Third-party developers provided news about upcoming add-ons for Microsoft Flight Simulator, while two airports have been released.
We start with Aerosoft, which provided new screenshots of the Airbus A330 alongside a development update by way of project manager Mathijs Kok and beta tester BaxterChico, with the highly-anticipated aircraft having entered the beta phase.
So, we are in the beta stage. Normally that means you have all parts of the product ready and are testing. Not the case with this project at this moment. But we need to know where we are, what works and what does not. With that information, we can decide where to focus our scarce resources.
Modeling, texturing, and almost all animations are solid. No worries about that. In fact, Stefan and Anne are already working on the next bus.
Flight modeling, Engine modeling, and FADEC were massive issues, but we are 99% sure we can get within 3% of correct behavior. Any pilot will tell you that is fine as one airframe differs from another. Having two engines on one aircraft that differ by 3% is fine. Don't be mistaken, 3% is pretty much state-of-the-art.
Manuals and E-manual are more or less okay. The PDF manuals will be fine and available on release, the E-manual which is one of the highlights of the project as we want to get even beginners to be able to fly the A330 will be available but will need to be updated with the latest changes in code.
Autopilot still needs work but is basically not very complex. It flies the route, does a cool ILS intercept, and lands fine.
Systems are more or less okay. This is one area where you can spend another 20 years because where the real aircraft just has to display what is happening, we need to model why it happens. So when a computer decides the cabin needs to be heated a bit, a system will divert heat from an engine to a heat exchanger and feed the warmed air to the cabin. That means the engine will be affected, the electrical system will be involved and that means the generators will need to provide a bit more power. And that drops the thrust of the engine. See the complexity? We have a whopping lot of that code running because of some professional spin-offs of the bus projects. It's there and somewhere in Germany, a developer is crying because no customer will ever see it.
EFB, we are very proud of the EFB. and while we need some tweaks, all is well. Navigraph, NavDataPro, weather, runway data, simbrief integration, are all working. I just love to be able to update the weather data automatically before planning an arrival, The fact we incorporated our own sat imagery so you can be sure you are doing your taxi route okay.. cool.
MCDU, LNAV, VNAV... That is where we have most work open. Logically as it is by far the most complex part of the aircraft. LNAV seems to work, VNAV not so much but we know what we need to do.
ECAMS, loads of tweaks in fonts, placement, and things like that open (we had some bad luck in that part) but it is not code that affects flight. Still one of my main worries now.
Marketplace. This is the work you need to do to get something on the Marketplace. Not only contracts but a whopping lot of things you have to add. Not complex but I still need a few days on that for sure.
Installer/Protection. With our own Aerosoft One system that is tried and tested (our DRM has not been hacked and has next to makes life for the customer easier (no need to enter any serial!s)) we are not worried about that at all.
Support, they are fully included in the testing so they should know what they need.
Marketing. This department will be getting all information from me very soon. They will invite streamers to have a look at the product before release and get the word out to websites and magazines.
Sales still have to make sure that all our associate sale channels get all the marketing data and on release the files.
Next, we take a new look at the F-4 Phantom by DC Designs, and we hear from the developer.
This week I’ve continued working on the Phantom Radar Intercept Officer’s cockpit, and now have the majority of the various switches, buttons, gauges, decals and lights in place. Some are now animated, others are awaiting code, but it does now feel like I’ve completed the majority of the work and now it’s all about fine details and bringing the various cockpit functions to life.
Livery artist Tristan has been hard at work on various F-4E liveries, and has shared some of them with me to put here on the page. There will be 26 liveries included with the Phantom package, spread across the variants, and of course a paint kit will be included for re-painters."
Tomorrow, I’m off to an airfield in the UK with Mike from Sim Acoustics, to record the Rolls Royce Spey engines running on a Blackburn Buccaneer, from which I hope to share some images next week. This is one of the final major tasks for the Phantoms, so that they can be launched with a full custom sound set for both US and British Phantom variants ( hence the launch running a little later than planned ). There is no launch date yet, but somewhere in May is looking pretty good right now, as everything is coming together really well.
We also get an announcement from FeelThere, which is working on Boston Logan Airport (KBOS). That being said, the developer's quality has not been quite there and this one will have a lot to prove going against FlyTampa.
Here's what it promises.
- over 100 custom modelled buildings
- taxi bridges
- custom night lighting
- custom jetways
- complete ground polygon
On the other hand, speaking of very high-quality scenery, AUScene launched Hamilton Island Airport (YBHM). It's currently available at the developer's own shop and Orbx Direct for $23.72.
Here's what you can expect.
- Hand Crafted Rendition of Hamilton and Dent Island for MSFS
- Authentic Representation of the Airport, Resort and Marina
- High Resolution Aerial Imagery
- 1m DEM data which offers the Highest Quality Terrain
- Over 300 custom assets!
- Accurate representation of the airport area
- Complete Interior Modelling of the Terminal, Control Tower and Hamilton Island Air
- Custom Ground Clutter
- Custom Vehicles and Boats
- Golf Carts
- 3D people
- Animated Flags and Fans
- Optimized assets taking full advantage of LODs
- Realistic PBR Textures
- Authentic Aprons with Custom Materials and Markings
- Accurate ground markings
- Static Helicopters representing local operators
- Realistic Night Lighting
- Custom Airport Services Configuration
- Custom Vegetation Placement
- Detailed representation of the Marina
- Plenty of POI's to discover
- All the main buildings surrounding the marina are authentically recreated
- 3D boats and jetties
- Custom Vegetation
- Complete coverage of the resort and hotels
- Animated Reef View exterior lifts
- Qualia Helipad
- 3D Hobby cats in Catseye Bay
- Custom Vegetation
- Hamilton Island Golf Club
- Dent Island Light House
- Detailed jetty
- Multiple Helipads! (Hamilton Island Air, Qualia, Cruise Ship)
- Plenty of custom buildings around Hamilton Island
- 3D boats around Whitehaven Beach
- Modeled houses on Titan Island
- And more!
Barelli MSFS Addon released Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (HTZA) serving Zanzibar, in Tanzania.
It's available on SimMarket for $16.34 and you can find a gallery of screenshots below.
Microsoft Flight Simulator is currently available for PC, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox Cloud Gaming, including Game Pass. If you'd like to learn more, you should stay tuned on TechRaptor as we have daily Microsoft Flight Simulator news to keep you updated on the many add-ons coming and released for the sim. We have also recently interviewed Microsoft's Jorg Neumann about the Antonov An-225 "Mriya" and reviewed iniBuilds' New York-JFK Airport, Orbx's Oslo Gardermoen Airport, and RHDSimulations' Boeing 767-300ER.