The Howard Hughes XF-11: A Legendary Aircraft Now Reborn in Microsoft Flight Simulator

In aviation history, the Howard Hughes XF-11 is a symbol of ambition and innovation in a pivotal time for the industry. Conceived in 1943 by the Hughes Aircraft Company upon an order from the USAF, the XF-11 was designed to push the boundaries of military reconnaissance with its unparalleled flight envelope, featuring fast altitude capabilities, high cruise speed, and an unbeatable range. Powered by two Pratt and Whitney 28-cylinder radial engines, known as the “Wasp Major,” and generating a staggering 6,000 horsepower, the XF-11 was a marvel of engineering.

The aircraft’s specifications were nothing short of extraordinary, featuring 16 blades mounted on two sets of contra-rotating propellers, a ceiling altitude of 44,000 feet, a cruise speed of 300 knots at 30,000 feet, and a range of 5,000 miles (4,300 NM). However, the XF-11’s promising journey was cut short during its maiden flight, leading to the destruction of the prototype without causing any casualties. This incident prematurely ended the story of the XF-11, leaving it as a what-could-have-been legend in the aviation world.

Fast forward to today, and the legacy of the XF-11 has been meticulously revived by Flying Fries, a developer known for the bizarre yet hugely entertaining Scrapyard Monster. After months of diligent research, poring over old drawings, schematics, and low-quality photos, Flying Fries proudly released today a virtual replica of the iconic XF-11, crafted with an impressive level of detail and authenticity.

The XF-11 for Microsoft Flight Simulator boasts an impressive list of features, including highly detailed 4K textures, a precise CFD flight model, era-correct autopilot, random failures, compatibility with modern navigation systems like the Garmin GNS 530 and GTN 750 by PMS50, and much more. Pilots can also enjoy custom sound effects, visual effects, interactive checklists, and a detailed user manual, along with a few hidden easter eggs waiting to be discovered.

This virtual rendition of the XF-11 is both a visual treat and an interactive experience that invites pilots to immerse themselves in the complexity and intricacy of this legendary aircraft. From the high-quality modeling and texturing to the fully custom-made aircraft systems, every aspect of the XF-11 has been recreated with precision. Pilots can engage with each system and switch, down to every single circuit breaker, offering a unique level of interaction that enhances the realism of the experience.

The flight model of the XF-11 has been carefully developed using Asobo’s latest tools, including CFD, modern propellers, and fuel systems, ensuring that the aircraft behaves as realistically as possible within the simulator. The complexity extends to the electrical and fuel systems, the custom pressurization module, and even the ground power unit and exterior items, which pilots can operate by exiting the plane and interacting with them directly.

Exploration within the vast cockpit of the XF-11 reveals the pilot and navigator area, the photographer’s seat in the nose section, and the fully transparent glass dome at the nose, offering breathtaking views of the virtual world below. The aircraft also features a lower deck with access doors and fuel valves.

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For those seeking a challenge, the XF-11 includes random failures of various severities that can occur during flight, adding an element of unpredictability and requiring pilots to adapt under pressure. Additionally, the aircraft comes equipped with a useful clipboard for setting options, checking failures, and handling refueling tasks without the need for the in-game fuel menu.

The Howard Hughes XF-11 offers simmers and history buffs alike the opportunity to experience the legend of this extraordinary aircraft. It can now be yours for $27.00 through

Main features:

  • Highly detailed 4K textures.
  • Engines, landing gear bays, two cockpit decks, etc. fully modeled and textured.
  • Precise CFD flight model.
  • Era-correct auto-pilot installed.
  • Random failures available with various severity levels – disabled by default.
  • Garmin GNS 530 available with one click.
  • Fully compatible with Garmin GTN 750 by PMS50 if installed.
  • Aircraft configuration and refueling via the clipboard (no need for the fuel and payload menu).
  • Complex electrical system with functioning circuit breakers.
  • Complex fuel system with 7 tanks, 10 pumps and so many routing possibilities!
  • Variable propeller pitch with feathering and reverse pitch.
  • Engine and ground roll vibration effects on the levers and needles.
  • Custom interior lighting with dimmable lights and UV lights.
  • Interactive exterior static elements (remove the chocks or plug the GPU manually if you want).
  • 7 liveries included.
  • 4 LODs for performance optimization in multiplayer.
  • A lot of custom sound effects.
  • Custom visual effects: Epic smoke when you start the engines, fuel leaks, etc.
  • Interactive in-game checklists with all the highlits and cameras you need.
  • A long, detailed and illustrated user manual.
  • A few hidden easter eggs!