Microsoft's Flight Simulator 40th Anniversary Sim Update 11 marked yet another milestone in the development of the iconic game turned true-to-life flight simulator.
Virtual and real-world pilots have been eagerly awaiting for this release, to access new aircraft, airports, boat simulations, activities, tutorials, bug fixes and technical innovations.
Significant improvements to Live weather, including atmospheric condition modeling, aerodynamic flight modeling and air traffic conditions continued to progress MSFS use case as an aviation study level application.
The majority of end user reviews I read were impressed with the 40th Anniversary release's new capabilities, features, updates and previous issue resolutions.
As a general aviation enthusiast and fixed-wing sailplane student pilot, the 40th Anniversary Edition release provided me with long-awaited capabilities and features.
Updates to the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and thermal modeling and 3D airflow display paved the way for the release of two brand new glider aircraft.
In addition to the GotFriends Schempp-Hirth Discus2c Standard and Premium sailplanes, the 40th edition release added DG Aviation's single seat LS8-18 and DG-1001E Neo dual-seat sailplane, equipped with an electric sustainer motor.
Discus-2c Premium. The Discus-2c is a single-seat, high-performance sailplane by German glider manufacturer Schempp-Hirth. The sailplane also comes in a front electric sustainer version (FES).
Like real-world gliding, sounds created by gliders interacting with wind, clouds, and weather are now a part of simulated glider flight. Sound effects for final approach and landing have been improved.
The new DG Aviation glider flight deck instrumentation includes a Variometer. A Vario provides audio feedback that tells glider pilots a relative rate of altitude climb or descent, based on the aircraft's interaction with cloud thermals and air flows in and around geographic features.
Winch and tow plane launch at any airport are supported for DG Aviation gliders. Native winch and tow plane support is not provided for third-party add-on gliders. Fifteen glider airports were also added as part of the release.
New glider tutorials are also part of the 40th Anniversary Release. Aviation enthusiasts and pilots of conventional aircraft need to be educated and oriented to the different flight dynamics that govern fixed-wing glider piloting.
New tutorial missions for glider pilots include Aerotow, Winch Launch Training, Basic Handling, Slipping Approach and Landing, Thermal Identification and Ridge Soaring.
Bravo to Microsoft and Asobo for providing glider tutorials to accompany the introduction of the two new sailplanes. End user training and orientation should never be treated as an afterthought or an optional nice-to-have feature in mission-critical applications like aviation flight training.
A new glider activity, Cumo Lake Italy Soaring, is part of the release for an added thrill for glider pilots.
Key to the MSFS use case as a study level aviation application is the ability for a pilot to complete a pre-flight walk around inspection of an aircraft.
As real-world aviators perform pre-flight checks to identify flight control and other potential safety issues with an aircraft, virtual pilots can also detect problems with their virtual aircraft during a virtual inspection of the aircraft and the real-world physical peripheral flight control bindings and configurations.
With the addition of the FSRealistic add-on, MSFS capability as a Study Level application significantly improves.
With FSRealistic installed, walk around pre-flight aircraft checks are now possible, adding to the true-to-life realism that will progress MSFS in the minds of experienced virtual and real-world glider pilots.
FSRealistic provides a host of other significant realism effects that will enhance your 2DPC or virtual reality FSIM experience.
The FSRealistic application software v2.0.1 release fully supports MSFS 2DPC mode. Support for virtual reality is presently in beta testing by the community.
The FSRealistic application online manual provides installation, configuration, and test instructions.
Additional support via an online community forum and email is provided. A webpage provides software release information, including new features, fixed issues and current known issues.
Based on the capabilities, features, level, and quality of end-user support, FSRealistic appears to be a first-class application that will deliver significant value to your MSFS study, practice, and enjoyment of your FSIM experience.
Most reviewers and end user first impressions agreed that the free 40th Anniversary Sim Update 11 software release delighted MSFS end users.
I believe MSFS Update11 marks a turning point for the product. More aviation schools and instructors will seriously begin to consider the MSFS platform as a study tool and practice adjunct to commercial FAA approved training programs and commercial simulators.
I believe that the sailplane glider community will begin to benchmark MSFS more actively to Condor2, the premier FSIM application for the glider pilot community.
The Condor flightsim application was invaluable when I was engaging my real-world glider pilot education and training. I'm looking forward to reading comparative reviews of MSFS vs. Condor2 flight simulator application, as users of both simulators gain experience with MSFS.