July 25, 2007
I recently upgraded my home computer and finally have the processing power to play the most recent versions of popular Flight Simulators. I know that X-Plane is extremely popular but I opted for Flight Simulator X Deluxe Edition mainly for one reason. I grew up playing the first version of SubLogic Flight Simulator then moved into the Microsoft Flight Simulator 2 (Right). I remember fondly reading a flight simulator manual that gave me my first taste of aviation and started to not only build my love affair with flying but also my aviation knowledge. I recall flying out of Meigs field and joy riding over pixelized lines that showed a few of the sites of Chicago. I decided to reward Microsoft for the years of enjoyment they provided me back then by trying out the latest installment in the series.
Boy, have times changed. I had fun today looking at a history of Microsoft Flight Simulators on Wikipedia. Amazing to see the changes in the quality of animations. I can only imagine how much more realistic flight simulators will be like in the future.
I have really enjoyed flying around my favorite airports this past week. To improve the game play I have been using a xBox 360 controller but may someday have to invest in a yoke and rudder pedals. Last night I decided to conduct a comparison experiment in which I would fly a virtual flight mimicking a an actual flight I had flown and documented.
A little over a year ago I took a flight from Lincoln Park Airport in New Jersey, through the Hudson river corridor to New York City and back in a glass cockpit Cessna 172SP. When I did the original flight I took several photos, so I loaded up the glass cockpit Cessna 172SP in the simulator and flew an almost exact route hoping to capture similar photos from the virtual world. Below I have put photos from the actual flight with a similar photo from the virtual flight. I was amazed how realistic the scenery is, especially the cockpit imagery.