For many years both FranceVFR and FSAddon Publishing have been known among the best Flight Simulator add-on developers and publishers in the world, each having built its very own loyal customer base. And for many years too they have been in touch, appreciating each other's products and each others passion for quality and detail.
About a year ago they discovered that they also have a passion for history and that ultimately resulted in the plan to build part of the second world war in Flight Simulator X. FranceVFR bought aerial photos from the entire Normandy region, stretching from Le Havre in the east all the way to St. Malo in the south west, including all the famous D-Day beaches and towns like Cherbourg, Caen and St Lô. And FSAddon Publishing already had a fair number of WW2 aircraft available PLUS tons of knowledge and research on 'the landings'.
The new product has now been released and is called Normandy 1944 for FSX. And it is very special. Not ONLY because it is the first ever scenery covering history, not only because it uses original black-and-white aerial photographs, and not only because it covers a large area of famous land. It is special because of the intentions of the project.
The two publishers are looking to build a community around this 'base product'.
A community of flightsimmers that are also very much interested in the WW2 history, its aircraft and its operations. A community that will be served not only by this - and further - commercial project, but ALSO by the many freeware sub-products that are planned.
And they hope that it will also revive more interest in freeware scenery building, using the Normandy product as a base.
FSAddon is hard at work at building the first of an entire series of add-ons, where each add-on will cover 4 distinct moments in time: before the landings, D-Day itself, the situation after establishing the initial beachhead and ultimately Normandy after the German forces were driven out. The flightsimmer can select the period by switching scenery activity via the Scenery Library.
At the same time FranceVFR is working at developing and adding autogen for the area..... a huge task that will certainly also take quite a bit of time.
Normandy 1944 for FSX Base Pack consists of the entire area of Normandy in BW aerial photo texture, special mesh for the region, 4 BW versions of FSAddon aircraft and a freeware Higgins landing boat, courtesy of Bruce Fitzgerald.
Part of the project too is a dedicated website from FranceVFR, named FSHistoric.com and inclusion in the FSAddon website FSClassics which is also dedicated to history in FS. Also available will be dedicated forums both in French and in English for the users and enthusiasts of the products!
Normandy 1944 for FSX is available from the FranceVFR shop here: http://www.francevfr.com/product_fshnor.htm
The Full versions of the included aircraft are available from FSAddon's shop
FSHistoric and FSClassics (both still very much under development) can be found
First 'bonus' add-on to be published later this year will be the town of Courseulles-sur-Mer - Juno Beach, with the rendition of the first two phases of the landings.
A little Youtube video on the Work in Progress can be found here:
Also planned is the release of a number of the objects used, which can then be used freely by other freeware developers to build further scenes.
Work in progress is on the Mulberry harbors and on the ALG's ( Allied Landing Grounds or temporary forward airfields) which will be partly commercial products.
FranceVFR and FSAddon hope that many simmers will join them in this major adventure of using FSX as an educational and adventurous 'tool' in addition to its regular use!
Laurent and François