Microsoft Flight Simulator‘s add-on community has steadily grown in the two years since its release. In that time, many quality payware add-ons have launched, with a lot more in the works. The freeware community is also doing well, particularly with one team: FlyByWire Simulations. Heralded for their rework of the default Airbus A320neo, the team has been hard at work on producing its much bigger sibling, the A380 for Microsoft Flight Simulator.
Now, several months into development, FlyByWire has released a video progress report, providing some impressive scenes from the A380’s cockpit. The progress video is relatively short and doesn’t show us much in terms of seeing the various cockpit elements in action. Everything is left mostly powered off. Thus, the star of this show really is the intricate texture work, which looks rather remarkable. Minor details like scuffs, scratches, reflections, and more really make the cockpit look authentically worn.
Though this depends largely on the selected aircraft, most planes in Microsoft Flight Simulator feature cockpits that look either lightly-used or completely pristine. Considering the average aircraft lives for at least 20-30 years, a little wear-and-tear is often guaranteed. It’s nice to see FlyByWire go the extra mile to give the upcoming A380 a bit of character in this regard.
Other than this small showcase, the team isn’t saying much else. The nitty-gritty development updates are released more regularly via its Discord channel, whereas major advancements will make it to public social outlets. With this being the case, the team admits that players still have quite a wait ahead of them, although no timeframe has been given yet.
Whenever the A380X add-on does release, it will be a pretty dig deal. Not just because it’s another great new aircraft for completely free but also due to the fact that the Airbus A380 remains one of the largest aircraft in existence. It even surpasses the “Queen of the Skies,”the Boeing 747, which is already included as a default aircraft in Microsoft Flight Simulator. Though the A380 does share a lot of commonality with its smaller siblings, it will still provide a flying experience that is noticeably different than the likes of a relatively small narrow-body aircraft.
Real life endings
Interestingly enough, in the real-world, the A380 program ended back in 2021. Having released in 2005, the A380 is one of Airbus’ shortest-lived programs. The A380 was designed so the airliner world could make use of large aircraft and cut-down on operating a number of smaller planes. But, not only did the industry move in the opposite direction, twin-engine aircraft like the Boeing 787 and even Airbus’ own A350 have proven to be incredibly economical while offering ranges equal to their quad-engine counterparts. The A380 was simply too big for its own good, making it hard for airlines to make a profit with it. Further adding to its woes is the fact that it was never adopted into the west.
Still, the A380 is a sight to behold in real-life A380 and will continue to live on in the world of Microsoft Flight Simulator.