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Combat Flight Simulator: Upgrades
Garra Cornish


It has been a while since COMBATSIM.COM has run an article regarding Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator (CFS), but since the folks at The Associate recently cranked out a Pacific theatre and Luftwaffe Collection upgrade for it, we decided to have another look at this WW II sim. Although European Air War has eclipsed the other prop sims in our forums, there is still enjoyment to be had playing other World War II sims such as CFS.

Pacific Combat Pilot is a total enhancement (their words, not mine) for CFS. It includes 27 new Japanese and Allied aircraft, as well as new photo realistic Pacific theatre scenery and twenty new missions.

Blowing off the cobwebs

To be completely honest, it has been so long since we fired up CFS that we had to reinstall it, as well as re-write our Thrustmaster joystick configuration file. After about thirty minutes of reinstalling/reconfiguring, we installed the Pacific Combat Pilot and the Luftwaffe Collection upgrade into the CFS directory. The new aircraft are then available for selection, as are the new missions and 2 new campaigns. Testing the new aircraft and missions in CFS was just like riding a bike, and we had forgotten how good this game looks. On one of our gaming rigs we got over 70 frames per second in 1600x1200 in 32-bit, and the new Pacific terrain is very well done.

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Fig. 1. The Pusher Prop Kyushu J7W1 Shinden looks like a modern kit plane

The missions and campaigns are the typical CFS canned numbers, and the only thing really interesting about this entire package is the new aircraft. The Associates have modeled several fairly obscure Japanese aircraft, and these can be fun to fly around with. The Ki-200 Shusui is a Me-163 Komet copy, and we got it up to 750 MPH a couple of times in a dive. The J7W1 Shinden is a pusher-prop tailless canard fighter with very impressive performance numbers and exceptional armament in the form of 4 30mm nose mounted cannons. Both of these aircraft were tested in the final few days of the war, and while the Shinden had very successful first flights the Shusui experienced engine failure and crashed during its first test (sounds like a Komet to me). New aircraft of note for the Allies include the B-29 Superfortress, F6F-3 Hellcat, and F4U-1A Corsair. Since the Allies didn't have any sexy experimental aircraft I won't bore you with the details regarding these well known Allied fighters and bombers.

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  Not so secret weapons of the Luftwaffe...

Also new from The Associates is the Luftwaffe Collection. This plane pack contains the most significant aircraft operated by the Luftwaffe from 1918 to the present day. Some of the twenty aircraft included are the MiG-29, F104 Starfighter, Fokker Tridecker, and even the V-1 Flying Bomb. We have to say, that flying some of the ground attack campaign missions as/in a buzz bomb is one of the most unique things we have done in a sim to date. A couple of the other unique aircraft modeled are the Zeppelin and the Flettnet twin rotor helicopter, one of the first operational choppers in history. Although Luftwaffe Collection doesn't come with any custom missions or campaigns like Pacific Combat Pilot does, all the aircraft are flyable in most of the missions in Pacific Combat Pilot/Combat Flight Simulator: Nothing like shooting down some B-17's with a MiG-29 if you're in the mood for something wacky.

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Fig. 2. The Mitsubishi Ki-200 Shusui-More Dangerous for the Guy Behind the Crosshairs

The aircraft in both Luftwaffe Collection and Pacific Combat Pilot are modeled nicely, with the custom cockpits and gauges being quite well done. Regarding the flight models, well, nobody in the COMBATSIM.COM office has ever flown any of these aircraft, but after one of us flew the Zeppelin upside down for twenty minutes, we figured the new aircraft are on par with the rest of the standard planes in Combat Flight Simulator.

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Fig. 3. Taking out some landing craft in a slightly less then swift Zeppelin

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Last updated on January 31, 2000

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