Even if the title screen says 1980, the Cockpit model was released in May 1981. It was sold $2,795 at its release. Only 504 units were produced.
Red Baron was designed to accurately recreate World War I aerial combat. It was definitely the first flight simulator available to the public back in 1980. Red Baron was a lot like "Battlezone
" in the air. Which made a lot of sense, because Red Baron ran on almost exactly the same hardware as Battlezone (more information below), and most Red Baron Upright machines shipped in factory-converted Battlezone cabinets (they usually even have Battlezone sideart underneath the red 'Iron Cross' sideart). Unfortunately this game never did as well as Battlezone did, the game did poorly in the arcades. Maybe the world just wasn't ready for a 3-D flight simulator?
Red Baron used almost the exact same hardware as Battlezone, but not quite. Battlezone will run on Red Baron hardware with a few minor modifications, but Red Baron will not run on Battlezone hardware without a Red Baron 'auxiliary board', as the Battlezone auxiliary board did not have enough sockets for all the Red Baron ROM chips. The two games control completely different though.