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Nels_Anderson
Nels_Anderson

DC Designs Status Report On Concorde For MSFS

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In case anybody hadn't noticed, I'm now working on Concorde.

First things first, though. Since the launch of the F-14 Tomcatsand the appearance of all of my aircraft on the Xbox console, thevolume of messages I receive has gone through the roof. I currentlyspend around one hour every morning replying to queries, questions,comments and other communications before I even get to think aboutworking on my aircraft. Obviously, this isn't really something that Ican maintain now to the degree that I have done the past few years. Asa result, I'm afraid that I will no longer be able to reply to everymessage and comment on my page, there are just too many now. Iwill of course answer as much as I can, but there are only so manyhours in the day and I suspect most of you would rather see me workingto bring my next project to MSFS than sitting here typing replies allday long.

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Which leads me neatly onto the current lead project. The conversionof my Prepar3D Concorde has been underway for quite a while now, aswhen chances have arisen I've updated the project as I learn moreabout MSFS. This means that, far from being started from scratch,Concorde is already in the simulator with most external animationsworking. In addition, as so much of Concorde is unique, custom codethat was created for many features in Prepar3D has carried overperfectly into MSFS. This head-start is what's allowing me to projecta pre-Christmas 2021 launch date for Concorde.

AGAIN, EVERYTHING IS WIP. The images represent the aircraft withonly very basic PBR and the original normal maps, basically as she wasin Prepar3D. Much of the work over the next month or two will bebringing the modelling and texturing up to MSFS standard with the useof higher resolutions, new decals for stencils, panel lines andrivets, true PBR and so on.

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There will be many questions about how detailed this rendition ofthe aircraft will be (just as there were with the Prepar3Dversion). First off, the visual detail will be much higher this timearound, as MSFS of course allows so much more to be done. The cockpitis being re-built and re-textured, the external model likewise in manyareas. The systems fidelity will be slightly higher than that found inthe Prepar3D version, mainly due to the fact that I understand moreabout coding now. Although fans of study-level aircraft will probablynot be enamoured with this level of detail, Concorde will feature allof the real aircraft's quirks just as the Prepar3D version did; fueltransfer for pitch trim, step-climb profile for cruise acceleration,nose-droop animations, highly realistic flight model with super-cruiseand more. The engineer's station will again be fully functional,although reduced in complexity as I want this Concorde to remainwithin everybody's reach. Custom sounds for the Olympus engines willaccompany the package, as well as color schemes for the mainoperators of Concorde. The paint kit, and a manual the size of arefrigerator, will also be there, but I am hoping to utilise thesimulator's Checklist feature so that new users can follow a checklistfor an *entire* Heathrow to JFK flight without having to reference aphysical or PDF manual - allowing console users to more easily learnhow to properly operate Concorde while actually flying her.

Finally, the new model will make full use of the MSFS decal system,so all panel lines and rivets will become high-resolution decals alongwith all other markings. The model will utilise all the sim'slighting; brand-new passenger cabin modelling, and as much of the MSFSsupport animations (baggage loading, gates, fuel truck, ground power,effects, etc.) as I can make work with the aircraft to make it ascomplete as possible. Perhaps the only thing missing at launch will betrue afterburners, which are delayed now for MSFS until May 2022. Iwill use my existing custom afterburner system in their place (sameas that used on the F-15s and F-14s) until full support comes to thesim.

The F-14 Tomcats have proved insanely popular with both PC andconsole users, and it's with that mixture of fidelity and fun in mindthat I'm moving forward with the Concorde project. Concorde will bewithin the reach of all flight sim fans, but will require some efforton the part of the user to get her from A to B accurately, the perfectbalance I hope between realism and entertainment. Concorde was not asimple aircraft to operate, and this rendition, like the Prepar3Dversion, will be complex enough to keep users on their toes.

Enjoy these early shots taken of Concorde during assessment workthis week, as I began planning where to start on the upgrades. Much tobe done but, as with everything in MSFS, things already look farbetter than they did on the older platforms!

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