FS2020 – April 2nd, 2020 Dev Update

Welcome to the 1.2.5 version of the Microsoft Flight Simulator Alpha! In this update, you will find new content, bugs we’ve addressed, and an updated list of known issues.

A note from the development team:

First let us start off by saying “thank you”. We truly appreciate all of the amazing feedback we’ve received since the last Alpha release.

For the build notes, we have the following sections to suit the interest levels of our community, after this introduction we have the new content, below that the bullet point of changes, and for those who wish to have a more technical breakdown, members of the team have given an editorial on certain aspects of the sim.

You will notice that we’ve made several fixes based on your feedback (Review patch notes below). Your feedback is integral to our development of Flight Simulator, and we encourage everybody to join in, providing feedback via the Weekly Feedback Testing Category.

Based on the large amount of feedback regarding peripherals, peripherals support has been improved, and we’ve added more device binding presets. Please note that due to these changes, the previous mappings from will no longer work with this updated Alpha. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Finally, we know there have been a lot of questions regarding airliners, and we’d like to take a second to address the current lack of airliners. We are hard at work putting on the final touches and want to make sure we get the core functionality of the airliners “right” before we release any into wild. We promise that they are on their way, and we will let you know as soon as they’re cleared for departure.

Thank you for being a part of our Alpha, and keep that feedback coming!

-Microsoft Flight Simulator Team-

New Content

  • Cessna 152 is now cleared for takeoff!
  • Training Missions: These missions will take you through the Basic Controls, Attitudes and Instruments, and Take-off, Level flight and Landing.
  • Sedona Landing Challenge
  • “Groups” functionality added to multiplayer
  • Add friends to find them on the world map and can click to join them
  • Live Events are time-limited activities that we plan to switch out with different event types often.

Planes

  • Glass Cockpits – Multiple bugs fix
  • Cockpit Occluders
  • Grass, trees, clouds are no longer visible inside the planes
  • Icing fixes and improvements
  • DA40 NG and DA62 – Altitude Knob added on Pilot side G1000
  • DA62 – Improved flight model
  • TBM 930 – Improved flight model

Airports

Bug fixes include:

  • Airport buildings
  • Removed Building on runways
  • Removed Vegetation on and around runways

Improvements to existing airports:

  • Parking Spots placement
  • Jetway placement (Not final)
  • Ground markings
  • Airport Life improvements
  • Improved parking spot settings based on plane types
  • Air Traffic behaviors improvement

Some airports were reported as missing have been added back in for this version:

  • KPHX
  • LFRN
  • KIAH
  • WSSS
  • LICC
  • KPHL
  • MUHA
  • KSAN
  • KMSP
  • PHNL
  • KBOS
  • HECA
  • ZBAA

ATC

  • ATC general improvements have been made
  • ATC options and application to flight improved

Cameras

  • Cockpit camera
  • Improved the Focus mode to be more accessible
  • Alllowed camera speed & momentum tweaking in the menus
  • Added controls to translate the camera left/ right
  • Chase camera
  • Added 4 more quickviews
  • Drone camera
  • Improved the “Lock” mode behavior
  • Improved reset position feature
  • Smart Camera
  • Allowed smart camera to target other players

Flight Model

  • Handling/friction improved for a more accurate behavior on ground
  • New ground effect allowing for a more realistic flaring
  • Plane performances tuning

Multiplayer

  • Friend groups
  • Add friends – use the Add Friend icon on the top of the menus
  • Your Friends are now represented by an icon in the Freeflight World Map; click on them to join them
  • To change MP preferences, go to the World Map and select Flight Conditions
  • In-game traffic nameplates now apply to other users
  • Player Representation – Anyone using your plane will show up in the same aircraft as yours – if they are using a different aircraft than yours, they will appear as a “generic” aircraft.

Peripherals

  • Controls menu update
  • Improved the Essentials filter list
  • Improved the calibration menu (added curves visualization)
  • Player’s input presets management (create and manage multiple inputs preset for each device)

Additional default input presets :

  • Thrustmaster
  • T16000M (Already in Alpha1)
  • TWCS (Already in Alpha1)
  • TPR (Already in Alpha1)
  • Warthog (Already in Alpha1)
  • T-Flight HOTAS One, X & 4
  • Logitech
  • Extreme 3D Pro
  • Flight Yoke System
  • Flight Throttle Quadrant
  • X52
  • X56
  • Virtual Fly
  • Yoko “The Yoke” +
  • TQ6 +
  • V3rnio TPM
  • Ruddo +
  • Honeycomb
  • Alpha Flight Control
  • Various bug fixing & improvements

UI/UX

  • Weather, Traffic, and Multiplayer settings are now in a Flight Conditions Panel that can be found in the freeflight world map
  • Flight Plan settings improved
  • General bug fixes
  • Improved UI accessibility when navigating the HUD
  • Worldmap navigation and search functionality improvements
  • Worldmap VFR and IFR selection has been fixed

Various bug fixing & improvements

  • Overall, improvements made to stability and performance.
  • Flight plan approach waypoints displayed and followed
  • Altitude waypoint constraints displayed
  • Weather display has been improved
  • Multiples improvements to autopilot and auto-throttle
  • Fixed Trim from running too quick
  • Grass and water not going through cockpits

Weather

  • Weather fixes made to Live-Weather settings and Conditions

World

  • Water improvements: Update on ocean to improve numerous reported elevation issues
  • Visual improvements have been made on grass
  • Improvements on vegetation
  • Biomes
  • Tree Visuals
  • Offline textures improvement
  • Wind impact now on grass and trees
  • Updated our auto-generation of the buildings in the world to be more realistic in representation
  • Night lighting Improvements
  • Added night lighting to buildings in photogrammetric cities where there was none before
  • Improvements to street lights
  • Added wind turbines

Known issues

  • Some jetways are misplaced at airports
  • Black stripes can be visible on the side of different world tiles
  • Trees sometimes overlap with buildings
  • There are missing buildings in Chicago-O’Hare airport
  • There are missing buildings in Frankfurt am Main Airport
  • FPS tends to drop after the end of a loading sequence
  • FPS tends to drops during intro cutscenes
  • Low FPS (10 to 20 FPS) in big airports when on the tarmac, both on the take-off and landing
  • There are possible FPS drops when moving the camera around the plane
  • Objectives can fail to show any inputs if they were previously cleared by the user under Controls
  • Panels previously undocked from the toolbar can appear enable on any Activity
  • There are issues with the TTS voice on the Take-off Flight Training when using the Female Voice
  • The TTS voice during the Take Off Flight Training audio and subtitles are mismatched
  • We still display some debug subtitle-text with TTS audio on the Landing Flight Training
  • Planes can teleport 900 – 5000 FT above when returning to freeflight from any Landing Challenge
  • The ‘‘Apply the Brakes’’ objective fails to get completed after the player applies the brakes during that Landing Tutorial
  • Objectives can break using the despawn /respawn at the start of the Take Off Flight Training
  • The TBM930 engine shuts down after a teleport
  • Intermittent weather bug that can sometimes create unrealistic gusting winds, more likely to hit this when the user changes settings mid-session.
  • HUEN main buildings are not spawning
  • Autopilot can become inoperable when switching between Vertical Speed and Altitude in All Aircrafts.
  • Switching instructor models mid flight (in tutorials) will not switch the instructor voices.

A look into the minds of our pilots and engineers!

We have worked on some of the causes for ground instability. In FSX Ground Effect was calculated once per aircraft at the CG of the aircraft. The closer the CG got to the ground, the more the aircraft’s lift coefficient was scaled up (up to 25%). To get more realism, we changed this to calculate the ground effect separately for each surface of the aircraft. This reflects reality better as one wing may be closer to the ground than the other and be more impacted by ground effect. Also, because the FSX ground effect was still referring to the CG coordinates, we now calculate the collision distance between each individual surface and the ground. And with this fix we now get a different and better lift coefficient scale for each surface. This helps ground stability because when the plane starts rolling on one side, that side immediately gets closer to the ground and then gets more ground effect. The other side immediately loses ground effect. This tends to push the aircraft back toward a level horizontal position.

We have worked on roll stability, which is the consequence of many different aspects of an aircraft. Including dihedral, wing sweep, CG and wing position. One particular aspect we added is that high wings have up to 5% more “effective” dihedral giving them more roll stability. So, we added a system that automatically adds “effective” dihedral depending on the vertical wing position. This adds more roll stability to our all high wing aircraft (C172, C152, GRAND CARAVAN, …). This does not however affect low wing aircraft. Mid wing aircraft will get a little bit of this. Low wing aircraft however already usually have a higher actual dihedral which compensates for this. For all high wing aircraft, there is now improved dynamic roll stability. The effect is not super strong, but from a 30° bank, they will tend to slowly return to a neutral bank, the strength of the effect fades as the bank approaches zero. This helps with an overbanking tendency and improves roll stability.

Improvements have been made to takeoff trim, and the effects of wind when on the ground, which makes take offs more realistic and significantly improves the wheelbarrowing effect that sometimes happened.

Work was also done to improve the effects of winds and turbulence with all weather.

We’ve also been working hard on peripherals. While still WIP here are some updates:

  • Categories are minimized by default
  • Added a button to collapse/expand all categories
  • Categories keep their state (collapsed/ expanded) when switching devices
  • Improved controls settings menu performance (but more WIP)
  • Improved sensitivity menu (curves displayed)
  • Essential controls sorted
  • Added user input preset management
  • Better default mappings for more peripherals

We know there’s more to do and the team is working on things such as:

  • New search bar layout in the controls settings menu
  • Improved sensitivity and dead zone curves (algorithm update)
  • Inputs displayed in the same fashion as notifications in the controls settings menu

Source: https://www.flightsimulator.com/alpha-build-1-2-5-0-is-now-available/

Responses