The release of Microsoft Flight Simulator sparked a new interest in mod development for simulation. It is no secret that default aircraft, in most simulators, turn out to be quite basic and would gain some improvements. The Zibo Mod for the X-Plane Boeing 737-800 and the FlyByWire A320NEO mod for MSFS are two good examples of this. Currently, another team known as Working Title is emerging on the scene with a Cessna Citation CJ4 Mod and Garmin G1000/G3000 mods. Let’s dive into this new ecosystem.
Working Title Citation CJ4 Mod
The Citation CJ4 Mod had their first public release about a month ago. As cwburnett from Working Title tells FSElite, the team is currently made of 9 people, 6 of which are dedicated to the CJ4 project and an additional 7 people have contributed to bits of the project. Among the team there are several pilots, one of which used to be a professional CJ4 pilot who still has access to the aircraft and relevant data. Another pilot who is not on the team is also able to contribute from time to time. The development has been very active with about one update pushed per week. The teams aims at improving the CJ4 on several level. First, bringing the avionics to a much more realistic level be replicating the Collins Avionics suite. Next, they want to correct the many errors in the flight model of the aircraft to make sure its performance is according to real world. At the moment, the 3D model will remain the default one. Some features that are already available are impressive, such as an automated Simbrief flightplan import as you can see below.
The team also assembled a full flight video showing how to fly the CJ4 (beware that it lasts 2h16)
The team also put up a quick Standard Operating Procedures guide on Google Docs that is useful in flight.
The current version of this mod is 0.6.0. The next features the team is working in is the VNAV management, then adding their own flightplan manager so they can enable new features such as route discontinuities, holds, vector waypoints, missed approach procedures and advanced capabilites such as what you would find in the real aircraft. You will find below the current key features of the WT CJ4 Mod.
Citation CJ4 Mod Key Features
- FMS – Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 represented at over 75% accuracy
- Over 40 screens/pages of the FMS have been developed
- Route planning complete with departure and arrival procedures, airways and direct waypoints, including many procedures and procedure types missing from the default aircraft
- Performance init pages including complete takeoff and approach performance calculations, with field lengths and Vspeeds
- Custom developed and implemented a flight plan import directly from Simbrief via the FMS, allowing users to spawn without a flight plan, then load a Simbrief OFP/Flight Plan directly over the web (requires internet connection); this feature also makes it easier to fly multiple legs without exiting the simulation session
- Improved performance of FMS by streamlining data access behind the code
- Added custom mechanism for saving and storing default settings to remain persistent between sim sessions
- Added transponder functionality and completely redesigned the TUN page for radio tuning
- PFD/MFD – Major functional and visual enhancements
- Custom font, sizing and coloring introduced to PFD and MFD to improve readability and accuracy of displays
- Customized Vspeeds and visibility behavior to reflect the real aircraft
- Adjusted the display of data, the visibility of the AoA and other functions to match the real world
- Added complete, tracked and stepable checklists to the MFD
- Added passenger briefing menu and announcement playing to the MFD
- Added capability to customize the MFD display and use the PLAN view to step through flight plan via the MFD ADV and DSPL MENU functions on the FMS
- Added bearing pointer functionality
- Rebuilt pitch trim gauge because it was reversed and mislabeled in the default model
- Flight Model
- Adjusted engines to reflect real world performance, including the elimination of reverse thrust.
- Adjusted fuel flow with a custom fuel flow utility that accurately tracks and reports fuel usage reflective of real aircraft performance
- Tweaked autopilot performance, gear/flap/spoiler drag and other QoL improvements on the flight characteristics
- Lights & Sounds
- Enhanced exterior lighting, including volumetric lights
- Enhanced interior lighting, including cabin lights with adjustable dim level (controlled through our custom MOD SETTINGS menu in the FMS)
- Enhanced and growing soundset, including fans and passenger briefings
- Cockpit Model
- Added lighting and functionality to many buttons and knobs in the cockpit model.
Working Title Garmin G1000 and G3000 Upgrade
There are about 4 people of the Working Title team who are also working on a much needed improvement of the default MSFS Garmin G1000 and 3000 suite. Their Garmin improvement mod corrects the brightness control, fixes the autopilot, introduces persistent setting and has extended the engine pages logic, which means that the Garmin suites can now be paired with virtually any engine that exist and has the relevant custom settings displayed. The team has also made some graphical updates to the G1000 in an effort of making it even closer to the real thing. The next big goal of the team is to overhaul the MSFS flightplan and FMC inner works in order to have an even closer to the reality G1000. Finally, the entire G1000 user interface is currently being redesigned by Working Title, which will allow them to develop additional pages and functions to the avionics suite.
Working Title G1000 Key Changes
- Added track-up mode for both PFD and MFD
- Fixed unwanted U-turn on ACTIVATE APPROACH
- Fixed reversed behavior of NOSE UP/DN buttons in FLC mode
- Added a preference saving system tied to plane model
- Configured it to currently preserve the following across sessions:
- PFD and MFD brightness
- V Speeds
- Track up mode
- Barometer mode
- HSI settings for BRG1, BRG2, and DME
- Support loading plane configuration information even in encrypted planes
- Detect hardware avionics knobs in all models and configure them automatically
- Added support for additional XML-configurable ENGINE pages on MFD
- Lots of changes to colors and styling to closer match reality
PFD and MFD enhancements
- Added a flight path marker on the PFD when in Syn Vis mode above 30kts
- Added new vertical column type gauge for engine display
- Updated circular gauge to support custom gradations and rounding
- Added a new blinking yellow status for engine gauges
- Correctly handle wind data when on ground or wind speed <1 knot
- Fixed reversed wind arrow at all times on MFD
- Improve MFD soft key menus, including new switch for TRACK UP
- Increased MFD max range to 2000 with more intermediate steps
- Move weather radar to MAP page group, only show if radar is on board
- Change brightness of PFD/MFD knobs and softkeys along with display
- Change PFD and MFD headers to more closely match the real font size, spacing, and colour
- More accurate colors on attitude indicator, horizon, and map; new gradient on horizon
- Updated flight director and attitude arrows
- Updated styling of airport waypoint info page (more to come)
- Updated styling of softkey menus to be more realistic
- Added sample engine page configuration for G36 Bonanza
- Fix false DON’T SINK alert when flying patterns / touch and goes
- Improve representation of whole numbers as decimals
Working Title G3000 Key Changes
- Fixed several compatibility issues with the WT G1000 mod.
- You can now change PFD wind options while on the ground.
- Performance optimizations.
- The G3000 mod is now integrated with the WorkingTitle ecosystem! This has allowed the addition of the following features:
- Certain G3000 settings (including all newly added ones) are now saved across flights.
- SVT toggle for the PFD.
- Altimeter baro units toggle between IN HG and HPA.
- More new navigational map features:
- Added range ring/range compass overlay.
- Map zoom behavior now more closely matches the real G3000.
- Added ability to show track vector, altitude intercept arc, and fuel range ring.
- Added city display backed by a worldwide 26,000-city database from simplemaps.
- Toggle between none/absolute/relative terrain modes.
- Auto-North Up.
- Terrain colors on the navigational map have been changed to better match the real G3000.
- Partial support for the Longitude: cosmetic changes only, no new functionality.
- Bug Fixes:
- Map scroll is no longer broken in HDG/TRK UP modes.
Both Working Title mods are growing exponentially. The release of new versions usually happen on Friday at around midnight EST, so make sure you stick around FSElite and the Working Title Github to make sure you have the latest update.You can also join their Discord server to watch the progress and maybe chime in if you think you have enough information to help them in their quest.
Thanks to FarmerBeavis for the featured image.