Pilot Academy flies to PSP

Takes off in March 2006

Rising Star is to publish the Kuju-developed Pilot Academy across Europe in March 2006, the company announced today.

The handheld flight sim is an extension of the hugely-successful Japanese title Pilot Ni Narou! (Let's Become A Pilot!), which first appeared in 1998 on the PSone, and later on the PS2.

The PSP-only title is being designed by series producer Junichi Kupsuzawa, and is said to feature "staggering tech that represents 30,000 feet down to landing".

"The Pilot Ni Parou series has shown that flight simulations needn't be niche, and Pilot Academy will reinforce this," said Kutsuzawa-san. "The game will offer the most authoritative simulation of civil and military flight ever seen on a handheld, without requiring a degree in engineering to play. Everyone's fascinated by the wonder of flying, and Pilot Academy will allow everyone, everywhere to enjoy commercial or military aircraft in a host of different planes."

Pilot Academy will feature three regions in the game, totalling 64 square kilometres, and sport both commercial and military planes that players can fly in single player challenge missions as well as multiplayer aerial combat.

Four eras of combat plane will be represented, taking in World War I and II, The Cold War, through to modern-day combat. Apparently, all types and sizes of civilian planes are included from crop sprayers to 300-seater passenger jets, and "everything in between".

"Stunt aircraft will test dexterity, whist commercial aircraft will demand other skills – such as emergency landings in fierce conditions," said Rising Star.

More news on Pilot Academy when we get it.

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Kristan Reed

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Kristan is a former editor of Eurogamer, dad, Stone Roses bore and Norwich City supporter who sometimes mutters optimistically about Team Silent getting back together.

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