Red Wing Simulations releases ultra-immersive LZ 129 Hindenburg for Microsoft Flight Simulator

The PMDG 777 may have stolen the show as this week comes to an end, but it’s time to go back to what’s actually out there right now available to fly.

New aircraft releases are quite common in Microsoft Flight Simulator, and this week, there’s a pretty unique new addition to the lineup that will surely intrigue the community. It’s the infamous Hindenburg, the massive airship that is still, to this day, the protagonist of one of the most infamous accidents in aviation history when it was about to end a transatlantic journey from Frankfurt, Germany, to New Jersey, in the United States.

There’s no denying that the LZ 129 Hindenburg is a very intriguing new addition to Microsoft Flight Simulator, especially with the level of detail that Red Wing promises. While the visuals may not push the boundaries of the platform’s capabilities, this project really looks to be sort of a tribute to the golden era of airships and a deep dive into the intricate mechanics of operating one of history’s most iconic dirigibles.

As is, unfortunately, frequent, Red Wing Simulations is not the best at sharing details about their flight simulation products. Based on the available information, it’s often up to simmers to judge if the product is comprehensive and worthy of their time.

We saw this, for example, in the early days of the Constellation, and now the Hindenburg seems to suffer from the same unwillingness to just put some compelling details out there. As of today, their website has little to no information, but thankfully, there’s a QR code on the product page in the MSFS Marketplace that directs to a user manual with more information.

And what a manual this is! Once you start reading it, it immediately becomes clear: this is not just a flying model of the Hindenburg – this is a painstakingly detailed simulation of the historic airship, probably one of the most ambitious undertakings in the sim so far.

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Well, this is not a review but a heads-up that there’s something very interesting and intriguing behind this release. The developer really seems to have gone above and beyond to replicate every detail of the airship, from its massive 245-meter length to the unique hydrogen gas cells that powered its buoyancy. Not only is it an incredibly comprehensive modeling work inside and out, but this add-on also offers a unique challenge to MSFS pilots, emphasizing the serene and strategic elements of airship navigation over the high-speed thrills of airplane flight.

Here are some of the features that stand out:

  • Authentic Replica Inside and Out: Every aspect of the Hindenburg, including its aerostat structure, engine mechanics, and the luxurious interior, has been recreated.
  • Flight Dynamics: Pilots must master the unique flight dynamics of an airship, focusing on buoyancy, gas management, and weather effects, differing vastly from fixed-wing aircraft or helicopters.
  • Interactive Interiors: The add-on allows simmers to explore the Hindenburg’s interiors, from the control gondola to the passenger cabins, offering insights into the airship’s operations and the luxury of early air travel.
  • Educational Value: Beyond entertainment, the simulation serves as a historical and technical education tool, detailing the design, functionality, and history of the LZ129 Hindenburg and the era of airships it represents.
  • Multiple Modes: Catering to both novices and seasoned simulators, this package includes various modes ranging from easy to realistic, allowing users to customize their experience according to their skill level and interest in the airship’s complexities.

There’s much more than this. Just spend some time reading the freely available manual (again, check that QR code on the Marketplace product page), and you’ll get a good grasp of what is being offered here.

There are, perhaps, a couple of caveats.

First, Red Wing mentions three versions of the Hindenburg with different levels of complexity and feature sets: Lite, Standard, and Premium. The Premium mode will even include a Career mode with missions. However, what’s currently available in the MSFS Marketplace is the Standard version. The Premium seems to be a few months away, and many of the described features appear exclusive to that version.

Secondly, this seems to be a very resource-intensive add-on. Not only does it require more than 11Gb of storage, but the developers also recommend some pretty high minimum specs: an Intel i7 11700K or faster and at least an RTX 3070.

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In any case, it’s highly advisable to read the manual with care and maybe even reach out to the developer before purchasing if you have any doubts. Because it’s not immediately clear if what’s described is available or not in the current version.

The Red Wing Simulations LZ 129 Hindenburg is now available for MSFS exclusively via the Marketplace, priced at $29.99. But don’t make it an impulse buy; do some research about it, both in the manual and Red Wing’s YouTube channel, to be more informed about what you’re getting.