The 2016 rollout of Dovetail Games Flight School


In 2016 when Dovetail Games rolled out Dovetail Games Flight School, this was its official website.
Content is from the site's 2016 archives pages as well as from other outside sources including a great preview by Tim Stone at


Unleash the pilot within with Dovetail Games Flight School! Flight School, from acclaimed simulation software studio Dovetail Games, puts you straight into the cockpit with compelling, interactive missions and challenges that will get you flying like a veteran in no time.


Since the beginning of time, we have looked to the skies and dreamt of flying. In less than a century, we have transformed that dream beyond anything our ancestors could have possibly imagined, and now you can be a part of it.

The nervous excitement of taking off and landing…
The adrenaline-fuelled solo flight…
The unparalleled liberation felt from soaring above the clouds…

Nothing in the world compares to the exhilaration of flight!

Dovetail Games Flight School gets you straight into the cockpit with compelling, interactive missions and challenges that will get you flying like a veteran in no time. Choose from two highly-detailed aircraft which are individually tailored to different in-depth experiences. Meanwhile, your Pilot Profile, which is unique to you, tracks your achievements and licenses throughout your career, whilst also acting as a log book so you can watch your hours stack up on your way to becoming a fully-fledged pilot.

Make your dreams of becoming a pilot into a reality – sign up today for more news or head to Steam to purchase Dovetail Games Flight School.


Dovetail Games Flight School: How to use the Flight Planner


Editor: One of the ways to gauge the popularity of this game is to read the gossip on social media. There's a lot of chatter out there that only matters if lots of people are reading it, and that's because a lot of folks are enjoying this software. The rumor I love is the one that claims the chief pitchman for the startup was a US citizen and a Louisiana maritime lawyer who made a killing representing the injured workers on the rig when the Deepwater Horizon disaster occurred in the Gulf of Mexico because of this webpage: He was also a pilot and a self taught programmer who was responsible for the Google bombing of George Bush. We know these stories are untrue, but we're staying out of it online.




CHATHAM, KENT – May 25, 2016  Today, leading simulation publisher Dovetail Games has launched its first original flight simulation title: Dovetail Games Flight School.

Developed with newcomers to the genre in mind, Dovetail Games Flight School puts you straight into the cockpit with compelling, interactive missions and challenges that will get you flying like a veteran in no time.

Choose from two highly detailed aircraft, which are individually tailored to different in-depth experiences. Meanwhile, your unique Pilot Profile tracks your achievements and licenses throughout your career, while acting as a log book so you can watch your hours stack up on your way to becoming a fully-fledged pilot. 

Key Features:

  • Two high performance training aircraft: Piper PA-18 Super Cub and Piper PA-28 Cherokee
  •  A unique pilot profile which keeps track of your progress
  • 15 fun and immersive lessons covering the basics of the LAPL, PPL, and night flying
  • 9 challenging missions
  • Free Flight mode, so you can try out your newfound skills anywhere in the world

Dovetail Games Flight School is available now on Windows PC via Steam for $14.99. A Windows 10 version is expected to launch later this year. For further information, please or


By enthusiasts, for enthusiasts.

 About Dovetail Games

Dovetail Games is a UK developer and publisher of simulation entertainment software.
Dovetail Games was launched in 2013. Previously trading as Ltd, the business launched in 2009 and produces and markets Train Simulator, and Euro Fishing. In 2014, Dovetail Games started distributing Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition. Since then, they have worked with some of the best add-on developers and publishers to make their products available on Steam.

They have created digital hobbies that are enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of passionate enthusiasts across the globe. These hobbies come in the form of simulation experiences that faithfully recreate real world situations and put players at the heart of the action.

Dovetail Games is growing fast, and currently employs more than 120 passionate & creative individuals at our Chatham HQ.

Dovetail Games was named Technology Business of the year in the KEIBA Awards 2015, as well as being recognized as ‘One to watch’ in the 2016 Best Companies.



FAQ / Support

Need help or have a question about Dovetail Games Flight School? Many of the most frequently asked questions are answered below, so we recommend you check out this list to see if your questions is answered.

After checking this list, if your question is not answered, you can contact our Customer Services team at

What is Dovetail Games Flight School?
Flight School is a standalone experience designed to teach players the basics of flight simulation in a compelling and accessible way.

When is Dovetail Games Flight School going to be released?
Dovetail Games Flight School will be released on 24th May 2016 on Steam. The Windows 10 version will follow later in the year – we’ll have more news to share soon.

Where can I purchase Dovetail Games Flight School?
You can purchase Flight School on Steam by clicking on this link:

Will there be a boxed version of Dovetail Games Flight School?
Flight School is being released across digital platforms. A boxed version containing a Steam code will be available at select retailers later this summer.

What are the minimum system requirements to play Dovetail Games Flight School?
The minimum system requirements for Flight School are as follows:
• OS: Windows® 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-bit versions only)
• Processor: Dual Core, 2.5 GHz
• Memory: 4 GB RAM
• Graphics: 512Mb – 1Gb(DX11)
• DirectX: Version 11
• Network: Broadband Internet connection required
• Storage: 25 GB available space
• Please note: Laptop versions of these chipsets may work but are not supported. Updates to your video and sound card drivers may be required

Is Dovetail Games Flight School compatible with DLC for existing simulators?
No, Flight school is a standalone experience and is not compatible with add-ons or content released for other simulators.

Does Flight School include VR support?
No, Flight School does not include VR support.

Does Flight School support multiple monitors?
Yes, Flight School supports up to two monitors.

Can I play Flight School on my laptop?
While some laptops will play Flight School, performance may be negatively impacted, Please note that laptop chipsets are not official supported.

Is there an SDK included with Flight School?
No, Flight School is designed as a standalone experience, and therefore does not include an SDK or modding support.

What is the PEGI/ESRB rating for Flight School?
Flight School is rated PEGI 3/USK 0

Are there going to be foreign language versions of Flight School?
The spoken language in Flight School is English, with English, German and French subtitles.

How big will the Flight School download be?
The download size of Flight School is approximately 11GB

How much free space do I need on my PC to play Flight School?
You need at least 25GB of free space on your hard drive to play Flight School.

Do I need an internet connection to play Flight School?
While you need an internet connection to initially download Flight School, you have the option of playing in offline mode once you have fully downloaded the game.

Does Flight School support Track IR?
Yes, Track IR is supported in Flight School.

Will I be able to use my yoke/flight stick/rudder pedals/etc. with Flight School?
Yes. There is a wide range of peripherals which can be used with Flight School. While we cannot guarantee everything will be compatible, we are working with various hardware companies to provide as much variety as possible.

As this is a 64 bit simulator, you must update your hardware drivers to 64 bit versions, otherwise your hardware may not work properly. Please contact the manufacturer of your peripheral(s) to find out where you can download the latest 64 bit drivers.

These are the systems we have tested to date and confirmed as working. We will expand this list over time:
• Xbox One controller
• Xbox 360 controller
• Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas X
• Saitek X52 Pro
• Saitek X52
• Saitek X55
• Logitech Extreme 3D
• MAD CATZ Cyborg Fly 5 Joystick
• Mad Catz Cyborg V.1
• Saitek Pro flight Yoke system (Yoke, throttle, trim wheel)

Can I use a custom controller layout?
Yes, you can. You can configure your peripherals in the settings menu.

Does Flight School feature multiplayer?
No, Flight School does not feature multiplayer capabilities.

Can I play Flight School in offline mode?
Yes, once you have fully downloaded Flight School, you can run it in Offline Mode.

Does Flight School work with external multiplayer clients such as VATSIM/IVAO?
No, Flight School does not feature multiplayer capabilities.

Does Flight School use FSUIPC?
Flight School does not utilise FSUIPC.

What aircraft are included in Flight School?
There will be two aircraft included In Flight School at launch: the Piper PA-18 Super Cub and the Piper PA-28 Cherokee. A free update which will include a Diamond DA42 will launch later this year.

How many lessons are in Flight School and what do they cover?
At launch, there will be 15 lessons covering Light Aircraft Pilot’s Licence and Private Pilot’s License curriculum as well as your night flying certification.  Once the Diamond DA42 update is released, you will automatically receive multi-engine training lessons as well.

Does all of the learning in Flight School take place in-cockpit, or is there a ground school feature?
Although the lessons in Flight School are based on real world flying lessons it is important to remember our focus is on “compelling and accessible” content. While doing a written exam might be part of the process of learning to fly, in reality making a player spend hours committing pages of text to memory and then completing a written test doesn’t make for very compelling gameplay. Therefore, Flight School does not include classroom based learning sections.

Can I use Flight School for training purposes to become a pilot in real life?
Although Flight School is an accurate simulation of the experience of learning to fly, it is intended for entertainment purposes only and is not a real-life training tool.

Will there be DLC for Flight School?
No, Flight school is designed as a standalone experience, therefore no DLC will be made available.

Does Flight School include the whole world rather than just specific regions?
While the lessons and missions in Flight School take place in specific areas, the entire world is accessible in Free Flight mode.

Can I plan flights in Flight School?
Yes, you can. There is a flight planner included in Free Flight mode. To learn more about our flight planner, check out our tutorial on Youtube:

Can I change the weather during my flight? What about the time of day?
You can change the weather and time of day in Free Flight mode. These options are pre-set in the lessons and missions in order to create certain gameplay challenges.

Is Flight School a 64-bit simulator?
Yes, Flight School is a 64-bit simulator. This allows us to implement more complex and detailed aircraft, scenery, and airports.

When will I receive the Diamond DA42 update, and do I have to pay for it?
You will receive the DA42 update later this summer. If you have pre-ordered Flight School, you will get it as soon as it is made available (the ETA for this is June). If you didn’t pre-order, you will receive this update 60 days after those who have pre-ordered. This is a free update for everyone.

How can I keep updated with the latest news on Flight School?
To keep up with the latest news on all things Flight School, you can:
• Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube
• Subscribe to our mailing list via
• Join us in our Steam forums

Is this Dovetail Games Flight Simulator?
Flight School is not Dovetail Games Flight Simulator. Flight School is a standalone experience designed to teach players the basics of flight simulation in a compelling and accessible way. Dovetail Games Flight Simulator is currently in development and is planned for release later this year.

Are there any aviation data updates in Flight School that improve on FSX?
We are committed to providing the most realistic simulated world possible. A large part of this is bringing all of the aviation data including airports, airspace, airways, navigation aids and obstructions up to date. In Flight School, we have focused on Western Europe and the areas around Ashe County and Prescott in the USA, but we have a team working to bring the whole world up to date as quickly as possible for Dovetail Games Flight Simulator. You can expect most of North America to be complete by the autumn, with more to follow.

I’ve preloaded Flight School but it seems to be taking a long time to now get into the game – why is that?
If you have downloaded Flight School, you have an encrypted, packaged file. On launch day, that file will download a small update to become active, and then it will unpack. This unpacking can take between a few minutes and a couple of hours depending on the power and performance of your PC. During this process Steam will display an “unpacking” notification in your Games Library next to Flight School, and an estimate of how long it will take to complete. Once that’s done you can get started!



The Flare Path's First Day At Flight School

by Tim Stone Contributor 6th May 2016 |/

Dovetail Didacticism

Tim Stone Contributor 6th May 2016 / 1:00PM

Well that wasn’t as traumatic as it might have been. No-one swiped my dinner money or pushed my head down a toilet. No-one made fun of my handknitted jumper or frayed trousers. At no point did I lose my temper and unwittingly reveal my secret super power*. Ignore a couple of bungled emergency landings and a fatal brush with a fir tree and my first day at Dovetail Games Flight School passed without drama of any kind.

*I can turn a Tunnocks Caramel wrapper into a convincing model of a dazzle-camouflaged WWI warship in under five minutes.

Going by the preview build, the standalone Flight School (ETA May 24,pre-order price £12/$15) won’t have a lot to offer seasoned flight simmers, but may justify its existence by helping a few fluffy fledglings to quit warm, wool-lined nests.

Of the fifteen included lessons, the first six are flown from a fairly crude recreation of White Waltham, the Berkshire airfield that was home to the RAF’s hardworking Air Transport Auxiliary from 1940 to 1945.

More advanced instruction takes place in the balmy skies above Prescott, Arizona. At any point in the freeform syllabus, you’re free to play hooky, nine reality-rooted missions and a free flight mode encouraging exploration of the rest of the sim’s generously airported and Orbx-enhanced global scenery.

At DGFS there are no stuffy portacabin classrooms or arrow-and-aerofoil-daubed whiteboards. Within seconds of clicking the first lesson you’re bumping down one of White Waltham’s runways in a Piper Super Cub while an audible but invisible instructor dispenses pithy take-off tips. Guided tour of the cockpit? Quick explanation of the camera system? Sorry mate, no time for boring basics like that.

Although you’re rarely in the air for longer than ten minutes at a time, well written and delivered scripts and talkative dynamic tutoring means every second aloft is fully utilized and potentially illuminating. Shunning gamey sky hoops in favour of spoken altitude, speed, and heading instructions, the lessons, though condensed, have a plausible feel to them. Most of the time your incorporeal companion seems to be watching the gauges and horizon just as keenly as you are. “Add a little power… you’re too low… you turned onto finals too late” the observations, criticisms, and nuggets of wisdom can come thick and fast. Fail to heed them and eventually the exasperated/alarmed tutor will call a halt.

Only once or twice during my Piper rambles did the instructor doze or demonstrate exasperating fussiness. During the trim lesson I felt I’d done a pretty good job of setting up the Cub for level flight, but his entreaties to ‘keep tweaking’ kept coming. And while practising circuit flying in AZ I came horribly close to decorating a hill with Cherokee fragments and he didn’t say a word.

The nine missions are almost as brief as the lessons. A rather unimaginative mix of taxi jaunts and emergency landings, they come with custom audio but disappointingly little in the way of bespoke scenery. Anyone with memories of poacher pursuits and flour bombing in FSX, and aero-caching and ‘clandestine cargo’ jobs in Microsoft Flight probably won’t be hugely impressed or massively entertained.

I suspect many Flight School reviews will end with an FSX recommendation. Dovetail may have added a set of solid instructional challenges to Microsoft’s cast-off, reduced the price, overhauled the flight planner, and scrubbed a little surface rust from the graphics engine, but they’ve also chosen to asset-strip the aircraft selection, lock out modders, and remove functionality in certain areas (weather, for instance, is much less malleable).

Even the most inexperienced and inept fliers will probably have exhausted Flight School’s educational potential by the end of their first week, at which point they’ll find themselves in possession of a sim with many of FSX’s disadvantages (quirky key assignments, occasionally frail famerates, unsophisticated lighting…) and few of its advantages (infinite expandability, good selection of default flyables and missions etc.).

I’m not sure I understand the thinking behind Flight School. As the sad saga of Microsoft Flight proved, combining beginner-friendly tuition with closed architecture is self-defeating. A new ‘Flying School’ edition of FSX: Steam, now that would have made sense. Train new pilots with care and flair then let them loose on the fecund FS add-on scene. Flight School as the Early Access version of Dovetail Games Flight Simulator (the studio’s in-the-works FSX replacement due later this year) is another option that DG surely must have considered.

Is there still time for a rethink – the addition of extra missions and a free plane or twelve – before Flight School throws open its doors on May 24? I sincerely hope so. Without some extra content, a nod or two to the marvellous MSFS modding community, I fear Flight School will vanish as swiftly as Dovetail’s stripped-down train sims Engine Drive and American Powerhaul Simulator.



Dovetail Games Flight School Review


Dovetail Games Flight School sounds like a great idea in principle, a pared down flight simulator with a guided experience teaching flight basics in light aircraft. How does it fare in practice?

Flight School is the first of two titles, the other being Dovetail Games Flight Simulatorcoming later in the year, to utilise Flight Simulator X (FSX) technologies they’ve licensed from Microsoft. Dovetail have done quite a lot of work on the FSX base too, making it fully 64-bit for performance and improving its graphical abilities.


As mentioned in our preview, the game is aimed at flight simulator novices with a focus on teaching basic flight manoeuvres through a series of missions split into two tracks based on the LAPL (Light Aircraft Pilot's Licence) and the PPL (Private Pilot’s License). These two tracks encompass 15 missions in total and take you from basic takeoff and landing through to using navigational instruments and cross country flying. The final ‘mission’ of each track being a test which requires you to get in some flying time in the Free Flight mode to unlock.

Along with the Flight Training there are also an assortment of nine missions to take on, these range from long distance flights to coping with various engine problems. These are all great fun but it’s a huge shame there aren’t more of them.

The missions and the flight training are presented well with nicely done voicework and adaptive instructions that react to your mistakes. Most of the time Dovetail try to let you recover and have your virtual instructor help you get back on track unless you’ve made a drastic mistake. Some of the training feels a little harsh but overall these are all interesting and fair.

Other than the main Flight Training and Missions modes there is a Free Flight mode that lets you create basic flight plans and fly from a large selection of airports from around the world. Weather customisation is limited to changing the time of day and a selection of fixed weather types with no dynamic weather tied to location sadly.

The fact the training pushes you to undertake flights of your own is a really nice touch and you can certainly spend a lot of time here, the addition of the accumulated flight time is an inspired one. Every time you successfully land one of the two included planes (The Piper Cub and Cherokee) and see those minutes get added to your total time flown, it’s extremely satisfying.

Overall the content is well made, it would be nice to have more than nine missions as it feels a bit of a tease but what is there is fun and well put together. The training missions also flow well but again it feels kind of light, they are all useful and do what they need to but it does feel like important topics are covered ‘just enough’ which could lead to confusion. A few more lessons on subjects like using instruments to navigate and engine management would be great.

Fortunately the control issues from the preview build are gone and Flight School does a much better job of telling you what to press to perform tasks it is telling you without any odd controller confusion. It does have some other issues though, in particular the Multi-Monitor Mode in the graphics options wouldn’t work and would cause the game to just display as a black screen. I also had a hard time getting Fullscreen Mode to stick, mostly because whenever I’d toggle the option it would also toggle Multi-Monitor Mode causing me to get stuck in a weird loop. In the end I just settled for maximising windowed mode which is certainly less than ideal - that needs fixing.

From the outset, Dovetail have done a great job presentation wise; the user interface is appealing and clear to follow and all in all it looks great. There is a pleasing consistency to how all the screens flow into each other and it gives a very professional impression. Once into the game the improvements to the FSX engine are apparent giving a more consistent frame rate and graphically the weather effects along with an ambient occlusion pass definitely make a world of difference.

Detail wise, the scenery and models for the two provided aircraft look a good step up from what you'd see in FSX, although that DNA is very apparent in the titles overall look and feel. Sadly the airports and fields themselves still look very bland and nondescript, even where you spend most of your time in training and missions they aren't hugely detailed. Whilst an improvement over vanilla FSX it’s a shame more love wasn't applied here.

All in all I had a good time with Dovetail Games Flight School and despite the few shortcomings I have with the quantity of missions and the quirky technical issues, it’s a solid little package. As a glimpse into what is to come in Dovetail Games Flight Simulator it’s very promising indeed and as a stepping stone for newcomers to flying it’s certainly worth a look.