A third-party team of developers is making an F-15 Eagle add-on for Microsoft Flight Simulator. DC Designs lists a January release window on its website; YouTuber Obsidian Ant has already had a go, and says it could be ready for consumers as soon as Jan. 18. You can watch his test flight embedded above and on YouTube.
The F-15 add-on will come with four variants of the iconic fourth-generation tactical fighter jet, including the F-15C (air superiority), D (combat-capable trailer), E (Strike Eagle), and I (a variant used by the Israel Defense Forces). While virtual pilots will be able to select and load ordnance, it’s not clear if you’ll actually be able to fire the guns or release other kinds of payloads. Given that the game doesn’t even show a crash animation, I wouldn’t hold my breath.
While the F-15 is capable of reaching Mach 2.5 (roughly 2,000 mph), developers of the add-on say that Microsoft Flight Simulator currently has a barrier in place to prevent that. Polygon has reached out to Asobo Studio to learn more about that. Regardless, developers say there’s nothing stopping players from reaching those speeds if that barrier is removed, but if my experience with virtual reality is any indication — it was nauseating on an Intel Core i7 laptop with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 and 32 GB RAM — it’s best to do that only at high altitudes.
I’ve mentioned how Microsoft Flight Simulator creates an entirely different kind of landscape in the air. It uses real-time weather data to simulate cloud formations, and the results are simply staggering. In an F-15, you’ll be able to explore the clouds much more effectively.
While Microsoft Flight Simulator is heading to Xbox Series X this summer, it’s not yet clear how third-party add-ons like this will make their way across to the new console. Obsidian Ant adds that this won’t be a “study-level” simulation of what it’s like to actually fly the fighter jet. For that, flight sim fans will want to stick with platforms like DCS World.