Dragon 32 Universe


You are the pilot of a light aircraft facing north on the runway at Norwich airport. You have been given clearance either to fly a circuit (i.e. take off, climb, fly round to the other end of the airstrip, descend and land) or to fly to Hethel airport about twelve miles to the south. When flying you must avoid the military area a few miles to the northeast of Norwich airport and climb high enough to clear two towers if you pass within their vicinity (see map).

Getting Started

Flying an aircraft is a complicated task and so you are advised to read these instructions thoroughly before attempting to take the controls of Dragonfly. Unless you are familiar with the "feel" of an aircraft joystick you will find it easier to learn how to fly using the cursor keys only and then to progress to using a joystick when you have mastered the other controls.

You will find that the program takes a noticeable period of time (typically about a second) to respond to a keystroke and so you will find it more satisfactory to keep your finger on a key until the program responds.


Various dials and gauges are displayed in the lower part of the display. These instruments are your guide to the state of your aircraft. The nine dials are in two banks and are described below from left to right, starting with the upper bank. The letters in brackets are the abbreviations used on the screen which are shown at the lower right hand side of the relevant dial (top row) or at the top of the dial (bottom row).


Altimeter (ALT)

A clockface with two "hands" showing your altitude in hundreds and thousands of feet.

Air Speed Indicator (ASI)

Shows your forward speed in knots (nautical miles per hour) in multiples of ten.

Vertical Speed Indicator (VSI)

Shows your rate of climb or descent in multiples of one hundred feet per minute. Note that the zero point is at the "nine o'clock" position. If the needle is clockwise of this position your aircraft is climbing. Conversely the aircraft is descending if the needle is anticlockwise of this position.

Artificial Horizon (A/H)

Shows a representation of an aircraft and a line representing the horizon. If the aircraft is below the horizon this indicates that the aircraft nose is pointing at an angle down towards the earth. Conversely, if the aircraft is above the horizon then the nose is angled up into the sku. Aircraft banking and hence turning is indicated in a similar manner. For example, if the wings are tilted down on the left the aircraft is turning to the left.

Instrument Landing System (ILS)

The most difficult part of any flight is the final approach and landing. The instrument landing system aids the pilot during this phase by directing him on to a recommended "glide slope". The technique is described in detail in the section on Flying a Circuit below.

Turn Indicator (TI)

The needle on this instrument hangs freely so that it acts like a plumbob to show the degree of bank of the aircraft.

Revolutions per Minute (RPM)

Shows the engine speed (maximum 3600).

Fuel Level (GAS)

Indicates the amount of fuel remaining in gallons.

Engine Temperature (TEM)

Indicates the temperature of the engine.

Digital And Alphabetic Displays

Heading (HDG)

Shows the direction in degrees in which your aircraft is moving. 360 = North, 90 = East, 180 = South, 270 = west, etc.

Bearing (BRG)

Shows the direction from your aircraft to the beacon at Hethel.

Distance Measuring Equipment (DIS)

Shows the distance from the aircraft to the beacon at Hethel.


Shows the current status of the flaps in steps of ten degrees. Increasing the flap angle gives greater lift at low speeds but creates more drag.


Indicates the status of the undercarriage (UP or DN).


If you allow your air speed to drop too low (either by cutting the engine speed or by raising the nose too much) your stall warning will come on. You must correct your error or you will crash.

Flying A Circuit

You are stationary at Norwich airport when you start the program. You are facing north. If the joystick is in use it should be centred before take off. Commence your take off by increasing the engine power to the maximum of 3600 rpm. You will move forward. Wait until the STALL indicator goes off (when your airspeed reaches about 100 knots) and then raise the nose by one point followed by your undercarriage. Raise the nose further and notice that the VSI is positive and that your altitude is increasing. The airstrip will drop away below you.

Climb to at least 100 feet and when you are ready bank to the right. Beginners should bank gently (by pressing the key once only) so that you turn slowly to the right. As you become more experienced you will learn to control the aircraft in sharper turns. Notice that the artificial horizon indicates that you are banking and climbing at the same time.

Continue banking until your heading (HDG) is close to 180 degrees showing that you are heading back in the opposite direction to that in which you took off. Level the wings by pressing the left bank key. Continue climbing until your altitude is greater than 585 feet (the height of the mast in the area) and then reduce the engine RPM. Level the aircraft by lowering the nose from its raised position.

Your altimeter should now be steady, your VSI at zero and the artificial horizon should show that your aircraft is flying straight and level. Your heading should be about 180 degrees and your bearing relative to the beacon at Hethel about 185 degrees showing that you are to the north and a little to the east of the beacon. Your distance measuring equipment (DIS) will show that you are about ten miles from the beacon.

Norwich airport is ten miles north of the beacon and so when you are within six or seven miles, reduce your engine RPM to 2400 to start your descent and bank right until your heading is close to 360 degrees. You will see the lights of the runway ahead and so you can adjust position visiually but it is better to use the instrument landing system as follows:

Observe the upright needles of the ILS. It indicates your position relative to an imaginary vertical plane extending outwards from the centreline of the runway. If the needle is hanging to the left of vertical, you must bank to the left and then straighten up on a heading of 360 degrees when it reaches a vertical position. Conversely if it is hanging to the right, bank to the right and then straighten up.

The other, lateral, needle on the ILS is pivoted at the left and indicates your position relative to an imaginary recommended "glide scope" angling out of the sky down to the end of the runway on which you wish to land. If the needle is down on the right you are too high and so you must lower the nose to descend. Conversely, if the needle is up at the right you may either climb or fly level until your aircraft intersects the glide slope as it angles down from the sky to the runway. In either case when the needle reaches the horizontal position you must adjust the flaps and/or the nose so that you descend along the glide slope to the runway and the needle remains horizontal.

When you reach the runway your altitude should be 100 feet or less. Lower your undercarriage, increase your flap angle (to decrease the rate of descent) and lift the nose. You should descend gently to the touchdown, lifting the nose at the last moment so that the aircraft stalls as it lands. On landing reduce your RPM to zero and taxi to a halt.

Flying To Hethel

Take off from Norwich and fly towards the beacon as described under Flying a Circuit. It will take some time to reach the beacon and, as you approach and pass over it, the bearing will change to about 360 degrees. Contonue flying for about 2 or 3 miles and then bank right on to a heading of 359 degrees. Use the instrument landing system as described above to guide you to a safe landing. Note that there are no runway lights at Hethel so that you must use your landing instruments only.

Use of the Joystick

Plug the joystick into the right hand socket of the computer before switching on and loading the program. On running the program, reply yes when it asks you if your joystick is connected. The program will execute a routine which allows you to observe the centre point of your joystick. This is necessary because the physical centre is not always the point recognised electrically as the centre.

Beginners are advised to learn to control the aircraft using the cursor keys before attempting to fly using a joystick.

If you wish to bank to the right, move the joystick to the right and observe the artificial horizon. The degree of bank will steadily increase until it has "caught up" with the joystick. When the aircraft is banked to the angle that you require, return the joystick to the centre. The aircraft will remain banked. To return to level flight move the joystick to the left until the artificial horizon is level and then centre it again.

The same procedure should be used for banking to the left, to raise the aircraft nose (joystick backwards) or to lower the aircraft nose (joystick forwards).

Game Controls

Key Effect Explanation
F Flaps down Reduces rate of descent, reduces stall speed, increases rate of climb
D Flaps up Reverse of flaps down
H Gear down Lowers undercarriage, reduces forward speed
G Gear up Raises undercarriage, increases forward speed
> Increases RPM Increases air speed, increases rate of climb, decreases rate of descent
< Decreases RPM Reverse of the above
Up Nose up Reduces speed, increases rate of climb, decreases rate of descent
Down Nose down Reverse of the above
Left Bank left Aircraft turns left, heading decreases
Right Bank right Aircraft turns right, heading increases