Part 76: Bonus 2: Balloons, Biplanes, BridgesBonus 2: Balloons, Biplanes, Bridges
April First Eagles Day!
Once upon a time, Third Wire made a World War I sim called First Eagles. I already mentioned, that the initial release was kind of broken, but there were patches, and one expansion pack, and one re-release on the early SF2 engine, and patches for that. Let's take a peek at First Eagles 2.
First, the maps... (taken in single mission mode, without all the squadrons)
My eyes! It gets worse, when every unit's flag is there.
Just kidding. There are no operating areas in FE.
Let's get on with the videos..
Great Balls of Fire!
All of my brave exploits in this video got me a medal.
By the way, unlike SF2, FE2 retained type-specific loading screens
Big Fat Bastards!
Here's another medal. Ace Pilot is the default player name in FE2.
That's it. You've seen about 70% of the game in those four videos. However, as there haven't been any mod-breaking patches for years, most of the planes and campaigns uploaded at CombatAce work quite well.
For a historical perspective on flying in the dark ages I recommend "The Aeroplane Speaks", published in 1917. It's a popular science book on flight written by H. Barber. According to wiki, he's "the first person in Great Britain to gain an aeronautical degree", he also "flew the first cargo flight in Britain", and authored "the first aircraft insurance policy", and later "was in charge of all flying training in England". The man knew his shit well, so he wrote an educational acid trip into aerodynamics.
A good public domain scan with the necessary pictures is at this archive.org page.
An introspective look at combat flying is provided by Rittermeister Manfred von Richthofen himself in his book Der Rote Kampfflieger.
If you, for some reason, want the English edition, there is one online.
Finally, if you're hungry for some WW1 flying for free, and Rise of Flight is too much of a strain, try FS-WW1, a standalone conversion of Fighter Squadron: The Screamin' Demons over Europe. The feature list includes floatplanes, a flyable 4-engine Ilya Muromets bomber, handguns, and a nice damage model. The graphics engine is derelict, though.