In a series that got its start in 1982, Microsoft has continually updated, enhanced and improved their Flight Simulator on a fairly regular basis. With the release of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000: Professional Edition, the companion game to Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000, the simulation carries its legions of fans and cyber-pilots into the new millennium. Containing all the gameplay of the basic version, the enhanced professional version adds special features geared toward making the simulation a PC flight training and proficiency aid for advanced players and pilots.
The Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000: Professional Edition includes two additional aircraft, the Mooney Bravo and Beechcraft King Air 350, in addition to two new planes found in the basic game, the Concorde (Mach 2) and the Boeing 777-300. In addition to the six cities included in the basic version (Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris and San Francisco), another half-dozen (Boston, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Berlin, Tokyo and Rome), are provided in the profession edition, bringing the total to twelve.
Other enhancements and additions include two IFR training panels, a Flight Dynamics Editor, a New Instrument Panel Editor, an expanded manual and sample lessons from Cessna. Updated versions of the Cessna 182S and Cessna 182RG, Learjet 45 business jet, Extra 300S, Bell JetRanger III helicopter and the Boeing 737-400 airliner are also included.
Although not a requirement, the game is optimized for Intel's Pentium III processor. The scenery in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000: Professional Edition contains 16-bit color, realistic elevation data, seasonal effects and enhanced textures all presented in 3D graphics. As an added option for fans of the series, all of the aircraft, scenery and adventures supported in Microsoft Flight Simulator 98 are compatible with this title.
Just some of the options available for adjusting flight parameters and realism include fuel distribution that affects weight, performance and range, flight characteristics, updated instrument panels, exterior lights, flight controls, engine and propeller concerns, and crash/damage aspects. Failure parameters are adjustable -- the user can select either random occurrences or instrument-specific problems -- and can be customized for impact on instruments, systems and radios.
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000: Professional Edition contains more than 20,000 airports (compared to 3,000 available in Flight Simulator 98) around the globe, 50 detailed cities worldwide, and 3D objects (e.g., buildings, vehicles, towers, ships and more). Up-to-date weather conditions can be downloaded from the MSN Gaming Zone on the Internet with real-world weather systems provided by Jeppesen. The simulation translates these conditions into realistic effects such as clouds, precipitation, and lightning and allows the user to customize weather as well.
Enhanced flight planning and navigation tools have not been ignored by Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000: Professional Edition. Moving maps, a Global Positioning System (GPS) and a myriad of features regarding navigation are available. Position updates, ground speed, waypoint targets, route fixes, airport information, latitude, longitude, altitude, airspeed and more are just a few of the in-flight aids offered.