| Biggest step since FS4.0?
Microsoft announced FS2002 in March 2001 as the biggest step forward
since the release of FS4.0. Will this be true?
Expected fall 2001 the release of FS2002 or FS XP will bring us
again two versions. A standard one and the professional one.
Pro and Standard
Flight Simulator 2002 and Flight Simulator 2002 Professional Edition
will both be available in stores simultaneously this fall. The standard
version is designed primarily for casual users who enjoy learning
the basics of flying and exploring a realistic world from the cockpit
of an airplane. Flight Simulator 2002 Professional Edition includes
extra features and additional aircraft that appeal to enthusiasts
who want to fly a wider variety of aircraft and to customize and
expand Flight Simulator. Professional Edition is also aimed at pilots
who want to use Flight Simulator as a training aid and proficiency
Fs2002 will provide three new aircraft: the Cessna 208 Caravan
on Amphibious Floats, the Boeing 747-400 and the Cessna 172S Skyhawk
SP. It's not sure that the Concorde will be continued.
The Pro version will have additional aircraft, the Raytheon (Beech)
Baron 58 piston twin and the Cessna Grand Caravan on wheels IFR
training panels for the C172S, C182S, Mooney Bravo, and Baron 58.
Create 3D objects
FS4.0 included a scenery designer as an Microsoft add-on. Microsoft
removed this feature starting FS5.0. And this was stupid as chaos
started that moment with a lot of different free and commercial
compilers and designers. In the FS2002 Pro version will also include
gMax be included , a tool for creating 3D objects. It's based
on 3D Studio Max from Discreet. A small step to intergrated scenery
And a unknown Pro option until now: An instructor's station.
It's a special screen that allows one "instructor" to
monitor another Flight Simulator pilot over a LAN or the Internet.
The instructor can change the weather, fail the engine and other
systems, and, by watching the position of the other aircraft on
a moving map, even issue vectors like an air traffic controller.
An updated Flight Dynamics Editor, a
tool for modifying the flight characteristics of aircraft. This
is looking like a feature developed by Enrico Schiratti: Satan,
used at big online events to remotely change settings on local PC's.
Other main new features in both versions are interactive air traffic
control, air traffic in the skies, auto-gen scenery, new virtual
cockpits with working instruments, flight analysis, a variety of
special effects (contrails, smoke from the tires on touchdown, water
splashes on the floatplane, cool lighting effects,etc.), and a bunch
of new lessons and flights. Microsoft promises to see and hear other
airplanes in the sky, and added detail from auto-gen scenery which
should make the world seem interactive and busy.
Auto-gen is supposed to be the most dramatic development. As you
fly above cities, towns, farmland, and dramatic landscapes, Flight
Simulator should add buildings and vegetation appropriate to the
terrain and geographic region around you. Office buildings, factories,
homes, farmhouses, and trees smoothly blend in at the horizon and
fill the entire area with detail that should add more depth and
reality to Flight Simulator no matter where you fly.
So even when you're outside the detailed scenery areas where we've
manually placed custom objects, you see buildings, trees, etc. that
add depth, a sense of speed, and heightened realism. A 3D graphics
card is required for this feature, and you can adjust the density
of the auto-gen scenery to best suit your system. Microsoft also
overhauled the ground textures for all the scenery, added stunning
new lighting effects, improved coastlines and rivers-everything's
How about backward compatibility? Starting all over again for
the fifth time? Microsoft goal seems to be to that Aircraft, scenery,
and adventures created for Flight Simulator 98 and Flight Simulator
2000 will work with Flight Simulator 2002.
But I remember this from FS2000. With a complete new terrain system
we were able to disable fs2000 terrain and to use fs98 scenery.
In fact everything had to be designed all over again.
Microsoft seems to add more realistic ATC now, This ATC adds a
level of realism-you can ask for and receive clearances to taxi,
takeoff, land, etc. It also adds to the ambiance-you hear other
pilots in the sky. That's a dimension that's been missing in previous
If you have a sound card, you can hear ATC reply and your readbacks,
generated by a system that assembles appropriate responses based
on real-world ATC phraseology for both VFR and IFR operations. En
route, you can request and receive radar services, and under IFR
as you arrive in the terminal area, youll receive vectors
for instrument and visual approaches. Youll also hear and
see other traffic, generated by a new traffic system, as you fly.
We will explain how add-on developers can create customized voice
packsadditional voices and phrases to use
Working Virtual cockpits
Another visual improvement will be the working virtual cockpits.
You can pan all around the virtual cockpits, and the instruments
work. Microsoft didn't determine how interactive the cockpits will
Official features (Source Microsoft):
- Experience interactive Air Traffic Control (ATC) - for the first
time, Flight Simulator includes realistic, interactive
air traffic control. Through pop--up menus and key commands, players
ask for permission to taxi, take off and land, plus request en
route clearances and vectors for instrument approaches. ATC responds
with verbal instructions.
- Marvel at auto-generated scenery - when flying above cities,
towns, farmland, and dramatic landscapes, Flight Simulator
automatically adds buildings and vegetation appropriate to the
terrain below. Office buildings, factories, homes, farmhouses,
and trees smoothly blend in at the horizon and fill the area with
detail that adds unprecedented depth and reality to Flight
- Fly in crowded skies - while the auto-generated 3-D objects
fill in details below, a new artificial intelligence system generates
air traffic around and between airports.
- Experience stunning aircraft models and special effects- the
new aircraft in Flight Simulator 2002 include amazing
visual details and subtle shading and lighting effects. Many special
effects that made Combat Flight Simulator 2 so exciting
are now in Flight Simulator. Players will see contrails
from high-altitude jets, dramatic lighting effects, and puffs
of smoke from tires at touchdown.
- Fly new aircraft - Flight Simulator 2002 includes
the aircraft users have requested most. Climb into the cockpit
of the Boeing 747-400 jumbo jet and fly in real time across the
ocean or fly a bush-pilot adventure in the Cessna Caravan on amphibious
floats. New players can begin flying careers in the worlds
most popular trainer, the Cessna 172S Skyhawk.
- Enhanced virtual cockpits - with a 3-D graphics card, players
can fly many Flight Simulator aircraft from a new
perspective -- 3-D cockpits with working instruments.
- Flight analysis - pilots work to improve their skills and enthusiasts
looking for new challenges and bragging rights can check the precision
of their flying. Maps and graphs show how well virtual pilots
maintained their course, altitude and speed. Flight Simulator
2002 Professional Edition also includes a multiplayer instructors
station for pilots who want to take on anything that a wily
instructor can throw at them.
- New lessons and challenging flights - the addition of a floatplane
and other aircraft opens many possibilities for engaging activities.
Players can be a bush pilot over Alaska, fly a 747, or earn an
instrument rating in the Cessna Skyhawk. New and expanded lessons
and flights help new players get into Flight Simulator
for the first time while challenging experienced Flight
- Included tools for add-on developers - Flight Simulator
2002 features gMax, a 3-D modeling tool from Discreet. Add-on
developers can create scenery objects using an industry-standard
format. Also included is a vastly improved Flight Dynamics Editor
that makes modifying and creating Flight Simulator
aircraft much easier,,