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by Gail Helmer

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Friday July 20, 2001

PC News

Flight Simulator 2002 Sneak-A-Peak
"Flight Simulator 2002" will be on display in Microsoft's booth from July 24 - July 30 at the annual air show EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is the world's premier recreational aviation event, drawing more than 800,000 people and 12,000 airplanes annually. Flight enthusiasts will receive a sneak preview of the game, scheduled for release this holiday season. The newest edition of the PC simulation series, "Flight Simulator 2002" offers players exciting new features including a complete interactive Air Traffic Control (ATC) system, highly-detailed auto-generated scenery and popular new planes to fly, including the Cessna Caravan float plane and the Boeing 747-400 jumbo jet. AirVenture Oshkosh will also mark the debut of the official Flight Simulator 2002 web page.

"Flight Simulator 2002" Features The Following:

Experience interactive Air Traffic Control (ATC). For the first time in the series, "Flight Simulator 2002" includes realistic, interactive air traffic control. Through pop-up menus and key commands, players ask for permission to taxi, take off and land, plus request en route clearances and vectors for instrument approaches. ATC responds with verbal instructions.

Marvel at auto-generated scenery. When flying above cities, towns, farmland and dramatic landscapes, "Flight Simulator 2002" automatically adds buildings and vegetation appropriate to the terrain below. Office buildings, factories, homes, farmhouses and trees smoothly blend in at the horizon and fill the areas with detail that adds unprecedented depth and reality to "Flight Simulator 2002."

Fly in crowded skies. While the auto-generated 3-D objects fill in details below, a new artificial intelligence system generates air traffic around and between airports.

Experience stunning aircraft models and special effects. The new aircraft lineup in "Flight Simulator 2002" includes amazing visual details, subtle shading and lighting effects. Many special effects that made "Combat Flight Simulator 2" so exciting are now in "Flight Simulator 2002." Players will see contrails from high-altitude jets, dramatic lighting effects and puffs of smoke from tires at touchdown.

Fly new aircraft. "Flight Simulator 2002" includes the aircraft users have requested most. Climb into the cockpit of a Boeing 747-400 jumbo jet and fly in real time across the ocean or fly a bush pilot adventure in the Cessna Caravan on amphibious floats. New players can begin flying careers in the world's most popular trainer, the Cessna 172S Skyhawk.

Enhanced virtual cockpits. With a 3-D graphics card, players can fly many "Flight Simulator 2002" aircraft from a new perspective - 3-D cockpits with working instruments.

Flight analysis. Pilots work to improve their skills and enthusiasts looking for new challenges and bragging rights can check the precision of their flying. Maps and graphs show how well virtual pilots maintained their course, altitude and speed. "Flight Simulator 2002 Professional Edition" also includes a multiplayer "instructor's station" for pilots who want to take on anything that a wily instructor can throw at them.

New lessons and challenging flights. The addition of a floatplane and other aircraft opens many possibilities for engaging activities. Players can be a bush pilot over Alaska, fly a 747 or earn an instrument rating in the Cessna Skyhawk. New and expanded lessons and flights help new players get into "Flight Simulator 2002" for the first time, while challenging experienced "Flight Simulator" pilots.

Included tools for add-on developers. "Flight Simulator 2002 Professional Edition" features gMax, a 3-D modeling tool from Discreet. Add-on developers can create scenery objects using an industry standard format. Also included is a vastly improved Flight Dynamics Editor that makes modifying and creating "Flight Simulator" aircraft much easier.
Medal of Honor: Allied Assault Trailer Released
Electronic Arts has released a new movie from Medal of Honor: Allied Assault that shows soldiers coming in on LCVPs, landing on the shores of Omaha Beach, and then moving forward while being fired on by enemy soldiers. In Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, players take on the role of Lt. Mike Powell, a member of the US Army Rangers that sees a number of different battles around Europe and North Africa during World War II. It was announced recently that characters from previous Medal of Honor games would be making appearances in Allied Assault. Release Date: October 2001. Click here to check it out.

Military News

LPD 21, 22 Amphibious Assault Ships Get Green Light
Northrop Grumman Corporation announced today that the Avondale Alliance, led by Northrop Grumman Avondale, has been awarded $113.2 million for advance procurement of long lead materials for ships five and six in the SAN ANTONIO Class LPD 17 Program.

Long lead materials consist of items such as the main engines, generators, controllable pitch propellers, and reduction gears. Advance procurement is necessary for these critical long lead items in order to exercise vendor option rates.

The LPD 17 Amphibious Transport Dock Ships are designed to be 208.4 meters (684 feet) long and 31.9 meters (105 feet) wide and will replace the functions of the LPD 4, LSD 36, LKA 113, and LDT 1179 Classes of Amphibious ships. The ship's mission is to embark, transport, and land elements of a landing force in an assault by helicopters, landing craft, and amphibious vehicles to conduct an amphibious warfare mission.

The design, which is captured and managed in a three-dimensional product model, is forecasted to return large operational dividends. Designers and operators have the ability to view an electronic model of the ship before the first piece of steel is cut. This allows improvements and changes to be incorporated into the design at an earlier stage of the program while minimizing the cost of rework. It has also allowed sailors and marines, the ultimate customers of LPD 17, to participate and have an impact on the ship design by specifying designs that add to fighting capabilities and operations.

To date, contracts for four ships have been awarded in the 12-ship program with the eight additional ships planned in the next four to five years. Value of the four ships awarded to date is in excess of $2 billion. Eight of the ships will be built at Avondale in New Orleans, while four are currently planned for production at Bath Iron Works in Maine, including the fifth ship which was part of today's award. Start of fabrication on LPD 18, NEW ORLEANS, will begin at Avondale in February 2002, with the start of LPD 19, MESA VERDE, to begin at Bath Iron Works in July 2001.

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