After the recent release of the superb Gee Bee R3 Special, Got Friends is already working hard on a couple of two very cool new airplanes for Microsoft Flight Simulator: the legendary Draco, from Mike Patey, and the Grumman F4F-4. The developers told us that both airplanes have their respective models nearly finished, with development expected to move fast on the next stages as they bring the model to MSFS to program the necessary systems and flight dynamics.
These are two very different airplanes, but both are very welcome additions to the MSFS hangar. The Draco is arguably the most exciting of the two, a legendary airplane owned by Mike Patey which was famous for its extraordinary STOL capabilities. Unfortunately, the Draco crashed in 2019, but Patey is currently working to rebuild the airframe to its former glory, with even more impressive specs.
Got Friends got a little help to jump-start the development of the Draco. BlueMesh (who created the Caudron C.430 Rafale), worked on the original model and graciously handed the project to Got Friends, who are continuing with modeling and development.
The team hopes to meet the high expectations that the aviation community might have about such a special aircraft as the Draco. It’s indeed a unique airplane with very specific features, and Got Friends hopes to recreate it for MSFS in the most authentic and realistic way, a true tribute to the original. The Draco is a world-famous airplane, a highly modified Wilga 2000 that became the ultimate STOL machine.
The development team already has the aircraft in-game, despite the 3D model not being quite finished yet. They decided that this was the best course of action to ensure Got Gravel, the lead flight dynamics specialist, could begin working on the unique STOL capabilities of the Draco as soon as possible. Again, the developers are looking to precisely recreate Draco’s unique skills in MSFS.
As for the F4F-4, it has been modeled by Carlocestra285, who already worked with Got Friends on the Gee Bee R3 Special. He’s been making an important contribution to the team on both the gauge design and in this depiction of the F4F-4, in particular.
The F4F-4 has its external model now finished, with work now progressing to the interior, which is being completely modeled based on Carlocestra285’s base model. The team is now working on the animations and gauges, a preliminary step to deploy the model in the sim for Got Gravel to work on the flight model.
Both these projects are now well underway for a release in 2022, possibly in the early months of the year. Got Friends revealed to us that they are working on a few additional projects (some gliders and a couple of other airplanes), but they are not ready to officially announce them yet, as the focus is now on the Draco and the F4F-4.
As a preview of what to expect from a visual standpoint, we have a few images of both models to share with you. They are definitely very promising, showing impressive levels of detail. When coupled with Got Gravel’s famed flight modeling talent, these will certainly be two great new additions to the growing list of high-quality airplanes for MSFS.