JT-3D's Flight Simulator comparison page.

(I recommend you set your resolution to 1024x768 or higher if you can but you can always just slide.)

On this page I show comparason screenshots of the various versions of Flight Sim from over the years. Originally, FSII came with Chicago, New York, Seattle and Los Angeles areas and that was it. Much later, they started coming out with scenery areas that were terrible but covered the rest of the U.S. I only bought one. That was the west coast, #3. For some reason they did'nt have the Texas area scenery disk in Texas stores. Odd marketing strategy, that is. Anyway, I found roms for the other areas so I plan to get more shots once I get time to explore. For now, there are only 3 areas, Martha's Vineyard, Mt. Ranier and a pic of Seattle, and a few in New York. These views are as close to the same direction, altitude and location as I can get. I plan have more variety but wanted to get this page laid out first.
I now have FS2004 but graphically it doesn't differ greatly from FS2002 so I don't know if I'll add it to the comparison.
BTW, the site links are spread across the bottom of the page like a stick of butter on a hot sidewalk so as not to make this page any wider. Any requests or complaints or if you think this page is boring and a waste of time and I'm and idiot for wasting my time like this let me know. Finally, let me say thanks to Bruce Artwick who invented flightsimming. I hope he is getting royalties from MS for Flightsim.

Here are some shots of FS1 running on the Apple emulator. It's a small area. In fact the whole area is included in FS2 in the WW1 area.

Martha's Vineyard

We start off with a look at Martha's Vineyard.

This is the Vineyard in FS4

...and here's how Martha's Vineyard looks in FS98.

Ok, Martha's Vineyard again. Higher quality textures but that's about it.

Mt. Rainier

Then off to the west coast for a look at Mt. Ranier.

There didn't seem to be a Seattle area in FS4 and thus, no Mt. Rainier. I have yet to spend 5hours to fly up and look. Maybe that was an addon scenery in FS4 since back then that was a big thing.

Mt. Rainier hasn't improved much in 15 years but it does have a better snowcap.

Mt. Rainier looks like a mountain at last.


A quick circle around and we have a lovely view of Seattle in all it's 8bit glory. The tower is Space Needle and Mt. Rainier in the background.

There is no Seattle in FS4. I guess they traded it for San Francisco instead.

Here's Seattle again in FS98. Buildings now. Great idea.

Seattle downtown, and everything looks good. Alot more to see as well as Space Needle again.

New York Harbor

OK, out of JFK and we come up on downtown New York. I've never been there but I'm sure it looks exactly like this. By the way, that white dot in the water is the Statue of Liberty.

Downtown New York has alot of buildings in FS98.

New York in FS2k. Not bad. The bridges look good and so do the buildings.

Note no World Trade Center towers...bastard terrorists.

The Statue of Liberty

A little left and we see Lady Liberty in the harbor.

The Statue of Liberty has been improved.

Lady Liberty has recieved a make over again.

New York, N.Y.

We swing north and turn around for a look at downtown again. We can see the Empire State building and the World Trade Center twin towers. Also, there's a bridge on the left.

It's hard to see the twin towers and Empire State building now that the area has grown up around them.

Urban sprawl ala FS2k. Building textures have improved a great deal.

I think the 2k pic looks better here with an addon that I put in which added a lot of buildings. Auto-gen has added buildings but they are shorter. Also note, auto-gen added trees in central park.

La Guardia (KLGA)

Now, back north for a landing at La Guardia. I actually landed this time. Hard to believe that I used to be able to control this thing.

...and La Guardia has improved alot too.

...and back to LGA for a conclusion of our tour. Please feel free to take a brochure and be careful exiting the plane.

Goldengate Bridge

There was no Goldengate Bridge in FSII but if there was, it would probabaly look like the Brooklyn Bridge.

This is the only FS3 pic right now. I just figured out how to set the resolution so I'll get more later but it looks about like FS4 anyway.

There are alot more buildings in San Francisco. They just didn't show up this far out. Note the Presidio under the bridge.

More detail in the area. Alcatraz has been improved on too.


Links for other flightsim history sites.

Flight Simulator History is a new and still being built, history of FS page. Pretty good.

New link for the above site. It's really come along in the last decade. I'll leave the old link so those who want to see the original site can feed it into the Wayback Machine at Archive.org.

Czech Flightsim history page. FS on various systems. Very good site.

Migman would be a very cool site but it's only avaible by subscription. Too bad because there is alot of stuff there about the old sims, not just FS but most everything that flies on a computer. But I guess Migman doesn't believe that information should be free. Oh well, have a look if you're interested.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed my little compilation. I do not wish to detract from anyone's fond memories of FSII by comparing it to todays flightsims and will take nothing away from Bruce Artwick and Sublogic for creating Flight Simulator. It was great at the time and I spent many an hour flying from one place to the next. I learned navigation in FSII, had many an IFR flight just watching the nav pointers waiting for time to turn, the whole time nothing but white in the windshield. No autopilot, which I swear by now, but you could get it trimmed to fly level which is why the reality level was easier than the 'easy' level. The hardware of the time really limited what FS could do. It got about 1 or 2 frames a second (on the C=64) which, today, is concidered 'unflyable'. Well, I and thousands of others proved that to be wrong by flying hundreds or thousands of hours with it. We tried to ignore the bad things and focused on the good points of the sim and ended up with a great expierience. It had many of the things FS has now, multi level weather, winds, 'easter eggs', seasonal changes for dawn, dusk, night and day. It was a great product and you can thank the fans of FS2 for the current versions of FS which is probably enjoyed by millions today. Thank Bruce Artwick, not Bill Gates, for flightsim. Now, go fly something!
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