27.1.2024 – 00:22z

BlueBird Simulations Provides a Lengthy Update on 757 Progress for Microsoft Flight Simulator

Just before January rounds out, BlueBird Simulations has released a new development update video to kick off 2024 and show the progress of its Boeing 757 project. The ‘Pencil Rocket’ has been in development for over two years now, and missed its 2023 target for release.

Shervin Ahooraei, CEO of BlueBird, immediately addressed this at the start of the video. According to him, the delay occurred as a matter of logistics. In addition to the addon’s scope of quality and complexity being expanded from “middle level” to “high fidelity”, the 757 project also lost its chief programmer, Eric, last summer. He amicably retired from the development scene, though Ahooraei confirmed that he’ll still be beta-testing the aircraft once it gets to that stage.

Three programmers filled Eric’s shoes, and then opted to, with Ahooraei’s blessing, totally revamp the programming language from Javascript to WebAssembly. This huge overhaul set back the project a bit further, though it was done in the name of increasing the aircraft’s level of polish and complexity.

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Some of the work of the various programmers has been demonstrated in this dev update, including the aircraft’s CDU, IRS, and Terrain Display, just to name a few. That spirit of revamping for the sake of authenticity has also spread to the cockpit, which got an overhaul since earlier previews; this is the “final iteration”, according to Ahooraei. Navigraph support is confirmed and will be a functional part of the 757’s EFB and flight computer.

Samples of the various liveries being created for the 757 were also shown off in the video, with the mention that they’re being recreated with accuracy in mind. These are some screengrabs from the dev update that show the precise work being done to the plane’s exterior:

When will BlueBird Simulations Release the 757?

Considering all of the overhauling that’s taken place throughout 2023, Ahooraei emphasized that the team continues to work hard to ensure that the aircraft will be of sterling quality. With that in mind, though it is now intending to release the 757 sometime in 2024, plans could once again shift if more work is needed.

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Will the BlueBird 757 come to MSFS 2020 or MSFS 2024?

Ahooraei also made sure to address the big elephant in the room: which version of Microsoft Flight Simulator is the 757 targeting? While confirming that this is indeed still a Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 project, customers who purchase this add-on will benefit from a free update in the future sim that will provide enhancements.

Is the cargo variant of the 757 also being developed?

Simmers that enjoy flying cargo ops will be happy to know that the cargo variant of the Boeing 757 is also being developed, though it won’t be released alongside the passenger variant of the add-on. Instead, it will release at a later date as a “paid expansion”.

Will the BlueBird 757 support the Xbox?

While Ahooraei confirmed that the 757 is coming to the Xbox at some point, this will be a “PC first” release not only in terms of timing, but also in terms of complexity. There are some complex systems that the Xbox version of Microsoft Flight Simulator doesn’t support, so BlueBird is working within the needed confines for that release. For simmers who want the full-fledged experience, however, the PC version will provide superior quality.

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All the details

The entire development update is over 20 minutes long, and it goes into a lot of in-depth, technical terms for some of the aircraft’s systems. Yet, there’s still even more to be shown at a later date. The team hopes to provide future updates every 1 to 2 months moving forward. In the meantime, it’s nice to see real progress being made with the aircraft, even if it continues to yet be a long time coming.

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