Right on time, Asobo has rolled out the eighth Sim Update for Microsoft Flight Simulator. Following the last few weeks of beta tests, Sim Update VIII is now available for public release, bringing with it a slew of improvements. New challenges, improved game modes and enhancements to engine simulation are all a part of this latest release.
A few weeks ago, Asobo hosted one of its regular Microsoft Flight Simulator Developer Q&A streams. There, we got our first look at the improved propeller simulation that has been included in this update. With this new system, the simulator now takes into account various realistic factors that affect propeller behavior and performance. This includes feathering, prop drag, and more. In laymen’s terms, propellers now react far more realistically and are no longer static and simplistic.
The previous prop system was basically a tweaked carryover from some of the coding seen in the very aged FSX. Now, this more modern coding allows for more realistic operations across several different aircraft.
Tuning up the realism
The coding affects default aircraft. Asobo has (so far) patched in the new prop simulation to the Cessna 152, Cessna 208B Grand Caravan EX, and the Beechcraft King Air 350i. There are a lot more default props in the sim. Asobo has yet to mention exactly if/when they will receive this enhancement. As for third-party aircraft, the enhancements are available in the sim’s SDK for their use. It will be up to each model maker whether or not they’ll include it.
Beyond the new prop simulation, Sim Update VIII for Microsoft Flight Simulator includes other highlights. There’s a refreshed interface for the in-game Marketplace, a new landing challenge for the Cessna CJ4, and the ability to participate in a Private Match in the Reno Air expansion (complete with custom rules and race settings).
The update brings various other fixes and improvements to the sim. Performance optimization, bug fixes, live weather system enhancements, avionics fixes and tweaks, improved cloud save functionality, aircraft-specific tweaks and fixes, and several other tidbits are included. The extensive full changelog can be found on the sim’s official website.
This is just a start
This might be only the second Sim Update for the year, but there’s still a lot more fresh content to look forward to before the summer. World Update VIII arrives on March 22, bringing enhancements to the Iberian Peninsula — the landmass that contains Spain and Portugal. A new aircraft that’s part of the Local Legends collection will also be released: the Dornier Do J.
Asobo also remains committed to outfitting Microsoft Flight Simulator with more upgrades. The game will receive full DX12 support by the end of 2022. Other incoming enhancements include proper multi-screen functionality, a full replay mode, the long-awaited addition of helicopters, and more.