If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Fly over Chicago in incredible photographic detail!

VFR USA – Chicago

Label: Horizon Simulation Ltd

Developer: Horizon Simulation Ltd

Genre: Flight Simulation

Release: August 2005

SRP: £17.99/24.95/$29.95

Sweet Home Chicago... Baby don't you want to go?!

In the heart of the Mid West on the shores of Lake Michigan, lies Chicago - one of the US's largest and most vibrant cities, the home of jazz, the Cubs, three of the world's tallest buildings, and O'Hare International airport - the 2nd busiest in the world!

Chicago boasts over 3000 flights passing through Midway and O'Hare airports daily, with more air passenger traffic than any other city in the world! If you can negotiate your way through these skies without clipping a wing, you're one hell of a pilot!

"Your virtual world has never looked so real!"

Recreate flights all over Chicago in true photographic detail...

Using the best aerial photography and the most accurate terrain data available, VFR USA gives you unparalleled scenery quality and allows you to recreate flights all over Chicago and the surrounding area in true photographic detail!

Scenery so real that it is used by military, civilian, and private pilots for training...

VFR USA is quite literally a landmark development in simulation. Using a highly detailed, seamless mosaic of aerial images of the Mid Western landscape around Chicago, VFR USA gives you a virtual world so real that you can recognise even the smallest details on maps and flying charts, allowing realistic VFR Navigation and IP to target training.

By replacing the representative (default) scenery for Chicago (provided by Microsoft) with real aerial photography, VFR USA gives you spectacular views of Chicago and the surrounding area in your simulator, allowing you to take in a completely new perspective of the USA at a fraction of the cost of flying for real.


Photographic Scenery - Unbelievable quality and clarity...

Stunning aerial photography, showing every home, street, town, tree, river (and much more besides) in the scenery area! The scenery is generated from the best aerial photography available and is displayed at the maximum level of detail resolution that MSFS can display.

New Winter Textures! - So realistic you'll get chills even flying the simulator...

If you're prepared to brave the weather, we've also included some fantastic winter scenery for you to enjoy. With heavy snow covering the visual references below, flying VFR over Chicago in winter is now a real challenge!

Great Coverage - Longer flights with spectacular views...

Giving you over 30,000 km2 (11,700mi2) of highly detailed aerial photography and terrain, you can fly longer and further enjoying incredible views of Chicago and its surrounding area.

Terrain Mesh (elevation model) - Highly detailed & accurate...

A 30m elevation model is provided which includes every lump and bump of terrain in the coverage area, adding depth to the photographic scenery and giving you recognisable terrain with minute topographic detail.

Interactive Water Bodies - Polish your landing skills on water...

To further enhance your enjoyment of the scenery, Horizon's developers have hand-cut all major lakes, rivers, and large water bodies in the scenery area, providing moving, reflective water textures, and giving you the chance to test your skills at landing float planes in your local creek!

VFR USA Chicago gives you the choice of whether you would like interactive water (as described above), or unedited water from the original photography (for additional realism).

NEW Night Lighting! - Fly VFR at night...

Horizon's new custom night light technology provides you with incredibly realistic night lighting effects to allow you to practice flying VFR even when the sun goes down, or simply to enjoy fascinating scenery on your IFR flights at any time of day or night.

3D Buildings - Buzz the Sears Tower...

To complete the picture, Horizon's developers have also positioned and scaled thousands of buildings, bridges and other 3D objects provided in the default scenery to align with the photographic scenery.

Airports - Full integration with existing FS airports and add-ons...

VFR USA is entirely compatible with existing airports and add-ons. By simply replacing the scenery surrounding the airports with real aerial photography and elevation data, you can now enjoy flying into and out of the default FS airports (over 200 in this region alone), or beautifully crafted add-ons from other designers with real photographic detail.

Go Sight-Seeing/Explore Chicago...

It's not until you actually take to the skies for a bird's eye view that you really know the world we live in. VFR USA now lets you soar the skies free from air traffic control on your home computer, exploring the city and surrounds of Chicago and enjoying the same incredible views that real aviators do when flying over the same area.

Practice VFR Navigation...

If you're studying for, or already hold a private pilot's licence, Flight Simulator and VFR USA is one of the most cost effective ways of practicing VFR Navigation.

With every road, river, railway line, and landmark in the coverage area accurately and recognisably depicted in photographic detail, you can identify features on maps and charts to help you navigate cross country flights over Chicago and the surrounding area for real.

Fly Reconnaissance Before Taking To The Skies...

If you're planning a cross-country flight over an area you've never flown, VFR USA allows you to fly the exact route (in your preferred weather conditions) and collect Visual Reference Points (VRPs) which you can use to plot your course when flying for real.

Aerial Photography - Not Satellite Imagery

VFR USA is created from the best survey quality aerial photography from the USA's leading supplier, AirPhotoUSA - simply the best data available. Whilst satellites may be the 'technology of the future', they inevitably suffer from the limitations that such altitude brings to image acquisition. Typically satellite data provides inferior clarity and colour definition when compared with aerial photography.

Being acquired from an aeroplane flying at c. 10,000ft AGL, in the best possible light and weather conditions, AirPhotoUSA's archive of photography is the perfect source data for uses in flight simulation - giving you the same views that the pilots of the survey aircraft would have seen on their acquisition sorties.


VFR USA Chicago is provided with a DVD packed with real aerial photographic scenery and terrain data. VFR USA Chicago covers over 11,700mi2 (30,000 km2) of Chicago and the surrounding area - it will take up approximately 1.9 GB of space on your hard drive.

Minimum Specifications: FS2002/FS2004, Windows 2000/XP/ME/98, 700 MHz processor, 128 MB RAM, 32 MB graphics card, 400 MB Hard Disk space, DirectX 8.0a.

Recommended Specifications: FS2002/FS2004, Windows XP Pro, 1 GHz processor (or faster), 512 MB+ RAM, 64+ MB graphics card, 1.8GB MB Hard Disk space, DirectX 9.0a, or later.

Developed by Horizon Simulation Ltd. Made in Great Britain.

Includes aerial photography supplied by AirPhotoUSA, LLC.

®Horizon Simulation Ltd, 2005. Aerial photography Copyright ®AirPhotoUSA, LLC 2003-2005. All Rights Reserved.

Full details of the Horizon range can be accessed at www.horizonsimulation.com

About Horizon Simulation

Horizon Simulation is a pioneering software specialist that leads the world in the development of highly detailed and accurate virtual models of the real world for use in training and gaming flight simulators.

A British company, based in London, Horizon works with the best international data suppliers to create highly innovative and immersive scenery upgrades for the world's most advanced flight simulations. Horizon's products give simulator pilots the same views from their virtual cockpit that real aviators enjoy in flight, providing fascinating landscapes for the casual user and a large amount of training value to private and professional pilots around the globe.

Horizon's operations in the professional simulation industry for both civilian and defense clients assures that its consumer products are always at the forefront of the development of virtual modeling. Insight from these professional liaisons is used to conceive new software upgrades for consumer simulators, which are tested and used by some of the world's most revered flying establishments.


If you require any assets, samples, screen shots please feel free to contact at Chaloner Associates on the above contact email address or by telephone on +44 (0)1954 270599

About the Author

GamesIndustry International avatar

GamesIndustry International


GamesIndustry International is the world's leading games industry website, incorporating GamesIndustry.biz and IndustryGamers.com.

More News

Latest Articles