Update #2, December 19th – Indiafoxtecho issued a short update to say that, unfortunately, the release of the F-35 has been suspended for the time being, until the team figures out what’s causing an abnormally high number of CTD’s for beta testers. Stay tuned for further news!
Update #1, December 13th – In a short update on Indiafoxtecho’s Facebook page, the developer revealed that, if no major bugs show up in the current beta version, the F-35 may finally be released for MSFS later this week! See below our latest report about this exciting new aircraft.
Indiafoxtecho has a rather promising new aircraft about to come out for Microsoft Flight Simulator, the F-35 Lightning II. It will be the third military jet from the developer, after the Aermacchi MB-339 and the T-45C Goshawk, and while it will be limited in many of its capabilities, Indiafoxtecho promises that this rendition of the F-35 for MSFS “will not disappoint”.
After months of development, which we have been following closely, Dino Cattaneo, Indiafoxtecho lead developer, recently announced that his F-35 was finally ready to enter a final testing stage. The aircraft has reached its first “decent” build, without any major issues that prevent users from enjoying the experience. The developer opened this beta stage for anyone who wished to participate, but the available slots were quickly taken by enthusiastic simmers who are now testing the aircraft in their secluded bunkers.
Typically, Indiafoxtecho’s betas have lasted for a few weeks, and this one should be no exception. Judging from the publicly available bug tracker, there are only a couple of dozen minor issues to be fixed at this point, and they are mostly related to visuals.
This model of the F-35 has gained quite a lot of attention from the community in recent months, even if the developer continues to lower down any unrealistic expectations that simmers may have for this project. The goal is to create a relatively complex add-on, with a good flight model that behaves closely to what is known, a highly detailed 3D model both in the exterior and in the cockpit, realistic system interfaces (but with no sensors or mission systems), and a “simple” sound package. All three variants will be included: A (CTOL), B (STOVL) and C (CATOBAR), with each respective differences modeled. Check these FAQs to know a few more details about what’s planned.
As you probably know, the F-35 is capable of vertical takeoffs and landings, and this will be implemented in the B variant of the package. As for weapons, they will only be an aesthetic feature, and they won’t be available in the Marketplace version of the aircraft. Indiafoxtecho plans to release two versions of the package: one for the Marketplace, with no weapons, and a fully-featured version for other third-party vendors, with cosmetic weaponry such as AIM-9X, AIM-120, GBU-12, GBU-31 and gunpod.
Finally, this package is expected to be available for Xbox users, but maybe a little after the initial release. In the last development update, the developer said that it was still unclear whether the Primary Control Display (PCD) could be controllable on Xbox.
As usual, and while we wait for a quick and successful beta stage for the F-35, we have a bunch of striking new images of this incredible aircraft in MSFS. It continues to look very good and promising, and we can’t wait to finally try it out in the sim!