I returned home from Seattle at 9 AM this morning with a boat load of information on release dates, coming simulations, and even some hardware news. Rather than make you wait til Monday to begin to hear the latest, this will serve to bring you up to date.
First, Super Hornet will release in the UK on Monday the 15th. The US release will be delayed to the New Year. While the US release will have minor changes (largely concerned with making the simulation more accessible), the US release will not contain the dynamic campaign.
Instead, the Command version will come via an add-on which will follow the US release. It sounds like this add-on might even release simultaneously. A fully dynamic campaign will be included, and the tactical mode which was originally planned will also be present, allowing the player to decide many mission composition parameters, and even target options, within the campaign.
Furthermore, the Command version (Super Hornet Gold) will also contain an entirely new theatre, with improved and mountainous terrain. Titus are also hoping to give us the ability to build cooperative missions with the mission builder.
Many of the simulations originally scheduled for pre Christmas have been delayed to the first quarter of 2000. This doesn't include MiG Alley, which will ship in the US Dec.15th. Unfortunately, the SUNCOM USB gear has also been delayed til 2000. Here is a current list of Q1, 2000 releases:
- 17 Flying Fortress II
- Comanche 4
- Jane's F/A 18
- FA 18 Super Hornet
- Star Trek : New Worlds
- Team Alligator
- M1 Tank Platoon III
Major-General (ret). "Boots" Blesse
Major "Boots" Blesse was in a tight spot. This mission on 3 October 1952 was his 123rd, two away from the end of his tour. With nine victories to his credit he was the leading ace in Korea.
But now, over North Korea and 200 miles away from home base at Kimpo, he was sweating out making it home with the 1,100 pounds of fuel he had left. Minutes earlier, he and his wingman had been attacked by four MiG-15s. In the dogfight that followed Blesse damaged one MiG, forcing two to break-off. Sending his wingman home to safety, he then outmaneuvered the remaining two MiGs and headed for home himself.
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Climbing out he caught a glimpse of a MiG-15 crossing left to right in front of him. He looked at his fuel gauge and thought, "Hell, its a toss-up anyway. Why not." and turned into the MiG. Closing to 600 feet, he fired until the MiG started burning and the pilot ejected. "There went number ten" Blesse thought but now he was down to 900 pounds of fuel.
Calling "Dumbo", the rescue flying boat that was on station for such emergencies, Blesse made for the coast. His F-86 flamed out at 13,000 feet but his glide put him across the North Korean coast at 3,000 feet and he ejected. "Dumbo" landed alongside his dinghy and flew him back to Kimpo. The next day the leading ace was at a press conference in Japan and then on his way home.
Last night I met Major General "Boots" Blesse, the author of "Check Six," and had a chance to hear some of his life stories as well as to chat with him afterwards. I hope to post a Real Audio clip this next week, but for the moment this will have to do.
"Boots" told many great stories from his Korean war days, and all of them confirmed actual events I have seen while flying Empire's latest release, MiG Alley (the painting above appears on the box for the US release).
MiG Alley - Kill!
For example, it was a rare flight to the North that actually encountered MiGs. And even when MiGs were spotted, they were often difficult to engage unless the MiGs themselves wanted to be engaged! (Similar top speeds and limited fuel made it difficult for the American Sabres to pursue them.)
"Boots" also related a time when he was on the tail of a MiG 17 and scored a hit. As he pulled onto the tail of the wing leader, the leader promptly ejected! While the Russians and Chinese also had many good pilots, there were also young and green pilots out there who simply panicked. If you've had a chance to fly MiG Alley, you may have had this happen to you, as I have.
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