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Microsoft Flight Simulator - New Ideas - New Beginnings

Microsoft Flight Simulator - New Ideas - New Beginnings

By MrYorkiesWorld


Hello everyone, my name isMrYorkiesWorld. I've been writing articles and content forFlightSim.Com for quite some time now, and I'm extremely excited to bewriting this article at a time when we are about to enter into yetanother extremely exciting time in the world of flight simulation. Isay "about", because even though the simulator is now released, therewill likely be an ever-expanding growth to it with regards to updates,fixes, improvements and third-party developer content!

The History of MrYorkiesWorld & Flight Simulation


It has been around 37 years since the very first Microsoft FlightSimulator was released for IBM compatible PCs. Microsoft FlightSimulator 1.0 was released all the way back in November 1982, whenthings looked very different to what they do today (see imageabove).

For me, Flight Simulation became something of a favourite hobby ofmine around 2002 - 2003, when Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: ACentury of Flight was released. I then moved on to the newer versionsas soon as they became available and also tested out the previousversions right back to the very first. Obviously, the hardware backthen ran pretty well, without the need to render too many complicatedtasks, which is very different to the story we tell today in ourcommunity!

In 2014, or around that time, I began making YouTube content aimedat Flight Simulation. I would carefully watch and learn as otherflight simulation enthusiasts such as Matt Davies, Chewwy94 and othersshowed us how to fly aircraft around the virtual skies in a morerealistic way than what I was used to. My love for the hobby onlyincreased from there.


Modern-Day Simming

Both Lockheed Martin and Laminar Research have graced us withamazing simulators over the years, with the latest being Prepar3D V5,and X-Plane 11. These simulators are both very advanced platformsallowing us to simulate real-world flights in a very realistic andaccurate fashion.

I've never been a fan of comparing one simulator to another, butMicrosoft Flight Simulator 2020 literally blows everything else we'veseen out of the water. Coming from someone who has seen most versionsof the Flight Simulator series, as well as simulators not related toMicrosoft at all, I can say first hand that my experience with theAlpha, Beta, Preview Build, and now the released version, has openedmy eyes wider than anything else.

With P3D and X-Plane we see sophisticated systems, weather add-ons,texture packs, sound packs, add-on aircraft and scenery, plus 3rdparty airports to name just a few, which help enhance the baseplatform. However, nobody would have thought that Microsoft would thencome up with something such as Flight Simulator (2020), which comespacked with many of the features mentioned above as standard.

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In today's society, flight simulation is getting more and morecomplex and accurate, with professional pilots using flight simulationplatforms alongside lifelike physical/motion simulators. This allowspeople the chance to get as close as it gets to the real thing,especially in terms of flight planning and preparation. On top ofthis, we can also safely train for all eventualities, such as enginefailures, pressurisation issues and missed approaches, without everneeding to put ourselves in any real danger.

The Features Of Microsoft Flight Simulator

We all know by now that Microsoft Flight Simulator brings with itan entirely different set of flight dynamics, features andpossibilities. One of the main features is the world map, which iscaptured via Bing Maps, and then translated properly to reflectreal-world buildings, landmarks, roads, rivers and water bodies. Thisis all done in a way we have never seen before, and is bound toimprove over time.

From my experience, the scenery available in the simulator is good,but there is obviously a lot of room for improvement. I think a lot ofpeople fail to take into consideration that compared to X-Plane andP3D, the "stock" scenery found in Microsoft Flight Simulator is secondto none. You simply will not find the level of detail and accuracystraight out of the box in any other simulator platform, and I'd bewilling to argue with anyone on that fact having seen first-hand thedifferences.

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Another fantastic feature of the simulator is the ability to planyour flight quickly, easily and efficiently - selecting any of the37,000+ airports in the world, with any of the departures, runways andgates that you choose. The simulator then allows you to plan yourflight to your destination in a number of ways. No longer is there anabsolute need to pay extra for other flight planning utilities.

Of course, buying a more advanced flight planning utility is alwaysan option, and I, like many others, will probably go down this routejust for the realism. However the fact is, the simulator comes withits own system which is far more accurate and advanced than most ofthe other freeware options currently available on the otherplatforms.

Microsoft Flight Simulator seems to feature a very accurate flightmodel despite a few teething problems, which hopefully, will be ironedout over time. This is of course aided by the fact that sloped runwaysare now included in the simulator.

We've seen sloped runways in other simulators such as X-Plane, andnow in P3D V5, but never before have I seen such accurate runwayfriction like we have in the new simulator. Not only this, but otherforces such as wind effects are a lot more accurate, not to mentionthe new environmental effects such as icing on the windshield andaround the aircraft. All of these features help make the simulatorincredibly immersive.

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My Dislikes In The Simulator

If I had to pick something I'm not too keen on in terms offunctionality, it's the camera system built into the simulator. Forsomeone like myself who has been used to using ChasePlane for my views(provides a lot more customization), I can honestly say the existingcamera system is terrible. The views are very limited, and there arejust way too many buttons you have to press in order to get the sameresults you would in ChasePlane.

In addition to this, the existing camera system (aside from theDrone - the Drone is amazing) seems too clunky and buggy. For example,there is currently a bug which causes the camera to pan to a randomangle when you're trying to load a custom saved camera, which meansyou're forced to then "Reset" your view via the in-sim menu. This hascaused a lot of issues for me in longer flights where I've been tryingto make a video, as it makes the video look rushed or not editedcorrectly.

In terms of other things I don't like about the simulator, it wouldhave to be the flight dynamics on a few of the big jets. This might bebecause I'm so used to flying PMDG aircraft in P3D, which is acompletely different simulator. However, I just feel that the flightdynamics mimic (to a degree), what it would be like to fly a plane onthe moon, or perhaps....underwater. Suffice to say, things just don'tfeel quite right at the moment. Again, this is likely something thecommunity will help sort out by suggesting fixes and reporting issuesto Microsoft.

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Aside from that, I don't really have any other gripes about FS2020- I'm more than happy with the scenery, the performance (minus thestuttering) and the potential the new sim has, and I can't wait to seewhat new and exciting roads Microsoft's new breakthrough simulatorwill take us down!


This is probably going to be my favourite part of the article, andfor good reason. I have been sitting here quietly, waiting ever sincegetting access to the Alpha build of the simulator, for people tostart claiming that they are able to get 4K 60 FPS on Ultrasettings.

Even before the simulator was released, it was being claimedonline, and even now in fact, that beefy machines such as those with a9900k CPU and an RTX 2080TI, will be able to run the simulator in 4Kand Ultra, and still get 60 FPS.

This is a subject I've spent a lot of time arguing about with agreat many people, and one that now (finally) seems to be gettingaccepted; you simply cannot run this simulator at completely maxed outsettings, whilst at the same time getting 60 FPS at 4K resolution. Thereason? Simple; the simulator is insanely power-hungry.

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I find that running the simulator at "High" settings, with ani9-9900k running at 4.7 GHz (no Hyperthreading), 32 GB of RAM, a 2080Tiand separate SSD's for my OS, and even then, the simulator can stillbe a challenge. In densely populated areas, I sometimes get below30 FPS, which is fine for me (as long as it's smooth I don't reallycare).

There are videos out there claiming to have the sim running at 4Kon Ultra with 60 FPS, however they are missing one vital component -they don't actually show us inside the virtual cockpit, with a highlydense area, and bad weather!

If we also factor in that they are clearly only using stockaircraft, and not something insanely detailed such as a PMDG product,I think it's very clear that these people are deceiving their viewers,and will more than likely learn the hard way when purchasing highfidelity add-ons.

Aside from all of this, I find that by using "High" settings, withmaybe one or two things set to "Ultra", seems to work well for smoothflight in 1080p at 60 Hz. By doing this, I get around 20 - 40 FPS invery dense areas, and between 50 and 60 FPS at all other times.

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Summing Up

This is not a review, but I think it's clear to see that MicrosoftFlight Simulator 2020, in my opinion, is a major step forward in thenext generation of flight simulation. Judging by what I haveexperienced so far, I think it's safe to say that we can look forwardto many years of enjoyment with this amazing new sim. Thepossibilities truly are endless, and despite the issues the newsimulator has (the first patch at time of writing, is almost ready), Ithink we have a really exciting future ahead of us.

I would highly recommend anyone who is interested in flightsimulation, or aviation in general, to try Flight Simulator 2020, itreally is that good.

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Many thanks to the team at FlightSim.Com, and also at Microsoft forproviding me with a copy of the simulator. What an amazing ride it'sbeen so far...and the best thing about it...we've only just takenoff...

It truly is a remarkable time to be a flight simmer!


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