The Reno Air Races expansion to Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020) brings competitive racing to the skies with 40 officially licensed aircraft. It released as a paid add-on to all editions of the simulator on 2021-11-18.
Jorg Neumann revealed on 2021-10-20 that Asobo Studio had been in collaboration with the Reno Air Racing Association (RARA) to create the expansion for over two years.
A note from the developers
The Microsoft Flight Simulator community continues to grow! The Reno Air Races: Expansion Pack and Reno Air Races: Full Collection are available today for purchase in the Microsoft Flight Simulator marketplace.
The Reno Air Races: Full Collection offers 40 unique, officially licensed and carefully modeled planes - 10 North American P-51 Mustangs, 10 North American T-6 Texans, 10 Aero L-39 Albatroses, and 10 Aviat Pitts Special S1Ses. Among them are many famous “Gold” champions like Miss America, Strega, Voodoo, Baron’s Revenge, Radial Velocity, Six-Cat, American Spirit, and Pipsqueak, and many of the other top racers. All of these amazing aircraft and the full online racing experience are included in the Full Collection.
For those who just want to get their feet wet and race with friends, the Reno Air Races: Expansion Pack is a great entry point. It includes the exhilarating, online multiplayer racing experience along with four highly detailed starter aircraft: a North American T-6 Texan, a North American P-51 Mustang, an Aero L-39 Albatros, and an Aviat Pitts Special S1S.
The Microsoft Flight Simulator team worked closely with the Reno Air Racing Association (RARA) and dozens of pilots and owners to develop highly authentic recreations of many of the world’s most famous racing aircraft.
We can’t wait for you and your friends to experience this thrilling air racing experience starting today. Visit the Microsoft Flight Simulator in-game marketplace to see all the planes included in the Reno Air Races: Full Collection. The sky is calling!
Microsoft Flight Simulator is now available on Xbox Series X|S with Xbox Game Pass, Windows 10 with Xbox Game Pass for PC, and Steam.
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The Reno Air Races takes place at Reno Stead Airport. Nearby cities have been updated with more accurate topographic and building data. The expansion includes the racing pylons, parking layout, viewing stands, crowds, and event booths as seen in the real event. There are four tracks for each of the race classes: unlimited, jets, T-6, and biplanes.
There are two primary race modes:
- Quickmatch mode is a multiplayer-only mode composed of 2 phases. Aircraft performance and the flight model is normalized between competing aircraft.
- The qualification phase has pilots fly one lap of the course alone to determine starting positions
- The race phase has all pilots flying together for 6-8 laps (depending on racing class)
- Aircraft performance and the flight model are normalized between competing aircraft
- Private matchmaking will perhaps be added at a later date. AI racers are not planned.
- Time trial mode is a 6-8 lap period (depending on racing class) where the pilot flies alone in an attempt to set the fastest valid lap time. Lap times appear on the Xbox Live leaderboards similar to how Landing Challenges are displayed.
A minimap HUD is provided which shows the outline of the selected class' track. Penalties are be applied to both race modes for breaking the class rules such as exceeding the maximum allowed altitude or cutting inside of the race pylons. Mid-air collisions resulting in a crash, however both affected players will be respawned back in to the race and allowed to continue with an associated positioning disadvantage.
For Xbox X|S users, an Xbox Live Gold subscription is required to participate in multiplayer races. PC users can engage in multiplayer content without a subscription regardless of whether running the Windows Store or Steam versions of the simulator.
Each aircraft available in the expansion is modeled after a real-life equivalent, including unique flight models, cockpit layouts, and wingtips for each. None of the aircraft are standard production versions. All aircraft in the expansion are able to be flown in free flight anywhere on the globe.
- North American T-6 Texan
- North American P-51 Mustang
- Aero L-39 Albatros. In collaboration with Mike Johnson of Lotus Simulations.
- Aviat Pitts Special S1S
Each aircraft includes customized starting effects, to include smoke, and tailored sound. The expansion also implements audiovisual effects consistent with sustained G forces including vision blurring, redout, vignetting, blackout, loss of sound input, and ultimately loss of control input. The onset and severity of g-LOC effects can be modified by selecting a user-defined level of training and whether or not a g-suit is worn. All audiovisual effects are also present when flying in the external view.
The Reno Air Races expansion released in two editions.
- The Expansion edition includes both race modes and one generic aircraft from each race class. The price at release was $19.99.
- The Full Collection edition includes an additional 10 customized aircraft per race class for a total of 40 aircraft. The price at release was $59.99.
An upgrade path has been announced for users who purchase the Expansion edition and decide to subsequently purchase additional aircraft.
- One individual airplane costs $10
- A entire race class (10 planes) costs $30
Jorg Neumann noted that a "dynamic bundling" system is utilized to factor in which aircraft have been previously purchased and adjusts the pricing accordingly. Exact details of this system have not been documented.
- Reno Air Races Release Date Announced. Microsoft Flight Simulator (2021-10-19). Retrieved on 2021-10-28.
- Developer Q&A Twitch Series: October 20th, 2021. YouTube. Microsoft Flight Simulator Official YouTube Channel (2021-10-22). Retrieved on 2021-10-28.
- Reno Air Races Expansion Available Now on MSFS. Microsoft Flight Simulator (2021-11-18). Retrieved on 2021-11-19.