Back in the days where the community gravitated mostly around FSX and P3D (and we knew the native flight dynamics were terrible), Fred came to the rescue with a little piece of software called HTR – Helicopter Total Realism.
For those that got to know the software, it was clear that Fred was into something big. In fact, helicopters felt completely different in these sims. They felt more like helicopters.
Fast-forward to 2019 and Fred and I started talking about Microsoft Flight Simulator, after I had the honor of being one of the selected few, invited to get our hands on the sim, almost a year before its release.
Fred had been already working on his own sim for quite some time (he still is) but being the passionate man he is about the community and simming, he started asking me some questions. The right questions. Unfortunately, I didn’t have all the answers back then, but we kept on investigating and speaking with third-party developers.
Fred then started getting those answers shortly after the release of Microsoft Flight Simulator and he started taking a look at it and building a prototype. A sort of HTR 2.0 was in the making, but once he realized what he could do, he decided to rename it to AirlandFS.
What is AirlandFS
AirlandFS is a piece of software that communicates with Microsoft Flight Simulator and overrides its flight dynamics, allowing Fred to fully control it – and make it behave more the way we expect helicopters to behave.
The software is still under development so a lot can (and probably will change) and Fred doesn’t want to go into any details, but he already said that AirlandFS will be free for those that want to create freeware helicopters, with licensing possible for those that want to develop a payware product.
If you’re a third-party developer yourself, you’re probably wondering about some of this stuff, but rest assure it will be addressed soon.
Fred will be providing more details soon as he is still working with several developers, most coming from within the HeliSimmer.com community, and making sure the software is not only working properly, but that it will also meet the developers’ needs and workflow.
If you'd like to know more about AirlandFS, you can join our Discord Server as we have a channel specifically for it.
The RotorSim Pilot R44
One of these developers, and the first to be publicly announced as being using AirlandFS is RotorSim Pilot, which you probably know already and who has been teasing a couple of helicopters: the R44 and the H125.
Well, remember those videos where the helicopters are already flying inside MSFS? You guessed it: that’s all AirlandFS’ magic.
RotorSim Pilot’s goal with the R44 is to bring a great helicopter to the sim, with all functional instruments, highly realistic sounds, all the visual bells and whistles (PBR textures, several variants, multiple liveries) and, of course, a highly accurate flight model. And, in order to do so, he is relying in AirlandFS and Fred’s work.
By using AirlandFS, RotorSim Pilot is being able to focus on other areas of development as Fred’s software is taking care of one of the portions of a project that can take, literally, months to develop and it’s not easy to do at all.
AirlandFS is building on top of years of experience with HTR and RotorSim Pilot is now, officially, the first developer to be taking advantage of the experience Fred is bringing to the table.
We should have more details coming out soon!