Farmboyzim's Flight Sim's
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Legacy of the Sky: Mustang Fighters of WW II by Sky Unlimited is the name of this package, with the emphasis on the plural, "fighters"! You get 20 models with 58 unique paints. The models range from the early days of the P51, through, to the later P51C model. It incorporated the Allison Engine in its early days and then with the adoption of the British Merlin 61 and 65 engines, these aircraft demonstrated the ability to achieve 710km/h (441 mph) at 9085 m (29,800 feet).
The Mustang I was the first production model to enter service. It was built under British contract for the RAF, sporting two chin mounted .50 cals., a single .50 inboard on each wing, and two .30's outboard on each wing. It could also be fitted with recon cameras, which is included in this product. The armament changed in successive
Legacy of the Sky: Mustang Fighters of WWII
A SkyUnlimited Productions Product
Review By Farmboyzim
models, with the P51 and the Mustang Ia losing the nose guns, while the wing guns were replaced with two 20mm cannons in each wing. There were quite a few variations of the armament. Another version, the A36 Apache, was used by the USAAF. The nose guns were kept on this version, however, the wing armament was changed yet again, this time being fitted with two .50's on each wing. Bomb racks were installed under the wings to accommodate 500 pounders, along with dive brakes, on the top and bottom of the wings. It's been said that some pilots would wire these brakes down to keep them from engaging; due to the control they would lose over the aircraft. Just pull up sooner! "Invader" was another name that the A36 was known as, but most knew it as the "Apache".
The product is downloadable from the Sky Unlimited Web Site. Once your download is complete, run the mustang WW II.exe file, and follow the directions. Access keys will be sent to unlock your product. A bit of a process, but certainly not unbearable!
There's quite a bit of development history surrounding the Mustang, and the manual has some interesting, little known facts about the versions included in the package. It made for some interesting reading. It is downloadable from SkyUnlimited's web site, and is 48.4 MB, in PDF format. For any of you that are into the technical aspects of aviation and the Mustang, such as performance charts and such, there's not really any information along those lines to be found in the manual. It does describe the history, functions, effects that are utilized in this product. I think the bulk of the file size comes from the images that are used to describe various items on the aircraft. I'm sort of big on the "manual" subject. As this product is a download purchase from their site, there is no printed manual with the package. However, they do keep the downloadable PDF to 30 pages, with nice photos and facts that are easily understood. Just no real "meat" for the technical crowd. Also covered are the instructions for using this product with Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 3, guns aí blazing and bombs aí dropping! There are some reconfiguration issues that they talk you through. Nothing drastically complicated, but some notepad work in some of the config files to make the aircraft look and perform their best is necessary. This is a nice addition to these types of packages, being able to use it in both of the simulators. I like the versatility in this. Kind of a "two for one" type of thing.
The overall detail rates right up there with some of the best. The work on the actual model of the aircraft is artfully done, with all the right amounts of shine, wear, smudges, and grime. Zoom in shots reveal nothing but detail, from the rivets on the skin to the markings of the particular aircraft, which are exceptionally crisp, clear, and very readable. With a few of the paints, there's not a whole lot of difference, maybe some variations in markings, but
The panel work is outstanding. Included are two unique panels that are used depending on the variation of the aircraft that's being flown. These panels were painted by Lobo da Silvia and are extremely detailed. You really don't need the pop up help taps telling you what the instruments are or what a particular switch does, just look at it! Maybe zoom in for a closer look, or if you are using TrackIR, with its 6DOF, just lean forward for a closer look! The gauges are also exceptionally clear to read. Gauges were made by Bill Leaming, and I think he did a great job in the development of the gauges used in these aircraft. He has a technique that he employs, utilizing a method that enables a very nice, subdued, back lighting to the gauges. A very nice effect. Three lighting options are given to you; white gauge back lighting, white gauge back lighting with red cockpit lighting, or just the red cockpit
lights. The "landing lightĒ command is used to operate some of these features, and the control panel for the lights are accessed with Shift+5. Cockpit lights are activated with the recognition light command instead of the panel light command, thus enabling a bit more realism for you combat pilots that don't want to be shining like a star up there in the sky!
The panels will look their best with your resolution set to 1024 x 768. Lesser settings of the resolution will affect the quality of the panel and gauges. Some of the panels, you may notice, won't match their Virtual Cockpit counterparts. These are very minor variations, because of the amount of aircraft involved. That's why two common Mustang panels were used as base panels, with some minor variations. The pop up panels are very detailed with the customary MSFS 2004 features, i.e. GPS, map, kneeboard, radio stack, making navigation easier, being familiar with the avionics.
The detail of the overall cockpit is superb. No blurred labeling or controls. Very nice indeed! The early Allison Mustang Panels and the Merlin version Mustang panels are utilized for the VC's, depending upon which aircraft variation you are flying. A neat little feature in the VC mode is the use of the left side window. Catch a bit of a "breeze" while waiting on that hot tarmac by using
"E+2" (your secondary hatch opening command), and the window will slide back for you. This is in effect for all models except those equipped with the "Malcolm Hood", as the bubble canopy was known.
These days, quite a bit of attention is being focused on the Virtual Cockpit. Many simmers fly most of their flights while in VC mode, since most add on aircraft now feature very "workable" virtual cockpits. VC's give a better "feel" for what's going on and these folks paid close attention to that fact! Some of the aircraft will sport neat little features in the VC mode that is unique to the particular aircraft, i.e. air vents, fuel selectors, and other minor variations. These variations do not present any problems though, in understanding one cockpit set up from another. Transition is easy, like riding a bike! You are also able to "move your seat back"
and still be able to "click" the controls, a plus. Some aircraft model VC's I have found require you to be in the default position in VC mode in order to work the switches, buttons, and knobs. I think this is a big plus for the convenience of flying in VC. Just a reminder for you folks that are using a hat button to move your view around in the VC mode. If you happen to be looking out the left side of your aircraft and you need eyes forward right away, use the space bar on your keyboard and it will pop you into the forward view position instantaneously. Very handy. The Virtual Cockpits, Panels, and Gauges make you feel like you're in the real deal! To add so much detail must take loads of patience! I'm trying to learn some basic painting techniques, for fun and to know what these folks are doing in the way of creating these add ons for us to enjoy. It's not easy, but it's not an overwhelming subject like, say, physics! I tip my Stetson to these folks and the "know-how" it takes to create fine models!
Here's another "little" detail that I really liked. The mirror actually reflects the background behind your aircraft. Not in exact detail and you can't comb your hair in it, but you can tell when the ground is at your six, or the sky for that matter. It changes colors for the most part, from the dark and light colors of the ground to the blue and white of the sky. I was very impressed with the work that was done in the development of the cockpit and all its workings. I think you'll be able to familiarize yourself with the cockpit avionics and other instruments in no time at all. The most noticeable differences are in the landing lights, air-intakes, armaments, pitot, radio antennas, camera/radio equipment, and canopy. Virtually every operational version of the P-51 is available all the way to the P-51C. As far as the detail of these aircraft goes, I'd have to them all high marks.
As I said earlier, one of my favorite paints was that of the Tuskegee Squadron's
P-51B/C and D aircraft, the "Red Tails". Very nice detail and the colors are clean and beautifully done. As I have said before, these developers out there are truly artists in their own right! The Tuskegee Airmen were an all African-American Squadron in WW II. They were honored with having one of the finest reputations in the USAAF as an Escort Squadron. Bomber crews would be confident in knowing that the "Red Tails" were out there flying cover. The original Tuskegee P51 is represented in this product, looking a bit weathered and worn, having seen many missions, and there is a commemorative version included. Clean and sleek, this version sports commemorative markings of the squadron, a testament to their bravery and sacrifice during the war.
overall, there is still a plethora (I've been waiting to use that word for a long time!) of unique and beautiful paint jobs. One of my favorites is the Tuskegee liveries.
The flight dynamics of the aircraft were pretty close to what you would expect out of a high performance fighter. Lots of torque on take off means you'll have to use a "bit" more rudder to keep her straight. The view is going to be obscured, it's a tail dragger, and so if you're not comfortable looking right and left to stay on the runway, I suggest using the "no panel" view, with only the basic instruments at the bottom of your screen. You know, come to think of it, I would have to suggest this to just about everybody! It's a challenge taking of in this aircraft if you have the "Realism" settings cranked up. The only thing that didn't happen that I have read that the P51 was capable of doing was the fact that when you applied too much throttle too fast, you ran the risk of "nosing over" on the runway, because of the torque factor of the engine. As far as handling like a P51 compared to other "virtual" P51's, I would have to say that the flight dynamics are pretty darn good! Having finally mastered (well, maybe not mastered, but it stays on the runway!) the take off in the "Wings of Power" version of the P51, I was once again reminded of the power of this aircraft, not only in the air, but on the ground, when flying this version. If you are going to be using this aircraft in the combat sim MSCFS3, remember that while fast and maneuverable, it still has its limitations. While in a dive, over speed occurs at about 425 KIAS, and if you are gentle and have enough time/altitude you can pull up and out without stress damage. 450 and above is a tough one to pull out of without stressing out the aircraft, and the "Virtual" pilot!
There are some really neat extras in this product that I'd like to mention. The first is the animated pilot, who comes outfitted in both USAAF or RAF uniforms and gear, depending on his ride. The pilot is one of the best jobs I've seen to date, that's animated and not "photoreal". Depending on which direction you are heading in, the head will turn right, left, up, and down, with the hands and arms animating the movement of using the yoke. The detail is really superb in that the pilot isn't one of these "square jaw" type faces, literally! Very nice rendering here right down to the zippers on his flight suit! while you're checking it out from the external view, note the detailed radio gear behind the pilots seat. The panel even looks good from the outside!
Other effects that are not usually included in MS2004 are Machine Guns, Wing Tip Contrails and High Altitude Vapor Trails. To use the machine gun in MSFS 2004,
configure a joystick button using the reheat/afterburner key command. Mind that anything you shoot at is not going to show any hits or damage. MSFS 2004 isn't set up for that. Take it over to CFS 3 for that kind of action! Pull more than 2 G's, which is fairly easy to do in a Mustang, and you'll see wing tip contrails appear. Over 20,000 feet, you'll notice vapor trails from your aircraft, and so will the enemy! One more effect that I noticed is when the real Mustangs shut down, the hydraulic pressure bleeds away, causing the inner landing gear doors to drop down, and so it is recreated in these aircraft also. Some may say that's nothing special, but it tells me that attention to detail and research was conducted for the development of these models.
The Sound sets are created by using 100% authentic recordings of both the Merlin and Allison engines that powered these aircraft. Recordings were made inside and outside of the aircraft. You can definitely tell the difference between the sounds of the two engines. They were authentic sounding, along with flap sounds and machine gun sounds.
Owned and Operated by Jesse Lambert aka Cerberus Copyright © 2004 - 2005 SkyUnlimited Productions.
SkyUnlimited Productions is a diversified flight simulator development company that specializes in both commercial and freeware product development to satisfy the expanding growth and needs of aviation enthusiasts everywhere.
Their "strategy" is to obtain information from the user feedback of emails, polls and message boards, and to use that information to develop high quality products to best suit the flight simulator community's needs. Aside from organizing their own products, they will be providing an easy publishing process for developers wishing commercial involvement. SkyUnlimited Productions started out as a freeware design group named Flight Deck Design, working exclusively on freeware add-ons for years. As of November 28, 2003 the name was changed to SkyUnlimited Productions and began including commercial products into their development list. As a commercial developer they have provided services on many products, with contributions to such products as Firepower, D-Day, Wings of Power, and Pacific Fighters.
The price of this package is just $27.99 after download. Again, purchase of this product enables you to utilize these aircraft in MSFS2004 and CFS3. In my opinion, I think this is a bargain deal! Experienced simmers will enjoy the characteristics of the P51 and simmers that are new to the game will appreciate the added standard pop up panels, i.e. GPS and radio stack, which are easily used if you are familiar with the aircraft of MSFS 2004. If you are looking for a war bird collection, this is a very generous package!
Enough talk! Here's the screen shots that will tell the rest of the story!
Thanks For The Visit !