Week Highlights: JustFlight, ShortFinal, Orbx, and others finish January with a bang
Welcome back to The Sunday Review! This week, the community is inundated with a plethora of content to delve into; as with most last-week-of-the-month, developers scurry to push updates, WIPs and releases out the door, so this week is filled to the brim with major announcements from the big dogs in the community. We’re a few days away from the beginning of the Lunar New Year too, so for our eastern-based readers: a happy new year of the pig! Kung Hei Fat Choi!
To start, the folks at Advanced Flight Modelling kicked off the X-Plane news week with news of the M20 Collection entering beta testing for version 4. The update will bring a multitude of new features and bug-fixes. Most importantly, v4.0 allows for full compatibility with X-Plane 11.30:
Later in the day, the folks at VSKYLABS Aerospace Simulations formally announced the development of an ICON A5 for X-Plane 11. The light amphibious sport aircraft has a 100 hp engine, and with it a unique design not seen in other aircraft, while not in production yet the aircraft garnered considerable attention at airshows like Oshkosh. Read more here: LINK ...It first flew five years ago and for VSkyLabs, the rendition has been in development for X-Plane for over a year:
Our friends at FlyingIron Simulations has released their beautiful recreation of the Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IX on Tuesday, after an extended preview period. The infamous World War II RAF aircraft was one of the most produced in the world with over 20 thousand examples manufactured, and is an icon of British aviation. FlyingIron’s version contains 4 variants of the aircraft:
No longer than a week after the release of their Spectr SP-30, MadFlight announced their latest project; the Antonov AN-26. The Russian aircraft development team have so far only showed off textured radio panels, however, much more can be expected in the future they say. Read more here: LINK
And on the 30th, the final instalment of Orbx's TrueEarth Great Britain series is now available. This marks a major accomplishment for the scenery giant, as the entirety of the UK is fully covered in exquisite detail and serves as a technology demonstrator to show what the team can do in the X-Plane (and ESP) platforms. Check out our article on it here: LINK
Later on in the week, Friday brought news of Orbx releasing their latest UK scenery; Fairoaks Airport (EGTF). Continuing their quest in making the UK the most richly recreated country in X-Plane. Just outside of Greater London, in Surrey, Fairoaks is a General Aviation airport that, like many UK aerodromes, was involved with World War II, but was initially operated as a private airstrip in the 1930s. Check out to the full article for further details: LINK
On the same day, JustFlight released their latest X-Plane aircraft this week, in the form of another Piper - the PA-28-181 Archer III. This is a conversion of their existing Prepar3D PA-28-181, but in no way lacks quality. Check out the full feature list and where to buy here: LINK
For simmers based in the Windy City, you're in for a real treat if you bought Nimbus's KORD. Our friends at Nimbus Simulation Studios kindly provided us with some exclusive screenshots of an upcoming update to their Chicago O’Hare (KORD) scenery on Wednesday - along with numerous bug fixes, the update notably adds a custom winter texture set and more scattered airport vehicles: LINK
Only a few days after the release of their Piper PA-28-181, JustFlight again made headlines with the announcement of the BAe-146 for Prepar3D and FSX. A very welcome addition to X-Plane's jetliner collection, there are no proper rendition of the aircraft except the Avroliner Project which is largely believed to be neglected as of late. Our friends at Tom’s Cockpit confirmed the aircraft was due to come to X-Plane - check out the prospective features and previews here: LINK
Popular scenery developer MisterX delivers yet again under ShortFinal Design as they released their latest scenery project; Munich, on Thursday evening to large fanfare. Pushing the envelope on how large scale airports should be created. One of our editors, Sam Clark, had the exclusive privilege of reviewing the scenery prior to it’s release - you can check out the review here: LINK
Another big ESP-platform developer announced their entrance to the X-Plane scene this week, with FlightBeam teaming up with Bill Womack of iBlueYonder to bring their recently released Portland scenery to Laminar’s sim. Threshold was the first to report on this rumour in December - get the full scoop here: LINK
Military aircraft developers AOA Simulations are nearing completion of their latest project, the F-35A. This is their third X-Plane aircraft, after the F-35B and V-22 Osprey, the most recent of which was released in March last year. There are a metric tonne of previews of AOA’s rendition of the American stealth fighter, so we put them all together in a mega-thread, which you can find here: LINK
An Economy-Simulation was the main drawcard of SimCoder’s Reality Expansion Pack version 4 - the main idea behind the new money system is that it rewards flight time and landings with virtual dollars, which can then be spent on fuel, maintenance and more. Check out the full feature list on our article here.
Laminar Research celebrates TGIF with the pushed a small X-Plane update (v11.31) on Friday, bringing numerous fixes to bugs caused by the recently released version 11.30. The full feature list is available here: LINK
Aerobask are still headstrong with development bringing news about their almost released next aircraft: a new version of the Epic 1000 with a new touchscreen G1000. The upcoming plane has been shown off via two new preview videos demonstrating the aircraft's new functionalities:
HiFi SimTech are running an open beta for the first major update to their weather addon Active Sky XP - the beta began on Wednesday and brings a multitude of new features, most notably it adds turbulence effects on large aircraft - a feature suspiciously missing from the initial release version. Read more here: LINK
Another weather developer also announces an update to their product; relatively newcomer to the environment scene, xAmbience has unvealed their first Service Pack in development. Not a newcomer to development troubles, the team experienced a sluggish entry into X-Plane with numerous delays but ultimately finished their work with a bang and to positive reception. Read more here: LINK
JustSim is back on its legs after a period of developmental delays concerning their newly released Malta airport scenery, citing difficulties during the development process. The new scenery is one of their most comphrehensive yet, with custom localised building modelling to more accurately paint the surrounding landscape which the airport is situated in
To end the week on a sweet note, Stairport Sceneries has released new information and previews of their existing port of Aspen airport to take advantage of their newly built animation system SAM, as Aspen airport lacks jetways, SAM would be utilised for animating human movement, additionally the scenery will include new winter textures! LINK
Happy flying - and have a wonderful new week!