If there's one thing I love about Flight Simulator X, it's probably all the planes. After that, it's the off-beat humour which somehow integrates itself into the serious-faced, pre-flight check-laden wondrousness of modern flight. Maybe humour is the wrong word there - but the light-heartedness of some of this flight sim's missions are a spark of warmth and charm in an otherwise cold, clinical genre.
Flight Simulator X: Acceleration adds three new aircraft, along with a series of missions for these aircraft and previous aircraft alike. The P-51 Mustang is a little one what can do stunts and races, the F/A-18 Hornet is a fighter jet what can take off from boats, and the EH101 is a helicopter, which can winch crates from the ground and people from the sea.
They're each drastically different from one another, and are painstakingly realised both visually and - I'm going to guess here having never flown any type of aircraft - aerodynamically.
I'm a nerd for this sort of crap, I admit, and I was surprised to find myself enjoying the EH101 helicopter more than any other aircraft in the game. Winching things is amazingly difficult, and harder still is setting things down again. There are two different kinds of winch too, one for people and one for things - I bet you didn't even know that - and they're both here.
The Hornet's missions are modest recreations of carrier operations, taking off with catapults and landing with hooks and elastic bands (no guns, missiles or explosions though), and the P-51 Mustang opens the game up, along with the original 300S, for Red Bull air races. These races can be taken online if you want to crash into a mountain over the internet, taking yet another step towards FSX becoming a game rather than a cloud rendering tool.
Acceleration suffers from a few buggy hiccups accompanied by a rude return to the desktop, but that's rare - otherwise it's an expansion that's clearly been designed with passion. I'm giving this 76 and I don't care what anybody else thinks, especially not my colleagues who think flight simulators are stupid.
Faster faster faster!