Microsoft Flight Simulator hosts virtual airshow

Hosted on the official MSFS Twitch Channel, Wings Over the Web Virtual Airshow happened a couple of days ago. It’s available for watching in its entirety on their Twitch channel. It also reveals how far the sim has come in some areas while showcasing a few things that it should work on as time goes on. Let’s have a look!

Virtual airshows

I’m a fan of both real world airshows as well as their virtual counterparts. The effort that goes into organizing a virtual airshow is significant and the skills and talents put on display are always impressive to me. Virtual aerobatic groups may not always be real world pilots (although some of them are) but they still train hard to make their formations work in the sim.

As shows go, this one was well organized with a variety of performers and aircraft on display. There was also several giveaways during the 3-hour show.

If you’re interested. Give ‘Wings Over the Web’ a watch here!

Some work needed

There are some issues with MSFS multiplayer experience as well as some improvements on display with this show. First, early iterations of the sim frequently displayed jittering issues with aircraft flying close by. They would jump forward and back as the sim tried to predict the positioning. This has been improved steadily since release and now is looking pretty good with mass formations of aircraft operating together and not experience any significant jitter. Very good!

There are some issues too, however, as the show made obvious. Some aircraft disappear relatively quickly from view as they fly away so the team had to jump cameras often. Other aircraft updated their positioning slowly so rolls and loops sometimes looked stilted and stiff. A shame because we know it would have been much smoother on their own PCs. Propellers also don’t seem to animate properly from a distance or from a third party so the visuals look off there too.

I still applaud the organizers for putting on the show, the performers for doing what they do best and flying around virtual airplanes with skill and expertise, and the MSFS team for pushing forward on these items. I hope and even think that the next time a virtual airshow is hosted that we’ll see the sim continue to improve on those items.

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