Today third-party developers had interesting news and releases to share about upcoming add-ons for Microsoft Flight Simulator.
“Over the last few months, we have focused a lot on getting the VC animations complete along with working on the FMS ( Flight Management System ) and flight dynamics. The VC animations are 90% complete. However, many switches still need to be integrated into the systems. From the FMS perspective, several pages on the FMC, certain AP functions, Navigation display , PFD are functioning. Without revealing too much it’s worth emphasising that the FMS is a huge priority. After the FMS is complete, we will work on the other systems of the aircraft.
On the exterior model, we have focused mainly on the landing gear. Still a lot of parts left to do but it is coming along nicely. The textures are unchanged from the last update but these are really just placeholder textures. A lot of detailed work is still left to do to really bring the textures to life.
The flight model has received attention too. However, there is much left to do here. We plan on integrating two different flight models. One will be aimed at “easier flying” while the other is aimed at maximum realism within the simulator limitations.”
“I did manage some more work on the Harrier cockpit this week and have decided to go with the Asobo pilot as it’s more general to the type. The BIG news though is that, as promised, CodenameJack has now custom coded an entirely new VTOL system that makes all the others look like a cartoon. There is plenty of time to refine it further but I flight-tested it for the first time this week and it’s, well, proper VTOL, the real deal, just as we’d hoped for.
Hopefully next week I will be back onto the Harrier cockpit full-time so that I can show off some new art and images next week. Launch for the Harrier is likely to be September now, due to the need for SU10 updates.”
Next, we get an announcement from SoFly, which will publish Mataveri International Airport (SCIP) developed by WTFlightSim.
If the name doesn’t ring a bell, it’s the most remote airport in the world on Easter Island, so it’s certainly an interesting destination if you like long-haul flights.
You can read and see what it offers below.
- Lovingly created airport with high-quality UHD textures
- Stunning scenic approach that takes you right over the cliff edge
- Amazing island views from all angles of the airport
- Brimming with local knowledge and features such as the iconic Moai statues
- An airport that can accommodate all aircraft types and sizes offering you limitless possibilities
- Outstanding atmosphere of the airport thanks to the pixel-perfect airport signage
- Excellent performance with a focus on highly detailed modelling
- Accurate layout, signage, and modelling for the most realistic rendition
Moving on to releases, Just Flight and Black Square released the Steam Gauge Overhaul – Analog Caravan, which isn’t a stand-alone aircraft but fully converts the interior of the default Cessna Grand Caravan massively improving the complexity of the simulation.
You can buy it on Just Flight’s own store for €24.95 and below you can read and see what it offers.
- Accurately modelled 208B Grand Caravan interior ONLY (uses default exterior model), created from hundreds of reference photos, panoramas and technical documentation
- 100% MSFS native animation code for the smoothest animations and cockpit interactions using either legacy or new cockpit interaction modes
- 4096×4096 (4K) textures are used to produce the highest possible texture clarity
- PBR (Physically Based Rendering) materials with real-time environment reflections for superb quality and realism
- Detailed normal mapping for leather, fabric, plastic, stitches, scratches, carpet and tooling marks, resulting in a texture resolution of 10,000 pixels per square inch (90.0kB)
- Extensive use of the new MSFS decal system for nearly vector-graphic quality of labels, arrows and exterior detail features
- Greatly enhanced instrument panel detail compared to default aircraft, with every label and marking in its place. If it appears in the real aircraft, you can interact with it!
- Custom-coded steam gauges with low-pass filtering, needle bounce, and physics provide ultra-realistic and silky smooth animations like you’ve never seen before
- Carefully modelled components match the depth and character of the real instrumentation, based on reference photos, schematics and real world measurements. Unlike other expensive Flight Sim aircraft, every piece of equipment that appears in a Black Square aircraft is modelled after a real piece of aircraft equipment, and will behave the same way in its primary functionality.
- Every knob, switch and button is interactable and implemented, along with its respective electrical circuitry. Turn systems on and off or pull circuit breakers to see the impact it has on your generators and battery via the analog meters. Automatic load shedding and standby generators are also simulated. Many pieces of equipment respond correctly to electrical configurations with warning messages and diagnostic codes.
- Fully 3D cockpit lighting technology for every gauge and panel, with ambient bounce lighting for a more immersive night-time experience that won’t leave you fumbling around in unrealistically dark spots
- 4096×4096 (4K) PBR textures on cockpit and panel for crisp instrumentation. Even see the fingerprints on instrument glass!
- Hideable yokes, adjustable sun visors and other cockpit aesthetics
- All placards and warning labels from the real aircraft represented
Black Square’s overhauled cockpits with analog instrumentation go far beyond a visual upgrade. Included, you will find a complete redesign of all aircraft systems to more closely match the real aircraft, with a focus on electrical systems. Also included are more accurate weight and balance, lighting systems, flight dynamics and ground handling. Enjoy features such as:
- Completely interactable electrical system with 12 buses and 90 circuits
- Improved turbine dynamics (ITT, TRQ, Ng, Fuel Flow, Inertial Separator), battery charging circuitry and load shedding
- Selective state saving for radio selection, radio frequency memory, cabin aesthetics etc.
- Engine limit excursions that decrease engine health and will eventually lead to failure
- Crew/Passenger oxygen system that depletes according to pressure altitude, passenger occupancy and the biological demand of each passenger based on weight
- Standby flap motor circuitry, logic and switches, and working propeller governor test
- Dimmable annunciators and backlighting controlled via their respective electrical circuits and individual radio power settings
- Automatically dimming screens via photocell match real-world equipment
- Remote compass control with automatic gyro slaving simulated with electrical systems
Over 350 checklist items are provided for 30+ Normal, Abnormal and Emergency procedures in textual form in the manual, and in-game, using the MSFS native checklist system with control and instrument highlighting. If it’s in the checklist, it’s settable in the aircraft!
Black Square’s Analog Caravan features the default MSFS-native (Wwise) 3D Grand Caravan sound package, inside and out. Default sounds have been carefully assigned to all interactable cockpit elements for an authentic 3D spatial experience.
- Rich audio for every switch, button, lever and electrical system
- Detailed physics-based effects on engine and wind noise
- Accurately positioned 3D sound sources (best enjoyed in VR!)
The Analog Caravan features a slightly improved flight model compared to the default Grand Caravan, with tweaks based on operator feedback online.
- Annunciator Panel
- Quartz Analog Chronometer
- True Airspeed Indicator
- Bendix/King KI 256 Vacuum Artificial Horizon
- Bendix/King KEA 130A Altimeter
- Bendix/King KI 229 Radio Magnetic Indicator (RMI)
- Bendix/King KI 525A Horizontal Situation Indicator (HSI)
- Vertical Speed Indicator
- Bendix/King KI 206 Localizer
- Mid-Continent Turn Coordinator
- Bendix/King KRA-10A Radar Altimeter
- Engine Instrumentation
- Duplicate Co-pilot Instrumentation
- Garmin GMA 340 Audio Panel
- Garmin GTN 750 (COM 1) (PMS50 or TDS)
- Garmin GNS 530W (COM 1)
- Garmin GNS 430W (COM 2)
- Bendix/King KX-155B (COM 1 / NAV 1)
- Bendix/King KX-155B (COM 2 / NAV 2)
- Bendix/King KNS-80 RNAV Navigation System (incl. NAV 3)
- Bendix/King KR 87 (ADF)
- Bendix/King KDI 572 (DME)
- Bendix/King KAP 140 Autopilot
- Bendix RDR1150XL Colour Weather Radar
- Garmin GTX 327 Transponder
- 100+ Circuit Breakers
- Multi-Function Volt/Amp Meter
- Bendix/King KA 51B Remote Compass Synchroscope
- Propeller Amps Indicator
- Vacuum Indicator
- Oxygen Pressure Gauge
- Hobbs Timer
Last, but certainly not least, Orbx has released its massive South America mesh, finally providing an enhancement to the full South American continent, which is definitely welcome.
You can purchase it for $13.08 on Orbx Direct, and it comes with the following:
- 10m DEM data for the Andes
- Minimal performance impact
- Compiled to reduce LOD morphing
- Self-contained product
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 Beijing Capital International Airport, 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.