This week I wanted to bring you a review of the Kreig Store/Astral-Tek Flettner FL 282, a tiny yet beautiful machine that was one of the very few, possibly the only one equipped for combat, helicopter built during the Second World War.
The Flettner came out about a month ago, priced at L$1,800, comes with four default camo textures with the option to custom make your own, making it a somewhat unique addition to Astral-Teks line-up. The build is the same high standards of near perfection we’ve come to expect from Krieg Store.
Historically correct, fully functional in Vice combat (banned from New Bastogne of course) and with an LI of only 33 it would be hard to describe why this helicopter is such a disappointment. Until you get in and try to start it up.
I have, for years, assumed that E-Tech sells the worst aircraft on the market in terms of how Boring they are to fly. They start instantly, take off at the slightest hint of speed, stop instantly when you touch down, fly underwater and will bump harmlessly along the ground if you crash. They are “safe” so safe they are fantastically Dull, so tedious in their simplicity there is almost no difference between that and Avatar flying other than you’re sitting down.
On the opposite end of that spectrum is Astral-Tek, the last helicopter they made was an Apache Longbow, back in the days of sculpts, which could do acrobatic flips and was considered so terrifying to fly that many called the Omega Concern Apache “simple” by comparison.
So when it came to then FL 282 I was expecting the same level of mind boggling terror that the Apache was famed for, I expected to end my first test flight on fire, upside down in a tree my face a mask of bright red embarrassment.
Instead I was treated to a very slow start-up (granted with a very nice animation) followed by the most generic helicopter scripts you can imagine. You press up, the rotor engine would reach 55% and the Heli would rise, you pressed forward and it would move forward and that was it. No loops, no explosions, no bits falling off it hardly felt like an Astral-Tek product at all.
It was to simple, too “safe” and overall too boring to fly. Astral-Tek products are supposed to range from the Realistic to the Insane and unpredictable, with very little inbetween but the FL 282 was none of those things, sure it looks good but when you get right down to it the true Aviator doesn’t want something that’s going to sit in a hanger and “look great” most people care about the flight physics and how the aircraft feels when you take it to the skies and probably most importantly the joy you get from that, but this, any other builder that had been out of the Heli game for a while or even if this was their first one I’d have said it was a good start, maybe have even recommended you try it.
But for Astral-Tek this honestly feels like a rush job and nothing up to their usual standard.
I happened to mention this to Joe Sparrow after quite a few people in the SL Aviation chat noted their disappointment in the Heli and claimed to want more terror and complexity out of flying it. He seemed to take the issue to heart and the last I saw of him he had wheeled the FL 282 into his little shed and as he was gently closing the door his eyes flashed red, he stared at me and whispered “they want terror? I’ll give them terror…”
Make of that what you will.