30

June

2020

Community Spotlight: The Official Discord Team

Posted by: Microsoft Flight Simulator Team

“The flight sim community is very welcoming to new pilots and veteran pilots alike and gives everyone a chance to be a part of the community.” 

– Dima, Discord Mod and MSFS Bot Developer

Today we’d like to highlight a few community members who have gone above and beyond, showing that our community is not only passionate about the sim, but talented as well.

Our Moderator, Punda

Punda, once a casual Alpha member but now full on moderator, took it upon himself several months ago to build a community for Microsoft Flight Simulator on Discord. He envisioned it as a great place for simmers to learn and fly together and invited the community to join. Punda grew it from the ground up, until it was a vibrant corner of the internet for flight simmers of all backgrounds to unite. His passion led to what is now the Official Microsoft Flight Simulator Discord server!

He says, “It’s great to share a passion with others! Being able to discuss such topics naturally is great, I personally learn new things from others all the time, from new aircraft, to parts of an aircraft that I didn’t know existed!”

Our team worked with Punda to assess his goals for the Discord, and while he continues to improve and build upon it, we decided to work together to make it official. There is now presence from our team in the server to help run it, but Punda still heads the Discord community. We are very excited to work hand-in-hand with members of the community to bring you the best server possible. Our entire Discord moderation team has been extremely helpful with keeping the conversation fun, insightful, and positive. Thank you to Joe, John, Pieter, Punda, Dima, Harry, Silvrav, Toby, Simtom, Wuper, Zyonix, Deebz and Nxther for being Discord mods.

After months of hard work from Punda and everything he has done, we are proud to make it public and invite aviation and flight sim enthusiasts to join in the conversation.

What’s so great about having a Discord server?

Our Discord is the central hub for the MSFS community to communicate, whether through text chatting or in voice channels, about the latest and greatest in the sim world. You’ll find a diverse group of sim enthusiasts who share the same passion for aviation and a place to connect and interact when flying together in the sim.

What are some features of the Discord server?

There are channels to discuss flight simming as a whole, hardware, peripherals, screenshots and more, both for public and Alpha simmers alike. 

Harry, one of the Discord mods, added, “In the Flight Simulator community, people help each other, share content, and photos on social media to offer a good taste around the world about aviation and how amazing it is to see what pilots can do, learn, and even give you the motivation to become one. Overall, the Flight Simulator community is amazing and I can’t wait to see more people coming in!”

One feature we’d like to highlight on the Discord is the Flight Events section. Our Alpha members have a closed, private section to not only discuss Alpha news, but to fly together via Multiplayer in voice channels. There is a Flight Events bot to help simulate ATC and radio among players. For now, our fly-in events are Alpha-only, but we can’t wait to see the events created once the sim is released and available to all!

Our Bot Developers: Dima, Xignotic, and Harry

Three members of the flight sim community took it upon themselves to create a custom bot for our server, and with their talents combined built something to be proud of.

Dima explains, “As I am studying computer science, [I thought] it would be a good idea to spread some of my knowledge and help the server grow with a quality custom-coded bot. Having a custom bot allows for finer control of certain details to fit the needs of the server and staff team.”

Complete with MSFS content feeds, moderation tools, verification system, leveling system, and more, the bot offers many cool features. Harry described one of his favorites, “I think one of my favorite features of the bot is the METAR command. That’s because virtual or real pilots can use it to search the current weather around the airport. But we do not just aim to help everyone by giving them a raw text of information, but analyzed information.”

Xignotic also states, “It’s amazing to work with the other members that are developing the bot, they’re good at communicating and are extremely friendly.“

We love how passionate and skilled our community is, and are excited for the future of the Discord server. Thank you to everyone involved with this effort. We can’t express enough how lucky we are to have the community we do. Thank you!

 

-The MSFS Team-

25

June

2020

June 25th, 2020 Development Update

Posted by: Microsoft Flight Simulator Team

Screenshot by Speedwoblz

As we head into July, the team is excited for many of the deliverables we have planned for next month, starting with Alpha 5!

In our post next week (07.02) we’ll provide a release date for Alpha 5, and a timeline for the Closed Beta release.

This week, we are proud to introduce NavBlue in our Partnership Series update below!

  • MSFT TEAM 

 

ALPHA 5 IS COMING EARLY JULY!

The team is currently in the final testing phase for Alpha 5. We will announce the release date in our July 2nd update.

Full build notes will be released along with the build.

 

ALPHA INVITATIONS

New invitations are being sent out today!

Reminder, if you are currently an Alpha tester, you will be automatically granted access to the Closed Beta.

 

PARTNERSHIP SERIES UPDATE – INTRODUCING NAVBLUE!

 

MORE AMAZING SCREENSHOTS FROM ALPHA TESTERS

 

Video by Speedwoblz

 

Video by Jelknab96

 

Video by ExpressTomato52

 

Video by TimeCrayfish5

 

Video by TimeCrayfish5

Screenshot by MarkDoyle

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Screenshot by Ebbsy2

Screenshot by Simtom112

 

NEXT UPDATE – 07.02

Sincerely,

Microsoft Flight Simulator Team

18

June

2020

June 18th, 2020 Development Update

Posted by: Microsoft Flight Simulator Team

Screenshot by CaseBug92496684

Hey, ChaoticBeauty!

Thank you for all that you do.

– MSFS TEAM

 

Going to keep the update brief this week.

 

ALPHA 4 PATCH IS COMING!

We are wrapping up final testing on an upcoming patch for Alpha 4.

Our target release date is 06.25 and we will provide full patch notes along with the build.

 

ALPHA INVITATIONS

New invitations are being sent out today! 

 

PARTNERSHIP SERIES UPDATE

We have moved the NAVBLUE and FlightAware Partnership Series updates back one week.

  • 06.25 – NAVBLUE release
  • 07.02 – FlightAware release

 

MORE AMAZING SCREENSHOTS FROM ALPHA TESTERS

 

Video by Flinty94

 

Video by SpacedRanger06

Screenshot by CaseBug92496684

Screenshot by CaseBug92496684

Screenshot by CaseBug92496684

Screenshot by Gebetho

Screenshot by Machete3181

Screenshot by Flinty94

Screenshot by Flinty94

Screenshot by Tomlaut1980

Screenshot by CaseBug92496684

Screenshot by CinnamonAxis988

Screenshot by LiduRob

Screenshot by Simtom112

Screenshot by Simtom112

Screenshot by MendedSinger1920

Screenshot by IntentSlinky10

 

NEXT UPDATE – 06.25

Sincerely,

Microsoft Flight Simulator Team

11

June

2020

June 11th, 2020 Development Update

Posted by: Microsoft Flight Simulator Team

Screenshot by casebug92496684

“What happens when someone is playing the sim on a laptop aboard a plane flying in the same spot in the sim as in real life? Pretty sure it will tear a hole in the space time continuum.”

  • Reddit user r/microsoftflightsim

“Make him stay, Murph!

Don’t let me leave, Murph!

Don’t, don’t let me leave Murph!”

– MSFS TEAM

 

 

ALPHA 4 IS HERE!

We are excited to announce the release of Alpha 4 (build #1.4.2.0)!

 

Alpha 4 Patch Notes

Welcome the Microsoft Flight Simulator Alpha 4 (build 1.4.2.0)!

In this update you’ll find new content, bug fixes, and an updated list of known issues.

A note from the development team:

There are several fixes to our simulation of the B747 in this update. Most notably, the glass cockpit displays should be more accurate now and the overall autopilot functionality has been improved. Further visual improvements were made to the cockpits, airframe exterior, and to the visual effects. The overall experience has also undergone a polish pass.

Transversal fixes to improve both commercial planes, B747 and A320, have been implemented. Updates include V-Speed improvements, which should noticeably improve the flight performance, controls, and overall predictability during flight. Improvements were added to better represent your flight plan with more accurate calculations and visual representation in the displays.

The TBM 930 received a complete pass based on user feedback and improvements from our backlog.

Finally, the team has fixed lots and lots of bugs and added further polish across the entire experience. We still have room to improve, we look forward to your feedback.

New Content

FLIGHT MODEL – UNIVERSAL IMPROVEMENTS are ready to test!

With this update, we are happy to inform you that flight model updates have been applied to all our planes. We have made overall changes to the aerodynamics for the vertical and horizontal tail to make them behave more like wing surfaces and no longer like flat surfaces. This is a big change in that it completely changes the model behavior and required overall readjustment to all our planes. The expected result is that we now get more realistic elevator and rudder authority curves.

We also improved the weight and balance settings of all planes using better %MAC (percent mean aerodynamic chord) data.

General Summary of improvements:

  • Improved elevator and rudder authority for all planes
  • Improved pitch and yaw stability for all planes
  • Improved weight and balance for all planes
  • Improved stall behavior of all aircraft

CAMERA

A few improvements have been made to the cameras, let us know what you think:

  • Added inputs to allow you to control the cockpit camera’s backward and forward translations
    • Left/ right arrows: move left/ right
    • Up/ down arrows: move forward/ backward
    • ALT + up/ down arrows: move up/ down
  • Right Click + Drag now allows you to control freelook

OTHER

All users will have displayed only the build notes that relate to his latest version of the sim – previously all users would only see the build notes for the latest version release, even if that was not the build version installed.

Community Feedback and Fixes

THANK YOU FOR YOUR FEEDBACK!

Controls and Inputs: Some users were reporting issues with losing their control assignments, which would revert to default settings.

TBM 930: The speed and altitude trend line have been corrected from white from magenta

TBM 930: Yoke vibration issues reported when using the copilot

Peripherals: Corrected issues reported when using the Honeycomb yoke

Airport Issues Reported and Fixed:

  • AGY – planes started off center on runway 33 – now fixed
  • YALF – testers were not able to find YALF in the sim – YALF no longer exists and has been replaced by YMUN
  • YALM – was listed incorrectly and is now attributed to Allambie
  • YALM – planes started off to the side of the runway – now fixed
  • YALP – was listed incorrectly and is not attributed to Alpurrurlam
  • YALR – coordinates now correctly correspond to Pine Hill Airport
  • YALT – buildings were reported in the runway – now fixed
  • YALZ – was listed incorrectly and is now attributes to Balma Airport

Plane Specific Changes/Improvements

ALL

  • Overall focus in all areas to improve autopilot user experience and its effect on all the planes
  • All airliners had transitions that were not loading in the MCDU when creating a flight plan from world map

A320neo

  • Tuning of the trim – should be more realistic to the real-world experience and more balanced
  • Auto Thrust/Auto Pitch issue fixed that was affecting the user’s ability to maintain speed in strong head winds – this usually resulted in a stall
  • A320 engines will now start when following the checklist “starting engines” procedure

B747-8i

  • It was previously possible to have APU GEN and EXT POWER connected. Now they are exclusive.
  • Engine #1 and Engine #2 were reversed – they are now set correctly
  • User was unable to continue beyond page 2 of the route pages on the CDU
  • Changing the selected altitude while in Vertical Speed mode was not updating the target altitude

Bonanza G36

  • Activating the landing gear and/or flaps on approach no longer turns OFF the battery

C152

  •  Corrections to the altimeter

TBM 930

  • Aircraft would rock when following a flight plane with the Auto Pilot ON
  • FLC button now activates the FLC mode instead of the ALT mode
  • The flight plan now better matches what the user sets on the world map screen
  • The TBM930 engine no longer shuts down after a teleport

Airport Specific Changes

AIRPORTS

An additional improvement and completion passes have been made on the global airports to include missing content based on Bing Aerial imagery:

  • Taxiway logic and visual markers added
  • Surface types on airport runways, taxiways, and aprons updated
  • Parking areas for aircraft updated
  • Additional and improved ground markings on taxiways and aprons
  • Other general visual improvements

We have also run an additional pass on the ground texture colors of more than 12,000 airports to improve the integration with Bing data.

Bug Fixes and QoL Improvements

Stability

  •  Overall stability and framerate improvements

Airports

  • Llanbedr EGOD tower size corrected
  • Continue fixing issues with jetway placement – this is ongoing

Audio

  • Voices now switch correctly in tutorials when changing in mid-flight

Cameras

  • Overall camera improvements to improve FPS when moving around the inside of planes

Controls

  • Objective would fail to show inputs when cleared, now fixed

Performance

  • FPS improvements when loading sequences complete and during cutscenes

UI/UX

  • UI stability improved overall – menu logic corrected, profile losses
  • General attention to accessibility and user information – our ongoing objective here is to better inform your options when navigating the UI so your choices are more intuitive
  • TTS voice mismatch corrected during Take Off Flight Training
  • Autopilot had become inoperable when switching between Vertical Speed and Altitude in All Aircraft – this issue is now fixed

Weather

  • The effect that live weather wind would have on the planes was too strong and now better matches real world behavior
  • Unrealistic wind gusts were sometimes created when customizing settings – should be less frequent

World

  • World tiles – black stripes on world tile edges fixed

Known issues

AIRCRAFT

    • Users may experience issues with adjusting flight plans through the use of glass cockpits

AIRLINERS

  • The weather radar doesn’t currently draw in the Map Center

A320neo

  • Flight Director not working correctly when used without autopilot enabled
  • Airspeed at high altitude changes to KIAS target but should change to Mach target
  • Transitions to Mach speeds are not yet correct

B747-8i

  • When taking off from large airports, and using autopilot, may cause the plane to crash

DR400

  • Wheels disappear when on the ground

Grand Caravan

  • When completing the checklist, the engine does not start

TBM 930

  • When completing the checklist, the engine does not start

Airports

  • AYPY is currently missing building, tower, parking indicators
  • EDDF has jetways disconnect from the terminals
  • BIKF has some building issues reported by the community – we are working to fix these for the next update
  • KPAE has some building issues reported by the community – we are working to fix these for the next update
  • Continue fixing issues with jetway placement – this is ongoing

UI

  • Undocked panels not appearing correctly.

Lesson 3 Training

User is not currently informed that they have control of the plane at the start of the training session

 

You can discuss these release notes in the Forums here: https://forums.flightsimulator.com/t/alpha-4-patch-notes/90510

You can leave feedback on the various topics here: https://forums.flightsimulator.com/c/alpha-4-1-4-x-0-discussion/94

 

ALPHA INVITATIONS

New invitations are being sent out today! 

 

PARTNERSHIP SERIES UPDATE – INTRODUCING METEOBLUE!

 

SDK UPDATE

We continue to make good progress and plan to release an update to the SDK next week. We worked on improving the documentation as well. In addition, we are working on video tutorials to help illustrate usage of the SDK.

We added several new SDK samples showcasing:

  • Various Flight Simulator-specific glTF extensions/materials
  • Aerial images overriding on the terrain
  • Projected meshes on the ground
  • Vegetation biomes overriding

Progress is being made on the WebAssembly front as well.  Several WebAssembly extensions are being implemented, which should result in better performance. Static WebAssembly libraries can now be authored, and we are making progress on helper libraries designed to ease the transition of legacy C++ code to the new Flight Simulator architecture. SimConnect is getting more attention and we are fixing some bugs in it and started developing a test coverage framework to help identify regressions and make it more robust. HTML-based UI and aircraft instruments are now authored as separate packages, making it possible for third party developers to author their own HTML-based instruments. As real-world examples of SDK usage, we plan to share the source assets for both an official aircraft and a high quality airport as SDK samples.

 

FEEDBACK SNAPSHOT UPDATE

MORE AMAZING SCREENSHOTS FROM ALPHA TESTERS

Video by speedwoblz

Screenshot by Enroy#6981

Screenshot by lemetuk

Screenshot by CraftySeal55457

Screenshot by Lash123456

Screenshot by CraftySeal55457

Screenshot by Casebug92496684

Screenshot by Casebug92496684 

Screenshot by simtom112

Screenshot by AgatePolecat89

Screenshot by SlidHyrda647449

Screenshot by Casebug92496684

Screenshot by Stellar Runner

 

NEXT UPDATE – 06.18

Sincerely,

Microsoft Flight Simulator Team

04

June

2020

June 4th, 2020 Development Update

Posted by: Microsoft Flight Simulator Team

Screenshot by AgreeingBag5526

We are going to keep the update brief this week.

– MSFS TEAM

 

Here is an update on the current postponed deliverables:

  • PARTNERSHIP SERIES UPDATE  – We are down to our last postponed deliverable (Partnership Series). The team is working hard to deliver the next installment in the Partnership Series on 06.11, and remain excited to share with the community more about the amazing partners contributing to the next iteration of MSFS. 

 

ALPHA 4 COMING SOON!

 Alpha 4 is currently in the final testing stages. We will be prepping the build for release starting next week and currently tracking to release on 06.11 (fingers crossed) barring any unforeseen issues.

  • June 11th – Alpha 4 release
  • June 11th – Alpha 4 build notes release

 

ALPHA INVITATIONS

  •   Next round of invites being sent today!

 

DEVELOPMENT ROADMAP

The June preview of the Development Roadmap (0601) is here! If you are interested in checking out the preview version, please head into the Insider Area.

 

MORE AMAZING SCREENSHOTS FROM ALPHA TESTERS

Screenshot by Nightxpress6423

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Screenshot by Kpeterscr

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Screenshot by Anark1a2004tj

 

NEXT UPDATE – 06.11

Sincerely,

Microsoft Flight Simulator Team