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Microsoft Flight Simulator has a lot of surprises for its players this month as its 40th anniversary in November nears. Aside from the release of World Update X, Beechcraft Model 18, and Halo Infinite Pelican add-on ( now available for free in the in-sim marketplace), Microsoft shares its plans for the nearing anniversary of its longest-running game franchise.
“With more players than ever enjoying the incredibly detailed aircraft and authentic representation of our planet, Microsoft Flight Simulator forged new territory with versions now available on PC, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and mobile devices via Xbox Cloud Gaming,” states Microsoft Flight Simulator Head Jorg Neumann in an Xbox Wire blog post. “The 40th Anniversary Edition, a completely free offering for those who already own Microsoft Flight Simulator or play it via Xbox Game Pass, is a comprehensive celebration of the franchise with both a tribute to our past as well as an introduction to new and highly anticipated aircraft types.”
According to Microsoft, fans can expect the resurrection of some classic famous airports and planes from Microsoft Flight Simulator X and Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight. Nonetheless, there’s still no specific date on when these things will be introduced to the sim.
As for now, Microsoft Flight Simulator players can enjoy the newly released free World Update X featuring areas of the United States and its territories, such as San Diego, CA, Albany, NY, Key Largo, FL, Seattle, Olympia, WA, and many more. In particular, the World Update X includes 87 new points of interest, three new landing challenges, three discovery flights, three bush trips, and four handcrafted airports. For the latter, sim pilots will experience the Catalina (KAVX) on California’s Catalina Island, Valdez (PAVD) in the Alaska landscape, Lake Tahoe (KTVL) in the Sierra Nevadas of California, and Block Island (KBID) on Rhode Island’s East coast.
The company also introduced the fifth plane in the sim’s “Local Legends” series called “Beechcraft Model 18,” which is also called “Twin Beech” or “Beech 18.” The plane, which took its first flight on January 15, 1937, could carry six passengers with two crews. The real attraction of the plane, nonetheless, is its two muscular radial engines, allowing it to be used for a variety of purposes during its time.
“The Model 18 features a slightly-swept main wing with a span of 47 feet, 8 inches, a traditional undercarriage, and a twin-fin empennage that consists of a horizontal stabilizer and two vertical stabilizers,” Neumann says, describing the plane in a separate blog post. “It is powered by two wing-mounted Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-1 Wasp Junior 9-cylinder radial engines that each produce up to 450 horsepower. The Beech 18 has a range of 1,130 miles, climbs at 1,200 feet per minute, and has a service ceiling of 20,500 feet above sea level. It cruises at 211 miles per hour, stalls at 77 mph, and enjoys a top speed of 230 mph.”
Twin Beech is already available in the Microsoft Flight Simulator in-sim marketplace and comes with ten liveries composed of a historic Navy, Aviator’s Club, Xbox Aviator’s Club, and seven civil variants.