The long road to create a Wing42 add-on

Discover the long, and intricate process of creating Wing42 add-ons for Flight Simulator!

1. Research

Before any work can begin, we’re acquiring as much information about the aircraft we build as possible. We buy pilot’s operating handbooks, technical drawings, maintenance and overhaul manual, research what type of equipment was commonly used and collect manuals of that as well.

We reach out to pilots, museums and other organizations to assist us with our research.

Required time: ~1 month

Various manuals
Reference material

2. Gathering Reference Material

As many photographs and drawings are being collected and organized on a large canvas for quick and easy access. This library is constantly being extended throughout the whole process.

Required time: Many hours, but parallel to the rest of the development.

Tool used: PureRef

3. 3D Modelling

Using the blueprint and photographs, a highly detailed 3D model is crafted using the latest version of Blender.
Required time: ~6 month
Tool used: Blender
Blender environment
Substance Painter

4. Texturing

To really bring the aircraft to life, Substance Painter is used to create those high-definition PBR textures.

Required time: ~1 month

Tools used: Substance Painter & Photoshop

5. Flight Model

To achieve a realistic flight model, we use airflow modelling software to determine lift and drag parameters for the whole airframe. Afterwards, all the dozens of aerodynamic parameters are manually fine-tuned to match with the data and obtained pilot reports.
Required time: ~1 month
Aerodynamics calculations
WWise Sound engineering interface

6. Sound Engineering

A kick-ass add-on requires a kick-ass sound! We take great care at sourcing all our aircraft and environmental sounds to match our original aircraft. WWise is used to bring those sounds into the flight simulator.

Required time: ~1 month

7. Programming

The other part of the immersion of our add-ons stems from the programming. Virtually every control, switch, instrument or “gadget” is custom-coded by us!
Even a rather “simple” aircraft, like the Blériot XI, still contains thousands of lines of custom code.
Required time: depending on the complexity, between 2 months and 5 years.
Coding environment
Example of our add-on documentation

8. Documentation

Great care is taken in compiling the various manuals, which assist in the use of our add-ons.

Required time: ~1 month

9. Debugging, Testing, more debugging

Debugging and testing begins when the 3d model is exported to the flight simulator for the first time. However the real testing starts when most jobs have been wrapped up and the almost-finished product is sent out to our testers.
Required time: ~1-3 months
Debugging of a MSFS add-on
Creating an installer for the add-on

10. Deployment

Towards the last days of the testing phase, we develop the installer for the addon. The final step is to upload the file to the wing42 servers and set up the Product pages.

Required time: ~2 week

Wing42 logo
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