Flight Simulator 2004 and the team behind it

The video of the Flight Simulator team is now on Channel 9. It is 41 minutes and 20 seconds long, so it's got quite a bit of stuff in it, but it's more interesting than that rerun of Law & Order my wife is watching for the 5th time. :-)

Here are a few of what I consider the highlights from the video:

  • Boeing's simulators don't have as good of graphics, but they handle more like a real airplane.
  • Some people extend Flight Sim so their own house can be in the game when they play it.
  • You can fly to and from 26,000 airports (all in the world?), including private airstrips in the US and Canada
  • They have to deal with the fact that the world isn't a perfect circle
  • They get notes and drawings from kids who design their own airplanes - that's some cool customer feedback!
  • The entire world is there, as seen from the air. There is a ton of data.
  • The sounds are recorded from the real airplane
  • The testers fly the actual airplanes, or at least their simulators, like at Boeing.
  • Sometimes a 1000 photos will be taken of an airplane so the version of it in Flight Simulator looks real
  • I've never seen a "radio stack" attached to a PC, but the video shows one. I guess if you want an experience that is like flying a real plane, then you need one.

I had no idea that so much work went into Flight Simulator, and I even had an early version in the mid-late 80's running in the family's IBM PCjr and have been following the development of it ever since. If you don't have the latest copy, then please check it out at: http://www.microsoft.com/games/flightsimulator/