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Rise of Flight: The First Great Air War

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'Rise of Flight' is a World War I combat flight simulator developed by the Russian IT Company, Neoqb.

The game's title in Russia and CIS is 'Война в небе – 1917.' In Europe and the United States it is published as 'Rise of Flight: The First Great Air War.'

About Rise of Flight

Rise of Flight is a computer flight simulator depicting aerial warfare over the Western Front during the First World War. The time line of Rise of Flight currently covers the years from 1916-1918. The included game map covers over 120,000 km² of the Western Front.

Well-known flyable aircraft are included in the base game (Albatros D.Va, Fokker D.VII, Nieuport 28.C1, SPAD 13.C1), with additional add-on aircraft from 1916 to 1918 available for download.

Each plane and the simulation of its respective engine and weapons is modeled in great detail. Furthermore, the game renders damage to the aircraft resulting from airframe stress, battle damage, fire, and collisions.

Rise of Flight was created by the Moscow-based game developer Neoqb and is based on the 'Digital Nature' game engine. Rise of Flight's years of development by the team at Neoqb has created a combat flight simulation that makes good use of modern hardware, including head tracking devices such as TrackIR.

History of the project

The history of the project goes back to the 2004 when a team of virtual pilots and enthusiasts was organized as 'GT' (Gennadich Team). The team began developing Il-2 Server Commander, a special add-on for Il-2 Sturmovik, providing management and adjustment options of allocated servers for this game. And soon after, more than 95% of all game servers with 'Il-2 Sturmovik' Worldwide worked on it. Il-2 Server Commander allowed users to publish, sort and collect the information from the servers started under Il-2SC GT and then release the add-on ADW (Air Domination War), which supported multiplayer mode for Il-2 Sturmovik. During the first days of public access the application was downloaded by more than 10,000 players of Il-2 Sturmovik.

In 2006 GT made the decision to develop a new game called "Knights of the Sky" (a prototype WWI Flight Simulator) based on their own in-house engine. Then, in 2007 the team accepted an offer to become a part of the startup company Neoqb, which specializes in game development and Internet services. Knights of the Sky had changed their development strategy, and to reflect this the company changed the name of the game to Rise of Flight and began a new life with Neoqb. Neoqb premiered the Rise of Flight project (formerly Knights of the Sky) for demonstration at the largest game exhibition at the Europe Game Convention 2008 in Leipzig and at the largest game exhibition in Russia and CIS Igromir – 2008. In April 2008, closed beta testing of Rise of Flight started. On May 7, 2009 the project Rise of Flight was officially released in Russia with Russian publisher Noviy Disk. In the USA 'Rise of Flight: The First Great Air War' was premiered at E3. On June 25, the game was officially released in the USA with publisher 777 Studios. In Europe the project is handled by Aerosoft.

A digital copy of the game is also available for download from Direct2Drive.

On June 3, 2010, it was announced by 777 Studios that the game would be re-released in the North American market on June 29, 2010 and branded as the Iron Cross Edition. Eight flyable aircraft will ship with this version: the Spad XIII, Fokker D.VII, Albatros D.Va, Nieuport 28, S.E.5a, Pfalz D.III, Sopwith Camel, and the Fokker Dr.I.

Game play

The game scenario takes place on the Western front, on a map of 125,000 square kilometers. The 3D map with many towns, rivers and 'aerodromes' was designed according to the historical maps and information from the war years of 1914-1918.[1]

There are a number of game modes for the player to choose from: Quick Mission, Single Missions, Campaign, Career, and Multiplayer.

The game features aircraft from both the Entente and the Central Powers. Missions can be very complex because of the special system of triggers that is used in mission design. Users can create their own missions using the provided Rise of Flight Mission Editor.

Game modes

Training campaign

The supplied training missions teach a player the basics of combat flight, and the training section also includes various detailed briefings. The player deals not only with plain text-based instructions, but also with a 'live' instructor – a famous ace of WW1, the estimable Eddie Rickenbacker. Progressing through the game, the virtual combat pilot is faced with more difficult tasks

Single player: Career mode

Career mode consists of six rank stages from Lieutenant to Colonel of Aviation. There is a special award system designed for this game mode, where the player will receive medals for their actions. This is the only game mode whereby the player will receive medals for combat operations. The medals will then show up for the player under the 'Awards' menu, where the player can choose to display them if they so choose. Game missions are generated on the basis of historical data about aerial combat operations during the period of 1916-1918. The user can choose a plane type, a squadron and a year as a starting point for his or her career.


Multiplayer mode is a command game mode, where each side has fixed objectives simulating realistic combat situations. Servers can configure options to restrict what a player can or cannot do before and during the mission. This mode has a united system of statistics, which can be used for various competitive elements. Statistics are displayed for all players during the mission, including spectators and the opposition. The player's statistics are then uploaded to the Neoqb server to be displayed on the Leaderboards page. To reach a high score, the player should do well in combat, or carry out various special tasks.

Physics and aerodynamics

Rise of Flight features an advanced flight model that simulates the unique handling characteristics of WWI aircraft. The game has a detailed and progressive damage model (each plane is divided into sub-objects, and each smaller part of an aircraft when damaged is calculated separately). The model tracks the trajectory of every bullet and shell fragment. The simulation contains a model of wake vortex turbulence and a thermodynamic model of the internal combustion engine, with correspondence to the physical and chemical processes of the actual engine cycle. Aircraft collisions with obstacles (earth or water) are simulated on the basis of collision-physics and hydrodynamics theory. Ballistics of various types of arms are also modeled. There is multi-layered model of wind and turbulence taking into account the influence of the Earth’s surface. Physical properties of the atmosphere are calculated over a wide altitude range, taking into account temperature and pressure. There is also a type of 'plane fatigue', dependent on previously incurred damage, fuel quality and other things that may influence aircraft performance

Artificial intelligence (AI)

The level of artificial intelligence of the NPC pilots of Rise of Flight is based on non-linear decision making methods, making game situations less predictable for the player. This means that there is a difference in flying skill between the novice AI pilot and that for a veteran pilot or Ace. A triggering system allows one to design missions where AI pilots operate independently, or they can be instructed to follow preset scenarios

Mission Editor

The supplied Rise of Flight Mission Editor allows the user to create both simple and complex missions and provides an opportunity to use a user's creativity in order to build missions more suited to their desires. There is the possibility to edit each object's properties like movement, rotation, cloning etc. Objects can be grouped and saved to media, re-imported and further used as separate groups (for example, standard flights of planes or convoys of motor vehicles, standard types of buildings and other infrastructure) Missions may be imported, making cooperation and possibilities for swapping content between mission designers easier (one can write a plot, a friend can place the needed objects and so on). This 'group, copy, cut and paste' feature helps to speed up the creation of really complex missions. The system of game cameras provided with the mission editor can also be used for movie creation. Within the game engine, cameras belong to the mission and can be operated as a part of the game process without interruption.

Personal statistics and system of awards

A logging system allows for the creation of statistics for all players. Statistics can be quite detailed and also refer to the player’s role (ex. fighter pilot, two-seater pilot, bomber pilot). Rise of Flight has a flexible system of difficulty options and customisations, and a system of awards is tied to these options. Thus if the user is playing easy mode, he or she will receive less points than the same user playing in difficult mode. This provides an additional stimulus to help you to improve your skills, with the possibility too of gaining medals and awards that much more quickly.

Login Offline

There has also been a recent addition to the login interface. A 'Login Offline' mode has been added, allowing the player to play off-line without having to connect to the internet. After the player has connected on-line and synchronized their profile via 'Login Online' at least once, they now have the option of playing offline without having to worry about connecting to the internet.

Game content

In-game content is updated and extended with update and patch files that are downloaded through the game's start-up interface. Players can also make computer-controlled aircraft flyable by purchasing new cockpits from Neoqb's online store.


  • These World War I belligerents are currently represented in Rise of Flight, with additional participants to be added later.

Flag of None
Template:Country data France French Third Republic
Flag of Belgium
Flag of the United States (1918 only)
Flag of None[2]

Central Powers
Flag of None



Flyable aircraft included with the game:

Flyable aircraft in the Iron Cross Edition:

Flyable Add-on aircraft available:


AI-controlled only:

  • Breguet 14.B2
  • DFW C.V


Rise of Flight has eight airfields created using photographs and other historical materials (Vert Galand, St. Omer, Roucourt, Lechelle, Gengoult, Cappy North/South, Boistrancourt, Bertangles) and more than 300 of a generic type as follows:

  • Type 1: German airfield (medium)
  • Type 2: German airfield (large)
  • Type 3: French airfield (medium)
  • Type 4: French airfield (large)

Anti-Aircraft & Artillery

  • QF 3 pounder Hotchkiss
  • Thornycroft Lorry with 13-pounder AAA Gun
  • Krupp-Daimler Platform Truck AAA
  • 7.7 cm FK 96 n.A.
  • 15 cm sFH 13
  • Canon de 75 modèle 1897
  • Maxim MG 08/15 (anti-infantry)
  • Hotchkiss M1914
  • Maxim LMG 08/15 (anti-aircraft)


  • Jeffery Quad cargo truck
  • Leyland 3-tonne Cargo truck
  • Thornycroft Lorry
  • Crossley 4X2 Staff Car
  • Daimler Truck
  • Mercedes Simplex

Observation Balloons

  • German Drachen
  • German AE type
  • English Caquot
  • French Caquot
  • French Parseval


  • G8 Steam locomotive
  • Closed carriage
  • Lowry (open freight carriage)
  • Tank-wagon
  • Passenger carriage
  • Platform carriage


  • Renault FT-17
  • Mark I
  • Mark IV
  • Mark V
  • St Chamond M1917
  • Schneider CA1
  • A7V
  • Medium Mark A Whippet


  • Cargo Riverboat[3]
    • armed with flak cannon and machine gun


There are eleven French towns (Toul, Verdun, St. Quentin, St. Mihiel, Reims, Metz, Lille, Douai, Arras, Amiens, Cambrai), and more than 300 smaller towns and villages.


Rise of Flight has 14 different complexity settings that can be configured by a player. The game supports most joysticks, pedals, yokes, and also TrackIR.

External links


  1. Rise of Flight Map
  2. The Nieuport 17.C1 has the option of using Imperial Russian national markings
  3. Currently there is one type of ship in the game, a standard river ship armed with a single flak cannon and one machine gun. This type of ship can be used either by the French or the German Empire in the game, as an AI-controlled unit.

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