Earlier today, Orbx, the makers of high quality scenery for a variety of sims, announced their new product roadmap with detailed plans on quite a few new products planned to come out over the next several months for Microsoft Flight Simulator, X-Plane 11 and P3D. They are also planning to launch their first ever aircraft which is a departure from the kind of work that Orbx has done in the past. Here are some of the key points and details that we’ve learned from the roadmap!
Scenery for Microsoft Flight Simulator
First, Orbx has done a terrific job of sprucing up quite a few cities in Microsoft Flight Simulator with hand built objects and selling those scenery packages on OrbxDirect and on the Marketplace. Now we know of several more that they are building. They are:
- Auckland, New Zealand
- Cape Town, South Africa
- Cairo, Egypt
- Dubai, UAE
- Dublin, Ireland
- Frankfurt, Germany
- Honolulu, Oahu, USA
- Melbourne, Australia
- Mumbai, India
- Panama Canal and Panama City
- Yokohama, Japan
Many of these are already deep into development and several development screenshots were released including these.
Orbx has also talked about new regional scenery packs for Microsoft Flight Simulator. Presumably, these are upgrades to whole regions with custom buildings. Possibly they will also be upgrades to the scenery in other respects although it seems unlikely given how good Northern England and Scotland, two of the areas that they are planning to upgrade, already are. Three have been announced:
- Canary Islands
- Northern England
X-Plane and P3D
Orbx is not forgetting the other sims that they have traditionally provided scenery for and both X-Plane 11 and P3D are receiving some attention. For X-Plane, there will be a new TrueEarth release with TrueEarth Southern Spain and P3D is getting TrueEarth Eastern Alps.
Airports for all flight simulators
Fourteen new airports are also in development for all three simulators. Here’s the complete list:
- KBOI Boise International (P3D)
- KBUR Hollywood Burbank (XPL)
- KCRW Chuck Yeager (MSFS)
- KPBI Palm Beach (P3D & MSFS)
- LDSP Split Airport (P3D & MSFS)
- LIEO Olbia (XPL)
- LKPR Prague (P3D & MSFS)
- VTSP Phuket International (P3D)
Orbx also sells airports from other developers through their marketplace and they are listed separately:
- KAVX Catalina for MSFS (Ken & Tim)
- ENTO Torp for P3D (Finn)
- KVNY Van Nuys for P3D & MSFS (Matteo)
- LIPH Treviso for MSFS (Matteo)
- SBSP São Paulo for MSFS (Matteo)
- ESSB Stockholm Bromma for MSFS & P3D (Marcus)
YMEN Essendon airport special
Orbx is also going to release another airport but this one is a bit of a special selection. Essendon Fields Airport is also where Orbx’s studio is located – on the airport grounds. The airport is celebrating 100-years of operations and Orbx is working closely with the airport authority to create a highly detailed version of the airport. Although Orbx generally does really high quality work, I suspect this airport will be something special. It’ll also be simultaneously available for P3D, X-Plane and MSFS at the same time.
Here are some previews of what they have done so far.
The biggest news was best saved for last because this is something unique – for Orbx. Although they already sell several aircraft for Microsoft Flight Simulator through the OrbxDirect store, Orbx has never authored an aircraft of their own. Until now that is!
Orbx has announced the Edgley Optica EA-7 as their first ever aircraft and it’s coming to Microsoft Flight Simulator. The aircraft fits Orbx’s focus on scenery by being one of the slowest flying fixed wing aircraft ever created. The Optica has a fully glazed forward cabin and a unique powerplant and wing design that allows the aircraft to have a stall speed of 58 kts and a slow speed cruise of just 70 kts. It also has an 8 hour loiter time. But maybe more essential is that this is the perfect aircraft to appreciate some of the scenery that Orbx has created.
Needless to say, the Optica is a watershed moment for Orbx and all of this content shows an extremely busy schedule for the scenery creator across three flight simulator platforms.