7.2.2024 – 18:15z

MSFS February Development Update: G3X Receiving Overhaul

The Microsoft Flight Simulator team has taken to its website to share the latest development update for the platform, recapping the recent releases of World Update 16: Caribbean and Local Legend 14, as well as sharing some exciting details about upcoming features for SU 15, like performance improvements and a Working Title G3X Update.

World Update XVI: Caribbean

On Tuesday, January 30th, World Update 16 was released, focusing on the Caribbean region, which includes many countries and territories. From Cuba and the Bahamas to Trinidad and Tobago, nearly every island in between received some attention, as the update includes 104 POIs, such as the Nassau Harbor Lighthouse in the Bahamas, Colbeck Castle in Jamaica, and the Handelskade in Curacao.

This update also includes the following seven hand-crafted airports made by Gaya Simulations:

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  • MDPP Puerto Plata Airport (Dominican Republic)
  • MTCA Antoine-Simon Airport (Haiti)
  • MKJS Sangster International (Jamaica)
  • TTCP A.N.R. Robinson International (Trinidad and Tobago)
  • MYEH North Eleuthera Airport (Bahamas)
  • TFFS Les Saintes Airport (Guadeloupe)
  • MUCL Vilo Acuna International (Cuba)

This update is available for free from the in-game marketplace. You can view the release trailer here. For more info on the update and its development, you can look at our release article here.

Local Legend 14: Bell 47J Ranger

For fans of vintage aircraft and rotorcraft, this helicopter ticks both boxes. The Bell 47J was introduced in 1956 as a four-seat variant of the earlier three-seat Bell 47H and was manufactured until 1967 by Bell Helicopter. Its significance to the Caribbean, as Jorg Neumann explains in the developer live stream, is that it was one of the helicopters used in the area in the early days of aviation when few airports were on the islands. It was also featured in the James Bond film “Thunderball”, which is set in the Bahamas.

The sim version of the Bell 47J was developed by iniBuilds and features two variants, one with conventional skids and one with floats, along with seven liveries for each variant. It’s available from the in-sim marketplace for $14.99.

Read also: Active Sky for MSFS Announced by HiFi Simulation Technologies

Sim Update 15 Improvements

A few general improvements were mentioned in the development stream. Here are the highlights of what’s to come:

  • AI traffic improvements: Asobo is working with Working Title to bring a reworked air traffic system which should substantially improve the AI traffic’s behavior. The new system will also use your livery add-ons to match the livery of the AI traffic to the received one from FlightAware. In case there is no matching livery, the system will look for a livery that matches the region you are flying in.
  • Memory allocation: Asobo has been developing a new memory allocation strategy for MSFS2024 which they have been able to implement in MSFS2020. It should improve performance at heavy airports and reduce stuttering after long flights and when panning the camera around.
  • Glass cockpit performance improvements: Working Title has found a way to optimize the glass cockpit performance in the sim by adjusting the update cycles on the CoherentGT UI thread, which is responsible for rendering digital instruments in cockpits. The images shown on stream showed an impressive 18 fps gain.

Sim Update 15 is expected to release on March 12th, with the first round of beta testers expected to receive access soon.

Working Title G3X Overhaul

The Garmin G3X has been one of the community’s most requested for Working Title to overhaul after their fantastic work with all the previously updated Garmin units. In the development stream, Dominik Gallus from Working Title finally showed off the work the team has been doing recently in bringing us this highly requested upgrade.

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Coming in SU15, the G3X will have many of the features and customizability of the real unit, including engine data pages, split and full-screen modes, multiple autopilot choices for developers, TIS or TAS-based traffic avoidance, and more. The real G3X unit by itself is only capable of VFR point-to-point and direct-to navigation unless it is paired with an external IFR navigator like a GTN or GNS. This behaviour will also be simulated, and integration with third-party navigators will be possible.

World Hub

A closed alpha for the World Hub was recently launched, and Asobo confirms it is going well. About 1200 applications were received, and around 450 invitations were sent as of Feb 1st. Asobo is actively reviewing the feedback from those in the alpha to implement changes and quality-of-life fixes for the full release.

The World Hub will serve as a way for the community to submit corrections to default airports, and it was mentioned on stream that Asobo plans to integrate the approved airport submissions into the game about once per month, with the first being targeted for later in February. A list of the updated airports will be provided whenever these updates are released.

Read also: iniBuilds Shows Upcoming Los Angeles Airport Update

The original development update and live stream can be found on the MSFS website here.

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