If you’ve been flying around in Microsoft Flight Simulator in the last patch update, you may have noticed that your aircraft behaves strangely when the flaps are deployed. You’re not alone and Asobo Studios has put out a statement on the issue and a timeline for the fix. You may want to read this.
The most recent update to Flight Simulator has introduced a bug into the system that calculates the lift values of flaps. While stowed they aren’t an issue but, as detailed in a statement from Asobo Studios, in a landing configuration the flaps will generate double the lift that they should and do so without the added drag that such a configuration should offer.
As part of the recent World Update 3, we have inadvertently introduced an issue that is negatively affecting the flaps simulation. The problem was caused by a mistake in the build process, which integrated some incomplete improvements to the flight model into the latest update.Asobo Studios
According to the statement, ground effect and wind exacerbates the issue and the end result is that aircraft are exceptionally “floaty” in landing configuration. It makes for some challenging landing situations to say the least.
Timeline for a fix
As part of the statement, Asobo Studios is reporting that they are working on a fix for the problem. However, that fix may be a few weeks away if they stick to the plan as written in the statement. Here’s what they had to say:
We debated if we should address this via a hot fix as quickly as possible, but ultimately believe that the better approach is to implement the fix and to then thoroughly test everything for the upcoming Sim Update 3 (coming early March).Asobo Studios
Although we don’t have a specific date for this, March is about a week away and a typical release window is a week and a half away from us at this point. That is assuming that the update lands very early into the month. Undoubtedly, the pressure will be on to get this update out as quickly as possible.
Asobo shouldn’t wait this long
Now that I’ve done the news piece, I’m going to jump into a bit of editorial on this situation.
Waiting a week and a half to fix this seems like a long time. I’m generally supportive of developers and the difficult circumstances that they find themselves in when it comes to software bugs and issues that affect us as end users of the software. Issues happen, development of complex software like this is difficult, and I want to promote the positive side of the sim experience as often as I can. That all said, I think holding back on a hotfix is a mistake.
The statement says that they debated issuing a hot fix and decided to wait. I think this is the wrong move and I think an immediate hotfix done as quickly and carefully as possible should be the first order of business. If that means delays to other updates, I think that’s reasonable, but focus on fixing a major issue first.
While some bugs I feel it’s better to wait for, others require immediate action. In some cases, there are bugs that that require extensive research and additional coding that affect a smaller subset of users. Those types of bugs are annoying but they can wait until they are done properly. This, however, is an issue that has universal impact and it should be resolvable by rolling back to the previous iteration of the model.
While I don’t think this will have a long term impact and I don’t think we’ll much remember it once this issue is past, if you did have a MSFS flight time planned this weekend I think a lot of people will be deciding to do something else until it is fixed.