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Rami Ismail flew from Montreal to Amsterdam in Microsoft Flight Sim - while on the same flight in real life

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020
(Image credit: Microsoft)

If you've ever wondered exactly how accurate Microsoft Flight Simulator really is, then wonder no longer, as indie developer Rami Ismail has worked it out. In a Twitter thread last night, Ismail documented his virtual journey from Montreal to Amsterdam - while making the same journey in real life.

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Shortly after 18:00 Montreal time last night, Ismail told his followers that he was "incredibly, incredibly excited" to begin his experiment. Shortly after take-off, he said that the flights were "pretty synced up," and that entering the cloud cover was only "seconds apart." A couple of hours later, the difference had grown, but only by around four minutes - Ismail said that while his virtual flight had him just under two and a half hours out from his destination, its real-life equivalent had the remaining journey time at 2:25.

Eventually, it turned out that Flight Sim was "about four minutes" faster than the real flight, but the comparisons between the game and real-life went further than just the journey time. Both Ismail and his pilot "started descent at almost the exact same second," while the former Vlambeer developer noted that everything from the cloud cover to the stars above to the sunrise over Europe looked the same both in-game and IRL.

Already an outstanding technical achievement, Microsoft Flight Simulator is set to become even more accurate as development continues. New UK locations are set to be added to the game in January, and developer Asobo Studios has confirmed that the game's free VR update is also on its way soon.

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Ali Jones

I'm GamesRadar's deputy news editor, working with Ben T across our gaming news articles. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.