I have been flying Microsoft Flight simulator since FS2 on the Commodore 64 in 1986 and the latest version - FS2020 is an absolute work of art. The scenery, lighting, weather and accuracy is jaw dropping. Due to the level of accuracy with which the entire planet has been recreated the quantity of data is too large for any single PC so Microsoft set up a global network of servers that stream the relevant scenery to you in real time as you fly over it.
It still astounds me away everytime I run it - especiallyin VR. Back in 1986 on the Commodore 64 huddled over the 14 inch black and white portable tv in my bedroom I never even dreamed that this level of realism would be possible on a home PC.
As the years went by I discovered VATSIM which provides real world style air traffic control in the flight simulator world. It’s hard to describe just how much this adds to the immersion of flying the simulator and how impressive it can be.
There are even people who build replica cockpits and simulators in a spare room of their house that come pretty darned close to replicating world simulators used for airline training. Watch this and be genuinely astounded at what is possible.
We’re now into an era (in fact we have been since about 2000) where home simulators are a genuinely useful training tool for aspiring pilots. The cost of owning your own aeroplane has always made it unaffordable for most, the benefit of home simulation is that pretty much anybody can ‘own’ a billionaires collection of aeroplanes from a vintage warbird to a 747 and can fly them anywhere in the world they choose. Wanna take your Spitfire through the Grand Canyon at sunset? - you can, wanna land a 747 into Heathrow on a beautiful summer afternoon? - you can, heck you can even indulge your fantasies of being Maverick and flying an F/A-18 out of Miramar…
Now where did I put those Ray-Ban’s???
Who else here enjoyed flight-sim and do you remember the old days of low res graphics?
FS2 on C64