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Now Available: Just Flight 146 Professional

The Microsoft Flight Simulator team is thrilled to announce the release of the Just Flight 146 Professional to the in-sim Marketplace (PC, USD $64.99). Made for simmers who demand the highest attention to detail and the most accurate representation of its real-life counterpart, this plane represents one of the first true “study level” airliners available from the Microsoft Flight Simulator Marketplace. 


The British Aerospace 146 emerged from the drawing board in 1973 to become one of the world’s first short-haul jetliners. It was designed in the UK to meet a market need for an intermediate plane larger than regional turboprops but smaller than the Boeing 737. Featuring a high-wing and t-tail configuration, the BAe 146 had its first flight in 1981 and entered operational service two years later. At the time of its introduction, the four Avco Lycoming ALF 502H engines powering the 146 made it one of the quietest jetliners in the world. British Aerospace capitalized on the plane’s lack of noise and marketed it under the name Whisperjet.  

Though it lacks thrust reversers, the 146 is capable of takeoffs and landing at short fields thanks to the inclusion of airbrakes placed below the vertical stabilizer. The airbrakes allow the 146 to descend at a steeper rate than similar planes and operate out of airports that wouldn’t be accessible to other jetliners. For many years, the BAe 146 was the only jet that flew from London City Airport (ICAO: EGLC). An optional gravel kit can be installed to allow the 146 to land and takeoff from rugged airstrips.  

The BAe 146 was produced in several different variants: the -100, -200, and -300 for passenger routes, the QT (“Quiet Trader”) version for air cargo, and the QC version that could be converted between passenger and freight configurations. Still in service today, more than 40 years after its first flight, the BAe 146 has flown for operators all over the world. Perhaps most famously, No. 32 Squadron of Britain’s Royal Air Force operated the 146 in a special VIP passenger configuration to transport members of the Royal Family and senior government officials.   

The Microsoft Flight Simulator team spoke with Martyn Northall from Just Flight for some of his thoughts about the 146 Professional. 

What are some of the features of the Just Flight 146 Professional that give it that extra degree of realism for the most demanding “study level” simmers?

At the core of any study level aircraft are the aircraft systems, and we have developed all of the 146 systems based entirely on the real-world FCOMs (operating manuals), in combination with direct input from real-world, current 146 pilots and engineers. The 146 is a slightly quirky aircraft to operate, especially for those simmers use to the more ubiquitous Airbus and Boeing types, and realistically simulating all those characteristics has resulted in a very immersive experience.  

Examples include the need for hydraulic system pressure to retract but not extend the integral airstairs, a unique Thrust Modulation System (TMS) instead of a conventional autothrottle with which simmers might be more familiar, custom autopilot with SYNC mode and an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) that is used for take-off, climb, approach and landing. All these details are simulated to a high degree of realism that allows you to operate it just like the real aircraft. 

Realistic flight dynamics are also crucial to achieving a study level simulation, and once again the 146 is quite unusual in its performance and handling characteristics, with excellent short-field performance (thanks to the giant airbrake, lift spoilers and powerful brakes) but relatively slow in the climb and cruise due to its regional jet design. I think we’ve managed to capture all those characteristics, again benefitting greatly from that real-world pilot input. 

We also consider the needs of simmers in particular, providing an EFB tablet and FMS with SimBrief and Navigraph integration, allowing you to import and view your flight plans and charts within the aircraft, as well as a moving map for monitoring your flight progress. Precise control over your payloads, fuel and CG are also provided by the EFB. 

In summary, this is an aircraft that can be flown very realistically using real-world manuals and performance data. 

Just Flight has previously released the 146 Professional for other flight simulators. What changes and upgrades have you brought to the new version for Microsoft Flight Simulator? 

We’ve spent many months working to develop a 146 that takes full advantage of all the benefits and new features that MSFS has to offer, and lives up to the expectations the community has of our aircraft following the PA28s and Hawk T1. We made a decision at the very start of our involvement with MSFS to rework our aircraft from the ground up, and hundreds of improvements and new features cover every area of the 146 – systems, visuals, sounds, new liveries and much more. 

The stunning MSFS environment has freed us from the limitations of other simulators when it comes to modelling and texturing something as complex and detailed as the 146. 8K textures are now used in the cockpit to provide incredible clarity, which is especially beneficial in an aircraft with hundreds of controls and instruments! On the exterior, it’s even been possible to use ‘decals’ to make small placards on the undercarriage readable, all of this whilst maintaining excellent performance. 

Whilst our artists were busy working on those extensive visual upgrades, our coders worked closely with our testers and real-world pilots to ensure the aircraft systems behave as close as possible to the FCOMs, with their thousands of pages of systems descriptions. Every system has been tweaked, expanded and improved, with new systems including flight idle baulks, DME hold and 8.33KHz spaced radios, to auxiliary fuel tanks for longer-range flights.  

I think that the sound environment is one of the most noticeable upgrades, thanks to the very powerful Wwise sound engine that MSFS provides. Rather than simply ‘porting’ the existing sound set (or any part of our aircraft for that matter), we instead developed a brand new Wwise sound set with over 450 custom sounds, from the engine igniters and windscreen wipers, to the sun visors and cupholders! 


Your team had hands-on access to a real BAe 146 (registration number G-JEAO, now on display at the de Havilland Aircraft Museum in Hertfordshire, UK). How did this benefit the development of the Just Flight 146 Professional? 

Getting hands-on access to a real aircraft is essential for all our in-house developed aircraft and it’s one of the first steps in any new project. It allows us to photograph every inch of the aircraft, inside and out, and those photos then form the basis of our modelling and texturing, ensuring that the finished product is a very close match to real thing (down to scratches and peeling labels!). There are many details that you just couldn’t get without that access, even with the vast array of online resources available nowadays.  

We were also fortunate enough to be invited to tour the 146s of the Royal Air Force, 32 (The Royal) Squadron at RAF Northolt, just before the Covid pandemic put a halt to research trips. There we spent the day recording thousands of cockpit and exterior sounds from which our Wwise sound set was created. 

Trips such as that also allow us to build relationships with the real-world pilots and engineers who then go on to participate in the development and testing of the product, which really is essential when simulating an aircraft to this degree of realism. 

As a complex airliner with a 260-page PDF manual, learning how to realistically fly the 146 Professional is no easy task. What is the best way for new pilots to get started with this plane? 

The 146, like all our aircraft, comes with a detailed and easy-to-follow tutorial flight which will guide you through an entire flight from A-to-B, providing you with an opportunity to get familiarised with all the key features and systems of the aircraft. That is an excellent stepping stone to the rest of the manual. 

We have provided tutorial videos on our YouTube channel  and there are already numerous videos available, including full flights from ‘cold and dark’, from popular YouTubers and Twitch streams. Those alone will allow you to operate the 146 with confidence.  

It’s worth noting that, although the 146 is a relatively complex aircraft, we developed it to be accessible to simmers of all experience levels. We include full support for the MSFS checklist system, allowing you to either work through the checklists or follow along as the virtual co-pilot carries them out. The EFB tablet allows you to automatically configure the aircraft, so you can get airborne in seconds if you wish, and the autostart (Ctrl+E) assignment is even supported. We also include a variety of features and options to reduce workload, such as automatic ground idle and altimeter setting synchronisation. 

The Just Flight 146 Professional is available from the in-sim Marketplace now for PC players. Sim pilots who want to experience one of the most realistic jetliners available in Microsoft Flight Simulator won’t want to miss this highly detailed plane!