Will It Fly?

I’ve dreamt of flying airplanes since I was six years old. I was the kid you’d see running around the school playground with his arms swept back, like a fighter jet. I had an extensive collection of Crayola art, usually only stick-form drawings of the DeHavilland Beaver on floats. Not very inspiring pictures, but in my own young eyes they definitely summarized the magical world of flying.

At that young age, I had pilots all figured out. They had nerves of steel. They feared nothing. They took risks. Behind the RayBan sunglasses and brown leather jackets stood Superman in disguise. Their work was exciting, ranking right up there with Policeman and Fireman. I had decided that one day, I would become a great pilot.

About 20 years back I read an amazingly humorous article describing a game show in which contestants would attempt to takeoff from a short center-stage runway while overloaded with as many prizes as they felt they could safely takeoff with. The show had a sort of ‘Price-Is-Right’ feel, with contestants scrambling to jam their planes to the roof with BlueRay players and iPhones before their time was up. Some contestants would safely depart, others would crash off the end of the runway.

So anyway, enough rambling. I have created a game based on this concept and have named it Will It Fly?. As a bush pilot of a small aircraft, you must take off with as much cargo and as many passengers as you safely can, while avoiding terrain and obstacles. You earn points by the amount of weight that you safely depart with. However, the more you carry, the worse your aircraft will perform.

How many passengers and how much cargo can you successfully take off with, and still outclimb all obstacles and terrain? This is indeed a good question, and certainly one that many a pilot has asked. This game applies the real-world laws of aviation to a variety of challenging scenarios. Earn points by daring yourself to carry as much as you safely can. I’ve added the basic environmental variables: wind, temperature, altitude and weight.

As in real life, a headwind can be your ally. Wind reduces the speed at which you travel over ground, but it does not affect climb speed, so a strong headwind can provide pilots with a steep climb angle.

Hot, High, and Heavy. Any combination of these can produce disasterous results. Hot or high atmospheric conditions indicate thin air, which reduces aircraft performance by lengthening the takeoff roll and reducing your climb angle. Too much weight will have the same effect on aircraft performance.

This game is absolutely free (not a shameless demo teaser like Airport Madness). I hope you will all enjoy it. As usual, my email inbox is always open. Fire away with your suggestions, critiques and ideas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *