Jorg Neumann, Sebastian Wloch, and Martial Bossard were back on the latest Microsoft Flight Simulator Q&A series covering a very wide array of items that the team are working on.
From Top Gun to airliners and everything in between
This months Q&A with the Flight Simulator team covers a lot of ground. From the recent launch of the Top Gun Maverick DLC to performance and stability to discussions about thermal and wind gust modeling all the way to a detailed breakdown of the new ATR-72 under development with Asobo and programmer Hans Hartmann. Listen in to the Q&A or check out my point form summary below for a look at the key points.
Here’s the summary!
- Performance and stability discussion talked about a number of changes coming to the sim. World Updates are planned to eventually not need a sim update to launch which will reduce the number of updates required. Jorg also mentioned that they intend to reduce the rate at which Sim Updates (SU) come along to give the team more time to do their “flighting” (or testing) with the beta group before launching an update.
- Sebastian addressed a request for a low FPS/low power mode while in the menus. This is now in testing and they are intending to make it part of the dev mode for now. The long term goal is to reduce power requirements and GPU performance needs while working in the menu and then ramping up power when flying.
- Seaplane water handling was addressed as well. They have done a pass on this and are intending to work more on this as well.
- The default A320neo is getting some updates in SU10. Fixes to ground effect, fixes to autopilot nose dive and other little bugs. The default version is the only one available for Xbox owners at the moment. There are discussions on if Asobo should enhance their A320neo or leave it to FBW (and Fenix with their A320ceo).
- A livery editor is not a high priority item but Jorg says it is something that “they will do at some point.”
- This month we got a substantial ATR project update with Hans Hartmann, the developer partner working on it, appearing on the stream. Includes three versions: ATR 42/72-600, ATR 72-600, ATR 72-600F Freighter. Exterior model is “state of the art” with full set of animations including doors and lighting. High detail interior model. Walkable cabin with freighter and passenger versions. Will have an EFB. The flight model will have a high quality model made by Alexander Metzger and using the new CFD and prop dynamics. Uses the latest systems standard (STD3), has a full checklist, pressurization system, Thales FMS 220, terrain awareness system (TAWS), weather radar and all date is provided by ATR. They are hoping to bring this high fidelity airliner to Xbox if the web assembly issues are sorted out.
- Asobo have tuned the camera shake at touchdown. Much more noticeable especially when doing a hard landing. It’s planned for SU10.
- DLSS testing is running well. They don’t want to rush it into SU10 but they are looking at it.
- Wind gusts are planned to come to live weather in SU10.
- Long haul flight issues – Q&A is still investigating the cause. They think it might be related to the VFR map. They are running tests all the time to try and find the issues that may be causing performance loss over time.
- AI traffic system is being worked on and there are some ATC updates being worked on too. Want to make use of the MSA (minimum safe altitude) which should change the way that the ATC uses flight plan.
- The thermal/updraft model is based on calculations or amount of watts of energy hitting the ground by the sun. It then calculates how much energy is reflected and kept. When the ground is warmer than the air then you get thermals. This is in SU9. Blending in wind factor in SU10 so there will be fewer thermals when the wind is lower.
- Multiplayer plane appearance is something they are working on. They know they have to improve the systems. No details released.
- SU10 will include some updates on ground handling with some new parameters for tire handling.
- Local Legend #3: Savola-Marchetti S.55 is coming. Waiting on approval from Leonardo. Jorg thinks they may have just one sign-off remaining before they can go.
As with all MSFS Q&A’s, I’m left with an overall impression that Asobo and Microsoft are still firing on all cylinders to develop this sim beyond its current state. Jorg once again mentioned their 10-year plan for the product and that they are really still at the beginning of that plan.
I think we’ve got some exciting things coming up.