Flight Simulator History
Its name quite clearly indicates what Flight Simulator is about: simulating
Microsoft have a huge experience in developing this very popular kind of personal
computer software, showing this by their slogan "As Real as it Gets".
They simply named their software "Flight Simulator", as they were
the first to design commercial flight simulation software for use on home computers.
Although there are a few other commercial flight simulation programs now, Microsoft
have always been the most popular around the world in this type of software.
The first Flight Simulator - called FS1 - was designed in 1978 and marketed
in 1979. This was done by an individual, not by Microsoft, who took over a
later, in 1982. These first versions were as you will understand very very
simple and not at all like the Flight Simulators that we know today. Many
have since then followed, each time with increasing realism and fast growing
popularity. Today we are up to FS2004, also called FS A century of Flight
/ ACOF (because it's 100 years ago since man first flew),.. which this site
is all about. (see
links: FS History)
Flight Simulator Today
Nowadays Microsoft Flight Simulator - also called MS Flight Simulator or just
MSFS - is used by millions of people all around the world. Some see it as
game and some as a professional simulation. Now that flight simulation can
get so close to reality and is able to simulate aircraft and environments
so well, it is also more and more used by aviation professionals as an extra
(inexpensive!) training tool. It allows the exact simulation of all kinds
emergencies and aircraft systems failures and even makes is possible to find
out aircraft performance limits and the results of crossing these limits.
all that, MSFS includes over 20,000 actual airports and even more navigational
aids (navaids, VOR/NDB/ADF/etc.) worldwide, with actual locations, headings,
frequencies, which enables simulating any real-world route.
Microsoft of course aim for the large public, keeping FS simple enough for
the beginner, but at the same time providing an advanced simultion for the
(virtual) pilot. They can keep the cost of this product reasonably
low while providing most fantastic graphics and amazing realism.
Flight Simulator Community
Since the "technological revolution" in the 90's bringing faster
computers and fast advancing technology, Flight Simulator has followed closely
this new speed. The "digital revolution" or "internet revolution"
has enabled enthusiasts from all over the world to gather online 24/7 and talk
about their shared hobby, forming many communities and websites. The last
years many download resources have arised providing many excellent free downloadable
add-ons such as aircraft, aircraft panels, realistic sound packages, airports,
scenery of almost any part of the world (designed by local FS fans) and much
more. The internet allows for quick, unlimited and widespread sharing of information
and files and today even for flying together with thousands of people on one
network (over the internet) in a shared virtual airspace, controlled by virtual
ATC (air traffic control, provided by real people using special "radar
client" software). (see links: IVAO /
VATSIM / ProController / ASRC)
-> Read more about
the latest Flight Simulator: FS2004