In a recent behind-the-scenes video, Microsoft Flight Simulator Jorg Neumann took a field trip to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. The stated goal was to promote the games'' 40th anniversary update, which will include iconic aircraft like the Spirit of St. Louis and the Wright Flyer in the game in November. Neumann also revealed that he and his team are planning an even bigger addition Space Shuttle Discovery.
In an interview, Neumann spoke with Polygon, saying, "I have to sign a deal, and it will take a while." However, can we? Should we? I think we should.
The 40th Anniversary Edition of Microsoft Flight Simulators will be a free upgrade for the base game. It will include a number of new aircraft, including those mentioned above, as well as a significant improvement to its already robust physics system. It''s called the Fluid Dynamics Simulation module, and its incredibly crucial for the implementation of two new types of aircraft: helicopters and gliders.
The majority of fixed-wing aircraft can be piloted in Microsoft Flight Simulator, which is currently capable of producing lift by flying into the wind, using the powerful thrust generated by an engine to generate forward velocity that pulls an airplane off the ground and into the air. However, the helicopter''s wings can be adjusted so that the axis of lift may be tilted forward and back, or side to side, to impart velocity onto the vehicle. This type of flight requires a completely different and far more complex physics simulation.
Gliders require even greater force to simulate virtually. This is because these aircraft dont actually have an engine at all. Instead, pilots must rely on the air around them to wreak havoc on their planes. In fact, he started flying them in his teens.
Neumann claims that the skies were different if you fly over there, and that''s where the air spirals up. [...] It''s quite common to think about certain kinds of strings of clouds that rotate a certain way. It''s difficult to tell, but when you fly over there thats where the air spirals upward, and you can fly your glider into that and basically spiral out. [...] It''s a matter of time, which is a little different from what weve done so far.
When you''re looking to land a glider, you need to get an engine to boost you up and out of the situation. In theory, you get only one shot to hit the runway. Make a mistake and you will need to drop weight in the form of ballast, usually water, in order to get enough lift to try and land somewhere else.
Neumann said that while I was out on a field, I walked away from the airport. Everything you see is trees and fields, and you feel like, OK. Sometimes I had to drop some water to get over the trees just to land.
Once Microsoft Flight Simulator has the capability to accommodate gliders, it is capable of carrying the most powerful glider ever equipped, the Space Shuttle.
While a NASA reusable rocket swooped into orbit on top of massive liquid-fueled rockets, it returned to Earth without any power, punching through the upper atmosphere at 16,000 miles per hour before slowing to a measly 215 miles per hour at touchdown. And unlike baby Jorg Neumann, pilots werent aware of the dangers of a lightning on the ground.
At this point, no specific plans are in place to ship the Space Shuttle Discovery to Microsoft Flight Simulator. However, after November''s update, the platform will have everything it needs, including, hopefully, a contract with the Air and Space Museum to make it happen.