Aerofly FS2 is an early access flight simulator available for a variety of platforms as well as PC, it's available on Apple IOS and Google Android.
The publishers claim it has a sophsticated flight dynamics model and reviews on Steam seem to be very positive for this current release.The publishers state that the flight dynamics include:
For the video review go here
Full multibody simulation
- Realistic flight physics
- Accurate stall simulation
- Wing bending
The sim ships with a number of default aircraft and even includes popular jets like the A320 airbus, the Boeing 747 and 737, learjert 45 and even a Sopworth Camel from WW1.
The full list includes the following:
Aermacchi MB-339 military trainer
Airbus A320 twin-engine jet airliner
Beechcraft Baron 58 twin-engined piston aircraft
Boeing 737 airliner
Boeing 747 jumbo jet
Cessna 172 Vought
Extra 330 aerobatic monoplane
F-18 combat aircraft
F4U Corsair fighter aircraft
King Air C90 Gtx twin-turboprop
Learjet 45 business jet
Lockheed P-38 Lighting fighter aircraft
Marganski Swift S1 aerobatic glider
Pitss S-2B aerobatic biplane
Schleicher ASG 29 high performance sailplane
Sopwith F.1 Camel single-seat biplane fighter
On first starting the simulator you are presented with a pleasant blue menu screen, not cluttered and neatly laid out as below:
Starting with the Settings option this option has a further 4 options that can be configured :
The General Options allows you to configure various aspects of the game. Compared to FSX and Xplane I found these options so much easier to look at and configure.
These allow you to change whether to invert the camera controls, show Flight imformation, Landmarks and whether to switch on or off a good feature, approach guides.
The approach guide is great for beginners as it places a guide on the screen of the best approach to land on a runway..very useful indeed if you are just starting out in Flight Simulation.
The Controls Options are laid out in a very practical way. They are subdivided into various categories. For example
Primary deals with the main flight controls like the Pitch, Yaw, Flaps and other flight related controls, then you have other keys settings for View controls, Game controls, Lights etc as below.
One very useful aspect of the controls menu is that along the bottom of the screen it detects your attached controllers and gives them user friendly names as in the above case you can see that the CH Pro Throttle is attached, it doesnt just list them as Device01 or something that is unrelated to the name of your controller. Very handy to see if it has correctly detected your hardware.
It correctly identified all my hardware including the TrackIR with no issues encountered at all.
Allocating an axis or button is a simple task of clicking on the option you want to change and moving your controller in the axis you want to allocate or by pressing a button you want to allocate.
Time can be changed in game by pressing SHIFT and T and visibility can also be changed on the fly using Shift and V.
If you get stuck , click on the ? icon in the top left and an overlay will appear which will help you with the process, again very well thought out.
Included is also a Flight School which currently has about 21 lessons, which teaches beginners the basics of flying, you are tested on various flight procedures and if you pass then you have access to the next lesson.
As you can see above the flight school also allows you to see a demonstration about the lesson before you try out the manoeuvre yourself. Again great for beginners.
Starting A Flight
1) Choose an aircraft.
To choose an aircraft from the Main Menu simply click on Aircraft. This will take you to the aircraft selection page.
Click and hold the left mouse button and drag left or right to go through each of the 16 aircraft the simulator currently has. You can also change the livery of most aircraft by clicking on the arrows above the aircraft. Clicking either left or right scrolls through the carious liveries available for that particular aircraft. A lot of major aircraft liveries seem already included icluding, KLM, British Airways, Air France, Alitalia etc.
Underneath the aircraftis also a sh ort description about the aircraft itself, facts such as maximum range and how many engines are described. Once you are happy with your selected aircraft double click on the aircraft to select it and this will then take you back to the main menu.
2) Choose a start point.
To choose a start point for your flight click Location from Main Menu.Scrolling the mouse wheel back and forth will zoom in and out of the map. Your aircraft is shon on the map by a green aircraft symbol with a compass around it.
TO move the aircraft to any position on the map simply click and drag it to your desired position. To set your starting altitude on the left there is a graph like grid with various altitudes. Simply click and drag the plane symbol up and down to the desired altitude you would like to start flying at. Clicking on the question mark will display a help like below to aid you in setting your start location.
To take off from a runway, all you need to do is tap an airport symbol to select a runway for take off or final approach.
When you double click a runway you will see a zoomed in view where you can either select your take off or final approach position. All you need to do is click the aircraft icons below ot set your position.
3) Set your destination.
To set your destination from the main menu select the Navigation option and you will be taken to the world map.
CLick on the airport you want to land on and a route will be created for you as displayed by a light green line. If you note on the right you can also see the runways available and wether you want to land or take off from it. By selecting a take off symbol of an aircraft you will take off from that runway and by selecting the symbol for an aircrafty landing you will land on that runway. Simple.
Once you have selected you destination in the bottom left of the screen you will see the route details as in above example the route is from LSZH to LSZG and the total distance is 77.3NM.
4) Set your conditions.
This is optional but when you select conditions you can set your time, wind, clouds and visibilty.
5) Ready to FLY!
Once you are happy with your navigation settings and your conditions you are now ready to fly. To start the flight press the START button from the main menu.
After a very short load time you are placed on the runway ready to take off.
The flight dynamics seem similar to FSX and Xplane, flying the beechcraft baron in Xplane , FSX and Aerofly seemed very very similar, in fact I hardly noticed any differences. Releasing the brakes and applying throttle ready for take off , the aircraft powered down the runway, the sens of speed was good and realistic, no pauses or glitches, the terrain moves very smoothly. Once of the ground the aircraft rises into the sky and no loss of quality or framerate even as you pass over the detailed aiport of Zurich.
The simulator is still in early access but it looks very promising, the developers have created a great interface for setting up your flights, have included popular aircraft like the 737, Beechcraft, A320 as part of the default game with various liveries too. We didnt notice any issues even at this early access with detection of hardware and controllers. No problems with framerates either and all in Ultra detail mode. No program crashes, in fact not even one was experienced during testing and this is early access too. A DLC is already avilable for Switzerland and the graphics are stunning HD quality, the DLC is also resonably priced at £6.99 a lot cheaper than a lot of FSX scenery. You get the high resolution texture pack for South West USA free when you purchase the main game. The fact that it also supports steam from the offset is a plus as many FSX and Xplane users who have installed addon packs outside of Steam will tell you that its a nightmare to re-install all those packs that are not part of Steam if you have to rebuild your computer at any point. The sim is reagulary updated too with the last update being on the 16th September at the time of writing this article. In our opinion this has the potential to be the best simulator out ther, still early days yet but hopefully the developers will build on this and make it better and better.
Official Website https://www.aerofly.com/aerofly_fs_2/
Steam Page http://store.steampowered.com/app/434030/