Most of us will never get the chance to sit in the cockpit of an actual commercial jet or perform barrel rolls in something smaller. The next best thing is to take to the skies in a computerized simulation, and Microsoft's Flight Simulator as been the gold standard in the consumer space for a long time. A new version is in the wings, and there is a new alpha build coming out.
Microsoft announced it will be opening up testing for the Tech Alpha 2 build. Anyone who was selected to participate in the Tech Alpha 1 should expect an email on updates to the Tech Alpha 2 build, as they have been automatically registered. Microsoft says it will provide updates on the timeline for the Tech Alpha 2 release in the next few weeks.
Even if you missed out on the first alpha round, you can still participate in the second alpha round. While it's not guaranteed you will be selected, if you are interest, Microsoft has provided a link to a signup page where you can register. I tried visiting it, and at the time of this writing, it says "flight not found." Keep trying though, as I imagine this will be fixed shortly.
It's hard to fathom that the Microsoft Flight Simulator franchise has been around for nearly four decades—the first release came 37 years ago, all the way back in November 1982. The latest installment was announced at E3 earlier this year. Microsoft's plan is to launch it first on PC, then on the Xbox One sometime later.
The upcoming release is the first major new version since Flight Simulator X, which launched in 2006. It is slated to debut in 2020, though Microsoft has not announced a specific release date yet.