Orbx returns to its roots with its latest project for Microsoft Flight Simulator: 85U Soldiers Bar. This USFS airstrip is located on the south side of the Big Creek Canyon, 500 feet above Big Creek, deep in Idaho’s backcountry, where roads are non-existent and access is made mainly by plane. The forest service built several airstrips here many years ago, but they are now used by hunters, rafters, hikers, and rescue personnel. It’s the perfect place for bush flying!
85U Soldiers Bar is considered a recreational airstrip but poses a challenge to even the most seasoned pilots. The approach to the runway is fraught with obstacles, including a 4-degree upslope, multiple bumps that can get the aircraft airborne again, and a dogleg in the runway. Only runway 25 is landable.
Soldiers Bar is not just an airstrip but also a popular destination for backcountry pilots who camp and fish in the area. The location is also known for its heliops, which make it a perfect place for //42’s brilliant Campout. The package includes over 40 custom assets, extensive vegetation creation and placement, a signature McCall Aviation 206 livery, enhanced terrain and texture work, a campsite, and a pit toilet. Charming!
The scenery addon is designed to offer pilots an immersive and challenging experience while flying in the backcountry. Developer Milo Taylor has meticulously recreated the area to provide an authentic experience, including terrain and vegetation that closely resembles the actual location.
During the summer months, many companies out of McCall fly out here for tours and hunting trips before heading out to other nearby airstrips like Big Creek, Johnson Creek, and Thomas Creek.
The release of 85U Soldiers Bar by Orbx is exciting news for bush pilots in MSFS who are looking for a challenging and immersive backcountry flying experience. Let’s hope Orbx continues to offer other similar airstrips nearby!