14

May

2020

May 14th, 2020 Development Update

Posted by: Microsoft Flight Simulator Team

“Boeing 747-8i, you are cleared for takeoff.”

– MSFS TEAM

 

Here is an update on the current postponed deliverables:

  • MAY 28th – EPISODE 8 (IFR) is our current target release date.
  • EARLY JUNE – Partnership Series update will be released.

 

ALPHA 3 HAS BEEN RELEASED!

The team is excited to announce that we have released Alpha 3 (build 1.3.9.0) today!

 

BUILD NOTES:

 

NEW CONTENT – BOEING 747-8i

747-8i Known Issues we are in the process of addressing in the coming weeks:

FLIGHT MANAGEMENT AND GUIDANCE SYSTEMS

  • There may be discrepancies between the world map flight plan and the FMC which may lead to navigation issues
  • Stall speeds are lower than expected. This results in an early rotation and lower takeoff speeds than expected.
  • Take Off sequence modes and FMA display may not work as expected
  • Flight director may behave erratically during flight
  • Autothrottle is work in progress and can behave differently than expected
  • Autothrottle disconnect warning should disappear when A/THR disconnect button is pressed for the second time
  • Target altitude may not be observed by the aircraft
  • Altitude constraints can be over-shot
  • Pressing the SEL switch to change speed unit display may change the target airspeed
  • Aircraft can lose some altitude during turns
  • Aircraft can slightly slip/skid during turns managed by the AP
  • AP heading change through 180 degrees should not reverse the current turn direction
  • Aircraft may present some rocking movements during flight
  • Aircraft may not be well aligned with runway during ILS approach
  • LOC mode is not currently implemented
  • MCP THR button is not implemented
  • MCP FPV button is not implemented

DISPLAYS

  • Current VS is not displayed by steps of 50 on the PFD
  • Target altitude displayed on the PFD may be inconsistent with the one aimed by the aircraft
  • Target airspeed can be inconsistent between PFD target and MCP target values
  • Target airspeed and altitude can disappear from PFD
  • VOR/ADF bearing pointers may be missing on ND depending on selected modes
  • Weather radar doesn’t draw in Map Center mode
  • Weather radar is drawn in Plan mode on ND
  • Aircraft symbol can appear offset compared to flight plan course on ND
  • MCP altitude setting steps should change depending on flaps settings
  • CDU legs section is missing some information
  • CDU Flight plan should change only when EXE is clicked
  • In CDU leg section, Time Cruise and Time descent look as “hard” waypoints which can cause issues with the other waypoints if the flight plan
  • CDU RAD NAV page does not fill up the corresponding frequency during approach
  • CDU legs section can show non existing waypoints
  • Some routes may be ignored in the CDU route page
  • Incorrect values are displayed for flaps in CDU Take-Off page
  • Thrust reference limit is missing from the EICAS display
  • G/S FMA mode can disappear or replaced by another mode despite being still active

GRAPHICS

  • A placard is missing on the windshield center pillar
  • Some parts of the RH tiller may be missing
  • Black spots can appear and move on the windshield
  • The cockpit flood lights are inoperative
  • Wiper animation can disappear depending on the camera zoom level
  • Aircraft wheels have animation issues
  • Landing gear and wings can show animation issues during cinematics
  • Nav lights can be invisible or blinking depending on the camera angle
  • Airframe shows texture issues when zooming out

OTHER SYSTEMS

  • Brakes may remain engaged after landing
  • Speedbrakes may be too effective
  • Landing lights switches shouldn’t be moving after take-off
  • Icing of the aircraft can happen without icing conditions

MISC.

  • Autothrottle is reset to 0 when retaking focus on window
  • There is no camera to see the TO/GA switches
  • Callout « V1 » is missing during take off roll
  • Open door input does not open all doors
  • The center of gravity info is no longer displayed in the weight and balance page

Plane Specific Changes/Improvements

A320

  • Fixed AP LVL OFF, no longer makes the aircraft overshoot target speed as badly
  • Activating APPR PHASE no longer incorrectly commands the plane to change heading
  • No longer missing audio for all transmitter buttons
  • Constraint Altitudes on the MFD now match the FMS info (real approach info) + Speeds constraints are no longer missing in FMS
  • Waypoints are no longer duplicated in the FMS
  • AP now commands nose high enough on climb out
  • FD can now be selected on the ground
  • Fuel pipes are no longer visible during the RTC
  • Autothrust & Pitch behavior no longer lead to stall
  • VS mode improvements made
  • Aircraft no longer rocks left and right when AP is on
  • Autopilot is now less aggressive
  • Now able to toggle between Managed and Selected Heading Mode in A320
  • SIDs, STARs and approaches now selectable
  • Live weather and preset change no longer cause wrong stall speed to be displayed in PFD
  • Take off rotations improved
  • Flaring behavior improved
  • Selected speed now shows up on speedtape
  • Enabling the FD no longer makes the FMA vertical mode and target altitude blink
  • Approach speed calculations are more accurate
  • Now captures glideslope with APPR mode
  • Pitch no longer too high during cruise at high altitude
  • Easier to reach target airspeed while climbing
  • ILS: approach mode now captures localizer and follows glideslope
  • Reverse thrust now working
  • FMA no longer switches mode constantly while turning ALT mode in FCU
  • Autopilot: bank angle is now the same on a left turn than on a right turn in A320

TBM 930

  • Aircraft can now teleport when full of fuel
  • Aircraft tuned to address too much power at idle
  • FLC button now activates FLC mode instead of ALT mode in the TBM 930
  • No longer difficult to fly with FSX flight model
  • Reverse thrust now works above 30 kts in the TBM
  • VS dial is no longer reversed.

G58

  • Propellers now match RPM of aircraft

DA62

  •  Fuel Pump Failure now affects the plane

DR400

  • Aircraft now rolls more easily with FSX flight model

C152

  • Wing strobe light sources are now able to be seen

Xcub

  • Can no longer take fuel on both tanks.
  • Prop RPM lever tooltip no longer always displays 0%.

C172 G1000

  • Now climbs at around Vy when pitched 10-degrees nose up in standard conditions

General

  • Ice no longer remains on any aircraft once conditions outside are no longer freezing / icing
  • Scale of G1000 (VFR) map is addressed
  • Increasing pitch oscillations leading to crash or stall of plane on autopilot no longer occur

Airport Specific Changes

Since last Alpha build, more than 7600 generic airports have been updated and improved. This update mainly consists in the implementation of:

  • Taxiways logic and visuals
  • Surface types on airports runways, taxiways and aprons (First Pass)
  • Aircrafts parking spots
  • Ground markings on taxiways and aprons
  • Other minor visual improvements
  • All of this is based on Bing Aerial imagery

Additionally, the following improvements have been implemented:

  • Many airports had missing or floating features that are now corrected
  • MRSN Sirena Station Airport crashes are now fixed
  • Missing ATC instruction has been corrected
  • EGLL – Star Arrivals were missing in the worldmap

Bug Fixes and QoL Improvements

Stability

  • Several Crashes and fixes
  • Game no longer crashes when placing external panel out of screen
  • Loading into MRSN Sirena Station Airport no longer results in crashes
  • Processes no longer remain running in background after exiting / closing
  • Memory use and fps improvements

Airports

  • Bespoke assets are no longer floating or missing at many airports
  • Small Bespoke airports no longer have distorted Runways
  • Missing buildings added in Chicago-O’Hare airport
  •  Missing buildings added in Frankfurt am Main Airport
  • HUEN main buildings are now spawning
  • Bugalaga Airstrip terrain is no longer extremely hilly/uneven
  • [CYTZ] no longer displays placeholder name on the worldmap
  • [TNCS] is no longer missing bespoke buildings
  • [1sc2] Terrain issues resolved
  • [EDDN] No longer has a missing tower
  • [BIKF] no longer has terrain issues
  •  [EDDW] End of runway lights 23/5 are no longer the wrong type
  • [KPSP] No longer has a missing tower
  • [GOBD] Taxi way signs corrected
  • [KSAN] Control tower added
  •  [EDDN] Nuremberg Airport spawned aircraft at Parking 46no longer results in a plane crash

ATC

  • ATC now does a better job accounting for the flow of live traffic when issuing user their take-off / landing clearances
  • COM1 no longer defaults to 122.9 at start of each flight regardless of departure airport

Cameras

  • Behavior of External Quickview Left / Right has been simplified

Flight Model

  • Several Aircraft now feel better to fly when using FSX flight model (see specific planes for updates)

Multiplayer

  • Users are no longer instantly kicked from a group as soon as it is created.
  • Issue with some group members not being visible while in gameplay is resolved

Peripherals

  • Added default control / command mappings for unrecognized peripherals
  • Two joysticks with the same name are now both visible
  • Assigned controls are no longer missing when initially selecting XINPUT Gamepad in the Controls Menu.
  • After clearing assigned bindings, a controller can now be used to Search by Input
  • Scroll wheel input name is no longer confusing in Controls
  • Apply & Save now saves changes in the Controls screen
  • Key/Button Bindings can now be changed for all peripherals after making a change and validating a command.
  • Thrustmaster Warthog Stick default binding no longer has double binding
  • Key bindings no longer reset to original binding after validation
  • Input fields no longer fail to show on the scan window
  • New Input changed on the scan window are no longer written as Undefined
  • Player is now able to change keys after having created a new profile
  • Player is no longer stuck in the Options because a Validate button appears instead of the Resume
  • Changes to key bindings are now saved
  • Options settings are now saved between sessions
  • Peripheral input no longer lost after searching for commands in Controls screen
  • Sim no longer crashes after removing / deleting a control mapping
  • Scan can no longer fails when searching for specific elements on the Controls Menu
  • ”Create New Profiles from Current Selection” no longer pops 2-3 times when creating a new profile by changing keys in the Default profile
  • Peripheral sensitivity settings now save between launches of sim
  • Sim now allows duplicate profile names for a peripheral in Controls screen
  • Selecting “Validate” after resetting a default binding in Controls now works.
  • In Game controls now work when reassigning input while flying
  • Sim no longer crashes on launch after creating new / custom peripheral profile
  • Device images in controls menu, and controls in game panel and onboarding are now improved

UI/UX

  • New Flight Simulator Icon added
  • Content manager issues now resolved when not using the default install path
  • Assistance is displayed correctly in the Fourth Page of the Onboarding
  • Installation issues between Alpha no longer cause problems
  • Checking for updates screen no longer results in some users being locked
  • Hangar aircraft now updated after changing on worldmap
  • Xbox Login dialogue is no longer displayed over the Main Menu.
  • Users can now sign back in after signing out on the Alpha
  • Client no longer Freezes or must be relaunched when Resetting the Build.
  • Aircraft specs displayed correctly in the menus
  • Worldmap: Time adjustment is no longer locked after switching from live weather to custom preset
  • Assistance Notifications being set to easy no longer cause the title to crash when loading into flight
  • Gust settings in Weather panel are clearer.

User Experience

  • There are issues with the TTS voice on the Take-off Flight Training when using the Female Voice
  • 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 free flight 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
  • Objectives are easier to follow when changing devices during the Basic Controls Flight Training
  • Flight Lesson #3 1st objective can now be completed while inside Third Person/Outside Camera Mode,
  • Attitude Indicator now correctly displays when highlighted in training
  • Users no longer despawn / respawn when looking at the instruments during the Attitudes & Instruments Flight Training
  • If the player fails to take off correctly during the Takeoff Flight Training, neither of the double objectives can remain green (as if validated)
  • Free Flight at POI locations or Airports in Japan flight start improvements
  • User is now able to continue gameplay using the cockpit camera after crashing and restarting the flight in “Flight Training”.

Various bug fixing & improvements

  • Airport Ground Crew AI (Worker Density) no longer defaults to 0 on default (high-end) settings

Weather

  • Several Weather improvements

World

  • Worked on trees overlapping with buildings
  • Service vehicle driver animations improved
  • Increased draw distance/ LOD switching for windsocks
  • [ICAO] – improvements made

Known issues

  • Some jetways are misplaced at airports (Mostly Fixed)
  • Black stripes can be visible on the side of different world tiles
  • FPS tends to drop after the end of a loading sequence 
  • FPS tends to drop during intro cutscenes
  • 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
  • The TTS voice during the Take Off Flight Training audio and subtitles are mismatched
  • 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.
  • Autopilot can become inoperable when switching between Vertical Speed and Altitude in All Aircrafts.
  • Switching instructor models midflight (in tutorials) will not switch the instructor voices.
  • If you are upgrading from a version older than 1.2.5.0 you will need to fully uninstall before installing this update
  • There are potential installation and update issues if the install path contains ‘Extended Unicode characters.’ For now, we recommend installation paths containing standard Roman alphabet letters and numbers only.

 

ALPHA INVITATIONS

Alpha invitations are being sent starting today!

  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.

SDK UPDATE

Our focus on the SDK development has been intensified in recent weeks and the SDK is getting more mature as we improve it based on the feedback we receive from 3rd party developers. We are now in contact with more than 200 companies and 400+ developers have access to the SDK.

On the airports side, we are both widening the scope of what can be customized in the sim (e.g. adding the possibility to blend custom aerial imagery on the terrain, creating custom painted lines per airport) and working towards simplifying the adaptation of existing assets to the new simulator (e.g. adding support for projecting meshes).

On the aircraft side, we are working closely with 3rd party developers to ease the transition to WebAssembly and glTF. Just as with airports, we are both extending the possibilities of what can be customized and working to ease the porting of existing assets to the new simulator. We also improve our support for WebAssembly by implementing specification proposals that focus on performance.

The in-game developer mode is also seeing a lot usability improvements based on feedback from the 3rd party developers community. Overall, it’s a great journey we are on and many developers are giving us a peak what they are working on and it’s amazing. We can’t way to share more about our 3rd part partners and their creations in the coming months.

 

DEVELOPMENT ROADMAP

 

MORE AMAZING SCREENSHOTS FROM ALPHA TESTERS

 

Video by ExpressTomato52

Screenshot by Shep0629

Screenshot by ExpressTomato52

Screenshot by Trainplane3

Screenshot by Trainplane3

Screenshot by OperatorLand468

Screenshot by WhiteLight506

Screenshot by Hallucinate0wls

Screenshot by Hallucinate0wls

Screenshot by ImRealSerial

Screenshot by PlumbingStar6

Screenshot by SoapyDiamond333

Screenshot by WoodedCoot31410

Screenshot by ExpressTomato52

 

NEXT UPDATE – 05.21

Sincerely,

Microsoft Flight Simulator Team

P.S. – Just to set the record straight…