Microsoft Flight Simulator is set to get what could be its first warbird after a third-party developer released an add-on that lets users fly the Aermacchi MB-339.
Publisher IndiaFoxtEcho Visual Simulations said in a statement, “The MB-339 was developed during the 1970s in response to an Italian Air Force requirement that sought a replacement for the service’s existing fleet of Aermacchi MB-326.
“Its design was derived from that of the MB-326, rather than a new design, and thus the two aircraft share considerable similarities in terms of their design.
“Aermacchi had found that the MB-339 was capable of satisfying all of the specified requirements while being the most affordable option available. The maiden flight of the MB-339 took place on 12 August 1976; the first production aircraft were delivered two years later.
“Roughly half of all MB-339s entered service with the Italian Air Force, while the remainder have been sold to various export customers. As well as being used for training, the type is also flown by the Frecce Tricolori aerobatic display team.
“The type has been used in combat by both the Eritrean Air Force during the Eritrean–Ethiopian War of 1998-2000 and the Argentine Naval Aviation during the Falklands War of 1982. In both conflicts, the MB-339 was typically flown as an attack aircraft.”
As part of the package, players can access both versions – MB-339A and MB-339PAN used by the Frecce Tricolori aerobatic team – including a special cockpit and seven different liveries: Frecce Tricolori, Italian Air Force Camouflage, Italian Air Force Ghost Grey, United Arab Emirates, Armada Argentina, Royal Malaysian Air Force and factory colours.
Last week, World of Aviation reported that Microsoft has announced it is looking for volunteers to sign up and test a closed beta version of its virtual reality mode.
The first phase of beta testing is set to focus only on Windows Mixed Reality Devices, before the company expands into other VR headset options.
It won’t be easy to get yourself involved in the beta tests, however, with the requirements to even be considered including already being a registered Microsoft Flight Simulator ‘Insider’, owning a PC with at least 8GB of VRAM and 16GB of system memory, and willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement about your experience.
You’ll also need to own a Microsoft Mixed Reality Device.
While no date is formally set for when the beta testing will begin, the company has said it will likely take place in late October or early November.
There will also be future beta trials with non-Microsoft virtual reality headsets in the future, according to the company.