£9.95 cass, joystick or keys
O Flight simulation without
month we had a helicopter flight simulator and now we've
got one for a glider. No roaring of engines or blasting
of guns, just the rush of the wind as you cleave through
task is to pilot your glider around a 160km triangular
course in the fastest possible time. To do this you
have to make the best use of the thermals (warm air
currents) you find along the way, since these are your
only source of lift.
You have the usual flying controls of nose up and down,
bank left or right, plus open and close airbrakes. You
also have an instrument display, showing your speed,
height, rate of climb, angle, and a map of the course.
start about 2000 feet up in the air and you can select
whether you have to cross the starting line or not.
This is an airfield, as are the other two turning points
on the course, and the brave or foolhardy can try to
land on them, which I haven't managed yet.
are three main things to think about while flying: your
direction, height, and speed. You want to follow the
most direct route possible, at the greatest speed, and
with the least possibility of crashing the glider. Your
speed is determined by your nose angle and you can bank
to change direction.
height is altogether harder, until you get the hang
of finding thermals. What you have to watch for are
cumulous clouds that mark rising air columns, and fly
towards them. Once your rate of climb becomes positive,
you need to put your plane into a tight spin at about
40 knots to gain height as rapidly as possible. Depending
on the 'inversion' height, the thermal will peter out
between 2500 and 5000 feet.
between thermals you pass each turning point, until
you arrive back at the starting point. Crossing the
airfield here finishes your task, although trying to
land is a difficult but enjoyable problem.
you have completed a flight, you are given a readout
of your time and average speed and also a barograph
of your progress as you glided down and then climbed
are various pre-set weather conditions, or you can alter
them yourself by determining inversion height, thermal
strength, thermal frequency, thermal difficulty, wind
strength, and wind direction. You can also determine
the simulator speed from real time to four times faster,
although it's not advisable to try and land at four
times normal time.
are some annoying sound effects to the instruments,
but these can be switched off and the title tune is