The Cessna 172 is one of flight training’s flagship aircraft. It’s no surprise then, that it’s also one of Infinite Flight’s oldest models. Now, with the addition of live instruments in the XCub and A320, Infinite Flight has quietly been at work giving the 172 a much-needed overhaul.
Community members will be wondering why this rework was kept a secret. Well, it was and it wasn’t. Our online community has made their requests known and the vast majority prefer flying the big iron, a.k.a. airliners. We have focused our social media works in progress posts, as well as our 3D modelling efforts on the development of the A350 build, and next in line the community-voted B777 rework. At the time of this post, both are still in the 3D modelling phase due to their size and complexity.
While it’s true we didn’t announce the 172 specifically to the community, co-founder Laura Laban did hint at it during a radio interview when she said we had a new GA aircraft in the works. Where we have not kept this fact to ourselves is at real-world aviation events such as AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI. One of our long term goals is making ourselves available to the real-world training market. Today’s pilots have many tools available to help them practice before getting in the cockpit, and for many, a PC-based simulator isn’t of interest to them. To provide pilots with adequate practice tools, we had to start upgrading our fleet to accommodate instrumentation that would help them.
Enter, the 172. Outfitted with two functional G1000’s which will allow pilots to practice VOR navigation, the 172 is an upgrade to the fleet that was necessary in our quest to further discussions with flight schools and pilots. Pilots will also be able to track multiple VORs at the same time with NAV1 and NAV2 support, as well as perform GPS navigation just like in the XCub. In addition to this, switching to HUD view won’t be necessary anymore when locking in the localizer to NAV1 or NAV2 as this will be done directly from the nav settings. We began our selection of glass instruments with the G3x and G5 in the XCub, implementing technology that has led us here, to the 172 rework. We should note that we’re not implementing interactive controls for the 172. This may come in the future, but for now we are focusing on functionality and performance.
So to our airliner fans, the A350 and B777 have not been delayed! In fact, improvements to these instruments allows us to move more quickly on the glass airliner displays. A release date has not been set for the 172, however our staff have just begun to test the flight model and instruments.