AVSIM Combat Aircraft Review

 

Rating Guide
Publisher:  Just Flight
Description:  Add-on Aircraft and Combat Missions
Download Size:  CD only Format:     CD-ROM Simulation Type:    Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 3
Reviewed by: Robert Whitwell - Senior Staff Reviewer

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"Never In The Field Of Human Conflict,
Has So Much Been Owed By So Many To So Few"

In July 1940, the RAF had built up its strength to 640 fighters. The Luftwaffe had 2,600 fighters and bombers.

In order to invade England, the Germans had to control the air over the English Channel, otherwise their invasion force would be destroyed by the RAF and the Royal Navy before it reached English shores.

Starting on July 10, 1940, the Luftwaffe attacked shipping convoys in the Channel as well as Channel ports. On August 13, 1940, the Luftwaffe commenced massive raids on English airfields; the aim was to destroy the RAF either on the ground or in the air. They conducted high and low level raids at different targets at the same time. This continued into September.

British squadrons were moved to smaller airfields after the damage to their bases hindered their effective repairs and operations. Meanwhile, the Luftwaffe had accidentally bombed civilian areas near London, which Hitler had banned; this became a turning point in the battle.

Knowing the Luftwaffe could target London, large number of Hurricanes and Spitfires attacked German bomber formations and broke them up prior to them being able to bomb their targets. This shocked the Luftwaffe pilots, as they had been told by their Intelligence Officers that Fighter Command had been wiped out by their earlier raids.

This aerial fight continued on into October 1940, and became known as the Battle of Britain.

Installation & Documentation:

Test System

Computer:
AMD Athlon 1.2 Ghz
256MB SDRAM
NVidia GeForce 2 Mx400
50x CD Rom
KDS 19” Monitor
Windows XP Pro
Yamaha MS30 Speakers
Logitech Wingman Extreme Joystick


Flying Time:

23.5 hours

The sim installs the add-on inside your CFS3 directory and the missions are uniquely identified inside the mission folder of CFS3.

The installation is very quick and easy and comes on one CD. A 48 page manual known as “Pilot Notes” helps guide you through installation, computer settings for peak performance and a guide to the missions.

The notebook also has detailed descriptions of the aircraft and their cockpits. At the back of the manual is a short history of the Battle of Britain.

Aircraft:

The default aircraft of CFS3 are complemented with 6 historical aircraft of the day. The RAF are flying the 2-bladed and 3-bladed versions of the Hawker Hurricane Mk1 and the Spitfire Mk1A. The Luftwaffe are equipped with the Messerschmitt ME 109E4, the Junkers JU 87B “Stuka” and the Heinkel HE 111.

The aircraft perform much better than the default versions of the same airframe that came with the original CFS3. The cockpit features in this add-on are also more detailed than the originals.

Hurricane Mk 1 Cockpit

Spitfire Mk 1 Cockpit

He 111 Cockpit

Ju87 Stuka Cockpit

Missions:

The sim comes with 40 missions, 20 RAF missions and 20 Luftwaffe missions. The missions are sequenced chronologically from 20 May to 15 September 1940 and are based on actual historical missions.

The historical missions enable the simmer to be exposed to some different aspects of a “campaign” not seen in other combat sims. While other sims have training missions, I haven't seen any that require test flights and check rides during a time of hostility.

Hurricane Mk1 crossing the Channel

Hurricane Mk1...enemy in sight

Hitting an Me 109

Target 12 o'clock

Protecting the convoy

The variety of missions includes ground and naval support, aerial bombing, air interdiction, bomber escort, ferrying and anti-shipping.

One unique mission is for the Luftwaffe to fly a captured Spitfire to Paris for inspection by Headquarters staff.

He111 approaching enemy airfield

He111….bombs away!

The missions are very realistic, or at least as realistic as the simulation will allow. Unfortunately, the number of AI aircraft is limited due to the simulation's engine. It would have been nice to have the sky full of aircraft during air-to-air missions like in real life, instead of a dozen or so.

Spitfire Mk1 attacking bombers

Spitfire Mk 1 coming up on his “6”

Spitfire Mk1….feet wet

Spitfire Mk1…returning to base

The sounds included with this add-on are superb. However, one feature of air raid sirens being activated when you approach an enemy ground position was a little unrealistic. No matter where you were within the vicinity of the enemy position you could hear it loud and clear in the cockpit. I'm sure with all the engine noise, gunfire and AAA, the siren on the ground would be drowned out.

Ju87…anti-shipping run

Ju87…got the ship lined up

Ju87…target…refinery

Ju87….on top target

Ju87 …pulling out of the dive

Some other extra visual features are the tracer effects from the guns, the searchlights being activated when coming into enemy territory and the array of barrage balloons over vital ground facilities. Again these all add to the realism of the historical time period.

Summary:

This sim is an excellent one that focuses on the events of a historical time period. While this may be called a campaign, the missions are not linked as such. Each mission stands alone. The result in one has no accumulative effect on the next mission. The aircraft are dated, which adds to the realism of the missions. The AI aircraft are improved over the original CFS3 and the new sights and sounds are well done. If you are looking for a unique add-on to play, then this product offers that uniqueness with its extra missions to fly and better aircraft to fly them in.
 

What I Like About Battle of Britain

•  Unique historical missions
•  Better aircraft than the default CFS3 aircraft
•  Improved AI aircraft

 
What I Don't Like About Battle of Britain

•  Missions not linked together as a campaign
•  Limited number of aircraft in the sky during air-to-air combat
•  The annoying air raid sirens when over enemy targets, I don't think you'd hear them very well over the engines

 

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