Flight sim aircraft maker IndiaFoxtEcho released an update earlier today on their Facebook page showing off their latest work on the F-35 project that they are working towards completing for Microsoft Flight Simulator. Special emphasis has been put on the F-35’s control systems and how some of the features work. Let’s have a look!
5th gen comes to Flight Simulator
The big emphasis on this update from IndiaFoxtEcho is the Primary Control Display (PCD) which is the main control interface for the jet. The interface features four “portals” with different information laid out within each portal.
The update from IFE explains what the team has programmed and not programmed as part of their MSFS release. Unlike a fully operational combat jet, this version is aimed at the Flight Simulator market and thus will not have the kind of sensors and weapon systems that a real F-35 would have but they are irrelevant to the sim so their ‘inop’ status shouldn’t come as much of a shock or surprise.
Here’s what they had to say:
Many of the portals “pages” are assigned to mission-systems (sensors and weapons functionality) and therefore will be INOP in MSFS – although in many cases wer [sic] retained their real world appearance.IndiaFoxtEcho on Facebook
Also included in the post is an extensive list of features that are going to be operational.
- AP -> AUTOPILOT (pop up): fully functional, data input via virtual keypad
- CHKLST -> CHECKLIST mode: real world checklists are classified, we adapted this page to fit to the MSFS rendition
- CNI -> COMMUNICATION, NAVIGATION & IDENTIFICATION -> COM A, COM B, VOR, VORTAC, IFF and audio control functionality implemented. Data can be entered via a virtual keypad.
- DTM -> DATA MANAGEMENT page: basic functionality will allow the pilot to review GPS data and waypoints. In reality this page is also used to store, send and receive images, videos, mission data etc.
- EFI -> ELECTRONIC FLIGHT INSTRUMENTATION: fully functional
- ENG -> ENGINE PAGE: fully functional
- FCS -> FLIGHT CONTROL SYSTEM: fully functional – for accessibility /gameplay reasons some STOVL functions are controlled in this page even if IRL they are assigned to HOTAS control.
- FUEL -> fully functional
- HUD -> partial implementation, not all the symbology is implemented
- ICAWS -> INTEGRATED CAUTION And WARNING SYSTEM page: partial implementation, the system supports only a subset of the real world caution and warning messages
- PHM -> PROGNOSTICS and HEALTH MANAGEMENT page: basic implementation: will only report systems availability and functionality
- SMS -> STORE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM – minimal functionality: it will only be possible to control the weapon doors
- TSD -> TACTICAL SITUATION DISPLAY – partial implementation: page will only show the current waypoint, VOR and VORTAC estimated positions. Also, to save memory, at the moment only one TSD screen is available (in reality there are 3 separate pages).
That is the vast majority of the F-35’s flight systems covered. Meanwhile, these features will not be functional and will be ‘inop.’
- ASR – Air to Surface Radar
- DAS – Distributed Aperture System
- SRCH – Search mode
- TFLIR – Targeting Forward Looking Infra Red
- WPN-A – Air-to-air weapons
- WPN-S – Air-to-surface weapons
For people looking at a high performance jet, IndiaFoxtEcho’s upcoming F-35 for Microsoft Flight Simulator might just be the aircraft that they are looking for. A release date is not yet known but I would imagine that it will be coming before the end of the year.
For now, check them out on Facebook.