When I returned to flight simulators at the start of 2017, I quickly started getting interested in virtual airlines that might be able to offer my sim experience a little something more.
I scouted around a little and came across the guys at FlyUK.
FlyUK have a lovely wide fleet of aircraft at your disposal from the de Havilland Canada DHC-6 all the way up to the Boeing 747-400 (as well as a cargo variant). All of these aircraft are available as freeware from their website (once you’ve joined them, of course). Each aircraft also has a link to a payware alternative, made by some of the finest developers, for those of us who want to make our flying that little bit more realistic and challenging, although there is absolutely no requirement at all to make any such purchase.
Routes & Flights
As well as their international mainstream operations, FlyUK also offer smaller services across the Highlands of Scotland and across Norway. These smaller services provide a great alternative challenge to the normal mainstream flights, often terminating on the smaller airports that will keep you on your toes.
That said, the mainstream services can be a challenge all on their own. With both domestic and international flights available, including their Fly2 low cost service and interesting cargo routes that take you from your starting airport across a series of stops, finally terminating back at your departure airport.
Much like their fleet, there’s so many flights to choose from that you’d be hard pushed to be able to fly each and every one., especially as the management team are always looking to update the provided services.
All of your flights flown with FlyUK can be recorded using their Skytrack freeware. Very simple to use, simply load it up before you start your engines, fetch the booking and start it going before returning to your flight sim and getting going. Once you’ve landed and taxied to your gate, just shut your engines down and file the pirep. Pireps can also be exported and submitted from Skytrack if you’d prefer.
Like all good airlines, it’s possible to further your career flying with FlyUK. There are a number of ranks, starting at Class E First Officer and going all the way up to ATP Captain (after flying for 500 hours with them)
One of the things I like about the rank system in FlyUK is how sensibly spaced out the number of flying hours between each rank is. Early doors, you progress to the next rank after 10-15 hours of flying time until you’ve ranked up a few times. Then, as you reach B and A class rankings, things start to take a little longer. Finally, you need to rack up 200 flying hours from Class A Captain to ATP First Officer and the same again to get to ATP Captain, providing a good sense of satisfaction once you’ve attained those heady heights.
If you’re looking for something a little different to flying normal passenger and cargo routes then FlyUK have a truly wonderful set of tours to keep things interesting. From the UK domestic E Class tour, to the D Class Atlantic Tour and into the A Class Worldflight tour 2016, there’s always something else to see and do.
Each tour has a specific set or aircraft available to choose from, some of which are wider than others, but there’ll always be something there that you’ll like to try.
They also have a great flying club, focusing much more on VFR flying than IFR, for those days when you want to take it easy and hop around some of the smaller general aviation airfields scattered everywhere. The club meet up online every Wednesday and get in the air as a group, providing a very pleasant social aspect to the airline.
The Flying Club also has it’s own range of tours to try out, offering a different challenge completely. From your average light aircraft, to float planes and helicopters there’s even more to experiment with.
All in all, I’ve found FlyUK to be a very pleasant experience, with friendly forums full of people who are only too glad to help out if you get stuck and such a massive range of flying to try out I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with them so far. Additionally, FlyUk are relaxed and their VA is open to pretty much all of the available flight sim software, so if you’re looking for something more in your flight simming experience, I’d really recommend giving them a try.