The power of flight has only really existed for mankind for roughly the last 100 years, although people have always envied birds and their ability to fly. There is something alluring about soaring through the air. Many of us will never get to fly, and if we do, it will only be as a passenger. However, there are ways to mimic flight. Flight simulator games can let you control a virtual airplane and see how it handles.
There are many kinds of aircraft, so there are lots of different kinds of games. Some of the most popular ones are games centered around the World Wars, which both had a significant amount of aerial combat. You can imagine yourself as a heroic pilot in WWI, trusting your bi-plane hundreds of feet above the air. You will be attempting to outmaneuver opposing planes while simultaneously up your machine gun sights for that crucial shot.
By WWII, planes had evolved a lot more. Navigational tools had improved, and guns and gas tanks were bigger and better. Instead of merely seeking to shoot down opposing aircraft or scout enemy positions, many planes were used as long-range bombers designed to wreak havoc on enemy cities. If you play a game based around a WWII plane, you may have to worry about dodging flak fire, running out of fuel on long missions, hitting your target, and avoiding enemy planes. Some free online flight simulator games will even have campaign modes, where you start out on simple missions and advance to more complex ones as you show you have what it takes to succeed in the air.
Some games are not based around combat, but more on demonstrating skill based around handling a plane. These types of games will reward you for your ability to do barrel rolls, loops, and other difficult maneuvers. Some may give you a course with obstacles to fly around and might add a timer to increase the pressure.
Games can vary on their control and what perspective you see the plane from. The most authentic games strive to recreate the cockpit and present you with information about altitude, fuel, and navigation. Other games will have you controlling a plane, but typically the view is from the side or from the top, instead of inside the cockpit.
Most of the time the controls will be somewhat similar. You normally have the option to speed up, slow down, and to use your wing flaps to change direction. The skill lies in knowing how to combine these movements to direct yourself in the air.
Flying is not as easy as it looks. Luckily, if you want to get some practice in, you have all kinds of free online flight simulator games to try. You can try dog fighting in WWI, important bombing missions in WWII, or simply seeing how well you can handle a plan by executing intricate maneuvers. Go with a classic feel and see things from inside the cockpit, or it makes you more comfortable, control the plane from an outside view.