Go dig out your Original Nintendo and play 1942. Great game, and historical to boot!
Oh man, some of the most annoying sound effects in the history of gaming. DING! DING! DING! DING!
1943: The Battle of Midway is a much better choice for that series, mostly because the sound effects don't drive you certifiably insane. But it also has some improved gameplay and graphics.
But I'm not sure that's what he's looking for anyways. He seemed to describe he wanted a flying game with full 360 degree 3D control, not a 2D shoot-em up.
Some great ones, IMO:
Descent 1 & 2 for PC. They're older games, so the graphics may look a bit dated, but they're fun as hell if you don't mind. You pilot a space-ship that is sent into asteroid mines to take out rogue miner bots that have gone bad. But the multiplayer COMPLETELY out-strips the single-player. Back when everyone else was playing Goldeneye, I was rocking Descent which had MUCH smoother controls and a far better framerate. Both local network multiplayer, and online multiplayer. They still sell these old games via GoG.com.
If you have a PS1 or a PS2, then Colony Wars is another great one. Again, the graphics are pretty-dated, but if you like old-school games, then no problem. And the gameplay is a little slower than Rogue Squadron or Descent. It also feels a little bit more "military". But nice open space missions with free flight controls.
StarFox Assault on GameCube is a great choice, too. Unlike the it's predecessors in the series, you actually get to control where you're ship flies, rather than it being on invisible rails. And the graphics looks fantastic for the GameCube. But like Rogue Squadron 3, there are sections that you have to get out of your ship on foot.
And probably the best suggestion I have, is Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge for the original XBox. It has an adventure-movie like setting (think The Mummy or Indiana Jones) in the 1930s. You are a pilot looking to make a few bucks. You take on random missions when take out invading enemy forces, take out this target, or fight this other plane. As you earn money, you can upgrade your plane, buy new planes, and upgrade your Zeppelin air-base. Some pretty impressive graphics for the originals XBox, too.
And if you want to go really old-school, there's always the classic After Burner on Sega Master System and After Burner II on Sega Genesis!