The History of ACG

ACG has been around for quite a while. The ACG as we know it today, was founded in 2011 by Dickie (then known as Osprey) and Gromic with the release of IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover and the virtual squadron he was a part of at the time. This squadron was No. 501 Squadron which laid the groundwork for what ACG was to become.

Way before that, the idea behind what ACG is today can be said to have been the brainchild of Prince in the online community of the original IL-2 Sturmovik. He had created an event to replace Ghost Skies, which started around 2004, as a large scale online IL-2 event which brought in a hoard of clever features like an intricate scoring system, dynamic targets and objectives. This brought in a great number of virtual squadrons from around the community. You could fly either side, with a mix of aircraft, much like Tactical Air War today, or so I gather.

This ran for a few years but then died out. So Prince created the United Squadrons League which brought together any virtual squadrons willing to participate in its large scale online competitive events. Squadrons on each side were pitted against each other to achieve objectives and to ultimately come through victorious. Sadly Prince died of lung cancer in 2005.

In around 2008, Dickie was at first a member of a virtual squadron who flew open-pit (with external views on), so after a few years he left and was about to join a group called the Joint Forces Command. Here is where he met a number of founding ACG members like Nitrous, Toxic and others. JFC had a Campaign and Allied and Axis factions, much like ACG does. JFC was however very competitive and rivalries were prone to appear, due to its competitive nature. JFC also brought in squadrons as self-contained entities, which meant they had nothing in common between them, which in turn made rivalries stronger. This setup was therefore prone to fracture, and it did so.

Dickie joined the people who left JFC, what was called Legion XIII. These guys however, were not just tired of JFC, but had grown tired of virtual flying in general, so that group stopped abruptly. The people that were left formed a single RAF squadron (No.501) and flew mostly coop missions against AI for a time, but kept the idea of a large multi-squadron online campaign in mind, but had a vision to make it less competitive and friendlier.

This is what was set about with the release of IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover in 2011. At first ACG consisted of just No. 501 Squadron, but some time later, members started signing up to fly for the Luftwaffe as well. The idea behind it was at first modest, the thought being to have one RAF squadron against one Luftwaffe squadron flying missions with AI forming the backdrop. In 2012 ACG moved to its current web location and created its forums. Very quickly the ACG experience attracted yet more virtual pilots and before long, an influx of new members necessitated the creation of further RAF and LW squadrons. ACG came into its own and really started to grow, soon adding Luftwaffe squadrons and further RAF squadrons.

ACG Today

Today, ACG consists of 15 Axis and Allied squadrons and fields in its Campaigns over 150 pilots. ACG is no longer tied to IL-2 Cliffs of Dover and has recently completed a move to the IL-2 Sturmovik: Great Battles Series. This has been crowned as a resounding success, and has proved that the ACG experience can be replicated on any combat flight simulation on the market. The future for ACG looks promising, as the flight sim community is awaiting the release of Battle of Bodenplatte for the Great Battles Series, as well as the long awaited Team Fusion 5.0 patch for IL-2 Cliffs of Dover Blitz Edition. These are already in ACG’s sights and would make prime candidates for future ACG Campaigns.

All this was achieved thanks to the dedication of ACG’s members to the Group. ACG members set aside rivalries and engage in friendly inter-squadron banter where their love for flying, aircraft and their invariable desire to have fun prevail. What the ACG structure provides is a uniform outlook on the virtual pilot mentality, providing the framework for a fun, immersive and authentic virtual flying experience, as the same ACG rules and standards are applied to all members. This makes members ‘loyal’ not so much to their respective squadrons, for which they are however immensely proud, but to the Group as a whole. We look forward to welcoming you to the Air Combat Group.

In Screenshots

One of the first images posted on the ACG forums, No.501 Squadron (2012)

Formation of Hurricanes, No.615 Squadron (2014)

Spitfire Closeup, No.64 Squadron (2015)

Rotte Free Hunt, 6./JG26 (2015)

The engine's overheating and so am I, No.501 Squadron (2015)

Eagle Day, 6./JG26 (2016)

Climbing to meet the Hun, No.32 Squadron (2016)

Trimming the trees, No.111 Squadron (2016)

Close-Up, 4./JG26 (2017)

Leaning Forward, ACG (2017)

Tally Ho!, ACG (2018)

The Switch, ACG (October 2018)

Close Call, Esk.1 of 27 IAP (2018)

Off we go, 27 IAP (2019)