A Flight Sim For 2020

A stack of new aircraft set against detailed, global backgrounds translates into a wide virtual world for pilots to explore in Flight Simulator 2020. Courtesy Microsoft

Having a high-fidelity home simulation theater just ratcheted up in importance over the last six months for a lot of pilots. When the real thing is difficult—or nigh-on impossible—practicing maneuvers and instrument procedures from the comfort of your now-very-familiar home office takes on a shine—and may even be considered a necessity for pilots to stay sane.

Though the highly anticipated release of Microsoft’s latest edition of Flight Simulator has been in the works since long before the coronavirus hit US shores, the timing feels impeccable. Flight Simulator 2020 goes out with a launch in all 50 states in the US, beginning at 04:00 Zulu (that’s 12 am EDT) on August 18. Following that release, purchasers in other countries around the world can start downloading the program at staggered times.

Based on reports from the alpha and beta testers who have been working the program over the last few months, the realism of the new program puts the entire world into sharp focus for aviators and enthusiasts. For those pilots at work equipping their home sim setups, Microsoft has partnered with Thrustmaster to give away the flight control manufacturer’s new TCA Sidestick Airbus Edition joystick. Follow them both on Twitter and retweet the promotion to enter.

Sporty’s Pilot Shop is also celebrating the release of MSFS 2020 with a series of tools designed to help pilots get the most out of the new software—and put together a computer optimized for home simulation—including pro tips from their sim guru Chris McGonegle. Sporty’s will also feature a demo on Instagram Live on August 18 at 2 pm EDT.

Based in Maryland, Julie is an editor, aviation educator, and author. She holds an airline transport pilot certificate with Douglas DC-3 and CE510 (Citation Mustang) type ratings. She's a CFI/CFII since 1993, specializing in advanced aircraft and flight instructor development. Follow Julie on Twitter @julieinthesky.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get the latest FLYING stories delivered directly to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter