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How to play

Each game uses different controls, most DOS games use the keyboard arrows. Some will use the mouse.

Description

TRACON and TRACON II are game software programs that simulate an air traffic control environment on a personal computer. The games were originally sold by Texas-based Wesson International as an offshoot to their line of professional air traffic control simulation products. Wesson was purchased by Adacel.

Over its life, the software has evolved from a DOS to a Microsoft Windows environment. It included graphics that simulate a TRACON air traffic controller's situation. At periodic screen updates, aircraft icons move slowly across the controller's sector. The player sees an aircraft icon with its identifier (AA34) and the aircraft's altitude or flight level (110).

The game familiarizes a player with the difficulty of tracking many events simultaneously. Every aircraft is moving in a dynamic environment. The player must develop a feel for three-dimensional space represented in two dimensions on the screen. Generally, aircraft must be kept separated by 1,000 vertical feet and three miles horizontal separation. A series of alarms sound if adequate space between aircraft is not maintained. A few separation conflicts can quickly wipe out the player's entire accrued point value. The closer aircraft get, the more severe the warnings. A mid-air crash ends the game.

Aircraft are assigned by the game with a flight plan. The game issues random start and end points within a sector. It juggles aircraft types, some being commercial airline traffic while others are slow-moving general aviation aircraft. Each game sees a different mix of aircraft, callsigns, start- and end-points, unless the user elects to "repeat the last simulation." Aircraft types have profiles: an airliner might cruise at 250 knots while general aviation craft may cruise as slowly as 90 knots. The player can slow an airliner to 170 knots in order to space aircraft in an approach pattern. If the aircraft is ordered to fly below its minimum speed, the game says, "That's below my minimum." Aircraft identify as heavy where appropriate. Flight plans can either transit a sector or involve takeoffs and landings. Users receive point credit for successfully getting aircraft through their respective flight plans. Points are continually deducted for each command issued to a pilot and for time delays. Shorter flights mean higher point counts. Each turn or change in speed the player orders costs points.

Aircraft arriving at the edge of the player's TRACON will call. "AA34 with you at one one thousand," the status line will display this in text, voice of the calling pilot will play, and the icon will persistently flash. If ignored, the aircraft will circle and hold at the radio fix identified as the beginning-point in the player's sector.

Cheats/Hints/Walkthroughs

No posted cheats for this game yet.

Platform
DOS
Game year
Tracon Air Traffic Control Simulator - Cover Art DOS