Daily News
by Gail Helmer

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Thursday, January 23, 2003

PC Games & Hardware News
Richard Harvey Says Farewell
In a heartwrenching final post to the flight simulations community, Richard Harvey, architect of the Fly! series of civilian flight sims, bid everyone a final farewell. Harvey, who has been fighting cancer for some time, announced on the AVSim message board that he was losing the battle and that the end is very near. Hundreds of people from the AVSim community and the flight simming community at large have posted their heartfelt goodbyes. If you would like to respond, click the link below.

Page Link: Richard Harvey Says Farewell

USAF T-37 Tweet Add-on for FS2002
The Microsimulator group has announced their soon-to-be-released USAF T-37 Tweet trainer add-on for FS2002. Full details and tons more screenshots to be found at the link below.

USAF T-37 Tweet Add-on for FS2002

Website: USAF T-37 Tweet Add-on for FS2002

Ruud Faber's FScene2002 USA & Canada
Ruud Faber has released his Spring theme for FScene2002 USA & Canada. The following info is from his website:
Good to know:
– It's all virtual, so
  • You will not find your Home
  • You will not find your Street
  • Desserts and big Woods have been unchanged
  • America & Canada will look quite 'different'.
– Demo is not available, but instead you can download for free
  • "FScene-USAlbum.zip" containing 12 fullscreen very reliable Screenshots USA.
  • "FScene-CanadAlbum.zip" containing 12 fullscreen very reliable Screenshots Canada.
- What you'll get:
  • 1/1 eplacement of the basic Ground Scenery (USA & Canada) of FS2002.
  • The experience of "The New World" in FScene's amazing "3D-light" System.
  • A lot of Fun!

Website: Ruud Faber's FScene2002

Praetorians Website Now Live
The Praetorians website is now live! You'll find screenshots, downloads, game info and full descriptions of the enemies you will be facing.

Praetorians now has a home in Cyberspace.

Developed by Spanish based Pyro Studios, Praetorians is an epic 3D troop based strategy game centred around the historical battles from the campaigns of Julius Caesar. Taking on the role of a Roman General you are transported back to the deserts of Egypt, the frozen lands of the Gauls and to the heart of the Empire itself, Italy.

The game is due for release in February 2003 on PC.

Website: Official Praetorians Website

Thrustmaster Releases New Sound System
(Croydon) — Thrustmaster is thrilled to introduce a new sound system to its multi-platform range, bringing the thrills of games and DVDs to a whole new level. The 5.1 Sound System, is fully compatible with all video game consoles, DVD players, TV sets and VCRs.

"Surround sound offers amazing sensations which more and more people want to experience when playing games or watching DVDs," states Marc Koffi, Product Development Manager at Thrustmaster. "Two of the latest generation of consoles can be used as DVD players, an increasing number of games are making use of surround sound and Dolby Digital is fast becoming the standard for the world's most highly-anticipated games. Thrustmaster is responding to this development by launching the 5.1 Sound System, following the success of the 2.1 Sound System launched in 2002. Both systems turn consoles and DVD players into real home theater set-ups, generating fantastic cinematic sound effects to match the huge improvements in image quality brought about by recent games and DVDs."

Turn video game consoles and DVD players into real home theater solutions.

5.1 Sound System: 100% compatible with all video game consoles and DVD players

Thrustmaster's 5.1 Sound System has been designed to provide the finest sound quality in games and DVDs, bringing to life every high and low in games such as Halo, Metal Gear Solid 2 and Crazy Taxi 3 and generating mind-blowing sound effects. With a total output power of 60 Watts RMS and up to 900 Watts P.M.P.O. (Peak Musical Power), 5.1 Sound System is a complete sound package, featuring a Dolby® Digital AC-3 decoder, five high quality satellite speakers, a wooden subwoofer for reproduction of Low Frequency Effects (LFEs), a full set of audio cables and an infrared remote control.

The Dolby Digital decoder automatically detects and identifies the sound signals it receives: stereo, Dolby Surround (PS oneTM or PlayStation®2), Pro Logic 1, Pro Logic 2 (GameCubeTM), or Dolby® Digital (XboxTM, some PS2 games, DVDs). Depending on the incoming signal, the decoder determines how the system will perform and which sound effects will be rendered.

5.1 Sound System's 300 Watt P.M.P.O. wooden subwoofer is perfect for enhancing low frequency effects such as explosions, while its five independent 8 Watt RMS satellite speakers boost 3D effects in games and movies, creating a totally realistic surround sound atmosphere where users can hear opponents walking up behind them or driving by on either side! Complete with removable stands, the speakers can either stand alone or be fixed to the wall.

The complete set of audio cables included renders the system compatible with all existing video game consoles, DVD players, TV sets (including satellite broadcasts) and VCRs: the digital optical cable allows for connection to DVD players, Xbox*, and PlayStation 2; the digital coaxial cable connects to DVD players and TV sets (for digital sound from satellite broadcasts); and the RCA analog stereo cable connects to stereo sources such as CD players, VCRs and TV sets.

Last, but not least, the remote control provides users with complete control over the entire system - including each speaker's volume - from the comfort of a couch or chair.

*A special Xbox audio-video cable with optical output is required

Availability 5.1 Sound System will be available from February 2003, at a recommended retail price of £149.99. 2.1 Sound System is available now at a recommended retail price of £49.99

LO-MAC Video and Screens
Cartix has uploaded a new 6.4 MB video of a MigG-29 taking off and some screenshots of Lock On: Modern Air Combat.

File: Mig-29 Take Off
Website: LO-MAC

Raven Shield Multiplayer Demo Patch v1.2

New MP demo patch for Raven Shield stops cheaters.

From the Raven Shield website:
Some people exploited a flaw in our first release of the demo (Thermal Scope & high-capacity magazines). Unfortunately, it was too late to include fixes in the MPDemo 1.1 patch. Since these are serious cheating issues, we decided to release the MPDemo 1.2. patch. The 1.2 patch will prevent players from using the Thermal Scope and high-capacity magazines kits.

File: RSMPDemoPatch12.zip

Battlefield 1942's Road to Rome Expansion Ships Feb. 04.
Battlefield 1942's expansion pack Road to Rome has gold mastered. Shipment to store shelves is planned for February 4 in North America.

From EA:
The Road to Rome will focus exclusively on the key, yet largely under publicized Italian and Sicilian campaigns of WWII. Players can choose to fight on six new maps including Operation Husky (Sicily), Operation Baytown and the battles for Anzio, Salerno, Santo Croce and Monte Cassino. Each map comes with highly detailed environments such as Italian houses, Mediterranean trees and even the ruined Monte Cassino Monastery. Controllable vehicles are the heart of the Battlefield 1942 experience and The Road to Rome will feature eight new vehicles in addition to the more than 30 in the original title. These include the German BF-110 and British Mosquito twin-engine fighter-bombers. Also debuting are Italian and new British and German tanks and anti-tank guns. The original Battlefield 1942 PC game will be required to play The Road to Rome.

Website: Battlefield 1942

Battlefield 1942 v1.3 Patch Annoucement
As posted on the official Battlefield 1942 Website:
Everyone on the Battlefield team at DICE and EA has been working late nights on another surprise for the community. We’d like to take this time to announce the Battlefield 1942 1.3 patch – it’s coming soon, maybe even sooner than you think! Look for more details about the patch soon, for now here’s a sneak peek:
  1. Implemented TK solution: On the server-side you can implement various TK-solutions such as a Spawn Delay penalty (puts them into spawn limbo) or the simple Kick/Ban. On the client-side you'll be able to Forgive or Punish TK depending on how the server is set up.
  2. Client performance optimization
  3. Map-loading optimized
  4. Improved interface for in-game voting
In addition, the 1.3 patch will allow Road to Rome users to play on original BF1942 servers. You will still need to own Road to Rome in order to play on the new maps included in the expansion pack.

As always, stay tuned to the official site for patch information and other updates.

All right soldiers, this concludes your briefing for this week. Now get out there and onto the battlefields on the double!

EAComMike and the Battlefield 1942 Team

Website: Battlefield 1942

Defense / Aerospace News
UK Selects Javelin Anti-Tank Weapon System
(LONDON) The United Kingdom Ministry of Defence has selected the Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin Joint Venture as the preferred supplier for its Light Forces Anti-Tank Guided Weapon system program.

The Light Forces Anti-Tank Guided Weapon is about a $459 million (#300 million) program that calls for a weapon to meet the British Army's requirement for a lightweight, medium-range anti-armor weapon system that will be in the inventory up to 2025.

Javelin is a portable fire-and-forget medium antitank weapon system designed to pierce many types of armor.

The anti-armor program will supply the British Army with the latest man- portable, anti-tank weapon capability that can be used day or night. With a range of 2,500 meters, using long-wave imaging infrared technology, it will allow for deployment by a single soldier within a confined space. The Light Forces Anti-Tank Guided Weapon system will enter service in 2005, replacing the British Army's current Milan system for use by the Rapid Reaction Forces, including the 16 Air Assault Brigade, the 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines, and other British units. The Light Forces Anti-Tank Guided Weapon system significantly enhances the firepower of light and mechanized infantry soldiers and enhances NATO interoperability.

Javelin meets all requirements for the Light Forces Anti-Tank Guided Weapon system, including military-off-the-shelf procurement to minimize risk and cost and 100 percent UK industrial participation. Javelin is a single, man-portable, "fire and forget" anti-armor weapon that is already in service with the U.S. Army and Marine Corps in operations around the world, as well as in Afghanistan with the Special Operations Forces of an undisclosed nation. Javelin is also on order for the armed services of several other countries.

The selection of Javelin will mean a considerable boost to the UK's defence industry. Some 16 companies throughout the country have already been selected to supply components up to sub-assembly level for the system. It is estimated that over 300 skilled jobs will be created or sustained by the UK Javelin acquisition. The program will also entail leading edge technology transfer to some of these suppliers, including that for the advanced seeker. In addition, UK companies will benefit through potential future buys of Javelin and its upgrades by the U.S. and other export customers.

"Javelin will equip the United Kingdom light and mechanized infantry forces with the world's premier medium-range anti-tank capability," said Col. John Weinzettle, the U.S. Army Close Combat Missile Systems (CCMS) project manager. "Javelin ensures a single British soldier or marine can defeat all known armored vehicles as well as conduct precision engagements of alternate targets such as bunkers, buildings, low flying helicopters and watercraft."

"Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and all of our UK team members are very pleased that the UK government has put its trust in us to deliver such an important capability to the British Army and Royal Marines," said Michael Crisp, president, Javelin Joint Venture. "The Javelin system is the world's only validated medium range fire-and-forget anti-armor system. I look forward to working with our world-class UK teammates to bring a combat proven, highly effective, low risk, value for money solution to the UK Armed Forces."

"The United Kingdom conducted an exhaustive evaluation of all technical, schedule and cost aspects," said Howard Weaver, Javelin Joint Venture vice president. "Javelin proved its high reliability and very low operational, logistic and whole life costs. The Javelin Joint Venture, will provide the UK government the lowest-risk solution to meet its 2005 In-Service Date."

Raytheon Company, which leads the joint venture, provides system engineering management and support for the Javelin Joint Venture and produces the CLU, missile guidance electronic unit and system software. Work is performed primarily at Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Ariz., and at other Raytheon facilities in Texas, Massachusetts and California.

Lockheed Martin provides missile engineering and production support for the Javelin Joint Venture in Orlando, Fla., produces the missile seeker in Ocala, Fla., and performs missile all-up-round assembly in Troy, Ala.

Four Marines Die in Texas Helicopter Crash
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Four U.S. Marines died when two helicopters crashed in south Texas while assisting in an anti-narcotics mission, a marine spokesman said on Thursday.

AH-1 Cobra

Capt. Joe Koppel told Reuters the AH-1W SuperCobra helicopters from the HMLA-775 squadron based in Camp Pendleton, Calif., crashed near Zapata, Texas, near the border with Mexico, at about 9:27 p.m. central time on Wednesday.

Full Story...

V-22 Osprey Completes At-Sea Period
PATUXENT RIVER, Md. (NNS) — The V-22 Osprey recently completed its first series of shipboard suitability tests since the program's return to flight in late May of last year.

Osprey No. 10’s initial approach to USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) demonstrated how the V-22 differs from the platforms it’s designed to replace.

With the nacelles fully forward, the Osprey flew up the starboard side of the ship at 220 knots before rolling left and performing a 180-degree, three-G level turn. From there, any resemblance between a fixed-wing “break” maneuver and the V-22’s approach ended as test pilot Lt. Col. Kevin Gross, a Marine who logged combat hours in the AV-8B Harrier during the Gulf War, tilted the engines from airplane to helicopter mode.

Seconds later, Osprey No. 10 hovered over spot nine and, with the landing signal, smoothly touched down on the non-skid. With that, the Osprey was back at sea, the environment where the MV-22, the Marine Corps variant of the rotorcraft, will spend much of its operational life.

At sea aboard USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) Jan. 14, 2003 -- An MV-22 Osprey hovers over the flight deck, as tests resumed on the aircraft this week, the first at-sea testing of the MV-22 in two years. The V-22 Osprey is a tilt-rotor vertical/short takeoff and landing (VSTOL), multimission aircraft developed to fill multiservice combat operational requirements supporting Marine amphibious operations. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Clarck Desire.

“It felt very good,” Gross said after logging his fifth landing for the day. “We didn’t have any surprises. Even with a lot of wind across the deck, the airplane handled with ease.”

The waters, nearly 100 miles east of the Maryland coastline, are not the friendliest place to conduct flight tests in January, and the V-22 Integrated Test Team (ITT) was handed their fair share of challenges from mother nature.

High winds, rough seas, bitter cold and sudden snowstorms all forced adjustments to the plan over the five-day test period. But in the end, the ITT’s hard work paid off. Along with completing the deck-landing qualification for one of the pilots, the team gathered crucial data on both H-53 and H-1 rotor downwash characteristics, quantified the effect of a hovering H-1 on the V-22 parked behind it and collected air wake figures for the LHD-class out to 52 knots of wind over the deck.

“We accomplished nearly all of what we needed to do, which is impressive considering what we were up against,” Gross said. “This week is another in the series of successes we’ve had lately, as we work to get the Osprey to the fleet.”

NAVAIR provides advanced warfare technology through the efforts of a seamless, integrated, worldwide network of aviation technology experts.

Fighter Squadron Deactivated
(INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey) — "Mission complete" are familiar words of relief to military people who have completed their duty and relinquished their post.

However, these words carry more meaning for 55th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron airmen as they complete their Operation Northern Watch mission here and prepare to deactivate their squadron once they return home to Shaw Air Force Base, S.C.

An F-16CJ Fighting Falcon flown by a 55th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron pilot from Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., takes off during an Operation Northern Watch mission at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. As part of the regular air and space expeditionary force rotation, 55th EFS airmen have been part of more than 1,400 British, Turkish and U.S. troops enforcing the no-fly zone in northern Iraq. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Jason Gamble)

"If everything goes as planned, that should take place as soon as we get back," said Lt. Col. "Jack," 55th EFS commander. "We will start losing people and aircraft in March and April. In May, we will be down to seven airplanes and then in June, zero airplanes. There will be (me) and only a couple of other people who will be left to turn off the lights."

As part of the regular air and space expeditionary force rotation, 55th EFS airmen have been part of more than 1,400 British, Turkish and U.S. troops enforcing the no-fly zone in northern Iraq. Flying the F-16CJ Fighting Falcon, the squadron added to the more than 50 British and U.S. aircraft that work as one team to enforce the northern no-fly zone.

"It goes without saying, everyone plays an important part," said Chief Master Sgt. Travis Fagg, 55th Aircraft Maintenance Unit superintendent. "No one's job is more important than the others. We all have our areas of responsibility, and when we take care of our 'piece of the pie,' the job as a whole gets done."

This is not the first time the "Fighting Fifty-Fifth," has been deactivated. Shortly after being organized in 1917 as the 55th Aero Squadron at Kelly Field in Texas, the squadron was demobilized in 1919. The squadron was reconstituted and renamed the 55th Pursuit Squadron in 1923. For nearly 70 years afterward, the "Fighting Fifty-Fifth" flew combat missions in aircraft ranging from the P-26 Peashooter and P-36 Mohawk to the A/OA-10 Thunderbolt II and F-16.

"I'm not happy my squadron is deactivating, but I support the decision and have no doubt the 55th will be activated again in the future, as it has always risen to the challenges in the past," said Maj. Jay, 55th EFS operations officer.

Two years after participating in Operation Desert Storm in January 1991, the squadron was once again inactivated in October 1993. That was short-lived, because in January 1994, the squadron was reactivated and assigned to Shaw AFB, S.C., flying A-10s.

In summer 1996, the A-10s left and the squadron once again found itself without aircraft and people. A year later, the F-16C's added their name to the long list of "Fighting Fifty-Fifth" aircraft. Through it all, the mission has remained the same -- the suppression of enemy air defenses.

"It's quite humbling to be part of an organization that has seen virtually every aspect of modern aviation roll though its front doors," said Jay. "I will always remember being part of history and the Air Force heritage."

BAE to Provide F-16 IFF Equipment
The U.S. Air Force has awarded BAE SYSTEMS a $4.6 million contract to provide Advanced Identification Friend or Foe (AIFF) equipment for the Air Force's F-16C "Fighting Falcon" aircraft. The equipment, which will be fitted to Block 25, 30 and 32 versions of the tactical fighter, generates and responds to friendly interrogations to provide target identification capability using the Mark XII system. The total programme, including options over the next five years, is worth approximately $100 million.

BAE's AN-APX-76 Interrogation Friend or Foe (IFF) equipment.

Under the contract, the Greenlawn, New York, unit of the Communication, Navigation, Identification and Reconnaissance (CNIR) Group will provide BAE SYSTEMS AN/APX-113 Combined Interrogator Transponder (CIT) systems to replace existing AN/APX-101 transponders. CNIR Group Vice President Pat McMahon said, "These AIFF systems incorporate the latest IFF functionality, including Mode S and plug-in module Mode 5 upgrade capability. They give the warfighter added ability to identify friendly aircraft in a secure environment."

The AN/APX-113, primarily used on U.S. Air Force and allied air forces' F-16 Falcons, has expanded its application base in recent years to include the Electronically Scanned Antenna (ESA) equipped F-15C, as well as allied airborne surveillance and maritime patrol aircraft.

Work will be performed for the Ogden Air Logistics Center (ALC) under a Flexible Acquisition and Sustainment Tool (FAST) contract from Modern Technologies Corp.

BAE SYSTEMS has been providing Combined Interrogator Transponders for more than ten years and has continued to improve the system. More than 1,000 systems have been produced for U.S. and allied forces.

Daily Chuckle: GE's Wright Brothers Commercial
Funny man Bob "Groucho" Marks sent us this great AVI movie about the Wright Brothers. To view the movie, right-click the link below and choose "Save Target As..." then save it to your desktop. Then you can double-click the file and, provided you have an up to date media player, you'll see the video.

Link: GE's Wright Brothers Commercial (right-click link and choose "Save As...")

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