Microsoft Flight Simulator F-16, F-35, SR-71, KC-10, Auckland and more Get new screenshots; St. Thomas announced and Saarbrücken released
The third-party developers have provided a lot of new features today, showing the upcoming add-ons for Microsoft Flight Simulator.
First of all, Military Visualizations (Milviz) just released the first look at their upcoming SR-71 Blackbird. It’s a single image, but considering how unique the plane is, it’s certainly cool to see.
I certainly can’t wait to fly over Mach 3 with this record-breaking beauty. The screenshot was shared on the Developer’s Discord Server.
Below is a gallery of SC Designs’ F-16C Fighting Falcon, along with a development update.
“I’ve been working this week on the landing gear for the F-16, which has a fairly complex assembly and general retract cycle. It’s important to get this area right up front, as an identical assembly is shared on the F-16D variant, so getting one right means getting both right. It also allows the flight model contact points and compression cycles to adjust and lock, preparing the aircraft for flight tests.
More work has been done on animations with flaps, spoilers, and other exterior surfaces that are now animated and work as needed. The avant-garde slats will take place next week. The maneuver slats on the F-16 work the same way as those on the F-14 Tomcat, so that’s one area of the aircraft that can be easily integrated into flight dynamics. Special effects such as contrails and tire smoke have also been added when landing.
One area I’m not so sure about is the decals. All warning text and other finer details will be done with high resolution decals for close viewing, but I am not sold on the idea of panel line decals. The DC Designs F-15 Eagles have textured mapped panel lines and look fantastic. The F-14 Tomcats from DC Designs have the panel lines modeled and look equally amazing, but I don’t know if the massive amount of extra work is really worth it unless you’re absolutely high up on the plane. I think it might be worth adding the rivets, keeping the lines as they are. What you think? Is it worth modeling thousands of panel and rivet lines that cannot be seen in detail when you are more than 10 feet from the fuselage?
Next week I will finish the exterior to the extent that the flight tests can be done properly, and then I will move on to adding all the details to the cockpit, including all the instruments and controls. Things are going well and we are on time so far!
As a side note, DC Designs recently announced that due to piracy of their products, they will only sell future products through the Microsoft Flight Simulator Marketplace. As a newcomer to this field, you know more than I do about why it is a good idea and as such I will follow your example. We have worked incredibly hard to achieve what we have so far, and we also don’t want to be ripped off of our work. I hope you can understand the reasoning behind that decision. “
We stay in the military kingdom with IndiaFoxtEcho, which provided new screenshots and a development update for its F-35 Lightning II.
“We have (almost) completed the main structure of the cabin and we are moving towards the hood and the ejection seat. Like we did with the external models, we remade everything we found unsatisfactory in the P3D… and in the case of the cockpit, it meant everything. It took a while, but we think it was worth it; here are some screenshots (canopy and seat missing, some parts not fully textured).
One thing we don’t like is that we still have an XML drive HMD at the moment. It would be much better to do it in HTML and we are experimenting with that… but the results are not entirely satisfactory in terms of functionality and there are some serious bugs. We plan to “steal” something from Top Gun Super Hornet … but we are not sure of the release date (maybe it will be delayed since the movie was recently postponed to 2022?) Also, we have created a series of liveries for the models A and B – The intention is to have at least one real world livery for each nation / service (real world only, no fictitious or “future” liveries). Note that, at this time, all of our liveries are in the “older” finish (that is, with a lighter gray on the panel edges), while the newer flats have a smoother, more uniform appearance ( which we will try to include, but without promises here.).
The F-35C model is not finished yet (landing gear, gun bays, and other details need to be textured), but here’s a screenshot from WIP.
We don’t have a release window yet: according to our usual policy, “it’s done when it’s done.” WE HOPE we’ll have a trial version in a month or so … but we don’t want to spare any effort. “
More military hardware comes from Aero Dynamics, which showed off the flight deck of its McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender.
The plane will be free and you can follow its development in the dedicated discord server.
Passing to the airports, Flightbeam Studios revealed the first look at its Auckland Airport (NZAA) in New Zealand. It is being developed in parallel with Wellington (NZWN).
Going on a much smaller scale, Aerosoft’s partner developer FlightSim Studio showed new screenshots from Kufstein-Langkampfen Airport (LOIK) in Austria.
Its launch is defined as “not very far”.
Next, we received an announcement from FeelThere, which is working at the St. Thomas Cyril E. King International Airport (TIST), which serves the island of St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands.
A single image was revealed, which you can see below.
Last but not least, Fred’s Airports launched Saarbrücken Airport EDDR. It’s actually free software, but you can choose to pay a small fee to help the developer for a faster download.
You can find it here, and you can see the quality (which seems very high for a freeware airport) below.
- more than 20 unique buildings
- realistic slant track and apron
- terminal with interior
- detailed apron
- correct taxiway signs
- immersive lighting
- high resolution PBR textures
We recently posted our massive interview with Microsoft Flight Simulator boss Jorg Neumann, focusing on the Xbox version and the short- and long-term plans for the simulator (on both platforms).
If you want to read more about Microsoft Flight Simulator plugins, you can enjoy our recent reviews of Amami Airport, Bristol Airport, Marrakech Menara Airport, Great Britain Central, Tehran Imam Khomeini Airport, Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport, Shanghai Pudong Airport, Krakow Airport, Fukuoka City and Airport, Fort Lauderdale Airport, Chongqing City and Airport, Manila Airport, Santiago Airport, Frankfurt City Pack, Key West Airport, Okavango Delta, Bali Airport, London Oxford Airport, Berlin Airport Brandenburg, CRJ 550/700, PA-28R Arrow III, Kristiansand Airport, Macau City and Airport, Bonaire Flamingo Airport, Milano Linate Airport, Singapore City Package, Tokyo Narita, Yao Airport, F-15 Eagle, Paris City Package, Greater Moncton Airport, Tweed New Haven Airport, Santorini Airport, Aer or Sydney Airport, Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, Reggio Calabria Airport, Bastia Poretta Airport, Munich Airport, Paris Orly Airport, Newcastle International Airport, Sankt Johann Airfield d, 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 which will tell you everything you need to know about the game from Asobo Studio.
Microsoft Flight Simulator is now available for Windows 10 and Steam, and Xbox Series X | S.