Otmar, it’s time to launch the damn thing! We’ve been waiting for the Wing42 Boeing 247D since it was announced shortly after the release of Microsoft Flight Simulator… well more than a year ago! And the very cool teasers are not making this waiting time any easier. This is looking to be a very authentic airplane, down to the old navigation radio that, despite being cutting edge at the time, is something of a relic today.
In a new development update published today by Wing42’s Otmar Nitsche, the developer shared some details about the historically accurate radio that he has been implementing in the 247D since a few weeks ago. If you’ve been following this project closely, then you’ll remember seeing the amazing preview of this aircraft with TheFlyingFabio, where a happy coincidence joined Otmar and Eric van der Veen, a celestial navigation and radio expert. Since then, both developers have joined efforts to bring Eric’s Radio Range Navigation module to the 247D. This mod simulates the basic functions of old-time low-frequency radio navigation.
Otmar has a nice explanation of how this navigation method works, but the most interesting takeaway is that you don’t actually need a specific instrument to use this navigational aid. All you’ll have to do is tune to the desired radio and literally listened to the audio signal that is being transmitted. Depending on your position, you’ll either hear morse code for an A or an N, which sort of create a beam that guides the pilot into the station. The trick will be staying “between” the two signals, which will be represented by a constant beeeeeeeep, indicating that you’re on the right track to reach the station… thus “flying the beam”. Very cool, eh?
This method of navigation is both challenging and annoying, because pilots need to be listening to the signal for hours on end. In MSFS, it should bring a smile to the faces of many old-time pilots who remember using this method, but also to newcomers who have some curiosity to see how this all works and would like to try a new challenge. When successful, this should be a very rewarding experience, certainly more exciting than following the magenta line!
It’s unclear if this navigation method will work outside the US, since Eric’s module only includes stations in the lower 48 states (Wing42 has since cleared that up, there will be stations all over the world! See the comment section below for clarification from Otmar himself!).
At this point, we are all wondering about when this super interesting aircraft will finally be released. Sadly, there’s still no exact date for that to happen, despite being clear that Wing42 must now be in the final stages of development. A good sign is that all the 9 liveries that will be included with the package are now finished. Check them out below… and continue to be patient!