The Premium Deluxe version of Microsoft Flight Simulator will set you back more than $120 with tax. You see, the standard version of the game only comes with 20 planes in total. But there are 10 more split between the Deluxe and Premium Deluxe editions which will get you access to 10 more. Some of these are completely unique, others are “downgraded” versions of planes in the base game without the G1000 navigation systems. Useful for those with fond memories of when flying wasn’t as easy. Others, though, are upgraded and modernized. Either way, you’re paying a premium for access to more planes and unless you’re super into a specific plane, all it takes is one excuse to keep you from shelling out the extra cash.
That’s the case with the Cessna Longitude, a business jet which can fit around 12 people. It replaces traditional avionics with those from Garmin, more focused on touch screens than on buttons and nobs. There’s one problem though: It’s not only burning through fuel more than four times faster than it should, but it may even be missing fuel tanks.
Why It Even Matters
When you first load up Microsoft Flight Simulator, chances are you’re just going to try and learn how to fly. From take off to landing, there’s a ton to learn. If that’s you, there’s really nothing wrong with the Longitude. It’ll get you where you need to go and it’ll get you there fast. This time has a cruising speed of 483 true airspeed which is more than double just about every plane under it short of the Citation CJ4, another jet, and the TBM 930, a turboprop.
In theory, the Cessna Longitude will cruise at up to 45,000 feet over seven hours and 3,500 Nautical Miles. But that’s just what the menus say. In reality you’d be lucky to make it 800 NMs. Don’t get me wrong, that’s still a decent two hour flight and nearly the distance from Tokyo to Shanghai, but it’s not what folks are expecting. In theory, you should be able to fly all the way down to Australia on a single tank of fuel.
This doesn’t matter to most players who can just refuel midair, turn on unlimited fuel, or just don’t make trips that long. But once you’ve finished that whole process across a few of your favorite planes, you start to need a reason to fly. For that, many turn to standalone applications which simulate a kind of career mode for the game.
Whether you use OnAir or FS Economy, these games start you off in super cheap, single propeller planes which can’t carry much more than 500 pounds. In short, you go from job to job, flying around whatever area you’re in, working you way to better and better planes. Most go from planes like the Cessna 172 to single turboprops like the Cessna Grand Caravan and then off to double turboprops like the Beechcraft King Air. There’s a natural progression towards the bottom end of the spectrum.
The business jets like the Citation Longitude and CJ4 would be natural next steps, but they have ranges that are vastly lower than planes cheaper than them. Sure, they’ll get you somewhere fast, but they won’t be able to carry much weight. And when you’re paid based on what you’re delivering, cargo weight starts to matter.
That’s something most people don’t really think too much about. The Longitude can either go 3,500 Nautical Miles with a full fuel load, carrying very little, or it can carry a lot and have its range drastically reduced. So when the plane only gets 800 nautical on a single tank of fuel, adding any kind of weight makes it far more of a regional plane than it is ever supposed to be.
Right now everyone is forced to use these slower regional planes until they can make a massive jump up to the Airbus A320. You know? Those jets you use to fly across continents? It’s a tremendous difference and one that’s holding up a good chunk of the flight sim community.
This isn’t some kind of call for Asobo to do better either. This game is literally the size of the entire planet. It doesn’t get much bigger than that. We’re also dealing with incredibly complicated avionics systems which have to try and realistically adapt to real world weather conditions and my awful mistakes. The developers say things have been improved with last week’s update, but it’s still not fixed. All I know is I’m excited to move onto this particular jet.
Lord knows I want to shell out $85 just to upgrade my Game Pass copy and unlock access to 10 more planes (and 10 handcrafted airports for what it’s worth). But two months after release, I’m still waiting for the Longitude to truly be usable before I can finally move on and really see the world.