Microsoft Flight Simulator Closed Beta Released

July 29, 2020

Slightly earlier than originally scheduled, the Closed Beta phase of Microsoft Flight Simulator has been released for testers and those invited to test the Beta.

In the Closed Beta, nine new aircraft make their first appearance including the Flight Design CTSL, Aviat Pitts Special S2S, and Textron Aviation Beechcraft King Air 350i.

There are also three new bush trips, four new flight tutorials, twenty-two new landing challenges, and rounding off the changelog posted to their website, Track IR support.

The following aircraft have been added:

  • Aviat Pitts Special S2S
  • Extra 330LT
  • Flight Design CTSL
  • Icon A5
  • JMB Aircraft VL-3
  • Robin Cap10
  • Zlin Aviation Savage Cub
  • Textron Aviation Beechcraft King Air 350i
  • Textron Aviation Cessna Citation CJ4

In terms of bush trips, Breckenridge to Mariposa Yosemite in Nevada with the Savage Cub, Los Cerros to Cochrane in Patagonia with the X Cub, and Rijeka to Santorini in Balkans with the Cessna 172 Skyhawk SP are now available.

Microsoft writes these bush trips are "a set of activities which test your navigation skills and have you flying long-distance across remote locations."

For the flight training tutorials, users will have the ability to try out any of these:

  • Flight training teaches you how to fly using a Cessna 152.
  • Traffic Patterns – Maneuver safely around a busy airfield
  • First Solo Flight – tackle a traffic pattern on your own
  • Navigation – Follow a flight plan from point A to point B
  • First Solo Navigation – Fly from A to B entirely on your own

As for landing challenges, a variety of new locations have been added and placed into three distinct categories.

Famous landing locations and challenges include:

  • Jackson – KJAC, USA – Cessna Citation CJ4
  • Llanada Grande – SCLD, Chile – Cessna C172 Skyhawk (G1000)
  • New York – KJFK, USA – Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental
  • Nice – LFMN, France – Beechcraft Bonanza G36
  • Quito – SEQM, Ecuador – Beechcraft King Air 350i
  • Rio de Janeiro – SBGL, Brazil – Airbus A320neo
  • Sydney – YSSY, Australia – Airbus A320neo
  • Toronto – CYTZ, Canada – Daher TBM 930

Epic landing challenges are as follows:

  • Aspen – KASE, USA – Cessna Citation CJ4
  • Bugalaga – WX53, Indonesia – Cessna 208 B Grand Caravan EX
  • Lukla – VNLK, Nepal – Cessna 208 B Grand Caravan EX
  • Paro – VQPR, Kingdom of Bhutan – Airbus A320neo
  • Saba – TNCS, Caribbean Netherlands – Beechcraft King Air 350i
  • Saint-Barthelemy – TFFJ, French Antilles – Daher TBM 930
  • Tegucigalpa – MHTG, Honduras – Airbus A320neo
  • Strong Winds

And rounding off the list are challenges involving strong winds. "Strong winds make a pilot’s job even harder. Contend with air currents and crosswinds along the approach path to ensure a good landing."

  • Donegal – EIDL, ireland – Beechcraft Bonanza G36
  • Funchal – LPMA, Portugal – Airbus A320neo
  • Gibraltar – LXGB, United Kingdom – Airbus A320neo
  • Innsbruck – LOWI, Austria – Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental
  • Nanwalek – KEB, USA – Cessna C172 Skyhawk (G1000)
  • Nassau – MYNN, Bahamas – Daher TBM 930
  • Queenstown – NZQN, New Zealand – Cessna Citation CJ4

Finally, Track IR, which allows users to pan the on-screen camera with head movement from a sensor fixed to a hat or headphones, is now supported.

The software must be configured outside of Flight Simulator and is available in the hangar menu, and as a cockpit camera and chase camera in-flight.

Microsoft Flight Simulator is set to release on the 18th of August in three separate editions, with further details of the aircraft and airports included available to view here.

A variety of developers have confirmed their intentions to develop third-party products for the simulator; Threshold's media team discussed the developers and what we know about them last week.

Flight Simulator's website is available to view here.

Threshold encourages informed discussion and debate - though this can only happen if all commenters remain civil when voicing their opinions.