Today third-party developers shared news about upcoming and existing Microsoft Flight Simulator add-ons, including a relevant airport release.
We start with MSK Productions’s upcoming Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (VABB) in India. Specifically, we get to see new screenshots of this massive airport.
Next, Pacific Island Simulations released its Salt Lake City International Airport (KSLC) in the US. It’s available at the developer’s own store for $25.99. It promises the following features:
- Latest Sim Update (SU12) tested product;
- Accurate Terminal, Concourses, Hangars, Towers, Freight buildings, General Aviation FBOs, and airport layout;
- Custom Animated Jetways;
- Sharp PBR Textures (4096×2 and 2048×2) applied to all models;
- Visual Docking Guidance System (VDGS) Safedock Type1 programmed to all gate Concourses;
- Latest High Resolution (7cm-30cm pixel) orthoimagery replacing MS version (Covers just the airport);
- Accurate hand-placed autogen (vegetation) that conforms with airport layout;
- Fully tweaked and optimized since beginning of project for smooth simulation experience;
- New taxiways between and around concourses
- Two new overnight parking (RON) areas added to midfield and next to RWY34R;
- Added grunge work showing tire markings on runways, taxiways and at aprons;
Last, but not least, we get a development update from PMDG about its Boeing 737 Line, while the 777 isn’t quite ready for prime time yet. The developer also announced that it’s focusing on Microsoft Flight Simulator (not surprisingly) and support for the recently revealed Prepar3D version 6 (also not surprisingly) isn’t coming any time soon, if ever.
PMDG DC-6 & PMDG 737 Xbox User News:
For our customers on the Xbox platform, we *think* we have some good news finally on the liveries front: This has been an ongoing struggle, as we are working to build out livery sets that will meet all of Microsoft’s store guidelines while also maximizing the number of liveries available to you for the last cost. As previously mentioned, we do not have an avenue to distribute the liveries “free” on the Xbox platform, so we are working with Microsoft to maximize the footprint of each livery package. Without getting too deep into the weeds, we wound up using a new containering methodology that Microsoft recommended, in spite of the fact that it is still slightly experimental and not documented- which required quite a bit of cooperation and back-and-forth testing to ensure it would work as they hope when rolled out live. We have had very good support from their intake team and the first livery package for the DC-6 is now going through intake testing and we hope it will prove that the method works and then we can flood the system with the rest of the packages for both the DC-6 and 737.
A number of folks have been asking if we can tell you which liveries will be included: If all goes according to plan, we will release *nearly* all of the liveries we have available in the PMDG Operations Center- with a few exceptions due to duplication, etc. The goal is to provide a broad range of airlines and colors that you can choose from. To forestall 10,000 “can you also include
” please understand that we are choosing from our existing stable of liveries in the interest of expedience and we are not planning to create new ones specifically for this effort.
We had a strategy session with our friends at Navigraph regarding methods to update navdata on the xbox platform. This yielded some technical discussions and potential solutions that are being explored further. Xbox presents some unique challenges to simmers and we are solving them as we go and making reasonably good progress at it.
PMDG 737-600 and PMDG 737-900 for Marketplace PC/XBox:
Both of these products are fully prepped for entry into Marketplace for PC/Xbox but we have opted to keep them in holding while we resolve the delivery issue outlined in the point above. We felt it was inappropriate to flood the market with two more projects until we have a meaningful solution in place for Xbox users to obtain liveries. Now that we think we see a solution approaching completion- we will likely push those into the intake process in the near term. We will keep you posted!
PMDG Products in Lockheed Martin Prepar3D v6:
With all of our development resources focused on bringing our airliner simulations into Microsoft Flight Simulator, we are not currently planning to update any of our P3D products for compatibility with P3Dv6. We have done the obligatory “drag-and-drop” to see if the products will work as is and have had poor results. This tells us that some code effort/recompiling will be needed and the resources simply are not available to do so. Earliest re-evaluation of this decision will take place after the 747-400 release in MSFS, which is the same time we will evaluate whether we will conduct further updates of our P3D products based upon the market conditions that exist at that time.
PMDG 737 for MSFS Updates Pending:
We have a number of small updates, and some larger ones that we are beginning to roll up for testing. Lots of small fixes and tweaks all around for PC and likewise for Xbox users. For example we have been experimenting with solutions to the “knob gets stuck spinning” problem that appears for some xbox users, and we are also working on various other cleanup items that we have picked from our issue tracking.
The long awaited tablet is nearly ready on the development side, but needs some wider testing from our betas and a bit more UI cleanup. We think the initial build will be quite nice and we are about to begin working with a few outside designers we have chosen to add their features to the tablet so that you can see the full value of how we have made the tablet universal to our entire product line.
Now that some other areas of 737 development are beginning to wrap up, we have been reallocating resources to one of our other strategic priorities; navdata. We have a test build of the 737 in MSFS using navigraph’s modern navdata format and are continuing to adapt the FMS to leverage the additional data and capabilities. This is a long-term item that has been approached slowly and deliberately but we hope to pass off to testing here in the weeks and months ahead. It will be nice to finally leverage the improvements we have made to the LNAV route solvers and the various navigation improvements that will come with this additional step in the evolution of our product line. This update will get rolled into the the 737 for MSFS as soon as it clears testing and will then be rolled into the 777 as well.
PMDG 777 for MSFS:
Speaking of the 777… We aren’t quite yet to where we want the product to be at the start of Preview Season… but we aren’t far off from that juncture, either. Progress has been slow the past few weeks as we had most of the team in motion and a lot of focus on FSExpo- but everyone is back to work this week, energized and ready for the final push to get the 777 into your hangars!
Microsoft Flight Simulator is currently available for PC, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox Cloud Gaming, including Game Pass. If you’d like to learn more, you should stay tuned on TechRaptor as we have daily Microsoft Flight Simulator news to keep you updated on the many add-ons coming and released for the sim. We have also recently interviewed Microsoft’s Jorg Neumann about the Antonov An-225 “Mriya” and iniBuilds’ CEO Ubaid Mussa on the work of the popular third-party developer. If you’re interested in reviews, you can check out Orbx’s Stockholm Arlanda and Oslo Gardermoen Airports, iniBuilds’ New York-JFK Airport, and RHDSimulations’ Boeing 767-300ER.