FSExpo 19

[Re-post] FSExpo 2019: Thrustmaster Announces The F/A-18C Add-On Grip

Thrustmaster F A 18C

We have re-posted this article as it appeared to not get published correctly at the time of the announcement. Apologies in advance if you have already seen this.

Today at FSExpo 2019, Thrustmaster announced the latest addition to their flight simulation line of products: the F/A-18C Add-On Grip for the Thrustmaster Warthog and Cougar HOTAS systems!

The Thrustmaster F/A-18C Hornet Add-On Grip is a life-size replica of the flight stick found in the real McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornet. Thrustmaster’s rendition is made out of durable, industrial-grade materials for long product life and an authentic feel and features realistic application pressure on all of the handle’s buttons. The stick includes 19 action buttons including a realistic 2-step trigger and an 8-direction “Point of View” hat switch. The F/A-18C grip also supports native integration with the DCS F/A-18C module and is compatible with all other flight simulation games.

The Thrustmaster F/A-18C Hornet Grip is compatible with the company’s legendary Warthog and Cougar HOTAS systems and will be available for a price of 199.99 Euros, or about $229.99 USD. A release date is uncertain at the moment but we’ll be sure to keep you updated once we have new information.

Key Features

  • Life-size, 1:1 scale replica of the F/A-18C Hornet™ flight stick handle.
  • Metal design (grip), with durable, industrial-grade materials for an authentic feel and maximum product lifespan.
  • 19 action buttons, including a realistic 2-step trigger and one 8-direction “Point of View” hat switch. The same number of inputs as the HOTAS Warthog control stick.
  • Native integration in the game DCS (sold separately) via the dedicated F/A-18C module.
  • Nearly identical stick to that used in the AV-8B Night Attack and F-15E Strike Eagle.
  • Backwards-compatible with two best-selling Thrustmaster joystick bases: HOTAS Warthog and HOTAS Cougar (sold separately): easily swap your HOTAS Warthog and HOTAS Cougar with the flight grip.
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FlightSimExpo 2020 Announced For Las Vegas


We have barely concluded FlightSimExpo 2019, and some of us are still on their way home, but that did not stop the organisers of the event to plan ahead for next year. With a brief plan announced on Twitter, the team announced that FlightSimExpo 2020 will be held in Las Vegas, just like FSExpo 2018. The venue is still being chosen, so that information will come at a later date.

For now though, we’ll make sure we get back to you soon about everything that we saw, learned and tried out at this years FSExpo, so make sure to check back soon to find our post-event coverage and stories.

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Laminar Gives An Update On X-Plane


Laminar Research, the developer of the X-Plane franchise, gave an update on the state of their platform and what is to come.

In a packed session Saturday at FSExpo, the development team covered a variety of topics including the mobile platform, the current build of X-Plane 11, and upcoming changes to airplanes and scenery within the sim.

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TFDi Announces SmartCars 3

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Developer TFDi Design has announced their plans to release smartCARS 3.

With a complete code rewrite, the new version of smartCARS 3 will allow flexibility to developers, offering a platform to build on. The platform will offer better support of mobile services, as well as enhanced flight tracking – allowing pilots to see a variety of flight data at any point in the flight, including during playback after the flight.

The new version of the tracking software will also offer better API support for using maps. A recent change in Google’s API licensing model has meant that TFDi has resorted to using a resource-intensive mapping model that has offered them limited flexibility. This has meant that they have had to remove maps from the server, and hope to release an updated version along with smartCARS 3.

Used by a variety of Virtual Airlines, the new version of the software will allow users to see which VA’s are using smartCARS and users will be able to use a single installation of the software with all of their virtual airlines, eliminating the need to install multiple instances of the same software. This consolidation will also allow users to track their hours across all of their virtual airlines in one central location.

Developers are currently working on the user interface, and it is expected that a new version of the software will be revealed in the next several months. With TFDi focusing on the recent release of their PACX software, developers are busy with multiple projects.

A pricing model for the software will be determined before release, and developers expect pricing to fall in line with the current smartCARS 2 pricing model.

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FSExpo 2019: Orbx Seminar Roundup – London City Announced

FSExpo 2019 Orbx Seminar Roundup London City Announced

With the Orbx seminar at FSExpo 2019 officially wrapped, we thought we’d recap all the important bits and bobs we were able to gather from the presentation and share it with the community.

First up, Australia v2 has now been officially released. Aus v2 is a complete remake of the old region and can be yours from OrbxDirect for 54.94 AUD.

Up next is the unofficial announcement of EGLC, London City Airport. Teased a while back as Orbx’s first full PBR airport, London City will be coming to both Prepar3D v4 and X-Plane 1, though. an official announcement with previews and much more information will be made in the coming weeks.

The TrueEarth series certainly got a lot of attention in the presentation. It was said that  TrueEarth US Washington will be released within the next couple of weeks and we were also given a bit of a sneak peek at the next few installments in the TrueEarth series. TrueEarth US Oregon, Northern California and Southern California are all in the pipeline, though there wasn’t any more information given on these products.

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FSExpo 2019: Mettar Simulations Announces Roadmap Update


Mettar Simulations, the developer behind P3D Tweak Assistant, ProjectFly and more has announced via their seminar at FSExpo 2019, details on their development roadmap and some exciting new features coming to their existing product range.

Matt Davies, Founder of Mettar Simulations started the seminar by recapping where Mettar started and how they arrived at where they are today. As mentioned above, one of their two biggest successes has been P3D Tweak Assistant. A utility that allows you to change shaders and configurations to customise the look of your P3D. PTA has seen little update for users in the last 12 months but Matt announced that PTA has been re-coded from the ground up and is packed full of new features including dynamic profile sharing in real time. You will also be able to change your presets and shaders in PTA and see the direct impact in P3D without reloading your sim. These additional features will come at a cost of $3.99 if you are an existing PTA user. For those who would like to carry on using PTA without the upgrade, you can still do so as the current PTA will still receive sim support and updates, excluding the new additional features.

ProjectFLY mixes flight dispatcher and logbook for P3D and X-Plane. From finding out where to fly next or to see where you have flown before, ProjectFLY is the comprehensive utility for all. The current version of ProjectFLY (v3) has come a long way from its initial conception. Matt announced version 4 for ProjectFLY is almost ready to go. This update will include a range of features from a new tweaked user interface and updated passport facility to highlight the countries you have visited on the map. Alongside the visual developments, ProjectFLY will include a feature to help you decide where to fly next. This will help you, if like me, you spend the majority of your time planning and deciding where to fly to rather than actually flying. The feature will give you a visual field of reach from a selected airport given parameters such as time and aircraft type. Although these features are great, Matt saved the biggest development till last; Mettar has partnered up with Aviation Cloud, a real-world dispatch company, sister to ForeFlight and Boeing, to bring real-world flight dispatch to the simulator community. The last change to be mentioned for ProjectFLY is an addition of price banding. Matt mentioned in previous announcements that the plan was to have three tiers for ProjectFLY, Blue, Silver and Gold, none of which have been made available as only the sandbox version of ProjectFLY has been released. The new tiered system includes a similar three stages named Free, Supporter (£0.99) and Dispatcher (£6.99). The full list of features can be found below.

Free of Charge

  • Radar
  • Logbook
  • Achievements
  • Passport stamps
  • Contracts
  • Community
  • ProjectFLY chat

Supporter £0.99

  • Unlimited airline schedules
  • 15-second radar refresh
  • Streamer tools
  • Priority support response
  • Supporter account badge
  • Monthly giveaway entry

Dispatcher £6.99

  • All supporter features
  • Unlimited dispatches
  • Full OFP package
  • Real-world validated routes
  • Fuel flow calculations
  • ETP/ETOPS operations
  • EX, SIGWX & wind charts
  • NOTAMS (airport, en-route, fir)

Since Cosford Flight Sim Show 2019 where Mettar announced their A380 development for both P3D and X-Plane. Unfortunately, no further development comments have been made regarding the aircraft but Matt assured the congregation that development is still underway but not at the rate in which they initially expected.

As far as time frames go, Matt made loose comments regarding the updated PTA and ProjectFLY being made available as of the end of June but no timeframe was mentioned in reference to the A380.


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FSExpo 2019: Orbx Releases Australia v2

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Renowned scenery developer Orbx has unleashed their long-awaited v2 update for their Australia region scenery during their presentation at FSExpo 2019.

First previewed in May, the mammoth overhaul of the region sees 8 million km² painstakingly recreated using the latest region-based technologies in both FSX and Prepar3D, covering everywhere from Cape York to Hobart, and Sydney to Perth, plus all of the coastlines, bodies of water, roads, railways and powerlines in between. Even the towns and urban areas scattered throughout are covered off, along with outlying island territories, such as Christmas Island and Lord Howe Island. Additionally, the terrain has been bought into 2019 with an all-new high-resolution mesh using data supplied by the Australian Government.
Most importantly though, almost 700 airports have been upgraded or created entirely from scratch. The team has not left a stone unturned as they worked to truly represent the Great Southern Land in our sims.

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FSExpo 2019: Parallel42 Announces Skypark for Prepar3D

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“The Skypark is a living playground, you travel the world working a dynamic job market based on real-world supply and demand”.

Edson Soriano, Managing Director of Parallel42 has finally revealed what is inside the box. After several teases and much community discussion, the secret is finally out.

Skypark is an economic job-based utility addon for Prepar3D v4.4+ with virtual characters and a dynamic world powered by the user. A live dispatchable job market representing real-world supply and demand will be available with over 1,500 scenarios being fed into the system daily. This utility will support multi-aircraft types and will also work with the most popular advanced routing software such as Simbrief and PFPX. If that sounds like too much effort you can simply fly direct to the job without the use of these aids.

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FSExpo 2019: POSCON Beta Roadmap Updated

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The folks behind the all-new simulation network, POSCON, have updated their beta testing roadmap as part of their showcase at this year’s FSExpo in Orlando, FL.

For some time now, as the network has been developed and improved, the developers have had a very small testing team of just 58 people on hand to assist them in fault-finding their new network. Today’s announcement sees this group extended from those 58 to include up to 1000 in the first stage of the beta expansion.

The new invite-only testing stage will see applicants issued with invite codes to allow them to participate in the beta. Once on board, these users will be able to log on to the network as pilots during scheduled testing times. ATC coverage will be provided by POSCON staff, as well as handpicked testers. The coverage will be scheduled for certain areas of the world too, allowing the team to develop and integrate features that are unique to different parts of the world.
This will be considered Phase 1, and is expected to kick off before the end of Q3 2019.

Phase 2 of the invite-only testing will open up to an additional 1000 applicants. The prerequisite of an invite code will remain, as will the testing schedule. This phase is expected to kick off at some point early in the new year.

Once we tick over into 2020 and Phase 2 is complete, POSCON will kick off Phase 3 of the testing with the Open Beta.
This stage will see the network opened up to anyone and everyone who wants to give the new network a try. While ATC will still be hand-picked by POSCON staff, anyone will be able to log on as a pilot.
ATC coverage will be limited to developed areas of the network, but the testing schedule will be gone, meaning pilots and ATC can log on at any time.

Finally, by the end of 2020, the network is expected to see a full release. It’s at this time that anyone will be able to connect as ATC, and all testing restrictions will be lifted.

How can I join Phase 1?

While Phase 1 isn’t expected to start for a few months yet, POSCON will be giving out 50 invites to attendees of FSExpo.
If you’re registered on the POSCON website, simply drop by their booth during the event to try and snag an invite.

If you’re not lucky enough to be at the Expo this year, don’t stress – the POSCON team will be distributing invites in the lead up to the opening of Phase 1. Keep your eyes on their social media channels for when this may happen.

Once the testing is underway, existing testers will have the opportunity to invite their friends as the beta expands.

Having seen what the development team had to show off at FSExpo, competition for invites is surely going to be high.

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Join FSElite – In-Person Interviews at FSExpo!

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FlightSimExpo is now only days away, and we can’t be more excited to meet members of the community, get together as a team, and see all the exciting new announcements and details from developers throughout the industry.

This year, we are excited to announce that FSElite will be offering you, the conference attendee, the ability to have an in-person interview with us on the day of the event and get a taste of what it would be like to work with us as a Content Writer.

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