Today, third-party developers had updates to share about upcoming airplane add-ons for Microsoft Flight Simulator.
We’ll start with IndiaFoxtEcho, which has provided a comprehensive roadmap for its upcoming products. We get the announcement of a Eurofighter Typhoon.
An F-14D is also in the works, but for now the possibility of a release has not been confirmed as IndiaFoxtEcho uses it as an experimental platform for technology.
Other aircraft such as TA-4/A-4 Skyhawk, E-2C Hawkeye and C-27J Spartan are under consideration.
Last but not least, we get an update on the Sukhoi SU-31 and Aermacchi M-346 Master, which should be released in March and “no earlier than April”.
SUKHOI SU-31 This project has taken much longer than we expected, but it will be finalized shortly. We’re not super happy with the flight model – while it should be fine for most players, it’s certainly not good enough for any sort of serious training.
We will try to polish the lake – possibly with the help of real pilots. We will provide more information shortly.
Expected release date:
MARCH 2022AERMACCHI M-346 We worked hard on 3D model details and new textures because we found that our P3D assets were not compliant with MSFS.
We’re still struggling with some details and complex animations, and there’s still some work to be done on the flight model and avionics, but we’re quite happy with the results so far.
Expected Release Date: NOT FASTER THAN APRIL 2022
EUROFIGHTER TYPHOON (NEW PROJECT) As many of you have guessed, we are working on a Eurofighter Typhoon project for MSFS. It will NOT be a conversion of our P3D project as we feel the 3D assets are not up to current standards, instead we will make it from scratch.
We don’t have a release date for it, but it certainly won’t be ready for FALL 2022. We’ll keep you posted.
F-14D SUPER TOMCAT (EXPERIMENTAL PROJECT) We also worked on an F-14D Super Tomcat. However, this is usually a “technology test bench”, which we use to try out new techniques and test the capabilities of MSFS.
First, the project uses an extremely high-detail mesh (about 1.3 million polygons) and high-resolution textures – which don’t deliver great FPS on most systems.
As such, the project has some issues for a commercial release – in addition, it has to compete with the various F-14s available on different platforms. At the moment it is therefore still treated as an experimental project.
OTHER PROJECTS FOR MSFS (NO RELEASE DATE):
MB-326 – We had started a total remake of our MB-326 project months ago. The progress of this project was very slow because the F-35 project took a lot more resources and time than we had planned. For this we have to reschedule the activities.
M-345 – The project is waiting for the development of the real aircraft
TA-4/A-4 SKYHAWK – We have started reviewing our source material and planning for a Flight Simulator version of these aircraft.
MINI 500 HELICOPTER – When we started tinkering with custom flight models, we advertised this as an experimental project – but we didn’t have the resources to work on this as much as we wanted. The project is currently on hold.
E-2C HAWKEYE – A new version for MSFS is being considered and a feasibility study is underway.
C-27J SPARTAN – We have started collecting information about this aircraft for a possible new project, but no green light has been given yet.
We also get a juicy update from FlyByWire on the popular add-on A32NX Airbus A320 Neo.
The full update is very comprehensive and you can read it on FlyByWire’s website, but below are some juicy bits about version 2 of the modified flight management system and the highly anticipated VNAV.
Detailed information about Custom FMS v2
While custom FMS v1.5 is a major update in its own right, we are already thinking ahead and continuing to develop custom FMS v2, another major improvement to our custom flight management system. This time the focus is on flight planning and route stringing. This means that the FMS will have much better logic for connecting flight plan segments, such as SIDs and enroute airways.
This has been achieved by first designing the system based on how it works in real life, not only in terms of day-to-day operations, but also in terms of internal workings. Integrating this into the simulator was the second step rather than the priority. The new code has been fully unit tested and can be run externally to the simulator – indeed it has two backends, one linked to MSFS and another which connects to a server that provides data from an external source.
While the ability to work outside of MSFS is a major benefit, the main reason for this is to give users the ability to use a third-party service, such as Navigraph’s Navdata Center, to directly obtain navigational information for certain functionality that MSFS provides. (even with 3rd party navdata installed in the Community folder), such as published holds, while the simulator adds them as updates come. This is natural completely optionaland the plane can still run 100% in the simulator if you don’t enable it (with all the benefits below still in place).
Full support for missed approach procedures
Missed approaches are automatically loaded with your selected approach and can be flown by the aircraft just like any other part of the route. They are subject to IRL restrictions studied in real life on this FMS such as limited turn prediction until activated.
Support for alternate and secondary flight plans
An alternative destination can now be entered for a diversion. You can also create, copy, swap and delete secondary flight plans and they will be displayed on the navigation screen with no turn prediction like IRL.
Better Stringing Algorithm
This algorithm removes discontinuities where they should not be and adds them where the old system should have. No more segments between departure and arrival before entering the airways, fewer double stages, automatic linking of matching segments.
The progress we have made with the LNAV and flight plan management system has enabled us to accelerate the development of the aircraft’s vertical navigation system (VNAV). This highly anticipated feature relies heavily on accurate lateral path prediction to plan an accurate vertical profile along a track.
This not only enables the FMS to predict a complete elevation profile, but also includes the calculation of a speed profile according to all applicable elevation restrictions and speed limits. These, in turn, are essential for improving lateral path prediction, which is highly dependent on ground speed.
Similar to LNAV forecasts, in-flight VNAV forecasts are regularly recalculated to account for changes in atmospheric conditions such as pressure, temperature and wind, as well as deviations in actual aircraft performance from the forecasts, in order to provide accurate information to the pilots. provide during the flight. This close interaction between the two systems poses a developmental challenge as iterative computation is required to find a suitable solution.
We recently published our latest interview with Head of Microsoft Flight Simulator Jorg Neumann and learned more about Microsoft’s plans for the coming months, including World Update Australia.
If you want to read more about Microsoft Flight Simulator add-ons, you can read our recent reviews of the Twin Otter, Auckland International Airport, Skiathos Airport, Athens International Airport, Bergamo Orio al Serio Airport, Amami Airport, Bristol Airport, Marrakech Menara Airport, Great Britain Central, Tehran Imam Khomeini Airport, Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport, Shanghai Pudong Airport, Kraków Airport, Fukuoka City & Airport, Fort Lauderdale Airport, Chongqing City & Airport, Manila Airport, Santiago Airport, the Frankfurt City Pack, Key West Airport, the Okavango Delta, Bali Airport, London Oxford Airport, Berlin Brandenburg Airport, the CRJ 550/700, the PA-28R Arrow III, Kristiansand Airport, Macau City & Airport, Bonaire Flamingo Airport, Milano Linate Airport, Singapore City Pack, Tokyo Narita Airport, Yao Airport, the F-15 Eagle, the Paris City Pack, Greater Moncton Airport, Tweed New Haven Airport, Santorini Airport, Sydney Airport, Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, Reggio Cala b ria Airport, Bastia Poretta Airport, Munich Airport, Paris Orly Airport, Newcastle International Airport, Sankt Johann Airfield, Dublin International Airport and Seoul City Wow. We also have a beta preview of Singapore Changi airport.
If you want to know more about the game itself, you can read our review that tells you everything you need to know about the game from Asobo Studio.
Microsoft Flight Simulator is already available for Windows 10 and Steam, and Xbox Series X|S.