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Flying The Dune Ornithopter On Arrakis In VR Via Microsoft Flight Simulator

Flying The Dune Ornithopter On Arrakis In VR Via Microsoft Flight Simulator

If there is one thing we love about VR, it's the ability to live out childhood dreams.

My colleague Ian Hamilton recently recapped how twin sisters relive their imaginative trips from childhood in VR by visiting the Eiffel Tower or Atlantis together. For my part, I've spent much of the last few days flying over the dunes of Frank Herbert's Arrakis in Microsoft Flight Simulator.

The new free add-on to Flight Simulator transforms the game into the barren spice-filled planet from the 1965 book. The update includes tailored flight dynamics for Dune's ornithopter and weather effects that add a whole new layer of complexity and unpredictability, making each new flight a challenge. Most of the new missions have you hopping from landing pad to landing pad or racing across the desert for a faster time. The last mission, though, goes much further - it's a high-stakes rescue that stands as one of VR’s most thrilling moments.

On your left is an immense sandstorm bearing down on the crash site while somewhere off to the right is safety. You have to desperately fly as fast as you can to get the survivor before the desert takes them. The first time I landed my ornithopter near them, listening to the sand and debris start to hit the glass of the cockpit, my heart started pounding in my chest with anxiety.

Overall, the Dune add-on for Flight Simulator is an incredible new destination for PC VR that offers both a unique and immersive experience as well as fan service to the beloved sci-fi classic. It includes Hans Zimmer's soundtrack from Denis Villeneuve's new adaptations and, most importantly, captures the thrilling feel of actually soaring over the vast desert imagined in Herbert's original book.

Whether you're a fan of the Dune series, or just looking for a new challenge in Microsoft Flight Simulator, the Dune add-on DLC offers a standout example of the thrilling power of PC VR gaming.

Check out the mission in our video:

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