It’s been a few months but Jorg Neumann and Sebastian Wloch from the Microsoft Flight Simulator team were back at it to do a complete live stream update on what’s going on at Microsoft and Asobo with the sim. I’ve listened to the complete stream and put together some quick notes that you might want to read through if you don’t have the time for the full stream. Let’s have a look!
A successful 2022 and even more in 2023
Microsoft Flight Simulator has had a couple of great years. Growing pains have been there too but I feel like they have reached a new apex with the latest 40th Anniversary update. As with any project of this scale and scope, there is so much more to do. From what this Q&A has revealed it sounds like Asobo and Microsoft have no intention of stopping any time soon because there are a ton of things going on.
Some of the highlights include even more work on the helicopters and helicopter flight modeling, work on water modeling for seaplane handling and improvements to the snow coverage modeling. Three previously released aircraft, the Ju52, Do J, and F.13 are all being updated by the author.
They are introducing a new type of update too which is being called an AAU for aircraft and avionics update. These are being done, primarily, by WorkingTitle who have been responsible for overhauling the G1000 in MSFS. Their work is primarily focused on the two business jets – the Cessna CJ4 and the Citation Latitude. From what we’ve learned in this Q&A, these two will pick up dramatically improved modeling of everything from electrical to avionics to engines. So too will various standard avionics packages like the GNS430/530 , G3000 and G5000 get in-depth updates just like the G1000 has.
The next World Update will be focused on New Zealand with four (or more) bespoke airports, 30+ points of interest, and updated data for the country. It was highly requested and I’m excited to see that!
We also got an update from Hans Hartmann about the ATR project which sounds like an incredible project. It will be the first in a new series called the ‘Expert Series’ and it will come packaged with everything you’d expect from a high end airliner. EFB, deep systems modeling, three variants (ATR 42-600, 72-600, 72-600 freighter) and accurate flight modeling too. All supported by documents and information provided by ATR.
Finally, we have a roadmap forming for 2023 with an advent calendar like display just as they did with 2022. World Updates, City Updates, new Local Legends and Famous Flyers, plus Sim Updates and some surprises are all on the way. The next airplane is the De Havilland DHC-4 Caribou which is being created by Orbx.
Want a little bit more on all of this? Read my rough notes or watch the live stream yourself at the end of the notes.
- Do they plan to improve the flight model and the helicopters themselves?
- Sebastian Wloch – Listening to the community and to developers. Has booked time to make any improvement and fixes as they are reported.
- Will there be a helicopter tutorial in the sim?
- There is no tutorial right now. It’s very similar to airplanes except for the actual flying. The assistants are there to make it easier to fly. But it is something that they can look into doing.Jorg Neumann – Keep the feedback coming, we can always make things better.
- Connection error – This is when there’s a blip in the online service. Is this something that can be improved? Improving would be easy.
- Continue to improve the visual detail system and get more improvements in performance.
- Snow removal on roads and runways is broken and now that it’s winter again its been noticed. It’s a very easy fix and will be pushed out soon. Unintended and did not get noticed
- Snow coverage data resolution – Data coming from live weather provider. There is better data available. They are working on implementing it.
- A question about live weather, clouds, turbulence, drafts:
- Live weather can do t-storms. Turbulence and drafts were there from launch. It was simulating airflow around obstacles. Clouds had up and down airflow. Then added support for water surfaces so that turbulence was different over water. In Sim Update 9, changed the system and added realistic up and down thermal simulation. It’s no longer random and based on what’s on the ground. In Sim Update 11, changes to the visualization showing things that were already there – for gliders.
- One more thing closing out the year: Oliver who created the Ju52, Do J, and F.13 is busy preparing updates for all. Planned for early December.
- Grid for 2023. Even more things planned for 2023. Four world updates. Three city updates. Seven Local Legends. Seven Local Legends. AAU (aircraft and avionics updates). Other surprises.
- Working Title updates
- AAU (aircraft and avionics updates) – Matt Nischan from WorkingTitle. Very targeted avionics updates. More effort put into the premium airplanes. Definitely bringing some great stuff to premium planes.
- GNS430W / GNS530W updates. Authentic visuals, next gen flight plan (with realistic limits), full RNAV, procedure previews, keyboard entry mode, VNAV planning, accurate ADS-B traffic, full GPS/SBAS simulation with real world sat positions. Enhanced NRST WPT pages, authentic symbology
- Enhanced maps, options, and settings
- New default in some planes
- CJ4 overhaul
- Improved sounds, new flight model, avionics visual overhaul, next gen flight plan, split FMCs and MFDs, improved CAS and MFDs, full TCAS-II, keyboard entry mode, enhanced VNAV, pilot waypoints, boot screens, and AHRS alignment
- G3000/5000 update.
- Authentic visuals, next gen flight plan, two types of VNAV, fully independent displays, PFD and MFD can operate in split
- User defined waypoints
- Full RNAV, full GPS, full SBAS
- Waypoint info pages (including airport METAR)
- TBM 930 updates
- Doors, EIS tweaks, fully modeled electrical, new G3000, systems synoptics
- Citation Longitude
- Will feel like a premium airplane
- Advanced VNAV
- Full bleed air sim
- Env control system
- Hydraulics simulation
- Electrical simulation
- PTCU – unique thing, hydraulic/electrical transfer system
- Advanced fuel system (temps, pressures, routing logic)
- All coming January
- Next World Update is New Zealand
- Much requested by the community
- 4 bespoke airports (maybe more), 30+ pois, 6 photogrammetry cities
- 3 landing challenges, 3 bush trips and 3 discovery flights
- Local Legend VIII
- DHC-4 Caribou
- Made by Orbx
- Sim Update XII
- Coming March 2023
- WASM support on Xbox
- ATR 42/72-600
- Hans Hartmann making it
- Working with ATR to make it
- ATR 42-600, 72-600, 72-600 freighter
- Has advanced avionics: synthetic vision, TAWS, weather radar, virtual control panel, alerts and procedures
- Has an EFB with information like speed caluations, CoG, takeoff trim, landing distance calculator, icing taken into account
- Also aircraft states (including various presets like cold and dark, ready for taxi, etc.), ground services, maintenance functions.
- Detailed systems and FMS based on documents from ATR
- High precision engine model
- Accurate load modelling based on original load sheets
- This will be the first plane in Asobo’s ‘Expert Series’
- Tutorial videos, like those with the A310, will probably come
- Jorg thinks that they are very close on the Antonov AN-2. Still discussions going on.
- Asobo is working on ray tracing for MSFS but there is no ETA.
- There are plans to improve water handling, particularly in choppy water. No ETA but it is down the road.
- Seasons are also on the roadmap with no ETA.
- Jorg said sorry about some of the issues with the Canada update. And also that they want to make sure that you can fly under bridges. A team at Gaia (who make the models) are working on this.