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PC Game Review

The Early Years of Flight
Add-on for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 / FSX


Format: PC
First Class Simulations
RRP: £24.99
5 060020 473166
Age Restrictions: Not Rated
Available 23 May 2008

Relive the golden age of aviation when a hardy band of adventurers first took to the air in direct defiance of gravity. This compelling collection of early aircraft features 5 machines that smashed records and finally allowed mankind to break the bonds holding us to terra firma...

The Early Years of Flight is the latest add-on for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004/FSX. This is an interesting release, but it is not a title that will appeal to all Flight Sim fans.

The CD contains five new aircraft including the Wright Flyer Model B, Blériot XI, Santos-Dumont 14-bis, Handley Page Type E (H.P.5) and the Goliescu Avioplan.

Also included are missions for FSX owners that will push your flying skills to the limit with an opportunity to experience the finest hour of these pioneering aircraft, putting you in the pilot’s seat to attempt the record breaking challenges that flew these daring aviators into the history books. For example, you can join with the Wright Brothers and take to the air for a tour of Ohio in the iconic Model B aircraft or recreate the achievement of Louis Blériot in a death defying crossing of the English Channel in the Blériot XI monoplane.

If slamming your throttle to the max and zooming off the runway are your idea of a good time, then this release will be a little tiresome for you. In most cases a great amount of skill is required to even get the plane off the ground. It's a fine balancing act - especially with the Wright Flyer Model B - to gain the right speed to allow you to inch off the ground. And, once you're airborne, it's a case of listening to the sound of the engine (their are no gauges to help you out) to make sure that you don't climb to quickly and stall.

While quite slow and difficult to keep in the air, once you've mastered these planes you'll find them incredibly easy to land - even if it does take you an age to get where you're going.

For those that are interested in the history of aviation, and are keen to pit their flying skills against something a little more challenging, The Early Years of Flight will make an interesting addition to your collection.


Nick Smithson

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