Microsoft Flight Simulators was one of the the most popular flight simulator ever created. MFS 1.0 was launched in 1982 followed by 12 other editions ending with the Microsoft FSX in 2006.
On July 9, 2014, Dovetail Games have announced Microsoft had granted them rights to develop the next Flight Simulator in the series. Dovetail Games also announced the release of Flight Simulator X: Gold Edition on Steam for late 2014 named Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition.
I believe this simulator is one of the best flight teaching program for general public ever created. The flying area encompasses planet Earth with varying degrees of detail and includes over 24,000 airports.
In my opinion,what makes Microsoft FSX special is its LEARNING CENTER.Here are some of the features included here:
AIRCRAFT INFORMATION:Learn about the history,technical specifications and tips about flying a wide range of aircraft,including helicopters, a sailplane,seaplanes,an acrobatic plane,military and business-class aircraft,airliners
WEATHER:Learn how does the weather influence the aircrafts in flight.You can chose between pre-built weather systems that are centered on the current location of your aircraft or download the weather conditions from the web (real-world weather,updated every 15 minutes)
NAVIGATION:Use the incorporated Flight Planner for your routes.This will even suggest you a cruising altitude,provides navigation aid frequences for your rout,provides estimated times between waypoints and keeps track of all these items in the Navigation Log.
AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL:This is another unique features for Microsoft FSX and it will help you learn what is Air Traffic Control (ATC),understand airspace,traffic patterns and airport ATC operations.If you prefer,you can act as a Tower Controller reading the radar and directing aircrafts in the multiplayer version of the simulator.
COCKPIT BASICS:Learn about airspeed indicator,altimeter,altitude indicator,heading indicator(directional gyro),turn coordinator and vertical speed indicator.You will learn how to use these instruments and also,a few common controls,such as trim and flaps.
ENGINE:Learn to control the engine of an aircraft using the throttle,the mixture and the propeller.
RADIOS:Lear how to use an aircraft radio and how to communicate with the air traffic control
GARMIN G1000:Learn how to use the Garmin G1000 glass cockpit, atool that has revolutionized the General Aviation
SCENERY: You will have the freedom to fly over the world most famous landmarks and monuments.More than that,just like in the real world,the scenery changes with the seasons.
The scenery represent major landmarks and popular cities.Landscape are pretty accurate but the details become sparse as game play moves away from population centers.
The three latest versions incorporate sophisticated weather simulation along with the ability to download real world weather data.
There are also many free or commercial additions of this game made by third parties or fans. For example, watch this interesting video made by a fan of Microsoft FSX. From my point of view, this is an excellent example that ,with a little imagination and “thinking out-of-the-box” attitude, you can find many applications and developments of aviation related themes.
Microsoft FSX has 50 missions to accomplish and a wide range of airports to visit.You can complete point-to-point objectives and skill-based tests or just fly around the world.
One of my favorite features of this flight simulators are the assisted flight lessons.For a child (and not only) it is much easier to learn flying when there is an instructor voice along.
Where to buy Microsoft FSX?
Unfortunately,Microsoft FSX was discontinued so you will have to search for it on-line if you want the CD version.
The other option is to purchase the this game on STEAM.Here is a trailer for this version of Microsft FSX:
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