GMX Media and the FirePower team at Shockwave Productions set out to create the most realistic air combat experience possible. They did this to honor the brave individuals that fought in the air over Europe during World War II. We continue to lose close to a thousand of these veterans a day. One of their hopes is that FirePower will be an interactive reminder of these individual skills, our collective loss, and of lessons that can only be learned through war, but should never be forgotten.
The Firepower Certification Process
The flight models for the Firepower Series Certified Aircraft were developed through an exhaustive process of research and testing. A great deal of information about each aircraft was gathered and assessed during the development of its individual flight model. Multiple historical references were used to confirm the vital statistics of each plane. The most critical part of the research was the time spent with actual World War II aircrew. We interviewed and had round table discussions with over 30 World War II pilots and aircrew, many of whom flew the types of aircraft included in Firepower. These pilots came from the United States Army Air Forces, United States Navy, and Luftwaffe. We also interviewed current warbird pilots who fly a wide range of aircraft, from Boeing's B-17G Flying Fortress to the P-51D Mustang and Yak-9. Finally, we flew in a number of World War II warplanes, including the Collings Foundation's B-17G Flying Fortress and B-24D Liberator, the Chino Air Museum's P-51D Mustang, and a T-6 Texan trainer in order to get real-life experience of just what it's like to be in these aircraft.
The conversations we had with these pilots -- and our experiences flying with them -- were enlightening. Every pilot we queried confirmed that just going with numbers from a book tells just part of the story. In the heat of combat, pilots related that they were able to extract different types of performance from their aircraft than the textbooks showed. As a result, the flight characteristics of Firepower Series Certified Aircraft not only take into account authentic flight test reports, but also reflect the accounts of the men who flew these kinds of aircraft in the heat of battle.