Although I have that original game (Christmas present from my mother-in-law back in 2002!), for anyone remotely interested in this series who wants to experience all of the glory prior to Clunky Donut (Cliffs of Dover), the only route to go is to purchase 1946. It is still enjoyable and challenging to fly.
In this sampler I fly five different aircraft on five different maps against a variety of ground attack and one carrier attack sortie. The aircraft chosen are the Japanese MiG-9FS*, the German M3-262HG-II, the Soviet IL-10, the American F6F-5 and the German Do-335A-0. * The game is chock full of alternative history capabilities, so don't become a realism Nazi over a Jap Mig jet :).
The Me-262HG-II was flown against armor targets on the Crimea map. The aircraft was armed with two 30 mm MK-108 cannons mounted left and right of the centerline under the fuselage and 24 RM-4 rockets under the wings. Both weapons were effective in the three rail cars I destroyed. The aircraft modeled in the game was a nasty pig to fly and took a great deal of time to maneuver on target due to its high speed yet poor handling compared to the MiG-9FS.
The IL-10 was flown against armor targets on the Smolensk map. The aircraft was armed with two 23 mm Nudelman-Suranov NS-23 auto cannons, two 7.62 mm ShKAS machine guns located in the wings, and a rear seat gunner position operating a 12.7 mm UBST machine gun. The forward machine guns were quite effective in the destruction of five trucks and six rail cars. The aircraft modeled in the game was a pleasure to fly and although I would lose the left aileron, it was still controllable.
The F6F-5 "Hellcat" was flown against an airbase target on the Coral Sea map. The aircraft was armed with four M2 Browning machine guns mounted in the wings, six 5" 127 mm HVAR's located under the wings and a 1,000 lb. bomb. For some reason this aircraft would not allow me the choice of a torpedo in the game which is a disappointment as I was going up against an aircraft carrier with one bomb. The aircraft modeled in the game was relatively easy to fly and I did manage to put the bomb on the flight deck.
The Do-335A-0 "Arrow" is perhaps the oddest bird of the bunch with two propellers mounted in the center line fore and aft. It was flown against armor targets on the Moscow map. The aircraft was armed with a 30 mm MK-103 cannon mounted inside the engine and two 20 mm MG-151 cannons mounted above the engine. The weapons were effective in the destruction of five rail cars, while the aircraft had acceptable handling up until the point I crashed and died.