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Microsoft Flight Simulator closed beta scheduled for mid-July

A private alpha test now includes Airbus and Boeing jetliners

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A Boeing 7u47-8i banks right in Microsoft Flight Simulator. Below it a cloud layer, tens of thousands of feet high, glows in the sunset. Image: Adobo Studio/Microsoft
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Work on Microsoft Flight Simulator is charging ahead, with a closed beta now set for the middle of July. No word yet on what it will take to get in. Additionally, available platforms have not been announced, but the current closed alpha is currently taking place exclusively on Windows PC.

Word of the closed beta was buried inside a lengthy update published to the Flight Simulator blog on May 14. In it, developer Asobo Studios announced it was sharing a version of the new 747-8i with testers. That virtual aircraft has been developed in partnership with Boeing. It joins an extensive alpha fleet that includes a number of smaller, single-engine aircraft as well as the Airbus A320, which was added in April.

Flight Simulator is a dramatic refresh of the oldest piece of software in the Microsoft portfolio. In-game assets are pulled directly from more than two petabytes of satellite imagery on Bing, while it’s multiplayer systems aim to bring together virtual and real-world air traffic in the same experience.

There’s no release date yet for Microsoft Flight Simulator, but the game is expected for both Windows PC and Xbox One, and will be included in the Xbox Game Pass program.

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