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02 Feb 2021

Microsoft Flight Simulator World Update 3: Release Date, New Aerials, New DEM, POIs, Landing Challenges, Airports and More

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Release Date

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Integrated Photogrammetry

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New Points of Interest & Airports

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New Challenges & Activities

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Everything Else

World Update 3 for Microsoft Flight Simulator is almost here; It's due to drop in the second week of February.

Despite the minor delay, Microsoft Flight Simulator World Update 3 is on course to release soon and will feature major improvements to the UK in-game.

Fans of the latest Flight Simulator title can look forward to new Airport details, Points of Interest, integrated photogrammetry and more.

Release Date

Currently, there is no exact date as to when Microsoft Flight Simulator World Update 3 will drop.

Originally, this update was scheduled for January 26th. However, it has been slightly pushed back into February to finalise details.

Now, we know that it is coming in the second week of February.

This means it could come any time between the 8th and the 14th; We would expect some sort of announcement or warning to be given prior to this, though.

Multiple sources have suggested that this update will most-likely come early week, between the 9th and the 11th. Although, nothing has been confirmed yet.

Integrated Photogrammetry

This is the highlight of the Microsoft Flight Simulator update for a lot of people.

Integrated Photogrammetry is the process in which Asobo "build" their world with satellite images.

READ MORE: Microsoft Flight Simulator Sim Update 2 Recap

Asobo uses these images to create 3D models with a high level of density and accuracy. This would take a long time to do by hand!

Previously, this technique has been used to showcase locations in both Japan and the United States.

Microsoft Flight Simulator World Update 3 Brazil
TAKE FLIGHT - Microsoft Flight Simulator is a global experience

Now, though, places like Cambridge, Oxford, Birmingham, and Bristol will all get the Photogrammetry treatment.

The development of London in-game, however, remains the critical element of this World Update.

New Points of Interest & Airports

The upcoming World Update will also bring a series of new Points of Interest, Airports, and visual improvements.

Below, we've listed the five airports that are being added to Microsoft Flight Simulator through World Update 3:

  • Barra Airport, Eoligarry Scotland
  • Liverpool John Lennon Airport, Speke England
  • Land's End Airport, Penzance England
  • Manchester-Barton Airport, Eccles England
  • Out Skerries Airstrip, Scotland

In addition to this, there will be 80 PoIs, and visual improvements to 85 more area airports.

This will include more building detail and better digital elevation data across the whole of the UK.

New screenshots reveal Windsor Castle as one of the freshly-updated points of interest.

Microsoft Flight Simulator World Update 3 Windsor
WINDSOR - Here's just one of the newly added points of interest!

Where would you like to see highlighted in Microsoft Flight Simulator's World Update 3?

New Challenges & Activities

If you're looking for something more from Microsoft Flight Simulator, fear not!

The Microsoft Flight Simulator World Update 3 is also bringing a new batch of challenges and activities to the title.

Details about these challenges and activities are a little sparse at the moment, ahead of launch, however, we know that there will be at least two landing challenges included.

Everything Else

Below, you can find the official word from developers Asobo regarding the update:

This massive update contains new aerials, new DEM, over 70 POIs, 5 airports, two landing challenges, and will also introduce 5 brand-new photogrammetry cities for your enjoyment. Unfortunately, these new cities are causing a slight delay… it’s a new process and data source for us and the tools have to be updated for these cities to integrate seamlessly into the sim. The Bing Maps team is working hard to make this happen and the data provider, Bluesky, is helping as well. We believe that the remaining issues will be resolved within a few days so we are targeting the release one week later than originally planned.

Developers Asobo also did a Live Q&A Stream which gives us an exciting look at the gameplay we can expect in Microsoft Flight Simulator World Update 3.

The video below is... quite long. But, if you skip to around the 18-minute mark you'll start to see some in-game footage of a few of the new UK locations.

READ MORE: Microsoft Flight Simulator Headed To Xbox Series X|S

Microsoft Flight Simulator also recently received an update that enabled VR support and Asobo is keen to continue to develop the title into the go-to Flight Simulator game.

The next Microsoft Flight Simulator World Update is due to launch "end of March" so be sure to keep an eye out for more information regarding that.

You can also check out Asobo's January 21st Development Update for more information regarding Third-Party Updates coming to Microsoft Flight Simulator post-World Update 3.

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