Pilot Academy is a flight simulator on the PSP which encompasses all eras of flight, ranging from historic WWI fighter planes such as the famous Fokker Triplane (flown by the "Red Baron" Manfred von Richthofen) to modern military and civilian jet aircraft like the F-15, F-16 and Boeing 747. All aircraft names and designs are licensed.
In the initial lessons, the game teaches the player the basics of powered flight for both civilian and military purposes. The game uses all PSP buttons to deliver a flight simulation feel with the analog nub serving as a joystick. Controlling the flaps, air brakes, raising and lowering the landing gear as well as using the tail rudder are also possible. Military aircraft feature air-to-ground missiles, air-to-air-missiles, a machine gun and flares for self defense against missiles. The only thing missing from the simulation is a fuel gauge, but since most missions are rather short, this was probably a deliberate design choice.
After civilian and military flight lessons are completed, the player is free to choose from various missions and challenges. Completing a task successfully unlocks new aircraft in the player's hangar which can then be flown any time in free flight mode (but only on the tropical map). Distinctions are also awarded for completion of a mission based on time taken, aircraft integrity, completion of objectives and level of excitement/comfort of passengers (if any) and determine the level of proficiency of the player pilot.
Flights take place over different types of terrain including tropical, desert, snow covered mountains and canyons and in varying weather conditions like rain, snow and even in a storm. Some missions begin while already airborne, while others require the player to taxi onto the runway, takeoff and land after completing the objective.
Multiplayer supports up to four players dogfighting against each other or cooperatively with planes from any of the four military eras, e.g. a dogfight between a WWII propeller plane like the P-51 Mustang or the Spitfire versus an F-14 Tomcat or F-16 Falcon is possible.
- パイロットになろう！フライング オールスターズ - Japanese spelling
- Aircraft: A-10 Thunderbolt II
- Aircraft: A6M Zero
- Aircraft: Civilian
- Aircraft: F-117 Nighthawk
- Aircraft: F-15 Eagle
- Aircraft: F-16 Fighting Falcon
- Aircraft: Fokker Dr.I
- Aircraft: Grumman F-14 Tomcat
- Aircraft: Messerschmitt Bf 109
- Aircraft: Messerschmitt Me 262
- Aircraft: MiG-29 Fulcrum
- Aircraft: Northrop F-5
- Aircraft: P-51 Mustang
- Aircraft: Sopwith Camel
- Aircraft: Supermarine Spitfire
Credits (PSP version)
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Average score: 58% (based on 2 ratings)
Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 1 ratings)
Pilot Academy provides a nice mix of both civilian and military flying on the PSP with plenty of airplanes ranging from WWI to the present. It features detailed and realistic airplane models including visible landing gear, flaps and airbrakes. Completing missions unlocks new airplanes and further missions thus giving one a sense of progress. Missions vary in many aspects from air combat and bombing runs to aerobatics and stunts like barn-storming.
Free flight mode allows you to fly around one of the mission areas (a group of islands) with any of the planes you unlocked.
While there are plenty of missions with lots of variety, they are mostly rather short, usually between 5 and 10 minutes long. They are obviously designed to be completed quickly on the go but slightly longer missions might have been more immersive. The Ace Combat games on the PSP manage to engage the player for longer periods at a time and thus make the player feel more deeply engaged with the game and its world.
Despite the rather complex controls and detailed airplane graphics (for a handheld title), the game features no fuel gauge which could have added to the simulation aspect by forcing the player to pay attention to their flying and fuel consumption. Then again, most missions are so short that this wouldn't be a factor.
While the airplanes re detailed, the environments are rather simplistic with some obvious boxy tiles showing and the draw distance being noticeable.
Sound effects and music are there, though not very memorable. The voice acting is decent and in one case hilariously bad -- though probably intentional.
Free flight mode is limited to only one area and time of day. Variations in landscape, daytime and perhaps even weather could have made this more interesting.
The Bottom Line
Despite its minor shortcomings in presentation and gameplay, Pilotwings... erm Pilot Academy is probably the best (and only) allround flight simulator for the PSP.
PSP · by Fire Convoy (1179) · 2015
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Game added by Fire Convoy.
Game added July 18, 2009. Last modified February 22, 2023.