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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 473395
Age Restrictions: Not Rated
Available 14 November 2008

Seven years of development and planning preceded the maiden flight of the Tornado fighter jet in 1974 and the aircraft was the product of a combined international effort between Great Britain, Italy and Germany. This all round fighter jet is deployed in many various military roles: close air support, long range interceptor, ground support, air superiority, short range interception, naval missions, reconnaissance and training...

First Class Simulations latest add-on for Microsoft FSX and FS2004 offers Flight Sim fans the chance to take control of several variants of the Tornado.

I've mentioned this in previous reviews, but when it comes to Flight Sim add-ons, I prefer more classic planes rather than modern military aircraft. It's just a personal thing, but to me they all sound and handle the same. That said, anyone who is a military fanatic will relish the chance to sit in the cockpit of one of the word's most famous fighter jets.

The Tornado is equipped with a number of special features which include variable geometry swing wings and a remarkable low flight capability. With the help of Terrain Following Radar (TFR) the pilot is able to whizz above the tree tops at heights as low as 200 ft. Its weaponry is just as versatile as the aircraft itself is and the Tornado can be armed with air to air missiles, cruise missiles, bombs and mines. One of its particular specialities is the advanced reconnaissance sensor that is often used in civilian missions to help in the search for missing persons.

The Tornados in this add-on come with detailed exterior and interior including a fully animated virtual cockpit; high resolution textures with reflective surfaces; comprehensive lighting (i.e. navigation landing lights); numerous animations (i. e. access hatch, retractable undercarriage with shock absorber animation); realistic flight dynamics; formation flight model with three Tornados; refuelling probe for air to air refuelling; completely functioning autopilot; functioning flight navigation avionics; engine animations with reverse thrust and afterburners; and the following liveries can be chosen: German, British, Italian and Saudi Arabian air forces.

However, as is the case with previous add-ons that allow you to fly more than one plane in formation - this is just really for show and isn't very practical. You control the centre plane, while the other two appear to be glued to you by an invisible board - which looks rather silly when you bank or make any sudden movements. That said, it's still a nice addition and it looks pretty cool if you are sitting in the cockpit and occasionally glance left or right.

While, as I mentioned earlier, this wouldn't be my personal choice, you can't get away from the fact that this is another quality add on for Flight Sim fanatics.


Nick Smithson

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