The Short Stirling was the RAF's first operational four-engine bomber of the second World War and in its day it was reputed as an advanced and formidable aircraft.
The Short Stirling was initially conceived in 1936 in reply to advances made by the Americans and Russians in the area of quadri-motor bomber technology. The first Stirling prototype was designed in 1938 and it eventually flew for the first time on 14th May 1939 but suffered a hard landing due to collapsed undercarriage, writing off the airframe and forcing a redesign in that area.
Despite being hampered by a poor choice of wing design (too-short span) which limited the aircraft to medium altitude only, the Stirling went onto to play a major part in RAF Bomber Command's strategic air offensive until 1943, when it was switched to transport duties. Even then Stirling crews valiantly played a major role in the Arnhem landing after towing gliders to Normandy, and again during the Rhine crossing. Sadly, no Stirlings have survived to the present day.
Aircraft variants included :
- Stirling Mk.1 : W7451. 7 Squadron, RAF Oakington, Cambridgeshire, England, early 1941.
Manufactured by Austin Motors, Longbridge, Birmingham.
- Stirling Mk.3 : EF411. 149 Squadron, RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk, England, late 1942.
Manufactured by Short Bros., Rochester, Kent.
- Stirling Mk.4 : LK117 570 Squadron, RAF Harwell, Oxfordshire, England, 17 September 1944
Manufactured by Short & Harland, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
- PBR materials/textures used throughout
- VR config file included, 3 cabin teleport hotspots
- FMOD sounds package with multi-stage engines, pilot's slide window muting, switch clicks and other unique cockpit sounds
- very detailed cockpit with numerous animations and mousable controls
- working Automatic Controls (VS hold only, limited to 235kts)
- working Lorentz Indicator (uses DME/NAV1 LOC)
- working Beam Approach Indicator (uses NAV1 LOC)
- crew ladder
- togglable crew figures
- 6 separate animated cockpit windows with unique sounds, animated bomb bay doors in both wings and fuselage
- togglable bombs
- animated cowl flaps
- authentic flight model with checklist
- 22-page illustrated User Operating Manual