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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 tool.

The Fleet

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.

fs2002 747

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 design again.

Interactive instruction

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.

Better scenery.....?

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 better.

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 versions indeed.

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, you’ll receive vectors for instrument and visual approaches. You’ll 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 packs—additional voices and phrases to use
with ATC.

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 be.

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 Simulator.”
  • 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 world’s 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 “instructor’s 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 Simulator” pilots.
  • 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,,



source: activewin


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