Hey everyone! Jonx here from the Got Friends Development Group. In case you aren't aware, Got Friends consists of four talented developers: Got Gravel, Jonx (Myself), Two Seventy Inc, and Mykrode. Flightsim.to has given us this opportunity to deliver an article directly to our supporters. With that being said, I am honored to share our latest news and announce our next aircraft being released!
A Special Thank You!
As most developers start out, they dream of creating content full-time for their community. Got Friends is getting closer than ever to supporting our development group full-time and ensuring you have a steady flow of quality aircraft in the future. None of this would be possible without the support of our dedicated followers. With the overwhelming support from the community, we are finally transitioning from individual freeware developers into a full support payware development group. Without your continued support, we wouldn't be able to spend the time, resources, and talent required to bring you more exciting add-ons. We want you to know how much your support means to us, and we would like to thank you for your continued support.
An Era of Remasters
If you haven't followed our original projects lately, we decided a few months ago to up the quality of our work. With the combined power of our skills, we have been able to re-evaluate our greatest individual achievements and remaster them as a group from ground-up. The first project we took on was my original Discus-2b. We decided to deconstruct the entire project and spent months rebuilding it. The newly built Discus-2c was released on New Year's Day, here, on Flightsim.to. This remaster was a major experiment for the whole team. For starters, it was a freeware release, and it was important to the team to keep that promise while still delivering a true payware experience. Being a glider, our team can't even begin to explain the complexity of that project. Today, the Discus-2c has over 18,000 downloads, and our team is overwhelmed with your kind feedback and support. Next, we decided to tackle Mykrode's Fokker DR.1 and MXA Amphibious aircraft. After tirelessly working on remastering every aspect of those projects, we can proudly say that they are in their definitive state. If you've downloaded any of the mentioned aircraft in the past, I highly encourage you to give their latest updates a download.
🎮 Xbox Releases Incoming!
Unlike some freeware projects, we don't want to develop an aircraft that may drop dead due to the priority of placing our payware aircraft over their updates. It is no surprise that Sim Updates have been breaking the immersion of a lot of content creators' add-ons. We want to ensure that our aircraft will always stay up-to-date, fun to fly, and available in a working state regardless of the next Sim Update. In addition, we are taking the initiative to distribute our remastered aircraft, not only to PC, but to Xbox players around the world. Starting with the Gee Bee R3 Special and following up with our remasters, every single aircraft in our Hangar has been developed from ground-up to work with the console version of Microsoft Flight Simulator. Within no time, your favorite remasters will be available on Xbox and ready to fly whether you're at your desk or on your couch.
🎉New Aircraft Announcement
Let's move on to today's main announcement. We are excited to announce the latest addition to our remastered hangar, the EA-7 Edgley Optica.
Months of work and countless hours went into remastering this project. We wanted to ensure that this aircraft was not only great to fly but overall, the better choice in regard to our competition. Our team recently had to make a few tough decisions. What features would give our Edgley Optica the competitive edge while still delivering the best possible experience to our supporters? How were we going to stand out against a larger studio with our release? Finally, with the amount of aircraft joining our remastered hangar, how could we guarantee supporting those updates at the same priority level as our upcoming payware? We all took these questions to heart, and during development, we constantly asked ourselves how we can improve this Edgley Optica to ensure that this is the best quality aircraft you could fly from Got Friends. We worked around the clock to ensure that this is the best aviation experience our team could offer. However, the next statement may be concerning, but we promise you this is with the best interest in mind to ensure that all our freeware can receive extensive care and development needs required in our future.
One Remaster to Support Them All
Our team has made the decision to transfer the Edgley Optica from freeware to a definitive payware state. On release day, we will be releasing the Edgley Optica for $20 and the freeware Edgley Optica by Jonx will be taken offline. As a major appreciation for your amazing support over the last year, the Edgley Optica will be released for 50% off during the first week. Any supporter of the original project, who donated any amount up to the release of this article, will also receive this payware project gifted in full. Considering the closed beta test is still running smoothly, you can look forward to a release within the next week on Flightsim.to, closely followed by an in-game marketplace release on PC and Xbox.
We hope that this statement hasn't put a bad reputation on our team. Going payware allows us to continue supporting our other great freeware already available on Flightsim.to. This also allows us to export all our great remasters to Xbox and maintain healthy updates with no constraints on time management.
Let's Talk Optica!
So, what is so special about this Edgley Optica? Why do we believe it deserves a price tag? Let's talk about the new features being introduced in this remastered version.
The creation of the EA-7 Edgley Optica began in 1974 with a company, Edgley Aircraft Limited, formed by John Edgley, who, with a small team, designed and built the aircraft at a production line at Old Sarum Airfield in Wiltshire. Over the next three years, the aircraft received UK certification, and the first Edgley Optica was delivered. Despite this success, the additional investments necessary for the final phase of production were not forthcoming, the business went into receivership, and John Edgley was forced out. Today, the Edgley Optica has come full circle and is once more under the control of the original designer, John Edgley. There is a bright future for the Optica in the 21st Century, where a low-cost, low-speed surveillance aircraft is often needed. The new company, AeroElvira Ltd, has taken the responsibility of springboading this aircraft into the new age.
Got Friends wanted to re-imagine an Edgley Optica that was not riddled in financial hardships. With that being said, we took a modern approach at redesigning this aircraft from the ground-up. We kept everything that made the original aircraft great and added modern systems that guaranteed the best possible flying experience, one that John Edgley originally envisioned.
Our rendition of the EA-7 Edgley Optica includes a 9-Pack vs. the original 6-Pack of basic flight instruments. In total, we packed an Airspeed Indicator, Attitude Indicator, Altimeter, Turn Coordinator, Heading Indicator, Vertical Speed Indicator, Tachometer, Manifold Pressure Gauge, and a Course Deviation Indicator on top of various systems and supporting gauges.
A modern Optica wouldn't be complete without a good navigation system and autopilot system. We have included the Garmin 430/330 navigation system as well as the KAP140 Autopilot system. As if these weren't enough navigation options, we worked alongside PMS50 to bring you a swappable GTN750 with full WTT support. You can swap out your navigation systems at any time by using a system swap switch on the upper panel.
Also located in the upper panel are some exciting features. If you fell in love with the original Optica on Flightsim.to, you'll be pleased to hear that we have included your best fluffy friend to accompany you during a long flight. Kilo, the fictional Golden Retriever, has once again joined the list of companions to lay by your side. Not only laying down, but Kilo is fully animated to lay down, sit upright, and enjoy the flight alongside another new companion. Matto, our fictional house cat, is joining the list of furry companions. Although Matto doesn't do much, he will sleep in the sun or judge you while you're flying into a sticky situation. The companions can be customized in-flight at any time. Whether you want a dog, a cat, both or none, they will always be there to keep you entertained. Each companion has an effect on the weight loadout and will alter your flight model accordingly.
Lasty, our rendition of the Edgley Optica is equipped with a winter ski kit. Do you want to land in the wilderness of Alaska during a routine observation mission? With attachable skis, you will be ready for any snowy landing.
As mentioned, countless hours of work have been put into this, and each team member has pushed their development skills to their limits to bring you this experience. With a fine-tuned Got Gravel flight model, Two Seventy Inc 4k texture pallet, and optimized 3D modeling and coding by Mykrode and I, this Optica is in no doubt, the best looking and flying Edgley Optica in any Simulator to date.
Once again, thank you for always supporting Got Friends and for giving us the opportunity to turn our hobby into a full-time commitment. Without the support of every one of you, our team would have never had the opportunity to work together and grow such great friendships. We hope that you're enjoying another great year in Microsoft Flight Simulator, and we hope that our projects become a great part of that enjoyment. Our commitment to the great freeware community hasn't changed, and you can always look forward to more exciting add-ons in our future.
Until next time,