Today third-party developers had a lot of juicy reveals and releases of Microsoft Flight Simulator add-ons, including aircraft and airports.
“This week I have been working hard on both the AV-8B Harrier II and the F-4 Phantom packages. In one of life’s great ironies, just as Jack and I had agreed upon the ideal method of recreating VSTOL in MSFS for the Harrier, Asobo release the un-announced “Halo” Pelican with its own VTOL system. We checked this out and, while it’s an easy way of creating VTOL, it’s still far too much like slewing, which isn’t flying or proper hovering.
We’re currently doing some tests with our own ideas while also examining the Pelican’s flight model, so that we can come up with something better and more realistic for the Harrier.
In a cool twist, when animating the Harrier’s nozzles, I found that engine heat haze effects and Karl Derner’s awesome smoke trails nicely follow the movement of the nozzles, making the airplane look even better as it transitions from hovering to forward flight. Work continues rapidly on the Harrier as I build up the detail on the exterior model. There is much that remains to be done but it’s coming along really well.
The Phantoms are not far behind in many ways. I spent two days creating higher resolution UV maps for the models, these will be the masters for all the textures and liveries. I’m in the process now of finalising the exterior layouts, which will also account for the different nose and tail shapes of each of the variants, making life easier for livery re-painters when the Phantoms are launched ( there are literally hundreds of liveries worn by Phantoms over almost 50 years’ of service, so I’m sure repainters will want as much flexibility as possible ). I am still undecided, for both aircraft, whether to use decals or texture sheets for panel lines. Option A is quicker and easier, Option B is the way it *should* be done in MSFS.”
Next, we hear from SimWorks Studios, which provided a look at the amphibian version of its excellent Kodiak, on top of a roadmap of the aircraft they intend to release in 2022, the Van’s Aircraft RV-10, the GippsAero GA8 Airvan, and the and Pilatus PC-12, of which you can see the external 3D model in the first screenshot below.
“As for the Airvan, we have had this workhorse in our sights for some time and are finally able to start working on it. The aircraft’s coding is mostly complete and just like the PC-12, we are dialing in the basic geometry and engine parameters using a basic model of the aircraft to get the sizing right. The aircraft will come equipped with steam gauges and the typical GNS530 plus Bendix/King radio stack. It will make use of the same features as the Kodiak, meaning that the cargo, passengers and some instruments will be moldable, so you can create your own radio stack or instrument panel.
Lastly, an update to the RV-14 will be finalized next week, adding a GNS530 radio stack and getting packaged for PC and Xbox. As we said, the Xbox version will feature ONLY the GNS530 stack, until the 750 is made available to the console. That is all for this week!
Speaking of future aircraft, we are planning for three more for 2022. The RV-10, Airvan, and PC-12. Regarding the PC-12, we have our WIP exterior in the simulator and are dialing in the basic geometry, electrical, and engine parameters. We are nitpicking at the exterior still, as some details of the aircraft were hard to come by. However, thanks to Pilatus and our pilots, we have everything we need and can soon dash to the finish line and focus on the cockpit! It is the last 10% that takes all the time. The RV-10 is making solid progress, with a significant part of the exterior modeled and undergoing review to make sure we got it all right.”
Moving on to released aircraft, Airfoillabs released its first one for Microsoft Flight Simulator, the Bristell B23.
You can purchase it on the official marketplace within the simulator for $24,99 for both PC and Xbox and see what it looks like below.
Next on the release menu is AzurPoly‘s Socata TB-30 Epsilon military trainer.
This one has been released only on the marketplace as well for now, and you can purchase it for $19.99 for both PC and Xbox.
Another release comes from MK Studios, which released the iconic San Sebastián Airport (LESO) in Spain.
It’s available on Orbx Central for $13.83 and you can expect the following.
- San Sebastian Airport in very detailed rendition
- High-quality PBR texturing
- Recreated surroundings and shoreline
- Runway profile
- Simplified terminal interior
We fly all the way to Argentina, with Chapelgo Aviador Carlos Campos Airport (SAZY), serving San Martín de los Andes, released by Simulación Extrema.
It’s available for both Xbox and PC on the official in-sim marketplace priced at $12.99
Back to Europe, we get another release on the official in-sim marketplace by SimNord.
Endelave Airport (EKEL) in Denmark can be purchased at $6.99 for both PC and Xbox.
If you’d like to learn more about Microsoft Flight Simulator, you can check out our brand new interview with head of Microsoft Flight Simulator Jorg Neumann about the 40th Anniversary Edition, the world update, and more.
If you’re curious about Microsoft Flight Simulator add-ons, you can enjoy our recent reviews of Anchorage International Airport, Fenix’s Airbus A320, West Virginia International Yeager Airport, Kansai International Airport, Toronto Pearson Airport, 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, 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 recently published a review of the Thrustmaster TCA Yoke Pack Boeing Edition, which is a great controller for Microsoft Flight Simulator.
If you want to learn more about the game itself, you can read our review which will tell you everything you need to know about Asobo Studio’s game.