The Microsoft Flight Simulator community can now experience the classic feel and functionality of the Bendix/King KLN90B GPS unit, thanks to a new mod that allows aircraft developers to integrate this navigation unit on their airplanes.
Developers Falcon71 and KAI31 (also known for his work on the still-in-development Tu-134) have developed and packaged the functionality of this unit into a free download that aircraft developers can now use on their projects.
The KLN90B is a GPS navigation system that was popularly used in general aviation aircraft. It was manufactured by BendixKing, a division of Honeywell Aerospace. The KLN90B is known for its 5-inch monochrome display and capability to provide pilots with precise navigational data, including airport information, waypoints, VORs, and more.
The digital reincarnation of this classic device is available for download on the project’s GitHub repository. However, it is important to note that this package only contains the GPS device. To use the KLN 90B, users will need to incorporate it into an aircraft within the simulator. The developer of the freeware Canso PBY-6 has already shown interest in implementing this unit in his aircraft.
The introduction of the KLN 90B to Microsoft Flight Simulator is part of a larger trend within the flight simming community to balance the ultra-high-tech present with nods to the past. There’s a reason why many prefer the old-style analog instruments in many airplanes that have since been updated with glass avionics. While pilots have access to GPS systems in MSFS that outperform the KLN 90B in every conceivable metric, there’s a certain charm in using the systems that pilots of previous generations would have used.
The developer of this module says that ‘pretty much everything is simulated,’ which is undoubtedly cool considering the specifics of the device. It wouldn’t be half as intriguing if it were just a half-baked gadget with a fancy black and green screen, would it? Developers, take note!