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Get to the chopper! Microsoft Flight Simulator gets helicopters in huge anniversary update

Microsoft is launching a 40th Anniversary version of its beloved Flight Simulator game and it’ll enable gamers to sample life in the cockpit of helicopters and gliders.

The update, which is free for Game Pass subscribers, is coming on November 11, and will include 12 new aircraft overall – including the Airbus A-310.

The most requested choppers and gliders haven’t been in the game since 2016, but are joined by a true-to-life airliner too. On the A-310 “every single button works as expected” Microsoft says in a blog post.

“We are also celebrating the storied history of aviation with seven famous historical aircraft in the Microsoft Flight Simulator 40th Anniversary Edition,” Jorg Neumann, Head of Microsoft Flight Simulator wrote on Xbox Wire.

“These aircraft include the 1903 Wright Flyer, the 1915 Curtiss JN-4 Jenny, the 1927 Ryan NYP Spirit of St. Louis, the 1935 Douglas DC-3, the beautiful 1937 Grumman G-21 Goose, the 1947 Havilland DHC-2 Beaver, and the famous 1947 Hughes H-4 Hercules (the largest seaplane and largest wooden plane ever made), also known as the Spruce Goose.”

The update, announced at the ongoing Gamescom expo, is a substantial one and will also be available to gamers who’ve purchased Flight Simulator outright over the last couple of years. It’ll offer:

  • 4 classic commercial airports
  • 10 glider airports
  • 12 new aircraft
  • 14 heliports
  • 20 classic missions from the franchise’s past

Microsoft Flight Simulator has been a roaring success since it’s big relaunch in 2020. The incredibly true-to-life visuals and realistic controls have been a revelation, and it’s presence on Game Pass has been a big pull for the subscription service. This update comes following the successful Top Gun: Maverick add-on late last year.

Our reviewer wrote: “Microsoft Flight Simulator is a triumphantly ambitious venture which pushes the boundaries of photorealism in the gaming medium. It requires a lot of horsepower and the support of Azure technology to accomplish such a feat, but these barriers are washed away when you’re staring down at endless cities and thick jungles from thousands of feet in the air. It’s breath-taking, and I hope it brings such simulators further into the mainstream.”

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