Flight Simulator was first created by Bruce
Artwick in 1978 when the first two editions were released by SubLOGIC. Flight
Simulator 1.0 was for the Apple II, and Flight Simulator 2.0 for the
After the release of FS-2, Artwick left to
form BAO. BAO created a new version of FlightSim for the IBM PC at the
request of Microsoft, Flight Simulator 1.05.
In June 1988, BAO released FS-3.0, which
introduced new aircraft, multiple-windows, and dual-player mode. FS 4.0
followed in September 1989, with 16 colour graphics, dynamic scenery, runway
approach lighting, and air traffic control, to run on the 386 processor.
1993 saw the release of a completely
rewritten FS-5.0. 5 included 256 colour graphics, scenery that got larger as
you approached, local weather areas, city lights at night, shadows that
change during time of day and season and lots more, designed to run on a 486.
In 1995, FS-5.1 came out on CD ROM. Virtual
pilots could now use the scenery to fly around the world.
FS-95 brought the program into a Windows
environment for the first time. Its biggest accomplishment was to overcome
the low frame rates that had been produced by Windows 3.1, when moving into
Windows 95. It also brought new aircraft for users to enjoy.
FS-98 appeared in the fall of 1997. It
offered an expanded world with almost 3,000 airports to take off from. It
also brought in new aircraft such as the Bell 206 helicopter. For the first
time, FS-98 allowed users to add new aircraft without the need to purchase
Flight Shop separately.
FS-2000, released in the fall of 1999, allowed virtual pilots to fly even more
impressive aircraft, such as
the supersonic Concorde. It also offered vastly improved graphics and textures.
But the most impressive feature was that 20,000 airports were now available,
almost every public airport in the world.
Flight Simulator 2002 was released in the autumn of 2001. It offered new aircraft such as the Boeing 747, and the Cessna Caravan Amphibian float plane. It also offered interactive air traffic control, and other planes that would fill the sky as you flew. It also included a scenery engine which automatically filled the ground with trees, buildings and other objects that were appropriate for that location.
December 17, 2003 will mark one hundred years since the Wright brothers made the first powered flight at Kitty Hawk. To celebrate, a new version of the progran will be released: Flight Simulator - A Century Of Flight. Due out in the summer, it will expand on many of the features, such as the air traffic control and autogen scenery, it will also come with a large number of "vintage" aircraft, including the Wright brothers' first flier. Virtual pilots can once again experience the world of aviation brought right to their desktop, making flight simulator once again "As Real As It Gets."