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Microsoft Flight Simulator support

UKV1685 - Matthew Lewis

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Following the exiting news of the release of Microsoft Flight Simulator coming in just over a month, we just wanted to brief members on the Fly UK position as we have already received a number of member questions about how we are planning to support it. The staff team are looking forward to welcoming its support here at Fly UK however we just need to be mindful of expectations, currently we are unfortunately not in a position to confirm usage from day one of release.

Whilst I appreciate many of us are itching to get our hands on the title, I'd just like to take this opportunity to be open and honest as to the steps needed and some of the considerations to introduce its use into Fly UK as a supported title.

Although some of the staff team do have beta access, they remain bound by Microsoft NDA so we are unable to test anything until final release is made. Clearly this will rely on key staff having purchase access to the final version also which may not be the case on or immediately after release day.

The good news is that Simconnect which Skytrack uses for its sim data capture does feature in MSFS so we should be able to update our software, however we need time to be able to test the data outputs that are critical for our databases and Skytrack operation before we can accept MSFS PIREP's.

MSFS comes with an array of aircraft choice depending which version you purchase. For Flying Club a wide range of choice will be available within the title but airline ops will be more restrictive at release. Boeing 747-8i and Cessna Grand Caravan will be available for all edition buyers for Mainstream and TOPA franchise use respectively and the Boeing 787-10 will also be available for Premium Edition buyers. At present Fly UK does not operate the A320 NEO so we wont be able to accept PIREPs at this stage however we do have plans to address this very soon.

At this stage its unclear which third party developers will be porting across product on what timelines so for the interim fleet choice will be somewhat limited for MSFS users. We fully expect freeware port-over and development to be highly limited in the new title also much as has been the case in X-Plane As result payware will likely be the norm so please bear this in mind with your purchase choices. Currently Fly UK has no intention to change its long standing fleet substitution policies with plenty of choice available to all platform users within our virtual world.

For livery packs, again at this stage until we have paint team members with access to the final version along with the resources and knowledge to tackle MSFS repainting, we are unable to give any indication on time frame. You can bet however we'll be wanting our livery in the new FS skies as soon as we can.

Online Network and FSD flying
As with our own software, it should be expected the online networks will not be MSFS ready at release time but no doubt they will also be pushing hard to resolve. As far as Fly UK FSD is concerned, its highly likely it will not be supported bearing in mind it relies an an older version of vpilot to function, regular FSD event flyers should bear this in mind as you may still need your older sim to join these events.  

Whilst MSFS comes with its own multiplayer environment, we are keen to avoid segregated events so until that puzzle is resolved by the wider sim community, we will continue with our current event access for FSX/P3D and XP users.

I hope that gives you a bit of flavour into where we stand with this new platform. We are as excited to see what it can offer us as much as you so please bear with us as we work though the necessary steps so it can sit alongside our current platforms as a choice for Fly UK members.

Matthew Lewis - Fly UK CEO
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