4.3.2024 – 19:39z

Aero Dynamics: Freeware DC-10 Project Releases New Development Update

The development team at Aero Dynamics shared new progress on their freeware DC-10/KC-10 project for MSFS. This project has been under development for almost three years, with their first quarterly dev update released in July of 2021.

The team of volunteers at Aero Dynamics has been hard at work since their previous update in October of 2023. The KC-10/DC-10 project is a freeware development project being worked on by a group of dedicated volunteers to bring a high-quality, study-level rendition of the Douglas DC-10 Jetliner for MSFS. The tentative release schedule for this project is to release the KC-10 Air-to-Air Refueling Tanker first, followed by the DC-10 Freighter, and concluded with the DC-10-30 passenger variant.

This quarterly dev update focuses on three primary areas: Exterior Detailing, Cockpit Customization, and Backend Operations. Let’s go through each section and learn more about this exciting project.

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Exterior Modeling

Extensive work has gone into both the exterior and interior models of the aircraft since the last dev update. The exterior work has focused on improving small details such as riveting and wear patterns. This is an effort to improve overall exterior immersion significantly. The fidelity and accuracy of modeling have also undergone thorough reworking and verification by referencing readily available models and parts catalogs.

As seen in the images above, it is very clear that the effort put into this model has not gone to waste. Details, including the shrinkage of the fuselage’s skin around the structure of the frame, as well as harder-to-notice quirks such as inconsistent fittings and rivets, bring the overall exterior model to another level of fidelity for freeware aircraft. The nature of the work-in-progress state is evident by the contrast of the wing to the body of the airframe; however, it’s only a matter of time until the wings receive the same attention to detail.

Interior Modeling

The interior modeling has seen similar levels of attention, including a uniquely detailed approach to customized cockpits. The DC-10 and KC-10, having seen many eras of aviation history, have many different cockpit layouts and specifications. From fully analog dials and switches to an early ’90s glass cockpit instrumentation. The DC-10/KC-10 is a demanding aircraft to model instrumentation accurately.

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The team at Aero Dynamics has gone through the effort of including accurate customization options for their add-on. Included in the currently announced options are different specifications of radios, ADF Tuners, Transponders, Engine Gauges, HSIs, VOR displays, DME displays, and more. Alongside all of these options, there are customization options included for the Engineer’s Station with various interchangeable gauges.

This level of customization and detail included in a freeware add-on is unprecedented. The only other freeware project that stands close to the scope and size of the Aero Dynamics DC-10 is the FlyByWire A380. While the two developers have very different approaches to development transparency, both projects are very exciting and may have the opportunity to shake up the flight simulation add-on marketplace.

Systems

Coupled with the modeling upgrades, the systems have also seen extensive work done to their interactivity and functionality. Aero Dynamics intends for the Engineer’s Station to be fully interactable and able to handle situations beyond standard operations. The developer is using reference material such as Aircraft Maintenance Manuals, Pilot Reference Handbooks, and part catalogs to ensure that systems match their real-world counterparts as closely as possible.

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Aero Dynamics DC-10/KC-10 Project

This freeware project is proving to be incredibly promising. The work that has gone into systems, 3D modeling, and customizability is showcasing the strength of the freeware development community. These add-ons serve as a reality check and stirrup for the established flight simulation add-on marketplace that is much needed. Stay tuned for more news on the Aero Dynamics DC-10/KC-10 project as it continues to impress and improve.

There is no official release date or window announced for this project. This is very much a “it will release when it’s ready” kind of development mindset. While the anticipation is mounting, keep in mind that this is a development team of volunteers and freelancers, dedicating their time and energy to release a top-of-the-line freeware product for the community. If you would like to join Aero Dynamics Discord Server and show some appreciation for their work, click here. For more MSFS News, Reviews, and Editorials, check out our dedicated MSFS News page!

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