Commodore User

Glider Pilot

Publisher: CRL
Machine: Commodore 64

Published in Commodore User #21

Glider Pilot

There is now a bewildering selection of flight simulators available for the C64. Most of these feature chunky graphics, as does Glider Pilot.

I have three grouses: the "F" keys do not correspond exactly to the instructions, there is a tendency for a black line to appear temporarily through the instruments, and the compass is less than perfect.

Acknowledging these faults, the program is still a worthwhile medium for would-be pilots who lack the necessary bottle to actually soar over the Dunstable Downs. It's also a novel change from normal flight simulators.

Written by a devotee of the sport, the simulation sets you the task of navigating a triangular course under competition conditions.

The aerodynamics are explained in the manual, detailing optimum cruising speeds, the art of climbing in thermals and how to interpret the specialist instrumentation. You soon learn to head for the "cauliflowers" and twirl up to today's inversion height, which is dependent on the presets chosen, as is wind speed, direction and general frequency of the thermals. A nice touch is the barograph trace supplied after each flight; this allows you to analyse your hash-ups. The subject is fascinating and CRL have come up with a reasonable, though not brilliant exposition.