Ultimate List of Free Microsoft Flight Simulator X Software & Resources

Create Your Own FSX Missions:
FSX Mission Building Tips: Designing Great Missions Part I & Part II – The Mission Creation Software Development Kit (SDK) explains the technical details of creating missions.  It can be installed from Disk 1 of FSX Deluxe, and an update to the SDK can be found on fsinsider.com.  These articles share tips that expand on the technical information provided in the SDK.
FSX Mission Building: Part 1, Part II, Part III, Part IV & Part V–  In this new series, we examine how to create your own Mission to share with others.  You’ll learn to appreciate the versatility of this feature and (hopefully) get you through some of the more demanding parts! 
Three (3) FREE FSX Downloads: 
Bonus Multiplayer Racing Missions for Flight Simulator X: Acceleration – Three new multiplayer missions for Flight Simulator X: Acceleration (Instructions)
    1. Austrian Alpine Hoop Course
    2. Reno Sport Class Course
    3. Reno T-6 Class Course
Support Documentation:
Airborne Wordsmiths: Sky writing in Flight Simulator! – Ever looked up into a deep blue summer’s sky and seen a tiny black dot, high overhead, writing cloud-words in the sky? Sky writing is an amazing way to advertise people, products and events – even if only briefl y – to a huge audience on the ground.
All About Flights – The Free Flight dialog box allows you to easily configure a flight scenario of your own, specifying the aircraft, location, weather, and time and season. The Load Flight dialog box lets you choose a saved scenario. In this article, you’ll learn how to select, create, save, and share your own flights.
All About Missions – The beauty of Free Flight in Flight Simulator, is that it’s like a big kid’s sandbox. The whole world is there for you to explore and there are no rules except those that you want to fly by for the sake of realism. The challenges in Free Flight are the ones you set for yourself.
Beating FSX Missions – This document contains information about FSX missions.
Blurries-v3 – There is a lot of discussion about “the blurries” and SP1. Many of our enthusiast sites, like AVSim.com, have threads discussing this issue. I have been pretty active in responding to these and investigating posts that seem to present new data that is worth further investigation. First, though, let’s establish some common vocabulary to help drive discussion.
Building your own flight simulator cockpit – Flying in your own cockpit is one of those aspirations many flight simulator users consider out of reach: too difficult, too expensive, too time consuming . . . but the opposite is true. Both plug-and-play and advanced products are available to build your own flight simulator cockpit in any size and to accommodate every ambition. In this article you’ll find a global impression of the options available, plus a list of additional online resources to help you proceed in your quest for your own simulator cockpit.
A Century of Flight Sim Coverage the 100th issue of Computer Pilot Magazine.
Check-in Process for ACES Characters describes the in-house process for checking low and high resolution characters into the build. This document will evolve throughout ship cycles and is expected to give a current bearing for readers seeking an up-to-date primer on the techniques used within ACES. Production methods often vary between studios as different tool authors solve their immediate problems. It is hoped this document will shed some light on the methods most unique to the ACES Studio. The intended audience for this document is artists and vendors new to the ACES checkin process.
Cockpit Basics – Airplanes have evolved from relatively simple to incredibly complex machines. But remember: Whether you’re flying a Cessna Skyhawk SP Model 172 or a Boeing 777–300, you’re still flying an airplane, and airplanes are more alike than not. In the cockpit, for instance, most modern airplanes share six basic cockpit instruments: airspeed indicator, altimeter, attitude indicator, heading indicator (directional gyro), turn coordinator, and vertical speed indicator. Learning to use these six instruments and a few common controls, such as trim and flaps, will put you far down the runway toward flying any aircraft you wish.
Controlling the Engine – Engines can be humbling because they are reminders that humans really can’t fly—at least not for long—without some help. So, you’ve got to be good to your aircraft’s engine. Here are some operating tips that will help keep your aircraft’s engine running strong.
Designated Water Runways in Flight Simulator X – includes instructions for flying from one of the designated water runways in FSX, as well as a list of the designated water runways.
The Effectiveness of a PC-Bases C-130 Crew Resource Management Aircrew Training Device – Inadequate crew resource management (CRM) behaviors are still cited as causal factors in most military and commercial aircraft mishaps despite mandatory CRM training in virtually all aviator training programs, suggesting a need to explore alternative approaches.
Expanding Your Hobby – If you can’t get enough of Microsoft Flight Simulator, you’re not alone. The Flight Simulator community includes thousands of individuals, organizations, and companies that share your passion for aviation.
Flight Simulator as a Training Aid – For those people that have already given Flight Simulator a thorough workout. You’ve got a handle on the Cessna Skyhawk SP Model 172, and you’ve seen the sights, flown under the Eiffel Tower, and looped the 747.
Flying the Beechcraft Baron – contains information on flying the Beechcraft Baron.
Flying Floatplanes – If you’re looking for a new flying challenge, you’ll find it behind the controls of a floatplane. Because floatplane pilots typically operate beyond the runways, control towers, and navigation aids of airports, they are, by necessity, more self-sufficient than their land-based counterparts.
Flying Jets – In the world of aviation, the pinnacle of airplane flying is piloting a jet. With their size, speed, and increased complexity, jets offer a challenge unknown to the piston-engine pilot. For Flight Simulator pilots, flying jets is a chance to see what airline and corporate pilots do on the job.
Getting Help on the Fly – In addition to modeling the experience of flying, Flight Simulator includes a large virtual library of content to help you with all aspects of using the product. Each of these topics is useful in its own way and complements the others. Take time to explore so you know where to go to find what you’re looking for.
Importing Aircraft into FSXPart I & Part II
Just Get Me Flying – At the most basic level, getting into the air in Flight Simulator is a simple matter of clicking Fly Now! on the Free Flight or Missions screen. If you don’t make any changes to aircraft, weather, location, date and time, or options, you start in the default flight.
Optimizing Visuals and Performance – Unless you have a high-end computer that’s customized for gaming, optimizing Flight Simulator’s performance and its visuals may require some tradeoffs. Creating better-looking images on-screen typically results in decreased performance because displaying complex, richly detailed, three-dimensional graphics puts a heavy load on your computer.
Pilot Records help you keep track of your time and progress in Flight Simulator. They include Rewards, the Logbook, and Photos. Pilots can compete against each other to see who can earn rewards or log hours more quickly. You can print reward details and keep them in a scrapbook. You can also share your favorite places and flights in Flight Simulator with friends and family by capturing photos in flight.
Real-time Computational Fluid Dynamics for Flight Simulation – A service oriented architecture is described that enables computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations to run alongside a human-in-the-loop flight simulator; thereby informing the behavior of a simulated aircraft whilst it is being piloted. The modeling of aerodynamic effects in real-time flight simulators is a continuously evolving field. It is becoming increasingly relevant for flight simulators to more accurately describe the local unsteady environmental flow around the vehicle, in a time-accurate way for applications such as wake vortex and helicopter-ship airwake interaction scenarios. This is important from both development and training perspectives. This is an extremely challenging problem that is being tackled using a variety of techniques.
Step-By-Step Guide – To keep an airplane in the air—and to land it safely on a runway—a real-world pilot must understand and manage many controls. There’s a lot to know about Flight Simulator, too, but that’s part of the fun and challenge.
Understand the Big Picture – Flight Simulator allows you to experience the physics and mechanics of flight in both contemporary and historical aircraft. The computer models that Flight Simulator uses for each aircraft’s handling characteristics, speeds, and aerodynamics are taken from real-world specifications. In addition to a fleet of realistic aircraft, Flight Simulator also includes more than 24,000 real-world airports, from large urban internationals to small grass strips. Between these landing places, you’ll fly high above realistic renditions of real-world terrain, landmarks, scenic wonders, and full-scale cities.
Using Flight Sim to Train for Model Aircraft – contains information on using flight sim to train for model aircraft
Using the G1000 – The Garmin G1000 glass cockpit is revolutionizing General Aviation, and now you can see for yourself what all the excitement is about! The Deluxe version of Flight Simulator X includes three aircraft with an optional G1000 glass cockpit variation: Cessna Skyhawk SP Model 172, Mooney M20M "Bravo", Beechcraft Baron 58 Pick your plane, step into the cockpit, and prepare to be amazed!
Using the In-Game Menus – Although you can select Flight Simulator options from the game shell (the screen that you see when you start Flight Simulator), most of the same options are available on the menu bar while you’re flying.
Using a Joystick – Flight Simulator is most realistic when you use a joystick, yoke, or other controller. You can fly more precisely, and the buttons and controls make it easy to change views, adjust the throttle, extend or retract the landing gear and flaps, and operate other aircraft controls.
Using the Keyboard – Controlling aircraft in Flight Simulator is a lot like flying a real aircraft. You can move the ailerons, elevator, and rudder with a joystick instead of a yoke or control stick, and you can use a mouse to work all the buttons, levers, and knobs on the panel. But the secret to controlling Flight Simulator is learning keyboard shortcuts. A real pilot needs to pull a lever to raise or lower the landing gear, but in Flight Simulator you can just press the G key. By learning which keys handle each action, and by changing the key assignments to suit your own preferences, you can be more efficient in the Flight Simulator cockpit.
Using the Kneeboard – Real-world pilots need to refer to lots of information while they fly, and most put everything they need at their fingertips: on a kneeboard, a sort of clipboard that straps to the pilot’s knee. In Flight Simulator, you don’t need to sort through piles of paper. Everything you need is assembled for you on an electronic kneeboard that is accessible as you fly.
Using the Mouse – We’ve expanded the usefulness of the mouse in Flight Simulator, bringing back a feature that many users liked in older versions: using the mouse as a control device for flying. The mouse is also in many cases the best device for setting instruments, changing radio frequencies, and other cockpit chores.
Using Multiple Monitors – Flight Simulator’s ability to display multiple windows on more than one monitor at a time creates a more realistic cockpit environment. You can use a center monitor to display the aircraft instrument panel and the outside view ahead of the cockpit, and use another monitor to display the radio stack, throttle quadrant, GPS, or any of the other windows available in the Views menu.
Using Tower View in Flight Sim to Practice Flying Model Helicopters – contains information on using towev view to practice flying model helicopters.
Using Views and Windows – In a real airplane, you can look around by moving your head. To look around in Flight Simulator you have to change views. The best part is that unlike in the real world, you can even change views outside the airplane!
Using an Xbox 360 Controller for Windows change views, adjust the throttle, extend or retract the landing gear and flaps, and operate other aircraft controls. The Xbox 360 Controller for Windows combines the ease of a joystick with the ergonomics of a game controller.
VOR to VOR Navigation Training – describes how to navigate through the virtual skies using VORs. Real sectional charts are used to show how to create flight plans. Using real sectional charts adds more realism to the flight sim experience.
What’s Changed? In addition to new aircraft and scenery, Flight Simulator has some improvements that affect features that you may already be familiar with. This article explains what’s changed and where to look for features that have moved.
FSInsider 2008 Newsletters:
Featured Articles: "Flying the Beechcraft Baron" "Airborne Wordsmiths" "Water Water Everywhere …" "FSX Service Pack 2" "Want to Make Missions?" "Nice Cockpit." (F/A-18) "Listening In"
Featured Articles: "Practicing Radio Controlled Model Flying in Flight Sim" "MVP Summit 2008!" "Your Favorite Missions?" "Acceleration Wallpaper" "Use the Hat Switch, Your Highness!"
Featured Articles: "Bonus Multiplayer Racing Missions!" "Warbirds Over Wanaka Airshow 2008" "Airport Labels – An Undocumented Feature" "Big Birds" "Take a SimTour" "Practicing Radio Controlled Model Flying in Flight Sim" "MVP Summit 2008!"
Featured Articles: "Museum of Women Pilots Open House" "Importing Aircraft into FSX" "Add-On Developers Make Us Look Good … Again!" "Nerds With Social Skills!" "Caution – Low Flying Heritage" "Building Your Own Simulator Cockpit" "Are We Missing any Airports?"
Featured Articles: "Join Us in Oshkosh!" "Volunteers Wanted!" "Of Jetpacks and Autogiros" "Welcome Jon Masterson" "Respect Your Elders" "Multiple Threads, No Waiting"
Featured Articles: "Beating FSX Missions" "Mission Building in FSX" "Squawkbox 4 Open Beta" "IVAO LAN Party" "ATC at AirVenture"
Featured Articles: "UK Flight and Train Simulation Show" "Old-Fashioned Navigation" "New CH Products Yoke" "Mission Building in FSX – Parts 3 and 4"
Featured Articles: "That’s the Spirit!" "A Free Gift from FSInsider and Just Flight! " "Old-Fashioned Navigation" "Mission Building in FSX – Parts 3 and 4"
Featured Articles: "Fly an Airliner At Home" "VOR to VOR Navigation" "That’s the Spirit!" "A Free Gift from FSInsider and Just Flight! " "Old-Fashioned Navigation" "Mission Building in FSX – Parts 3 and 4"
More FSX Goodies: 

About blakehandler

BLAKE was a Microsoft MVP and award winning programmer with over 20+ years experience providing complete Windows and networking support for small to medium sized businesses. BLAKE is also Jazz Musician and Instructor for residential clients on the Los Angeles West Side.
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