Wednesday, December 22, 2010

More details about Micorosft Flight released by the development team

The development team working at the Microsoft Flight title posted beginning of this month some news, as an answer to the numerous questions they received from the public. It provides some details about what to expect from the game, with accent on the question on how it will be compared to FSX and what will be the overall experience they are working to achieve.

You can read the full release on the official page of the game by going to the news section. The article is dated December 8th.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

How virtual search and rescue could someday help save lifes

One of my favorite type of flying in flight simulators was conducting search and rescue missions as part of some virtual SAR organizations. I enjoyed doing search patters over sea or looking for objectives in the mountains for hours and hours in all type of weather.

As the technology progresses, maybe someday flight simulators will be used as tools to help authorities in search and rescue operations using up to date satellite imagery layered on top of the exiting mesh terrain and people from around the world could join, download the current imagery and make flights over the terrain looking for signs. Similar to what coast guard or CAP pilots do in real life.

We already saw similar technology in use when thousands of people all over the world joined to help for downed aviator Steve Fossett search using current satellite imagery of the area in which he was presumed to have crashed. They took the satellite images one by one and looked for any signs of his aircraft wrecked, marking the ones in which they saw anything suspicious. That endeavor was not successfully, the wreckage being located by traditional ways later, but nevertheless it was a good try and showed the power of technology and how it can unite people together to help a cause.

With more and more hi tech satellites, cheaper imagery, faster network speeds and powerful computers it will be easier and easier to get access to high resolution imagery. There have been already technologies developed (like Tileproxy) to display real satellite imagery in FSX and allow you to fly over.

Although maybe not something that can be implemented in a lot of cases, we can't argue that there are some advantages of some sort of satellite based SAR programs: lots of people could join the effort no matter where they are located, they could do this without weather interference and no matter if it is night or day.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Apache: Air Assault - New helicopter combat game

On November 19th, 2010 a nice new helicopter combat simulation game has been relased. It features the Apache AH64 helicopter and lets you take it on a 16 mission campaign in various landscapes along side multiplayer game. From the screenshots and videos I can tell the scenery is one of the most complex I have yet seen in a simulation, with dense vegetation and lighting effects.

Regarding the realism it seems the developers added two modes the game can be played in, which you can select at the begining of each mission in the campaign. The training mode makes flying the helicopter very easy, while the realistic mode gives you a similar to reality flying experience. The cockpit is nice, but you cannot move buttons and switches, which taking into account that this is an action game it is not that of a bad thing.

Apache: Air Assault is available for multiple platforms, such as Xbox 360, PS3, PC.

Here are some videos I found: