The official Microsoft Flight Simulator Developer Q&A session which happened last night was full of new information for upcoming products and updates for the simulator. Jorg Neumann, Sebastian Wloch and Martial Bossard joined community manager Jayne Reynolds in an hour and a half sessions revealing some of the plans for the near future of the simulator and answering questions from the community. Excitingly, the live stream revealed new aircraft, new upcoming features and also what the next world update will be.
Starting with the most recent update for the simulator, whilst the update focused on the new World Update, a series of sim improvements were made. In particular, Seb highlighted that turboprops saw a significant update to be better represented in the simulator. The examples given included how the torque and power relationship had been vastly improved. Alongside this, he confirmed that aircraft developers would be able to take full advantage of new tables within the SDK to support third-party aircraft. This is the first step for improvements from the team when it comes to turboprop.
With France and the Benelux World Update now available, the team wanted to give simmers the opportunity to explore the improved locations with a new aircraft. This new aircraft is confirmed to be the Top Rudder Just103Solo. The ultralight aircraft is a very unique aircraft that travels very slowly but gives pilots the ability to have sweeping views of the scenery around and below them. The engine itself on the Just103Solo is also very specific, which is small and comes with a clutch. This means that if your RPM drops, the prop itself will stop. If you’re in somewhat windy conditions, you will see the propeller windmill. During the live stream, it was confirmed that the Top Rudder Just103Solo will be released on April 27th 2021 for an estimated price of $9.99 USD.
After you’re done exploring the latest World Update, you will be able to take the Top Rudder Just103Solo across the Nordic region once World Update 5 drops later this year. During the stream, whilst details were minimal, it was confirmed that Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland will see the World Update treatment. Jorg confirmed that five airports are currently in development for the world update. These are:
- Bornholm Airport, Denmark (EKRN)
- Sandskei Airport, Iceland (BISS)
- Svalbard Airport, Norway (ENSB)
- Stockholm Arlanda Airport, Sweden (ESSA)
- Vaasa Airport, Finland (EFVA)
All of these airports are being developed by Gaya Simulations, just as they have done with previous World Updates (including France and the Benelux). We can expect more details in the near future but expect points of interest and updated image quality. This is expected to release in June 2021, but again, this is just an estimate.
Sim Update 4 will bring new optimisations for the simulator. Martial took the lead on this matter and said this is a continuous effort from the team. Coming in the new update, glass updates will see improvements. Furthermore, we’ll see improvements to the way in which air traffic is implemented in the sim, with new effects. Finally, Sim Update 4 will also bring a weather radar to the mix, which was reprioritised thanks to feedback from the community.
The final, and perhaps most exciting part of the live stream, was the announcement of the ATR 42-600/72-600. Following on from a successful partnership with Aerosoft and the CRJ team, the Asobo team will be working with Hans Hartman to create the new aircraft. Hans is one of the key developers behind the CRJ for Microsoft Flight Simulator and previously worked on the Flight1 ATR. It was confirmed that the team will be working with the Franco-Italian aircraft manufacturer to help develop the plane so it can be a complex aircraft. Jorg said “we have the best people in the world working on the ATR” whilst they work on the aircraft. Whilst the previews are looking great already, it’s worth noting this won’t be ready until at least 2022.
Whilst this wraps up the majority of the announcements from the live Q&A, there is still around an hour of questions from the community which you may find interesting to listen to. In addition, Jorg and the team go through some of the items in the wishlist and bug tracker, which again, you may find interesting. You can watch the full live stream now on-demand via Twitch.
If you haven’t done so already, you can read more about the France and Benelux update here. World Update IV can be downloaded now through the in-sim marketplace.