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The conception of the Flight Simulator computer game series, still going strong today, began in the late 1970's with "FS1", created by Bruce Artwick of subLOGIC and released in early 1980. First came the Apple ][, with a very scaled down instrument panel on bottom and outside/radar view on top, then the TRS-80, with mere 128x48 monochrome graphics and thus numbers and bars replacing the panel.

There was only one aircraft and one region: a 6x6 grid with "mountains". The user could press "W" and "declare war", entering the WW1 "British Ace" game mode. The objective was to shoot down enemy planes and bomb their base.

Both the Apple ][ and TRS-80 versions originally came on cassette tape. The Apple ][ version was updated in 1981 with minor improvements.

Note that the first PC version, Microsoft Flight Simulator (v1.0), was released two years later and is more similar to the 8-bit versions of Flight Simulator II.


Flight Simulator TRS-80 Opening credits screen
Flight Simulator TRS-80 User help and flight control reference
Flight Simulator TRS-80 Down arrow displays Radar view of plane from top down viewpoint
Flight Simulator Apple II Version 3 with added bridge

Promo Images

Flight Simulator Magazine Advertisement

Alternate Titles

  • "T80-FS1" -- Codename for TRS-80 version
  • "Flight Simulator with British Ace 3D Aerial Battle Game" -- Tag-lined title
  • "A2-FS1" -- Codename for Apple II version

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Critic Reviews

80 Micro TRS-80 Aug, 1981 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80


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The game is officially licensed "Apple II Graphics Package (A2-3D1)". Published the year before in 1979, as sophicated 2D/3D high resolution graphics wireframe animation package written in assembly language and the supplied technical manual gave details on usage on non Apple II computers. Two add-on disks were made: A2-3D2 and Saturn Navigator (A2-3D/A).

Version differences

The Apple II disk floppy release added a few in-game improvements after suggestions given by users of the tape version, while requiring extra memory 48Kb. Features: Downward View, enhanced Crash Detection, Manual Reset at anytime by a single keystroke, Micro Altimeter better warning of an impending crash and Aircraft Damage easier to determine if shot down.

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Contributed to by Andy Voss (1875)
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