The BlueBird Simulations Boeing 757 is without a doubt one of the most interesting and anticipated airliners in development for Microsoft Flight Simulator. It’s a project that has stirred the emotions of simmers since it was first unveiled earlier last year and continues to drive anticipation as the developer shares his progress with the airplane. Today, we’re bringing you the latest details, which include a totally rebuilt virtual cockpit and some answers to a few frequently asked questions.
BlueBird Simulations shared a new development update that is rich in details about the project’s scope and current status. It reinstates some things that have been said before and clarifies others. The developer says that the initial release won’t model rare use cases or failure operations, but promises that the detail planned for the standard operations is enough to get any flight simulation enthusiast excited.
The first wave of the release will feature a passenger version, modeling the 757-200 and 300 variants, and accommodating winglets, non-winglets, and both engine types. The team has also laid out plans for a freighter model to be developed post-initial release as a paid expansion, complete with system enhancements. Generously, these enhancements will also be available as a free update for existing customers of the passenger version.
On the inside, the 757’s virtual cockpit is getting an impressive facelift. Nearly finished, the revamped cockpit features over 70 texture sets and several new animations. It also includes over 1200 animations for instruments, buttons, knobs, switches, and doors. I had the chance to get a glimpse of it on display at FSExpo and can testify that it’s quite a good-looking flight deck!
On the outside, the main landing gear, gear base, and passenger doors are under the spotlight, receiving the same meticulous attention to detail given to the wings. The developer revealed that, over the past two years, the external model has been fine-tuned with more than 2000 hours invested. A lot of work indeed!
The flight dynamics have also improved dramatically, thanks to input from two 757 pilot advisors. Additional testing and feedback from more 757 pilots are on the calendar for the coming month.
In terms of sound, work is set to commence around mid-July with Sim Acoustics at the helm. They will use an extensive collection of sound recordings from inside and outside of the 757.
Xbox simmers will be happy to know that this 757 is coming their way too! This has been revealed before but it’s worth noting that it will come some time after the initial release. The team is also committed to continually enhancing the product after its release, all at no extra cost.
While significant progress has been made, there’s still much to be done. The project, which kicked off in June 2021, has already accumulated several thousand combined hours of work, and the team is pulling out all the stops to aim for a year-end release. However, they’re not compromising on quality, and are ready to push the release into 2024 if needed.
Finally, the developers addressed some concerns about MSFS 2024, promising to upgrade the 757 project to leverage any new features. Minor to medium updates will be provided free of charge, with significant overhauls potentially incurring a charge, though the team anticipates offering a significant discount for existing customers in that case.