Helicopter pilots in MSFS have plenty of reasons to be excited about these last two months of the year. There are a few very interesting projects in the pipeline, some with impending release dates such as HPG’s very promising Airbus H160, and others with plenty of hype like Blackbird’s Huey. Today we’re adding two new projects to the list of helicopters in development for MSFS and they both seem to be coming on short notice: the AH-64 Guardian from RKM Studios and Taog’s Hangar SA315 Lama.
RKM Studios’ AH-64 Guardian
RKM Studios has unveiled their work-in-progress AH-64 Guardian, a payware product slated for release by the end of 2023. Rhys Brown, who announced this project on a Facebook group, has shared an impressive list of features that this combat helicopter will offer.
The AH-64 Guardian will come with a handful of liveries, both demo and active service versions, all rendered in stunning 4K resolution. The helicopter will feature working rockets and a front-mounted 35MM cannon, which can be controlled via a functional nose camera. The sound design is also set to be immersive, thanks to Wwise sounds.
Pilots can look forward to a fully functional cockpit complete with engine, GPS, and TFLIR screens. The flight model is touted to be highly realistic, allowing you to perform maneuvers just like you would in the real thing. Custom downwash effects and an engine access panel to check for damage after a rough flight round out the feature set.
As for console gamers, the possibility of the AH-64 Guardian making its way to Xbox depends on how much the developers can “strip the helicopter of the weapons”.
When will the AH-64 come out? The developer plans a release before the end of 2023, but with no promises.
Taog’s Hangar’s SA315 Lama
On the other end of the spectrum, Taog’s Hangar is close to releasing the SA315 Lama, a light helicopter that has been showcased in a cool trailer video on YouTube.
The SA315 Lama, often simply referred to as the Lama, is a derivative of the Alouette II and was developed to meet the specific requirements of the Indian Air Force. What sets the Lama apart is its exceptional ability to operate in high-altitude conditions, particularly in the challenging terrains of the Himalayas. Designed to thrive where other helicopters falter, the Lama can soar to altitudes exceeding 20,000 feet (6,100 meters). This remarkable capability is achieved through specialized modifications to its engine and rotor system.
Taog’s Hangar has invested considerable effort into making the virtual SA315 Lama as immersive as it is functional. The developer promises a meticulously detailed exterior, capturing the helicopter’s unique characteristics, while the interior should offer an equally impressive level of detail. It should closely follow the impressive work delivered by the developer earlier this year with the Alouette III.
Adding to the visual realism is an exclusive sound package tailored for this model, along with intricate animations for various aircraft components. For enthusiasts who enjoy customization, the Lama will offer an array of more than a dozen attachments, making it versatile enough for everything from search and rescue missions to specialized tasks. The flight model is also touted as being rigorously detailed and realistic, living up to the high expectations that Microsoft Flight Simulator users have come to know and love. To top it off, the package includes 30 different liveries.
The SA315 Lama is slated for a release in MSFS this fall.