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[08MAY16] PMDG DC-6 Update - Beta Testing Nearly FInished for X-Plane Release!

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#1 rsrandazzo


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Posted 08 May 2016 - 04:27 PM



On our Facebook page, we have been giving you occasional glimpses of the PMDG DC-6 with images taken by our beta team as they make good use of her in the test flight environment.

Today, I have a bit more in depth update to begin showcasing for you what we believe to be one of the finest classic propliner simulations yet offered to the sim community.  The PMDG DC-6 Cloudmaster will come to you with the DC-6B and DC-6C variants, a range of free liveries and an in depth electronic manual to teach you how to operate this extremely comprehensive simulation of the classic airliner. 


Initial release will take place on the X-Plane platform, with FSX/FSX-SE and Prepar3D versions to follow.

First up, lets take a look at how you will manage the loading of the PMDG DC-6:

In our modern airliner series of products, we have you managing the loading, fueling, maintenance and servicing of the airplane via menus buried in the FMS.  The DC-6 doesn't have an FMS, which presented us with some interesting decisions to make when it comes to how you should manage these aspects of the simulation in a way that is efficient, clean and intuitive.  To that end, we have added a couple of icons to take you right to the key components you need to control.



This page is the loading page, which allows you to manage all aspects of loading the airplane in a simple, easy to understand layout that gives you a clear idea what you are changing and the impact it has on your overall loading configuration.  You can use the quick-set buttons to give you an "in the ballpark" fuel load, or you can set your desired fuel weight right to the pound in each tank as needed.  Payload can be quickly managed by entering the amount of baggag and cargo, as well as a headcount of passengers.




With use, your DC-6 is going to need routine and non routine servicing.  The Maintenance Manager menu is where you will go to keep an eye on the health of your all-important powerplants.  Across the top we have provided a simple, colored icon to give you a quick review of the general health of your engines.  You can see your total engine and propeller hours, which accumulate as you operate the airplane.  Of course- key to the health of any engine is the engine oil, and you will manage and replenish that volume here.  Water, for your water-meth injection system (a must for high power takeoffs!) along with auxilliary oil and anti ice alcohol is included.  All of these things are items to check prior to departure, lest you find yourself slogging through a line of weather with unreliable engines and insufficient fluids...  Not a good position in which to find yourself, even with four Pratt & Whitneys...

Speaking of the Pratts...  Take some time to read through the flight manual, and absorb the engine handling tips.  Use the power setting charts.  

If you don't- you will be spending more time looking at this maintenance page than you probably want...  Remember- this airplane is Old School.

Speaking of old school- lets talk about the full, all axis LNAV/VNAV/LPV capable autopilot with thrust control for a moment.

Yeah...  There isn't one.  Did we mention that this airplane is Old School?



The DC-6 comes with a fully modeled, highly accurate simulation of the Sperry A-12 autopilot.  This autopilot WILL make your flying much easier, but it shouldn't be confused with the full-flight wonders in use with modern jets today.  You have to learn the quirks of this autopilot, and adjust your flying accordingly.  There isn't an on/off switch- but instead you have to configure the airplane properly and then bring the autopilot on line to maintain what you have done.  Think of this autopilot as more of a "state maintenance" tool...  If used properly it will really become a joy to operate.  (Again- read up on this gem in the manual- it will make your flying far more enjoyable!)

Let's shift focus to a bit of visual enjoyment.  (See what I did there? :-))



This is one of my favorite shots in the sequence.  As many of you know, I spend a fair share of time flying an old propliner- and this image tickles my funny bone because it shows just how incredibly well detailed the textures and lighting have turned out in X-Plane.  The surface of the panel, along with paint chips and gently worn grim, the engraved metal placards providing limitations and instructions...  All of it is done with incredible attention to detail.  You can almost smell the paint, leather and machine oil smell of this beautiful old classic.

Okay- so lets look at something fascinating that the development team did, because is is an important characteristic of the original DC-6:



Look closely at the gyro compass located on the lower right corner of the pilot's instruments in this image.  Look at the index line on the gyro face, and the 45 and 90 degree index hashes around the outside face of the compass.

Notice anything?

They are glowing...

Yeah- this is the level of detail we have taken this simulation in order to make it as immersive and realistic as we can.

While we are looking at this image, look at the gauges in the center of the panel and focus on the reflection on the surface of the glass...  This is what it is like sitting in the cockpit of a classic old propliner.  Sometimes, the glass reflection blocks your view of what you want to see, and you need to move around a bit to get the right angle in order to see through the glass on that gauge in the corner of your field of vision.  We give you that level of detail here...

(And check out the soft blue illumination of the indicators on the pedestal...  since we are there... We have done quite a bit with the use of materials and lighting effects on this airplane.  X-Plane gives us some really interesting tools to work with in the lighting department.

Speaking of tools- lets talk a bit about what you will be using the navigate the airplane.  We sent a team to visit with NCA out at FYWE airport in Windhoek, Namibia.  Since the DC-6 is a relatively rare bird to find these days, we decided early on not to just model THE airplane, but to model a SPECIFIC airframe, and NCA's V5-NGG.  (To that end- we even modeled an inaccurate placard- but I'll get to that later!)

Since we were going to model THEIR airplane, we are giving you precisely the equipment NCA has installed in their airplane.  A quick rundown of what is installed:  KX-155 comm/nav package, KR-87 ADF, KDI-572 DME units, dual selectable Bendix KT67A transponders and KMA24 audio panels- all fully functional...


All of these pieces of equipment are modeled accurately, with their own unique quirks and behaviors, so as to give you the very best possible simulation of what it is like to operate this magnificent, classic airliner across the world in long and short range operations.

I mentioned that we have even modeled a few inaccurate placards in the airplane- because we are modeling a SPECIFIC airframe- and we wanted to model her faithfully.  In the image below, we have turned on the night lighting in the cockpit in order to give you an idea of the nice ambient glow that you get by turning the knobs up to bright while you work.  It is obvious from the image that the lighting is red-lensed, creating a nice warm red glow that was popular to protect the pilots' night vision back in the 50s/60s era airliners.



Thing is...  The lighting that cascades across the overhead panel was originally white.  So when you reach up to rotate that dimmer knob, the placard will tell you that the dimmer controls the white flood lighting...  but the bulb is clearly red...

Any bets how many folks are going to come running here to tell us that we don't know the difference between red and white?  :-)

Okay- I think that is enough for today...  I'll be back later in the week with more!

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Robert S. Randazzo Posted Image
Precision Manuals Development Group
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*Please note that I am unable to read/respond to forum private messages from non-admins.  If you are a user/customer and require my attention, please reach out via http://support.precisionmanuals.com and one of the tech will get back to you, or forward your item along to me as appropriate.  Thank you for your understanding!

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#2 JLuis



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Posted 08 May 2016 - 04:36 PM

Nice news!!! Release please!!! :wub:

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Jose Luis ->  Prepar3d v3.4, X-Plane 10 and FSX-SE.


Ask me about (my current hangar): A2A (Cherokee 180, Comanche 250, Cessna 172 and 182), Majestic Q400 Pro, PMDG (777-200/300 & NGX), Flysimware (C441, MU 2B-60 and Learjet 35A), Milviz (B55, C310R, B407 and B737-200c), Captain Sim (B727 and L1011), Realair Turbine Duke V2, Flight Labs A320-X, Flight1 Super King Air 200 and IXEG 737 Classic.

Future planned: PMDG 744 v3, Aerosoft Bombardier CRJ 700, Milviz King Air 350i, Air Hauler 2, FSFX (Chase Plane, Immersion Q400, Lear 35A, PMDG 737/777/747, FSLabs A320), TFDi Design 717, BlueSkyStar FSLabs A320 sound, SkyMaxx Pro v4 and X-Plane 11.

#3 x-plane 123

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 04:48 PM

Thanks for the update Rob! I think I can almost smell the oil that will soon be leaking out from my computer. Looking forward to the next update and soon, the release.

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Jon Spiegel

#4 RudiJG1


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Posted 08 May 2016 - 05:17 PM


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#5 Commander Diaz

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 06:21 PM

Just fantastic... speechless update guys.


Can't wait for this, I'm so happy to fully support X-plane nowdays, best decision ever.



Thank you.


M. Duarte

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#6 Airline2Sim



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Posted 08 May 2016 - 08:04 PM

Fascinating update, thanks Robert.

As a recent convert to the funky world of X-Plane myself, I'd certainly be interested to hear you flesh out a little further your team's thoughts on the platform and its future potential. X-Plane vs ESP threads often degenerate into childish 'your OOM is bigger than mine' silliness but it would be fascinating to get an objective take on the matter from a developer with experience of both.
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website-splash-screen-smaller-.png| Ben Weston www.airline2sim.com 

#7 A320FAN


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Posted 08 May 2016 - 09:29 PM

Excellent update Robert!

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#8 CapnOz



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Posted 08 May 2016 - 09:57 PM

Ok, how many pple are now x-plane exclusive. After the IXEG- no way im going to buy the DC6  for any other platform. Im so in love with X plane!

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Peter Osborn


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#9 sizziano



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Posted 08 May 2016 - 10:02 PM

Ok, how many pple are now x-plane exclusive. After the IXEG- no way im going to buy the DC6  for any other platform. Im so in love with X plane!



Never been anything but. Can't wait for this thing to be released, super excited.

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#10 mgeiss


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Posted 08 May 2016 - 11:39 PM

Can't wait to fire up those engines! Will be an instant buy for me.


Great year: The DC-6, the IXEG, and FlyJsims extensive 727 update. I probably won't fly much else than those three in 2016. :smile:

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Matthias Geiss

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 05:11 AM

Great work as always from Pmdg !


Just out of interest a question from a programming layman::

"Initial release will take place on the X-Plane platform, with FSX/FSX-SE and Prepar3D versions to follow."


 Is it possible to recuperate some of the X-plane coding or programming for FSX or will the Fsx version have to be redone from scratch?



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#12 MarioDonick


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Posted 09 May 2016 - 09:51 AM

Looks great! Will the GNS430 be custom, too (with more functions than the already good default one)?
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Mario Donick .:. Flying X-Plane blog .:. vFlyteAir



#13 scandinavian13


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Posted 09 May 2016 - 10:02 AM

Looks great! Will the GNS430 be custom, too (with more functions than the already good default one)?


It's the default. We concentrated on the aircraft itself. The whole point was to avoid all of the custom displays, complex FBW, and other higher level automated stuff that we have in our more modern products, so that we could learn the ins and outs of X-Plane as a platform.

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Kyle Rodgers

PMDG Development and Support



#14 MarioDonick


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Posted 09 May 2016 - 10:05 AM

It's the default. We concentrated on the aircraft itself. The whole point was to avoid all of the custom displays, complex FBW, and other higher level automated stuff that we have in our more modern products, so that we could learn the ins and outs of X-Plane as a platform.

Thanks for the answer, I see. No problem at all :)
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Mario Donick .:. Flying X-Plane blog .:. vFlyteAir



#15 Roadburner426



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Posted 09 May 2016 - 04:13 PM

Nice job to all involved! Looking forward to the FSX release (when it is time). I will go on ahead and fork over my $12,000,000.   :Party:

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Steve Jordan
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