The consumer product launch of the Microsoft Flight Simulator in 1982 could be viewed as the beginning of the evolution of PC games for entertainment to full featured simulations used today for general aviation education and pilot training programs.
A computer simulation involves interaction with a user interface or input device – such as a joystick, controller, keyboard, or motion sensing device, and engages mathematical modelling to predict the behavior and outcomes of real-world physical systems. The reliability of some mathematical models can be determined by comparing their results to the real-world outcomes they aim to predict.
A computer game involves interaction with a user interface or input device – such as a joystick, controller, keyboard, or motion sensing device – to generate visual feedback. Game results are designed to maximize entertainment and not necessarily model real-world characteristics or outcomes of actions.
When Microsoft announced the release of Flight Simulator 2020, this event marked forty years of development of a product that started as an entertaining aviation game and evolved into today's fully featured educational flight simulation and aviation educational application.
In December 2020, Microsoft added support for Virtual Reality headsets, significantly increasing the degree of realism and immersion when engaged in a flight.
Can you learn real-world flight skills while engaging with Microsoft's Flight Simulation application?
A growing chorus of General Aviation (GA) and commercial pilots agree that engaging selected application content and content provided by third-party providers can provide an aviation learning experience while being entertained.
GA and commercial airline pilots have reported a variety of educational use cases that MSFS fulfills.
As a GA student pilot focused on sailplane recreational flights, I'm looking forward to the release of the first sailplanes that will be a part of the 40th Anniversary release in November 2022.
Using my HP Reverb G2 VR headset and my PCVR rig, I'm looking forward to many hours of learning and entertainment as I fly solo and with other pilots using MSFS.
Commercial airline pilots have reported on and demonstrated using MSFS for flight orientation and training use cases.
Into the Blue Simulations provided a full and comprehensive failure scenario, using the Fenix Airbus A320 for Microsoft Flight Simulator (MSFS).
The training flight features the pilot engaging in a charter flight service from London's Gatwick airport (EGKK) landing at Palma de Mallorca (LEPA).
In future updates of this blog, I'll feature sailplane edutainment flights, and more.