Microsoft Flight Simulator Tornado and Saab 340 and 2000 Get Development Updates, Lukla Announced

Today third-party developers provided development updates about add-ons coming to Microsoft Flight Simulator, while a couple more have been released.

We start with IndiaFoxtEcho’s Panavia Tornado, which doesn’t yet have a release date because the developer decided to add a few more features to the release version, shifting them from the first update. 

  • in-cockpit 3D menu (to manage configurations, WSO checklists, etc.)
  • ground power unit (in case you need to start the aircraft with a depleted battery… 3D model courtesy of our friends at Heatblur)
  • HGU-55G (with custom artworks for some squadrons), HGU-55P and MK.3 helmets, and proper oxygen masks
  • better CRPMD support and functionality
  • additional RAF liveries

The release date is “very close” but for now, we get to see new screenshots.

Another extensive update comes from NextGen Simulations, which revealed the development stage of its Saab 340 and Saab 2000 regional airliners, also confirming that it’s working on a Fokker 50.

First, regarding the S340 exterior model, aside from the little teaser of the initial S340 model exported in the sim, showcased in the first video from the NextGen’s YouTube channel (in the final 20-30 seconds to be exact), I want to show a little teaser of the details that have been remade since the last set of renders from mid-2022.

Immediately after the release of the EMB-110 v1.6.0 update back in July ’23, I spent around half a year overhauling the relevant details from the aircraft’s exterior, such as landing gear, wheels, fuselage (yes, because it’s cross-section wasn’t correct from the beginning, I deeply apologize for that), cockpit and cabin windows cutout, among many others.

Some of those parts were not correct shape-wise or were lacking some important details, and some others needed some refinement such as polys increasing and a more uniform shape (mostly with curves which looked a bit squared), especially in preparation for the S2000 model development. I want a really nice looking model for these Saab turboprop-driven airliners, while also taking advantage of the advanced graphics engine from MSFS. Cabin modelling will follow soon, as I must first work on the interior model. In addition, I’m also prepping the exterior model to add the other LOD layers.

Same will happen for the interior model as well. By the way, I’m also working on the S340’s interior model, refining details, finishing overall modelling, and prepping for texturing. 

Because of this major rework, the models don’t feature any textures yet, and I’m prepping the model to be exported to Substance 3D Painter, “sending it to brass and painting work” (like we in Colombia use to say). In addition, the ones from the mid-2022 previews aren’t ready yet for use with the MSFS rendering engine, because they need the missing normal maps and PBR maps. This is something I told everyone on Discord, for those who are there. I promise you to post more teasers of the model with textures and animations done once I finish this item.

I’d like to thank those of you (especially on Discord) who contributed with very good resources and input for the S340’s model. I really appreciate your time and effort with such contributions. Some of the nose landing gear parts (especially) were actually re-modelled thanks to that valuable input.

Now, behind the scenes, I also began the S2000’s exterior modelling, based on the S340’s model (because of the airframe similarities between one and another). Here are some little teasers of the S2000’s exterior model.

We stay in the realm of aircraft with two more videos for the Beechcraft 60 Duke by Black Square.

This time around, we get to see the startup procedure and the EFB tablet. The two versions of the aircraft (and a bundle with both) are still scheduled to release on April 8.

Moving on to airports, Aerosoft and Limesim announced Tenzing-Hillary Airport (VNLK) in Lukla, Nepal. It’s well-known as the gateway to Everest and one of the most dangerous airports in the world. A release date has not been revealed just yet.

  • Detailed 3D terrain model of Lukla airport with high resolution photorealistic textures.
  • Newly constructed Lukla Helipad with terminal building.
  • Newly constructed terminal extension with interiors.
  • Recently erected Tenzing-Hillary statue and gardens right next to the runway.
  • Lots of animated people, animals, creek along the runway
  • Animated ground service ATV
  • Realistic night lighting
  • Various typical sounds
  • Detailed manual

Another announcement comes from UK2000 Scenery which revealed Aberdeen Airport (EGPD) in Scotland. This one will be released on Simmarket and on the developer’s own store soon and you can already see a trailer below.

Incidentally, it’s a completely separate project from the one recently released by Aura Scenery and published by iniBuilds.

Moving on to releases, Hangar Studios launched the North American Ryan Navion L-17B and L-17D. It’s available on Orbx Direct, Simmarket, and for approximately $14.98. 

  • New Navion L-17B & L-17D(Ski Variant) 3D models, Engines, Aerodynamics, Computational Fluid Dynamics, and performance
  • Experience the meticulous precision of vintage interior and exterior detailing on both models, capturing the essence of a bygone era.
  • 20 – 4K highly detailed liveries with 19 liveries based on real Navions and one concept WASP (Women’s Air Force Service Pilots) livery.
  • Excellent aircraft feel, handling characteristics, and trim behavior based on extensive real-world pilot flight testing.
  • Simulated ground physics added realism and authenticity to the original L-17B/D.
  • Unique animation feature that adds realism and nostalgia, reminiscent of vintage aviation instrumentation, seamlessly integrated into the cockpit interface.
  • Custom-coded hydraulic simulation for both gear and flaps operations.
  • Full working circuitry and life-like lighting for annunciators and exterior lighting FX.
  • Custom Aerobatic Smoke system based on live-time weather conditions and 3D modeling.
  • Complete MSFS Flight Manual included in Documentation or downloadable from the website with detailed graphics, charts, and language.
  • Choose between optional GPS units or opt for a minimalist approach and a fully functional (Hidden) KAP140 Auto Pilot, discreetly integrated for a seamless flying experience.
  • MSFS default Working Title GNS430 with swappable PMS50 GTN650.
  • Integrated Asobo Sound FX.
  • Exquisitely crafted exterior and interior designs, featuring meticulously detailed textures with subtle weathering effects, dynamic aircraft registration decals, and sophisticated animations.
  • Custom camera views and Pilot walk-around inspection and instrument views.
  • Custom audio integration for the PS Engineering Inc. PM1000// Intercom.
  • Fully operational vintage venturi tubes, integrated for an immersive instrumentation experience reminiscent of aviation’s golden era.
  • Dimmable red vintage lighting for simulated nighttime cockpit operation.
  • Clipboard functionality for pre-flight/ post-flight aircraft storage with saved state technology.
  • Animated 3d modeled battery with cover.
  • Custom frosting, rain, wheel/ski surface dynamics, and FX.
  • Static 3D objects for added vintage realism, modeled and textured for accurate real-world authenticity.
  • Weight and balance customization accuracy are detailed in the in-sim Map setup menu.
  • Authentic Navion vintage yoke design and animations.
  • Multiple clickable and moveable objects including sliding canopy, vents, glove box, hidable native MSFS pilots & more!
  • Authentic Fuel System with Primer and fuel gauges.
  • Excellent animated instrumentation 100% based on a currently flying vintage Navion L-17.
  • With outstanding performance, the Navions L-17B & L-17D outperform default models in their class.

Lastly, Fly2High released Yeosu Airport (RKJY), one of the southernmost airports in South Korea. it’s now available on Orbx Direct for $14.99.

  • loped Runway
  • Accurate simulation of the nearest Yeosu Airport
  • Hand-made ground textures (Runways, aprons, paths, roads).
  • Accurately modeled and positioned dynamic airport lighting.
  • Highly detailed models of all airport buildings, objects, and surroundings.
  • Good optimization of FPS

As usual, please keep in mind that here on TechRaptor, you can find daily Microsoft Flight Simulator news for your perusal.