It all began when I came up with the idea of creating characters based on Axis fighter planes such as the Bf-109 and the Zero. Since the characters have quirks based on the fighters they’re based on, I did a bit of research on the aircraft. Aspie that I am, I soon got neck deep into it, discovering the sheer variety of planes the Japanese employed and getting to know and be fond of some types I’d never even heard of before this year.
Much of the information came from sites and forums for flight simulators such as Warbirds and Aces High, in addition to historical sites. Now I feel that I would like to try flying some of these old planes in a sim. I have my eye on the Nakajima Hayate and the Kawanishi Shiden. Jap planes are slightly slower but more maneuverable and supposedly more forgiving if you accidentally stall them. American planes are fast, but you can lose control in some maneuvers, pretty violently.
Well, I figure that I might try flight sims. So I’ve checked out some software, but without downloading. Warbirds allows you to download a client free, and you can fly against the computer for free. You only need to pay to fly against online opponents after the first month, and from what I’ve heard, human flyers are very unpredictable opponents and make a more exciting game. In any case I won’t be flying online anytime just yet. Need to learn to fly first!
FlightGear is a very well developed open source simulator, with high quality graphics and a large variety of planes, including obscure ones from the Rumanian Air Force, for example. It’s really very pretty and realistic. Dogfighting is not a feature though. Or at least you *can* dance in the sky chasing other planes. You just can’t shoot at them.
Aeron is another flight sim. This one does allow dogfighting. The planes are rendered as basic vector shapes flying in a realistic sky, but fly realistically enough. I probably wouldn’t mind the basic rendering of the planes when too busy watching out for bogies. My main complaint is the small collection of planes, mostly modern jet fighters. Still, it might be fun. It is possible to dogfight other players online.
Some guy named Nguyen Chung has dipped his hand into the flight sim business. The sim is written using irrlicht 3D with a version of Basic, and come in several variants all ending in _chung. It looks basic, and probably flies quite basic, but you can dogfight and shoot. I am not sure whether the Chung sims can go online.
Lastly, for all the research I’ve done about those fighter planes… I haven’t actually drawn anything yet, alas.