" through the limited view range and the very simple AI and flight engine."
I don't think the view range is at all limited. Furthest and best horizon I have seen in any flight sim - In Instant Action,that is.
Compare with BOB in this respect, and that is the most sim of Prop sims.
Let me say that this game/sim can be put into two parts.
1.The campaign , as they call it. This is daft and if you play only this then it is arcade and nowhere near a sim.
2. Instant Action - this is something else. Like QMB in IL2 you pick scenerios, AI numbers, weather etc.
May I suggest that you unlock the planes available in Instant Action ( see a cheat available at http://gameguru.box.sk/cheat.php3?cheat=9669
and then set up with all arcade options turned off.
It would then be as difficult as qmb in IL2 without padlock!! See if the AI is as simple in that