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Flight Simulator 2
Flight Simulator 4
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Added: 25 May 2011
Microsoft Flight Simulator 3 improved the flight experience by adding additional aircraft and airports to the simulated area found in MSFS2, as well as improved high-res (EGA/VGA) graphics, and other features lifted from the Amiga/ST versions.
The four simulated aircraft were the Gates Learjet 25, the Cessna Skylane, the Sopwith Camel and a Schweizer glider. Flight Simulator 3 also allowed the user to customize the display; multiple windows, each displaying one of several views, could be positioned and sized on the screen. The supported views included the instrument and control panel, a map view, and various external camera angles.
Added: 24 May 2011
A flight simulator featuring three different planes, over 100 different airports and maps for major U.S. cities. Microsoft Flight Simulator also includes formation flying, a NAV system and a few other bells and whistles.
Added: 10 Jun 2012
MICROSOFT FLIGHT SIMULATOR V. 3.0
More than just a mere update of its previous versions, MICROSOFT FLIGHT
SIMULATOR V. 3.0 (FS) for the IBM PC and compatibles is totally revamped: a
quantum leap in sophistication. The end result is a flight simulator that
outdoes any other simulator on the market, and probably will for some time to
Created in response to consumer demands that the original FS keep pace with
current graphic standards (as well as with greatly increased competition fro
such programs as CHUCK YEAGER'S ADVANCED FLIGHT TRAINER, FALCON, and others), FS
offers a staggering number of environmental, graphic, view, and mode options. I
won't even attempt to go through all of them here; one could play FS for vast
periods of time and still not have explored all the situations and entertainment
features this program offers.
One popular option of recent simulators is the ability to connect via modem
with another player in order to fly in tandem or in combat against each other.
FS now supports this option, allowing direct hook-up via null modem cable, or
through conventional phone lines with Hayes-compatible modem equipment. Although
you can't engage in combat in this mode, you can still take advantage of
virtually all of FS's other options: You can send and receive messages to your
flying buddy during the course of your mutual flight, watch each other from
various vantage points and magnifications, and explore the same skyways
The graphics options cover just about any combination of display card and
monitor you can imagine, including VGA, Hercules InColor, EGA w/enhanced, RGB or
monochrome monitor, CGA w/RGB or monochrome monitor, composite color,
monochrome, liquid crystal, Tandy, two PS/2 modes, and a "custom" driver. The
appearance will be optimized to take greatest advantage of your available color
and resolution capabilities. I ran FS in two modes: CGA w/RGB monitor, and EGA
w/enhanced monitor. Even in CGA (the EGA modes weren't available on earlier
versions), the difference between the old FS and version 3.0 is immediately
noticeable: There is more detail in the scenery, and the control panel has been
rearranged to make better use of space. There are also three windows, which I'll
discuss a bit further on.
To give you an idea of the amount of new detail in FS, I'll mention a few
improvements. The old FS offered about 80 airports in the areas of New
York/Boston, Central/Northern Illinois, Seattle, and Los Angeles. The new FS
adds about 38 _more_ airports and an entire new area, San Francisco. The amount
of ground detail -- buildings, bridges, landmarks, and nighttime ground lighting
-- seems to be even denser than that of the concentrated scenery disks marketed
for use with the older FS. By the way, don't throw out those scenery disks; a
utility included in the package called "CONVERTS" turns those disks into
unprotected scenery _files_ that can be stored on a hard drive (or large
floppy). Automatic Scenery Loading permits the hybrid scenery files to be loaded
by the program automatically when you enter the appropriate airspace.
Clouds are no longer solid white masses, but rather white spheres that can
appear in varying densities. Thunderstorms can vary in severity and density, as
can Turbulence (all adjustable). Ground texture can be added (at the sacrifice
of animation speed); similarly, graphic detail can be removed to improve frame
rate (animation speed). You can also remove the default "shading" -- the
surfaces of the buildings, the planes, etc. -- and leave skeletons; this
simulates a vector-scan or CAD display and improves the frame rate.
The windows are plentiful and easy to manage. There's the large lower window
that typically displays the control panel (which can be moved up or down), the
upper large window that normally shows your view from the cockpit, plus another
small window and a map window. All the windows can be moved to different
locations on the screen and have complete zoom features: Zoom far enough out of
the map window, for example, and you can see most of the North American
continent. Any of the windows can be changed to different views: nine views from
the cockpit, one from an adjustable "spotter" plane that flies at a set distance
and angle from your Cessna or Learjet, one from the nearest control tower, and
one from a ground tracking station.
More options? We've just begun. You now have a choice of two planes: the
familiar Cessna (specifically, the Turbo Skylane RG II), and a "business" jet,
the Gates Learjet 25G. The Learjet is capable of far greater speeds (but it's
easy to go _too_ fast and lose control), allowing you to scoot around and view a
lot of scenery in a short flight. The instrumentation is very similar to the
Cessna's with the exception of some minor recalibrations to reflect the greater
power of the jet.
Another whole section of the new FS is the "entertainment" section. While the
old FS had the WW I Ace game (intact in the new version), we now have two
additional games. One is a formation flying game, in which you choose from among
seven scenarios and attempt to follow a lead plane through acrobatics. The lead
plane leaves a smoke trail to keep you on the same path. The other new challenge
is the crop-dusting game, in which you attempt to spray an area of land with
And let's not forget the extensive on-screen flight training, which takes you
through the very basics: taxiing, taking off, cruising, and landing...all the
way to advanced acrobatics. The 25 lessons that make up the entire tutorial are
well-documented in the manual, and each lesson can be used two ways. You can
watch the simulator execute the maneuvers with running commentary, or you can
perform the maneuvers yourself and get feedback from the program. I wasn't alone
in the feeling that the original FS was nearly impossible to fly _well_ from the
cursory instructions in the old manual; these lessons are another staggering
Okay, enough of the boundless praise. FS 3.0 comes unprotected on two 5-1/4"
disks _or_ one 3-1/2" disk (be sure to check the label to see which format
you're getting). The program can be transferred to a hard drive, working backup
floppies, or different-sized disks, using normal DOS commands. Included in the
package are the hefty main manual, the quick-reference booklet (eight pages -- a
lot for a quick-reference guide), and detailed charts of the five areas included
in the scenery. The main manual is more readable overall than its predecessor
(and certainly offers more flight instruction), but it's traditionally bound.
The older manual was spiral-bound, making it easier to lay flat in front of you
as you use the program.
And since that's just about the only criticism I have, I guess I've made my
feelings clear by now. So stop reading and get flying!
MICROSOFT FLIGHT SIMULATOR V. 3.0 is published and distributed by Microsoft,
*****DOWNLOADED FROM P-80 SYSTEMS (304) 744-2253
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