Martin B-26 Marauder “Hitch Hiker”

For FS2000/CFS/FS98
Aircraft and Panel by R.L. Clark
Reviewed by Maikha Ly

This weeks review will be based on an aircraft and panel add-on for Flight Simulator 2000, 98 and also Combat Flight Simulator (CFS).
The package consists of an authentic Martin B-26 Marauder bomber that includes a photo realistic B-26 Panel. The B-26 aircraft model has come from the original one produced by Terry Hill (“b26-th.zip”) for MS FS 5.x. This revised aircraft has new additions such as moving parts and new textures with also changes to the polygons and flight models.

Background info: The Martin B-26 Marauder was believed to be the most controversial combat aircraft in WWII because of its high-accident rate. “Hitch Hiker,” was assigned to the 9th Air Force’s 391st Bomb Group, 573rd Bomb Squadron for bomber missions flown out of Matching Green AB, England, in 1944. This aircraft and panel package is dedicated to the air and ground crew of “Hitch Hiker” and also the other “Marauder Men” of WWII.
(Background information extracted and modified from the ‘readme’ in this package, more information can be found in this document with an addition of websites relating to the B-26)

The flight starts off at Meighs Field, Chicago, also known as the ‘home’ of Flight Simulation. It was a fairly cloudy day, 20mile visibility with moderate winds. For this flight my plan was to fly my ‘extended’ part of a traffic pattern out of Meighs and out to the Michigan Lake. This would give me alot of room to try a few manoeuvres and also would keep me clear of any busy traffic from Meighs or any other airport.

I began on Runway 18, which was the opposite heading for the Meighs departure. I had made a few checks to the aircraft before I would take-off. There was dynamic scenery here so I had to keep a large eye for traffic whenever I’m on the ground and taking-off. The panel view seemed a bit high so I lowered it which the runway was now visible.

Yep I was ready, clear of any traffic with sufficient fuel for this trip. I slowly applied power and released the brake, the aircraft was catching up with the airspeed, I applied flap and only a few seconds later I pulled the yoke back and now I was rising from the ground in which was the beginning of my flight in this historic Combat aircraft. After take-off the flaps and gears were retracted and I made a slight turn to the left to heading 90 degrees which flies me out to the Michigan Lake.

The aircraft slowly climbed to 4000ft. I was about 5-10nm away from Meighs, this distance I kept in case of an engine failure or any type of emergency. I then turned to heading 360 degrees which was going to be the course for this flight. As the aircraft was now in ‘straight-and-level’ flight I adjusted the power to the cruising speed and gave the aircraft a few moments in the air before I tried out some manoeuvres.

I went to the ‘spot view’ to take a close external look at the aircraft I was flying. It was extremely detailed with all the textures and the moving parts (flaps,gear,engine,etc). It also didn’t have that ‘cylinder’ shape on the fuselage, this aircraft’s polygon seemed as if it was a close model. Also what I liked on this aircraft were the realistic textures as there was the “Hitch hiker” picture below the cockpit of the aircraft, the number registration “295842” on the tail and also the “T6” logo at the rear of the fuselage. It wasn’t just those pictures which made the texture stand out, it was also the mix in the brown and just sort of green colours which creates the visual effect for this aircraft. Enough with the wondering-about and on too the action!

This aircraft I’m flying was designed as a bomber, in which would have a heavy weight. My first test for this was a sharp turn. This turn I would fly a circle which would put me back on the course I was flying. Slowly I turned left to a bank angle of 60degrees which was in fast airspeed so this turn would have a large radius. I was losing abit of altitude, I gained the altitude back as the turn was completed in the diameter, the engines seemed to have kept it’s tone since the beginning of the turn, I decreased just a tiny bit of power as the turn was just about complete.

There! Now there’s a sharp 360degree turn completed without any major glitches. That was the good thing, what I was planning to do next was to do was an unusual manoeuvre. This was to apply left rudder while banking right (It is possible in FS), I applied the left rudder and banked right on the equal basis and the aircraft still was flying in the straight course for only a few seconds before it was starting to turn left abit. I let go of the rudder and aileron pressure and flew back to heading 360.

For this entire flight I have been flying parallel to the Meighs field with a distance of about 5-10nm away. I turned the aircraft to heading 270 degrees as this was to turn back towards Meighs. I was about to try to attempt Aerobatic moves but the amount of fuel I had seemed low and I should save this fuel for the flight back to Meighs. As I was getting close to land I notice that downtown Chicago seemed fairly far away to my front-left. I decided to take a shortcut and fly towards downtown then fly towards Meighs and land there.

Downtown was approaching, I lowered the landing gear and flap to prepare for landing, I slowed the aircraft down also. Just as I was about to do my final leg for landing a Cessna was about a quarter of an NM away from me as it took off and turned into the Chicago area (Why do the dynamic scenery have to fly over there???). Staying clear of that I turned and approached the runway. I was landing on runway 18, this was going to be a bit of a hazard because there was a Lear jet on the runway after landing with also a Cessna awaiting take-off. I flew over the threshold of runway 18, flew past the Lear jet and ‘bumped’ on the runway. Luckily the Cessna had stayed on the taxiway and also two aircraft coming in for landing had done go-around as I was on the runway. the aircraft slowed and I taxied off the runway and headed for the parking area, parking next to a Lear jet.

Conclusion: It’s been some time from my last review based on an aircraft or panel. This aircraft is probably the most “authentic” add-on package a flight-simmer can have because of it’s history and also dedication to an event occurring in real life (World War II). Not only the authenticity but also the detail on the exterior of the aircraft and the amount of time and effort put into creating the B-29 Panel.
I congratulate all those who have contributed in creating this add-on package for all flight-simmers to enjoy.

Thanks for reading.
Reviewed by Maikha Ly



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