Flying Flight Simulator

Sky-High Adventure with the Macintosh, Amiga, & Atari ST
by Charles Gulick

Chapter 15

In this book, we won't fly the World War I Ace mode, but its scenery area is intriguing for Cessna flight. I'm going to show you how to get into this mode with your modern aircraft and instrumentation intact and with no war going on. (When enabled, the WWI Ace mode switches to fighter instrumentation.)

Recall TIEDOWN MDW /L. Click on FILE and PROP. Then, open NAV and set the aircraft position to NORTH 17416.873, EAST 7446.3510, and ALT 0.0.

Set the tower position to NORTH 17417.826, EAST 7444.4875, and ALT 424.0000. Close the window.

Open VIEW and set the spot plane behind you at a distance of 200 feet and an altitude of 20 feet, and close the window.

Open the ENVIRO window and change the season to SPRING. Open it again and set SURFACE WINDS AGL depth to 5000, direction to 270, and speed to 5.

In my books on the earlier versions of Flight Simulator, I called this airport Eagle Field. On the WWI Ace Battleground map in your manual, it's called Friendly Base 1. Because we're not at war, we'll again name it Eagle Field.

With the spot plane view enabled and op neutral trim confirmed, save this situation as TIEDOWN EAGLE/C.

First, let's get acquainted with the whole area. Keep the WWI Ace Battleground map handy.

Do your normal preflight checks, and get the aircraft ready for takeoff.

Click on your map and set the zoom factor to 1.00 to see the whole layout of Eagle Field. Drag the map into the lower right corner of the screen. The runway behind you is 15/33, and the diagonal strip is 9/27. Your aircraft is pointed toward Runway 27. Zoom your map view, and you'll see the F in the square which indicates the fuel station. Put away the map for the moment.

Now, taxi forward on the hard surface, and line up for Runway 27. Try to do it without the map, but if you get disoriented, the map can help. When you're in position, go to your out-the-windshield view, and proceed with your takeoff.

As you trim, turn left and follow the river. Plan to level off at 2000 feet.

Out the left side is Friendly Base 2, which I've named Axe Handle for its resemblance to an axe or hatchet. Ahead on the west side of the river is the original Enemy Base 2. In peacetime I call it Quiver City, because it is close to the Red Quiver River and is shaped roughly like a quiver.

The checkerboards on the landscape mark one square mile each, and the entire area, known as Red Quiver Valley, occupies 100 square miles.

When you no longer see any of the Red Quiver Valley area out your windshield, make a standard-rate turn to the right and head due north. The grid lines run exactly north/south and east/west. As you turn, you may spot the Fuel depot and Factory on the west bank of the river. They were bombing targets during World War I.

Red Quiver Valley is enclosed by mountain ranges to the west and north. The western range on your left is named the Bad Bulges. The northern mountains are called Trappers Alps on this side of the river and Happy Hills on the east side. (The river is the line of demarcation between the original Enemy and Friendly territories.)

Out the right side you can see Eagle Field on the other side of the river. Suddenly, out front you'll see the airport that was originally Enemy Base 1. I call it Wigwam, which is what it looks like from the air.

The flashing dots a few miles this side of Trappers Alps and the dots in the extreme northwest corner of your windshield represent, respectively, another factory and a fuel depot—again, old bombing targets.

Make a standard-rate turn to the right as the factory dots slip from view, and you'll see them transform into a solid shape that disappears under you. Roll out on a due east heading, and again fly beyond the grid marks. Take a 90-degree view to the right until the last grids are to the rear of your wing tip, and then turn right to a heading of 180 degrees.

When you roll out, look directly out the right side and you'll have a good view of the whole area. Note that the arrow painted on the slope of Bad Bulges is a visual guide to orient you to Eagle Field's Runway 27. The hangar on Eagle Field won't materialize until you're fairly close to the field. Then, the runways also take on some dimension.

When you're near the southern extremity of the area, again turn 180 degrees to the right to a due north heading, and get into slowflight.

Lower your gear, and change to approach configuration for a landing on Runway 27 at Eagle. Get the airport in view out the left side, and keep it in view. You're on base leg. When you're on final, put on all your flaps, and proceed with your normal landing.

The landing approach to Runway 27 at Eagle Field is one of the best, if not the best, that the simulator offers. The presence of a realistic, three-dimensional reference—the hangar—in close proximity to the runway threshold lends excellent perspective to the scene and gives you a good idea of altitude, aircraft pitch, and runway alignment as you land. The sensation is highly realistic.

Further, the entire Red Quiver Valley is ideal for practice purposes. The grid lines give you a feeling for distance, and the numerous airports and landmarks help you learn to fly by visual reference alone. There are no navigation aids that you can use out here, so contact flying is the only kind of flying you can do.

I urge you to fly frequently in this valley on your own. Land and take off at the various airports, and set wind and weather conditions to suit yourself. For reference, here are the runway numbers for the airports:

Eagle Field: 9/27, 15/33
Axe Handle: 11/29
Quiver City: 6/24 L&R
Wigwam: 4/22, 9/27, 15/33

Field elevation for these airports averages about 405 feet.

Let me show you how beautiful dawn, dusk, and night flying are in this area. Recall TIEDOWN EAGLE/C, and turn the time back to a minute or so after 6:00 a.m. Look out all sides of the aircraft. Unless you're using the monochrome Macintosh, you'll see some unearthly colors.

Ready the airplane and taxi out to Runway 27 again, but this time go through the hangar, turn left along the taxi strip, and then make another left turn onto the runway.

Take off and climb out, and as you pass through 1000 feet, turn left to a heading of 180 degrees. Continue to trim as you climb, and level off at 2000 feet.

As the grid lines disappear from your view out the windshield, turn east. Roll out on a heading of 90 degrees.

Again, as you pass over the last grids, turn left and head due north. Then, get into slowflight, but maintain your altitude at 2000 feet.

When the arrow on the mountain is right behind your wing tip, turn left again and fly west, and as you fly set the time back until dawn changes to night.

As you can see, everything—grids, river, mountains—is fully detailed, even at night.

Right before you reach the river, make a standard-rate turn to the left to a heading of 180 degrees. If you execute this turn well, Eagle Field will light up beautifully right in front of you as you roll out. Take a down view and watch it pass under you.

When you cross the last of the grids, turn 180 degrees to the left, and once again you'll be on base leg for a landing on Runway 27. You won't see the runway until it is three-dimensional—and you're on final approach—so you'll have to know exactly where it is. Except in the Mac documentation, your map of the Battleground does not accurately depict the location of Eagle Field. The Amiga and Atari maps place Eagle Field in the fifth square south of Happy Hills, although it's actually in the fourth square south of the mountains and the second square in from the eastern border of the area.

If you want to try a landing in the dark, go ahead. If not, advance your clock until the sun comes up.

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