Pilot Academy (PSP) Beta Material
This is another game rescued from the local flea market at a bargain price. Usually, it goes for a decent sum, so I was lucky to pick it up. From the cover blurb, you get the impression it's like one of the complicated flight sims that takes years to get through just the instruction manual. Thankfully, it's a lot easier to play than that. Having poked around the net to see what cheats there were, I found a distinct lack of, well, anything at all really (for the PAL release). There were a number of promotional blurbs which caught my eye, which mentioned the Concorde as a playable craft. Problem. No sign of it in the game.
Time to dig into the bowels. The first list of aircraft mentioned Concorde, along with the Fairey Swordfish, Jaguar, Airbus-380 and Rafale aircraft. Having looked at the game's Models folder, some of these were indeed available, with the exception of the first two in the list above. No Concorde at all. Why? Probably because of the disaster in Paris that effectively ended the use of that particular jet.
Replacing existing game models with any of these unused planes had variable effects. While some like the Rafale (pictured above) loaded and flew, others loaded but exploded on takeoff (like the Airbus-380). The Rafale model was incomplete, as the undercarraige looked askew and left the plane sitting at a slight angle.
Strangely enough, aircraft already in the game had alternative versions. The Sukhoi Su-26 acroplane had a red and white counterpart.
The Hercules had another version, one with the tail door open and no propeller animation. In fact, a number of the NPC models seen elsewhere in the game can be used, including a helicopter and a Rapier missile launcher (see image at the top of the page). You have to be careful to try and match the model to the one it is replacing. The size of the model affects the viewing distance in the game. Replacing a small airplane like the Sopwith Camel with the helicopter results in an aircraft that fills the screen.
Other beta material came to light. There is only one free-roaming level, the Pacific map, but there were plans to include one for the Desert level. Using the files for this deleted mission failed to load the relevant map, probably because it lacks any scripts. However, I developed a CWCheat code (based on searching for the value of 1 when the plane was out of bounds, and for 0 when it was within the prescribed map):
_C0 GROUND ATTACK FREE ROAM
_L 0x008C3DC0 0x00000000
_C0 MISSILES FREE ROAM
_L 0x00765280 0x00000000
This is a buggy code, but it seems to allow free-roaming in the Ground Attack (Desert) and Missiles (European) missions. You can fly out of the prescribed area and off the map completely.
Not that either level is particularly good in terms of graphics, with a lot of pop-up and textures appearing as you fly around. Just remember to turn off the code if you try and exit the level, otherwise the game will freeze.
Thanks to a tutorial on Wololo.net, the Airbus A380 has become available to fly. There's a specific way to take off with this block of concrete, which takes some practice on the part of the player. But it does fly ... just don't forget to retract the undercarriage.
The Jaguar is another matter. I've tried a range of take-offs and replaced a number of planes with this model, but it seems to sit up on the back wheels as it takes off and then explodes. So I took a different approach. As I have already activated free roam mode on two levels, I thought I would eliminate the need to take off and just replace the A-10 Thunderbolt II on the Ground Attack level.
In all, there're some beta material and mods now available for this game.
Pilot Academy: Secret Plane Tutorial
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