Flawed Beginning
  History Begins

  "The Dr.1 is Porked!"


  The Last Classic UOP

  To the East!
  Revolution of CdT
  A New Breed of UOP
  Pat Wilson and WFP

  Stachel's Hell's Angels

  The Promised Land

  The End of the Road

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"The Dr.1 is Porked"
The History of Flight Models

            In addition to many glaring historical errors within the overall setup of Red Baron, the game also suffered from a lack-luster flight and damage model. In Red Baron II, bullets streamed from the guns in a perfect line, far from the historical reality of real World War I combat. Aircraft actually gained speed when they lost their wings, and could still be controlled even with most of their parts missing. Other glaring errors included two-seater aircraft circling endlessly over targets, coming down only when they ran out of petrol and impacted the dirt below. It was a circus sideshow of freakish errors, blunders, and embarrassing problems that no self-respecting Flight Sim pilot should have to endure.

            Stepping into this quagmire were the flight and damage model creators of Red Baron’s community. These are often the unsung heroes, the ones who make the files that alter how the planes feel and fight in the air. While the other creators were improving the graphics, sounds and other details, these were the folks hard at work “under the hood”, correcting the plethora of errors within the data files that controlled the planes.

            One of the first to step into the void were the Fairy Godmothers of Flight. The group, comprised of Chuck Holden, Bluevoss, and Cap’n Darwin, attempted to correct all that was wrong with the flight models and also attempted to correct the damage model. The difficulty with all of this, as with every patch ever made for the game, was the lack of any blueprint explaining what all of the data in the files meant. It was an endless process of “tweak this file a little, load up the game, fly and revise”. Cap’n Darwin also created many of the editors used for altering the flight and damage model files: the infamous Fmparam.dat and Acspecs.dat files. His work led to the groundbreaking flight and damage models created during Red Baron’s lifetime. His latest work is the famous control panel in Full Canvas Jacket, which allows users to customize virtually everything about their game.

            As the years progressed, flight models began to be produced by others. Panama Red was a major contributor, creating some of the most impressive flight models ever seen. His work greatly enhanced the way Red Baron flew, and as a result, greatly extended the life of the game. His flight model was featured in all major UOP’s by 2000 and was used all the way through much of the Western Front Patch of 2001.

            Along the way, even more flight models were produced. Greybeard, Wilhelm von Wellenhousen, Captain Royce, and others continued to create flight models that attempted to succeed at various goals. Some wanted to get the best performance out of the computer-controlled planes surrounding the player in the game. Others were committed to complete historical accuracy; making each plane climb, sustain level flight, and dive at the appropriate speeds and times. Others strove to create a compromise. There is little else to add with words, but so much went on with endless testing, revising, and republishing each flight model. Countless hours and even months went into each work and each strove valiantly to create the ideal in Red Baron. It is important to stress that no one flight model has ever been considered the best. None of us have ever flown a World War I era aircraft, let alone all of the ones modeled in the game. Each flight model is a success in their own right and a “best of” label can only be applied by the end user who selects one over the other.

This certainly doesn’t mean there was a lack of heated debate over how certain planes handled. The famous “The Fokker Dr1 is Porked!” thread on the Flight Sim Forum of early 2000 can certainly attest to that. Passions ran high over which Flight Model was the best, but finally the community “agreed to disagree” and in the end, various patches featured various flight models.

            Damage models were also a major sticking point. The hit-boxes, the data bubble surrounding each plane in flight that detects whether or not the plane has been hit. These were often too large for the plane, sometimes by ten to twenty times too large. The famous “Charlie Brown Head”, named for the gigantic head modeled on the Pfalz DIIIa damage file, is a good example of some of the puzzling errors found in the damage model. Many contributors, including Uhlan, a founding member of SWWISA, and Zinteck, are credited for creating some of the best damage models around. Without these important works, the flight models created would have been all for nothing. It was vital to have an accurate and challenging damage model to compliment the improved flight characteristics. The latest work by Rens, combines not only a flight and damage model, but couples it with the wing data files to create some of the most accurate and intense flights to date.