1988 - LucasFilms / Lawrence Holland
The first part in a trilogy of WWII flight simulators released by LucasFilms (now called LucasArts), Battlehawks 1942 focused on key battle in the Pacific theatre. Unlike these days, this game came with a 127-page manual full of photos and historical data on WWII.
The first online multi-player flight simulator was launched back in 1986 for the Atari ST and Amiga, ran on the GEnie network (internet was not widespread yet), and cost $10/hr to play. In 1993, a PC version with SVGA graphics was released.
Late in the game during a surge of WWII flight sims released in the late 90s, Nations entered a crowded field, offered nothing new to the masses, and its flawed flight model kept the simulation fanatics away.
Looking Glass spent 2.5 years developing this game, until Electronic Arts pulled funding from it. A deal was reached to have Mad Doc Software finish developing the simulator, and Xicat would publish it.
This new version of the online Multi-player WWII flight simulator WarBirds adds a lot of graphical and terrain enhancements, more detail to the planes, and an expanded and very detailed offline pilot training academy.
From the developers that brought out the award winning IL-2 Sturmovik flight sims, Pacific Fighters is based on the same engine and shifts the campaign over to the Pacific theatre. And just like IL-2, it has also generated a massive amount of online modding and communities centered around this sim.
A re-make of Rowan's Battle of Britain, it entered a small market while most sim fans were busy modding their IL-2 and Pacific Fighters. But due to its historical accuracy, it remains popular among WWII enthusiasts, and won several awards including SimHQ's Best of 2006 award.
Mar. 2007 - 1C Maddox
Rather than release new versions, 1C Maddox pushes out new IL-2 releases as compilations. This latest includes all previously released IL-2 games and add-ons, all patches, as well as new aircraft and a 1946 'what-if' scenario complete with all concept prototype aircraft that were on the drawing boards when WWII ended. This DVD compilation also includes Pacific Fighters, a stand-alone game, but needed to take advantage of this simulator's massive online modding community.