Update, May 13 – As promised, SoFly released ‘Landing Challenge Pro‘ today. You can read our first impression below (they are good!), or simply go get it.
SoFly announced their next product for Flight Simulator just a few days ago. Titled ‘Landing Challenge Pro‘, this is essentially a collection of 30 new landing challenges that you can try in MSFS, testing your skills in a variety of conditions.
We had the chance to try a pre-release copy of ‘Landing Challenge Pro‘, kindly provided by SoFly, and ended up with very good impressions about the product. The goal of the developers is to challenge pilots to take on a series of Landing Challenges, perfectly integrated within the default challenges in Flight Simulator. This was mostly successful: SoFly’s challenges look and feel as if they were built into the base simulator.
After installing ‘Landing Challenge Pro’, you will find all the missions in the Landing Challenges section of MSFS. They will be split into each of the default categories: Famous, Epic, and Strong Wind. Additionally, SoFly separated their collection into three difficulty levels: Easy, Though, and Pro. Each of these levels offers progressively harder conditions. On the Easy challenges, you will mostly have slower and scenic approaches, while in the Pro challenges you will be facing much harder approaches, bad weather and even failures.
After choosing the desired challenge, you will be presented with a nice loading screen showing an overview of the route, with suggested airspeeds to maintain and some tips for this particular challenge. As you can see, very much like the default challenges.
After finishing each landing, you will be presented with a score, again, not unlike the default landing challenges. Landing Precision, ground roll and landing smoothness are evaluated and you will be attributed a final score. Unfortunately, the leaderboard functionality doesn’t work at this point. It’s currently inaccessible to third-party developers, but SoFly says that this may be enabled in the future if the SDK allows. So, at this point in time, if you want to compare your scores with friends, you will have to share a screenshot with them.
The Landing Challenges in themselves are quite varied. There are some unique ones that are particularly interesting, such as one where you have to climb with the Grand Caravan in order to reach a small landing strip on top of a cliff, in Lesotho, or a tough approach into very strong headwinds in Stockholm.
Then there are some iconic ones, such as landing in Saint Martin with the 747, or the famously hard touchdown on the very short Saba runway – something you could already do in one of the default challenges, but now on a pitch-dark night. Some of the new challenges are actuality different iterations over the default ones. Besides the aforementioned Saba approach, there’s also a new version of the landing challenge in Bhutan, now starting higher and further away on the approach for a more complete experience here.
Overall, this ends up being a varied, well made, polished, and perfectly integrated package, which will surely please those looking to test their skills, practice landings in a variety of conditions, or just go for a quick Flight Simulator session when there’s not much time to enjoy a long flight. The Landing Challenges are perfect in these situations, and SoFly succeeded in providing a compelling package that sits along very nicely with the default Landing Challenges. Recommended!