CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Pilot Magazine today CLICK HERE

An Initial Review of Flight Simulator 2004 – A century Of Flight

PUBLISHED: 23:20 17 July 2003 | UPDATED: 13:44 10 October 2012

The first part in a series of reviews covering Flight Simulator 2004.

Microsoft Flight Simulator – perhaps the most well known title in computer flight simulation – has gone gold. The developers have finalised the program, which will be on sale in UK high street stores early August. This latest release, version 9, has been billed as the most realistic ever with many new innovations and the Pilot review team take a first look into how the program meets the demands of flight sim enthusiasts and pilots.

Flight Simulator 2004 has been given the title "A Century of Flight" with this being the centenary year when that first powered flight at Kitty Hawk took place and spawned a century of innovation that was to significantly change the world in which we live today. This version of the program contains many new features and several new aircraft reflecting that development in aviation technology. Much improved usability over previous versions is evident, aiming at a broader range of users.

On loading the program, users will notice two fundamental changes over FS2002 – the starting location and the weather. By default users are positioned at Seattle-Tacoma airport, and the weather environment has had a radical makeover. The Weather deserves a review in it’s own right (to follow), given the complex nature of a totally re-written module but, in brief, users can expect to see the kind of weather real world pilots would find – from haze to fog, from fair weather to rapidly building storms, with the emphasis on more user control over a totally dynamic system. A weather system that’s modelled on actual physical characteristics is what the programmers have created; an ever-changing scenario is what the flight sim pilot can expect. The rendering of cloud formations has been improved. They have density, volume and transparency, and flying in and around cumulus pilots can expect a little light chop – or more significant turbulence in the vacinity of a thunderstorm.

To view more screen shots click here...

More from Techniques & Training

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Extend your hours of operation with a journey into night − the rating can be gained in as little as five hours and, if you’re lucky with the weather, three evenings of dual and solo flying | Words: Tony Cutty

Read more
Friday, October 12, 2018

The saying goes: ‘if there’s any doubt, there’s no doubt’. But sometimes we learn this the hard way | Words: James Anderson

Read more
Thursday, September 27, 2018

We’d entered cloud inadvertently and were climbing to avoid high ground, so why did the aircraft suddenly sound and feel so very strange? | By Alistair Macpherson

Read more
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

How air-brained are you? Test your general aviation knowledge on matters including safety, history, training or anything related to flying! Compiled by James Allan

Read more
Friday, August 24, 2018

Only my second visit, a frisky Learjet, and snow ‘patches’ on the runway – what fun we could have! | By Linton Chilcott

Read more
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

How air-brained are you? Test your general aviation knowledge on matters including safety, history, training or anything related to flying! Compiled by James Allan

Read more
Friday, June 29, 2018

Showing off to his mates while not paying enough attention to the aeroplane was almost the last thing this pilot ever did | By Charlie Huke

Read more
Friday, June 15, 2018

Covering all the points when briefing non-flying onlookers is essential; how they receive that information is variable... By Tony Dring

Read more
Friday, June 15, 2018

How air-brained are you? Test your general aviation knowledge on matters including safety, history, training or anything related to flying! Compiled by James Allan

Read more
Friday, June 8, 2018

A pilot with limited Tiger Moth experience gets a rude awakening when he ignores that little creeping doubt at the back of his mind | Words: Peter Binks

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Pilot weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Subscribe or buy Pilot Magazine