Bluebird Simulations, the team behind a much-anticipated Boeing 757 for Microsoft Flight Simulator, has uploaded a new YouTube video in which they announced the plane will not release before 2024.
In the video, which clocks in at just over 5 minutes, one of the lead developers on the project called Shervin announces first and foremost that the product will not be released until at least 2024. However, we are told not to worry as the delay has been put in place in order to accommodate a number of exciting additions to the project.
Shervin also makes clear that he and the team are not able to give a release date estimate at this stage, however they should be in a position to make such an estimate by early next year or even by the end of this year should the development continue to progress at a good pace.
We are firstly reminded that this payware is not going to be a walk in the park and that in order to reflect realistic normal operations, a number of complex systems need to be fully modelled on the airliner. Bluebird share with us a slide pertaining to be a “scope of work snippet” detailing the intention to program key systems and behaviours including extended centreline functionality, curved courses, LNAV and VNAV approaches, missed approach segments, step climbs, pilot entered waypoints with custom restrictions, and many more features which you can see in the image below.
This image is supposedly just one of 16 sections detailing the team’s scope for the project. Needless to say, if all of it is achieved then we could be looking at a real handful of an airplane. Although there will be no modelling of failures, Shervin assures us that Bluebird are aiming at a “highly detailed” rendition of the 757, and that “some” abnormal operations will be possible.
Moving on, we learned that Bluebird have taken on some new people to help with the ongoing 757 project. The exact number of people and their past experience of aircraft-building for flight simulators is unknown, although Shervin says that they are “fine-tuned” and focussed on the task at hand.
Going back to that delay, it’s here that we hear some very welcome words from Shervin. “We are not going to rush this”. It’s very clear that Shervin and his team are keenly aware that they only get one chance to set a good first impression – not just for the 757 project, but for the entire Bluebird brand as this will be their first release for any flight simulator. Shervin apologises again for the delay, acknowledging “some people were a little upset” about the news, but tells us that the 757 is the team’s “sole focus” right now. He also acknowledges that the success of future projects hinge on Bluebird’s reputation within the FS community, and that trust in the community can only be established off the back of a well-received first product offering.
Addressing some critics who have said the plane is taking too long to develop, Shervin says that to build an airliner of this level of fidelity takes several thousand hours of combined work. The project was started from scratch with a brand new simulator platform, and a lot of the initial development on the plane was trial and error according to Shervin, so things took a little while to get going. However, the team at Bluebird has since “almost tripled” in size, and Shervin says they are now armed with a lot of feedback and experience which is all going to hopefully culminate in a fantastic product.
Finally we learn that the cockpit is going through yet another iterative design. This 5th version sees some more minor changes compared to the leap in quality between cockpits v3 to v4 (which we saw in June), but we’re told that Bluebird have got their hands on some measurements from the real airplane and that they are “shifting things around” to be more realistic for the end user.
FSElite is watching progress on the 757 closely, and will bring you any updates on the project as and when we get them!