Flying the world’s most spectacular warplane, the Lockheed F-35B VTOL variant is perhaps every fighter pilot’s dream. IT giant Microsoft has come forward to fulfill that dream.
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is known for its impeccable design, stealth capabilities, and state-of-the-art features. In 2017, there were 500 pilots who required training to fly this fifth-generation fighter. With around 640 F-35s operational at present, the number of pilots has considerably increased.
Indiafoxtecho, a third-party video game developer, has offered an alternative to cater to this demand.
According to reports, the company has been working into integrating the fifth-generation stealth fighter into the Microsoft Flight Simulator, a game almost every aviation enthusiast knows about.
Even though it is a video game, its realistic features have been lauded by many experienced pilots.
Microsoft Flight Simulator was developed in the 1970s and is reported to be functioning for the longest time after Windows. As of now, the program is known to be the longest-running video game series for personal computers.
Its latest version was released in August 2020 and has three different versions within the game which are “standard”, “deluxe” and “premium”, with each version providing more advanced features such as different airports and aircraft for the players to choose from, The National Interest reported.
Even though Microsoft Flight Simulator is not known for being a combat game, Indiafoxtecho announced earlier this year it has been working on integrating the F-35 stealth jet into the famous video game.
The company shared the latest images of the F-35B, the vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) variant of the joint strike fighter, earlier this month. Instead of the commonly used airports, the company would introduce a digital version of an amphibious assault ship, USS America, which it said, “was based on the ship we published for P3D in the past, and will either be included in the F-35B package or released as freeware”.
Indiafoxtecho is not only working on the F-35B model. The company also announced that “F-35A external model is now finished (except the emergency tailhook), F-35 is 80 percent finished (cockpit and weapon bay doors missing) and while we have just started the conversion/improvement of the F-35C model”.
“The virtual cockpit is experiencing some delays . . . as we had to remodel a number of parts to achieve the level of detail we wanted,” the developer announced publicly. “We cannot show it yet, but we are very happy with it”, according to Indiafoxtecho.
Apart from the F-35 stealth fighter simulation models, the company is also working on integrating other combat airplanes such as the M-346 and Sukhoi Su-31. Since Microsoft Flight Simulator is not a combat game, many features of the F-35 aircraft such as its advanced sensors or its firing capabilities will not be accessible to the virtual pilots. However, it still enables the players to fly what is known to be the “most advanced aircraft” which is also a dream come true for many aviation enthusiasts.
— Written by Kashish Tandon