Flight Simulator is getting helicopters, gliders, and a giant wooden seaplane that only ever flew once

The Microsoft Flight Simulator 40th Anniversary Edition patch now has an official release date: It'll be free to everyone on November 11. The update will bring 12 new aircraft, 20 missions from the game's past, 4 big commercial airports, 10 glider airports, and 14 heliports.

Most notably for sim fans, it'll introduce helicopters and gliders, the two things people want the most from Microsoft Flight Simulator and that've been absent since the latest version's 2020 launch. It'll also have a proper full-size airliner, per community demand: The Airbus A-310, where they say "nearly every single button works just as expected."

My excitement, however, is reserved for the historical planes: Specifically, Flight Simulator is getting the Hughes H-4 Hercules, the largest wooden plane and largest seaplane ever built, known colloquially as the Spruce Goose. The real life version only flew once. Flight Simulator versions are going to fly a lot more than that.

This giant update will also include the famous Wright Flyer, the Spirit of St. Louis, the Douglas DC-3, and more—seven historicals in all. It's part of the same series of updates surrounding Flight Simulator's 40th birthday (yep, the first one came out in 1982) that added the famous Halo Pelican dropship to the normally ultra-real simulator.

The 40th Anniversary year has also included a series of Local Legends aircraft. The latest of those, the 1919 All-Metal Junkers F 13, hits today alongside the first-ever cities update bringing photogrammetry-modeled detail to the German cities of Hanover, Dortmund, Dusseldorf, Bonn, and Cologne. We'll keep up with Xbox in case any more airplane news comes out of Gamescom, but for now, please enjoy a few more of Flight Simulator's spectacular trailers.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.