Today third-party developers had plenty and news and releases to share about add-ons for Microsoft Flight Simulator, including aircraft and scenery.
We start with Just Flight, which announced a true military classic, the Avro Vulcan strategic bomber. The testing process has begun with a basic flight model and only primary systems for now, so there's plenty of work left to do.
More news will come at a later date, and the aircraft will also come to Xbox as long as the WASM issues are solved (they should be with the next Sim Update on March 14).
Next, DC Designs revealed new screenshots of the upcoming F-4 Phantom. This time around we get to see the F-4E with its specific nose section including the extended nose cone, gun barrel casing, and re-shaped oleo gear doors.
Since the conversion has gone well, the package will also get the British Phantom FGR.2 with different exhausts for the Rolls Royce Spey engines, and the F-4K including the hyper-extendable oleo gear for carrier launches coming with their own animation and Fleet Air Arm livery.
The base modeling of the cockpit has been completed and it's time for detailing.
We also get a couple of aircraft releases, starting with SimWorks Studios' Van's Aircraft RV-10. The aircraft is currently available on the developer's own store and iniBuilds' store for starting at €14.99.
It includes the following.
- Accurate 3D model & animations
- Five custom liveries
- Custom interior by Aerosports Products
- Realistic flight model tested by RV-10 pilots
- Flutter animations from propwash
- Weight-based visibility of copilot in the cockpit
- Weight-based visibility of baggage behind the seats
- Opening exits
- Animated air conditioning vents
- Realistic backlighting and floodlighting
- Realistic exterior lighting
- Compatible with Sky4Sim NG tablet (www.sky4sim.com)
- MSFS rain & icing effects included
The Nieuport 24 World War I biplane by FlySimware has also been released, and it's currently available for purchase on Simmarket for $14.97 plus applicable VAT.
Here's what you get:
- Real World operational
- Realistic flight dynamics
- 4K full PBR textures
- All sounds produced using the game industry standard Wwise software
- Engine sounds were produced by Sim Acoustics
- Custom coded World gauges and animations
- Includes a High quality bones animated pilot
- Parking mode / chocks / Removeable engine nacelle
We also get an update from PMDG, which announced that the Boeing 737-900 now has a release date which should be on February 23 sometime after 18:00 Zulu time. The pricing should be higher than that of the 600 variant ($34.99) and lower than that of the 700 and 800 variants ($69.99). It will include "both the 737-900 and 737-900ER with blended winglets and split scimitar winglets."
At the same time, the existing versions will be updated and we get more info on the state of development of a few outstanding items:
PMDG Universal Flight Tablet:
A quick recap on progress here: As mentioned previously, the major challenge in the tablet arena is that C++/WASM airplanes are unable to use normal windows communication methods that are necessary for the tablet to function as part of the airplane. We have worked around this by creating a tablet outside the airplane using much simpler script based language that is allowed to talk to the outside world, but we have had significant engineering challenges getting the tablet and the airplane to be able to speak to one another across the full spectrum of data that needs to pass back and forth between the two. While we have had navigraph/charting data functional for many months, we have finally reached the stage of beginning to test the new communication medium that had to be designed from the ground up in order to facilitate the table speaking with the airplane for operational performance computations- and thus far testing is progressing- but very slowly due to inadequate debugging tools available for such tasks.
We do not have a release date plan for the tablet- and we are taking our time to ensure that these new methods provide a stable, reliable communication process so that once you have the tablet it appears to operate seamlessly and without effort.
Modernized Navdata Implementation:
One of the many slow-rate upgrade processes we have had working in the background is a long-promised upgrade to our navdata format. This is progressing and will roll into the 737 once we feel it is stable and ready for operation. This will unlock greater accuracy in RNP procedures and further improve the stability of lateral navigation. As is usual, we are not sharing ETA information, but this will roll out when ready as part of a free update, similarly to how we bring in all the other feature updates and upgrades that come into the airplane.
Work continues apace... We are not currently planning to show anything here until well after the 900 is on the market- but that day is creeping closer.
Moving on to scenery, we hear about another relevant update, that of Denver International Airport (KDEN) in the US by Flightbeam Studios. Since it's so massive, it'll be broken into 2-3 updates, withe ach terminal being redone in its entirety.
Here's what each update will include, focusing on one of the terminals.
- New 4k textures and updated PBR
- Exterior modeling upgrades
- Entirely new interior, completely re-made from scratch
- Brand new Flightbeam Gen-5 Jetways at each gate
- Static passengers at some gates
- ... and most obviously.. the new expanded section of the terminal.
The first update will include the newly renovated Concourse B and it should come soon, also including the proper airline codes for AI traffic at all gates.
Next, we get the announcement of Bavarian Airfields 2 from Aerosoft and its partner developer ClearPropStudios. The package includes 7 airfields which will also be available separately.
Moving on to scenery releases, iniBuilds had something special to share, and it's The Mara Safari Pack, available on the developer's own store for... free? That's certainly a nice deal!
It does basically what it says on the tin, offering a beautiful safari area in South West Kenya. Here's what you get for the convenient price of a "thank you."
- 4 enhanced airfields, each with spawnable helipads
- HK0A - Mara Serena, HKKH - Kichwa Tembo, HKLP - Angama Mara, HK48 - Musiara
- 9 Safari camps
- Hand-placed fauna across a wide area including elephants, giraffes, and flamingos
- Custom 3D objects including tents, campsites, clutter, and people
From the Savannah to the sea, SeafFront simulations released Vessels Madeira, bringing more life to the waters around the famous holiday destination.
It's available on Orbx Direct for $8.31 including the following goodies.
- PBR models
- Over 150 boats travelling around the coast
- Navigation and Night lighting
- Wake and Smoke VFX
- Several landable, moving ships!
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 host daily Microsoft Flight Simulator news to keep you updated on the many add-ons coming and released for the sim.