Thursday, March 31, 2011

PMDG Promises the NGX Is Near!

Today, Captain Robert Randazzo of PMDG gave the fans a major update on the status of the 737 NGX.  And the news is all good - it seems we will be scheduling our delivery flights of the NGX very, very soon.

I don't know about you, but I'm as giddy as a schoolboy on Christmas Eve.  Been looking forward to this one for a long, long time - and it definitely looks like it will be worth the wait.

Friday, March 25, 2011

FlightSimLabs Updates Progress on Airbus Project

FlightSimLabs has just given the fans a nice glimpse of their progress on their Airbus series!  It sounds like they are really going all out in terms of detail.  They have even thrown in a screenshot to tide us over for a while...


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

PMDG Putting Finishing Touches on 737 NGX

Captain Robert Randazzo of PMDG reassured everyone in a forum post that the NGX is on track, and nearing completion.  He promises to offer more of an update later in the week.  Stay tuned!

Interestingly, many PMDG developers have already moved onto the next project.  Presumably, this is the 777 and/or Dash-8.

The Boeing 747-8i Takes Flight!

In real-world aviation news, Boeing conducted a successful maiden test flight of the 747-8i in Washington State today!  Very cool.

CoolSky Gives Preview of DC-9

After McPhat let the cat out of the bag about the CoolSky/McPhat/Flight1 DC-9 in the works, CoolSky recently put up a tasty preview of the DC-9 project.  Enjoy!

Going to be a fun bird to fly!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Captain Sim Gives An Update on the 737 Captain

Captain Sim has posted some more screenshots of their 737 Captain work-in-progress.  Nice, nice, very nice...

Looks like they are making great progress with it.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Wilco Delays Airbus Evolution

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that Wilco was in the process of updating the Airbus Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 series to the Airbus Evolution.  Well, apparently the update did not go quite as planned.  The release date slipped to March 7...and as of now, has slipped again to March 28.

I'm guessing this didn't go according to plan.  Hopefully they can sort it all out soon...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Flight1 Combines Super 80 and Super 80 Pro Editions Into New Bundle

As we eagerly await the forthcoming Coolsky/McPhat DC-9, Flight1 has announced a new product bundle for the Coolsky Super80: the Super80 Ultimate Edition.  This is a boxed-only edition that combines both the Coolsky Super80 and Super80 Pro into a single box, at a great price of US $69.95.  The two products are also available as downloads for US $39.95 and US $54.95, respectively.  Quite the bargain.

Captain Sim Announces 707 Captain Expansions, Base Pack Price Cut, Update

Captain Sim released three expansion models for their 707 Captain: the 300C cargo variant, the VC-137 (original Air Force One) variant, and the E-3 Sentry military surveillance variant.  Cost of each expansion model is €9.99, or around US $14.

Captain Sim has also slashed the price of the 707-300 base pack, which is required for all the expansion models.  Previously €59.99, it has been slashed by €30 to €29.99 now.  That works out to around US $42.

The 707 base pack has also been updated to v1.3, which contains some more bugfixes and enhancements over the previous version.

The 707 Captain is a great plane, so definitely jump on this one if you are a fan of the classics.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

And Speaking of PMDG...

They put some more screenshots of the 737 NGX up this evening.


Coming Attractions, Early 2011 Edition

2011 is shaping up to be another great year for the Flight Simulator X community.  As it has been a while since we last did this, let's take a brief look at the projects currently in the pipeline, along with any known information about release.  Note that these dates are purely speculative, and might even be totally false.  PLEASE do not bother the publishers working on these products!

  • PMDG 737 NGX - PMDG has showed off some impressive screenshots of this bird recently.  This is one of the products I am really looking forward to this year.  The realism will be unprecedented for a flight sim aircraft.  Can't wait to get my hands on it.  While it has been delayed substantially since the original target timeframe, I get the sense that PMDG has expanded the project and added substantial new features since the original timetable was conceived.  Nonetheless, it wouldn't surprise me to see this one hit the streets sometime this summer.  However, PMDG is flight sim equivalent to the Paul Masson winery: they will sell no airplanes before it's time!  We will just have to wait (im)patiently until they are satisfied that they have a release-quality product.
  • PMDG 777 - This one will reuse some elements of the 737 NGX, and PMDG estimated at one point that it would take approximately six months to do a 777 after they release the 737 NGX.  If that still holds, maybe we will be flying the 777 by Christmas.  Then again, with PMDG, who knows?  We'll just have to wait.
  • PMDG Dash-8 - This is the successor to the BAe Jetstream 4100 in the PMDG turboprops line.  Given that PMDG mentioned that they have committed most of their resources to the 737 NGX project, I suspect this one isn't terribly far along.  Perhaps we will see this one sometime in 2012.  We do know that PMDG is starting with an older Dash-8 variant.  I sure hope they (or somebody) will do a Q400 eventually, as those have arguably become the most popular variant of the Dash-8 flying nowadays.
  • Digital Aviation/Aerosoft CRJ-700/900 Series - This is another one I am eagerly anticipating.  CRJs are almost ubiquitous with the regional jet carriers in the USA and Europe.  After Digital Aviation went under, Aerosoft stepped in to help rescue the project.  Aerosoft appears to be working on the 3D model, while the former Digital Aviation guys are working on the systems.  The modeling part appears to be finished, and now we are we are simply waiting for the systems part to be done.  Perhaps we will see this one out this summer as well.  So far, the screenshots we have seen look very nice.
  • QualityWings Boeing 787 - This is a very interesting project, given that the 787 itself is still in development.  I am curious to see how closely the QualityWings 787 will resemble the real thing.  I suspect this will be a "lite" product a la the QualityWings 757 series, where they greatly simplify (read: inop) most of the systems on the aircraft.  No idea when this one will be available, but 2012 or later wouldn't surprise me.
  • QualityWings BAe 146/Avro RJ Series - I am actually really looking forward to this one.  I have been hoping someone would do a BAe 146 for a long time.  Even though we don't see the BAe 146 much in the USA anymore, it still serves as a workhorse in many European regional carriers' fleets.  It is such a unique and interesting bird, compared to a typical CRJ or ERJ.  QualityWings has promised to up the ante on realism with this one, and I hope they deliver.  QualityWings says that this one will be out in Q3 2011.
  • FlightSimLabs Airbus Series - This is another one I am really excited about, although the newly-updated Airbus series from Wilco may give it a run for its money.  Still, a lot of people say that even the updated Wilco Airbus series isn't necessarily realistic.  FlightSimLabs did a great job with the Concorde-X, and I suspect they will do a killer Airbus eventually, too.  I wouldn't be surprised if we didn't see this one until 2012, though, as FSL has yet to release any previews or much in the way of information about the project yet at this point.
  • CoolSky/McPhat DC-9 - As I mentioned yesterday, McPhat let slip early in February that they are helping CoolSky do a Virtual Cockpit for a DC-9.  This makes total sense as a successor to the Super 80 product.  This represents an expansion of McPhat's capabilities, as they previously just did repaints.  Very exciting to see!  No idea when the DC-9 will take to the virtual skies, as we have yet to see any previews.  Could be later this year, or sometime next year.  You may recall that Sky Simulations/Aerosoft did a decent DC-9 for FSX a while back.
  • Captain Sim 737 Captain - Captain Sim has announced they are taking on the Baby Boeing - the 737-100 and -200 series!  They have some early previews of the external model up recently, and they are looking great.  Maybe we will see this one toward the end of 2011.
  • Airsimmer Airbus Advanced Edition for FSX - I would like to take these guys seriously, but I have heard too many negative things.  I sincerely hope they will pull it out, and prove all the naysayers wrong.
  • Level-D Simulations 757 - I know this one has been something of a running joke in the flight sim community; akin to the flight sim equivalent of the Duke Nukem Forever game, or Guns 'N Roses' Chinese Democracy album.  Could this be the year that Level-D finally delivers the 757?  Who knows?
  • feelThere! - We know they are hard at work on the ATC 2011 suite, and a scenery project.  Wonder if they have any plans to do any more aircraft?  We shall see...
Let me know if I've missed anything else exciting in the world of aircraft add-ons for FSX.  Enjoy!