Flight Unlimited is a 1995 aerobatic flight simulator video game developed and published by LookingGlass Technologies. It allows players to pilot reproductions of real-world aircraft and to perform aerobatic maneuvers. They may fly freely, race through floating rings against a timer or take lessons from a virtual flight instructor. The instructor teaches basic and advanced techniques, ranging from rudder turns to maneuvers such as the tailslide, Lomcovák and Immelmann turn.
Flight Unlimited was the first self-published game released by Looking Glass Technologies. It was intended to establish the company as a video game publisher and to compete with flight simulator franchises such as Microsoft Flight Simulator. Project leader Seamus Blackley, a particle physicist and amateur pilot, conceived the game in 1992. He felt that other flight simulators failed to convey the experience of real flight, and he reacted by coding a simulated atmosphere for Flight Unlimited based on real-time computational fluid dynamics. Aerobatic pilot Michael Goulian endorsed the game and assisted the team in making it more true to life.
Flight Unlimited received positive reviews from critics and was a commercial success; its sales exceeded 780,000 copies by 2002. Reviewers lauded its realism, flight instruction, graphics and sense of flight, but some criticized its high system requirements. The game was followed by two sequels: Flight Unlimited II (1997) and Flight Unlimited III (1999). A combat-oriented successor, Flight Combat, was released in 2002 as Jane's Attack Squadron after a series of setbacks. Soon after Flight Unlimited's completion, Blackley was fired from Looking Glass. He went on to design Jurassic Park: Trespasser at DreamWorks Interactive and later spearhead the Xbox project at Microsoft.
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