“Come fly with me, let’s fly, let’s fly away
If you can use some exotic booze
There’s a bar in far Bombay
Come fly with me, let’s fly, let’s fly away
Come fly with me, let’s float down to Peru
In llama-land there’s a one-man band
And he’ll toot his flute for you
Come fly with me, let’s take off in the blue.”
Welcome to another edition of Paula’s Game Ramblings. As the words of Frank Sinatra’s song say, Come Fly with me as I ramble about my new passion for flying. Now, before you start to panic that I’ve turned dangerous in the skies, as you might think, I’ve gone and got my pilot’s licence. But, no, I haven’t; so everyone can breathe a massive sigh of relief! I did however discover a new passion in gaming!
For many years I’ve been interested in Aviation, planes, airports and anything to do with flying. We live close to Belfast City Airport and are on the aircraft’s flight path. So a little bit of plane spotting may occur at least once in my day as I glance up to see what has taken off.
I recently had a birthday; the less said about birthdays, the better when you get to my age. But anyway, due to receiving some money for my big day, I invested it wisely in a new game.
Microsoft Flight Simulator Game of the Year Edition 2020
I bought Microsoft Flight Simulator, Game of the Year Edition 2020. I’ve never played a flight sim game before, but I knew that the Microsoft Fight Sim is one of the best you can buy. After spending some time with the sim, I already see it is not a standard game, it’s impressive, and some aspects are incredibly life-like.
The sim is tailored to all experiences, from novice pilots to real-life pilots who polish their skills at home using the simulator. There is an extensive Flight Training mode to take part in and complete, from starting and learning the basics of flight in a Cessna plane to flying the big boys, the masterful jumbo jets such as the Boeing 747 to the Airbus.
Earn Your Wings
You can earn your wings by doing flight training or set up a discovery flight using the inbuilt world map where you can pinpoint exactly where you wish to fly. Weather conditions, time of day and the aerodynamic modelling of all the aircraft make it all feel so real.
I’ve completed 83% of the basic flight training (at the time of writing this). The sim gives a score of A and below of how well you have done in each training log. There is also comprehensive flight training for commercial jets, which I’ve tried and surprised myself by landing an Airbus320 without the plane bursting into flames.
Ground Crew and Air Trafic Control.
It is not just the flying of the aircraft that the sim takes you through; there is a complete checklist system to do before the plane leaves the ground. As well as communicate with the Ground Crew and Air Trafic Control.
The ground control team can be seen in the sim, running around the airport servicing the aircraft. In addition, various services can be summoned to a plane standing in a parking space. For example, I can call to have the luggage loaded, catering, refuelling, or deployment of the jetway connecting the aircraft to the terminal.
Bing Maps Integration
While flying, the sim uses Bing Maps integration, (fast internet required) which makes the world appear in incredible detail when you fly over it. Traffic is moving on the roads, and animals are roaming the fields. It’s like a living world below.
I’ve had trips from my sofa to London, San Francisco, and numerous other tropical spots. I’ve even taken off from our local airport and flew over the area where I live and my house. Took a trip across Europe and flew over Yvonne’s city, I waved on the way past but she didn’t see me. Even made up my own game of spotting the landmark while flying wherever I want.
Flight Control Stick
The sim can be controlled using the keyboard and mouse, but that doesn’t work well for me; I find it difficult to remember the hundreds of key presses. I did use my PC controller for a while, which is an Xbox controller. And it was alright after a fashion.
I purchased a Thrustmaster T.16000M Flight Control Stick for total immersion into the sim. The difference in the controls is fantastic. Although, of course, I understand that flying in a computer sim game is not like flying in real life. Hats off to the pilots worldwide who get us all safely from A to B via the sky.
Be Thankful I’m Not the Pilot
It is probably fortunate for folks that I’m not in the driving seat of the plane. While I have only crash-landed once, I sometimes have a slight problem identifying the runway from the scenery to land. Being able to spot the runway from a distance is a skill that a real-life pilot must have and one I do not always possess fully.
Meanwhile, as I hone my skills, I’m having a blast just cruising around the skies, pointing out landmarks to my partner, who isn’t in the least bit interested in my endeavours. Regardless, I’m thrilled with my new game…hmm sim!
Wonderful write-up. I’m re-downloading as I type, but on console, not PC. I had tried the game immediately when it arrived on Game Pass but didn’t invest enough time or attention to get stuck into it. Your piece has re-ignited my urge to take to the skies and adventure freely.
Thank you for reading. I’m happy it’s encouraged you to try it out again. You are just in time for the new update being released for MSFS in November to. Have fun flying.