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Friday, December 1, 2023

Microsoft Flight Simulator devs outline plans for helicopters, historic planes, and Australia

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Microsoft and Asobo Studio have detailed some exciting changes coming to Microsoft Flight Simulator over the course of 2022 in a development update and attending Q&A on YouTube.

Perhaps most notable was their further elaboration on plans to officially bring helicopters to the game by the end of the year. Modders have implemented helicopters previously, but Microsoft Flight Simulator’s impressive reproduction of the physics behind manned flight actually makes it difficult to get helicopters working in the game. The simulation was developed with planes in mind, and the modders of the Hype Performance Group’s helicopter pack used a brute-force approach in the current framework. For their official implementation, Asobo will be first testing a more granular air simulation on some upcoming planes, before putting out their officially-sanctioned helicopters.

Much of the body of the Q&A was devoted to Microsoft Flight Simulator’s upcoming world updates 7 and 8 for Australia and the Iberian Peninsula respectively. The game’s world updates are bespoke touch-ups of areas on Microsoft Flight Simulator’s map, whose base form is generated from Bing maps data. We were previously quite impressed when the UK and Ireland got this treatment last year.

The video also outlined plans for more historic planes coming to Microsoft Flight Simulator, such as the Southern Cross, the first plane to ever successfully make a transpacific flight.

Asobo has provided a detailed roadmap for the first quarter of 2021, as well as a more nebulous outline for the entire year in the Q&A video. Microsoft Flight Simulator remains an impressive feat of simulation and graphical fidelity, and it’s exciting to see its continued support.

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