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Orbx 1S2 Darrington Airport for Microsoft Flight Simulator: The FSElite Review

Product Information
Developer
Orbx
Purchase From
Orbx
Price
16.99 AUD
BUY HERE
Version Reviewed
Press Copy Provided By
Orbx
SimMarket
FSElite's preferred Flight Sim vendor is SimMarket. (Why?)

As per our Community Charter, all of our reviews are free from bias, prejudice and favouritism. Don't forget, each reviewer has their own style and thoughts, although they all abide by the Review Guidelines - something I suggest you read.

Watch our full video review above.

1S2 Darrington Airport is a small municipal airport located in Washington, nestled in a valley in the Cascade Mountain Range. Orbx has modeled this airport for the new Microsoft Flight Simulator, so let’s find out if this airport meets the mark, and is worth picking up.

Background on Darrington

Before we get started, let’s orient ourselves with where Darrington is in the world. Darrington is about 55 miles North-East of downtown Seattle. Darrington is about 30 miles inland into the Cascade Mountain Range. There is a wide valley directly to its west that will lead out to the water, or you can fly through a narrow valley to the north, which will lead you to North Cascades National Park, or Concrete airport. As you can see, there aren’t a lot of airports nearby here, so this airport is great if you are looking for an excuse to explore this region of the PNW.

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SamScene 3D Nighttime Hong Kong MSFS Previews

SAMscene3d Hong Kong Msfs (9)

Developer SamScene3D has shared some brand new nighttime previews for their upcoming Hong Kong city pack for Microsoft Flight Simulator. The new previews take us on a small tour of the city at night and it highlights parts of the main downtown area, along with some more rural parts of the city.

According to an older Facebook post, the team said that the Microsoft Flight Simulator release will happen on October 30th, with the Prepar3D releasing following it in November. You can also see a range of previews from the daytime from within the simulator here.

You can follow SamScene 3D to stay up-to-date with the latest developments.

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Orbx Introduces Notodden Airport for MSFS

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Orbx has announced on their forums that their next release for Microsoft Flight Simulator would be Notodden Airport (ENNO). Notodden Airport is the next project of Finn Hansen, who was responsible for the previous Ålesund Vigra. The scenery was previously released on ESP engine simulators. As usual with Orbx, the scenery comprises the airport and the surroundings with the main POIs being included. The airport will feature plenty of details, redrawn textures, PBR materials and takes advantage of all the possibilities offered by the new simulator in terms of terrain, lighting and ambiance. The screenshots mostly speak for themselves and the scenery should be released very shortly.

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Aerosoft Previews Cologne-Bonn for Microsoft Flight Simulator

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We already know that Aerosoft is developing a range of add-on product for Microsoft Flight Simulator, including aircraft and scenery. The latest round of previews from the team highlight Cologne-Bonn that is soon coming to the simulator.

In a short forum post by Mathijs Kok on the Aerosoft forums, four new previews of the product in action were shared. The new previews show off areas of the terminal building, ground clutter and other elements of the product.

The airport product is “not far from release” according to the post, so as always, we’ll keep you updated with any release information. Be sure to check out details on Aerosoft’s last airport release for Microsoft Flight Simulator; Trondheim Airport.

 

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Aerosoft Shares Previews of Twin Otter in Development for MSFS

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Announced during their live stream event in August, Aerosoft’s Mathijs Kok has shared a handful of in-development previews for the Twin Otter aircraft. As well as the new previews, he also gave a few other details about what customers can expect when the aircraft eventually releases for Microsoft Flight Simulator.

First and foremost, it should be made clear that the Twin Otter that is in development for Microsoft Flight Simulator is an entirely new build made from scratch. This means all new modelling, texture work, aircraft systems, etc. As a result, Mr Kok did confirm that the aircraft would not receive any upgrade discount for customers of the Prepar3D version of the aircraft. That said, he did say that they intend on selling it as a “medium-priced product”.

Adding to his comments on the price of the product, it is confirmed that the aircraft will also be made available for those who use Microsoft Flight Simulator when it releases for Xbox consoles. He confirmed that the buttons/controls and axis are already mapped out and planned for use on an Xbox controller. However, it was made clear that this does not mean the systems will be simplified, but rather they are ensuring it’s accessible to as many people as possible.

The in-development previews are still very early on. It’s also worth noting that Aerosoft has now grown its internal aircraft development team to now enable them to have two full teams working on aircraft simultaneously.

You can see the full forum post here.

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Head To Head: Orbx Innsbruck and MSFS Hand-Crafted Airport

ORBX INNSBRUCK MSFS COMPARISON
Product Information
Developer
Orbx
Purchase From
Orbx
Price
$26.99AUD
BUY HERE
Version Reviewed
1.0
Press Copy Provided By
Orbx
SimMarket
FSElite's preferred Flight Sim vendor is SimMarket. (Why?)

As per our Community Charter, all of our reviews are free from bias, prejudice and favouritism. Don't forget, each reviewer has their own style and thoughts, although they all abide by the Review Guidelines - something I suggest you read.

Innsbruck is situated at the heart of the Austrian mountains. As a favourite destination for skiers and aviation enthusiasts alike, the airport is famous for its tricky approach in any weather meaning it is a must-visit for any simulator pilot. From the release of Microsoft Flight Simulator on August 18th, many have found themselves at the default, ‘hand-crafted’ Innsbruck airport as one of the 30 custom-built airports included in the standard edition. Shortly after the release, scenery developer Orbx released their rendition of the airport, previously developed for Prepar3D and later X-Plane. Considering the level of detail that Microsoft and Asobo have produced for the latest flight simulator, many have asked why companies release custom third-party scenery for airports that are included in the hand-crafted list. I hope this comparison between Microsoft’s default ‘hand-crafted’ airport and the only third party airport replacement available so far in order to answer this very question. 

Buildings and Modelling

Let’s start the comparison with the airport tower. Emblazoned with the famous ‘Inns’bruck Airport’ signage, the tower on both airports look similar to the real-world counterpart and instantly recognisable. It is only when you compare the two buildings side by side you start to recognise the sheer differences between the two and realise that they are worlds apart. In the default scenery, the tower appears to be the correct shape, but the colour of the entire building is incorrect. The tower also has incorrect PBR properties associated with it as it appears glossy and more reflective the closer you get to it. Compared to the Orbx tower which appears to be of a much higher quality with a more appropriate colour, texturing and detail that is unrivalled by the default rendition. 

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Microsoft Flight Simulator: The FSElite Review

Microsoft Flight Simulator Review Fselite COVER
Product Information
Developer
Asobo Studio
Purchase From
Xbox Game Studios
Price
$59.99 Standard / $89.99 Premium / $119.99 Premium Deluxe
BUY HERE
Version Reviewed
v1.17.12.0
Press Copy Provided By
Microsoft
SimMarket
FSElite's preferred Flight Sim vendor is SimMarket. (Why?)

As per our Community Charter, all of our reviews are free from bias, prejudice and favouritism. Don't forget, each reviewer has their own style and thoughts, although they all abide by the Review Guidelines - something I suggest you read.

In all my current time with flight simulation, and in particular, being within the media side of things, I had never thought I would be writing a review for a new Microsoft Flight Simulator platform. The series that was left behind when the Aces team was closed down seemingly held on to life for years thanks to a huge amount of developer support and community members still finding new tricks and techniques to gain better performance. As we saw better hardware, we too also saw more immersive add-ons. Other simulators came along and the community continued to thrive and grow. The elephant in the room, however, was always the lack of support.

With previous iterations of Flight Simulator, we saw updates and changes that would be an evolution of a previous feature. However, this new simulator, simply named as ‘Microsoft Flight Simulator’, (notice the lack of year compared to previous releases) entered development back in 2017 in a world where online data is used almost everywhere. Furthermore, technology, computing power and advanced tech such as AI are more advanced than ever meaning Microsoft could finally realise its ambition on creating an authentic world.

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