Chuck Yeager's Advanced Flight Trainer 2.0 logo

ELECTRONIC ARTS * £24.99 Joystick

Chuck Yeager is a big man among big men. The USA respects success, and no-one has been more successful at flying American aircraft than him. From his incredible performance in World War II to pioneering the supersonic rocket series, he’s sought to be the best. So there’s no-one more qualified to train you in advanced flight.

As Chuck can fly anything with wings, then so can you. The aircraft selection is huge (see below). But the cockpit displays are standardised to prevent mind-numbing disorientation when you swap from a Spad to a Shuttle. Each plane handles much as you’d expect, however.

Fly by night
Chuck Yeager’s AFT is divided up into lessons which can be tried in any order. They consist of such delights as formation flying, landing, navigation, night flying or even zipping down a canyon at low level. There are about 10 such scenarios, scientifically designed to teach you varying flight skills.

Emphasis is placed on your (hopefully developing) flying skills throughout the program. This is admirable but it means that all the planes are very sensitive and finicky to fly. They tend to lurch around drunkenly if you’re not incredibly gentle. If you’re used to a game like F19 you will either see this as a realistic challenge or a huge annoyance.

During the game you are instructed by Chuck. His teachings consist of an audio cassette to play, and a series of laconic comments about "drilling yourself to China" being printed on screen during times of crisis. Other aids, such as targets to aim at in the sky, appear with the intention of teaching you indelible lessons.

Buy the farm
There isn’t any combat involved, but if you get lonely in your cold blue heaven you can try formation flying. This can be done at any level up to the Thunderbirds or the Blue Angels, flying F16s or F18s respectively. It’s not easy and Chuck’s comments get more caustic as his patience is tested.

Unfortunately, whilst the controls are sensitive and "lifelike", the graphics don’t update quickly, leading to the off-putting impression that you’re just wallowing around in a very jerky sky. It’s a pity because the graphics would otherwise be acceptable. Some of the outside views are nice but occasionally hiccup, showing you disconnected polygons.

Combine this with the slow speed, and the program doesn’t really come up to the slick level set by most Amiga flight sims today. The lack of any particularly exciting things to do means that long-term gameplay suffers.

If you like general aviation rather than combat, and fancy trying your hand as a formation pilot, you might find AFT reaches your itch. But sadly for most, the program doesn’t quite come up to scratch.


At Chuck's Aviatory Emporium you come away with the plane of your choice. There's a wide selection to choose from - about 20 aircraft in total.

Nostalgia buff? You can chug around in a Sopwith Camel or Spad, feeling the wind in your hair. If you want something racier, try a Spitfire, a Mustang or even a F16. If that's not satisfying your need for speed, you can climb into an SR 71 reconnaissance plane. If Mach 3+ still doesn't get you there, try any of the experimental X range or rockets. They're a bit of a handful, but fun.

Still not happy? Want the ultimate ride? OK, just for you, here's a low-mileage Space Shuttle. In white, with power steering, air conditioning and a hatchback. It doesn't come with fuel, so you'll have to glide it down, but don't let that put you off. Now, step inside my office and we'll talk about insurance...

Chuck Yeager's Advanced Flight Trainer 2.0 logo

Während der Golfkrise sind Flugsimulationen ja arg in Verruf geraten, an diesem Programm hätten sich die Kritiker aber die Zähne ausgebissen: Selten geht es am Computer-Himmel so friedlich zu wie in Chucks Pilotenschule!

Nach den PC-Himmelsstürmern dürfen nun endlich auch wir Amigianer in 18 verschiedenen Flugmaschinen durch die digitalen Wolken pflügen: Von der legendären P-51 aus dem zweiten Weltkrieg über eine flinke X-15 bis hin zu einem Space Shuttle werden Stahlvögel aller Rassen und Klassen geboten. Trotz dieser Vielfalt bleibt der Realismus nicht auf der Strecke – jede Maschine verfügt über original-getreue Instrumentierung und andere Flugeigenschaften!

Kein Wunder also, daß hier auch viel Augenmerk auf eine komplexe Steuerung gelegt wurde; entweder der Pilot hantiert mit zwei Joysticks gleichzeitig oder mit Stick und Maus (wer flinke Finger hat, kann sich auch ausschließlich auf dem Keyboard vergnügen).

Dazu kommen noch etliche Tastaturkommandos: Ob nun das Höhen- bzw. Seitenruder bedient werden soll, oder ob man das Geschehen aus einer anderen Perspektive sehen möchte – die Tasten dürfen nicht rasten.

Und weil wir gerade von Perspektiven sprechen: Der Flug kann vom Tower, von oben, unten, hinten, vorne und sogar von einem Satelliten aus betrachtet werden.

Die vielen Ansichten machen auch durchaus Sinn, schließlich können geübte Vogelmenschen hier allerlei Kunststückchen wie Loopings oder Formationsflüge (mit berühmten Kunstflugstaffeln wie den Blue Angels) zum besten geben. Und das in ganz verschiedenen Gebieten und bei unterschiedlichen Witterungsverhältnissen.

Ehe man sich an trickreiche Manöver wagt, ist aber ein Besuch an der integrierten Flugschule ratsam. In sechs Tageslektionen stehen erstmal grundsätzliche Übungen wie Starten, Landen und Geradeausflug auf dem Lehrplan, später können auch diverse Standardmanöver wie z.B. der "Immelmann" trainiert werden.

Zudem darf man noch an kleinen Flugrennen auf abgesteckten Kursen teilnehmen oder die Tücken des Nachtflugs kennenlernen (Orientierung = Karten + Sternenhimmel).

Abwechslungsreichtun und interessante Features wie das Aufzeichnen der Flüge mit einer Art Videorekorder bietet AFT 2.0 also genug, dafür sind die Fluggebiete landschaftlich etwas karg ausgefallen, und besonders schnell ist die Grafik auch nicht gerade.

Noch schlimmer sieht‘s beim Sound aus, die Geräuschkulisse beschränkt sich in erster Linie auf nerviges Motorgebrumme.

Somit ist Chuck Yeagers Fliegerei am Amiga zwar längst nicht so spektakulär wie in Wirklichkeit (immerhin hat der Mann als erster Mensch die Schallmauer durchbrochen), aber friedliebende Piloten werden nirgendwo besser bedient! (C. Borgmeier)

Chuck Yeager's Advanced Flight Trainer 2.0 logo

A word of warning: step carefully if you come across a flight sim that warns you ‘The program will continually access the disk during play’. From my experience of this one, they certainly aren’t kidding.

Still, I suppose you’re asking for it when you try to cram in as may options as this does. There’s the selection of planes for instance – old Chuck certainly doesn’t shortchange you here, offering a choice of 18, from Stealth bombers to the Space Shuttle. The accuracy of the flight models seems a little dubious – flying a Stealth seems suspiciously similar to flying a biplane – but the choice is admittedly impressive.

The options don’t end there though. Slaloms, take-offs, landings, races, stunts, formation flying – the decisions you have to make before you take off go on and on. And on. Even when you’re into the game proper there’re internal and external camera views to pick between, starry backdrops (!) t add or remove, and all sorts.

It has to be said though, all this flexibility does add to the game’s appeal, which is just as well considering what the flying is like. You’ll be amazed that a jet-engined plane can move this slowly. Yep, once again speed has been sacrificed for 3D detail and realism, and it mucks things up a treat. Jerky frame updates simply negate all the work put into the program. The strange cursor-style yoke control and slightly dodgy 3D don’t help matters either. And then there’s all that accessing...

I don’t wish to sound too negative though. If you can put up with the snooze-o-load (®) disk access and once-in-a-lifetime screen update (i.e. it updates once in a lifetime), this can actually get quite engrossing.

Taking part in a 1940s slalom race is excellent fun, and the chance to land the Space Shuttle isn’t to be sniffed at. The problem is, there are so many excellent flight sims on the market a new one has to be really special to make its mark, and this one isn’t it. Now if only the whole thing move two or three times faster...

Chuck Yeager's Advanced Flight Trainer 2.0 logo

Within the ranks of F-19 and Falcon, Chuck Yeager’s Advanced Flight Trainer is a rarity, a game which dwells on how to fly, not how to take on the Warsaw pact single handed.

The basic object of the game is to prove how good a pilot you are by first learning how to fly, then taking a plane out on an obstacle course, and finally test piloting the three prototype plane modules that come with the game.

You’re not just limited to one plane though. There’s a database of eighteen aircraft, ranging from the first World War Sopwith Camel biplane to the rocket powered, highly unstable, Bell X-15. The number of different aircraft is a definite boost to the game’s playability, without them it would become very dull, very fast.

If you’re new to flight sims you can enrol on the five day Yeager trainer, the games built in tutorial. In five lessons you’re taught how to take off, land, turn and perform stunts. After graduating from the school in one piece (which isn’t easy) you can progress to the advanced stage.

Here, you can try out formation flying in a section which puts Accolade’s Blue Angels to shame. You can also try your hand on an obstacle course, where you have to fly round markers at ridiculous speeds.

If you’re feeling really silly, you can always jump into the cockpit of one of the fastest planes such as the SR71 which can hit Mach 3.2, or the X-15 which reaches Mach 7, and see how fast they go in a nose-dive. You can even try looping the loop at twice the speed of sound. As an added bonus try piloting the space shuttle on final approach, not so easy when you consider that it’s travelling at over 5500 Mph.

Although very playable, the game does tend to grate after prolonged bouts of solo-flight. Maybe, if the package contained a second disk with some scenery, the game might be more enduring.

CYAFT is an accomplished flight sim and definitely one to rival Microsoft’s serious aircraft simulations – all it lacks is a large play area. Not a game for the trigger happy war junkies amongst you, but maybe one for people who want to fly some of the greatest planes ever.


ANGELS - Altitude
BOGEYS - Unidentified aircraft
BANDITS - Enemy aircraft
CAP - Combat Air Patrol
BVR - Beyond Visual Range
BIG FRIEND, LITTLE FRIEND - Bomber and escorts
SPLASH ONE - downed enemy plane

CHUCK YEAGER is without a doubt the greatest American pilot ever. His career got off to a bad start after he was shot down on his second ever mission, and was returned to Britain by the French resistance. American policy at the time was to send all downed pilots home if they managed to return to allied territory. Chuck wasn't too pleased with this and managed to wangle a meeting with General Eisenhower himself, and convinced him that it would be a good idea to let him stay on and fight. In his first mission after being shot down he managed to knock out five German planes and became the first one day Ace of the war. He went on to fight in Korea and VIetnam as well as becoming America's most daring test pilot, a job which nearly killed him. He was flying at over 100,000 feet in an experimental F-104 Starfighter when the canopy blew open. The plane plummeted straight down. No-one is sure when Chuck ejected, but the rescue crews who raced to the wreckage were greeted by Chuck who was walking towards them badly burnt and carrying the remaining half of his helmet under his arm.

Chuck Yeager's Advanced Flight Trainer 2.0 logo

Electronic Arts/£25.99/Out Now

Amiga reviewPaul: Putting me in an advanced flight sim is a bit like putting a prize heifer in an antique china shop. Poor old Chuck flinched and winced as I thudded and skidded across the airstrip, took off for all of 30 seconds before executing what Chuck politely described as a "Carriage up landing"- I belly-flopped across the field and skidded gracefully into the hangar. Ah me, I suppose I can't blame Chuck, I'm just not cut out to be Biggles.

In my defence AFT 2.0 is far from easy. It leans much more towards sim than game. This is clear from the detail of the flight controls, and more importantly, from the missions. There's no screaming across the landscape at a height of 10 feet before unleashing 18 Mavericks at a railway bridge with the Flying Scotsman crossing it.

The nearest you get to combat is crashing into your wing men when flying in formation. As for drama, well... there are races but definitely no shooting.

Real sim enthusiasts will love the realistic control, the number of options and the range of planes and courses. However, even they may be disappointed by the slightly jerky graphics, even at the lowest detail setting.