Aerofly FS4 Flight Simulator – Could this be an alternative to Microsoft Flight Simulator?
You know, ever since Microsoft Flight Simulator (MFS) came out, it kind of stole the spotlight with its mind-blowing graphics. It was such a leap forward that it caught everyone off guard! But hey, that doesn’t mean other platforms in the same genre threw in the towel. Nope, they kept on truckin’ because they’ve got some seriously dedicated user bases. People have poured their time and a bunch of cash into their aviation hobby, so they’re not about to bail ship. One example that pops into my head is good ‘ X-Plane, but it’s not flying solo in this journey, you know?
Ever heard of IPACS’ Aerofly FS (AFS)?
Flashback time! When they dropped their first version, it was like the MFS of its time – innovative and cool. Picture this: it had a smoothness and realism that could outshine any other simulator. But, hold your horses, it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns. There were some downsides that kept the hardcore flight sim fans from fully embracing it – no water modeling, iffy aircraft instrumentation, and a limited world area. Still, cruising over San Francisco was a dream even back then. IPACS went all out, detailing the entire city so you could weave between skyscrapers, feeling like a boss. And performance? Rock solid. No pop-up landscapes or frame drops to ruin your flight, unlike the headaches we got used to in FSX.
Fast forward to 2011, and IPACS didn’t just sit around. Nope, they’ve been on the move. Two more versions of Aerofly FS hit the scene, with the latest peek I took being in March 2018 when Aerofly FS 2 dropped. Talk about keeping things fresh!
Let’s dive a bit deeper…
So, in my humble opinion, AFS 4 might not be winning the graphics Olympics against MFS, but hold up – it’s not a lost cause. This version packs some cool extras that make it a legit simulator contender. Take, for instance, the towns and cities – fully modeled, baby! Okay, sure, mostly generic buildings, but sprinkle in thousands of hand-built structures like monuments, churches, landmarks, and bridges. So, if it’s a big deal in the real world, chances are it’s chilling in the sim too. Plus, the airports – all 1,200 of them – are like virtual twins of the real deal, complete with traffic and some fancy handcrafted buildings. Oh, and did I mention the shrubs and trees? More realistic greenery, because why not?
Now, here’s the kicker for all you impatient simmers out there. This thing launches at warp speed. Seriously, from hitting play to being in the cockpit, it’s like five seconds flat. Blink, and you’re there! Want to move your aircraft around? Boom, one or two clicks, any direction, any height – it’s like magic. Repositioning? Done in seconds. And get this, switching planes or tweaking the weather – all from that same starting screen. Sure, there’s a little wait as it boots up initially (about 15-18 seconds on my rig), but when you’re done flying, closing it down takes a mere two seconds. Talk about efficiency!
Let’s talk about the planes!
So, AFS 4’s got a sweet lineup of aircraft that covers pretty much every taste and style you can think of. And can we take a moment for the 3D modeling? They’ve seriously upped their game, especially inside the cockpits – it’s like a whole new world in there. All the buttons, switches, levers – they’re not just for show; they’re the real deal. Even the navigation instruments and autopilot are ready to rock.
Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty. I decided to throw the Boeing 777 into the mix and planned a route from San Diego to San Francisco using the navigation menu. Oh, and there’s this nifty tutorial on the Aerofly Wiki if you need a hand. Instead of tediously typing the route into the CDU, I just punched it into the navigation menu – easy peasy. The info magically zaps to the flight management computer onboard. Of course, if you’re feeling old-school, you can manually type it in.
Flight went smooth, but I did have a little hiccup – had to speed up my descent near the end and oops, landed on the wrong runway. Planned for 27R, touched down on 27L. My bad, maybe it’s the similarities to the 737’s navigation system I’m used to. Anyway, bounced back with a flawless trip back to Los Angeles. And get this – the program throws in Missions, Challenges, Recommended Flights, and Scheduled Flights. Plus, you can start from “cold and dark” with most aircraft. How cool is that?
AFS 4 just dropped some new planes on the runway! We’ve got the snazzy Airbus A320 with Sharklets and the classic Fokker DR 1. And that’s not all – there are five more waiting for you to grab, but they’re like VIP DLCs you can snag. Check this lineup: A380, B787-10, BF109E, CRJ900, and Ju-52. Each one is a flying masterpiece.
Now, brace yourself for the sweet deal alert. You can snag the deluxe version of AFS 4 with all these cool DLC planes for just £59.98. That’s like saving £15 compared to buying them separately. It’s basically the aviation bargain of the century!
So, MFS just rolled out its replay feature, but let’s be real – it’s a bit of a hassle to use. Now, AFS 4? It’s the unsung hero here. Their replay is like a breeze – no fuss, just pure simplicity. It kicks into action the moment you take off and keeps the recording party going until you hit that escape button.
Picture this: you hit pause, and bam, there’s this cool timeline bar at the bottom of your screen. You can zip through the whole flight in a snap or replay specific moments. Want a different view? No problem. You can flip your perspective, spin the view like you’re directing a movie, and replay from any point you fancy. Only bummer? Once you hit pause, you can’t take control from anywhere except where it’s parked. But hey, small trade-off for a hassle-free replay, right?
Alright, let’s wrap this up!
So, I’ve been a bit nitpicky here and there, but truth be told, AFS 4 is more of a thumbs-up situation than a thumbs-down. It’s like the Usain Bolt of flight sims – speedy and always evolving. Word on the street is there’s even more cool stuff in the pipeline. If you’re on the hunt for a flight simulator that won’t break the bank, keeps it real, and doesn’t demand you mortgage your house for top-notch PC gear, give IPACS’ Aerofly FS 4 a spin. Bonus: it plays nice with Linux and Mac OS, and it’s got that fancy native Apple Silicon thing going on.
And as final word, Aerofly FS4 Flight Simulator is quick, comprehensive which won’t burn a hole in your wallet, but still playing catch-up with Microsoft Flight Simulator.
Thanks for reading and see you soon in the next article!