View Full Version : A First Look at Microsoft’s New Flight Simulator

Hal Bryan
09-30-2019, 05:55 AM
Here’s my take (which was embargoed until today) after I had a look at it about 10 days ago.


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09-30-2019, 06:01 AM
That's a nice article, Hal. And your comparisons with FSX are very helpful, too. Looks as if it'll be a very interesting "update" to the series, even if a bit overdue. Too bad this wasn't around a year ago, since my real and sim flying buddy for over 40 years passed away last spring, and he'd have loved it, too. Meantime, I'm looking forward to more info -- it might even force me to replace my 9 year old computer, which still does fairly well on FSX and P3D V2.

And for a slightly different take on it, here's a rather lengthy article on Ars Technica (https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2019/09/the-new-ms-flight-simulator-taught-me-how-to-fly-an-actual-plane/) about the new sim.

Jim Rosenow
10-03-2019, 09:20 AM
Thanks for the article, Hal....this could be a major game-changer!!

Among other things, we use our sim as an adjunct to RW pilot training.. I pretty much abandoned P3D in favor of XP11 around v3.? because of the ability to run on Linux. Then XP11 on Win10 because of the RXP GTN 650/750s being Win-only; As you know, they mimic the Garmin GTN units 100 percent. Currently running a couple of fairly hefty networked computers with big TV's, a touchscreen for the RXP units, and home-built switch panels. It's much easier to teach folks to run their 'new' avionics and do procedures training with a pause button.

If MS pulls this together, it will totally change the landscape of the sim world! Any word on timeline for availability?


Hal Bryan
10-08-2019, 07:32 AM
It's much easier to teach folks to run their 'new' avionics and do procedures training with a pause button.


If MS pulls this together, it will totally change the landscape of the sim world! Any word on timeline for availability?


Jim -

Officially, all they've committed to is 2020. There are rumors that it will be November of 2020, but they're unsubstantiated, and hitting alpha (their current milestone) a year before a planned release date would be pretty unusual, so I'm expecting it to be much sooner than that.

The best answer I've heard about release dates, though, is, "not until it's ready." In my day (says the old codger), we didn't always have that luxury. We had to be wrapping it up in late September so we could RTM (release to manufacturing) in October, getting discs burned and stuffed into boxes in time for Christmas. Without that pressure, they really should be able to just wait and release it when it's ready.

Best -


Jim Heffelfinger
02-06-2020, 12:15 PM
Well Hal, Any word on the release date? Or any tid-bits? Throw me a bone here.....

02-06-2020, 12:37 PM
I'm not Hal, but I've been following some discussion on flightsim.com (https://www.flightsim.com/vbfs/forum.php), which includes some demonstration videos. Scroll down to the section called Microsoft Flight Simulator, just above the section called FSX.

Hal Bryan
02-07-2020, 04:32 PM
I'm not Hal ...

I am! :) That said, I don't have any new information about release dates or pricing or anything like that. Just "this year."

I certainly saw enough at the preview event to tell you that I do believe it will be well worth the wait!

Yeah, I know that doesn't help any.

Jim Heffelfinger
02-08-2020, 11:47 AM
....go to the source ... I know Hal will be on this like... well, you know what.

04-03-2020, 10:44 AM
MS-FS 2020 is now on my 5 year old ALIENWARE.

08-25-2020, 12:05 PM
MS-FS 2020 is now on my 5 year old ALIENWARE.

08-27-2020, 03:15 AM
Reading the reviews, I noticed that the special detail of weather conditions is particularly admirable. All weather conditions are very real!

08-27-2020, 02:24 PM
And all I need is a Cray to run it!

08-29-2020, 08:38 AM
Is there any movement to adapting EAA Virtual Flight Academy to FS2020, or progress to working with X-Plane?

08-29-2020, 09:57 AM
The AMAZON marketplace source I tried to buy an updated controller from turned out to be not just be fraudulent but in spite of a promise to refund after AMAZON got the item cancelled has not taken off the rushed overcharge off my sister's credit card.

08-31-2020, 02:49 PM
I found some tips on how to bind the controls on the Logitech 2.4 Freedom stick and now I at least have a throttle and pitch, roll and yaw. The picture in the actual flights is still of a ?. The AI is not able to avoid vehicles on the taxiiways so one really needs to jump out to a usable controller. Just working on checklists and the ground portion until I had a useable in flight control for large movements beyond autopilot.

08-31-2020, 04:47 PM
And word as to whether the new version will be "back compatible" as far as aircraft are concerned? Will one be able to use or convert aircraft from earlier versions of the program?

Ron Wanttaja

09-05-2020, 03:52 AM
I've made one good parking ramp to parking ramp flight from Sedona to LAX in a Cessna CJ-4 using the the Black Knight AI. I saved it in XBox Stored Games. All VFR flight with real weather and found that though it wants to fly at 8600 feet it will go to just under 10,000 to clear mountains at as little as 100 feet if necessary.

Trying to pull off this trick again from Chicago O'hare to San Fancisco Oakland I found that the AI can do excellent terrain following (TF) it falls short on nearby upslopes to the starboard as terrain avoidance. Wow! Those haircuts were amazing! Afternoon, in the mountain wave area on the back side of the Sierras is a place for sailplanes.

Yesterday, with the 787 back in the stable after it had disappeared except as the flight I began after a reload to get rid of some blackscreens on start , my real flight from Austin, Texas to Heathrow in 2016 gave me some checkpoints on a runway to runway from KSFO to Haneda. Nine hours flight time with a speed in statute miles per hour as reported on the flight following on the seat back compared to converting from TAS to statute miles per hour gave just over 600 mph at 39,900 feet enroute.

Just for fun in the night the Cessna 152 made a takeoff and go around to land at Courcheval.

09-05-2020, 06:23 AM
And word as to whether the new version will be "back compatible" as far as aircraft are concerned? Will one be able to use or convert aircraft from earlier versions of the program?

Ron Wanttaja

I've read that there is some mechanism that allows the use of FSX aircraft, but I don't have the sim (it needs Win 10) and don't know any further details. You might check out the MSFS 2020 section on the flightsim.com forum, though -- lots of good info there.

09-10-2020, 02:32 PM
Today was a good day to go to New York and look at the way rain and fog is portrayed. After a few skips of a flight to Toronto in a Diamond and a flight from LaGuardia to Bradley where only one engine started and I took a long taxii, I brought up my trusty Cessna CJ-4 and flew into some really great cumulus and completed the flight. Turns out Blackshark AI is about the terrain and building from satellite images.

09-11-2020, 08:09 AM
I couldn't wait any longer and sprung for the Deluxe version earlier this week. It is a very complex, highly advanced sim compared to FSX-SE which I've been on for quite a while. YouTubers, SoFly and Flightsim.com have been invaluable to my getting up and running and loving this sim experience.

As the 'latest & greatest' it does place serious demands on a PC. I did have to upgrade my HP Pavilion i5-8400 with 16mg ram (upgrade), 1TB SSD (upgrade) and a GTX1050 2G graphics card (upgrade). The graphics card really does need to be at least 4G so I swapped it out for a GTX1650 4G. Still not meeting the "Ideal" game spec but well within the "Recommended". It's appears to be the fastest card I can install without upgrading my power supply too. The latest version of Windows 10 (1909) and graphics drivers are a must.

Still a lot less $$ than playing golf or really learning to fly - lol

09-13-2020, 04:58 AM
"Take the long way home" In the early 1970's I was with the program manager of the HIPAAS future Navy high performance attack aircraft system needing to get from Washington, DC to Naval Air Development Center in Warminster, Pennsylvania , no, not in Johnsville, nor even Lockport which are subject to flooding. Harking back to the Rolling Rock beer with the lady on the label (Virginia Dare) and ignoring the wooing of Airbus and St. Pauli Girl, I chose a turboprop as my next simulated flight.

Let's see, no Nord 262,now, but the Textron Beech King Air is lighter than the Convair converted to T-56 Allisons that got stuck too far from the welder based start cart at Albuquerque, I'll go with that. Using the search box on the globe and looking for Philadelphia International or something like that and already having chosen Ronald Regan as my departure ignoring National as a rentacar name.

I found MS96 Barrett, Philadelphia if I ignore "Flying Circus." Enroute, I soon passed "Flying Circus Aerodrome" and kept going, maybe too long and I heard "contact Potomac approach." There, I just was forgetting the time. Until after passing over some mountains I heard "contact Indianapolis Center." Could be a coincidence, I was in clouds flying VFR mostly above at 8600 feet. "Washington Center" "contact Roanoke approach" had seemed right back quite a ways. Now I was suspicious.

The Beech is not that slow as time was playing even for a patient man. "Atlanta Center" "Knoxville Approach" I decided to take my morning 1 hour walk while it played out for better or worse and I could see it still had 32% fuel was at 125knots and 2540 feet.
When I got back, the landing gear was coming down, I was at 127 knots and 1690 feet. Shoulda, coulda, it came down on rwy 24 with the right wheel on the grass. Aw man! Musta locked the wheel still on newer pavement. I swerved to far port and crashed into a building. As I suspected after Knoxville, I was in Mississippi.

Time to up my skills on the Freedom 2.4 as the AI gets lost on go arounds. Lakeway Airpark instead of Arizona with a Diamond TDI instead of a Cessna 152. Here is where my machine got overloaded, maybe related to the notice that my "bandwidth was inadequate" earlier and "moving you to offline." Boy! really congested with civilization compared to LAX and Kennedy and as it began takeoff it just froze for a pace then found itself and no more stutters even Apparently needed a download of something just then. After logging off, I saw my WI-FI was up and not needing attention.