Featured Freeware: IRIS A-10 Thunderbolt and Milviz F-86 Sabre ported for MSFS

Amidst all the usual payware add-ons that we usually cover, there are always some cool freeware releases that grab our interest. From utilities to airports, scenery packs, and aircraft, the MSFS community keeps on delivering varying levels of fun and realism.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to two recent freeware aircraft releases from developer Aviator671: the Milviz F-86 Sabre and the IRIS A-10 Thunderbolt II. These aircraft, originally from two established developers in the industry, have been ported to MSFS with the permission of their respective creators. Naturally, there are some caveats… but also some nice surprises!

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Milviz F-86 Sabre

Let’s start with the F-86 Sabre. Developed by North American Aviation, this transonic jet fighter aircraft, also known as the Sabrejet, first took to the skies in 1947 and was officially introduced to the US Air Force in 1949. It quickly became a symbol of post-WWII military might, especially noted for its crucial role during the Korean War.

Milviz (now Blackbird Simulations) made an F-86 Sabre for FSX back in the day, and it’s this model that is now making its way to MSFS as a freeware release. Aviator671 got permission from the original creators for this endeavor, offering a fun aircraft for those who have a fond liking for the historic fighter.

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The ported F-86 Sabre is an impressive accomplishment visually, especially in the cockpit, where it looks much better than most freeware releases and even some payware ones. Sadly, there’s a major caveat also in the cockpit: despite all the gauges seemingly working, there’s no click interactivity. Nothing is clickable, although keybindings appear to work just fine. This was a condition imposed by Blackbird in order to authorize this port.

The result is an aircraft that looks stunning in the air and is quite fun. Its immersion is somewhat broken due to the lack of a clickable cockpit, but the F-86 is very much flyable, looks great, and is simply a badass aircraft. There are also some interesting features, like different loadout options based on payload options, and a nice selection of liveries.

The freeware Milviz F-86 Sabre is now available for download via flightsim.to.

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IRIS A-10 Thunderbolt II

The IRIS A-10 Thunderbolt II has also made its way to MSFS, thanks to Aviator671. The A-10 is a significantly more modern aircraft than the F-86 and has garnered a sort of legendary status among military personnel who have relied on its protection over the years.

Often referred to as the “Warthog,” the A-10 is a truly remarkable aircraft! Designed for the United States Air Force, this twin-engine jet is primarily used for close air support of ground troops. First flown in 1972 and introduced into service in 1976, the A-10 is renowned for its durability, resilience, and its terrifying GAU-8 Avenger 30mm cannon. It has played a crucial role in several conflicts, offering critical support with its ability to accurately deliver a wide range of ordnance.

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The freeware IRIS A-10 Thunderbolt II for Microsoft Flight Simulator is quite a similar undertaking to the F-86. It looks great, both inside and out, but the cockpit is also non-interactive. Thankfully, the aircraft’s detailed model captures the rugged charm of the A-10, including its distinctive straight-wing design, the iconic GAU-8 Avenger cannon, and the ordnance loaded under the wings. It looks ready for action!

The A-10 also flies and sounds very well for a freeware airplane, which helps to maintain high entertainment levels and offsets the lack of a clickable cockpit.

The IRIS A-10 Thunderbolt II is also available for free for Microsoft Flight Simulator.

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