Souheila Yacoub at the 'Dune: Part Two' premiere in London, posing in from of an ornithopter.

Dune Flight Simulator – The Microsoft Experience

Fly across Arrakis in the 'Microsoft Flight Simulator Dune Expansion', while sitting inside a "life-size" 'thopter!

During the red carpet event for the London premiere of Dune: Part Two, a “life-size” Royal Atreides Ornithopter gaming simulator was on display in Leicester Square. The movie’s stars got to try their hand at piloting the vehicle in the Dune expansion for Microsoft Flight Simulator.

While I spotted the ‘thopter when entering the event, I was unable to see it from my spot on the red carpet. I was delighted then to discover it was open to members of the public in the London Microsoft Experience Center on Oxford Circus, for a limited time, having been transported to the store directly from the red carpet.

So the following week, while down in the UK’s capitol once again (this time to see Dune: Part Two at a press screening), I took the opportunity to try it out. After a brief wait for the person already playing the game to finish their tour, I jumped into seat to see if my piloting skills were Duke Leto or Mr. Bean.

The experience has three challenges, the first is take-off and flying to a checkpoint, second is a steep dive with the wings pulled back, and finally landing. Each hand has a complex joystick, and optional foot pedals are also available. The friendly member of staff explained the game’s various controls and how to switch from cockpit view to an exterior view – very handy for the dive maneuver. Each challenge only lasts a minute or two, and is just a tease for the game’s full Dune expansion.

Another ornithopter will be available to check out in New York’s Microsoft Experience Center on Fifth Avenue, starting from February 26, 2024, following the New York premiere of Dune: Part Two on Sunday, February 25.

Also on display were a ‘thopter themed Xbox Series S holder, and a floating Xbox controller. Dune fans have the chance to win this set of custom hardware by following Xbox on X (formerly Twitter) and retweeting the official Xbox sweepstakes tweet during the entry period. The giveaway runs exclusively from February 13, 2024 through March 25, 2024. For official rules and eligibility details, visit here.