Scramble, Tom Clancy fans! Scramble! This is not a drill! The CD-ROM "Warplanes: Modern Fighting Aircraft" (Maris Mulitmedia Ltd. $59.95) details that most technological of pursuits, combat flying from the cold war to the gulf war. Specifications on the craft and their weapons read like the Jane's books would if Jane's had a macho interface with rivets and sound effects. And Jane's can't show video of the Blackbird on its way to Mach 3. The search function is fun--a recon for "Sikorsky" yields a list of 10 choppers--and a convenient print function renders the nifty pictures wall-ready in seconds. Sure, the gee-whiz approach to military hardware in "Warplanes" is a little naive, but views of hot machines from any angle, animations that depict air strategy and a history of flight keyed to an interactive map all make for compelling reading. This CD--which also includes a flight simulator--goes a long way toward explaining why jets sometimes make better spy-novel characters than the spies.
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