Asobo Studio has released a new episode of its Feature Discovery series which focuses on elements of Microsoft Flight Simulator. The new video focuses on IFR, or instrument flight rules. Damien Cuzaco, Lead Design at Asobo, starts of by stating that the studio has partnered with NavBlue to get navigation data for Microsoft Flight Simulator, and that the data is updated every 28 days following the real-world update schedule put out by Aeronautical Information Regulation And Control or AIRAC. The navigation data set includes restricted and controlled areas, waypoints, non-directional beacons, communication frequencies, VHF omnidirectional radio range (VOR), flight approaches, departure procedures, and arrival procedures.
From navigation, Damien looks at flight planning. Players will have the option to start in the air already from any point on Earth, on the runway waiting to take off or from the departure gate. When players choose a destination to start from and a destination to travel to then flight planning can be done. The flight plan screen will work out the best route to take depending on if you want to do direct flights, indirect, high altitude, or low altitude. The routes are not set in stone and can be edited manually if you want to add some waypoints and take a more scenic route. The planner will suggest a cruising altitude but that can also be edited. The NavLog will give pilots an estimated travel time between waypoints so you can see exactly how long a flight should take. Routes that are generated in Microsoft Flight Simulator will be true to life due to the navigation data provided by NavBlue. This flight plan will then be transferred to aircraft’s instruments, and these can be edited in the cockpit. You can also create new flight plans on this screen too. There are a lot of different systems players will be able to engage with different flights.
Air Traffic Control systems will be playing a part with ground control giving pilots supervision when taxiing planes to and from runways, giving details to pilots about live and AI air traffic in the area before giving clearance to takeoff. Players can delegate ATC communications to the AI co-pilot if they just want to focus on flying the aircraft, though communicating with ATCs appears to give a lot more immersion. The flight’s weather radar will be able to pick up live weather data, though this can be changed to give different conditions. The video then looks at landing procedures with the demo showing the team asking for clearance to land. If you choose to land without clearance AI behaviour will change with other flights nearby changing patterns and queuing waiting to land once the player has landed or cleared off.
Microsoft Flight Simulator is expected to release this year for Xbox One and PC.