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Microsoft Flight Simulator Future; VR By Christmas, UK World Update, Improved ATC and More

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Whilst World Update II: USA was released earlier this week, Microsoft and Asobo Studios are already looking ahead at the future with the next 3-months of development. During their recent Developer Q&A session, Jorg Neumann (Head of Microsoft Flight Sim), Sebastian Wloch (CEO/Co-Founder of Asobo Studio) and Martial Bossard (Executive Producer, Aboso Studio) all chimed in what the next few months holds. This includes exciting plans for VR to be available before Christmas, the next world update and improvements to ATC.

As posted earlier today on the Microsoft Flight Simulator blog, the feedback and wishlist snapshots have been updated to now include rough time frames on when specific requests and fixes will be available in the simulator. As usual, the team continues to listen to the feedback and are investigating many of the issues sent in. During the live session, they did comment on how things have shifted due to feedback so providing yours is always relevant to the team. Expect to see some of the dates become more specific as they progress with development.

Jorg also commented on how the current development cycle will change a little bit moving forward. Since release, the teams have worked to a bi-weekly update schedule, but will now slow this down a little as to ensure that updates are as stable as possible. Going forward, updates to the simulator will be monthly with the cycle including world updates and sim updates every 2-3 months. This cycle will also give third-party developers a chance to test updates beforehand to ensure their products work with any changes made by the simulator. Jorg did tease that in between we will also see “bigger features and nice surprises to come.”

VR By Christmas

Perhaps one of the most requested features by people for the new simulator is the implementation of Virtual Reality. Over the past few weeks the team has been testing in a closed beta environment, but “the feedback has been so good” that the team feel they are now ready to release it for everyone. Coming in Sim Update #2, releasing on December 22nd 2020, Virtual Reality will be added completely free of charge the simulator for all headsets. Whilst it was originally announced to be restricted to only a specific few headsets, it’s now confirmed that all VR headsets will work with the simulator. The VR experience will include the menu system as well to provide the most seamless experience possible.

In addition, Sim Update #2 will also come packed with two new Airbus A320neo tutorials and of course a range of other fixes and changes.

World Update III: United Kingdom

Both Japan and the US saw huge world update improvements and World Update III will focus on the United Kingdom. This was confirmed in the Flight Simulator blog post, but Jorg gave a lot more detail about what to expect from the update when it releases on January 28th 2021. Right now, Jorg confirmed that England, Wales and Scotland will see improvements to the data included which will range from 50cm – 2m in resolution, along with improved aerial imagery from Bing Maps. Work is ongoing to try and get Ireland included in the pack, but that situation remains dynamic.

Further to the overall image quality improvements, it was also confirmed that four brand new hand-crafted airports would also be included. These will be:

  • Outer Skerries
  • Manchester Barton (EGCB)
  • Liverpool Airport (EGGP)
  • Land’s End Airport (EGHC)

In addition, between 50 and 60 new points of interest will be included, along with plans to make new procedurally generated churches and cathedrals throughout the UK. There will also be additional landing challenges and tours to take across the UK as part of the new world update pack coming early 2021.

Improved ATC

Although less information was shared, Martial began commenting on the future of how ATC will work in the simulator. Sim Update #3 will see improvements to how ATC handles approaches specifically with changes to phraseology and also ATIS information. There is also ongoing work (after Sim Update #3) for phraseology depending on region, along with improved audio quality a long way down the line.

This will most likely be expanded upon in the future when Sim Update #3 is closer to a release.

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Nimbus Simulation Studios BN-2 Islander v1.1 Details

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Developers Nimbus Simulation Studios released their BN-2 Islander for X-Plane 11 earlier this year and since then, the team has worked on a fresh new update improving the product. In a somewhat strange update for the aircraft, the new version will include two brand new airports for the simulator to fly your BN-2 Islander into. When version 1.1 of the
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Sierrasim Simulation Announces Augusto C Sandino International for MSFS

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Sierrasim Simulation has confirmed they will be bringing Augusto C Sandino International Airport (MNMG) for Microsoft Flight Simulator. The airport located in Managua, Nicaragua, serves a variety of airlines including La Costena, Copa Airlines, Conviasa and others. Frequent routes include trips to Miami, Havana, Panama City and San Jose. The Facebook post by Sierrasim Simululation confirmed that the airport product
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Further Details on Honeycomb Aeronautical Future Controls

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Back in October, we reported that Honeycomb Aeronautical is worked on a range of new controllers that will further enhance your flight simulation experience. They include a brand new flight stick and throttle, a closer look at the Charlie Rudder pedals and also a revamped version of the Alpha Flight controls which will include Xbox Series X|S support. In the
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Orbx Releases Newcastle International Airport for XPL

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Announced earlier this week, Orbx has released Newcastle Airport (EGNT) to X-Plane 11. The scenery was developed by the UK team in Havant, which is also responsible for Graz (LOWG), San Jose (KSJC) and London City (EGLC). Newcastle Airport is located to the north-west of the city of Newcastle. Being relatively close to the city, it is linked to the Newcastle Metro system. The airport handled 5.2 million passengers in 2019, with flights ranging from long haul to the Middle East with Emirates or leisure destinations around the Mediterranean Sea with various airlines such as Jet2, Ryanair, TUI, easyJet and others.

As with the Prepar3D release of Newcastle Airport, the product features detailed 3D modelling, quality texturing and also an abundance of ground clutter to bring the airport to life. In particular, the iconic air traffic control tower has seen a large amount of work to make the structure look realistic and the inclusion of the fire training facilities have also been included. SAM animated jetways also feature in the airport meaning you can hook your aircraft up to the airport’s terminal for a better virtual passenger experience.

A Microsoft Flight Simulator version is still “coming soon” and we’ll let you know once the airport has been released for the newest flight simulator.

You can buy Orbx’s Newcastle Airport (EGNT) for X-Plane 11 for $24.95 AUD (approximately US$18.34 | €15,39 | £13.73) from OrbxDirect.

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Majestic Shares Development Update on Q400 Training Edition

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In a recent post, the Majestic Software team took to their forums, providing community members with a status update regarding their DeHavilland DHC8-Q400 Series aircraft. Majestic begins their post by stating that the keenly anticipated the release of their DHC8-Q400 Training Edition will be delayed. The developers indicate that the delay ensued from the release of P3Dv5 and the changes that
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Microsoft Flight Simulator World Update II: USA Now Available

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As expected, the Microsoft Flight Simulator world update has now been made available for free to all owners of the new flight simulator. World Update II focuses on the USA, with enhancements to the elevation maps, aerial imagery, new airports and various brand new points of interest added. In addition to the world update, version 1.11.5.0 of Microsoft Flight Simulator also
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Supercritical Simulations Group Updates E-Jets and B 747-8 Anniversary Edition

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Aircraft developer Supercritical Simulations Group has updated their E-Jets and B 747-8 Anniversary Edition aircraft on X-Plane 11. The updates for both of the aircraft were released over the past few days and can be downloaded and applied to your aircraft now. Starting with the E-Jets, and perhaps the most significant of the two updates, the changelog indicates various improvements
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xEnviro Releases V1.14

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After a very long period of radio silence, the team behind the successful environment engine, xEnviro for X-Plane, has posted that they have released version 1.14.  Version 1.14 was initially supposed to be just a performance update for users in general, with a specific increase in performance of those users with a lower-end system as well as those that operate
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