Welcome to the FSElite Developer Month. Our theme this year is about delivering for the community and part of that is delivering great content to you all. As part of our commitment to you all, we’re pleased to announced Developer Month – a month themed solely around celebrating our great development community. Over the course of March, you’ll be treated to some behind the scene looks at some of our favourite developers, stories from the FSElite team, exclusive interviews and more.
Developer Month is coming to a close and FSElite hopes that you enjoyed these 31 days dedicated to the developers who work hard every day to bring your simulator to life all year round. Nonetheless, it is yet time for another instalment of Developer Month and today I am devoting these lines to an aging yet constantly renovating hangar : Just Flight.
Often overlooked, but truly fascinating is the history behind the developers that are now common sights in the Flight Sim community. Before being called Just Flight, the company was known as Interactive Associates CDC. In 1997, Just Flight was officially founded and has kept its original name since then. As you would reckon, Just Flight was not always focused only on flight simulation. It was the mother company of many a branch such as Just Football, nowadays, as far as my knowledge goes, defunct. In 2008, Just Flight was acquired, along with Just Trains, by the Mastertronic Group, originally a publisher and distributor of low-cost computer games. Things did not work out a expected for Mastertronic and 7 years later, in early 2015, Mastertronic Group went into administration and Just Flight faced stressful times. But a silver lining always benefiting those who deserve it most, with the backing of a “private investor”, Just Flight went full independent once again. This independence doesn’t seem like going anywhere in light of Just Flight`s recent successes and that, without a doubt, is great news.
As a new member of the FSElite team, I wanted to work on a brand that has been in the simulator world for as long as we can remember, but that has more recently started to concentrate its efforts in carving a name for itself as a leading developer. Although Just Flight has released products under their label in the past, the products were, for the most part, developed by other companies that did contractual jobs for Just Flight (think about their Airbus F-Lite range produced by Commercial Level Simulations). More recently, with the likes of the Piper Arrow III, the Hunter F.6/FGA.9 and the Hawk T1/A Advanced Trainer, Just Flight has shown an indisputable interest in proving their worth as independent developers and, frankly, they succeeded.
Being a real-world pilot myself (GPL & PPL), I had a fairly high initial level of curiosity for the Piper Arrow III when it first came out. Not being the type to pull the trigger without a firm idea of what I am getting myself into, I made the poor decision (in hindsight) to wait out for the first reviews that would ultimately settle the deal for me. Within a few days, a strong consensus was already floating around: Just Flight had done it right with the PA-28R.
To give you an idea of where I stand about GA flying in FSX or P3D, the only add-ons that ever did it for me were A2A`s masterpieces (leaving out, for some reason not discussed here, the other big name that pops in your head when you think about GA). The Piper PA-28R Arrow III from Just Flight is an absolute beauty in every sense of the word. As this is not a review of the aircraft per se, I will cut short on my rhapsodic comments towards the product itself and redirect them to the team behind it. What Just Flight has proven with their first serious entry into the world of GA for simulation is not only their now undoubtable talent, but also something perhaps far more important: that there is a brighter future than expected for single props in flight simulation and also a future where competition is healthy and beneficial to us consumers.
DONT MISS: Developer Month: Just Flight Developer Martyn Northall Interview
With the trend favouring greatly the release of many jetliners, those of us still excited by low altitude flights in our trusty single props trying to get from point A to B with some dead reckoning and good-old pilotage will find it comforting that a major name such as Just Flight is stepping into the game with a firm stance. With the successful release of their Arrow, Just Flight has recently announced that they are now working on two new variants to the Arrow: the PA-28R Turbo Arrow III & IV. The Arrow is getting a lot of care from the team at Just Flight and the two updates released so far have fixed most of the issues one could experience at first. All in all, if the Piper Arrow III is a testament of the work to come from the folks over at Just Flight, we should rejoice, and rejoice again. If you are not yet familiar with the Just Flight Piper Arrow III, I strongly recommend checking out FSElite’s own review [written | video].
Although this article focused mainly on the tremendous job done by Just Flight on their Arrow, their other work shouldn’t be left out either. As a matter of fact, I now have the chance to have their Hawk T1 in my library and can’t wait to start digging deep into the introduction manual. Because this is exactly what happens when a job is done well: a guy like me, without any background interest for fighters, has now decided to delve into the complex world of military simulation because I know I can rely on Just Flight to provide me with a complete and quality product. The only thing Just Flight can’t do for me here is teaching me how not to lose control of this new beast. Let`s get to work!
This does it for my contribution to FSElite Developer Month. Just Flight has proven, at least to me, that they are meaning business and that they are worthy of mine and yours. I am already excited for the future over at Just Flight and I’m not worried they will become an even more major actor in the flight simulator community than they already are. I have not had such fun flying an aircraft in a long time and the Arrow is surely going to give me plenty more hours of joy as I discover its ins and outs. Thank you Just Flight, and keep up the inspiring work.