Jump to content

Officially Announcing Mitsubishi MU-2B-60 Marquise 2.0!


Recommended Posts

Captains,

It's with a lot of excitement that I get to announce this product officially now! Back in 2008 we started X-Aviation with the MU-2 as our first product for sale, and now we're re-inventing it with this beautiful new version. Many people in the X-Plane community found the original v1 we sold as one of their very first payware aircraft back in the day.

Today will be the first of a series of progress updates leading up to the forthcoming release of the Mitsubishi MU-2B-60 Marquise 2.0 simulation for X-Plane. Since its beginnings in 2005, the MU2 has been a labor of love by @tkyler and has been nursed for 13 years and for the upcoming 2.0 release, has incorporated the latest X-Plane features. The MU2 is poised to last for many more years to come and certainly through future versions of X-Plane. 

We are also pleased to announce all previous owners of v1 will be receiving an upgrade discount to v2!

The MU-2 is a perfect GA airplane to have in your hangar and get you around X-Plane quickly when you need to feed your flight simulation addiction and actually cover some ground but don't feel like flying tube-liners. With its distinctive profile, engine sound and a cruise speed of 270+ knots, it can cover a lot of X-Plane scenery in a simulator session and have you off the computer before dinner time. In this first report, we'll discuss the most obvious improvement in version 2.0, the visual 3D model and textures.

side_view.jpg

When looking at the MU2 Version 1.0 series 3D, it it quite apparent that there was major room for improvement (mind you this was X-Plane 9 days). As it turned out, trying to remodel the existing 3D was not a viable option and the 2.0 version had to be completely redone from scratch. There are a few noteworthy factors that have enabled the improvements to the 3D detail. Major advancements in Blender 3D, the modeling tool used as well as advancements to the exporter by Laminar, have facilitated a painless workflow between Blender and X-Plane, allowing focus on the geometric detail. In addition, the capability of today's graphic cards to handle fantastic numbers of polygons and high-resolution texture sets have really taken the visual aspect of flight-simming to a level barely imaginable a decade ago. 

The first order of business was to increase the geometric fidelity of the model and get the challenging shapes and curves more accurate. It is a difficult aircraft to get to look right. Increased geometric fidelity results in much sharper and crisper detail at close camera angles and generally a more natural look all-around. The two images below shows the Version 1.0 3D model against the Version 2.0 3D model.

Version 1.x Wireframe

MU2_1_wireframe.jpg

 

Version 2.0 Wireframe

MU2_2_wireframe.jpg

If you study the two images above, you will see version 2.0 has a higher density 3D model all around; however, note the darker areas of the 3D wireframe mesh. These are areas where higher 3D detail has been applied in order to achieve sharper visual results that reflect light more realistically as you move the camera around. The traditional way such details are added is through the use of higher resolution texture "decals", much like the decals on plastic models. While decals are a great technique and absolutely useful, they do lack the accuracy of subtle light interaction around geometric edges at closer camera angles. Lighting details on 3D edges have always been one of those areas that make the difference between a fake looking 3D model and one that comes alive. The image below shows a few areas where the 3D detail makes a difference to the lighting. Though higher detail is applied where it counts, it wasn't added where not needed, yielding an efficient 3D model that is very performant in X-Plane.

detail_comparison.jpg

With the 3D detail in place, you have to bring it alive with texturing. X-Plane's PBR (Physically Based Rendering) has always yielded a wonderfully crisp and beautiful color palette when taken to its limits, and X-Plane 12 looks to improve that even more when it arrives. One critical component of believable texturing is a solid implementation of what is known as 'ambient occlusion', or AO as 3D artists like to say. AO is a phenomenon where light loses energy as it bounces around into corners, resulting in darker corners and recesses. Below is a comparison of a 3D model with and without ambient occlusion. The results are quite stark!

ao_comparison.jpg

 

AO in real time for lots of 3D polygons is still quite performance heavy. X-Plane actually has a small bit of real time AO between the ground and airplane when in HDR mode. You may note the subtle darkening of the ground around the landing gear tires sometime as aircraft taxi; however, X-plane provides no AO effects for aircraft. We obtain this AO effect by "painting" the shadowing into our textures. This is a process known as "baking" in the 3D community and our 3D software tools actually do most of the painting work for us. By baking AO effects into our textures, we can achieve a much more realistic lighting look throughout the 3D model. Baking AO lighting though is a bit of an art and can be a bit time consuming but when done well, the results are quite immersive! AO really shines when applied to interior spaces, giving lots of visual depth and avoiding that flat, cartoony look. 

ao_pilot_side.jpgcabin_ao.jpg

When all of the 3D elements come together: the geometric 3D detail, attentive ambient occlusion effects, PBR texturing and X-Plane's great PBR engine, the results are exactly what we've been waiting for 13 years!

cockpit_overall.jpg

exterior_1.jpg

overall.jpg

A SPECIAL NOTE is warranted about this last screenshot. We include it because it shows the 3D detail and texturing in the cockpit at its best! However, the G500/600 GLASS display shown will NOT be included with the MU2 purchase. It is a separate product available by Real Sim Gear through X-Aviation, but for those folks who wish to have some glass in their MU-2, then you'll be happy to know that we support it fully and it will be available straightaway when the MU2 is release for owners of the Real Sim Gear G500!

glass_panel.jpg

In our next progress update, we'll talk about the cockpit variants, controls and animations and how they play a major role in our immersion! Until next report, Blue Skies and tailwinds!

  • Like 20
  • Upvote 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm ready for it I have already bought the G500 package.  So I should be good to go.  This was my very first payware airplane I've ever bought.  Ready to take skies, with this fabulous bird.  Cheers Dion :)

Edited by Dionsol
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, dresoccer4 said:

This looks simply amazing! Ugh unfortunately I've switched to MSFS and don't have the HDD space for both sims. In my dreams this would be converted to MSFS and the universe would be complete

I understand we're your coming from, but for me on actually migrating back too X-Plane then MSFS.  I spent a year flying the hell out of Microsoft flight simulator, but for me I was missing something.  Along with looks, fidelity for me is very important as well.  And the fidelity within Microsoft flight simulator platform is still not there yet to compete with X-Plane.  But again, that's just me and others will probably differ.  It's not all about the eye candy.  Again looking forward, to the MU2.  Cheers Dion

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, dresoccer4 said:

This looks simply amazing! Ugh unfortunately I've switched to MSFS and don't have the HDD space for both sims. In my dreams this would be converted to MSFS and the universe would be complete

Go for XP, you will not be disappointed, the way of flying of all the models in XP is unique, truly realistic and exquisite, forcing the pilot to make constant corrections in flight, exactly as it happens in real life, (I am a real life GA pilot). On the other hand, the msfs is extremely boring in terms of the sensation of flight, all the PMDG models that will come, will fly like mummies unfortunately, believe me.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Raúl Aubele said:

Go for XP, you will not be disappointed, the way of flying of all the models in XP is unique, truly realistic and exquisite, forcing the pilot to make constant corrections in flight, exactly as it happens in real life, (I am a real life GA pilot). On the other hand, the msfs is extremely boring in terms of the sensation of flight, all the PMDG models that will come, will fly like mummies unfortunately, believe me.

or fly like Daddies?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Cameron said:

A SPECIAL NOTE is warranted about this last screenshot. We include it because it shows the 3D detail and texturing in the cockpit at its best! However, the G500/600 GLASS display shown will NOT be included with the MU2 purchase. It is a separate product available by Real Sim Gear through X-Aviation, but for those folks who wish to have some glass in their MU-2, then you'll be happy to know that we support it fully and it will be available straightaway when the MU2 is release for owners of the Real Sim Gear G500!

 

This is my favourite part! In a sim I like to stare at those beautiful steampunk panels. Is linux support planned, please?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Arrowdynamixx said:

This looks great!  The MU-2 is always the sexiest airframe on the GA ramp!

Will the GTN 750/650 be supported as well?  It would be nice to have an all glass avionics update.

we are looking into it.  We have reached out to Reality XP but have not heard back yet.  I certainly want to, but if/when it happens, it will be after the initial MU2 release stabilizes a bit.   I have been planning for it however. 

 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, eMko said:

Is linux support planned, please?

a solid "maybe" is all I can say.  There are some reasons for doing so now that weren't as pressing as in the past and so its occupying a corner of our minds.

Edited by tkyler
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is great news..! The MU-2B was one of the "OG" complex aircraft for X-Plane (I believe it was X-Plane 8.X?) back in the day..and has held its own over the decade+ since release. It is one of my favorite X-Plane aircraft to fly..always feels dynamic and sporty on landing. And I loved the old school panel having flown similar panels over my years... Looking forward to the updated/all new release. (Another vote for GTN 750 integration when possible..!)

From my PC Pilot review way back in February 2009..!! Wow...

reprint1.thumb.jpg.aaa5e9ebb629266a035dbc971a909fe6.jpg

Edited by BeachAV8R
  • Like 8
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do I look forward to this..??!! Oh yes, I do ! :D

I have flown the X- Plane based MU-2 95% of my sim time since I installed X- Plane in 2016 (...and spent more than a months salary in buying a powerful lap top with enough power to make it run perfect). 

As for glass cockpits, for sure they're great,- but... nah......I myself stick to good old clocks :) ( And they will not shut down same way as glass cockpits will when next powerful solar storm hits us... I believe).

I have "followed" the MU-2 for more than 40 years, and I am totally hooked on this master piece of a flying machine :)

In X-Plane 10 and 11 I have landed the MU-2 several times at VNLK / Lukla / Nepal. The book says 1950 ft runway is needed at sea level with max weight (MU-2P MU-2B-26A), while VNLK has 1729ft runway at elevation 9334ft. Book says take off distance over 50ft is 1,800 at sea level. Turns out that even if I manage to land and stop at VNLK; I run a bit out of runway when taking off even in headwind.

Seemingly landing with a speed of close to 100kts as close to the treshold (read edge !) as possible is needed to be able to stop. Stall speed Vfe (flaps down) is 73kts.

Gradient is 11,7% and wind changes normally from morning to afternoon so the pilots flying to and from VNLK arrive before mid day as wind direction then is more or less around head wind for RW24 with uphill landing. During the afternoon the wind changes in favor of downhill take off from RW06.  RW24 is not an option for take off anyway as it ends in front of buildings and a steep mountain wall.

I suppose that the MU-2 simply has not enough runway with 1729ft  at an elevation of 9334ft. (I wonder if the upgraded MU-2 Limited Edition would make it...?)

I look forward to do IFR approaches and departures to sometimes very challenging Norwegian short field runways as well, as for instance ENSG and ENSD to mention a few of them....

Looking so much forward for the upgraded MU-2 ! :)

 

Best regards

Harald Eide

Norway

 

 

Edited by Harald Eide
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't want to join the XP versus MSFS debate, but I fly XP almost exclusively. But what does it matter, both sims have their place?

I've got to say that the image of the cockpit looks like a photograph. I'm one of the simmers who spend 95% of the time in the cockpit - I suppose real-life pilots do too. Anyhoo, I do appreciate the occasional exterior view just to admire and take in the whole scene, what an experience! I am looking forward to getting my hands on the MU-2B for the first time.  One of the best parts of flight simming is getting to know an airplane, intimately. I hope you, Cameron, will go deep in the systems modeling.

Thanks for the narrative and previews.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yup I clearly remember the MU-2 was my first payware aircraft for any flight sim. Back then, in 2008-09 I was very new to flight sims, bought FSX and XP, only stuck to the default aircraft thinking that they were enough, and had no idea a payware, third party market for more complex, accurate aircraft existed. It was this MU-2 that introduced me to that market. 

It was such a long time ago that I totally forgot the login details (username and password) for the site I bought the MU-2 from. I clearly remember that X-aviation as we know today didn't exist. It was a different site. X-scenery or something like that! Anyways, thanks for bringing this aircraft back to life again.

P.S. I won't be looking for a discount ;) :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 How about a time line(if possible) and an upgrade price from v1.9(if possible)? The reason I ask is because this plane has really piqued my interest in the MU-2 again and I'm not sure I can wait for v2, I might just buy V1.9 the pay for the upgrade later, depending on the timeline and upgrade price. If it's days I might be able to wait, if it's months there is no way I'm waiting.....

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I don't like to give dates because there are a few unknowns (FMOD sound in particular)....I think its fair to say it will come out some time in April almost certainly.  I have a target on my calendar that is in April and working feverishly towards that and best I can tell, still on track.   That's the best I can say atm.

  • Like 6
  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, camilogrillo said:

Looking forward to it!! have you decided the price of it? how much will be the discount for previous owners? hope you can get the GTN integrated on it

We have not yet finalized the discount or pricing structure. Typically, at least at X-Aviation, we wait until a product is ready for market before assessing a final cost. For now the focus is more about getting the product to that stage. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

May I ask if LibRadio, from Totoritko, is implemented in the addon? This is something that changes so much about how you fly these planes in IFR Navigation, and being an OpenSource, I expect all my Addons to have it when possible, for the improvement in realism it provides!

 

Loving the previews so far!

Edited by Alec246
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is not currently implemented and I haven't looked into it at this time (nor librain), my plate is pretty full with other things that take higher precedence; however, it is on my list and my code is structured to support integration with some of these great add-ons.... so it will get looked at in due course. 

-tkyler

Edited by tkyler
  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...