Microsoft’s all-new Flight Simulator 2020 not only delivers impressive graphics but will offer something not previously available to desktop simulation aficionados: real-time live traffic, using a feed provided by FlightAware. “It’s the next level of evolution for this type of simulation,” said FlightAware CEO Daniel Baker. Simulators have for many years offered hyper-realistic terrain, buildings, and weather, but, he added, “The new version is stunning. It will raise the bar for everyone else.”
Flight Simulator 2020 is still in the Alpha testing stage, but the real-time traffic feed is already working. Under its partnership agreement with Microsoft, FlightAware provides a real-time data feed of worldwide air traffic to Microsoft’s servers. FlightAware gathers this data from its global terrestrial ADS-B network (more than 28,000 receivers) combined with data from 45 air navigation service providers, ACARS datalinks, Aireon’s space-based ADS-B network, and airline real-time out/off/on/in (OOOI) and flight information.
What this means for simulator pilots is that they will be able to see and share the airspace with other aircraft in the simulated world, while the other aircraft populate the simulation exactly as they are flying in the real world. This includes air traffic on the ground at airports and in the air.