Update, December 5th – Now available! iniBuilds has released the P-40F through its online store. Get it now at just £14.99 (approximately €17.48 / $18.43).
iniBuilds is just about to release its very first warbird, in the shape of the mighty Curtiss P-40F Warhawk. It will be a drastic change when compared to the Airbus A310 that has been making the rounds since the 40th Anniversary Edition of MSFS launched last month, but it promises to be equally engaging!
The P-40F was unveiled just a month ago by the iniBuilds team and has quickly reached a stage where it’s ready to be deployed. We’ve had the opportunity to fly the P-40F for a few days already, so we’re ready to share with your our first impressions about this historic warbird and what it brings to the simulator.
A beautiful airplane with visuals to match
The first thing you’ll notice after loading the P-40F is how well it looks. There are some superb visuals here, from the extremely realistic and detailed external fuselage to the excellent cockpit textures. It looks imposing, especially with the brushed metal exterior that reflects light in several cool ways and perfectly showcases the nuanced 3D model. Very little to fault here!
The EFB is very useful and can easily be hidden away
iniBuilds is trying to cater to both the purists and the casual simmers by including a sort of EFB with some valuable features. No problem if you don’t care about any of that, as the EFB is hidden by default and needs to be activated through a selector switch located under the Amps gauge (which also toggles the gunsight or mounting bracket, in either the military or civilian variants).
If you’d like to give the EFB a try and experience a more modern iteration of this legendary fighter, then you’ll find a host of useful and easy-to-use features!
The first is an embedded version of the MSFS VFR map, where pilots can see their position in the world and get data about all the airports and navaids in the simulator. There’s also a Maintenance page that displays the status of a few key components in the aircraft that are affected by the wear and tear simulation. It’s through this page that simmers can open and close a few access panels of the P-40F, such as engine cowlings, gun bay doors, and more.
The roaring Merlin heart
Once you open the engine cowlings you’ll find yourself face-to-face with one of the P-40F’s standout features: the legendary Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, which powered the P-40F and was also famously featured in the Spitfire and the P-51 Mustang! The P-40F is just one of many different P-40 variants that were produced during the type’s lifetime, but it’s arguably the most interesting one due to the nature of its mighty heart!
While you’ll marvel at the level of detail that was put into this aircraft’s visuals, the mighty Merlin is awaiting to be powered on and take this great aircraft into the skies. With that in mind, iniBuilds has built a completely MSFS-native checklist system in the toolbar menu, including a handy auto-complete option for those in a hurry to get the airplane ready.
Once your startup the Merlin you’ll be welcomed by smoke and heat blur coming from the exhaust pipes, along with the powerful roar of those twelve cylinders, which iniBuilds says were recorded from a real P-40F. The overall sound experience with this aircraft is superb, even if the sound loop is a bit too noticeable at times. That’s something that can be improved upon with a good sound remix and we hope iniBuilds will do that in a future update.
A flight model powered by Computational Fluid Dynamics
In the air, the P-40F exhibits the agile characteristics of a fighter of this age. I can’t vouch for any of the flight characteristics of the aircraft and how they compare to the real-world numbers, but it does feel within my expectations for this kind of airplane. It’s worth saying that iniBuilds has used the latest CFD implementation available in the sim which affects many aspects of flying and how the aircraft’s surfaces interact with the surrounding atmosphere.
Very fun… and priced to sell!
In the end, the P-40F turns out to be an extremely fun aircraft. It ticks many boxes, including great visuals, good sounds, an accessible learning curve thanks to the clever checklist system, and the inclusion of some modern niceties through the optional EFB! The cherry on top of the cake is the price! iniBuilds will be offering the P-40F at just 14.99 GBP, which is simply astounding considering the quality of the overall package!
The iniBuilds P-40F is an easy recommendation from us and it’s an aircraft that you should definitely consider as your next warbird for Microsoft Flight Simulator. Coming to your PC and Xbox very soon!