really from our boat? We have people calling us all the time claiming to have pieces of the U-505.”

A check of the Arctic Submarine Laboratory’s records showed that the periscope was more than likely from U-505.

The Naval Historical Center (NHC) was then contacted for assistance. The NHC immediately accepted the transfer of the periscope from Commander, Navy Region Southwest. From there, it was accessioned and cataloged into the Navy's central artifact database in Washington, D.C. Finally, they facilitated the legal and logistical issues with the loan of the periscope from the Navy to U-505.

"It's a great piece of World War II and Cold War history,” said Mark Wertheimer, assistant curator, NHC. “While in U.S. Navy service, the periscope was used for basic research on ice and cold weather and to develop techniques for under-ice submarine operations."

Soon afterwards, the 1,000 pound piece of equipment was trucked to Chicago. It is currently on display at the Museum of Science and Industry and will eventually be reunited with the submarine during its current major restoration.

U-505 was launched in Hamburg, Germany, May 25, 1941, and commissioned for action August 26. In 1942, it sank eight allied ships (three of them American) totaling 44,962 tons. Nov. 11, 1942, the sub was severely damaged by a bomb dropped from a British Hudson anti-submarine bomber, which was shot down during the attack. The damage to the boat was so severe in fact that it took four weeks to return to port.

From this point on, bad luck haunted U-505, with the next six attempts to leave port stymied by sabotage, air attacks and mechanical breakdowns. Oct. 24, 1943, her captain, Kapitanleutant Peter Zschech, committed suicide while the boat was under a severe depth charge attack. This was the only case of a U-boat captain killing himself in combat during WWII. The executive officer brought the boat back to port.

Her run of bad luck continued through June 4, 1944, when she was captured at sea west of Africa by ships and aircraft of U.S. Navy task force 22.3, which consisted of the escort carrier USS Guadalcanal (CVE 60), and the destroyer escorts USS Pillsbury (DE 133), USS Chatelain (DE 149), USS Flaherty (DE 135), USS Jenks (DE 665), and USS Pope (DE 134). Of her 60-man crew, 1 was killed and the other 59 became prisoners of war.

This was the first time the U.S. Navy had captured an enemy vessel on the high seas since the War of 1812.

For the rest of the war, her capture was one of the most closely guarded secrets. Had the Germans learned of it, they would have known that their secret Enigma U-boat communications codes were compromised.

After the war, the Navy planned to scuttle U-505 as a target ship. But Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry asked for the boat, and the people of Chicago raised $250,000 to have it moved and installed at the Museum in 1954. U-505 is the only Type IXc U-boat still in existence and in 1989, was declared a National Historic Landmark.
Northrop Grumman Begins Construction On 50th Destroyer
PASCAGOULA, Miss.—Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE: NOC) Ship Systems sector has begun construction of DDG 100, the 50th ship in the DDG 51-class of Aegis destroyers.

"This is an occasion of tremendous significance," said Dr. Philip A. Dur, Northrop Grumman corporate vice president and president of the company's Ship Systems sector, at a recent ceremony held at the company's Ingalls Operations here. "Northrop Grumman Corporation and its Ship Systems sector are proud of the relationship built with the Navy through the life of the DDG 51 program. This milestone event is built on cooperation, service and dedication to providing the Navy with the best surface combatant America can build."
Arleigh Burke (Aegis) Class Destroyer

The company has delivered 17 Aegis destroyers to the Navy to-date, with delivery of the 18th set for Feb. 28.

"The start of construction on DDG 100 represents many things," said Capt. Phil Johnson, USN, supervisor of shipbuilding, conversion and repair, Pascagoula. "The contractor continues to do an excellent job of building these ships and of recognizing the need to provide this type of surface combatant to the Navy as an important feature of our forces."

Also on hand for the ceremony was Rear Adm. Curtis Kemp, USN, president of the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey. Kemp sailed on two Northrop Grumman-built destroyers during his career - USS Fife (DD 991), a Spruance-class destroyer, and USS Parsons (DDG 33), a modified Forrest Sherman-class ship.

"The Aegis destroyers of today are such a marked contrast to the ships that I started on," Kemp said. "We're talking about the difference in going from the basics of a train to a modern-day rocket ship. The technology that will be in DDG 100 will be another quantum leap from that. We're going in the right direction and it's very impressive what Northrop Grumman Ship Systems is doing here."

Northrop Grumman's Ship Systems Sector includes primary operations in Pascagoula and Gulfport, Miss.; and in New Orleans and Tallulah, La., as well as in a network of fleet support offices in the U.S. and Japan. Ship Systems, which currently employs more than 17,000 shipbuilding professionals, primarily in Mississippi and Louisiana, is one of the nation's leading full service systems companies for the design, engineering, construction and life cycle support of major surface ships for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and international navies, and for commercial vessels of all types.
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