FreedomFox//Fox2: Sim Updates…and the ripple effect.

FreedomFox//Fox2: Sim Updates…and the ripple effect.

Sim Update 8 (SU8) has landed, and with it came some maintenance, some updates to UI, and a few feature drops. This post will focus on one of the more significant changes, prop physics/engine torque, and how it applies to our FreedomFox // Fox2 offerings.

SU8 release notes came in at a whopping 3,134 words. This indicates that it will likely touch multiple areas of the user experience or multiple product lines if you're a developer. We always read through everything to see what we need to change, what we can do better, and most importantly, what will break.

55 words are dedicated to the coveted "New optional propeller simulation system." Additionally, the statements don't highlight it as a new feature or significant change; they gloss over it, saying a few Asobo aircraft have adopted it, leaving us to read between the lines and sift thru "documentation" and CFGs.

"New optional propeller simulation system with hundreds of moving surfaces covering the propeller realistically simulated has been implemented on 3 planes

Cessna 152, Cessna 208 B Grand Caravan EX and Beechcraft King Air 350i now use the new propeller simulation system. This improves propeller effects such as p-factor as well as feathering, prop drag, etc…"

A peek inside Area 42…

We immediately thought about adopting the new physics, keeping in mind the experience across three different performance variants. It took our friend GotGravel a few weeks to get a solid grasp on it; by this point, a significant number of users were screaming in socials for the shiny new feature, not even knowing what would await them if we just pushed it out.

The thought process and ripple effect…

Today is Monday the 14th, a FreedomFox // Fox2 update was slated for March 4th but has been delayed due to the additional work created by SU8 changes. Let's explore the thought process in list form, freestyle, and as linear as if it were fresh off our brains onto a whiteboard.

We first pushed the new build to our dedicated tester team at Area42, including different casual and serious users, from gamers to simmers. The feedback started rolling in pretty quickly, and it was about as mixed as it could be; we quickly saw an extreme divide.


(Everything written in the section below is only open thought)


  • Prop changes are extreme.
  • FreedomFox, behaves brilliantly, no changes req.
  • Fox2, divided pilots, significantly impacted experiences.
  • Stage0 - OK, Stage1 - harsh, Stage2 — some hate it, even mentioned unflyable aircraft.
  • New physics can just about barrel roll the Stage1/Stage2; think spitfire.
  • But this is realism; are you not entertained?!


The SU8 Prop feature is "optional," so how do we deal with the new LOVE/HATE impressions?


- Tell them to deal with it; we're following the advancement of the sim. SHRUG

- Suggest they Enable "Yoke Assist" in-sim to offset pull. QUICKFIX, FAKE

- We leverage mod manager offer the "legacy" flight model w/disclaimer. Aircraft unchanged, same experience. Support toll? Too hard? Clutter? Old Baggage? Any other possibilities of backfire? WORTH THE HASSLE?


- Edit engines, reduce power, nerf them. BORING.

- Suggest they Enable "Yoke Assist" in-sim to offset pull. QUICKFIX, FAKE

- Custom code to reduce effect based on various values. FAKE

- Add trim tabs!? TIME, RESOURCE, REALISM

  • Fox2 is our experimental hot rod; we can do whatever we want!
  • This is the way. It will delay the update but keep people happy.
  • Realism first fits our brand.
  • Continue moving forward WITH the sim.
  • Potential for disrupting existing liveries
  • Potential for angry painters
  • Associated costs of 3D work
  • Associated delays due to 3D work, ugh, and LODs…
  • Associated delays due to new feature material/media
  • Associated delays due to CFG adjustments for trim tab
  • Associated delays due to //42 painters updating core liveries before an update release.

Decision Time!

First, let's address those that don't love change. There is an excellent amount of power in our Mod Manager; not only are we able to deliver scenes and other value adds, but we can do other neat things too. Time to leverage this!

  • A "quick fix" option available to you is in-sim filed under Assistant Options / Piloting / Assisted Yoke =ON. Enabling this will reduce some of your required input to maintain level flight.
  • We will offer "legacy" flight models to install, excluding the SU8 prop changes. This will come via the Mod Manager with a disclaimer, as future sim support is not guaranteed.

Next, let's flex a bit for those excited about the realism coming into MSFS with SU8. As expected, FreedomFox behaves beautifully and won't receive any changes other than SU8 prop physics. However, a few changes are coming to Fox2 aircraft, our own experimental beast.

  • Fox2 will receive new 3D work to add flaperon trim tabs on Stage1 & Stage2 variants.
  • A new texture sheet will be assigned, which will not disturb current repaints and allow painters to extend creativity onto the new surfaces.
  • Stage 1 will be tuned from 242hp to 200 to create a better performance spread between stages. 141/200/242 (FF is at 141hp)
  • The aircraft is re-tuned to where you'll feel the engine torque mostly on take-off. We did not reduce or adjust forces; we made adjustments to the airframe to properly manage the additional torque.

Closing Thoughts

It's not as straightforward as you think to embrace new features that come along with sim updates. We hear you screaming for all that is new and shiny but to be completely honest; we cover our ears. There's a reason our support inbox is always hovering in single digits at peak, and that's quality control. We'll release things when we have exploded in thought and done extensive testing to ensure a great customer experience.

Our mod manager is the rockstar here for those that dislike the SU8 Prop changes; thru mod manager, we're able to continue offering an experience you're familiar with, at least temporarily. There's always the possibility that Asobo drops support for something rendering those files unusable.

The SU8 updated aircraft are a pleasure to fly and are currently in the final testing phases at Area 42. Our focus was on keeping the character of the aircraft intact. We've seen how content creators fly Fox2 and can only assume those same smiles exist on the faces of those out of the public eye too. It needs to remain a handful on take-off, a wild child in the air, and as calm as Bob Ross on final approach. The team has preserved this vibe with all that SU8 has to offer in terms of realism, and you're going to love it! Update coming as soon as we clear testing.


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