Third-party developers have revealed new assets about upcoming add-ons for Microsoft Flight Simulator and announced a new airport in the works.
Incidentally, we learn that the developer hopes to launch the aircraft for Xbox as well.
Q – ARE YOU DOING ALL THE THREE VERSIONS?
A – Yes. The package will include the three versions: A (CTOL), B (STOVL) and C (CATOBAR). All the significant differences will be modeled, including flight characteristics.
Q – CAN IT DO VERTICAL TAKEOFF AND LANDINGS?
A – Only the B variant does, and yes – STOVL is fully functional (unless Microsoft breaks it in the next update – fingers crossed), with realistic limitations (aircraft weight must be lower than 40000 lbs to hover). Note that while the F-35 can takeoff vertically, this is not the intended mission profile: it usually performs a short takeoff and then a vertical landing, as this allows a much higher payload.
Q – WILL IT BE AVAILABLE ON XBOX?
A – Yes, or at least we hope so. It is not clear, at the moment, if the Primary Control Display (PCD) will be controllable on Xbox in some cases. In any case it is likely that the XBOX version will be available slightly later than the PC version.
Q – WILL IT HAVE WEAPONS?
A – Microsoft DOES NOT allow depiction of weapons on planes sold on the Marketplace. The current plan is to have two version: the “pacifist” version will have no weapons and will be sold on the Microsoft Marketplace, the “non-pacifist” version will be sold by our usual distributors. At the moment we have AIM-9X, AIM-120, GBU-12, GBU-31, and gunpod. WEAPONS WILL BE COSMETIC ONLY AND CANNOT BE RELEASED (although technically speaking it is feasible to create droppable objects – this is currently beyond the scope of this project).
Q – IS THERE A WORKING RADAR? TFLIR? DAS?
A – No. At the moment these features are not included, mostly because MSFS does not include any way we know of for implementing them on XML code – and our PCD is partially based on the XML code we wrote for P3D.As a side note, in HTML5/JS and C++ it would be possible to:- create a working A-A radar- use the mapping service as a (rudimentary) A-S mapping radar – use the synthetic vision to generate (rudimentary) DAS/TFLIR images…but these are beyond the scope of the project.
Q – IS THE DRAG-CHUTE VARIANT INCLUDED?
A – No. Drag chute is installed on Norwegian aircraft upon a specific request from that country (and are easily recognizeable for a bump on top of the fuselage, near the engine nozzle). We’ll have a Norwegian livery, but that will be one of the first aircrafts delivered – with no drag chute.
Q – IS THE F-35I “ADIR” VARIANT INCLUDED?
A – The “Adir” is a specific variant developed for (and by) Israel – with nation-specific equipment and weapons. However the airframe is identical to the F-35A… so, you will find the Israeli livery in the F-35A folder.
Q -HOW CAN YOU GRANT ANY LEVEL OF REALISM ON THIS?
A – We cannot. However, we believe we did our homework and have been reserching every bit of unclassified information about the jet. And then there are a number of videos on Youtube that explain how to operate and fly the aircraft.
Q- WHERE DID YOU GET THAT U.S.S. AMERICA MODEL?
A – It is a static scenery object that is being developed for this project.
Q – HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
A – Final price has not been set yet, but should not be too far from the T-45.Q – RELEASE DATE?A – It is done when it is done… but we are not too far from a decent build.
Last, but not least, Orbx is continuing with its series of Nordic airports. They just announced Sandane Airport, Anda (ENSD) in Norway.
It’s known for its iconic approach and it hosts scheduled Dash-8 flights operated by Widerøe.
Here’s what you can expect.
- Detailed rendition of ENSD Sandane Airport
- 2K textures and PBR
- Custom ground decals
- Crisp 60cm ortho
- Custom approach lighting and ground equipment
- By Andreas Hegi
Recently, we published our massive interview with head of Microsoft Flight Simulator Jorg Neumann, focusing on the Xbox version and short and long-term plans for the sim (on both platforms).
If you’d like to read more about Microsoft Flight Simulator add-ons, you can enjoy our recent reviews of 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.