At Flight Sim Show Cosford 2019, the team had the amazing opportunity to meet the biggest influencers and developers of the flight simulator market and conduct exclusive interviews on both days. Below, we will give a roundup of some of the biggest interviews we conducted, in a summary!
A big shout out to Morgan and Kate who were passers-by of the booth who stopped by to have a quick chat on-air with Connor McLeod!
Matt Hayward with Winfried from Aerosoft
When asked about the Airbus A330, Winfried jokingly replied “What’s that?” in response to Matt’s question. According to Winfried, as long as Lockheed [Martin] doesn’t make any major changes to the program, we can expect the Aerosoft A330 in November 2019. He noted it is available in Prepar3D version 4 only, with no immediate plans to bring this to X-Plane due to the market containing many Airbus aircraft and the team at Aerosoft want to plan to support Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020.
Winfried also stated that if the development team has time, we may expect to see the Aerosoft Airbus A320 series bring the new NEO version into the virtual skies, especially with the time required to bring existing products to MSFS 2020.
With regard to Aerosoft scenery, Winfried confirmed we can expect to see; Geneva for X-Plane and P3D, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Munich, Singapore and Brussels, with Brussels to be expected by the end of the year.
Connor McLeod with Alex from Magknight
Most famed for the Boeing 787 in X-Plane, Alex confirmed they are aiming to be study-level, working on their own systems and programming to bring the long-range aircraft to X-Plane. The latest update from Magknight has a brand-new interior and exterior models, including a cabin, opening doors and a cockpit improvement, admittedly something that needs work according to Alex. Magknight has an increased work-rate, and discussing the custom flight computer, Alex said “soon… ish”. In the meantime, the interim CDU takes the default CDU and adds in a new faceplate, with additions made to the autopilot to improve the flying experience.
Alex stated that they have got a website in the works, and you can buy their 787 product from the X-Plane store for $45.
Connor McLeod with Jason and Laura from Infinite Flight
InfiniteFlight is a mobile flight simulator for iOS and Android devices. With the base game coming with 20 aircraft, the base app costs just $4.99 to enjoy the game in a simple app. With excellent rendering or 50m per pixel scenery, even real airlines share their aircraft thinking it was the real thing! With a training server available, users on a subscription can learn some rules and how to fly with ATC in a learning environment. In the expert mode, you will abide by real-world rules, similar to VATSIM, where controllers are vetted by staff members to ensure the controllers are trained to a high standard, bringing the best in mobile flight simulation to your device. All ATC on InfiniteFlight is done via text, to make it easier with a language barrier and to ensure the safeguarding of children who could use the app. When asked about voice ATC, Jason confirmed they are looking into a voice ATC server.
The training for ATC, if you are interested, starts with a small airport and a small written test, before working your way through the classes of airspace. If you want to be an approach/departure controller, further training is required to learn how to guide the aircraft safely. When discussing shortcuts to make text ATC easier, Laura confirmed you have to select options from a menu to communicate with the controller.
Laura confirmed there are no plans to bring InfiniteFlight to a desktop game as they prefer to spend their time dedicated onto one platform.
InfiniteFlight will soon see the C172 having live gauges to support VOR/NDB navigation and being able to select the course/bearing from the cockpit. Jason confirmed that this year was a big push to bring InfiniteFlight up to a study-level simulator by improving instruments to allow students to learn how to fly from scratch, making use of the different servers available. They also confirmed that airport buildings will soon be a feature of the mobile simulator!
Josh Riley with Simon and Gunnar from VATSIM
Audio For VATSIM was recently released, with Gunnar calling it “revolutionising how voice is on VATSIM”. With realistic VHF/HF simulation, a realistic range degradation and getting rid of the voice delay, that has “plagued” the voice architecture for years. Gunnar stated that their interaction was very little in the development. They gave the developing team the support and tools to bring AFV to the network. The UK division was heavily involved with the beta testing where special events were put on to use the new system and helping with how oceanic control works to simulate the real world in great detail.
Controllers will be able to open multiple frequencies, with only the primary frequency showing to pilots to make it easier to understand who to contact. In the future, the plan is to allow controllers to open unstaffed positions below them and manage it all as one frequency. The functionality already fully exists in the program, within 6 months time, accurate CTAF (Common Traffic Advisory Frequency) frequencies will be available to use.
When describing what VATSIM is to people who don’t know, Gunnar said “We are essentially an online multiplayer server. You plug in your simulator into the server, with controllers adding their ATC simulator into the server in which you can interact with pilots and controllers in real-time. Every aircraft you see inside the server is a real person flying on the network.”
Connor McLeod with Calum from FSElite discussing MSFS 2020
Calum started off his interview talking about his invitation to try the new simulator hands-on out in Seattle. He was given the option to choose one of three GA aircraft and could “choose from a globe” where in the world to fly. As soon as he took off, he set off in search of his own house in his city which he found, though he noted it wasn’t an exact match of his house, but an appropriate looking house. Further on in the interview, he noted just how much detail had been put into the flight simulator.
When Calum interviewed Jorg Neumann he was clear it was a long-term investment of 10 years, and looking to work closely with 3rd party developers and the community, which could mean that MSFS 2020 is here to stay and appears to be a revolution in the industry. The team behind MSFS 2020 were very clear to say that they will need to work with 3rd party developers to improve it and bring immersive products to the product.
VR is something that they would like to incorporate into the game but is not something that has been implemented already. The community feedback with VR has been very clear to show that people would love to use VR inside MSFS 2020.
And that is a wrap! We enjoyed meeting those of you who attended Cosford, and hope we covered the event in enough detail to make you all feel like you were actually there! See you in June for FlightSimExpo!