02

April

2020

April 2nd, 2020 Development Update

Posted by: Microsoft Flight Simulator Team

Screenshot Credit: tomlaut1980

“DOES THIS MEAN NEW INVITES ARE ON THE WAY?”

– Reddit User

Not at this moment.

With the release of Alpha 1.2.5.0 yesterday, the team is focused on addressing any issues related to the download and install of the updated alpha build. Once we’ve completed that process (~ 1 week), we will focus on assessing the current alpha participation. We appreciate all the great community feedback from our posting of the Build Change List, we will continue to release these notes going forward.

– MSFS TEAM

 

Here is an update on the current postponed deliverables:

  • EARLY APRIL – Feedback Snapshot update.
  • MID APRIL – Partnership Series update will be released.
  • LATE APRIL/EARLY MAY – EPISODE 8 (IFR) will be released.

 

ALPHA BUILD UPDATE

Yesterday we released Alpha Build 1.2.5.0. The detailed change list can be found here.

The team is currently focused on resolving any issues from the release of the latest Alpha build. We expect this process to take about a week before we will shift attention over to the Alpha participation.

For those currently participating in the Alpha, please make sure to check the weekly test requests post in the Alpha forums!

 

ALPHA INVITATIONS

 We are currently focused on Alpha release tasks and will turn our attention to Alpha participation within the next week.

  1.  Ensure that everyone that received an acceptance email has access to the Alpha.
  2. Assess Alpha participation options for adding more people as quickly as possible.
    • Prioritize access for those that registered early for pre-release build testing.

 

 

MORE GREAT SCREENSHOTS FROM ALPHA PARTICIPANTS!

Screenshot Credit: fhoraig

Screenshot Credit: SM4RTN117

Screenshot Credit: SlidHydra647449

Screenshot Credit: speedwoblz

Screenshot Credit: garywinhk

Screenshot Credit: Support By Fire

Screenshot Credit: SwankierPiano

Screenshot Credit: BlueNOwhere

Screenshot Credit: Psyrixx

Screenshot Credit: BlueNOwhere

Screenshot Credit: CinnamonInk8010

Screenshot Credit: tomlaut1980

Screenshot Credit: tomlaut1980

 

 

NEXT UPDATE – 04.09

Sincerely,

Microsoft Flight Simulator Team

01

April

2020

ALPHA BUILD 1.2.5.0 is now available!

Posted by: Microsoft Flight Simulator Team

 

ALPHA BUILD 1.2.5.0 is now available!

Please make sure to launch Alpha build, check for updates, and install most recent Alpha update.

 

Welcome to the 1.2.5 version of the Microsoft Flight Simulator Alpha! In this update, you will find new content, bugs we’ve addressed, and an updated list of known issues.

A note from the development team:

First let us start off by saying “thank you”. We truly appreciate all of the amazing feedback we’ve received since the last Alpha release.

For the build notes, we have the following sections to suit the interest levels of our community, after this introduction we have the new content, below that the bullet point of changes, and for those who wish to have a more technical breakdown, members of the team have given an editorial on certain aspects of the sim.

You will notice that we’ve made several fixes based on your feedback (Review patch notes below). Your feedback is integral to our development of Flight Simulator, and we encourage everybody to join in, providing feedback via the Weekly Feedback Testing Category.

Based on the large amount of feedback regarding peripherals, peripherals support has been improved, and we’ve added more device binding presets. Please note that due to these changes, the previous mappings from will no longer work with this updated Alpha. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Finally, we know there have been a lot of questions regarding airliners, and we’d like to take a second to address the current lack of airliners. We are hard at work putting on the final touches and want to make sure we get the core functionality of the airliners “right” before we release any into wild. We promise that they are on their way, and we will let you know as soon as they’re cleared for departure.

Thank you for being a part of our Alpha, and keep that feedback coming!

-Microsoft Flight Simulator Team-

 

:arrow_right: New Content

  • Cessna 152 is now cleared for takeoff!
  • Training Missions: These missions will take you through the Basic Controls, Attitudes and Instruments, and Take-off, Level flight and Landing.
  • Sedona Landing Challenge
  • “Groups” functionality added to multiplayer
  • Add friends to find them on the world map and can click to join them
  • Live Events are time-limited activities that we plan to switch out with different event types often.

 

:arrow_right: Planes

  • Glass Cockpits – Multiple bugs fix
  • Cockpit Occluders
  • Grass, trees, clouds are no longer visible inside the planes
  • Icing fixes and improvements
  • DA40 NG and DA62 – Altitude Knob added on Pilot side G1000
  • DA62 – Improved flight model
  • TBM 930 – Improved flight model

 

:arrow_right: Airports

Bug fixes include:

  • Airport buildings
  • Removed Building on runways
  • Removed Vegetation on and around runways

Improvements to existing airports:

  • Parking Spots placement
  • Jetway placement (Not final)
  • Ground markings
  • Airport Life improvements
  • Improved parking spot settings based on plane types
  • Air Traffic behaviors improvement

Some airports were reported as missing have been added back in for this version:

  • KPHX
  • LFRN
  • KIAH
  • WSSS
  • LICC
  • KPHL
  • MUHA
  • KSAN
  • KMSP
  • PHNL
  • KBOS
  • HECA
  • ZBAA

 

:arrow_right: ATC

  • ATC general improvements have been made
  • ATC options and application to flight improved

 

:arrow_right: Cameras

  • Cockpit camera
  • Improved the Focus mode to be more accessible
  • Alllowed camera speed & momentum tweaking in the menus
  • Added controls to translate the camera left/ right
  • Chase camera
  • Added 4 more quickviews
  • Drone camera
  • Improved the “Lock” mode behavior
  • Improved reset position feature
  • Smart Camera
  • Allowed smart camera to target other players

 

:arrow_right: Flight Model

  • Handling/friction improved for a more accurate behavior on ground
  • New ground effect allowing for a more realistic flaring
  • Plane performances tuning

 

:arrow_right: Multiplayer

  • Friend groups
  • Add friends – use the Add Friend icon on the top of the menus
  • Your Friends are now represented by an icon in the Freeflight World Map; click on them to join them
  • To change MP preferences, go to the World Map and select Flight Conditions
  • In-game traffic nameplates now apply to other users
  • Player Representation – Anyone using your plane will show up in the same aircraft as yours – if they are using a different aircraft than yours, they will appear as a “generic” aircraft.

 

:arrow_right: Peripherals

  • Controls menu update
  • Improved the Essentials filter list
  • Improved the calibration menu (added curves visualization)
  • Player’s input presets management (create and manage multiple inputs preset for each device)

Additional default input presets :

  • Thrustmaster
  • T16000M (Already in Alpha1)
  • TWCS (Already in Alpha1)
  • TPR (Already in Alpha1)
  • Warthog (Already in Alpha1)
  • T-Flight HOTAS One, X & 4
  • Logitech
  • Extreme 3D Pro
  • Flight Yoke System
  • Flight Throttle Quadrant
  • X52
  • X56
  • Virtual Fly
  • Yoko “The Yoke” +
  • TQ6 +
  • V3rnio TPM
  • Ruddo +
  • Honeycomb
  • Alpha Flight Control
  • Various bug fixing & improvements

 

:arrow_right: UI/UX

  • Weather, Traffic, and Multiplayer settings are now in a Flight Conditions Panel that can be found in the freeflight world map
  • Flight Plan settings improved
  • General bug fixes
  • Improved UI accessibility when navigating the HUD
  • Worldmap navigation and search functionality improvements
  • Worldmap VFR and IFR selection has been fixed

 

:arrow_right: Various bug fixing & improvements

  • Overall, improvements made to stability and performance.
  • Flight plan approach waypoints displayed and followed
  • Altitude waypoint constraints displayed
  • Weather display has been improved
  • Multiples improvements to autopilot and auto-throttle
  • Fixed Trim from running too quick
  • Grass and water not going through cockpits

 

:arrow_right: Weather

  • Weather fixes made to Live-Weather settings and Conditions

 

:arrow_right: World

  • Water improvements: Update on ocean to improve numerous reported elevation issues
  • Visual improvements have been made on grass
  • Improvements on vegetation
  • Biomes
  • Tree Visuals
  • Offline textures improvement
  • Wind impact now on grass and trees
  • Updated our auto-generation of the buildings in the world to be more realistic in representation
  • Night lighting Improvements
  • Added night lighting to buildings in photogrammetric cities where there was none before
  • Improvements to street lights
  • Added wind turbines

 

:stop_sign: Known issues :stop_sign:

  • Some jetways are misplaced at airports
  • Black stripes can be visible on the side of different world tiles
  • Trees sometimes overlap with buildings
  • There are missing buildings in Chicago-O’Hare airport
  • There are missing buildings in Frankfurt am Main Airport
  • FPS tends to drop after the end of a loading sequence
  • FPS tends to drops during intro cutscenes
  • Low FPS (10 to 20 FPS) in big airports when on the tarmac, both on the take-off and landing
  • There are possible FPS drops when moving the camera around the plane
  • Objectives can fail to show any inputs if they were previously cleared by the user under Controls
  • Panels previously undocked from the toolbar can appear enable on any Activity
  • There are issues with the TTS voice on the Take-off Flight Training when using the Female Voice
  • The TTS voice during the Take Off Flight Training audio and subtitles are mismatched
  • We still display some debug subtitle-text with TTS audio on the Landing Flight Training
  • Planes can teleport 900 – 5000 FT above when returning to freeflight from any Landing Challenge
  • The ‘‘Apply the Brakes’’ objective fails to get completed after the player applies the brakes during that Landing Tutorial
  • Objectives can break using the despawn /respawn at the start of the Take Off Flight Training
  • The TBM930 engine shuts down after a teleport
  • Intermittent weather bug that can sometimes create unrealistic gusting winds, more likely to hit this when the user changes settings mid-session.
  • HUEN main buildings are not spawning
  • Autopilot can become inoperable when switching between Vertical Speed and Altitude in All Aircrafts.
  • Switching instructor models mid flight (in tutorials) will not switch the instructor voices.

 

:arrow_right: A look into the minds of our pilots and engineers!

We have worked on some of the causes for ground instability. In FSX Ground Effect was calculated once per aircraft at the CG of the aircraft. The closer the CG got to the ground, the more the aircraft’s lift coefficient was scaled up (up to 25%). To get more realism, we changed this to calculate the ground effect separately for each surface of the aircraft. This reflects reality better as one wing may be closer to the ground than the other and be more impacted by ground effect. Also, because the FSX ground effect was still referring to the CG coordinates, we now calculate the collision distance between each individual surface and the ground. And with this fix we now get a different and better lift coefficient scale for each surface. This helps ground stability because when the plane starts rolling on one side, that side immediately gets closer to the ground and then gets more ground effect. The other side immediately loses ground effect. This tends to push the aircraft back toward a level horizontal position.

We have worked on roll stability, which is the consequence of many different aspects of an aircraft. Including dihedral, wing sweep, CG and wing position. One particular aspect we added is that high wings have up to 5% more “effective” dihedral giving them more roll stability. So, we added a system that automatically adds “effective” dihedral depending on the vertical wing position. This adds more roll stability to our all high wing aircraft (C172, C152, GRAND CARAVAN, …). This does not however affect low wing aircraft. Mid wing aircraft will get a little bit of this. Low wing aircraft however already usually have a higher actual dihedral which compensates for this. For all high wing aircraft, there is now improved dynamic roll stability. The effect is not super strong, but from a 30° bank, they will tend to slowly return to a neutral bank, the strength of the effect fades as the bank approaches zero. This helps with an overbanking tendency and improves roll stability.

Improvements have been made to takeoff trim, and the effects of wind when on the ground, which makes take offs more realistic and significantly improves the wheelbarrowing effect that sometimes happened.

Work was also done to improve the effects of winds and turbulence with all weather.

We’ve also been working hard on peripherals. While still WIP here are some updates:

  • Categories are minimized by default
  • Added a button to collapse/expand all categories
  • Categories keep their state (collapsed/ expanded) when switching devices
  • Improved controls settings menu performance (but more WIP)
  • Improved sensitivity menu (curves displayed)
  • Essential controls sorted
  • Added user input preset management
  • Better default mappings for more peripherals

We know there’s more to do and the team is working on things such as:

  • New search bar layout in the controls settings menu
  • Improved sensitivity and dead zone curves (algorithm update)
  • Inputs displayed in the same fashion as notifications in the controls settings menu

31

March

2020

Women’s History Month: The First Women’s Air Derby

Posted by: Microsoft Flight Simulator Team

So far this year, we have focused on utilizing groundbreaking technology to bring you our latest version of Microsoft Flight Simulator. Our Feature Discovery series has highlighted our aerodynamics, live weather, world-building and more. In our pursuit to build a beautifully realistic and expansive sim, we would like to give credit to the early pioneers of flight; specifically, the brave women who entered the field of aviation. They have paved the way for flight enthusiasts today, setting precedent upon precedent.

From left to right: Raymonde de Laroche, Hélène Dutrieu, Lilian Bland’s “Mayfly”

In 1910, Raymonde de Laroche, became the first the first woman in the world to receive a pilot license when the Aero-Club of France issued her license #36 of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale.  Hélène Dutrieu, the “girl hawk” of aviation from Tournai Belgium, set many altitude and distance records including winning France’s Coupe Femina for the women’s world nonstop light record on December 31, 1911 flying 254 kilometers (158 miles) in 178 minutes. In Northern Ireland, Lilian Bland designed a glider, the Bland Mayfly, even before she earned her pilot’s license, making her the first women in the world to design, build, and fly an aeroplane. The United States wasn’t far behind, and soon women all over the globe took to the skies despite the challenges they faced due to gender norms.

From left to right: Louise Thaden, Gladys O’Connell, Ruth Nichols

Circa 1929, when there were as little as seventy licensed female pilots, one of the most revolutionary races began in the US: The Women’s National Air Derby.

It was more than a race; it was a chance for women to finally show the world that they could fly.

These women spanned from aviatrix record breaker to Hollywood starlet to the wife of a preacher, but they all had a common message to spread: women were fiercely good at flying, and they would prove it. To qualify, they had to have at least 100 hours of solo flight, with a minimum of 25 hours of cross-country flying.

As the idea of letting women fly was not commonly accepted in the 1920s, there were many restrictions in the first race, such as access to only slower and less powerful aircraft.

It was an early morning in August where twenty women put on their flight gear, climbed into their cockpits, and raced across America from Santa Monica, California to Cleveland, Ohio. Navigating the 2700-mile course with only road maps on their laps, they started their journey.

Only 15 out of 20 women finished the first Women’s National Air Derby in 1929

The race itself was something out of the movies — Questionable mechanical failures, threats of sabotage from outsiders, two crashes, and one case of typhoid fever. The threats of sabotage and protestors sported signs with phrases like, “Race Should Be Stopped”. Blanche Noyes, a non-smoker, had to put out a fire mid-flight and later found a cigarette butt in her baggage. Pancho Barnes crashed into a car that drove onto the runway as she was landing. Claire Fahy’s wing wires had mysteriously been eaten through. However, despite some of the mishaps, the pilots decided to stick together and finish the race.

“What chances we took in those pioneer days of flying! What narrow escapes we had during takeoffs and landings on the many rough, short airfields of the twenties!” — Ruth Nichols, Derby Contestant

A crowd of over 18,000 people gathered at the finish line in Cleveland to greet the pilots. In the end, Louise Thaden finished in first place with a time of 20 hours, 19 minutes and 4 seconds. In third place was famous Amelia Earhart.

Racers from the 1929 first women’s air derby

The race was their first chance to meet face-to-face as women pilots and set the stage to carry on the legacy. Many of the women banded together afterwards to form The 99’s Club (now known as The Ninety-Nines) to celebrate women in aviation all over the world.

We salute these outspoken and brave women as we continue to develop Microsoft Flight Simulator and hope we can empower more females to pursue an interest in the field of aviation. To everyone, thank you for your passion and love for flying. Your enthusiasm has made our sim efforts possible.

-The Microsoft Flight Simulator Community Team-

Sources:

  • https://www.ninety-nines.org/women-in-aviation-article.htm
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_aviation
  • https://airandspace.si.edu/explore-and-learn/topics/women-in-aviation/roche.cfm
  • https://airandspace.si.edu/explore-and-learn/topics/women-in-aviation/dutrieu.cfm
  • https://pioneersofflight.si.edu/content/1929-women%E2%80%99s-national-air-derby
  • https://breakingthroughtheclouds.com/
  • https://womensmuseumofireland.ie/articles/lilian-bland

26

March

2020

March 26th, 2020 Development Update

Posted by: Microsoft Flight Simulator Team

Screenshot Credit: Tomlaut1980

“Wing Wednesday. How about Mixture Lever Monday? TCAS Tuesday? Throttle Thursday? Flap Lever Friday? Stall Warning Saturday? and Spin Recovery Sunday?”

  • Avsim User

 

Speaking of “Throttle Thursday” – the team went full power to bring you the update this week. Enjoy!

  • MSFS TEAM

 

Here is an update on the current postponed deliverables:

  • RELEASED – EPISODE 7 (Multiplayer) will be released.
  • RELEASED – DR roadmap preview for April/May will be released.
  • EARLY APRIL – Feedback Snapshot update.
  • MID APRIL- EPISODE 8 (IFR) will be released.
  • MID APRIL – Partnership Series update will be released.

 

 

Episode 7 is here! If you would like to check out the latest video in our Feature Discovery Series (Ep. 7 MULTIPLAYER) head into the Insider Area now!

DEVELOPMENT ROADMAP

April/May preview has been released! Head into the Insider Area to check out the preview now.

ALPHA BUILD UPDATE

We are preparing the build for release and expect to have the build ready for access early next week. Stay tuned, we will send an update once it’s ready for download!

ALPHA INVITATIONS

There have been a number of discussions in the community regarding Alpha build access recently. We are continuing to discuss our current participation strategy and will finalize any changes/communicate to the community, once we release the updated Alpha build. Our current top 3 tasks regarding Alpha participation are as follows:

  1. Ensure that everyone that received an acceptance email has access to the Alpha.
  2. Ensure that those that registered early for pre-release build testing, have access to the Alpha.
  3. Assess Alpha participation options for adding more people as quickly as possible.

FEEDBACK SNAPSHOT

 

 

MORE GREAT SCREENSHOTS FROM ALPHA PARTICIPANTS!

 

Screenshot Credit: FieryCypress174

Screenshot Credit: CaseBug92496684

Screenshot Credit: FieryCypress174

Screenshot Credit: FieryCypress174

Screenshot Credit: Djays72

Screenshot Credit: OperatorLand468

Screenshot Credit: Acktu Nasrabi

Screenshot Credit: Djays72

Screenshot Credit: FieryCypress174

Screenshot Credit: TurnedCrab36127

Screenshot Credit: Parorng

Screenshot Credit: Tomlaut1980

 

 

NEXT UPDATE – 04.02

Sincerely,

Microsoft Flight Simulator Team

19

March

2020

March 19th, 2020 Development Update

Posted by: Microsoft Flight Simulator Team

Screenshot Credit: SchereUlme68442

“Together.”

 It is with immense pride that we stand with our community during this very challenging time. We continue to prioritize the health and well-being of our team, friends and families. We do so with an unwavering commitment to remain connected to the community as we continue to develop the next iteration of Microsoft Flight Simulator. Your feedback, support, and encouragement continues to be an invaluable inspiration to the team.

With guidance from our leadership, we have taken steps to establish remote work spaces that will minimize impact on our development efforts. We have prioritized team focus on key deliverables core to completing the project, while pausing work on deliverables that are not. In the near term work will be focused on delivering an updated Alpha build, followed by assessing our Alpha participation. Once we’ve completed that process, we will turn our focus back to other deliverables we have in the pipeline (e.g. Feature Discovery Series Episodes, DR Roadmap Updates, Partnership Series updates, etc.). This is a temporary measure, we will continue to monitor the situation while providing frequent updates to the community.

 For now, expect that many of the deliverables we’ve been working on will be delayed by a few weeks while we get the team working at optimal efficiency remotely.

 In moments like this we are mindful of the importance of taking care of those that take care of us. From all of us, to all of you, we wish you good health and safety.  

 We are all in this together.

 

Sincerely,

 – MSFS TEAM

 

The following deliverables have been postponed and the team will provide an update during the next update.

  • POSTPONED – EPISODE 8 (Multiplayer) will be released.
  • POSTPONED – DR roadmap preview for April/May will be released. (potentially delayed)
  • POSTPONED  – EPISODE 7 (IFR) will be released.
  • POSTPONED – Partnership Series update will be released.
  • POSTPONED – Feedback Snapshot update.

 

ALPHA BUILD UPDATE

The team is currently focusing on releasing an updated Alpha build which we are planning to release next week.

Build notes for the upcoming Alpha update:

HIGHLIGHTS

  • We’ve added Groups to multiplayer, and while still early in development you should be able to Add Friends and find them on the world map, and click to join them.
  • We’ve added Training Missions for those who are new to Flight Simulator. These missions will take you through the Basic Controls, Attitudes and Instruments, and Take-off, Level flight and Landing.
  • The Cessna 152 has been added and is now cleared for takeoff
  • We’ve added Live Events which are time-limited activities that we plan to switch out with different events frequently.
  • Peripherals Support has been improved, and more devices added. Please note that due to these changes, previous mappings from the Alpha will no longer work with the current Alpha.
  • We are hard at work prepping the airliners for release in the next Alpha update!

 

NEW CONTENT

  • Training missions
  • Cessna 152
  • Sedona Landing Challenge

 

PLANE SPECIFIC UPDATES

·         Cessna 172 Skyhawk (G1000) has been improved for flight controls and instruments

·         DA40 TDI instrumentation improvements

·         DA62 has improved pilot controls

·         DA62 instrumentation improvements

·         Beechcraft Bonanza G36 issues glass cockpits improvements

·         TBM 930 flight controls improved

·         TBM 930 instrumentation improved

·         TBM 930 animations have been updated

 

ALPHA INVITATIONS

 There have been a number of discussions in the community regarding Alpha build access recently. We are continuing to discuss our current participation strategy and will finalize any changes/communicate to the community, once we release the updated Alpha build. Our current top 3 tasks regarding Alpha participation are as follows:

  1. Ensure that everyone that received an acceptance email has access to the Alpha.
  2. Ensure that those that registered early for pre-release build testing, have access to the Alpha.
  3. Assess Alpha participation options for adding more people as quickly as possible.

     

MORE GREAT SCREENSHOTS FROM ALPHA PARTICIPANTS!

Screenshot Credit: Beechc23

Screenshot Credit: LeLapindeGiens

Screenshot Credit: SM4RT4N117

Screenshot Credit: Batlle777

Screenshot Credit: Virtual Flights

Screenshot Credit: garywinhk

Screenshot Credit: SulfonicCarp982

Screenshot Credit: CaseBug2496684

Screenshot Credit: BonhamFive

Screenshot: tomiaut1980

Screenshot Credit: Batlte777

Screenshot Credit: CaseBug2496684

 

NEXT UPDATE – 03.26

Sincerely,

Microsoft Flight Simulator Team