We’re in the final weeks of 2023 and it has me wondering that we have to look forward to in the new year. Of course the biggest possible thing could be the next iteration of Microsoft Flight Simulator. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, I’m sure you know that a brand new version of Microsoft Flight Simulator is being released sometime in 2024. While many do not see this as a good thing, I certainly do. I believe Microsoft/Asobo have hit certainly roadblocks in MSFS 2020 and the only way to carry it forward is to release a brand new sim which hopefully will have everything we love about MSFS 2020, will have fixed everything we dislike about it and lay the ground work for an even better simulator for decades to come. While MSFS 2024 is certainly something to look forward to, many of us are still very much in love with 2020 and looking forward to a few new goodies.
Yes, one of my favorite simulator aircraft should be available to us in the first half of 2024. While there is no date and it is only my speculation, but I think we will see this in the first quarter of 2024. But don’t hate on me if that doesn’t work out. Thankfully we’ve had a really good Boeing 787 Dreamliner to keep us busy the past few months. But the void created by not having the 777 is a really big one. Let’s hope I’m right and we’ll see it sooner rather than later in the new year.
Fenix Airbus A319 and A321
In a very much unexpected announcement a few months ago, the devs at Fenix announced that we would soon have their version of the Airbus A319 and A321 before the end of 2023. I don’t believe they’ll make that deadline since they also had to delay the block 2 of their Airbus A320 which was originally planned to be released at the end of October. With the delay for the A320 block 2, I would expect the A319/A321 to be delayed until sometime in the first half of the year. While I would like to be as optimistic about the A319/A321 as I am with the PMDG 777, we’ll just have to see when block 2 comes out and how successful that is to then determine just how much longer it will be before the A319/A321 arrives.
Bluebird Simulations Boeing 757
Bluebird have been teasing us with status updates on their Boeing 757 throughout the last quarter of this year. While it was originally believed that the 757 would release before the end of the year, Bluebird announced several months ago that would not be possible and they would not rush the product just to get it out to us. I also believe we’ll see the 757 release in the first half of the year.
PMDG 737 MAX
Could we have the PMDG 737 MAX before Microsoft 2024 arrives? Of course we don’t know when MSFS 2024 will drop. If history repeats itself, then it might happen in the late summer timeframe. But who really knows. Robert Randazzo, the CEO of PMDG has stated several times that PMDG have no plans to announce any release date for the MAX. We’ll just wake up one day and there it will be. But could this happen in the first or second half of 2024?
iFly 737 MAX
In the past 24 hours, iFly have teased a few screenshots of their Boeing 737 MAX for MSFS 2020. To be honest, I haven’t really paid a lot of attention to this product and don’t know just how far along they are in the process. From what I’ve heard the iFly 737 MAX was successful in P3D and I would imagine we can expect nothing less for MSFS. I did own the iFly 737 when it released for FSX many, many years ago. iFly managed to release their 737 before PMDG by just a month or so (if memory serves). But just as soon as PMDG released their 737, I bought it and never looked back. So with this said, regardless of what iFly does, I believe I’m going to hold out for the PMDG MAX.
We must all practice patience and understand that these are all highly detailed and complex add-on aircraft. None of these above mentioned developers are known to rush a product out the door just for the sake of releasing it. They will release when they are ready and as a consumer, this truly is the very best policy.
I truly believe 2024 will be another really great year for flight simulation. What a great time to be involved.
Until next time…