Daily News
by Gail Helmer

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Monday October 07, 2002

PC News
Vietcong Site Launched
Gathering of Developers has launched an official site for its first-person shooter set during the Vietnam War, Vietcong. The site features the standard information on the characters that players will be in charge of, details on the different mission types that'll appear in the game, an account of the development team's research trip to Vietnam, and a number of other sections that are still under development. Vietcong is scheduled for release before the end of the year. Check out these screenshots we snagged for you.

Armored Task Force goes Gold
Shrapnel Games announced that Armored Task Force has gone Gold. According to the Sharpnel press release, "Armored Task Force represents a whole new approach to wargaming. We have modeled the entire battlefield, practically down to the bolts on the road wheels." Shrapnel Games expects to ship Armored Task force on November 4, 2002.

The Tracker Announced
Perfect Flight 2000 announces the imminent release of "The Tracker - Grumman S2-A/E" for FS2002 and CFS2. The S2-A/E is an anti submarine aircraft whose mission is to search and attack enemy submarines. The Tracker package feature two FS2002/CFS aircraft models. Moving parts including ailerons, flaps, rudder, elevators, rolling wheels, steering nose wheel, Bomb bay door, radar radome, MAD tail sting and Tail hook are all fully operative.

Military News
First Flight of Raptor 11
Raptor 11, the first F/A-22 Production Representative Test Vehicle (PRTV) to fly, conducted its maiden flight on September 16, 2002, from the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company facility located here. Eight PRTV aircraft - Raptors 10 through 17 - will be delivered to Nellis AFB, Nev., in 2003 for operational testing and tactics development to ensure the F/A-22 meets the U.S. Air Force's warfighting needs. With this successful first flight, a major year 2002 F/A?22 program goal has been satisfied.

Lockheed Martin recently changed its F/A-22 manufacturing process to conduct first flights of each Raptor prior to the application of final finishes; hence most of the aircraft appears to be yellow. This yellow sheen is the aircraft's "undercoat," a layer of primer paint that was applied to protect the jet's structure from the elements and prepare it for the application of final finishes - a layer of low observable, or stealthy, coatings that help the Raptor elude radar detection. Following this first flight, Raptor 11, will soon undergo the final finishes process, during which the F/A?22's stealth coatings, which include its gray-on-gray camouflage scheme, will be applied. This revised "fly before painting" procedure is done to ensure that any additional work required by the aircraft following its first flight does not negatively impact the Raptor's stealthiness before it is delivered to the Air Force.

Board Announces Cause Of F-15 Crash
Investigators have determined that structural failure led to the April 30 crash of an F-15 Eagle into the Gulf of Mexico about 60 miles south of Panama City, Fla.

James A. Duricy, from the 46th Test Wing here, was declared dead following the crash after search and rescue efforts were unsuccessful.

Investigators concluded he likely ejected under conditions that were instantly fatal.

The accident investigation board report said there is clear and convincing evidence that structural failure of the honeycomb material supporting the leading edge of the left vertical stabilizer during a high-speed test dive was the primary cause of the crash. At about 24,000 feet and at an airspeed of about 900 mph, the aircraft experienced the structural failure which caused part of the tail to break off and the fighter to depart from controlled flight. The departure created other structural overloads that resulted in the aircraft breaking up.

The accident occurred while conducting a captive carry flight test for the AIM-9X, an improved version of the Sidewinder air-to-air missile.

Air Force Releases A-10 Accident Report
An accident investigation board determined pilot error caused an A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft accident June 27 near Nancy, France. The aircraft belonged to the 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.

The pilot of the aircraft was killed when his A-10 crashed in a rural area a half-mile southwest of the town of Domptail.

According to the board report, the pilot mis-prioritized his tasks and failed to properly execute his descent to 500 feet above ground level during training maneuvers. Late recognition of his 32 degrees nose low attitude resulted in an attempt to recover the aircraft that was too late.

The accident occurred during a training mission. (Courtesy of U.S. Air Forces in Europe News Service)

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