After the release of Microsoft Flight Simulator’s native support for helicopters, Marco started hinting that he could start taking a look at the sim and he has been busy with it.
Marco has learned a lot with the development of the P3D version and he has been digging deep into what he can do to use that knowledge in the best way possible so he can make a great version for MSFS.
I have been talking to Marco over time and he has been letting me know about his progress. I wasn’t able to experiment with things first hand but I have been managing to understand, through his messages, that he has been very enthusiastic and finding better ways to do things.
Marco is the first to say that “it will be a long and complex job” but he also says that the systems will be “very accurate”. As he has been progressing and showing his work to real pilots, he has been gathering a collection of contacts that will allow him to get more information and there were even some pilots willing to participate by helping him with the SAR documentation.
Marco has been using a mix of XML gauges and the newest HTML system that MSFS uses, and he has been doing it in a smart way, always looking to maintain FPS low and stable. Marco says he managed this by removing .png and .dds textures, which ends up hogging the CPU. He says that “MSFS has done an extraordinary job to improve the work of the CPU and GPU” and he is tapping into that power to create realistic systems that will not melt our computers!
This project is still going to take quite some time as you can see from Marco’s own words. And it needs to take its time, really. The AW139 is a very complex machine and, from experience, considering what he has done with P3D, Marco is definitely not going to be doing a half-assed job if he can do it properly.
And, to help him out, he also has the assistance of Matteo Mattiucci, which will be doing the textures for the AW139, just like he did for P3D.
Why write about it now, then? Well, I feel like this article is actually long overdue. Marco has been doing an excellent job for the community for a long time with his P3D project and now MSFS and I believe he deserves the credit and the spotlight. Not only that, but I also think it’s important to show the community how these are long processes. And also to show other developers that there are ways to improve the performance of their systems if they believe it needs to.
I can’t wait to check this one out.