As the year 2023 draws to a close, Just Flight has shared an extensive update on their ongoing projects for Microsoft Flight Simulator. This update provides a detailed look into the progress and features of several highly anticipated aircraft, showcasing Just Flight’s commitment to delivering high-quality add-ons for MSFS. For 2024, the team is looking to release some very exciting airplanes, including the Airbus A300, the Tornado, the PA-38 Tomahawk, the Avro RJ, and more!
Let’s start with the A300B4 Professional. This project, first unveiled at FSExpo 2023, will be a true testament of Just Flight’s dedication to detail and realism. In recent months, the development team has embarked on a comprehensive texturing process for both the cockpit and the exterior model, aiming to set a new standard in Microsoft Flight Simulator.
- Cockpit Detailing: Every panel, gauge, knob, and lever in the cockpit is being recreated with meticulous attention to detail, mirroring the real aircraft’s equipment. This includes the weathering on individual screw heads, offering a level of realism previously unseen in the simulator.
- Exterior Enhancements: The exterior model has seen significant improvements, with the fuselage and nose section reworked to include new details like intricate flap track mechanisms and highly detailed models of the CF6 and JT9D engines.
- Advanced Systems Coding: The development has made substantial progress in systems coding. The electrical, air bleed, air conditioning, pressurization, APU, and fuel systems are now complete. These systems have been custom-coded to react realistically to environmental conditions and system configurations. The next phase focuses on the hydraulic system, promising an even more immersive simulation experience.
The Tornado GR1, affectionately known as ‘Tonka’, is being developed by the same team responsible for the acclaimed Avro Vulcan. This project is shaping up to be another remarkable addition to the military aircraft lineup currently available in MSFS, which keeps getting better and better! Here are the latest updates on this project:
- Model Improvements: The Tornado GR1 model has undergone significant enhancements since the initial teaser images. This includes remodeled cockpit sections for higher accuracy, exterior modeling fixes, and upscaled 8K textures for unparalleled clarity.
- Code Transfer and Enhancement: The team is transferring the high-fidelity code from their Tornado GR1 in Prepar3D to MSFS. Post-transfer, the focus will be on improving accuracy and adding additional features to ensure the Tornado operates as closely to the real aircraft as possible.
- Livery Diversity: The package will include 24 paint schemes, covering various RAF GR1 squadrons and international squadrons from Germany, Italy, and Saudi Arabia. This diversity will allow simmers to experience the Tornado in a variety of historical and contemporary contexts.
The PA-38 Tomahawk, which has experienced significant delays since it was unveiled in 2022, is now receiving full attention from Just Flight’s in-house team. This popular general aviation aircraft is being upgraded to meet the high standards expected by the flight sim community, which have been set by Just Flight themselves when they said it would be their “best GA aircraft yet”.
- Modeling and Texturing: The latest development update reveals that interior and exterior of the Tomahawk are being upgraded for enhanced realism. The team is focused on refining the modeling and texturing to align with Just Flight’s quality benchmarks.
- Systems and Avionics: The core aircraft systems coding is nearing completion, with an emphasis on integrating the EFB from other aircraft and adding new features. The avionics stack includes a GMA340 audio panel, SL30 and SL40 nav/comm transceivers, and a GTX328 transponder, all fully functional and true to their real-life counterparts.
- Customization Options: The aircraft will feature various GPS options and other customizations, allowing simmers to tailor their flying experience according to preference and skill level.
The RJ Professional is now poised to be Just Flight’s next airliner release (the F28 was the latest one) and is making significant strides in development:
- System Overhauls: Key systems such as air conditioning, fuel, and hydraulics have been completed, with each system overhauled to reflect the differences between the modern RJ and the older 146. The team is now turning its attention to the autopilot and navigation systems, which are markedly different from those in the 146.
- IRS and ADC Systems: The Inertial Reference System (IRS) is now fully functional, and work is ongoing on the Air Data Computer (ADC) system. This includes integrating ADC1 and ADC2 computers with various autopilot modes, the FMS, and EFIS signal generators.
- Virtual Cabin and Customization: The RJ Professional will feature a new virtual cabin with a high-density 3+3 layout, animated doors, retractable airstairs, and controllable cabin lighting and chimes. A paint kit will be provided for customizing the cabin’s color scheme to match specific operators.
The F70/100 Professional is also undergoing a comprehensive overhaul, with the cockpit receiving a complete revamp using new reference photographs from an in-service aircraft.
- Cockpit Revitalization: The cockpit has been reworked with new high-resolution textures, capturing the essence of a well-used but serviceable aircraft. This includes remodeled switches and knobs, as well as reworked CRT screens for an authentic curved look, reminiscent of the late 80s.
- System Integration and Bug Fixes: The team is actively working on animating switches and instruments, tweaking lighting, integrating systems, and addressing general bug fixes.
As you can see, Just Flight’s schedule for 2024 is absolutely packed! There’s a natural curiosity about whether the studio will manage to release all of these products throughout the year, but we remain hopeful. Personally, I am particularly excited about the PA-38. With the current range of incredibly rewarding general aviation offerings in the sim, whose high standards were set by Just Flight themselves when they launched the Arrow III/IV, it will be interesting to see if the Tomahawk will stand out and maintain their leading position.
But the team has something for everyone: the Tornado, aimed at military enthusiasts, seems poised to be another success following the brilliant Vulcan. Meanwhile, the A300, RJ, and F70/100 are set to further solidify the developer’s reputation for high-fidelity classic airliner simulations.
We’re indeed in for exciting times with Just Flight. Stay tuned for further updates about each of these projects throughout 2024!