A Story Worth Telling
What today is Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002 began in 1979 when Bruce Artwick created Flight Simulator 1.0 for the Apple II. Later came Flight Simulator for the IBM PC with Microsoft's name on it, followed soon after by Microsoft Flight Simulator 2 in 1984. 1996 brought Flight Simulator for Windows 95, and since then there have been three new installments. Flight Simulator 2002, plain and simple, is a milestone in applications for the personal computer. While the Concorde of Flight Simulator 2000 may be gone, an astounding 21,000+ airports (up from 20,000) and 12 aircraft (up from 10) populate the world of Flight Simulator 2002.
The Boeing 747-400, Cessna 208 Amphibious Caravan, and Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP make their first appearances in this year's edition. Returning from previous versions are the Boeing 777-300, Boeing 737-400, Cessna 182S Skylane, Bell 206B JetRanger III helicopter, Learjet 45 business jet, Cessna Skylane RG, Extra 300S, Sopwith Camel, and Schweizer 2-32 sailplane. To accompany the already familiar 2D panel, most have their own "virtual cockpit", a fully 3D representation of the entire cabin, with operational real-time gauges and the option to zoom in and out with ease. Exterior views of aircraft are not the least bit shabby either, with excellent lighting effects, shadows, and landing lights to complement the high-polygon models.
Similar to FS2000, Flight Simulator 2002 is packaged in two versions, Standard and Professional. For $20 more, the Professional version will bring you the Cessna 208 Grand Caravan, Raytheon BE58 Baron, Raytheon/Beech King Air 350, and Mooney Bravo in which to trek around the globe. Furthermore, the utility gMax is bundled with the Professional version, allowing you to create structures and aircraft for your simulation. Or, if you have a copy of Microsoft Combat Simulator or an earlier edition of Microsoft Flight Simulator, gMax makes importing aircraft from those applications a simple process.