Aero Dynamics, the dedicated team of enthusiasts behind the very promising freeware KC-10 and DC-10 for Microsoft Flight Simulator, is back with another development update of what they claim will be “the most authentic DC-10 platform for commercial flight simulation“. We’ve been tracking this project closely for nearly two years, watching its progress move steadily towards becoming one of the most detailed wide-body aircraft simulations in MSFS to date.
The latest update from Aero Dynamics continues to underscore their commitment to developing an exceptionally realistic freeware KC/DC-10 aircraft for the flight simulation community. As usual, the full updates from the team come from their Discord, but we’ve compiled the most important news below with a selection of preview images of the aircraft to whet your appetite.
Significant Exterior Refinements
Over the last quarter, the team exerted substantial effort to enhance the aircraft’s exterior model. The focus was to refine the textures and the physical model of the jet to an “unparalleled level of detail.” In addition to excellent visuals, simmers can expect to find a variety of interactive components such as fuel panels, AC doors, and APU power input. These updates contribute to the immersive experience for simmers, especially those who enjoy the intricate “walk around” aspect.
To bolster the simulation’s realism, the team has introduced a range of pre-flight tasks that must be performed before the aircraft can taxi safely. These tasks can either be manually executed directly on the aircraft’s exterior or automated through the built-in EFB.
In a move that differs from the traditional model of paid separate “Visual Effects Packages,” Aero Dynamics decided to integrate breathtaking visual effects directly within the aircraft package, at no extra cost. Simmers will be able to enjoy a spectrum of meticulously crafted effects such as engine strake vortices, engine intake vapor, over-wing vapor, and the enthralling dance of flap and wing-tip vortices.
The interior of the KC/DC-10 aircraft has received substantial attention, with multiple cabin models designed to cater to various user preferences. From a meticulously designed cabin with interactive elements like light and door controls to an interactive galley, the team aims to deliver an environment that mirrors the real-life complexities of managing an aircraft cabin. Lavatories included!
Authentic APU and Fuel System Modelling
The KC/DC-10’s APU startup procedure has been carefully replicated, taking into account all the nuances, including activating the tank 2 fuel pumps and ensuring proper APU engine oil distribution. Detailed modelling of interactions between parameters such as N1, EGT, and N2 during the start sequence enhances the cold start simulation’s authenticity. The team will be moving on to modelling the Pneumatics system next, which will provide the final piece for a complete and accurate cold start simulation.
The team also announced the nearing completion of the hydraulic system’s initial iteration. The new fully custom simulation will allow simmers to experience the intricate workings of the hydraulic system, from the actuator movements influenced by numerous variables to the direct responses of the ailerons and other control responses.
A Pioneering Navigation System and Future Plans
In honor of the innovative developments of the late 1960s, Aero Dynamics aims to incorporate the Area (Inertial) Navigation System (ANS/AINS-70) into the DC-10 models. By adding this pioneering system, users can enjoy a unique level of automation that differs from modern systems, adding to the simulation’s authenticity.
Moving forward, the team’s summer goal is to ready the aircraft for its first flight. However, the team notes that “as beautiful as this aircraft is, it still had a long way to go on the development side before she is ready for her first public maiden flight.” Meanwhile, they welcome flight simulation enthusiasts who wish to contribute to the DC-10 project’s development. The team remains committed to delivering a high-quality aircraft that surpasses the community’s expectations and continues to enhance the realism and beauty of aviation.
The KC/DC-10 project promises to be an exciting journey for all MSFS simmers and we’ll continue to follow its progress through the coming months. Expect to learn more about this project later in the year once the October Development Update gets published by the team!