Indiafoxtecho has been outputting some truly great military airplanes for MSFS (see the MB-339 and the T-45C Goshawk). Obviously, you can’t do any fighting in them, but flying these impressive machines is always a radically different experience from the usual general aviations airplanes and airliners. Next up from the developer is the exciting F-35 Lightning II, currently in very active development.
We’ve seen some development updates about this aircraft, where Indiafoxtecho detailed some of its features. To help newcomers to this project understand what will be included, the developer published today a very handy list of FAQs, answering some common questions, even if most have already been answered in previous updates.
Indiafoxtecho plans to release the F-35 both on PC and Xbox, although the latter may not be available at launch. Furthermore, weapons are not allowed, as per Microsoft’s policy for Marketplace releases. However, a “non-pacifist” version may be available on third-party resellers, with visible but non-firing weaponry.
The list of FAQs is available on Indiafoxtecho’s Facebook page, and we also reproduce it entirely below for your convenience (with some new images to raise the appetite):
Q – ARE YOU DOING ALL THE THREE VERSIONS?
A – Yes. The package will include the three versions: A (CTOL), B (STOVL) and C (CATOBAR). All the significant differences will be modeled, including flight characteristics.
CAN IT DO VERTICAL TAKEOFF AND LANDINGS?
Only the B variant does, and yes – STOVL is fully functional (unless Microsoft breaks it in the next update – fingers crossed), with realistic limitations (aircraft weight must be lower than 40000 lbs to hover). Note that while the F-35 can takeoff vertically, this is not the intended mission profile: it usually performs a short takeoff and then a vertical landing, as this allows a much higher payload.
WILL IT BE AVAILABLE ON XBOX?
Yes, or at least we hope so. It is not clear, at the moment, if the Primary Control Display (PCD) will be controllable on Xbox in some cases. In any case it is likely that the XBOX version will be available slightly later than the PC version.
WILL IT HAVE WEAPONS?
Microsoft DOES NOT allow depiction of weapons on planes sold on the Marketplace. The current plan is to have two version: the “pacifist” version will have no weapons and will be sold on the Microsoft Marketplace, the “non pacifist” version will be sold by our usual distributors. At the moment we have AIM-9X, AIM-120, GBU-12, GBU-31 and gunpod. WEAPONS WILL BE COSMETIC ONLY AND CANNOT BE RELEASED (although technically speaking it is feasible to create droppable objects – this is currently beyond the scope of this project).
IS THERE A WORKING RADAR? TFLIR? DAS?
No. At the moment these features are not included, mostly because MSFS does not include any way we know of for implementing them on XML code – and our PCD is partially based on the XML code we wrote for P3D.
As a side note, in HTML5/JS and C++ it would be possible to:
– create a working A-A radar
– use the mapping service as a (rudimentary) A-S mapping radar
– use the synthetic vision to generate (rudimentary) DAS/TFLIR images
…but these are beyond the scope of the project.
IS THE DRAG-CHUTE VARIANT INCLUDED?
No. Drag chute is installed on Norwegian aircrafts upon a specific request from that country (and are easily recognizeable for a bump on top of the fuselage, near the engine nozzle). We’ll have a Norwegian livery, but that will be one of the first aircrafts delivered – with no drag chute.
IS THE F-35I “ADIR” VARIANT INCLUDED?
The “Adir” is a specific variant developed for (and by) Israel – with nation specific equipment and weapons. However the airframe is identical to the F-35A… so, you will find the Isreaeli livery in the F-35A folder.
HOW CAN YOU GRANT ANY LEVEL OF REALISM ON THIS?
We cannot. However we believe we did our homework and have been reserching every bit of unclassified information about the jet. And then there are a number of videos on Youtube that explain how to operate and fly the aircraft.
WHERE DID YOU GET THAT U.S.S. AMERICA MODEL?
It is a static scenery object that is being developed for this project.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
Final price has not been set yet, but should not be too far from the T-45.
It is done when it is done… but we are not too far from a decent build.
Together with these FAQs, we also got a brand new set of impressive images of the F-35 in Microsoft Flight Simulator. These show the beautiful exterior of the aircraft, as well as some views of the virtual cockpit.
Although definitely crippled in its military capabilities, this is looking to be a stunning recreation of the F-35 for MSFS, and we can’t wait to try it out. With the developer saying that a “decent build” is not too far off, we may finally get the opportunity to fly this state-of-the-art aircraft very soon!