Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Canadian Jets - de Havilland DH-100 Vampire F.III EEP42392

A new and continuing feature that I am importing over from my War Thunder Live days (I will talk about that experience at a later date). Started this a few years ago, my original aim was to bring a little "Canadian" awareness to the War Thunder aviation community, through the use of their "Twitter" style format on the Live portal.

The project stalled and died shortly after I left War Thunder the first time, however I have decided to not only resurrect this project, but bring over the few completed entries I wrote and create future additions.

Without further ado, here is the first in this series....

Royal Canadian Air Force De Havilland DH-100 Vampire F.3 EEP42392.
Built by English Electric Aircraft, this fighter started life with the assigned RAF serial VP775, but never marked as such. Taken on strength 27 August 1948. Served with both No. 442 "City of Vancouver" Sqn at Sea Island, British Columbia, and with No. 1 Operational Training Unit at RCAF Station St. Hubert, Quebec, until retired in 1956.

Currently on display at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Half a Happy Ending

It wasn't my intention to showcase flying my premium jet powered aircraft from World of Warplanes, but it just turned out that way. As I stated in a previous post, this is the era of combat aviation that interests and fascinates me the most. If other players want the same shortcut to this time period and are either new to the game, existing or returning from a hiatus, a few hard earned, real world dollars can open the door to this option (subject to availability, of course).

The British Gloster Meteor F. I premium tier VII fighter is easily my favorite and most forgiving jet powered plane I have played in the game. I earned mine from an event, a very long time ago and have no regrets about the time and effort I invested in getting this aircraft. Decent firepower, acceptable boost-to-thrust when needed and climbs up the altitude ladder without serious struggles. One drawback that I always seem to forget is the aircraft doesn't turn very well and bleeds off a lot of speed when attempting said maneuver.

In fact, here is a gameplay video that shows both the strengths and shortcomings of this aircraft, especially when it's flown by yours truly, making a final and completely avoidable error in judgement....

Sticks of light was my first flight

If you are old enough to remember this (in any version), thanks, now I don't feel so alone!

Back in 1983, this was the closest thing I played that could be considered a flying combat game at home. Originally released as a coin operated arcade console in 1981, Scramble would be ported out to Commodore C64, Tandy Home Computer System and much later, Sony PlayStation and Nintendo Game Boy.

However, it's the Vectrex version that I played and my memories of those adventures seem rather dated, looking back.

It's funny how the mind plays tricks on a person, filling in the gaps to complete an experience beyond the sensory input of the times. Too deep? Much like watching a black and white movie or television show, the mind almost fills it in with hints of color (or, you just get a really fantastic headache from the ordeal), looking forward from this particular game, I don't remember seeing it as nothing more than vectored shapes made out of sticks of light, but an immersive and challenging experience.

Now, in retrospect, that is a completely different story.

Although the first game was built in (a title called Minestorm, very much like the more popular and better known Asteroids), more cartridges were eventually added to the growing library. Scramble was one of the most unique games that would be purchased, since it added multitasking, coupled with an increasing game pace as the player progressed along.

The premise of the game was simple enough, by using a fighter/bomber, destroy wave after wave of flying enemy ships (some had to be avoided, since the weapons had no effect on them), knock out ground targets (certain objects would partially replenish the ever decreasing fuel supply) while being mindful of a collision with the ingame environment. The first few levels would be easy going, progressively getting harder as the enemies multiplied, moved faster and some becoming nearly invincible.

It was an entertaining and highly challenging, single-player adventure. However, I never progressed too far into the title, the action was just too fast for me to keep up with or avoid altogether, despite my young age.

Eventually, I would move on to other gaming consoles (all the hype was surrounding this new at the time machine called the Nintendo) and eventually experienced more advanced titles on the PC.

But, for a time, I was shooting enemies out of the sky, bombing ground targets and avoiding the hazards the ingame environment posed to my continuing gameplay.

Seems somethings haven't changed much.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Woman Warrior

In World of Warplanes, there is a limited time offer to pick up a female pilot for certain aircraft, read more about this here.

It might come as a bit of a surprise to some readers that know me from playing the game for so long, but I didn't select Marina Litvyakova, the pilot for Soviet attack aircraft. Despite using this type of aircraft from when I first started with WOWP, I have been avoiding them and experiementing more on the other available classes. I seriously considered Mary Lovehart, the pilot for American multirole fighters, but decided to take one of my biggest gambles to date. I made my choice with Charlotte von Staufen, the German heavy fighter pilot

The "Boom and Zoom" playstyle has eluded me quite well, while others have mastered it in spades. In games past, I have watched and marveled on how some players make it look so easy, the high positioning, their timing in the dive, knowing the optimal distance to open up with their weapons and when to disengage and climb up to do it all over again.

I have become a bit of an expert to turning into a fireball and come crashing down to the earth below.

However, using my one "freebie" choice, I picked Miss von Staufen and gave her a chance to impress me in the tier VIII premium Messerschmitt Me 109 TL....

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Taking Off!

Starting over from where my last aircraft blog died and going forward into the virtual and real realms of powered, combat flight. With touches of gaming and real life history thrown in, a splash of humor and a lot of personal opinion, sometimes supported with actual facts, strap in and enjoy the ride.

First off, the reason behind the choice for my header picture.

Ever since I was young, I have been fascinated by seeing "tons of metal flying in the sky." As I got older, I became more educated on the science behind the sorcery of flight and how man was able to put these heavy machines in the air. Although I marvel at just about every type of aircraft, it's the jet powered ones that really captivated my interest.

While some aficionados like to relive the era of propeller combat flight, starting from 1914 and up through 1945, it's the post-war jet age, starting from around 1946 to the present day, that draws my attention and curiosity. However, the later war period that produced aircraft, such as the Messerschmitt Me 262, the Gloster Meteor and the de Havilland Vampire, hold a special place for me.

However, neither of these aircraft are pictured above, instead I have a pair of McDonnell Douglas CF-188 Hornets that are currently in service with the Royal Canadian Air Force, as the nation's main, frontline fighter. I will never get to fly one of these modern technological wonders, since I am far past the prime age for training and active Air Force flight service, but thanks to the mystical powers of computer gaming and the internet, I might "fly" one someday.....