|- World wide scenery, 3D terrain & auto-generated objects
- Jeppesen accurate navigational data
- 24,000 different airports
- Flight analysis & playback
- Instructor Station - two PCs linked up: one is instructor and controls environment,
- Multiplayer capability
|- dynamic weather system with 3D (moving) clouds
- weather themes
- enhanced ATC function
- Interactive 3D cockpits
- taxiway & runway signs
- Garmin GPS (color map, apt/fac. data)
- full-color map view with terrain display
- support for 3D views on multiple screens
- learning center - extensive manual and handbooks on disc
- new and improved lessons
The thing that we probably noticed first was the many added historical aircraft.
This is of course the theme of this new flight simulator version, wearing
the additional title
"A Century of Flight". MS have really done their best working on
these aircraft and trying to give them realistic dynamics and visuals.
The next big thing is the weather - especially the clouds which are 3D and
forming and dissipating - and they have published many screenshots about this
, a very important
There is no real HUGE change or totally new features, but MS have worked on
the improvement of many different things. For example the ATC feature ,which
many more features
than before and is a lot more realistic than the FS2002 version.
Fortunately for many people the flying lessons are back, providing a great
opportunity to work on your flying skills and learn a lot more about aviation
as well in
the learning center. This is a special kind of website on one of the FS2004
CDs (4 in total this time!), which provides a lot of material: ground school
topics for the lessons, many different aviation
subjects, aircraft handbooks, the history of FS and aviation from its beginning
in 1903, regular FS manuals and more.
Also a very useful addition, is the taxiways and runway signs. Airports just
aren't complete without those signs. Now you can just look out of your window
(in the 3D cockpit!) and follow the airport signs when taxiing, instead of that
weird purple path ("follow the path drawn on the taxiway", this is
still available though). For online flights (IVAO/VATSIM - see
links) this may also come in quite useful.
The number of airports btw used to be 22,000 in FS2002, so there are
2,000 new airports added to the worldwide airports database: 24,000 in FS2004.
To make airports more complete MS also added more auto-generated objects,
3D, and more AI traffic. Too bad there are no moving people and busses and
so, but that is just so much work, that had better be spent on working on
like the weather, GPS or 3D cockpits. If you like such things, there are some
add-ons available for that. But remember, FS has had really huge progress
the last few years, so the future sure looks good for flight sim fans! We cannot
wait until FS2006 comes out! ;-))
-> Read more about FS2004...