Flying Circus brings WWI flight sims into the future

The spiritual successor to Rise of Flight is now on the cusp of Early Access and today we have plenty of new updates on what Flying Circus Vol 1 is all about. We also have a taste of the future for Flying Circus and what 1CGS hopes to be able to do with future WWI content.

Laying the foundation

Our first look at the Fokker Dr. I.

Flying Circus Vol 1 is going to be the beginning for what will hopefully be future follow-up content (Vol 2, Vol 3, etc.) which will aim to expand and build on the initial offering in Vol 1. This means that Flying Circus Vol 1 has some limitations – it won’t be up at Rise of Flight levels of content from the start but it will build towards that over time.

The aircraft list is focused on April-May 1918 with a selection of ten aircraft from that time period. These are popular types that were dominant in the skies of Rise of Flight multiplayer and plenty of fan favourites. Each of these aircraft is being given a work-over by Yugra Media with many thousands more polygons for added details and new 4K resolution textures.

The complete aircraft list

  • Spad XIII
  • Sopwith Dolphin
  • Sopwith Camel
  • RAF S.E.5.a
  • Bristol Fighter
  • Albatros D.Va
  • Fokker Dr.1
  • Fokker D.VII
  • Pfalz D.IIIa
  • Halberstadt CL.II.

The list of aircraft includes, as I mentioned before, some of the most popular types in Rise of Flight’s multiplayer history. The infamous SPAD 13, the Sopwith Camel, S.E.5.a, Albatros D.Va, Fokker Dr.1 and D.VII are some of the best known aircraft from WWI. These scouts are joined by a pair of two-seater aircraft; the Bristol F.2B Fighter and the Halberstadt CL.II both function as artillery spotter and ground attacker.

This is how good the SPAD XIII looks in the new engine!

In addition to the ten aircraft, there will be a 100x100km map of France featuring places like Amiens, Lille, St. Quentin, Arras and a sizable portion of ‘no-mans-land’ right down the middle. This should offer plenty of airbases and gameplay option and given the slower speeds of these aircraft, 100x100km should be enough to kick things off for the series.


Also included in release are things like new player models with much higher levels of detail and all aircraft will be unlocked by default with all of the extra additions that you used to have to pay for. Things like Aldis and collimator gunsights will be options right away.

The other thing not to discount is that Flying Circus will now have full access to 1CGS’ excellent VR implementation. For the first time, players will be able to experience WWI aircraft with a VR headset.

Single and multiplayer options

On launch, Flying Circus will support both single and multiplayer features.

The Quick Mission Builder and custom single player missions will be available on launch. Scripted Campaigns will be available to players but will launch without a campaign for it. That may be disappointing to some but I fully expect that the community will rise to the challenge and there will be at least half a dozen excellent community built Scripted Campaigns available just as there is with IL-2 right now.

What won’t be available on launch is the Pilot Career system that has been recently reintroduced into the IL-2 series. Jason Williams, Producer for the series had this to say on the subject:

If you are concerned about the Pilot Career, please know this. We can’t support the Pilot Career for FC yet because we are still building support for WW2 and other general features and mission types it needs. Remember, it’s still new tech for the Great Battles series and we have to build this support in-house so we cannot place this task with a third party. We also have to build support for WW1 style missions and this will take time. If we include support for the Pilot Career in say Volume Two of Flying Circus, it will of course become compatible with Volume One. That is the beauty of our one client approach.

So, for now, Flying Circus will not feature this system but it will have plenty of foundations for other single player experiences and multiplayer should be everything that it was before.

Early Access is about to begin

There will be no pre-order period as Early Access is set to begin in July. That puts the first two aircraft, the SPAD XIII and Fokker Dr.I, in the hands of players in just a matter of weeks.

So get ready for the start of WWI, with VR support, and plenty of cool things to look forward to. For more on the update, check out 1CGS’ developer diary.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Habsburger says:

    Here’s hoping FC will sell well… I’ve seen lots of complaints like “Why should I by Rise of Flight again? Why can’t I get a discount?” Problem is, if enough people do not buy this, it might take many years before we get more WWI aviation treats. Rise of Flight is already decade old, and though I love it, it is very dated in some ways.

    Those new pilot models shown in the dev diary look amazing! And early access starts this month already? Time to start learning the Dr.I in RoF while I wait!


  2. Francesco Kasta says:

    I have never been really interested in WWI aerial warfare until I tried RoF back in 2009. I was hooked right away and I eventually ended up purchasing pretty much all of the content, I had a lot of fun with it… must be a blast in VR!


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