As technically good as the ED sims are, they are still aimed at chess players ... I'm convinced that neither they (nor Oleg) ever played the older sims.
I think it's also quite likely Oleg did play the older sims. You only need to look at the number of things in the earlier IL-2 releases that were nicked straight out of the old European Air War.
IL-2's biggest innovations were graphical and proprietorial (ie the grim skill with which they impeded modding...)
Hey, my first post here in many, many years!
And the first since rediscovering my ancient SIM-HQ password.