Today third-party developers had quite a few interesting reveals to share about upcoming Microsoft Flight Simulator add-ons, alongside releases of both aircraft and scenery.
We start strong with Aero Dynamics, which released a ton of impressive screenshots of its upcoming McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender and DC-10. The iconic widebody trijet will actually be freeware and the developer accompanied the screenshots with an extensive development update shared on its Discord Server (which you can join to follow the progress of the aircraft).
For those who are new to our undertaking or are just being introduced to it, we are a group of passionate enthusiasts who are dedicated to developing a freeware KC-10 and DC-10. With some of our team members being present or former KC-10 crew members, we are unwavering in our commitment to creating the most authentic DC-10 platform for commercial flight simulation.
Our preparations for this update have been focused on multiple cabin types, system integrations, and ongoing development of the DC-10 platform. We wish to emphasize that there is still a considerable amount of work remaining before we unveil the aircraft to the public. You may observe certain absent elements in the screenshots; however, we assure you that nothing is final as everything is still a work-in-progress.
Model Interior: Regarding the interior model, we have invested a substantial amount of effort. Our recent emphasis has been on the cabins and cargo compartments, resulting in a complete interior for each variant of the jet. This includes the KC-10 Bravo configuration interior with ARO access, the DC-10-30F cargo interior, the DC-10 Tanker interior, and the DC-10-30 upper galley passenger variant. Currently, we are exploring options for physical cargo storage. While we have allocated resources to enhance the KC-10 cockpit, we have not given as much attention to the DC-10 cockpit. Our primary focus on the cockpit is to ensure that all systems function and appear as realistic as possible before we shift our attention to the DC-10 cockpit. Since the similarities between the KC-10 and DC-10 cockpit are approximately 95%, all variants have significantly benefited from our efforts.
Model Exterior: Over the recent months, we have devoted substantial effort towards the development of the jet. We have revisited previously finalized details and made significant improvements to the overall appearance and realism of the aircraft. Each label and marking on the jet has been meticulously replicated, from small access doors to refueling ports and various maintenance jack ports. Our aim is to optimize our resources to improve the quality of the aircraft from every possible perspective, including the "walkaround" perspective. Furthermore, we have prioritized the development of the passenger version of the DC-10, specifically the upper galley variant for the DC-10-30. The -30 and -30F will feature comprehensive access openings, such as the main cargo door, lower bulk cargo door, and two lower cargo access doors. We will also ensure that these areas of the aircraft are highly detailed, with lighting that can be controlled according to the user's preference.
Displays & Systems: Significant effort has been devoted to refining the light system of the aircraft, which is extensive in nature. Unlike other aircraft with an "ECAM" system, the KC/DC10 uses multiple lights that activate under various conditions, ranging from simple to complex. Notably, the KC-10 boasts a highly customizable beacon light system with 13 distinct states. The included images showcase the cockpit lighting, including simulated gauges measuring voltage, frequency, and amperage based on accurate references. Notably, the BAT BUS OFF light on the FE Panel illuminates when the battery bus is inactive, with a brief moment of activation when the battery switch is turned on but not powered by its typical sources (TR2A and TR2B via DC TIE BUS). This is because the CBR (Charger Battery Relay) is momentarily not connected to the battery bus, battery charger and the main battery. Once the CBR is connected the BAT BUS OFF light turns off. Every light can be tested using the provided test switches and area tests, with each light accurately simulated. We intend to produce a video in the near future to showcase the intricacies of the light system interacting with the electrical system. Moving forward, we plan to focus on the fuel system and APU in our ongoing system development efforts.
Future Plans and Development Opportunities: As we look to the future, we are committed to leveraging new tools and techniques to further improve the visual aspects of the aircraft. Our team is dedicated to programming this intricate aircraft to its maximum reasonable functionality. Currently, our primary focus is on interior models, where we are carefully evaluating and selecting aesthetic and functional features to incorporate. Our approach will draw inspiration from popular features of other aircraft while also incorporating our unique innovations to enhance the overall simulation experience.
It's worth mentioning that the developer is welcoming applications to help work on the aircraft on its Discord Server. The plan is to release the KC-10A Extender, the DC-10-30F, the DC-10-30, and the DC-10-30 Air Tanker albeit a release window has not been shared for now.
Next, we take an early look at another freeware aircraft in development at WWD, the Airbus H135 helicopter. The shots show a very early look at the exterior and interior models which are "coming along nicely" but "far from being completed." Do keep in mind that the developers had a model in a much more advanced state of development but decided to remake it entirely from scratch in December in order to make make a much better one.
You can follow the progress on this on the developer's Discord server.
Moving on to a released aircraft, FlightSim Studio launched the Tecnam P2006T MKII. This Italian-made twin-engine general aviation aircraft is available on Aerosoft's store for $42.69 including VAT.
Below you can find a list of features and a trailer.
- Accurate replica of the Tecnam P2006T MKII based on a real reference aircraft
- Numerous animations, including:
- Aircraft doors
- All cockpit switches, buttons & knobs
- Walkaround items
- Dynamic load (pax/cargo) depending on aircraft weight
- Paper checklist
- Physically Based Rendering (PBR) materials for a perfect visual result
- Highly detailed textures for special clarity including decals
- Several real-world liveries included
- Cargo and Special Mission Platform version including dynamic load
- Integration of native MSFS features like:
- Icing visualization
- Rain effects
- Customized version of the G1000 NXI by Working Title
- Custom STEC-55X autopilot
- Custom Tablet, including:
- Aircraft options
- Ground Power Unit
- Moving Map with flightplan
- Weight & Balance settings
- Panel State loading
- Realistic mode:
- All circuit breakers integrated for failure simulation
- Emergency Gear Deployment System simulated
- Realistic walkaround required to operate the aircraft
- Custom engine start behavior requires the Rotax to be handled correctly
- Persistant saving of aircraft state including background system logic. Do not leave the battery on when leaving the aircraft
- Easy mode:
- Default MSFS engine and startup model
- Circuit breakers are disabled
Highlights in this FSS product
- Interactive walkaround including, chocks, tie-down, control surfaces, pitot cover, propeller and more
- Accurate flight dynamics created by a real pilot
- Custom Soundset based on recordings of our real reference aircraft
- Comprehensive online documentation
Just Flight also released a new video of the Analog Bonanza, the next aircraft of the popular "Steam Gauge Overhaul" series by Black Square.
In case you're not familiar with it, this series is designed to completely overhaul the interior and systems of default aircraft while still retaining the excellent default external models by Asobo.
Moving on to scenery, Project Max released Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (VABB) in India, also known as Mumbai International Airport. It's available at iniBuilds' store for $19.29.
Below you can check out a trailer and a list of features. While it's challenging to judge from images and videos, I will go out on a leg and advise you to give a very thorough look at the assets before you purchase, because this doesn't look too hot.
- Detailed, custom 3d model for the terminals, buildings, props and surrounding areas
- Detailed Ground Poly and markings
- Updated ground poly layout and building textures (late 2022-early 2023)
- Interior of Terminal and Taj Santacruz
- Highly Detailed Airside (including static airport vehicles and static aircraft)
- Specular Mapping and PBR on ground poly
- Highly Dense Fps Friendly Surrounding Custom Autogen
- Bonus 3D Scenery of VAJJ (Juhu)
- Night Texture
- Custom-detailed Afcad (Navdata and placement)
It's worth mentioning that this is a completely separate project from the rendition of Mumbai in the works at MSK Productions.
Last, but not least, we get a release of the small Okushiri Airport (RJEO) in Japan. It's a small airport serving an island just off the southwestern coast of Hokkaido and what I said for Mumbai applies here as well.
It's available on Simmarket for $5.84 plus applicable VAT.
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. We have also recently reviewed Orbx's Oslo Gardermoen Airport.