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PC Game Review

Add-on for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 / FSX


Format: PC
First Class Simulations
RRP: £24.99
5 060020 473357
Age Restrictions: Not Rated
Available 20 November 2009

The Avro Lancaster holds a place in history as one of the most beloved aircraft of all time by aviation enthusiasts for its striking design and its superlative handling characteristics. This four engine night bomber helped turn the tide of World War II in the allies favour as the mainstay of Bomber Command. Now Flight Sim enthusiasts can sit in the cockpit of this beautiful aircraft...

The Avro Lancaster, a four-engine heavy bomber, (affectionately known as Lanc or Lankie) first entered service in 1942 and by the end of the Second World War had been involved in over 150,000 sorties. Most famous for its precision bombing "Dam Buster" raids, codenamed Operation Chastise, on the dams of the Ruhr Valley, the Lancaster excelled at night bombing. During its operational life the Lancaster was constantly being improved or adapted for new weapons or equipment.

This is one release I've been looking forward to since I saw that First Class Simulations were working on it. Along with the Spitfire, Hawker Hurricane and the Wellington I'd say that this is one of the essential add-on for Flight Sim that all WWII fans should purchase. My main reason for wanting to add this to the collection of aircraft is that my grandparents used to live close to RAF Coningsby and as a young boy (not during the war I hasten to add) I could see their showpiece take-off as it travelled around the world to various air exhibitions. My grandparents used to tell me how on clear nights during the war you could see them take-off for their bombing raids - and that it was a sight to behold.

For FSX owners Lancaster comes with two missions, but for FS2004 owners, just the ability of being able to take a peak inside the cockpit is worth the retail price alone.

While the liveries and design are no doubt authentic, I couldn't find any mention of whether the sounds included were also recorded from the real thing.

The variants and liveries included in this release include:

Lancaster B. I - R5556/KM-C, No.44 (Rhodesia) Sqn RAF, RAF Coningsby, c.1942.
Lancaster B. I (H2S) - ME499/AS-D, No.166 Sqn RAF, RAF Kirmington, c.1945.
Lancaster B I (H2S) - 1803, Royal Egyptian Air Force, c.1952.
Lancaster B I (Special) - PD121/YZ-Z, No.617 Sqn RAF, RAF Woodhall Spa, c.1945.
Lancaster B III - EE139/HW-R, No.100 Sqn RAF, RAF Grimsby, c.1943.
Lancaster B III (H2S) - JA845/F-CXT, Empire Central Flying School, RAF, c.1945.
Lancaster B III (Special) - ED921/G/AJ-W, No.617 Sqn RAF, RAF Coningsby, c.1943.
Lancaster B X - KB772/VR-R, No.419 (Moose) Sqn RCAF, RAF Middleton St. George, c.1944.
Lancaster 10 MR - FM104/CX-104, No.107 Rescue Unit, RCAF, Torbay.
Lancaster MR 3 - RF325/H-D, School of Maritime Reconnaissance, RAF St. Maqgan, c.1956.

For fans of flight from a bygone era this is an essential purchase.


Darren Rea

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