TAC Flight OH-58D Kiowa Warrior for MSFS

The story of this upcoming OH-58D for MSFS is a rather interesting one. TAC Flight started the OH-58 project as a mod for ARMA3 –which the team has experience with, through the co-development of the H-60 –, but TAC Flight decided to dive further into development and take a good look at the “highly immersive world of MSFS2020”, where the development of avionics felt like “a natural and enjoyable challenge”, considering the professional background the lead developer (Marek) as a frontend developer.

TAC Flight OH-58D Kiowa Warrior for MSFS

After looking at the MSFS avionics framework, Marek developed his own workflow for in-game screen systems, and things simply took off from there (no pun intended).

The TAC Flight 58D is being designed to “deliver a highly realistic and immersive flight experience, along with authentic aircraft operation”. TAC Flight says that the addon “leverages the latest features of the MSFS SDK and showcases meticulous attention to detail both inside and out”, with nearly all switches and buttons to be fully functional.

TAC Flight OH-58D Kiowa Warrior for MSFS

The project is already well underway with a lot of features already added to the helicopter. In fact, you can see the full list below.

Current implemented features in the TAC Flight 58D

  • Accurate and Realistic 3D Representation
    • Interior and Exterior: Every aspect of 58D has been modeled with precision, offering a realistic level of detail both inside and out
  • Custom, Realistic Navigation System
  • Multifunction Keyboard (MFK): Plan and customize your flight using the in-cockpit MFK for a seamless navigation experience.
  • Flight plans can be inserted manually with MFK or with the provided Pilot Book (which serves the purpose of EFB) via the available map
  • Moving Map for Rotorcraft Mapping System
    • External Source Integration: Configurable moving maps using OpenTopoMap or Google Maps, adjustable with the interactive Pilot Book.
  • Customizable Cockpit
  • Extra Props: Personalize your cockpit environment with additional props for a more tailored experience.
  • Configurable Weapon Loadout
    • Armament: Options include AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, rocket pods, M3M 50cal machine gun, and ATAS missile pods.
    • Each weapon pylon can be set with an independent amount of munitions
    • Weapons serve only visual purpose
  • Interactive In-Game Pilot Book
  • Aircraft Configuration: Manage loadouts, navigation data, checklists, and more.
  • Persistent State: Your aircraft configuration is saved and remains consistent across sessions.
  • Draw Crosses or Shapes on the windshield: just like real-life pilots, you can draw shapes on the front windshield
  • Realistic Start-Up Procedure
    • Authenticity: Follow a detailed, realistic start-up process for an immersive pre-flight experience.
  • Interactive Elements
  • Doors: Individually removable and openable doors.
  • Dashboard Animation: Vibration effects for added realism.
  • Extensive amount of functional switches
  • Flight Dynamics
    • Data-Driven: Based on comprehensive online data, ensuring authentic flight behavior
  • Avionics
  • Realistic Systems: Avionics replicated to the extent allowed by MSFS 2020 capabilities.
  • MMS Camera (Synthetic vision): Due to MSFS limitations, the sight uses synthetic vision fixed in a forward position.
  • Miscellaneous:
    • Pilot model for extra immersion
    • MPLH Skids Variant
    • Detailed Night Lighting
    • 4K PBR Textures
    • MSFS Native Rain Effects

The team is focusing on 4 major areas right now, which TAC Flight also listed below:

  • Sound System Integration
    • WWISE: Implementing custom sounds to enhance auditory immersion.
  • Extended Pilot Book Functionality
    • More Features: Adding new functionalities to the Pilot Book for better in-game management.
  • Flight Model Tuning
    • Optimization: Refining the flight model for even more accurate dynamics.
  • Bug Fixes
    • Avionics Issues: Resolving current bugs to ensure a smooth and reliable experience.

I know what you’re thinking: “Will the weapons be usable?”. And the answer, unfortunately, is no. Weapons will be visible on the model, but they will be completely static, which also means weapons systems will not be functional (or fully functional, at least).

TAC Flight OH-58D Kiowa Warrior for MSFS

This means that our Xbox friends will not be able to access it through the marketplace but perhaps TAC Flight can make a non-weaponized version at a later stage.

TAC Flight OH-58D Kiowa Warrior for MSFS

TAC Flight indicates the 58D may be released in Q3, 2024, but, as usual with any software, do take it with a pinch of salt as the team may need a bit more time if any issues arise.