Flight Unlimited

10In some ways, Flight Unlimited was the most advanced civilian flight simulator of 1995. The graphics, including transparent smoke, fog, glare and some amazing texture-mapped terrain, were some of the best in business. Aerial photos, touched up and stretched across a 3-D contour map, give you a beautiful backdrop for your aerobatic antics – and a pretty place to die when you stall and form a large crater. You’ll roar over mountains, through narrow valleys, alongside rivers, villages and highways.

If you were to load up Microsoft Flight Sim 5.1 and Flight Unlimited for Win95, on two machines side by side, the person playing Flight Unlimited would probably be having more fun. At least in Flight Unlimited, there are aerobatic maneuvers to execute, and rings and obstacles to fly through. In Flight Sim 5.1, it’s the same old flying from airport to airport. Flight Unlimited also offers flight lessons, 11 total locations offering photorealistic terrain to fly over, and 5 different aircraft – the Extra 300s, Bellanca Decathlon, Sukhoi SU-31, Pitts S-2B and the Grob S-103.

3There are no busy airports here. For your flying pleasure, you’ll choose from five FBO (Fixed Base of Operations) buildings with small runways. These FBOs serve as the interface to the various game options; as you move around the 3D-rendered FBO building, you can pick your plan, check out your log book, travel to another FBO, and sign up for flight lessons. Cockpit instrumentation is minimal and the interface looks a lot uglier than any of MSFS 5.1’s planes. Inside the cockpit, you can choose from several views, including a 3D virtual cockpit.

All in all, this flight sim picked up a few tricks from the Flight Simulator bag of ideas, but the introduction of aerobatics and sharper visual details allow it to complement Flight Simulator 5.1, but not really exceed it. With no inclusion of regular airport-to-airport civilian flights through busy skies, the thrill of flying this sim is significantly limited.

System Requirements: 486/33 Mhz, 8 MB RAM, SVGA, DOS

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