Coming out last night for insiders and now being widely shared across the community, the latest Microsoft Flight Simulator Discovery Series, Episode 8, covers IFR or instrument flight rules flying. For many flight simmers, having a proper IFR simulation is a make or break and so this episode was widely anticipated! Let’s have a look!
Features to satisfy virtual GA and airliner pilots
This latest episode has been highly anticipated with a lot of simulation fans awaiting to know just how detailed the new flight sim would be when it came to things like SIDS, STARS, ADF, VOR, and a variety of other means of navigation.
For some GA pilots who prefer or only do VFR style flying, these features matter less, but for those who love to fly airliners or do long distance routes either using the most modern avionics or using some of the more classic means of navigation – it looks like Microsoft has everything covered!
Navigation data is being provided by a partner on the project, NavBlue (an Airbus company), with data being updated every 28 days. This is the same as the official cycle for real world aviation.
Flight routes can be created using an interface within the sim that then lets you create, save or load custom flight plans which are then loaded into your aircraft. The interface for this looks really good as it gives you a 3D virtual earth showing all of the different airports, waypoints, navigation beacons, and so forth that you can interact with.
It’s highly visual and it looks like it’s very feature rich too.
Or you can create them yourself on some of the instruments. Speaking of, several types of instrument panels are included for GA aircraft:
Airliners have their own flight management systems included. The latest episode reports that the CDU or MCDU they will have core functionalities including: data, flight planning, radios and performance. I’m not sure if this means that some functionality will not be provided but it does sound like the key features are all there (maybe some tubeliner virtual pilots can let me know if they have concerns here).
Air traffic control is also built into the sim and notably will be able to be interacted with via a menu for either you as the pilot or by a co-pilot when flying in some of the airliners – if you choose to delegate that role.
The ATC system can accommodate both AI and human pilots in a scenario and can even react to a pilot not following ATC commands which is a fascinating insight into how MSFS expects a variety of by the book and not so by the book pilots interact with airports in MSFS’ multiplayer settings. Anyone who has watched an Airforceproud95 video probably knows how strange things can get!
Watch the full episode now
Feature Discovery Series 8: IFR is now available on YouTube so have a look!