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Adam McEnroe is a flight sim enthusiast who has been simming since the days of FS95. Adam writes all of the download section editorials after testing each of the files. Adam has extensive knowledge using various flight simulator packages and thoroughly tests the files before writing about them. Adam also like to fly real-world aircraft in his spare time and is training for his PPL.
From the main menu, you have a few options. There is a free-flight mode which basically just lets you fly about without having to concern yourself with bad guys trying to gun you down. There is also a training mode which teaches you everything from barrel-rolls to bombing trains and landing your plane with nearly no fuel. If you want to test your dogfighting skills, there is a quick-combat option which puts you up against endless waves of enemy planes. All these modes serve as excellent introductions to the campaign mode, which is the heart of the game.
The flight engine is nothing short of brilliant. After flying around a bit in free-flight mode, I was immensely impressed with how the aircraft handled, the sound it made and the interactive cockpit. Setting up a quick-combat mission had me flying against a pair of Messerschmitts. The feel of the plane and the sound of machine-guns and bullets pounding into the airframe felt very realistic. Combat damage is very well done. Take a few hits to your control-surfaces and your aircraft will turn like a hog. Smoke of different colours erupt from the plane depending on what has been hit. Controlling a crippled plane is no easy task. I was once required to perform a belly-landing, where I couldn't lower my gears owing to the hydraulics being shot up, the plane would barely turn at all and, the engine had given up on me completely.
You also have the possibility to import other planes into combat and create your own missions. You can fly against Boeing 747s above New York, or fly your Sopwith Camel in an attack on a bomber formation. I don't own another Microsoft simulator so I really couldn't try out this feature but it does add longevity for those of you who love to tinker with your planes and missions. You can take any aircraft created with Flight Shop, put guns on it and go to battle. The programs to do this are, however, not supported by Microsoft, which is a bit odd.
So is this game worth the money? As it is quite expensive, that question is still tough to answer. If you want a pure WWII aircraft combat simulator, this is an excellent choice. The flight model is superior, dogfighting is very well done, and every aircraft is unique. The game has nearly no atmosphere, however. You never truly feel that you are actually part of a war. This is probably due to the fact that Microsoft wanted this simulator not only to have an accurate flight model, but also to guide you through the events of the war. If you already own Microsoft's Flight Simulator 98, you will be offered a £10 rebate upon purchase. Customisability and multiplayer support through Microsoft's gaming zone helps add to longevity. The game is also remarkably stable, apart from the first problems with the CD. It has never crashed while I was flying, and no major bugs have been spotted. In short, if you are looking for a good combat flight simulator, then this is an excellent choice. Just don't expect any engrossing campaign play.
The Mars Science Laboratory developed the Workstation TestSet (WSTS) is a computer program that enables flight software development on virtual MSL avionics. The WSTS is the non-real-time flight avionics simulator that is designed to be completely software-based and run on a workstation class Linux PC.
On November 26, 2011, NASA launched a large (900 kg) rover as part of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission to Mars. The MSL rover is scheduled to land on Mars on August 5, 2012. Prior to launch, the Rover was successfully operated in simulated mission extreme environments during a 16-day long Rover System Thermal Test (STT). This paper describes the MSL Rover STT, test planning, test execution, test results, thermal model correlation and flight predictions. The rover was tested in the JPL 25-Foot Diameter Space Simulator Facility at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The Rover operated in simulated Cruise (vacuum) and Mars Surface environments (8 Torr nitrogen gas) with mission extreme hot and cold boundary conditions. A Xenon lamp solar simulator was used to impose simulated solar loads on the rover during a bounding hot case and during a simulated Mars diurnal test case. All thermal hardware was exercised and performed nominally. The Rover Heat Rejection System, a liquid-phase fluid loop used to transport heat in and out of the electronics boxes inside the rover chassis, performed better than predicted. Steady state and transient data were collected to allow correlation of analytical thermal models. These thermal models were subsequently used to predict rover thermal performance for the MSL Gale Crater landing site. Models predict that critical hardware temperatures will be maintained within allowable flight limits over the entire 669 Sol surface mission. 2b1af7f3a8