The Flight Simulator Live Developer Q&A that was streamed today brought some exciting news, besides the usually honest and open feedback and answers provided by Jorg Newmann, Sebastian Wloch and Martial Bossard, representing Asobo and Microsoft.
The first big news is the reveal that the next World Update will be focused on the Nordic countries: Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland. As usual you can expect a series of improvements to the overall scenery in these countries. Some of them have been revealed, and include famous locations such as Ylisto bridge, Olavinlinna Castle, Kiruna Church, Arctic Cathedral, Viking Stadium, and much more.
The goal is to have World Update V: The Nordics releasing in June, at the latest, but we should get more details about this in the coming weeks.
Remember, in case you just missed it, today was the release day of the World Update IV, which is dedicated to the regions of France and Benelux. So, Europe is getting a lot of attention from the Flight Simulator developers, with three World Updates straight.
Even more surprisingly is the introduction of two brand new airplanes from the Flight Simulator team. And they are two completely different beats: the ATR 42-600/72-600, a regional turboprop airliner, and the Top Rudder Just 103 Solo, an ultralight that should be particularly cool to fly in VR!
Starting with the ATR 42-600 and 72-600, these are being developed by the legendary Hans Hartmann, who recently worked on the excellent CRJ Series from Aerosoft. Hans is a well known freelance developer who worked on the Flight1 ATR for Flight Simulator 2004 and FSX, a celebrated airplane that set many standards at its time.
Development of the ATR is in its early days, and we should not expect a release any time soon. The team is aiming for a 2022 release, so patience is key here. Note that the goal here is to create a complex simulation, with features that were never before possible for the previous version of the ATR.
Hans and the rest of the team is counting with the enthusiastic support of ATR themselves, the Franco-Italian company behind the homonymous airplane. Work with the modelling is now advancing, but things are expected to take its time, so we will surely be getting more information in the near future about the development of the ATR for MSFS and its progress.
The second aircraft to be revealed is the Top Rudder Just 103 Solo, a curious ultralight that was surely missing from MSFS. This one is coming out really soon, on April 27!
The Just 103 Solo features some interesting characteristics, starting with its engine, which is a very small unit with a clutch. This means that if RPM drops below a certain level, the propeller will stop, sort of like a manual transmission car. These features are a new thing that will be available for third-party developers to implement on their airplanes.
The Just 103 Solo should be a particularly great experience in VR, since it provides a clear view down. And since it’s very slow, it’s perfect to absorb the beautiful scenery that MSFS is capable to provide.
The Just 103 Solo will have a price tag, currently estimated at around $9.99. There were no details about pricing for the ATR, but it seems acceptable to expect some kind of pricing for that too.
So, what do you think? Surprised by any of the announcements made by Asobo and Microsoft today? Let us know in the comments below!