Commercial product review:

FS Global Upgrade

Product name and company

FS global upgrade: Global Base Scenery for Microsoft Flight Simulator

Made by Pilots and distributed by The Associates. Released November 1998.

Product objectives

Gives you a completely renewed base scenery. With worldwide:

  • detailled coastlines (incl. all lakes, rivers and islands)
  • cities, towns, motorways, roads, lanes, tracks, pipelines and railways
  • elevation data
  • 2000 airports
  • all navigational aids


Is it good or is it bad?

It is at least very remarkable! The product comes in a big box with a flashing led build-in. This is a clever method to attrack the customers attention. In the box you will find a small installation manual and a two CD-roms. A full install of the product will take about 1,2 Gb (!) from your HD. But you can also run the scenery from CD-rom. This will take only 38 Mb from your HD.

After installation a new option will appear in your main scenery menu. Untill now there was only one global scenery available: the default one. This is the first product which installs a new global sceneryThis means that you make VFR flights using VFR maps worldwide now! And of course also IFR flights are possible as all navigational data have been included.

The FS Global Upgrade scenery is made by direct conversion of vector data to scenery files..It covers 99,6% of earth surface with cities roads, lakes etc. with about 16.000 bgl files.

I never understood why Microsoft didn't include all available data in the default FS98 scenery. Only the USA and Europe has detailled surface and many airports. But the rest of the world has almost no visual scenery, navaids and airports. So FSGlobal is a big improvement to FS98 default version! That's for sure.

Minor point of the scenery is that we can't use any add-on scenery any more. Only the included Freddy Verbaeckens Eastern Europe scenery is compatible. This detailled scenery is free available on the internet (and at this site) was made for the experimental Global Base Scenery of Matthias Weidemann (also available at this site)

This means you will get a more detailled world with less detailled airports. Major airports in the world had been supplied with taxiway's and major buildings but many airports only have a rwunway surface. New additional scenery for FS Global Upgrade need to be made by users or commercial editors. Pilot's started an airport design competition in a attempt to stimulate people to make additional scenery available.

Can the product be improved?

I guess the FS Global Upgrade offers a perfect new FS98 default scenery. Imprevements can be found in addition the airport scenery. Maybe Pilot's will make more details available and much depends of 'us' users. We need to make the airport details using one of the (free) available scenery designers and upload them to the Internet and to Pilot's site.