Flight Unlimited is the first of the Flight Unlimited series of General aviation Flight Simulator games created by Looking Glass Studios. It focuses mainly on Aerobatics. It was released in 1995 for DOS and in 1996 for Windows 95 and Macintosh. Notable features are the pioneering physics system, landscapes and FBO interface. It was one of the first games to use 3D elevation mesh and photo-realistic images to create realistic terrain representing small areas of country in the USA and France. It supplies challenges in the form of aerobatic lessons and hoops courses, where it is required to fly through virtual "hoops" in the sky against the clock.
The physics system was innovative, as it was together with SSI's Su-27 Flanker, one of the first home computer flight simulation games to feature the idea of fluid dynamics. Instead of the control inputs directly affecting the plane, the controls affect the control surfaces on the plane, with the flow of air doing the rest. For example, in an older game, pushing forwards on the keyboard or joystick would directly make the plane pitch down (relative to its orientation), as though a 'magic hand' was rotating the plane. In Flight Unlimited, pushing forwards on the keyboard or joystick tilts the elevators, and the flow of air over the tail and elevators causes the planes orientation to change accordingly.
The game also simulates the gyroscopic flow of air over the plane caused by the propellers. Additionally, the game takes into consideration the changing 'angle of attack' of the propeller blades as they rotate, which causes the plane to list to one side very slightly. The rotation of the propellers causes the plane to rotate very slightly in the opposite direction of the rotation. Finally, the game simulates the weight in different parts of the aircraft, with the heavy engine in the nose causing the plane to pitch downwards, requiring correction in flight. The exception to these is the Sailplane glider, which has no engine. The manual goes into greater depth on the effects of the physics.
This more sophisticated physics system allows for realistic aerobatic manoeuvres that were just not possible with other flight simulators of the time. The game features an extensive lesson mode, covering everything from level flight and rudder turns, to the most complex manoeuvres, such as the Avalanche and Rolling Turns. A training instructor flying with the player during the lessons will offer helpful advice and point out where they are making mistakes. If the player scores high enough, they can get a certificate for each manoeuvre.
The game has a special keyboard control system that allows precise control over the plane, but a joystick allows much more precise control.
More at ibit.to
0 b/s/ ↗