What we learned from Flight Simulator Dicovery Series 6: Airports

Right on schedule, Flight Simulator Discovery Series 6: Airports is out with details about how airports are built, what they are like, and what we can expect from Microsoft Flight Simulator. Lets dig into the details!

Thirsty seven thousand airports

This is the number that Sven Mestas, Lead Game Designer from Asobo Studio quoted as being in the new Flight Simulator. Airports were created from real satellite photos and information and then each airport is edited manually from there.

The creation process includes mapping the runways length and width, adding taxiways and parking positions, capturing the different materials (grass, concrete, etc.), and then finally a post processing removes all of the parked aircraft and other visual artifacts. It’s an incredible process. This apparently applies to all 37-thousand airports.

From those airports, however, 80 have been given a higher level of treatment with taxiway signs and adding more accurate definition. Then of those, another top level of airport was further dressed up with entirely unique buildings rather than autogen versions.

This top level of airport design is likely what third party scenery developers will be able to sell as add-ons to the sim over time.

This update made sure to show off that the sim will have a wide variety of types of airports from obscure island airports to major international hubs and just about everything in between. Have a look at just four that I screen capped from the video.

Airport life

We’ve also learned that there are plenty of details for airports with the ability to have pushback, baggage service, catering service, fuel trucks (that open the fuel panel), ground power units, airport staff, and vehicles are all part of the aircraft life.

These are generated and interactive and so too are the parked aircraft which are actually just aircraft that can arrive, park, depart, and otherwise interact with the ATC and the rest of the world. That also helps make the airports feel alive.

Another aircraft spotted

In recent updates, we’ve spotted a Beachcraft Bonanza (T-tail rather than the V-tail) and in this most recent video I’ve spotted another aircraft that appears to be another Beachcraft – possibly the Duchess.

At this point were not sure if the series will include all flyable types or if some will be limited to being AI traffic. Still, interesting to see the aircraft list continue to expand and encompass quite a few different types. The Beachcraft options add some more ‘classic’ aircraft to the mix of ultra modern types that we saw at release.

For all of the details, visit Microsoft Flight Simulator’s website and sign up to be an insider.

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