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Microsoft Flight Simulator Nostalgia Thread

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Hello,

 

I'd like to open a thread where you can discuss nostalgic aspects of Microsoft Flight Simulator. For example, are there any particular memories (positive or negative) or features of a new version that have shaped your flightsim experience or "career" and that you want to share?

 

I want to start with fall 2001, when FS2002 was released. I think that to this date, FS2002 has been the sim with the best improvement and biggest feature addition over the previous version. Do you remember the awful performance of FS2000?  I can remember that the much improved performance of FS2002 was a big relief to the flightsim community and made flyers quickly appreciate the new sim. Some of the revolutionary features included ATC and autogen (and yet the sim ran smoother than the predecessor). However, it was the first version than introduced the problem of blurry textures (a problem that has stretched all the way to today's P3D). But in retrospect, I think that FS2002 would deserve an award for the "most improved FS version".

 

Your turn  :smile:

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But in retrospect, I think that FS2002 would deserve an award for the "most improved FS version".

 

I came back into FS from FS98 to FS2002 and was blown away by the advance. It was the first sim I started adding on to with some UK scenery, and it really gave a sense of place and flight for me, rather than being a game or novelty. It was the point I became a “simmer” as well as a “gamer”

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Speaking about the bad performance of FS2000, I think the following would qualify as the "FS joke of the century":

 

Minimum PC requirements for FS2000 as stated on the box: "166 MHz CPU"  :Devil:

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FS98 was when I began "working" for a virtual airline: Lynx Air. I used Pro Flight 98 for all my flight planning, nothing online, no real world weather injection.

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One distinct memory I have on flight sim was my first flight ever on VATSIM. This was back before I start flying real world, so I had a lot to learn. I flew from Atlanta up to Flint, Michigan on a CRJ-200 for Delta Virtual. Looking back that seems like an extremely random leg as my first one, but that is one of the things that makes it more memorable! That was on FS9 back at the time.

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I remember I had no idea how to add add on planes and I found the Project Open sky A330 for FS2004. I had no idea how high jetliners flew or what speed so I initially started flying no higher than 10000 FT and I downloaded at that time a fictional American airlines livery. For some reason my favorite route to fly was JFK to YYYZ. Again , many things I did , did not make any sense but worth it. Today I have my PPL with IFR and thousands of hours on flight sim.

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Going way back in time....

 

First memories - Sitting in the den of my home as a kid, attempting to fly (maybe 5 FPS tops?) on subLogic's Flight Simulator II for the Commodore 64. I'd fly out of Meigs Field of course, but then discovered this odd sounding town south called Kankakee... I'd fly out of there further south to Champagne.

 

Next memories - Now sitting in the basement of my home as a kid, on the new i286 with EGA graphics. I begged and pleaded and won the gift of Flight Simulator 4. Again, flying a lot of flights from Meigs out and over to O'Hare, but then the "Aircraft and Scenery Designer" tool released. BOOM. Now I'm building awesome fictional cities with incredible airports, and creating fighter jet mockups which I took flying out of Oakland, CA, down the bay, and then east towards this cool sounding airport known at the time as "NALF Crows Landing"

 

As FS5, 5.1, and beyond started releasing, I moved just slightly away from the hobby - rightfully distracted by other things in life - but started making my return during FS2000 and beyond.

 

Sometimes, I'll put on a few of the Top-40 songs which were on the air during my time with FS4 and re-create some of the routes I flew down there in the basement, except this time on the far more modern Prepar3D. The computer DRIPS with nostalgia when I do that.

 

Aah, the good old days. Nels Anderson's Xevious BBS.... SEE4... phwew.

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FS98 was when I began "working" for a virtual airline: Lynx Air. I used Pro Flight 98 for all my flight planning, nothing online, no real world weather injection.

Mark,

Do you realize "Lynx Airways Worldwide" is still flying virtually everywhere. Check is out again.

 

The second oldest VA.

 

www.lynxairways.com

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I went back to MSFS thanks to FS2002 from Flight Assignment: A.T.P. An awesome massive improvement in flight simulation back then and even better with FSX later.

 

Long overdue and nothing in the horizon come close yet.

 

Cheers,

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I still remember the excitement when I saw that FS2002 trailer of landmark 747 holding short then taking off communicating with the ATC showing improved graphics, AI traffic and autogen in action - all for the first time. After trying to use fs98 and fs2000 and left unimpressed with the dead seeming world, I felt this was going to be something worthwhile.

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Great thread!

 

Well, my first encounter with flight simulation was when I was about 10 y/o (might have been even younger). Don't know what version of FS it was, but I think it was version 3. I remember I flew the Sopwith Camel in it. I thought it was a cool kind of "game" but didn't think much of it at that time. Fired it up from time to time and fooled around (unsure if I ever even tried a normal landing). But then I had a rather long pause up until the early 2000's. 

 

Just out of curiosity I tried flying out from my home airport of ESNS to see how my hometown looked like. Let's just say a town of about 40000 inhabitants had turned out to be a small village with two houses and a farm more or less. I was not impressed. But something about flight simulation kind of stuck with me, so it turned into an on and off relationship until I finally got stuck with FSX.

 

Bought the PMDG 747 at this point and the rest is history. 

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FS98: I was really uninterested in Microsoft's Flight Simulator until FS98 and only flew various combat sims before that. FS98 spawned the first big wave of freeware developers and Internet downloads. It was the first time my home airport and town was included in a flight sim thanks to a talented freeware developer.

 

FS2000: It was plagued with problems, but I quite liked it and the aircraft were much improved from FS98. I was especially fond of the Aérospatiale/BAC Concorde, and that nice thick manual I read from cover to cover. 

 

FS2002: A major scenery revolution, AI Traffic and ATC all at once. By far the biggest leap forward in the series. Even though I was way too old to play with computer games at this stage, I just couldn't leave it alone. It was really the first sim in the FS series to allow immersive VFR flying. I spent 100s of hours sightseeing the mountains of Montana in the C208 floatplane. The addon scene exploded at this stage and I still hadn't considered any payware addon. 

 

FS2004: Well, I couldn't use it at first. It brought my computer to it's knees, so no doubt there was some serious code going on at this point. The scenery wasn't that much improved from FS2002, but third party developers really raised the bar to unimaginable levels for this sim. I totally loved getting all the vintage aircraft, and the Ford Tri-Motor was a blast. Flight1 got most of my money at this point. Ultimate Terrain, Flight & Ground Environment and their Cessna 172 and Aeroworx King Air B200 Xtreme were amazing. Active Sky was acquired as well, and when the Level-D 767 was installed I became an airline addict. I also remember the amazing pre-ORBX sceneries, VOZ Austraia and FSAddons's Tongass Fjords. 

 

FSX: Much can be said about the performance, but the scenery was so beautiful that I just had to buy yet another extremely expensive computer to get this baby running. It is still the most complete flight simulator in terms of realism - flight wise and scenery wise. Carrier operations in FSX Acceleration was a blast, and so were the Air Racing - probably the most difficult feature to master in the sim to date. I loved the ACES Team for their FS Insider web site, and all the developer blogs. And here we are, ten years later still using FSX (P3D v3.4 at my end).

 

Here are some screenshots showing the graphical improvements from FS98 until MS Flight: 

https://simmerhead.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/microsoft-flight-simulator-evolution/

https://simmerhead.wordpress.com/2011/01/26/microsoft-flight-simulator-evolution-part-ii/

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Mark,

Do you realize "Lynx Airways Worldwide" is still flying virtually everywhere. Check is out again....

 

I see the livery's changed over the years as has the site!  I remember visiting Nuttwings bar :) I eneded up "retiring" from Lynx due to real life getting in the way. Thanks for the link! :cool:

One fantasy PIREP I posted was taking a fully refurbished XB-70 from JFK to either Heathrow or Manchester  :smile:

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My exposure to a flight simulator goes back to 1979 and the University of Wisconsin Computer Labs, near Union South.  In the basement of the building I discovered the graphics section of the department and the subLogic predecessor to the FS franchise - and was impressed even with the stick line appearance and relative simplicity. I didn't come into the hobby until 2006 with FS9 and a tuneup of my computer and software by Michael Greenblatt, owner of FS-GS. With Mike's work, and the purchase of a Saitek yoke, rudder pedals, and throttle,  I then understood the possibilities of the software and I remain with FSX to present.

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FS1 gave me vertigo.  It cleared up after about  a year.

 

Seems kind of odd because I am now a sailor and don't have vertigo issues.  I did have some vertigo a while ago, but I think I was losing too much weight and hungry all the time plus some sinus issues.

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FS98: I was really uninterested in Microsoft's Flight Simulator until FS98 and only flew various combat sims before that. FS98 spawned the first big wave of freeware developers and Internet downloads. It was the first time my home airport and town was included in a flight sim thanks to a talented freeware developer.

 

FS2000: It was plagued with problems, but I quite liked it and the aircraft were much improved from FS98. I was especially fond of the Aérospatiale/BAC Concorde, and that nice thick manual I read from cover to cover. 

 

FS2002: A major scenery revolution, AI Traffic and ATC all at once. By far the biggest leap forward in the series. Even though I was way too old to play with computer games at this stage, I just couldn't leave it alone. It was really the first sim in the FS series to allow immersive VFR flying. I spent 100s of hours sightseeing the mountains of Montana in the C208 floatplane. The addon scene exploded at this stage and I still hadn't considered any payware addon. 

 

FS2004: Well, I couldn't use it at first. It brought my computer to it's knees, so no doubt there was some serious code going on at this point. The scenery wasn't that much improved from FS2002, but third party developers really raised the bar to unimaginable levels for this sim. I totally loved getting all the vintage aircraft, and the Ford Tri-Motor was a blast. Flight1 got most of my money at this point. Ultimate Terrain, Flight & Ground Environment and their Cessna 172 and Aeroworx King Air B200 Xtreme were amazing. Active Sky was acquired as well, and when the Level-D 767 was installed I became an airline addict. I also remember the amazing pre-ORBX sceneries, VOZ Austraia and FSAddons's Tongass Fjords. 

 

FSX: Much can be said about the performance, but the scenery was so beautiful that I just had to buy yet another extremely expensive computer to get this baby running. It is still the most complete flight simulator in terms of realism - flight wise and scenery wise. Carrier operations in FSX Acceleration was a blast, and so were the Air Racing - probably the most difficult feature to master in the sim to date. I loved the ACES Team for their FS Insider web site, and all the developer blogs. And here we are, ten years later still using FSX (P3D v3.4 at my end).

 

Here are some screenshots showing the graphical improvements from FS98 until MS Flight: 

https://simmerhead.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/microsoft-flight-simulator-evolution/

https://simmerhead.wordpress.com/2011/01/26/microsoft-flight-simulator-evolution-part-ii/

 

 

 

I took the time to go onto your website and look at the 98-2002 comparisons. The first sim I played was 2002, so I missed the transition from 1998. The transition from 1998 to 2002 is absolutely amazing. It is really impressive that there was that much of a leap in the course of 4 years in the quality of the scenery.

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As bad as FS2000 performed, there were a lot of positive aspects that I have fond memories of. For example, it was the first FS version to actually draw the sun in the sky. Sunsets were so romantic and made flying during twilight a pure joy - way better than in FS98. Another new feature to highlight was the rendition of rain. Alas, weather in general was a big step forward from FS98 (in my opinion, even surpassing the successor FS2002). Do you also remember the moving light dots on streets at night that represented cars?  This is a feature that was actually removed from FS2002. Lots of nice features, which made me with my weak Pentium II 350 MHz dream about a more powerful PC.

 

And last but not least, as simmerhead has mentioned, FS2000 erected my interest in Concorde that has lasted ever since. Could it be that the British Airways Concorde was the only airplane in FS history that had a real-world airline livery by default?

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