Several 3rd party groups have already started work on improving the default A320 (http://www.flybywiresim.com/a32nx), 747, Cessnas, etc. While this is awesome, over time as Asobo fixes a lot of issues this will inevitably lead to integration conflicts, fragmentation, and wasted effort on both sides.
Asobo should open source the planes on GitHub and manage the pull requests from the community, integrating changes back into the sim at a regular cadence.
This way, the planes can get to an extremely high level of detail while merging neatly back into the “official” package that goes into the sim. Microsoft has successfully open sourced a lot of projects over the years with this model and owns GitHub anyway. This would be an innovative way to involve the flight sim community, get default planes to unheard-of levels of fidelity, and free up Asobo to focus resources on other areas that the community can’t improve/fix.
This is an awesome idea, there’s so much enthusiasm and knowledge in the community that can be taken advantage of. I’d upvote this 100x if I could.
I would even hope that they somehow mange to make the deluxe/pd aircraft open source with just some kind of integrated license check. To avoid using them without license, e.g. the model could be encrypted but the systems/configs/textures wouldn’t have to be.
But let’s see how far Asobo manages to improve/fix the tons of issues with the aircraft. The upcoming patch seems to contain something but noone knows how many of the known issues will be addressed.
I would love this but I am pessimistic.
They probably have no interest in improving too much the default planes : if the default planes become really good, how will third parties make money selling you the exact same plane for $$$ in the store ?
And you better believe Microsoft is taking a cut for every sale in the store.
I wonder how much time will be gained, when you have to consider that Asobo will still want to check out all the pull requests coming in. There is no guarantee that they will want to implement certain features and they will of course have to check the requests for malicious code potentially included. This could also be done by people watching the repository by leaving comments under pull requests. But I assume Asobo will not be taking any risks when it comes to official files.
It’s a very cool and fresh idea though, I am very interested to hear what people who have actually worked on these planes think about the idea. It sounds great to me, but I personally haven’t done any development in the SDK.