So, click away the wheel chocks and start up your digital engines as we look at some of the best flight simulation packages out there. And we will start with one of the most popular. It has released several installments since, culminating in the Microsoft Flight Simulator X FSX in , widely regarded to be one of the finest flight simulator packages available.
However, with the Steam edition come many more options that look to make for an overall exciting, varied, and realistic experience. The graphics and absolute attention to details — including the textures of the surroundings — are hugely realistic. Perhaps the main gripe you might have, however, is the, at times, repetitive nature of the surroundings. This overall attention to detail, though, is replicated in the cockpit giving you, the pilot, control over every action as much as you would if you were sat in your plane for real.
Furthermore, the choice of planes is ample, with details for each individual aircraft authentic, accurate, and unique. Should you feel the need to make a tweak here or there, however, the huge editing suite allows you to just that, even allowing you to create and build your own aircraft. There are also 50 unique missions to carry out, with each mission taking you on an equally unique adventure regardless of how many times you choose it.
And of course, as it is streaming in real-time, you can find other users and compete against them, which in itself opens up a whole other realm of possible scenarios you and your virtual pilots might find yourselves in. Emirates A in FSX.
As accommodating as it is to use it is just as equally unforgiving when it comes to pushing the user in terms of the actual flying and maneuvers required to complete the various missions, which just further adds another helping of reality that makes this package all the more appealing. The overall strength of the Microsoft Steam package is in the actual flight simulation and the unique experience it presents to the user with each different aircraft. If you choose to fly a small one-engine plane, then the cockpit will look and act in sympathy with your choice.
Likewise, for a huge commercial plane or a small helicopter and so on. If it is realistic flight conditions that test your skills as a pilot you are looking for then the sometimes lack intricately detailed landscapes outside of the cockpit will likely be of little concern to you. Also, you can get it running on a Mac too with a little tweaking which you can read about here. You can download a demo version of the Microsoft Flight Simulator X here.
We also have over 23, freeware add-ons and mods for FSX which you can view in the file library here. The short video below features a demonstration of the Steam version with an Airbus add-on pack. As you fly to new destinations, that scenery changes accordingly. Or, should you feel the need, you can even start your flight mission from the middle of the ocean onboard an aircraft carrier. The movement of the waves and their effect on the ship has all been taken into account. Cessna in X-Plane There are even random weather conditions that will challenge your skills on your flights.
These use genuine weather data and are as accurate and realistic as the graphical features mentioned above. Graphically, their 3D cockpit offers a decidedly authentic feel, while their use of the blade element theory in calculating the simulation features of each individual aircraft makes it one of the most realistic in the market. This feature, incidentally, is employed when users design their own aircraft. Indeed, such links to the aviation industry seep into the overall professional feel and layout of the package. Perhaps one of the best things about the X-Plane 11 package is it is, relatively speaking, still new having only been released in Conventional wisdom should say then that an already slick, professional package can only get better with the inevitable updates and add-ons that will follow.
And a package that is already detailed in the extreme is likely to become even more so.
Take to the virtual skies with these free flight simulators
Cessna cockpit and panel in XP The Development Kit will likely head in much the same direction, allowing users to build their own aircraft to ever more precise specifications, with ever more realistically reflective performance measures. In short, a package that has consistently received high ratings and only looks to improve would be of great interest to flight simulator pilots of all experiences. It is the overall attention to detail — inside and outside of the cockpit — that makes this package stand out. You can download a demo of X-Plane 11 here.
We are also expanding our add-on and mods section to cover X-Plane 11 in greater detail - you can view the freeware X-Plane 11 add-on section here. The video below features a demonstration of what is on offer. So, if you are one of those users, this simulator package might be of interest to you - but be warned, P3Dv4 switches to total bit which makes some of the older freeware add-ons incompatible mainly gauges. Maybe what is also an enticing feature of Prepar3D is the fact it also offers a range of land and sea vehicles as well as several aircraft, including the Lockheed P Lightning, the Lockheed Constellation, and the Beechcraft King Air The package even goes a stage further, offering users the chance to ride deep under the oceans of the planet in a Neptune Submarine.
Screenshot showing aircraft in P3Dv4. DocScott from the official P3D forums. There is also great support and additional downloads with extra aircraft and scenery choices, as well as an active forum with over members. Other products are available with Prepar3D such as Model Placer, for example, which allows users to place buildings and scenery into the program. Realism is most definitely at the center of Prepar3D. There is currently no demo for Prepar3D, however, you can buy it directly from the Lockheed Martin website here.
Perhaps what is most exciting about AeroFly FS , and in particular the FS 2 package, is it is very much still a work in progress.
Flight Simulator for Mac: utamisimup.tk
In truth, the company behind the flight simulator package, German company IKARUS originally developed the software to train remote controlled flights. As the program developed it eventually included a flight component, which then morphed into the AeroFly Flight Simulation program in X-Plane can be a bear at first, but you will be doing barrel rolls with a little practice.
And a plane that can do barrel rolls. If you prefer to play on the go, X-Plane 10 is available on iOS and Android, and older versions of the software are available to purchase as downloads or USB sticks.
The best free flight simulators
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