New airplanes keep on coming to Microsoft Flight Simulator, with either fresh new releases like the brilliant Kodiak 100, or new announcements such as DC Designs’ exciting product roadmap for 2022. While this continues to happen from known developers among the community, there are certainly many ongoing projects that we know nothing about, while others show some promise but are hidden away from most circles. Today we’re bringing you one of the latter: an independent project to recreate for MSFS the Grumman-Marsh S-2F3AT Turbo Tracker, used by Cal Fire as a quick reaction tanker for wildfire suppression.
Brought to our attention by fellow reader T1DFLYER, this project was publicly unveiled a few weeks ago. It was initially a model aimed for P3D but, with the release of MSFS, the developer decided to move over to this platform, which is capable of rendering both the airplane and the scenery in a much more appealing way. And so the S2T Turbo Tracker was born for MSFS.
This particular model, a re-engineered Grumman S-2 Tracker with two turboprop engines, is used specifically by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) as a quick-reaction aircraft, with 23 units strategically placed around the state.
The developer is looking to create a detailed airplane both in terms of modeling and systems. Work is now well underway, with a projected release date in the early months of 2022. There’s already a good variety of images of the aircraft, showing its exterior model and also the cockpit and instruments.
Being a tanker, with a capacity for 1200 gallons of fire retardant, the developer wants to implement dropping capabilities to S2T Turbo Tracker, which would make it a perfect choice for those wildfire missions in Neofly. A preview of the dropping effects can also be seen in some of the first teaser images.
Overall, it appears the work on the Tracker is moving along quite well, so it looks like we’ll have a very specialized new airplane to play around with in 2022. Current plans are to make it available at an affordable price, although no further details have been shared on this front by the developer.
As usual, we will keep a close eye on the development of this interesting new aircraft and let you know of any further updates. You can also check any new development on the original announcement thread in the Sim-Outhouse forum.