Here’s the news many have been waiting for: PILOT’S Dash 7 is finally set to be released this coming weekend for Microsoft Flight Simulator, barring any last-minute hiccups. This marks the culmination of a long development process that saw PILOT’S and SimWorks Studios (SWS) partnering to bring this virtual rendition of the Dash 7 to MSFS.
The Dash 7 has been a long time in the making, with both PILOT’S and SWS sharing development responsibilities. While SWS was the creative force behind the visuals, coding, and flight dynamics, PILOT’S has focused on sound design and other nuanced aspects of the aircraft. The journey began with the unveiling of the Dash 7 back in February 2022, and since then, the development updates have been a rollercoaster of highs and lows.
Subsequently, SWS gave us a glimpse of the external fuselage, revealing an aircraft that was starting to take shape. By that time, the visuals were already quite advanced, featuring real-world liveries from British Antarctic Survey, Air Greenland, Brymon, Berjaya Air, Tyrolean, and Continental. By September, the aircraft was already functional, with instruments and systems responding as expected. The STOL characteristics were also highlighted, a feature that allows the Dash 7 to take off with just 500 meters of runway.
However, the road wasn’t always smooth. Health issues within the SWS team led to some delays, but the team eventually managed to get the exterior model and flight dynamics nearly complete, as well as the cockpit.
After a long period of silence, PILOT’S finally broke the news earlier this year that the Dash 7 was nearing its release. A teaser video was released, showcasing the aircraft’s 3D model, textures, interior, and exterior. The sound design raised some eyebrows, however, with many noting that it didn’t quite resemble the typical engine sounds of the Dash 7. Fortunately, it seems PILOT’S heard these complaints and developed custom sounds thanks to the help of Air Tindi, the current largest operator of the Dash 7.
We’re still waiting for a detailed feature list from PILOT’S, but we know that the Dash 7 will feature various real-world liveries and optional equipment, including the Working Title GNS 530. A specific model with built-in support for the GTNXi will also be available upon release and PILOT’S promises that other unique features will be included for simmers. These include the nose wheel gear doors that will slowly open after the engines are shut down, mimicking the subsequent hydraulic pressure drop.
So, mark your calendars and keep an eye on PILOT’S online store this weekend. No pricing has been revealed as of yet, but for sure that will become known in a short time.