Saturday, March 10, 2007

Flying Hours

The past week has continued to see me struggle with the life:gaming equation. My generally busy worklife has accelerated to a pace which I can only just sustain, and is now drawing upon my mental and physical reserves to a degree that it threatens the very experience of an evening flight over the Pacific. But, like all great pilots, I have continued to fly the missions required of me.

I am playing the RAAF Singapore campaign in 'Pacific Fighters'. Flying Hurricane IIB, I have completed 12 missions and chocked up 1070 points. I haven't shot down any jap planes, but have destroyed two ground targets (armoured cars) in separate missions. In attaining this tally there have been something like five missions I had to refly because I had either been shot down (1), crash landed (2), gone missing by bailing out over enemy territory (1) or been seriously wounded before bailing out over friendly territory (1). I have managed to land most times, and have kept my undercarriage intact only once.

I've chalked up about another 12-15 hours flight time in the process. It has been interesting watching the evolution of my skills. Initially I had trouble even staying with my formation, let alone effectively contributing to the squadron's mission. Once I managed to stay close to friends, I found that I was doing my best just to avoid being shot down. After about five missions, I was able to start occasionally putting gun sights onto opponents. Most recently, I was able to jump a zero who was stalking a friend.

I have now evolved to using 'trim' controls to maintain flight in all but dogfight situations (when I revert to the radical maneuvers of the joystick). In the last couple missions, I haven't overheated my engine.

So, progress.

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