Amidst all the premium payware aircraft addons released for Microsoft Flight Simulator, there’s always some interesting new freeware offerings for those looking for a new flying experience on a budget. Today we’re sharing a recent release with you that adds a powerful new bush aircraft inspired by a famous custom aircraft from Mike Patey: the Draco.
“Smaug” is the name of this freeware aircraft, which was developed by flyndive (you may be familiar with his work in other projects such as the Multiplayer Model Matching utility). It is, in its essence, an experimental bush aircraft based on the Wilga, which Got Friends has also brilliantly rendered in the simulator.
Drawing its inspiration from the legacy of Mike Patey’s Draco, Smaug promises to offer a unique blend of power, agility, and the thrill of flying in rugged terrains with unparalleled performance. In fact, Smaug stands out with its exceptional STOL capabilities. This is achieved through oversized wings, extendable front slats, and specialized wing-tips, ensuring control at low speeds and enabling takeoffs and landings on unprepared airstrips.
As expected with a freeware project, some concessions had to be made. The 3D model does look good, especially from the outside (and there are lots of liveries!), but the textures are definitely, well… flat. This is most noticeable in the cockpit, which comes with an instrument panel that has been modified from the Cessna 152. Interestingly, there’s support for the PMS50 GTN750/650 for enhanced navigational capabilities, which is definitely great.
Obviously, what’s special about Smaug is the aircraft’s STOL capabilities. It is a powerhouse, without a doubt, capable of getting in and out of the most tight spots. You only need 100ft to take off and land with this thing. It’s pretty fun!
This is the first aircraft from the developer for MSFS and it is indeed quite promising, especially because he plans to release updates in the future to further enrich the airplane. These include modeling and texturing enhancements, a G1000 glass cockpit, more functional knobs, additional liveries, and more.
Smaug is another testament to the many talented developers in the flight simulation community and is available now, for free, through flightsim.to.