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PC Game Review

Add-on for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 / FSX


Format: PC
First Class Simulations
RRP: £19.99
5 060020 473128
Age Restrictions: Not Rated
Available 26 October 2007

The Hurricane's maiden flight was made from Hawker's establishment within the confines of the historic Brooklands motor racing circuit at Weybridge in Surrey on 06 November, 1935. A mere five years later, this historic aircraft would be instrumental in enabling the Royal Air Force to win the Battle of Britain during the summer of 1940 and easily accounting for the majority of the RAF's air victories. Now fans of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 and FSX can fly four different models as well as completing an emergency landing mission (FSX only)...

The Hurricane add-on for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 / FSX recreates the classic World War II Hurricane aircraft. Included in this release are the Mark IA (257 sqn RAF, circa 1940), Mark IIB ('60' of 609 IAP VVS USSR), Mark IIB Photo-recon (681sqn RAF), Mark IIC (309 sqn, Polish, RAF and 43 sqn RAF), Mark IIC Tropical (245 sqn RAF) and Mark IV (20 sqn SEAC RAF). In addition there's WWII scenery which can be downloaded for RAF North Weald, RAF Stapleford Tawney and RAF Kenley. These include army trucks, camouflaged buildings and barrage balloons. And, if you set the air traffic settings to maximum, you can sit and watch Hurricanes taking off and landing.

In addition, for FSX users, there's an interesting mission (Hurricane Landing) that is a simple mission, suitable for beginners, that sees you having to land a damaged Hurricane that is trailing smoke from a small onboard fire.

As with all of First Class Simulations's previous Flight Simulator releases, the attention to detail is impressive. The cockpit, which is illustrated and labelled in the accompanying booklet, looks great, and the engine sounds impressive too.

Apparently during the war at least one Hurricane aircraft was captured intact and operated by the German Luftwaffe - this is included as an optional skin under the Mark IA model.

By the end of 1944, over 14,000 Hurricanes had been built including around 1200 converted to Sea Hurricanes. The aircraft also served in every major theatre of the Second World War. As featured in this package, the first Hurricane Mk II flew on June 11, 1940 and used a Merlin XX engine with a two stage supercharger for improved performance at altitude. Later versions had reinforced fuselages in order to accommodate a new wing which had universal attachment points for drop tanks, bombs or other under wing stores.

The Mk IIB arrived in late 1940 with four additional Browning .303 machine guns, bringing total armament to twelve guns. The Mk IIC which was introduced in 1941 replaced all of the machine guns with four 20mm Hispano cannons. The advent of the MK IV saw the last major change to the Hurricane which was to rationalise the wing, configuring it with a single design able to mount two bombs, two 40-mm Vickers S guns or eight 60 pounder RP-3 rockets. The new design also incorporated the newly improved Merlin 24 or 27 engines equipped with dust filters for desert operations.

Yet again, First Class Simulations delivers the goods. The aircraft themselves are worth the RRP, but throwing in the additional scenery and optional mission make this an essential purchase for fans of historic flight.


Nick Smithson

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