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Brisbane gets dramatic overhaul in Microsoft Flight Simulator

written by Adam Thorn | February 26, 2021

An independent Australian developer has given Brisbane a dramatic overhaul in Microsoft Flight Simulator.

The update from Orbx, which notably put the Harbour Bridge back in Sydney, includes 120 custom-made landmarks including the Skytower, Suncorp Stadium and the Gabba.

“For those looking to discover the most scenic side of Brisbane, we recommend flying along the famous Brisbane River,” said Orbx in a statement. “This laid-back flight along the waterfront is full of charming marinas, moored boats and even the New Farm Riverwalk.

“Beyond the city, fly over Fisherman Island, a port which sits just a few miles from Brisbane Airport, and offers views of Brisbane’s industrial area.

“As the sun sets over the Port of Brisbane, experience our custom night-lighting inspired by real-world photography for the most realistic night flying experience available.”

You can view more screenshots on their website, and purchase the upgrade, here.


Orbx made headlines in October last year when it released an upgrade that replaced 28,000 generic buildings in Sydney with more accurate versions – including the omitted Harbour Bridge.

The business is allowed to release the pack because Microsoft has allowed third-party developers permission to create and sell upgrades.

The original version of the game featured some cities that were poor imitations, due to designs being artificially recreated from Microsoft’s rival to Google Maps, Bing, rather than being built from scratch.

Last week, World of Aviation reported how the sim’s original creators have released a trailer showing off its new makeover for the UK and Ireland.

The much anticipated third ‘World Update 3’ download includes recreated versions of more than 70 points of interest, along with five new “hand-crafted” airports.

The sim received gushing reviews from some of the world’s most prestigious computer game websites and newspapers after its release in August 2020.

Eurogamer rated the new version ‘Essential’ and said it was a “technical marvel” that demonstrated the “joys of flight”; IGN said it had “never seen anything close to this level of accuracy in a flight simulation before”; while The Guardian gave it five stars and said it “captures the wonder of flight, and the spiritual and emotional rush of seeing the world in a different way”.

Previously, Microsoft confirmed to Australian Aviation that the game allows players to take off and land at 613 airports in Australia and 37,000 globally.

Players can fly around this world in up to 30 aircraft ranging from the A320neo to a Cessna 152 and Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental. All feature accurate cockpits with realistic controls and instrumentation.

The sim comes in three versions, ranging from US$60–US$120, with the Deluxe and Premium editions including more planes and airports.


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