While Microsoft Flight Simulator uses a lot of new technology to bring you a simulated planet, there's something awesome about old technology, too. You can combine them both with this mod for Microsoft Flight Simulator, which recreates the world's oldest flyable aircraft: the glorious Blériot XI, which is over a hundred and ten years old.
It's probably not gonna be as easy as flying a Cessna—though the Bleriot XI is indeed still flyable today, this thing has bicycle wheels. To start it up, you have to stand in front of the plane and physically grab and yank the propeller so it starts spinning. To turn while flying, you have to use wires to pull on the wings and actually change their shape. This is all realistically simulated by the Blériot XI mod, which was created by the modders at Wing42.
And the mod even includes the creator, Louis Blériot himself, sitting in the cockpit in all his mustachioed glory.
I should point out that this isn't a free mod. It'll cost you about €20, or $23. I understand most players might not want to shell out what is a third of the price of the game itself for a single mod, but surely some tried and true sim fans and aviation history buffs would love to take the Blériot XI for a spin.
The mod not only includes a lovely 3D model of the Blériot XI, but custom sound effects for its propeller and engine, plus animations for all its moving parts (including the wing warping, which is so neat). There's also a 20-page manual you can find on the mod's page.
Blériot was an interesting guy, by the way! He invented headlamps for automobiles that were so successful he was able to put his fortune to work designing airplanes. You know why modern airplanes have foot rudders and control sticks? Because Blériot invented them. He was also the first to develop the first working monoplane. And he had one hell of a moustache.