Last week, Milviz Owner and Director Colin Pearson joined us on a special live stream to talk about all things Milviz. The two-hour interview covered a wide range of subjects, previews, and tidbits to excite people about what’s to come in the future. This post features all of the aircraft shown off, along with some exclusive previews, which can’t be found anywhere else.
Do keep in mind that all of the previews we are showing are heavily work-in-progress from various alpha and beta builds, and thus don’t represent the final product.
The (Lear) XR60:
The XR60 Jet has a lot of the systems work already done. The main holdup at this time is the King Air 350i, which uses the same PL21 avionics system that the XR60 does. Once the King Air is out the door and the PL21 finished, we can look forward to getting our hands on the XR60 in (relatively) short order. This aircraft is still heavily work in progress, so there wasn’t too much information to be shared or shown.
The SR-71A Blackbird:
Make no mistake, the SR-71 is my favorite aircraft of all time (with the Bone being a close second..), so I’m incredibly excited about this project.
The Milviz Blackbird is currently in an alpha state, with Dutch (the lead developer) working feverishly to make this the best possible simulation of the legendary aircraft possible. It’s safe to say that the Blackbird will be study level, to say the least, with pretty much everything you can think of able to fail. Exceeding the tight flight envelope restrictions will deal you a realistic consequence, such as the aircraft losing control outright, but these failures and consequences can be disabled for those new to the SR-71 or someone just wanting to take it on a sortie without having to worry about G-limits or AOA.
We did, in fact, get a chance to fly it and go through the subsonic to supersonic acceleration maneuver (the dipsy-doodle) and we managed to take it up past 50k feet and close to Mach 2 before we knocked it off. Notable items in this phase include the airspeed rapidly rising after we punch through the barrier of transonic drag around Mach 1.05, as well as the IGVs shifting into cambered past Mach 1.7, along with flipping the IGV lockout switches.
PBR materials have yet to be applied to the exterior and interior models, so expect the aircraft to look all the more incredible once they have been implemented.
Beale Air Force Base:
Beale Air Force Base is the first in-house scenery being developed by Milviz. It’s a high-quality rendition of Beale AFB that will (hopefully) accompany the release of the SR-71. Beale will include 2 different “states”, one of the SR-71 era and one of the current layout, and will feature PBR and dynamic lighting, among other things.
The Bell 407 GXi:
This was one of the more “secret” aircraft from Milviz shown. The rotorcraft is a Bell 407 helicopter outfitted with a G1000 NXi display system. Do note that the G1000 is still HEAVILY work-in-progress, with functions such as the mapping system and some engine parameter gauges inop at this time. Autopilot, SIDS/STARS, and a basic FMS will also be accompanying this aircraft.
It’s interesting to note that the G1000 in the 407 GXi is actually an upcoming product from Navstax and will be sold independently on its own, much like the Flight1 suite of Garmin GPS products. Milviz is looking at putting the G1000 into some of their other aircraft, such as the PC-6 Porter, but there’s no timetable on this at the moment.
A new flight dynamics system is potentially coming to this product as well, but more will be revealed on that later.
I shared some (rather awful, if I must admit) flying with the F-15 via the stream. It has been confirmed that there will be PBR throughout, a custom physics-based sound engine, and highly realistic flight dynamics with a wide range of failures available.
It’s safe to say that the F-15C will, quite possibly, be one of the most in-depth fighter aircraft available for P3D when it releases.
The King Air 350i:
The team are writing the manual. Collin said that the team are “feature complete” and that they are “closer than ever”. The next build of the aircraft will soon be sent out to the beta testers who pre-ordered the aircraft. This aircraft has been vetted by the real deal – those who fly it on a regular basis. They have also told the development team things not even in the manual, so this will be a very realistic aircraft.
Performance is also impressive, as even on a medium system, we were getting 50FPS. The technology going into the aircraft is very impressive, to say the least.
The F-16C (not discussed on the stream):
The Milviz F-16C is currently being developed, tested and vetted by a group of people from the Falcon BMS crowd in order to make sure everything works, looks and functions exactly as the real jet does. The aircraft is currently being modeled after the Block 50 ‘big-mouth’ variant, but a small-mouth is a possibility in the future. The aircraft is about 70% done in the department of the engine, engine controls, and the flight model, with the more ancillary systems being about 85-90% completed. The Terrain Following Radar will be simulated as well, and function as it does in the real Vipers.
Visually, both the internal and external model were done using a LIDAR scan, making the F-16C’s model pretty much a carbon copy of the real jet model wise. Both the interior and exterior will have PBR materials applied as well.
The team is hopeful that a Christmas release might be possible, but that is a huge maybe at this point, and it should be noted that this is not a promise that is set in stone.
The T-38A Advanced Series Redux (now released):
The T-38A Advanced Series Redux is a complete rework of the original Milviz T-38A. It includes PBR throughout the entire model, both inside and outside, along with completely rewritten code to make this product one of, if not the most, realistic T-38A simulation available. The flight dynamics have been tested and verified by real-world T-38A pilots and are quoted saying that the Milviz rendition “flies nearly the same as the real one does”. A bug was found by me in the standby attitude indicator (oops), but that has since been addressed and the product has now been released at the time of writing.
Notable Mentions and Project Status Updates:
While we did show a lot of the aircraft currently ready to be publicly previewed, we did get a plethora of information about some of the other projects in the pipeline.
The ATR 72:
We were provided a nice video showing the aircraft getting initialized and connected to power. The ATR is currently somewhat close to being previewed further but is currently waiting on some aspects of the King Air. The aircraft is in-sim, with both startup and shutdown working. Many systems such as the electrical and hydraulics are already done, but things such as engine control remain. An interesting thing about this engine system is that it’s being done completely externally, which will allow the ATR’s engines to perform as real turboprops do. Things like beta range and hotel mode will be simulated as well.
At the moment, the intention is to release both the 42 and 72 variants at the same time, but they will be sold separately. It’s said that the plane is “very close”, so we look forward to seeing more of it sometime in the near future.
The F-105D (the Thud):
The F-105D is currently on hold at this time and waiting for a coder. That was all that was said about it at this time.
The C-130J is currently in code and is quite possibly one of the most complicated aircraft Milviz has ever tried to do. There are currently 4 people working on it, with more coming over to the project once the King Air has been released. The C-130J will use the same engine tech that is going into the King Air and ATR, once again making the aircraft’s turboprops behave as they should. Colin estimated that 2020 could, potentially, be the year it releases, though that timeline could be altered by MSFS 2020.
The “Maybes” (not confirmed or promised, but possibilities that Milviz is looking into)
The modeling of this aircraft has begun. At the moment, variants such as the RC-135 (the reconnaissance version) won’t be done due to the nature of doing a tanker in the first place. It’s been floated that there could, potentially and up in the air at the moment, be a version where the boom could be flown by someone, making the multiplayer prospects quite interesting.
The B-52 is currently being modeled. The major hurdle at this point is the number of people necessary to fly the aircraft. It’s a 5-person aircraft, so something like shared cockpit or an F-14-like AI would be required to do the full package, but it’s currently being looked into.
The Bone, as it’s affectionally referred to, is being modeled as well. Like the B-52, the major hurdle with this one is the number of people required to fly it. It would require 3 people, at the minimum, to fly, and that’s assuming enough information was present on the ECM and navigation system to do a full simulation in the first place (which there isn’t). Nonetheless, the Bone is a personal favorite of Colin (and myself), so Milviz is pushing to do this one.
If you’ve read this far, I applaud you. In my opinion, the stream was a massive success and I highly encourage you all to take the time to watch it in its entirety. It’s full of great information on both aircraft and simulators, as well as some other snippets of information that was not covered in this article.
As a closing, I’d like to give a shout out to Colin (the Owner and CEO of Milviz). Colin was more than willing to talk in-depth about the aircraft that he’s incredibly passionate about, and it was an absolute pleasure and a privilege to have him talk to us about everything Milviz. So, Colin, if you’re reading this, thank you for making this entire thing possible, and I look forward to (hopefully) doing more of these in the future!