In a thread on the official Flight Simulator Forums, Damian Clark from HiFi Technologies, makers of popular weather engine Active Sky, has seemingly confirmed that the team is working on bringing their popular software to MSFS.
Talking about the idea of the sim’s weather being more open to third-party devs, Damian said:
Well it’s obvious they are indirectly encouraging non-SDK weather access techniques (3 popular wx add-ons now), so we have already begun doing that as well. We could have done that a long time ago but at least we are on track now that we know we’ll never have MSFS developer support or SDK access. It’s no big deal, we are quite used to having our “toes stepped on” and then some in this very tough industry. But users demand better weather experiences, and we think we can deliver, so we keep at it, despite incredible challenges. As long as our customers keep asking for more, we’ll keep working hard.-Damian @ HiFi
So, it seems pretty clear that HiFi is working on something.
Interestingly, on a more detailed discussion over at AVSIM, Damian also stated that the lack of support for weather functions in the SDK isn’t something that prevents the development of third-party weather apps (as we’ve seen from those that have been released already), although official support would definitely be welcome.
Also, about the apparent delay in announcing their plans for MSFS, Damian confessed the team was listening for the public statements from Microsoft and Asobo, asking developers to “wait”, because they were not done yet with the weather system. Now, tired of waiting for official support, and since third-party support for weather apps now seems to not be planned anymore, HiFi will wait no longer and will start working on his own product.
Damian also said that they are trying to bring to MSFS as many core features (and a few new ones) as possible from Active Sky, most of which are not included in the sim.
There’s still no formal announcement, but that will hopefully come at a later stage. Until then we have to patiently wait, knowing that Active Sky is arguably the most respected weather engine that has been available in consumer flight sims, and it’s definitely exciting to see what Damian and his team are going to come up with for the new Flight Simulator.