The Microsoft development team has released a new Feature Discovery Series video explaining the process of bringing gliders to the upcoming 40th Anniversary Edition of Microsoft Flight Simulator. The video covers art, sound, flight model and instrumentation.
To achieve an accurate 3D model of a glider, the developers used scans and pictures of the interior and exterior of real aircraft to ensure the visuals would be as realistic as possible. For the audio design, the focus was mainly on the different wind sounds experienced in a glider. The developers recorded audio during actual glider flights as well as obtained feedback from glider pilots.
Wind flow is simulated based on the aircraft's physical movements and aerodynamic wind effects to make the gliding experience feel "more alive". For example, in thermals you can feel the updrafts causing the glider to soar with the accompanying creaks of the fuselage and wings.
The variometer is also accurately modelled with accompanying audio, which was recreated from actual recordings and will sound different depending on the glider's acceleration.
Finally, different types of launch types for take-off are modelled. You will be able to choose a winch or a tow plane. Thermal generation under the clouds and over hot ground surfaces is improved and changes depending on the temperature of the ground, surface type and sky conditions.
The radiation level or heat from the sun also depends on the season (summer or winter) and time of day. An option in the weather panel displays thermals, so you know where to fly to next.
The 40th Anniversary Edition is due to release on November 11 this year and will be free for all owners of Microsoft Flight Simulator.