“A sim going back in time, to the classic virtues of computer games”
“It is with deep regret that your government must inform you that Sous Lieutenant Monsieur Grand-Jean, after serving with distinction in his first combat patrol, was killed in action today while attempting to land his Nieuport at the airfield. During landing his flight was attacked by enemy aircraft and Sous Lieutenant Grand-Jean was shot down.
In the short time we had the privilege to know Monsieur in the squadron we found him to be a great comrade in arms and a dedicated soldier, eager to take on the enemies of our Nation.”
April 9, 1917
In December 2005 the OBD software group released OFF Phase 1; a conversion for MS CFS3 as a free download with the opportunity to donate towards further developments of the project. Phase 2 followed, and just recently Phase 3 has been released as a total conversion, shipping at the price of $50.
In our Preview of OFF Phase 3 you can read more about this four years long effort to present the air-war over Flanders in as much historical detail as possible to the flight sim community.
I’ve enlisted into the Air Services once again to find out how the latest release; Phase 3: Between Heaven and Hell compares to the previous ones, and how total, the total conversion has become.
I’m here to tell you; I’ve occupied the same briefing room as the legendary Aces, listened to the interviews with pilots that are played when watching the credits screen, received daily news reports regarding the progress of the war through the newspapers and supplemented with intelligence reports. I’ve been in dogfights, on balloon-hunting missions, on dawn patrols, flying in sunny weather as well as the foulest of weather. I’ve been injured fatally while jumping out of my mission (no parachutes issued then!), buried several times, been hospitalized even more times and I’m here to tell you; for an ordinary punter like me — it is difficult to stay alive for very long out there.
I’ve been drawn in to the world that is Over Flanders Fields as the team behind the conversion has pulled out all stops and spared no means in order to ensure that the player is always deeply immersed in every moment of the experience. Sometimes miracles apparently do happen however, because I’ve also survived a mid-air collision with an enemy aircraft, 10.000 ft. over the front!
But first, let me try to convey to you, some thoughts which possesses me, since flying Over Flanders Fields.