During the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase 2022 event, Microsoft and Asobo unveiled a special expansion for Microsoft Flight Simulator. Coming later this year to celebrate the series’ 40th anniversary and aptly named the Anniversary Edition, it sports a variety of new aircraft for every player to enjoy. One of these aircraft is the legendary Douglas DC-3 twin piston engine propliner, and now we know which studio is developing it. Following the announcement, the team over at Aeroplane Heaven has confirmed that it is the mastermind behind bringing the DC-3 to Microsoft Flight Simulator. It also released some native screenshots showing the DC-3 in all of its glory.
The team confirmed its involvement with the DC-3 via a Facebook post on its official page. It’s promising both a realistic sound package and also a complex flight model for the DC-3. More updates on the plane’s progress will follow in the weeks and months leading up to the November release. Though the DC-3 will release for free, Aeroplane Heaven promises that simmers can expect it to perform with authenticity in mind.
Legend has it…
The Douglas DC-3 is an American built piston-engine prop that first entered service in 1935. Believe it or not, there are still existing airframes that are flying to this day, primarily as cargo planes.
Initially designed for use during WWII, it was reconfigured for civilian purposes in the mid-1940s and continued its life as both a commuter and cargo aircraft. Its radial piston engines are capable of producing up to 1200hp, giving it a cruising speed of just over 200mph and a range of about 1500 miles. It has enough power and a light enough frame to land and takeoff from short runways, a carry-over from its time as a war machine.
The Douglas DC-3 was built to be a resilient machine that can handle harsh conditions. That said, its longevity has also been emulated in the world of flight simulation, having been featured across various iterations of the Microsoft Flight Simulator series itself. The last time it was included as part of a base package was back in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight. It came alongside several other historical aircraft to celebrate 100 years of aviation history. Thus, its return here in the Anniversary Edition of the next-gen Microsoft Flight Simulator is essentially an encore performance.
Free for all
As mentioned earlier, the Aeroplane Heaven’s take on the Douglas DC-3 will release alongside a slew of other iconic aircraft in Microsoft Flight Simulator 40th Anniversary Edition in November. Like the DC-3, Microsoft has also outsourced yet another one of the planes to a third-party partner, the Airbus A310 from iniBuilds. That, too, is promising to deliver a study-level experience despite being a free add-on.
On the fully payware side of the fence, a few months ago PMDG released the successor to the DC-3 — the Douglas DC-6. It features an extended fuselage and two additional engines, resulting in it being both larger and more powerful than its smaller predecessor. Like its smaller sibling, there are, remarkably, still a few surviving DC-6s to this day.