Microsoft Flight Simulator Sim Update III Now Available

Microsoft Flight Simulator’s third Sim Update has just been released and is now available to download. The all-new Sim Update III adds new content and features, including changes to aircraft, ATC and virtual reality. Within…

Posted: 09-Mar-2021 @ 16:47z
Microsoft Flight Simulator Sim Update III Now Available

Microsoft Flight Simulator’s third Sim Update has just been released and is now available to download. The all-new Sim Update III adds new content and features, including changes to aircraft, ATC and virtual reality.

Within the world map menu, a new way to adjust aircraft to match specific real-world aircraft has been added. The update adds a new Empty CG Position and also the ability to increase the wear of the fuselage to get a higher parasitic drag found commonly on older and dirty aircraft. In addition, there is now a control surface limit where maximum angle limits for elevators, rudders and aileron control surfaces can be added which may exist between different aircraft. It’s worth noting that the changes are only applicable on your next flight and not persistent.

Those feeling nostalgic for FSX will be pleased to see that some of the old legacy liveries are now available for specific aircraft. The likes of World Travel, Orbit Global Freightways and Pacifica make a resurgence. We can’t wait to see those livery screenshots over the coming days on various groups online. These are available for appropriate aircraft. Another change to the aircraft is the introduction of contrails on the user’s aircraft. However, they are not yet supported yet for multiplayer or AI aircraft yet.

Virtual Reality, which was introduced in Sim Update II, has also seen a comprehensive update. Users can now access the control menu directly from the VR mode page and labels now display correctly in the VFR map. There have also been some fixes to how various aircraft are interacted with in VR mode. As for ATC, leading zeros for runway numbers are now communicated where appropriate and some fixes to how the system handles pronunciation and cruise altitudes have been implemented.

In addition, various updates to multiple aircraft have also been applied in this new update. The changelog breaks things down into sections. Under displays, the HUD in the 787-10 has been enhanced and you can adjust the brightness level in the G3000 and the G3X. The autopilot has also seen some corrections for aircraft such as the Airbus A320neo and the 747-8. There is a huge range of fixes in the changelog which are all designed to add new features and fix bugs reported by the community.

Other notable fixes include:

  • Wind panel UI for the wind and gust settings
  • Fix to the outline of clouds and objects which was introduced in the previous update
  • Taxi sign light size tweaked

The SDK has also seen various changes and improvements, including a sample of AirportServices and the ability to load and save flight using the FlowFlightManager.

You can get the update now by running the simulator and downloading the update file. You can read more on this update via the official blog.

Whilst you wait for the download to install, why not check out more on our hands-on with Virtual Reality, or read more about the World Update that dropped recently that added the UK and Ireland to the sim in high detail.


Some packages in your community folder may not have been updated and, as a result, may have an unexpected impact on the title’s performance and behavior. Please move your community package(s) to another folder before relaunching the title if you suffer from stability issues or long loading times.


  • FSX legacy liveries available on appropriate planes : Kenmore, Emerald Gold, Global Freightways, Orbit, Pacifica and World Travel
  • Contrails are now displayed on the player’s aircraft (MP and AI are not supported yet)
  • New customization menu in the World map to further adjust the aircraft to perfectly match specific real world aircraft. The changes only affects the next flight and they are not persistent.
    • Empty CG position: We can now have a different empty CG position, just like real world aircraft that all may have slightly different empty balance.
    • Wear: We can now increase the wear of the fuselage to get a slightly higher parasitic drag and simulate older aircraft.
    • Control surface limits: We can now adjust the maximum angle limits for elevator, rudder and aileron control surfaces to simulate the slight difference that may exist between different real aircraft. Check Type Certificate Data Sheet (TCDS) Information for real world aircraft control surface angle limit variation tolerance.


  • Fixed various crashes across the title
  • Fixed a specific crash while using the manual cache


  • Latest AIRAC cycle has been integrated and is now available


Autopilot / FMS:
  • Corrected an issue which prevented the VS Wheel from working in FLC mode on the Cessna Citation Longitude
  • Disabled the autopilot which was incorrectly set as available on the JMB VL-3
  • Corrected an issue preventing the use of the VS Wheel to control the pitch on some planes
  • Corrected an issue with the VS Knob not properly responding to commands on the Airbus A320neo
  • Prevented the autopilot from being polluted by incorrect data when exiting slew mode
  • VOR/ADF Feature implemented
  • VOR/ADF – Airbus A320neo FMA Adaptability
  • Fixed General Aviation planes displaying FMS instead of GPS
  • G3000 – Fixed FlightPhase & NavSource display not showing properly
  • Fix roll hold mode behaving like wing leveler
  • Removing auto alignment of localizers with the runway when the heading given by the localizer and the heading of the runway are too different
  • Add TRK/FPA features to Airbus A320neo
  • Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental : LNAV and VNAV does no longer engage automatically when activating the Autopilot.
  • Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner – Enhanced HUD Projection
  • Airliners – Speed Trend arrow is now more reactive and accurate
  • Fixed some bearings indicated outside of the 0-360 range in Garmin instruments
  • Fixed a bug in GNS430 and GNS530 where the cursor did no automatically jump to “Activate” in Direct-to page on validation of the entered ident when there is no ident duplicate
  • Added airport ident and ILS runway name in GNS530 when tuning nav radio to a localizer
  • Fixed flight director roll not working when autopilot is not activated
  • Added wind display in G3X Touch in PFD or Splitted mode
  • Added possibility to adjust brightness level in G3X Touch
  • Added possibility to adjust brightness level in G3000
  • Fixed issue in FLT files that lead to flight plan not being loaded in instruments
  • Fixing the display of LDA approaches which were wrongly aligned to the runway at the end of their path
  • Fixed Beechcraft Baron G58 incorrectly having automixture enabled
  • Corrected an issue causing the AutoStart sequence of the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental to activate the batteries later than expected
  • Re-enabled the STARTERX SET keys which used to throw an error and toggle the starter. They now correctly set the starter to ON or OFF
  • Corrected an issue causing the starter to affect the plane’s rpm excessively when the piston_power_scalar of the plane is >1
  • Corrected an issue which would prevent the engine from ever shutting down while in unlimited fuel mode.
  • Beechcraft Baron G58 engines adjustment
  • Beechcraft Bonanza G36 engine idle RPM adjustment
Cockpit interaction:
  • Corrected a number of minor XML errors
  • Improved the behavior of knobs that repeatedly send an action to prevent it from sending multiple events at once
  • Corrected the fact that the Avionics switch of the Pipistrel Virus SW121 was off when starting in cruise
  • Enabled the THRT Knob on the ATC Panel of the Airbus A320neo
  • Enabled the option to push the backup baro knob of the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental to set it in Standard Altitude mode
  • Made the copilot’s HUD interactable on the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner
  • Enabled the clock’s buttons on the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner
  • JMB VL-3 Propeller Instrument Fix
  • Fixed Mouse Events not handled correctly on Tactile Screens
  • AS3X Touch – Removed com active ident display
  • Cessna Citation CJ4 – Fixed default VT Speed
  • Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner – Fixed ND interaction Model
  • Fixed the “COM RECEIVE ALL” simvar always returning false on planes without a configured COM 3, leading to problems with some third party content
  • Beechcraft King Air 350i – Baro knobs have been added
Control surface:
  • Corrected Flaperon animation on Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner which was incorrect in the air.
  • Corrected an issue preventing the autobrakes of the Airbus A320neo from enabling on the Fungal mission.
  • Fixed Beechcraft Baron G58 inoperative rudder trim
  • Corrected some emissive elements staying active when they should be off on the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner.
  • Corrected some emissive elements staying active when they should be off on the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental.
  • Corrected some emissive elements staying active when they should be off on the Airbus A320neo.
  • “Mixture: Lean for Altitude” checkpoint can now be auto completed without issues
  • Added a Brake Release checkpoint to the Aviat Pitts Special S2S checklist
  • The Checklist entry “Mixture : Rich below 3000 feet” is now correctly displayed as such instead of “300 feet”
  • Engine should now start without struggle and auto completion of the “Starting procedure” on the Aviat Pitts Special S2S should now work
  • Corrected issue on the Cessna 172 Skyhawk’s checklist which prevented the copilot from correctly executing the “Set Transponder to Alt” step
  • Corrected Issue on piston planes checklists which prevent the steps relating to setting the right mixture from correctly executing
  • Corrected issue on the Beechcraft Baron G58 which caused the copilot to not keep the starter active long enough to reach a combustion when auto-completing the checklist
  • Corrected issue on the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental’s checklist which caused the step to activate all fuel pumps to not properly validate on some airports
  • External HUD – Fixed AP Ref speed/altitude not always displayed
  • 3rd View HUD – Fixed HSI not showing approach course if approach is armed
  • 3rd View HUD – Fixed Trim & Flaps display
  • Fixed crash when using a plane with an incorrectly setup FuelSystem.
  • Fuel pressure gauges should now display correct pressure level indications
  • Fix crash when teleporting to approach
  • Fixed external HUD not updating at correct framerate


  • A ‘No binding’ icon is displayed when no control is assigned to a VR action
  • If there are no controls assigned to the camera re-center, then the player cannot switch to VR and they are asked to assign a command to this action
  • Players can now access to the controls menu directly from the VR Mode page
  • HOTAS are now specified in the VR bindings (VR Mode page)
  • VR is now functional when HDR is enabled
  • The panel reset feature is now functional in VR
  • A dark background is displayed when opening a menu in the cockpit
  • When a toolbar menu is opaque, it will now hide properly menus that are positioned behind it
  • Labels are now properly displayed in the VFR map
  • Various fixes on the toolbar and the panels display
  • The mouse cursor is now properly positioned in VR on the Cub Crafter X Cub instrument panel
  • Cockpit handles should not teleport anymore when clicked and dragged
  • It is now possible to switch the throttle to CutOff position in the Daher TBM 930
  • The Flap control in the Cessna 172 Skyhawk G1000 doesn’t return to fully retracted position when interacting with it with the mouse


  • In case there is an ASOS/ATIS and Center/Departure/Approach agent on the same frequency in the same area, the ATIS/ASOS will not air its message if the player has been handed off to the Center/Departure/Approach agent to prevent the ATC flow from being stuck
  • Add leading zero for runway numbers in ATC communications when necessary
  • Fix ATC agent pronouncing letter by letter airports names during communication with the player
  • Fix ATC agent attributing cruise altitude instead of proper approach altitude when the first waypoint of the approach do not hold altitude information


  • Wind panel UI update for wind and gusts settings


  • Properly set runway when setting approach in the World Map
  • Changing behavior of Precision Marking field in Scenery Editor to allow for the marking to be displayed in case of short runways
  • Displaying all waypoints from data on the World Map and changing zoom scores to compensate for the amount of new points
  • Fixing behavior of World Map which was attributing closed runway over opened runway under certain conditions


  • Fix outline against clouds and object in game introduced in the previous update
  • Lights should no longer be too dark under mountain shadow with low quality setting
  • Taxi sign lights size has been tweaked


  • Revamped documentation website now live on
  • Added Sample for AirtportServices
  • The left gauge in the MouseAircraft sample has been reworked to provide clearer information.
Scenery Editor:
  • Trimmed leading spaces in package title
  • Fixed a bug that would not update the Scene list when adding an object while having no object selected
  • Fixed an issue to avoid unwanted airport modification
  • Fixed a crash when hiding all TaxiwayPoints of an Airport
  • Fixed GDI+ StringFormat conversion to NanoVG alignment
  • Fixed potential vulnerabilities in the WASI layer
  • Tweaked our system to avoid hampering module debugging with recurring exceptions.
  • Load and Save Flight using the FlowFlightManager.


  • Throttle mapping reversed for the Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog
  • Beechcraft King Air 350i does not change pitch with VS wheel when Autopilot is enabled
  • in rare occasions, Aircraft screens might not initialize correctly upon loading a flight. Please restart the flight to fix the issue.
  • The plane continually loses altitude causing it to crash after loading into the Attitudes & Instruments Training Flight
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Calum Martin
Calum has been an avid fan of Flight Sim since the release of FS2000 and has developed his love for aviation ever since.
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