Microsoft Flight Simulator devs outline plans for helicopters, historic planes, and Australia

overhead view of plane fuselage over beach
(Image credit: user @A___LIVAS on twitter)

Microsoft and Asobo Studio have detailed some exciting changes coming to Microsoft Flight Simulator over the course of 2022 in a development update and attending Q&A on YouTube.

Perhaps most notable was their further elaboration on plans to officially bring helicopters to the game by the end of the year. Modders have implemented helicopters previously, but Microsoft Flight Simulator's impressive reproduction of the physics behind manned flight actually makes it difficult to get helicopters working in the game. The simulation was developed with planes in mind, and the modders of the Hype Performance Group's helicopter pack used a brute-force approach in the current framework. For their official implementation, Asobo will be first testing a more granular air simulation on some upcoming planes, before putting out their officially-sanctioned helicopters.

MS Flight Sim 2022 roadmap

Asobo's roadmap for 2022 (Image credit: Asobo Studio)

Much of the body of the Q&A was devoted to Microsoft Flight Simulator's upcoming world updates 7 and 8 for Australia and the Iberian Peninsula respectively. The game's world updates are bespoke touch-ups of areas on Microsoft Flight Simulator's map, whose base form is generated from Bing maps data. We were previously quite impressed when the UK and Ireland got this treatment last year.

MS Flight Sim Q1 2022 roadmap

Asobo's plans for Q1 of 2022 (Image credit: Asobo Studio)

The video also outlined plans for more historic planes coming to Microsoft Flight Simulator, such as the Southern Cross, the first plane to ever successfully make a transpacific flight.

Asobo has provided a detailed roadmap for the first quarter of 2021, as well as a more nebulous outline for the entire year in the Q&A video. Microsoft Flight Simulator remains an impressive feat of simulation and graphical fidelity, and it's exciting to see its continued support.

side view of plane flying near wind farm

(Image credit: user youwerelucky on MS Flight Sim forums)
Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.