A flight simulator featuring three different planes, over 100 different airports and maps for major U.S. cities. Microsoft Flight Simulator also includes formation flying, a NAV system and a few other bells and whistles.
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During the late 1980s no IBM-compatible computer was considered 100% compatible unless it could run Microsoft Flight Simulator 3.0
List of changes
According to Microsoft, here is a list of changes to version 3.0 of FS (quite a lot):
8.Version 3.00 (June 1988)
No copy protection.
Can be run from hard disk.
DOS compatible (no longer takes over the machine and forces reboot when
Resolution better on EGA/VGA machines.
No longer different version for Tandy machines (Customer selects Tandy
keyboard and/or graphics display drivers.)
San Francisco (Bay Area) scenery added.
Aircraft simulation enhanced.
ADF (Automatic Direction Finder) capabilities added.
Flight logbook and editor added.
Computer Flight Path Display added.
Demo recorder and playback system (also includes instant replay of last few
Additional Entertainment (Crop Duster challenges accuracy skills; formation
flying added to follow a lead plane).
Multiple machines can be connected (direct or via modem) so players can fly
together (and even see each other's planes on the display).
Editor no longer exists (pull down menus control all functionality instead).
Flight analysis (graphs and maneuvers and/or course plotting).
Multiple windows (can have more than one view at a time on screen). You can
have two display windows and one map window showing location on variable
scale map. Two display windows can be different views out of the cockpit,
view from a spot plane, from the control tower, from a tracking observer in any
Clouds, thunderstorms, winds, time of day, stars can be set from the
Environment menu (prior functionality was only a subset of this) winds and
clouds can be set at multiple levels to simulate wind sheer and more realistic
Crash analysis displays a graph of the approach pattern and speed of impact.
Smoke system added.
Sensitivities can be adjusted for keyboard/mouse/joystick.
More control over removal and failure of instruments.
Multiple scenery libraries can reside on the hard disk; program automatically
selects the right one for the coordinate setting.
Autopilot functionality added.
This game's package artwork and even its breathless back cover text ("Fly in formation and chase your lead plane right between the towers of the World Trade Center
") seem eerily prescient given 2004 findings by the 9/11 Commission
that the terrorist pilots of the hijacked planes on September 11th, 2001, trained for their operation on PC-based flight simulator software -- though presumably more recent versions of it.
Information also contributed by
- October 1988 (issue #13) - Included in the Top-100 list of 1987/1988 (editorial staff selection)
(10003) added Microsoft Flight Simulator (v3.0)
(DOS) on Oct 28, 1999