You hear about highly addictive video game applications such as Angry Bird and Words With Friends for your iPad and smart phone, but have you ever heard of F-SIM's Space Shuttle landing simulator? Well now you have and trust me, you will either hate me or thank me after your new-found addiction has takes hold.
The premise is simple, you fly the Space Shuttle Orbiter on decent using the incredibly responsive accelerators in your iPad or mobile device starting from either entry into the "Heading Alignment Cone" (HAC) or on final approach, it's your choice. You can set the weather conditions, time of day, the approach template, location, and even systems failures all to your liking. It's incredibly challenging and accurate to real life, yet it is also magnificently simple at the same time.
Your landings are scored on everything from glide-slope accuracy to where the nose wheel touches down on the runway. Like all of the talented Commanders and Pilots who flew the shuttle over its 30 year career, you will be aiming for perfection in no time.
Bottom line: This application is totally addicting, incredibly realistic, and downright fun. The graphics are silky smooth and pretty damn vibrant, and the game has been consistently upgraded to offer virtually every internal and external view you can think of. Also, I find the iPhone version to be just as enjoyable as the iPad version. In fact, I find that the smaller sized device allows for better fine tuning of my flare sequence and touchdown when compared to the clunkier iPad. Also, with an Retina screen on you iPhone no graphic detail is lost at all by using the smaller device.
So for just a few dollars you will fill boring airline flights with dozens of exciting Shuttle landings, and sitting in the dentist's waiting room will never be boring again! You can download the game here at the Apple App Store for $4.99.
Tyler Rogoway is a defense journalist and photographer that maintains the website Foxtrot Alpha for Jalopnik.com You can reach Tyler with story ideas or direct comments regarding this or any other topic via the email address Tyler@Jalopnik.com