If you would like to fly an airplane but you lack the license, the funds and the time, you should take a look at the flight simulator games out there.
Several flight simulations compete for your attention and your money. There are some free flight simulators that give you a basic idea of what flying could be like. The graphics are sometimes quite good but unfortunately they are not very realistic.
6 features you should look out for when you choose a flight simulator:
1. Graphics and scenery: A state of the art flight sim will have decent looking video animations and, very important, a realistic map of the world. Wherever you fly, the flight sim should have correctly mapped scenery and landscape.
2. Selection of planes: How many different planes are available to fly? Check for military and passenger airplanes, turboprop and jet stream, helicopters and carrier airplanes.
3. Weather and time: A flight simulation should offer realistic weather that challenges your pilot skills. Ideally, weather and time can be customized or synchronized with real world conditions.
4. Realistic cockpit and controls: Make sure your flight sim offers a cockpit view that is modeled correctly after the real plane.
5. Additional features and add-ons available: If the flight sim has an active developer team or community, you will find add-ons and additional features being published regularly. This will help if you ever get bored.
6. Aircraft Carriers: If you find a flight sim with integrated aircraft carriers, you might have a great time. Its challenging to start and land your airplane on a carrier, especially at night, but it’s a great experience and it will glue you to the screen until you have mastered it.
I have long searched for a good flight simulator that includes as many of the above mentioned features as possible. Unfortunately, most modern flight games focus solely on military conflicts, arcade flying experience and multiplayer battles. While there is nothing wrong with that, it is not what I was looking for: a realistic flight experience.