In the world of flight simulation, simmers are often drawn to unique flying opportunities, such as piloting a warbird that was once unrivalled in the skies, mastering the complexities of a modern airliner full of computers, or experiencing an aircraft that was once a promising prototype that, for one reason or another, didn’t quite succeed as it was planned.
These latter aircraft, whether they were dream designs or ambitious ventures that fell short, definitely hold a special allure. Simmers see them as doors to alternate histories and unrealized technological possibilities, offering a chance to virtually experience innovations that might have been misunderstood or simply arrived too late… or too soon! This interest goes beyond just flying; it’s a deep dive into the unexplored corridors of aviation history!
Building on this intriguing aspect of flight simulation, we’d like to introduce you to a captivating project currently underway that aims to breathe virtual life into one such iconic aircraft: the XB-70 Valkyrie. Originally conceived in the late 1950s as a high-altitude, Mach 3 bomber, the XB-70 Valkyrie was an audacious feat of engineering that unfortunately never saw its intended operational service.
Now, thanks to the dedicated work of a few developers, this mighty aircraft is set to make a resurgence in the virtual skies of Microsoft Flight Simulator. This project not only aims to provide simmers the chance to pilot this remarkable aircraft, but also serves as a tribute to the innovative spirit of aviation history.
Developer Airmax514 has been sharing his work on the official MSFS forums, revealing the plans to bring his original FSX model of the XB-70 to MSFS. Visually, this project looks rather striking, with the developer having been painstakingly recreating the aircraft for the simulator, focusing on the intricate details of the cockpit and the accurate exterior fuselage.
Other developers have since joined the project and seek to contribute to other aspects of the simulation, such as the Valkyrie’s unique flight characteristics. Despite initial difficulties recreating the ultrasonic performance of the aircraft in MSFS, the latest development versions now closely mirror the flight envelope of the original aircraft.
The developers claim that flying the Valkyrie in the simulator is a unique, challenging, and exciting experience, unlike any other! While this is something simmers will only be able to appreciate after the release, the 3D model and graphics can already be looked at through the exciting selection of screenshots that the developer has shared during the development process.
According to the latest status update, the development is approximately 90% complete. However, the developers caution that the timeline for completing the remaining 10% is unpredictable. Their goal is to release a flyable, stable, and reliable plane, with all the most important parts working properly. This will be a beta version, as completing every aspect of the plane could take years. However, the developers are eager to release the project and give players a true taste of the experience of flying such an extraordinary machine.
This promising new project is a perfect example of the beauty of flight simulation: the ability to breathe new life into aircraft that have etched their names in the annals of aviation history, yet never fully realized their potential. Whether it’s the thrill of flying at very high speeds or simply appreciating the intricate details of its design, one thing is certain: the Valkyrie is a very unique and compelling aircraft and we can’t wait to see it back to the skies, even if in the virtual world. Stay tuned!