Update on Complex Airliners

Many of the developers have pushed back their release dates for complex aircraft. I’m particularly interested in classics like 727-100 & 200 series as well as 737-100 & 200 as I like the challenge of navigating and landing these large jets without GPS and an FMC. What I’d really like to know, if anyone could tell us, is ‘What are the developers missing that’s preventing the release of these types of aircraft?’ I understand its probably complex and a function of the core sim. I’m just interested and would like a bit of background info if its available :slight_smile:


From what I understand, it is the limitations of the SDK. Asobo is working with others (Aerosoft I think) to get the SDK suitable for study level aircraft. I think PMDG said it’s going to be something like a year or two before we see anything from them.


Lungho has it in one.

I mean, these things take time and effort… hundreds or thousands of man-hours to develop. The more complex the more time it takes. Even if there are aircraft that have been developed on another platform it’s not trivial to port them over, and usually you run into things you hadn’t expected and release dates get pushed back.

I guess what they meant was what specific limitations? What it cannot do currently that is holding back more com0lex aircraft.

Yes that’s it exactly. I appreciate all the hard work and effort that must go into every aspect of every plane and scenery for that matter. I’m not familiar with any of tools that are used so I’m asking out of interest and looking for a better understanding of what is involved and what is required from the sim or SDK that’s not quite there yet and holding these sort of 3rd party planes back. It’s not a question about why aren’t they here already. I’m asking because I’d like to understand the hard work and skill that is involved in creating the amazing content we all love and getting a little insight into how things work or don’t… at the moment


I’m on the same boat but I don’t think we’ll get lucky here.

Planes like the 727-200 and 737-200 may never come to MSFS in good quality versions.
It wouldn’t make sense for the companies to pursue such products, the target users are very serious simmers that already have those planes in Xp and would then need a product of similar quality to buy them on another platform. As Tom said these products take a lot of time and effort and the return of investment will probably be very low. Some hard simmers will buy those planes for 70-80 dollars but most users will probably skip those planes.

We have to consider that very low quality aircrafts will soon start to flood the MSFS market because there are a lot of users and making a lot of $10-$20 sales sounds like a very good plan. So your target would be the users that are willing to spend $70-80 for a quality aircraft instead of $10-$20 just to have some fun. You only need to simulate the basic controls and throttle, some switches and 80% of users will be happy to go.

From the developer’s point of view you can make more money with more popular planes in a level similar to the default aircrafts, I expect to see 777s, 767s, A350s in the 40-50 dolar range and a level of quality similar to the default airliners. I expect Aerosoft’s CRJ to be on this tier, maybe a little above in both price and quality, not sure.

Then we may have a few high quality airliners like the A320NX or the PMDG 737.

We’ll see how this ends, its always fun to make predictions and post them to be ridiculed a few years ahead.

Keep in mind that each developer has their own timelines and reasons for delays. Meanwhile, there is a lot of work being done on the freeware side of things- the 757, A380, A350, A220 and so on. QW also hinted that we could see their 787 in Q2, although that news is kind of stale and they haven’t provided many updates since the fall of last year.

My impression is that we should start seeing some jets up and running within the next couple of months. They may not be what we want, but at least they’ll be something. I’m also hoping that another developer, other than PMDG, works on the 737…Not that I don’t like PMDG, rather, I just want to see some new blood- and no, not the goofy MAX that just came out- that doesn’t count.

So, long story short- couple of months for some, longer for others, but I think the momentum will start to build as we progress through the winter and spring :wink:

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The sim is not ready for the prime time yet.


Luis, I take your point on diminishing returns but I really hope you’re wrong. I’m one of those serious simmers that’s been investing in 3rd party aircraft for nearly 30 years across all FlightSim versions and all price points. I’ve brought and continue to buy the same aircraft either new or at a reduced cost for existing customers to get my favourite planes in the new version of the sim. PMDG, CaptainSim and others seem to be dedicated to offering something different to the glass cockpit quick wins and MSFS seems to offer them the leap forward in graphics and physics that no other sim can match. I really hope they see it as a way to show off their passion for classic airliners as much as I would love to fly and admire their work and skill when I fly them. PMDG screenshots of their 737-400 gauges tease at something visually stunning. I just hope others are working on other projects. But my question is broader than specific versions of specific planes. I just wanted an insight into what the sim or SDK still needs to provide to allow these amazing creations to come to life.

The thrird party aircraft will come.
The developers will go to where there is a market.
There is a HUGE market with MSFS.
I, personally, like Captain Sim, and I can’t wait for some of them.

Simconnect provides the ability for third party developers to connect with, or manipulate, the functions in the sim, without the need to try and figure out how to influence those functions directly within the MSFS code.
Due to the immense amount of code involved and MSFS’s protected files, doing it directly is extremely difficult, if not impossible.


I don’t think the SDK is that limiting. For simulating pump failures and stuff for sure. But the cockpit and instrumentation can be done. The default planes, the A320 FBW and the upcoming CRJ are proof of that.

It just takes time. It took years for planes to appear for the legacy sims. We are barely over half a year on MSFS. As for some developers saying the SDK is not complete - it could be that they don’t want to rewrite their aircraft to use the technology MSFS is using and are waiting for a compatibility layer to be built into the SDK.


These are only proof when Asobo developers are working hand in hand with 3rd party developers, then of course missing features can be added and progress made…

CptLucky8 - thanks for posting - this is just the sort of thing I was originally asking about. An insight into how much work goes on in the background and some of the challenges.

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Very little. We at Working Title have managed to thrive just fine on what SDK is there, if developers are willing to work on the new tech stack. We’ve managed, on the CJ4, to implement a whole raft of detailed systems and features, include full and accurate working VNAV, RNAV with LPV, an entirely new flight plan system from scratch, FADEC, holds, missed approaches, correct custom fuel flow simulation, autopilot customization, etc.

Is every little feature there for every specific developer request? Perhaps not. But the limitations are not nearly so much on the simulator end as everyone keeps assuming. The sim can fully support something as complex as the PMDG 737NG, today, right now.

The real key, though, is embracing the new technologies.



Thanks for your insight.

Perhaps some of the features the SDK doesn’t currently expose are sufficiently esoteric that it is causing some delays for the more complex aircraft that users desire? We’ve been told on several occasions, if I remember correctly so apologies if I don’t, that some aircraft developers are struggling with the SDK, or are stuck waiting for features to be implemented so they can finish their aircraft.

The question remains, why PMDG have said otherwise. At least that was my take when I read Randazzo’s initial statement on the SDK and pushing back conversion of the NGX by at least a year.

And as much as I love the CJ4, it still seems a bit limited by FS2020 as a platform. I love the plane for what it does and appreciate all your work, but in my opinion, it does not measure up yet to the major players in the 3rd party landscape. Not complaining at all since it is completely free.

PMDG did indeed mention the SDK issues.
What they also said, was that COVID was actually the real big culprit.
They had planned to go to France, set up shop and work side by side with ASOBO to develop the 737.
Not being able to do that put a big dent in their plans.


Hopefully they’ve heard of Zoom, and any number of remote working enabling technologies, such as VPN.


Yes, for two months. I read the post in the Aerosoft forum, but did not get the impression that COVID was the “real big culprit”. I don’t think that would have made a major difference, but I don’t know enough about the intricacies of development, so I might well be wrong on that. :sweat_smile:

PMDG are experienced in globalized workflows, they don’t sit in the same building all the time. At least that was the case when I was following them every day.

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