Friday, April 16, 2010

Captain Sim Announces B-52 Driver

Captain Sim has apparently decided that sufficient interest exists in a full version of their B-52 BUFF that they will go ahead and model the interior and systems now! Not all systems will be present, but it looks like quite a few will. Should be a fun way to get the look and feel of flying a real B-52.

Very cool.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Coming Attractions, Spring 2010 Edition

Every now and then it's fun to take a look at the upcoming products in the Flight Sim world. It's no secret that most of our favorite developers have been hard at work on bringing us more great planes to fly. Some have been upfront about announcing their products, while others have been a bit more coy. Here is a recap of what we know is in the pipeline:
  • PMDG 737 NGX - this is the eagerly-anticipated 737 NG series for FSX from PMDG. PMDG has promised lots of new features and functionality that will no doubt rock our worlds. Should be out sometime later this year, if all goes well. I can't wait!
  • PMDG 777 - after the 737 NGX takes flight, PMDG will bring us a 777. Due to commonality with the 737 NG flight deck, PMDG claims that the 777 should not take terribly long to produce. I am really stoked about this one. We are way overdue for a high-quality 777 in FSX. The PMDG 747X is really nice, but a dwindling number of airlines are still flying the 747 for passenger ops these days. Should be out late this year or sometime next year.
  • PMDG Dash-8 - this will be the successor to the J41 in the PMDG turboprop line. I believe they are starting with the -100 series and working their way up. I sure hope they do a Q400 someday -- would love to see a great Q400 in FSX! PMDG has mentioned that development of this one has slowed a bit due to resources being diverted toward the NGX, so it will probably be next year before we see this one.
  • PMDG Secret Projects #1 and #2 - PMDG has also hinted that they have two additional secret projects in the skunkworks, but they haven't told us what they are yet. Will be interesting to see what else they are cooking up over there...
  • Airsimmer A320 Advanced Edition - Airsimmer has been a very controversial topic over in the forums for the last few months. They seem to have bungled the A320 Basic Edition, and there seems to be some concern whether they will last long enough to get the full A320 Advanced Edition out for FS9 and FSX before they fold as a going concern. I sure hope they make it, because I would love to see a high-quality Airbus simulation for FSX. But who knows when we'll see this one?
  • CoolSky Secret Project - Espen has confirmed that they are working on something new over at CoolSky. Wonder what it is? Speculation ranges from a DC-9 to a 717 to something totally out of left field. Who knows? If I were a betting man, I would put my money on a DC-9, as it shares some similarities with their Super 80 series. But who knows? Maybe we'll find out later this year.
  • Level-D 757 - Level-D gave us a teaser screenshot of the 757 flight deck last year, and it looked very nice. No word on how things are progressing, though. Wonder if this will be the year that the Level-D 757 finally takes flight?
  • Flight1 Secret Project - McPhat Studios has mentioned that someone over at Flight1 is also working on something interesting. It's unclear if it is one of their partner development houses (CoolSky, Level-D, etc.) or something totally different. Keep watching!
  • Digital Aviation CRJ - DA gave a surprise update on the CRJ toward the beginning of the year. Turned out that they had some personnel issues with regard to the staffing of the development team for the CRJ, so progress has been slower than planned. Will be interesting to see if they can get it back on track and out the door sometime soon. I thought their Fokker 70/100 series was a very nice add-on, and I would love to see them (or somebody) do a high-quality CRJ.
  • feelThere Secret Project - rumors abound that feelThere! is working on something new, too.
  • Wilco Piaggio Avanti - this one should be out hopefully any day now. It's already up on their website, with pricing and everything listed. Just not accepting orders yet. Looks like a very interesting plane, and I would definitely be interested in picking this one up.
  • Captain Sim 707 Captain - Captain Sim recently made a big splash announcement about this one. Looks like the natural successor to the 727 add-on. Some nifty new features have been announced, including an INS on some variants. Very nice! Can't wait to enter the jet age with the 707! They are hoping to get this one out later this year.
  • Captain Sim 767-400 - We know they are working on this variant of the 767 as well, which requires an entirely different flight deck compared to their earlier 767 models. Wonder if they will be ready to unveil the -400 series this year?
And as always, expect a few nice unexpected surprises along the way, too. Wonder what else is in store?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Captain Sim Officially Announces 707 Captain, Poll

Captain Sim is apparently readying the 707 Captain (FSX) for release sometime later this year, if all goes well. They have set up a new forum for discussion on the 707 here. Also, you can vote in an online poll as to which 707 variants you would like to see released. They are definitely planning the 707-320B, 707-320ADV, 707-300C, VC-137C, and E-3A (AWACS) variants, and are gauging customer interest in others. If your favorite 707 is not in this list, here is your chance to make your voice heard!

Other fun tidbits from the new forum:
  • Captain Sim is planning a preview of the 707 Captain sometime later this month.
  • The 707 (or at least some variants of it) will include an INS.
Looking forward to this one! Should be another great year in flight simulation, along with PMDG's exciting projects, plus whatever the hardworking folks over at CoolSky, feelThere, and Flight1 are up to these days.