Let me begin by, perhaps, stating the obvious. This is not going to be a regular product review from RCUniverse. There’s no physical product involved, rather an online service in the form of a simulator.
Welcome to something different!
So you might be thinking, “What does an online simulator have to do with RC”? That was MY first thought as well! I then took a step back and thought about how to relate this WWII aerial simulation to the RC. It hit me pretty quickly that the two can be connected easily. Both require hand/eye coordination, communication, fellowship with like-minded peers, and for RC pilots like myself a general love of ALL things aviation! With First Person View (FPV) flying becoming very popular in our hobby, this simulator can give us a way to get acquainted to flying FPV without endangering our models. To my surprise, I also found out that an RC transmitter like the Interlink Elite from Real Flight works with this simulator. With it, I was able to sit in the cockpit of many, many different WWII airplanes and ‘fly’ as if it were an FPV model.
Interested in finding out more about this online simulator? Read on!
Requirements for the Simulator
Still with me? GREAT! Let’s take a look at what you’ll need to do to get going:
4) The Downloads and Installs will take a new player over 45 minutes to get set up.
OK – I now had the transmitter and headset, and the software was working properly – time to set up my account. I followed the online instructions, and had my account set up in no time at all!
Features of WarBirds 2016 Online
– Over 200 accurately modeled WW II Aircraft from trainers, bombers, fighters, torpedo bombers, troop transports, etc.
– 15 real 3D terrains taken from real world data.
– Real life trainers to train new players.
– 24/7 Online Play
– Historical events, the S3 (Squadron Select Series), five Sunday nights every two months.
– Historic paint schemes for aircraft.
– Two week Tour of Duty (TOD) for high score bragging.
– Game continuously updated with new terrains, new events, new aircraft, improved flight models, new graphics, etc.
What does all of this mean? It means that you’re reading about the best online WWII warbird flight and mission simulator, and its staff is dedicated to keeping it the best. This isn’t a simulator like you’d buy at an electronics store and install on your home computer. This is an ever-evolving, online simulator the likes you’ve probably never seen before! I know I hadn’t.
After installation of the required software, I was able to log in. There are numerous training missions and even free flight selections available! I was very impressed by how many locations and fronts were available from which to fly missions – it was downright cool!
After you have chosen a location, you get to choose your aircraft from a list of over 200 aircraft, you can choose the armament, and even select the timers on the bombs!
When you’re ready to fly, click the green FLY button, and you’re ready to go! Now, depending on the mission you have chosen, you might start in the air. Some missions will start you from an airbase, and you get to start the engine and actually take off !
At this point, I met up with John Stealy, AKA ‘Wild Bill’ for some online instruction. John is the CEO of iENT.com, and one of the masterminds behind WarBirds 2016. We had set up a time to get together with some of his fellow pilots to fly a simulated mission. He began by giving me a ‘ride’ in his P-51 Mustang. When we were both online, he talked me through how to switch between the needed screens, set up proper armaments, choose the proper mission, etc. He was a big help in getting started! Better yet, there is a group of instructors that will give ANY new pilot the same attention! This was definitely a first – to get real instruction from live people, and these guys are good! Most of them are retired flight instructors and pilots themselves!
After my ride-along mission had been completed (victoriously, I might add), I joined them for another mission – this time I was piloting my own Mustang! Now, as much fun as a simulator can be when flying alone, I have to tell you that learning to fly in formation with a group of REAL pilots was a lot more interesting! I though it was really cool to be communicating with three other guys while en-route to attack a ground target. What an awesome experience!
Now, if you’re a newcomer like me, you’ll most likely get shot down. I did, and it was a little depressing watching my Mustang spiraling to the ground before exploding! Much like the RealFlight software I have for RC simulated flight, WarBirds 2016 will let you restart. Just pick your plane, again, along with armaments, and you’re ready to get back into the action!
Screenshots and Video Footage from the Simulator
I really liked the excellent graphics as well – John and his team have been working hard for many years to provide the best WarBirds simulation available.
With more than 200 available aircraft from which to choose, and more missions than you can imagine, you’ll be able to enjoy a new adventure every time!
Just look at how realistic the explosions are – It’s going to be hard to top of these graphics and simulated dog fights!
As you can see, you can choose from many different aircraft! You can fly on any front and in nearly any plane – for either side! The possibilities are endless, and will provide hours of simulated fighting and strategic bombing.
I really enjoyed the time I spent with John and his crew. From learning the basic layout of the simulator and flying missions with these guys – it was a lot of fun, and they were a GREAT group of pilots! I was very impressed by all of the layouts and time spent mapping, as well as the 200-plus aircraft available for members to fly. With different levels of membership available, there’s a budget-friendly version of WarBirds for everyone. Since the first month is free, you can even go try it before you buy it – How can it get any better than that? Oh, wait, it can! Remember – there’s live people ready to help get new pilots in the air and show ’em the ropes. I am very impressed by the caliber of not only the WarBirds 2016 Online simulator, but the large amount of genuinely great people behind the scenes ready to help anyone get their wings – A job well done!