Giving Orders Now historical accuracy goes completely out the window. (Well, maybe halfway out.) Instead of including a working radio in the cockpit, 1942 THE PACIFIC AIR WAR allows you to give orders to other friendly aircraft using the map icons. (For those of you who do not have Galactic Starship Class sound cards, this should be welcome news.) Left-click on any friendly aircraft icon to open the Radio Orders menu. There are three options:
Set Cruise Altitude Order the plane(s) to a move to a new altitude. Select Target Designate a specific enemy force as this flight’s target. Return Home Order the plane(s) to break off and head home.
Two of these are pretty straightforward. Select Target is only available when multiple enemy forces are nearby. Using this options, you can specify which flight or flights are to attack which targets. For example, you can order your bombers to ignore the approaching CAP fighters and the destroyer escort and go in for the kill on the enemy carrier. Once the attack on the designated target is finished, those planes are free to pick their own target – unless you pick another one for them. Note that you can also give orders to the autopilot in your own plane. In this way, those who disdain the historically accurate (but often boring) long flight to the target area have another option for cutting out that portion of the mission. Rather than accelerating time, they can sit “upstairs” and order everybody around. There are two drawbacks to this approach. One is that you will probably miss out on a few “targets of opportunity”. The other is that most of your mission will not be included on the flight film.
Virtual Cockpit Mode is an advanced feature that allows you to swivel your view around as though you were actually in the fighter cockpit, turning your head. This gives you a smooth-scrolling range of vision that other games can only hint at. Once you get the hang of it, Virtual Cockpit Mode is extremely useful during a dogfight, when keeping track of the enemy is vital and difficult. Practice in this view will certainly be rewarded in combat. Virtual Cockpit Mode is available in any fighter aircraft. Press a1 (at the pilot’s station) to activate Virtual Cockpit Mode. Now the camera controls the pilot’s “head”. Press and hold Button 2 on the Camera Control to swivel your head and look around the cockpit. Move forward to tilt your view downward, back to tilt upward, left to pan left, and right to pan right. (Note: for those unfamiliar with the film terms ‘tilt’ and ‘pan’, please refer to the Glossary for brief definitions.) By combining these movements, you can scan the entire range of a real fighter pilot’s view. All of the flight and other controls are still functional while you’re in Virtual Cockpit Mode.
BOMBSIGHT VIEW Navy bombers with only two stations required the pilot to do double duty as bombardier. With this in mind, the aircraft designers thoughtfully included a bombsight in the dive bombers. They located it (conveniently enough) in the cockpit. Once you’ve begun your bombing run, this sight is quite handy for aiming. Press a2 (at the pilot’s station) to peer through the bombsight. Note that you are still controlling the plane, unless you have activated the autopilot. As a piloting aid, your artificial horizon and airspeed indicator are reproduced to the side of the sight. Also to the side are the instruments necessary to help you get on target. The sight itself is fairly straightforward; whatever is in the center area is your current target. Please refer to the Using the Bombsight subsection for more detailed instructions.
CHANGING PLANES Changing Planes is one of the options that increases the variety of flight experience in 1942 THE PACIFIC AIR WAR. Using the 8 key, you can jump from one plane into another. Whenever you jump into a plane, you become the pilot of that aircraft. This option is not available to career pilots; career pilots must be promoted to change their flight position. In Single Mission play, you will typically start a mission piloting the lead fighter or bomber (depending on the type of mission you chose). Repeatedly pressing 8 will cycle you back through the other planes in your flight. You will not change into planes of the other flights. Thus, if you start in a fighter, all of the planes you jump into will be fighters, and the same goes for bombers. If you continue through the entire flight, you will return to your original aircraft and start the cycle over again.