Daily News
by Douglas Helmer

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Thursday, February 06, 2003

PC Game and Hardware News

Fixes and Improvements in Combat Flight Simulator 3.1
From CFS3 Insider:
Below is a list of improvements and fixes that have been made in the CFS 3.1 update.

Artificial Intelligence
 Artificial intelligence (AI) pilots now perform level-bombing. If you are leading a flight of level bombers, the AI bombers in your flight mimic your commands. They open their bomb bay doors when you do, and release their bombs when you do. All-AI flights also do level-bombing flights on their own.

 There is now a wing-level autopilot. Press Ctrl+Shift+A to set the autopilot to fly on the same heading, with the wings level. You can use this to supercede the fly-towards-waypoint artificial pilot that is invoked when you switch to a gun station.

 In version 3.0, gun pods and bomber gun turrets would occasionally fire by themselves if an enemy aircraft was nearby. This has been fixed.

 AI pilots now jettison their drop-tanks in combat situations.

 More than eight virtual cockpits are now supported. (Note that this fix requires that modelers export aircraft using a new version of the Gmax plugin.)

 P-51B and P-51D virtual cockpits have been improved.

 Gun limits for the Ju-88 have been widened.

 The B-26 aircraft has been re-designated as a level bomber, and uses level bombing tactics.

Damage and Guns
 You can now hit other aircraft with your guns if you are within 50 yards.

 Trim response is now gradually decreased in response to elevator damage (as opposed to being completely disabled if there is any elevator damage.)

 B-26 elevator and Me-262 damage capacity have been increased.

 Muzzle velocity for guns is now taken into account.

 A very rudimentary in-flight map has been implemented. Press M (the in-game briefing key) to display it.

Note: this map only shows the location of your aircraft.  It does not show where other AI or human flights are.

In-flight map keys are as follows:
        ] or +  Zoom in
        [ or -  Zoom out
        C  Center on player
        ,   Zoom to fit mission items
        Arrow keys Pan map

 Padlock no longer switches to the next target when the aircraft you are targeting has been destroyed. Instead, you return to the forward-looking view.

 The CFS3 movie now plays when you start the game.On a limited set of configurations, the movie may not play appropriately because applications assume control of the playing of movies. These configurations display a black screen. Press any key to skip the movie.

 Bomber gun-turret reticules are now better aligned with bullets fired from turrets.

 In version 3.0, the game would crash if the currently-selected aircraft was removed from the game. This has been fixed.

 Several security (anti-cheat) fixes have been made.
 There are now hit sounds when you are hit by other players.
 A "Lock" icon is displayed on password-protected games in the game list.
 In version 3.0, when you respawned in a mission you would sometimes not have control of the aircraft. This has been fixed.

 Some algorithms for managing memory have been changed to reduce stutter.

 Force Feedback responses have been improved.

 The Intel 845 and Intel 830 chipsets are now supported.
 The ATI Radeon 9700 is now properly identified on Windows ME machines.
 Improved configuration support pages are available. See [CFS3 directory]\help\config\configsupport.htm for an up-to-date list of recommended drivers and manufacturer links.

(The above document is 2002 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.)

CFS3 Updated Installation Notes
From CFS3 Insider:

We strongly recommend that you use Microsoft DirectX 9.0, released in December, in conjunction with Combat Flight Simulator 3.
This version of DirectX fixes cross-compatibility problems that surface in the version of DirectPlay originally shipped with Combat Flight Simulator 3.0.  DirectX 9 also contains some fixes that improve multiplayer performance.  To get the latest version of Microsoft DirectX, please go to http://www.microsoft.com/directx.

Before downloading and installing the update, please read these release notes.
Update Installation: Installing the update requires 30 megabytes of space on your PC's hard drive. Backups of files that have changed are stored in a folder called "Backup" in your Combat Flight Simulator 3 directory. If the CFS3 Update has been successfully installed on your machine, you can remove this backup directory to reclaim the space occupied by the Backup folder.

Note: Installation of the Combat Flight Simulator 3 update installs a new configuration profile, which enables CFS3 on more machines. This configuration profile is stored on a per-user basis. If you have more than one user account on the PC where you run CFS3, you will need to install the CFS3 update under each account for the appropriate configuration changes to take effect.

Cancel Button: During the update process, a Cancel button is available that allows you to stop the installation process. Clicking Cancel will stop the installation of the update, but may leave Combat Flight Simulator 3 in an incomplete state. You will need to either restart and complete the installation of the update, or reinstall Combat Flight Simulator 3 to ensure that the simulation functions properly.

Custom Aircraft: If you have installed any add-ons which have changed the list of aircraft that came with Combat Flight Simulator 3, you may be unable to install the update. If this is the case, you will see an error message during update installation stating that certain original files could not be found. To work around this error, please restore the original Combat Flight Simulator 3 aircraft files; you may need to uninstall and reinstall Combat Flight Simulator 3 to do this.

Uninstalling the CFS3 Update: There are two methods to uninstall the CFS3 update.  The recommended method is to simply uninstall and reinstall Combat Flight Simulator 3. This will ensure that Combat Flight Simulator 3 is restored to its original state.

Another method of uninstalling the CFS3 update is to use the automatically-created backups of files that are modified during the update process.

To use the backup files:
1. Locate the Backup folder within your Combat Flight Simulator 3 folder. On most machines, this is located at C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Combat Flight Simulator 3\Backup.
2. Find the unpatch.bak file located in this folder and rename it as "unpatch.bat."
      a. Right-click the unpatch.bak file and select Properties from the menu.
      b. Type unpatch.bat where the filename unpatch.bak is displayed.
      c. Click OK to close the Properties window
3. Double-click the renamed unpatch.bat file.
4. Locate your Combat Flight Simulator 3 folder.
5. Rename "cfs3configdatabase.txt.bak" to "cfs3configdatabase.txt".

For a list of fixes and improvements, please see this article.

Download Links
       English Combat Flight Simulator 3.0 update (4.2mb)
       German Combat Flight Simulator 3.0 update (Coming soon)
       Italian Combat Flight Simulator 3.0 update (Coming soon)
       Spanish Combat Flight Simulator 3.0 update (Coming soon)
       Japanese Combat Flight Simulator 3.0 update (Coming soon)

(The above document is 2002 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.)

BF1942 Updates (5 items)
Found a quintet of news items there today:
  • Poll: Common Complaints and Wants
  • New v1.3 Help Center
  • Developer's Petition to EA for an SDK
  • Codename Eagle Mod News
  • Glimpse of Desert Combat Maps

Website: PlanetBattlefield.com
HyperLobby v3.1.40 Released
Jiri Fojtasek aka "JG27*Hyper" has released the newest version of HyperLobby.

New Features:
  • Changed user interface layout and functionality
  • Game launch slots up to 32 players
  • Simply Friend list:
    • show friend status (in game, in room, hosting game, use a game launch slot)
    • show friend change status events in to chat
    • chat, pagers and game slots from friend with diferent color
    • New layout of the Games In Progress (friends at top, passwordet servers at bottom,removed direct launch buttons)

  • Half dividet game slots background color
  • Send and Retrieve informations about the game before its started
  • Game description up to 64 characters (before was 28)
  • Addet some chat commands than replaces the Ping, Stop and Clear buttons, and some keyboard shortcuts (type /h in to chat to show it, /b to maximize the chat window)
  • Instant switching betwen games without reconnecting
  • Player counters in game selector
  • Detailed Diffyculty settings for IL2 game
  • Autoconnect when HL start
  • Game slots is showed for all games, but game must be instaled when you want use a game slot.

General bugfixes:
  • Improved searching in the game location dialog
  • Fixed some major Pager bugs regarding performance and missed messages
  • Fixed few server bugs
  • Some other minor bugfixes ...

Check out his new PHP-Nuke-ified web site too.

Website & Download: HyperFighter
Fighter Aircraft Repaints (4 items)
2 From AVSIM and 2 From FSPlanet:

X-Plane 6.4/6.51: F5E Plus Tiger III v1.0 (From AVSIM):
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
Paul Barry's F-15A Eagle

FS2002: USAF F-15A Eagle (From AVSIM):
5th FIS, First Air Force, Minot AFB, North Dakota (1987). This became the third Air Defence unit to fly the F15 when it replaced the F106 in 1985. High-vis markings with lights, contrail, smoke and afterburner effects. Gmax aircraft by Kimitaka Nishida. repaint by Paul Barry

FS2002 Pro, Avro Lancaster B.III(Special) 'Dambusters' (From FSPlanet):
Completly new GMax model, in the markings of No. 617 Squadron, carrying the 'Upkeep' bomb used to destroy the Moehne and Eder dams.
By Dave Garwood

FS98/FS2000/FS2002 MiG-29C (From FSPlanet):
A Russian jet fighter. Designed by Michael Davies

Website: AVSIM
Website: FSPlanet
CFS3 Nominated AIAS Award
In a press release today Microsoft Game Studios announced that six Microsoft PC games have been nominated for the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS) Sixth Annual Interactive Achievement Awards including one flight sim title.

The nominated titles are: Age of Mythology, the highly successful real-time strategy game from Ensemble Studios, (nominated for PC Game of the Year, as well as PC Strategy Game of the Year). Other titles nominated include Asheron's Call 2 Fallen Kings, Links 2003, Combat Flight Simulator 3...

Full Story...
LO:MAC Movie and Screens

This week's movie highlights the following aspects of the sim:
1- The Su-33 3D cockpit
2- Ships in dock
3- City buildings
4- Water effects

Download: Video [10.6 MB]
Website: LO:MAC Official Site
Deer Hunter Creator Calls it a Day
From GameSpot:
The creator of the Deer Hunter series cites a decrease in value game sales and overseas competition as reasons for its closure.
Umpteen versions of Deer Hunter plus about 100 knock-offs finally saturated the market. Oh well, they had a good run.

Former Sunstorm Interactive producer Tom Shiflet recently announced on the Hunter's Realm Forums that the Indianapolis-based developer had laid off its entire staff. Best known as the creator of Deer Hunter, Sunstorm also created last year's 3D side scroller Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project and, earlier, a couple of expansion packs for Dukem Nukem 3D and Blood. However, it was the Deer Hunter games that defined Sunstorm as the pioneer of the hunting game genre and of value-priced games.

Full Story: Gamespot
NWS: Warship Combat-WW2 V1.06 Releases Later Today

  • Nations include: United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, Japan, and Italy.
  • Over 150 classes of ships including battleships, battlecruisers, heavy cruisers, light cruisers, and destroyers.
  • Gunnery and torpedo combat animations with varying sizes of explosions, non-penetrating hits, and salvo splashes based on size of shells. Animations also include critical hit explosions.
  • Features include radar fire control, target size, target speed, horizontal and vertical armor effects, range to target, smoke screens, penetrating and non-penetrating hits, time of day and weather effects, torpedo warheads vs armor, primary and secondary guns, coastal batteries, land effects, torpedo salvos, critical hits, starshells, searchlights, tactical manuevers, etc..
  • Random scenario generator for small, medium, or large battles and the ability to manually create custom scenarios.
  • Birds eye horizon viewpoint of the battle with detailed ship graphics and high quality ocean and sky backgrounds.
  • Easy to use and intuitive interface with only a few keystrokes needed to control the entire battle.
  • Tactical decisions include closing, opening, and maintaining range to the enemy fleet, evasive maneuvers, smoke screens, weapon targeting, screening units, and much more!
  • Fast paced naval action and easy to learn in minutes yet detailed for the scale represented.
  • Full stereo sound effects for explosions, torpedo launches, shells flying, gunfire salvos, and splashes. Also includes optional background music.
  • Two player hot seat and solitaire with challenging AI.
  • Future expansions to include more navies and ships!

Note: Land and coastal batteries and spotter aircraft will be added with the soon to be released V1.1 update.

Download: Naval Warfare Simulations
Website: Naval Warfare Simulations

Defense & Aerospace News

Army's Unguided Missiles Converted to Precision Kill Weapon
BURLINGTON, Vt.—General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE:GD), was awarded the initial $9 million increment of a $53.8 million contract for Block I development of the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) by the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama. The contract period of performance extends through July 31, 2005.

"APKWS is an important program in Army Aviation's transformation to the objective force and we are confident General Dynamics will make it happen," said Carol Frazier, Project Manager for Aviation Rockets and Missiles.

APKWS takes a Hydra-70 rocket and adds a precision guidance system. Intended to fill the gap between the unguided Hydra-70 and HELLFIRE anti-tank missile.

The contract funds the system development and demonstration phase of the program to add a precision guidance system to the existing 2.75 inch Hydra-70 rocket, to cost effectively fulfill its mission for accurate use against soft to lightly armored targets.

"We will bring to bear General Dynamics' considerable integration capabilities to produce this cost-effective precision weapon system for Army Aviation and other war fighters," said Linda Hudson, president of General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products.

Program management and development work will take place at General Dynamics' Burlington, Vermont, and Camden, Arkansas, operations. General Dynamics competitively selected BAE Systems of Nashua, New Hampshire, to provide the guidance and control section.
Frasca Simulators receives FAA Level 6 Approval
Prescott, Ariz. — Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Frasca International have received the highest Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval rating ever for a flight-training device.
The Frasca Seminole flight-training device (FTD) at Embry-Riddle's campus in Prescott, Ariz., has been approved at FAA Level 6, becoming the first flight-training device based on a training aircraft to qualify at such a high level.
Got some spare cash? Put one of these in your basement!

The Level 6 qualification for the Embry-Riddle Frasca Seminole FTD is part of the continuing Federal Aviation Regulation 142 certification process with the FAA. With this goal accomplished, Embry-Riddle now plans to train students in the FTD to a significantly higher degree.

"The capabilities of the FTD with the new visual system will revolutionize the training of student pilots," said Mike Corradi, chief flight instructor at the Prescott campus. "The new FTD will allow instructors to train their student pilots in how to handle bad weather conditions, emergencies, different airports, and any non-normal conditions. You can't do that in the actual aircraft."

The devices, which are in use at Embry-Riddle's Prescott and Daytona Beach, Fla., campuses, simulate the Piper PA44 Seminole and the Cessna 172 aircraft used in daily flight-training activities at both campuses. The FTDs are equipped with Frasca's new 220-degree visual display system, custom cockpit, and other components of the actual aircraft.

Embry-Riddle officials predict that usage of the Level 6 flight-training device will increase the quality of training for students and allow the cost of training to decrease. Student training will closely parallel commercial airline training, with scenario-based sessions that develop a student's experience and judgment.

"This is a milestone for the flight-training environment overall and for Embry-Riddle in particular," said Dan Carrell, chancellor of the Prescott campus. "Overall student training will be safer, better, and faster, with a lower cost to the student."

Embry-Riddle will ultimately operate a fleet of four Level 6 Seminoles and ten Level 6 Cessna 172s when the FAA qualifications are completed, making Embry-Riddle the single largest operator of Level 6 FTDs in the world. There are only 23 active Level 6 FTDs in existence, the majority of which are used for transport class aircraft.

Frasca International provides flight-training equipment for airlines, flight schools, and military organizations worldwide. More than 1,800 Frasca devices have been delivered since the company was founded in 1958.

Embry-Riddle, the world's largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, meets the needs of students and industry through its educational, training, research, and consulting activities. Embry-Riddle educates more than 25,000 students annually through the master's level at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., at more than 150 teaching centers in the United States and Europe, and through distance learning.

Website: Frasca
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