Today third-party developers offered new development updates and screenshots of upcoming aircraft and scenery for Microsoft Flight Simulator, released two airports, and announced another.
We start with PMDG, who provided a new look at its upcoming Boeing 737 in comparison to the old version for P3D. The Microsoft Flight Simulator version is on the left of the images.
PMDG boss Robert Randazzo talked at length about the current stage of the project, and the visual fidelity the new simulator allows the team to achieve. You can read the full post on PMDG’s own forum.
For the moment, no new release window was provided, but the previous update mentioned that the hope was to launch before the end of the year. Fingers crossed.
Next is DC Design, which offered a development update on its upcoming Concorde, alongside plenty of new screenshots.
We also hear that the predicted release window is early February 2022.
“This week has been spent entirely on the engineer’s station, which is a huge job to undertake and has understandably been all-consuming for some time now. I have been able to complete most of the modelling and am now texturing everything in full PBR, which really does bring the aircraft flight deck to life in MSFS.
From an animation perspective, every single dial, button, switch and knob is alive in this version of Concorde, meaning that there will be a huge amount of work involved in both deciding how much of that will have a function in the simulator, and then tying them all together in a cohesive way. As I mentioned last week, while this rendition of Concorde isn’t intended to be “study level”, the sheer volume of instrumentation and functionality present in the flight deck means that it will be significantly more complex than any of my other aircraft to date, including the original Concorde I built for FSX and Prepar3D. I’m spending quite a lot of time making notes about how Concorde’s different systems worked, in order to try to figure out how much to make operational and what effect might occur if the user should fail to operate those systems correctly. The last thing I want to do is spoil a user’s flight halfway across the Atlantic because they forgot to operate a switch, but at the same time having all this detail just be cosmetic seems like an awful waste of polygons to me.
For those of you hankering for accurate release dates, it’s now looking likely that Concorde will first launch with Just Flight in early February, 2022. The MSFS Marketplace is currently suffering appalling waiting times, as much as four months, so there really is no way for me to pin a date on the Marketplace and Xbox version at this time. I’m hoping that the waiting times come down soon, as the MS team are working hard and have hired new help to try to bring the backlog down. While I’m on the subject, updates of all my aircraft are on hold until at least after Sim Update 7, as there is little point in sending them only for new sim updates to break them before they’re even released.
For now, enjoy the WIP images of Concorde and her flight deck. There will be more of them over the coming weeks, but there is of course a huge amount still to do so much of the work will involve coding and animation rather than new details to share on the visuals. I hope next week to have a more up-to-date spec sheet for the aircraft.
On a final note, a very small number of observers have decried the inclusion of a modern FMC in the cockpit. This has been done because to custom-code Concorde’s original INS system would take many, many further months of development time, would result in a much higher product cost, and yet would only be used by the tiny number of people who are insisting upon it. A modern FMC, modelled and textured to emulate the original INS, that will be more familiar to most users and is already part of the simulator’s core code, is a sensible compromise in what will already be a very complex airplane.”
Next comes SC Design and its F-16 Fighting Falcon. Work is on track for a release in December, and a trailer should come soon.
“This week was spent incorporating some changes as requested by users, as well as adding further enhancements to the F-16s in preparation for their launch next month. One of the most often requested additions was the ability to add AMRAAM missiles to the wing-tip rails – this has now been completed and the models updated to match.
A further request was for customizable pilots. This has also now been addressed, as you can see in the images; pilot helmets can be customized, flight suit patches likewise, the pilot’s visor can be raised and the oxygen mask removed as required. The name on the canopy frame can also be altered as desired.
Perhaps the biggest task though this week was to replace the textured panel lines on the upper surfaces and fuselage to decals, for higher resolution and detail. I just wasn’t happy with much of the line resolution, even at 4K. This was a lot of extra work but it’s paid off really well and the Falcons look much sharper for it. The underside of the aircraft actually looks just great with the panel lines on the texture maps ( they’re mostly straight lines, so there is almost no pixelation ) so those surfaces have been left as they are. If there is time, I may turn them into decals but for now, there is no real need.
Finally, the F-16I’s HARM missiles have been replaced with more accurate ordnance for that version, in this case JDAM bombs, which are selectable in the same way.
This now represents the final layout for the aircraft, as there is no more time to accommodate any further requests between now and the launch date. I will update the many colour schemes to accommodate the new panel line decals, and add a Hellenic Air Force livery while I’m there as that was also requested several times. Between now and launch I will be testing, bug fixing, writing the manual and getting everything ready for launch. A promotional video should be underway soon also.”
We also hear news from MK Studios, that had to delay Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (LIRF) in Rome, Italy.
It’s now coming in Q1, 2022, but we do get to see a new screenshot below.
As for announcements, JustSim revealed its upcoming new airport, and it’s Milas–Bodrum (LTFE) in Turkey.
It’s worth mentioning that it’s a completely different package from the one released yesterday by another developer. You can see a few teaser screenshots below.
Speaking of releases, WDF Avia launched Samui International Airport (VTSM) in Thailand.
It’s currently available on SimMarket for approximately $22 plus applicable VAT. You can see what it looks like below.
Last, but not least, Scenery Creation launched Kurumoch International Airport (UWWW) in Samara, Russia.
It’s available on SimMarket for approximately $17 plus applicable VAT. Below you can check out an official features list and a gallery.
- The airport is modeled using PBR materials.
- Dynamic lighting and custom animated jetways.
- Detailed terminal interior.
- Custom made taxiways and runways.
- More than 60 modeled objects
- Detailed modeling of the airport area.
- Huge optimization work of 3D models. LOD usage.
- Excellent performance.
If you’d like to read more about Microsoft Flight Simulator add-ons, you can enjoy our recent reviews of 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, the 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 Calabria 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 learn more about the game itself, you can read our review that will tell you everything you need to know about Asobo Studio’s game.
Microsoft Flight Simulator is already available for Windows 10 and Steam, and Xbox Series X|S.
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