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Best Flight Sim Joystick (X-Plane, DCS World, FS2023)

Take to the virtual skies with more than an Xbox game controller as your co-pilot.

Paul McNally

Great leaps and bounds have been made in recent years to make flight simulators more accessible to everybody. Gone are the days you would have to read a 500-page manual before even being able to take off, but one thing hasn’t changed much – they are still a pain to have fun with if you only have a keyboard and mouse at your disposal. With Flight Simulator 2023 coming to the Xbox it has meant Microsoft has had to do a lot of serious work on its mega-sim to get it controller-ready.

For sure plenty of players will be trying it out with a controller, but it is only once you have experienced playing a flight sim (or even a space sim like Elite Dangerous with a Yoke (and you can find our best ones here) or a HOTAS can you fully appreciate the feeling of soaring through the virtual skies.

To read a full review of the VelocityOne Flightstick, find it here.

Products at a Glance

The thing is that most accessories, and peripherals such as joysticks, yokes, rudder pedals, and the like tend to cost a pretty penny. And, unlike buying a new controller, can’t really be used for any other type of game. So it’s a bit of a niche purchase and you have to make sure you a) are going to use it long term, and b) spend the right amount of money in the first place.

With that in mind, we have dug deep to find the best five joysticks out there today across a whole spectrum of budgets and features. There really is something for everybody in here – well everybody looking to buy a joystick at any rate. Let’s crack on.

Our Recommended

Best Flight Sim Joystick (X-Plane, DCS World, FS2023)



Great starter stick

Reasonably priced for what you get

you won’t feel the need up upgrade it quickly


Only easily availble in moire expensive flavor (with the throttle)

Orange detailing spoils the look a bit

You are going to see the name Thrustmaster appear a lot on this page. The company has been around in the flight seem scene for many, many years and seemingly is no reaching the top of the game. The clumsily named Thrustmaster T16000M HOTAS is absolutely brilliant in every department as a starter stick apart from its name. The HOTAS will serve you equally well in Flight Simulator 2023 and DCS World as it will in Elite Dangerous or Star Citizen. It’s been a tough time for gamers looking to buy peripherals for flight sims due to combined problem of the sudden popularity and general supply shortages of, well, just about everything across the board. this means that although the joystick on its own is, in theory, a purchasable peripheral, it’s nigh on possible to pick it up without the throttle as well, which pushes the price up, but, well you will also have a throttle for your flight sim which is great.

The stick is ergonomic and has plenty of triggers, hats, and inputs but we found the orange plastic a strange choice but it doesn’t make any real difference, other than giving the stick a more gamey look than you might appreciate.



Modern design

Modular for both left and right handers


Difficult to find in stock

Great for airliners, not so much for fighters

Thrustmaster’s latest foray into flight sticks is this licensed Airbus controller. In 2023 it announced a partnership to bring branded products to the flight sim marketplace and the opening release is this great stick modeled on the actual sticks found in the Airbus 320 and 320neo. 17 assignable buttons, hats, and switches all make this a worthy competitor to the above, especially if you are intending to fly jetliners in Flight Simulator 2023 rather than fighter jets in DCS World. One of the most standout features is that the stick can be modified with a screwdriver for both left and right-hand use, this is a pretty unique feature and a great touch. You can pair it up with the matching Airbus throttle (assuming you can find it to buy anywhere).

The Officer Pack listed above bundles the two together and is the best opportunity at the moment to actually get your hands on one.



Sturdy as the real thing

All-metal construction

Plenty of inputs


Designed to be incorporated into a larger setup


I remember the Warthog being released around the same time as I was really into Elite Dangerous and looking for a stick but couldn’t really justify its premium price at the time to play a single game. I always looked on admiringly though at its metal construction and even the fact it doesn’t actually come with a base and is intended to be screwed down into your own setup. this obviously risks taking a product for a niche market and making it even, er nicher. That should be a word.

It is based on the plane of the same name – the A-10 and oozes quality and should last a lifetime of flying. 19 action buttons, two POV hats, and plenty more to recommend it. Just make sure it covers all the bases you need before jumping in.



Cheap and cheerful

Rudimentary throttle control

Lots of buttons


You aren’t saving the planet with this much plastic

Won’t survive a lot of bashing around

You simply don’t need to spend hundreds at the outset when you are unsure whether you are going to get the right amount of use out of a flight simulator joystick. The T.Flight Stick X, once again from Thrustmaster is the baby sibling to our first choice item here and can be picked up for around $40 which is insane when you think how much a standard games controller can cost you these days. No, it doesn’t have the durability of something like the Warthog above, but you wouldn’t really expect it to. It’s considerably plastic feeling with plenty of plastic buttons for your inputs. There’s a slider on the base, that while a bit scratchy, is used as your throttle.

A serious deadzone in the center of the stick can be modded to be better if you are prepared to crack it open, but if you can live it it you will still find it about a million times better than not using any joystick at all!

At this price, it’s a serious contender if you aren’t sure how hard the flight sim bug will bite.


Logitech G Extreme 3D Pro Joystick

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Little risk to try out joystick flying

Capable and better than not using it!


Big deadzone

Plastic and lightweight.

We finally get to a stick that isn’t made by Thrustmaster but rather the other bastion of flight simulator peripherals – Logitech. In our other flight sim pages, we have raved about the Logitech G / Saitek collaborations but it is fair to say this stick is squarely aimed at the budget market like the stick above.

The Extreme 3D has a grand name but at a cost of around $30 – although even it is not immune from scalpers tax at the moment. This is not meant as a slur in any way but there really is nothing remarkable about this joystick. It does what it is supposed to for as little investment as possible. If you are looking for a low-risk / low-cost way to get into the flight simulator ecosystem then ta-daaa.

If you think of it as simply a better way of trying out Flight Simulator 2023 then you will be fine – of course, if you decide the game is for you this is quickly going to go onto eBay and be replaced with something more substantial so it might not turn out to be as cheap in the long run as you expected.

What other accessories do you need to play a flight sim?

If you want to play Microsoft Flight Simulator 2023, you technically don’t need any accessories to get your flight airborne. However, as previously mentioned, by not utilizing the plethora of accessories on the market such as yokes and joysticks, you simply won’t be getting the full experience. We recommend at least picking up a joystick at a minimum as you’ll get some feel of what real flying is like without spending hundreds of dollars.

What is the best flight simulator?

Wow, that’s quite the question and the answer all depends on whether, for your gaming experience, you want to be a civilian-style pilot or start buzzing around in military jets. The main game for the former at the moment is undoubtedly the poster boy that is Microsoft Flight Simulator 2023, although X-Plane 11 is still highly thought of.

For all things military then check out DCS World. It’s free to get into but if you want to fly the good stuff it can get expensive real fast!

How much is a flight simulator?

So you really want to get into them eh? Many flight sims such DCS World or War Thunder (though some would argue that’s not an out and out sim) offer a free tier to snare you in. Games such as Microsoft Flight Simulator 2023 cost upwards of $50 but can be played for ‘free’ if you an Xbox Game Pass (Ultimate for the PC version) or regular for the newly released Xbox version. Xbox Game Pass is a ridiculously good deal at the best of times but if you want to try a flight simulator, well it’s just paid for itself, hasn’t it?

Our Verdict

Editor’s Choice

Thrustmaster T16000M HOTAS – Joystick and Throttle

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It was actually a pretty close decision between the T16000M and the Airbus joysticks but while the Airbus one feels right for airlines, the Thrustmaster feels right no matter what aircraft you choose so it wins the day. it’s a modern stick that has a loyal following and the cost is not so high as to be off-putting. The biggest deal is being able to find one to buy, but if you see one available then you snap it up immediately.

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Flight Simulators: An Introduction

Think back to when you were younger, did you want to be a farmer, train driver, or even a pilot? If you’ve always wanted to see what it would be like, there is a simulator for just about everything these days. Whether you want to recapture a bit of that childhood dream, or even use it as a tool to progress your career, simulators are an appealing genre.

Flight simulators are some of the oldest and most evolved simulators you can get your hands on, with multiple iterations going back almost 40 years. There are simulators catered towards different users, flight styles, and even budgets.

With the highly anticipated Microsoft Flight Simulator 2023 on the way this year, we thought that now would be a great time to explore a bit of the history of flight simulators, the evolution of the games, and even the best hardware to play them on.

Microsoft Flight Simulator

One of the oldest flight simulators available is Microsoft Flight Simulator, which dates back to the early ’80s with the release of Flight Simulator 1.0. As you can see below, this simulator is pretty dated by today’s standards, but at the time it acted as a gateway into the world of aviation.

Microsoft continued to improve on this success with the release of Flight Simulator 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, and 5.1. Each of these versions further refined the graphics, added additional aircraft, airports, and textures. Flight Simulator 5.1 also added the ability to have scenery libraries which included the use of satellite imagery when flying.

When Windows 95 was released, Microsoft also developed a version of its flight simulator for the platform. This featured a lot more 3D modeling, improved frame rates, and expanded scenery to outside of Europe and the USA.

During the 2000s, Microsoft developed Flight Simulator 2000, 2002, and most notably Flight Simulator X. These titles massively increased the number of airports in the game as well as adding more instruments found in real-life aircraft, including a GPS feature. Flight Simulator X even included multiplayer which allowed for two players to pilot the same plane as well as occupy control towers.

Flight Simulator X also made its way onto Steam in 2014, re-released as Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition. This edition is updated to use Steam’s functionality and also allows for an incredible amount of content to be easily purchased and installed alongside its 24 aircraft.

Finally, the latest edition of Microsoft’s flight simulators is set to be released on August 18th, 2023. This title is set to simulate the entire Earth and recreates 3D models of buildings and geographical features.

Microsoft has said that Microsoft Flight Simulator 2023 will also feature more than 40,000 airports and over two million cities.


One of the main competitors of Microsoft’s flight simulator series is X-Plane. Originally released back in 1995, X-Plane is now on its 11th version and is well known for its realism and attention to detail.

Featuring an improved model of simulation for its aircraft, X-Plane quickly won over flight enthusiasts who strive for realism. X-Plane also allows pilots to connect with each other in multiplayer and has helped spawn a lot of tight-knit flying communities.

One downside with X-Plane (and many other flight simulators) is that although this is a great looking game, a lot of the scenery and files needed to make it look its best are only available as payware.


Developed by Lockheed Martin, Prepar3D is a flight simulator that aims more towards the professional crowd. The official website states that it is “Ideal for commercial, academic, professional, or military instruction. Prepar3D can be used to quickly create learning scenarios anywhere in the virtual world”.

This simulator is often used by those training for their real-life pilot license, which speaks volumes for its realism. It’s not cheap though, a professional license will set you back $199.00, but you can pick up an academic license for $59.95.


If you’d like to get a taste for flying before jumping into a paid simulator, FlightGear is a free, open-source option that does a great job. Aiming to become a simulator used in academic environments, pilot training, and of course, a gaming environment, FlightGear features three different flight dynamic models to play around with.

There are over 20,000 accurate real-world airports, a detailed sky model, and even multi-screen support. Although it isn’t the best looking simulator on the market, it doesn’t look horrible and even has some fairly moderate hardware requirements.

Combat Flight Simulators

Moving on from traditional flight simulators, a lot of people fell in love with flight simulators first through a combat simulator. Offering a more fast-paced experience than a traditional flying simulator, combat flight simulators put you in the hot seat of some of the world’s quickest and most dangerous aircraft.

If you’re familiar with the Microsoft Flight Simulator series, they also offer the Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator series to try out – although it’s starting to show its age now.

One of the most popular games available at the moment is the IL-2 Sturmovik series. This is a World War II combat flight simulator with a focus on air battles from the Eastern front. Although this is a fairly old title, there have been numerous updates and content packs released that make it a joy to play today.

If you’re looking for more of a modern feel, Digital Combat Simulator is a realistic simulation of military aircraft which boasts some pretty impressive graphics. You can currently pick up a free version to try out which has a limited amount of vehicles and airspace. This is a continuously developed game that offers some of the most detailed military aircraft found in any sim.

You can typically find an air combat simulator for almost every major military conflict over the last 100 years. If you aren’t striving for simulation, some games such as Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X offer a more casual approach, without sacrificing any of the action.

Taking Your Simulation to the Next Level

If you’re pretty dedicated to simulators, you’ll have no doubt bought some type of peripheral in the past. There are steering wheels for racing games, rail controllers for train simulators, and of course, a whole load of options for the frequent fliers.

It is possible to experience a flight simulator with just a mouse and keyboard or even a controller, but this can quickly become frustrating and take away a lot of the enjoyment. Luckily there are some pretty cheap options available when it comes to joysticks.

At the most basic level, you can pick up a joystick or HOTAS (hands-on throttle-and-stick) for around $30 which will allow you to control your aircraft with more precision. Some will even have a separate throttle and most will give you a couple of buttons that you can map to functions such as flaps or trim.

As with most things though, the sky’s the limit. You can easily spend up to $500 on a decent joystick and the price starts to further increase if you opt to purchase a yoke and some rudder pedals. If you’re just starting out on your journey, don’t feel the need to splash out. You may want to save some of that money for DLC or different simulators.

Companies such as Thrustmaster, Logitech, and CH Products all offer great products suitable for different budget levels.

In most flight simulators, you can also pick up extra aircraft from third-party developers. This isn’t cheap, however. A lot of models easily match the price of the game and some can cost in excess of $100. You are paying for quality and attention to detail in these models though and they are definitely aimed towards a hardcore user.

Can Your System Handle a Simulator?

If we take another quick look at the upcoming Microsoft Flight Simulator 2023 trailer, we can see that it is a pretty impressive looking game. With so much rendered and calculated at any one time, this can start to take a toll on your system.

You will be able to turn some of these features down, reduce graphics and objects or even tone down the realism settings if needed. However, with a few simple upgrades, you should be able to get the most out of your simulator.

You’ll want to focus on your processor and graphics card as a priority for flight simulators. Although Microsoft has stated that their 2023 flight simulator won’t be as resource heavy as those in the past, you’ll still want a decent PC if you’re planning on playing other intensive simulators.

Unfortunately, a lot of simulators don’t use multi-threading to the best of its ability at the moment, but a decent AMD Ryzen processor with a high core count would make a good starting point for any Flight Simulator build.

Pair this with a graphics card with a decent amount of VRAM and a system with at least 16 GB of RAM and you should be in for a comfortable flight. If you’d like some ideas on where to get started with your upgrade, why not check out some of our build guides?

Final Word

Flight Simulators are a perfect way to spend a couple of hours flying through the clouds. We hope this introduction to flight simulators has helped you pick out one to try next or even given you some tips on upgrading your PC for the latest flight sims.

With the launch of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2023 coming in just a few short weeks, we can’t wait to see what it’ll be like. At first glance, the graphics look exceptional so you’ll definitely want to take a look at the system requirements for those before purchasing to get the most out of the game.

The Best Waterproof Cases For Iphone X

In the market for a waterproof case for your iPhone X? We’ve got you covered. After sifting through hundreds of offerings, we’ve come up with a list of what we feel are the best iPhone X waterproof cases available right now. They’re durable, well-designed and we have options for every budget.

What does waterproof really mean?

This can be a bit confusing. The iPhone X is water resistant. It features an IPx7 (you see the IP67 rating a lot; that 6 refers to dust resistance rating) water resistance rating, meaning it can withstand immersion in water up to 3.3 feet (or 1 meter) for up to 30 minutes. So splashes and light rain fall are ok, swimming in the ocean is not.

The next step up is IPx8, and it’s essentially the highest level of water protection in the IP code (there is a 9K rating for protection against powerful water jets, but it’s not used often in consumer products). This rating certifies that the product is suitable for continuous immersion in water, under conditions specified by the manufacturer.

If a manufacturer claims their case is waterproof, it’s likely it has an IPx8 rating and it’s been tested to survive set conditions (ex: can be immersed in 2 meters for 1 hour). I know that doesn’t sound “waterproof,” but between a good waterproof case and the water resistance of your iPhone, you should be covered—unless you’re deep sea diving.

Best waterproof cases for the iPhone X LifeProof FRĒ Series

The LifeProof FRĒ is one of the easiest recommendations for me to make on this list. I’ve used LifeProof cases on multiple iPhones, and even used one once to take pictures in the ocean while snorkeling. The FRĒ has an IPx8 water ingress rating, and LifeProof says it can withstand 1 hour in water up to 2 meters deep (6.6 feet). Other features include a built-in screen cover, proper port and button covers, and a 1 year warranty.

Catalyst Waterproof Case

This case from Catalyst is also another easy recommendation. Catalyst has been making waterproof iPhone and Apple Watch cases for years, and I’ve always had good experiences with them. Their iPhone X case has an IPx8 rating, and it can withstand water ingress up to an impressive 10 meters (33 feet). Other features include a wrist lanyard, built-in screen protector, True Sound Acoustics tech, and military grade drop protection.

OUNNE Fully Sealed Case

Here is a much cheaper option from the lesser-known brand OUNEE. It too features an IPx8 waterproof rating, and the manufacturer said it’s good in over 10 feet of water for up to 1 hour. The case uses the standard front/back design, where two pieces snap together to form a full seal. All the buttons and ports are covered, and for what it’s worth, it has a 4.5 star Amazon rating, on over 250 reviews.

I-Blason Aegis Case

Prefer a more recognizable brand name? We’ve featured I-Blason on several case roundups over the year because of their reputation for value and quality, and this case looks no different. It has an IPx8 rating, built-in screen protector, and of course all the necessary port/button covers. It also boasts a dual-layer, shock-absorbing design that will keep your phone protected in the event of a drop.

JOTO Universal Pouch

This isn’t technically a case, but if you’re looking to keep your iPhone X protected from water, this will do the trick. This universal ‘dry bag’ fits all smartphones up to 6-inches and features a clear, touch-enabled window on both the front and back. It’s IPx8 rated, and JOTO says it works in up to 100 feet of water. Has a lanyard and a 4.5-star rating on Amazon, on over 23,000 customer reviews.

Also, be sure to check out our other iPhone X roundups:

*price was believed to be discounted at time of publishing and is subject to change at anytime.

Samsung Android Hole Also Leaves Sim Cards Vulnerable

A variation of the recently disclosed attack that can wipe data from Samsung Android devices when visiting a malicious Web page can also be used to disable the SIM cards from many Android phones, researchers say.

Ravishankar Borgaonkar, a research assistant in the Telecommunications Security department at the Technical University of Berlin, recently demonstrated the remote data wiping attack at the Ekoparty security conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The attack can be launched from a Web page by loading a “tel:” URI (uniform resource identifier) with a special factory reset code inside an iframe. If the page is visited from a vulnerable device, the dialer application automatically executes the code and performs a factory reset.

Several Samsung Android devices, including Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy S II, Galaxy Beam, S Advance, and Galaxy Ace were reported to be vulnerable because they supported the special factory reset code.

Mobile users are capable of executing special commands on their phones by typing certain codes through the phone’s dialing interface.

These codes are enclosed between the * and # characters and are known as Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) codes when they access services supplied by the mobile operator, or MMI (Man-Machine Interface) codes, when they access phone functions.

Not all devices support the same codes, but some are more or less standard. For example, *#06# is an almost universal code for displaying an Android device’s IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number.

Some devices from other manufacturers besides Samsung might also be vulnerable to the factory reset attack. A simple Google search returned a factory reset code for the popular HTC Desire phone.

Attack can kill SIM cards, too

In addition to the factory reset codes, some other codes can also be dangerous. During his presentation, Borgaonkar mentioned that the same attack can be used to “kill” SIM cards.

This is possible because of a MMI code that allows changing a SIM card’s PIN (Personal Identity Number) number using the PUK (Personal Unblocking Key), Collin Mulliner, a mobile security researcher who works in the SECLAB at Northeastern University in Boston, said Tuesday via e-mail.

If this code is executed multiple times with the wrong PUK, the SIM card is locked permanently and the user needs to get a new one from the operator, Mulliner said.

Instead of using a “tel:” URI with the factory reset code in an iframe, an attacker could have ten iframes with the PIN changing code and wrong PUK on the malicious Web page .

Unlike the factory reset code which is supported only by certain devices from certain manufacturers, most Android phones should support the PIN changing code because it is standardized as a SIM card feature, Mulliner said. “The SIM issue is more problematic in my opinion.”

However, it’s unlikely that all devices vulnerable to the SIM locking attack will receive firmware updates from their manufacturers. It’s a known fact that most manufacturers are slow to issue firmware updates and many phone models are not even supported anymore so they will probably remain vulnerable.

Because of this, Mulliner created an application called TelStop that blocks the attack by registering a secondary “tel:” URI handler.

When TelStop is installed and the phone encounters a “tel:” URI, the user is presented with a dialog to choose between TelStop and the regular dialer. If TelStop is chosen, the application will reveal the content of the “tel:” URI and will display a warning if the content is likely to be malicious.

Github Copilot X Release Date

GitHub Copilot is an AI-powered code completion tool that was introduced in the summer of 2023. The tool is powered by OpenAI’s GPT-3 and is designed to help developers write code more efficiently. It has already generated a lot of buzz in the developer community due to its ability to suggest code snippets and functions based on context and natural language input. But what is GitHub Copilot X? One of the most frequently asked questions about GitHub Copilot X is when it will be released to the public. In this blog post, we’ll explore the current status of the GitHub Copilot X release date and everything you need to know about it.

GitHub Copilot is an artificial intelligence tool that helps developers write code faster and better by suggesting lines of code or entire functions based on natural language prompts. It is a collaboration between GitHub and OpenAI, powered by the OpenAI Codex model.

GitHub Copilot was first announced on June 29, 2023, as a technical preview for Visual Studio Code. Since then, it has been expanded to support other code editors such as JetBrains IDEs and Neovim. On March 29, 2023, GitHub announced that Copilot is also available for Visual Studio 2023.

GitHub Copilot X is an extension of the popular Copilot code completion tool that was launched into preview in 2023. It is an AI-powered developer experience that goes beyond code completion and offers chat and voice interfaces, support for pull requests, and answers to questions on documentation. Copilot X is powered by OpenAI’s GPT-4, which provides a more personalized developer experience.

GitHub Copilot X is a new initiative that aims to take GitHub Copilot to the next level. It was announced by GitHub on March 22, 2023, as a preview for Visual Studio and VS Code users. It introduces several enhancements and innovations that make GitHub Copilot more powerful and versatile.

The GitHub team is still working on designing and building new features, and it is unclear when these features will be available or how they will be implemented. To sign up for the technical preview of GitHub Copilot X, developers can visit the sign-up page, which provides two options to enroll in the preview: signing up for the technical preview and enrolling a repository in the technical preview.

GitHub announced Copilot X on March 22, 2023. Users can sign up for a technical preview of the new capabilities starting on the same day. According to a GitHub spokesperson, Copilot X will be generally available in the coming weeks and months. No official date has been announced yet. However, it is currently not available as a product offering of GitHub Copilot.

GitHub Copilot X offers a code-centric chat mode that helps developers find information that is often buried deep in a manual or requires a Stack Overflow search. It also generates descriptions of pull requests and automatically tags them, which saves developers from doing boring and menial work.

GitHub Copilot is a tool that helps you write code faster and better by suggesting lines or entire functions for you. GitHub Copilot X is still in preview mode and requires an invitation to access it. Developers who are interested in trying it out can sign up on the official website

To sign up for GitHub Copilot, you need to have a GitHub account and join the waitlist on the official website. Here are the steps to do so:

Log in with your GitHub account or create one if you don’t have one already.

Fill out a short survey about your coding preferences and experience.

Confirm your email address and wait for an invitation from GitHub.

Once you receive an invitation, you can install GitHub Copilot as a Visual Studio Code extension and start using it in your projects. You can also access the documentation and tutorials on how to use GitHub Copilot effectively.

The cost of using GitHub Copilot X is currently unknown as it is not yet an available product offering. The pricing for GitHub Copilot X has not been announced yet, but it will be based on factors such as usage, number of collaborators, and model complexity. GitHub Copilot X users will also need a GitHub Pro or GitHub Team account to access the service.

In conclusion, GitHub Copilot is a promising technology that aims to enhance the developer experience by providing intelligent code suggestions and assistance. It is not a replacement for human programmers, but rather a partner that can help them overcome challenges and improve their productivity. GitHub Copilot is still in development and may not always produce correct or optimal code, so developers should always review its suggestions before using them. GitHub Copilot is expected to be released as a paid service sometime in 2023, but interested developers can sign up for the waitlist or join the technical preview program now.

GitHub Copilot is not a free service. It costs $10 per month or $100 per year for individual developers who want to use it for personal or commercial projects. However, GitHub offers free access to Copilot for verified students and maintainers of popular open-source projects. GitHub also plans to launch a business plan later this year for organizations that want to use Copilot across their teams.

GitHub Copilot is not a replacement for human programmers. It is a tool that can assist them with everyday coding tasks and help them learn new languages or frameworks. However, it is imperfect and does not guarantee the quality or security of the code it generates. Developers still need to review, test, and debug the code suggested by Copilot before using it in their projects.

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Stealthier Stealth? Seventh Upgraded Chinese Stealth Fighter Prototype Aims To Take Flight

J-20 and Carrier

Two symbols of China’s modernizing military, the J-20 stealth fighters escorting the Liaoning aircraft carrier, as featured in this computer generated image.

This week officers of the USAF officers gathered in at the Gaylord Hotel and Convention center for the Air Force Association’s annual Conference. Among the panels at #AFA2023 were generals speaking on “Fifth Generation” weapons and new stealth jet programs like the F-35. But perhaps they should have also shared the stage with leaders from China, which just showed off another new stealth jet prototype.


The first images of the J-20 “2023” prototype/preproduction fighter shows it at the CAC factories, days before its first flight. Flying its seventh stealth fighter would give China the largest number of stealth fighters in the world after the United States.

Fifth generation fighters, like the American F-22 and F-35, Chinese J-20 and Russian PAK-FA, blend together supersonic endurance, stealth and sensor fusion as force multipliers against older fighters like the F-15 and Su-27. This week, Chengdu Aircraft Corporation, one of China’s top air manufacturers, rolled out “2023,” the seventh J-20 prototype/preproduction fighter since 2011. Flying seven fighters puts the J-20 ahead of the five PAK-FA fighters, the only other non-US flying fifth generation fighter.

A Stealthier Bumper

Compared to previous J-20s, “2023”‘s fuselage extends almost all the way to the engine’s exhaust nozzles. The trapezoidal booms on sides of the nozzles also reshaped, possibly to install rearwards facing radar or ECM equipment.


The previous J-20 prototype “2023” (the sixth flying airframe) had exposed part of the engines between the fuselage and afterburning nozzles (the nozzles are also covered with a silvery material, likely to have some infrared signature suppression features).


“2023” rotates its large canards in this frontal shots, which also shows the large bumps on the inner vertical inside of the engine intakes. Those DSI bumps save weight, complexity and radar signature compared to moving air intake ramps. The apparent shape change of the 2023’s DSI suggests the possibility of new engines to power the fighter.

2023 in Flight

2023 made its first flight on December 19, 2014. At this point in the J-20’s development, the design is essentially fixed, though the AL-31 engines are likely to be swapped for more powerful Chinese WS-15 turbofans by 2023.

You may also be interested in:

6th J-20 Fighter Rolls Out, With Soon More to Follow

China’s J-31 Stealth Fighter, Then and Now

Stealth Radar Tests on Passenger Jet

Photos Emerge of China’s 4th New Stealth Fighter

Instagram Sepia Style: The Way to Launch Chinese Fighter Jets (and Dodge the Censors?)

New Generation Chinese Fighter Jet J-31 Performs More Flight Tests

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