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rsrandazzo

Release Information for the PMDG 747-400X

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Captains-NOTE: I have added some things to the change list below that give you some better detail. Items 53 and later...As promised, we want to give you some good, solid information about our soon to be released PMDG 747-400X!In order to get you more used to working with (and using!) our wiki-based PMDG Ops, we have posted the performance and tweaking information at PMDG Ops. I'll have the links to both articles at the bottom of this post. (So stay and read this FIRST!)We are VERY close to release- which means that we are finally prepared to discuss a few things that you will want to know about using FSX and the PMDG 747-400X with Vista and WinXP. We make a strong recommendation in favor of WinXP- and we detail why in the articles below.As we have approached pricing and rollout, we have put quite a bit of thought into "how can we deliver the most value to the customers who have loyally support us over the past ten years?"The answer is thus:1) A steep discount for previous PMDG eCommerce 747-400 Queen of the Skies customers!2) A bonus update to the FS9 PMDG 747-400!I'll have more details regarding these under a separate posting in a few moments....For now- we encourage you to read through the following performance and tweaking documents that we have prepared for you. Our goal is to ensure that you get the best performance from FSX and our PMDG 747-400X as possible!So head over to PMDG Ops and take a read of the performance information we have prepared. There is quite a bit to read- but I promise you will enjoy it!(While you are there- scroll around PMDG Ops... there is PLENTY of information there at your fingertips should you ever need it!)http://ops.precisionmanuals.com/wiki/747-4...%26_Performancehttp://ops.precisionmanuals.com/wiki/PMDG_747-400X_FAQFor those who might be interested, here is a non-inclusive list of changes that we made while bringing the airplane into FSX. I must stress that this list is non-conclusive because so many of the areas of this sim are so vastly different from FS9... Areas such as sound cones, view settings, and on and on...CHANGE LIST FOR FSX VERSION:============================1) Replaced the core of the simulation to use an event-driven, non polling FS connectivity mechanism (sim-connect) that removes the need for dependency upon external software such as FSUIPC. (Note to user: this was a 15 month enterprise...)2) Replaced sound handling process to eliminate distortions on certain sound cards and improve performance3) Changed all menus / options / dialogs to match FSX UI style4) Improved AIRAC database loading code - performance increase / load time decreased to almost instant5) Allowed user selectable optimization to show/hide VC F/O display gauges depending upon user preference.6) Added user configurable selection for external Antennas on the visual models. (controlled by aircraft.cfg entry)7) Implemented custom engine contrails and associated behaviors.8) Implemented code to control wingtip and flap vapor vortexes in specific atmospheric conditions and wing configurations.9) Increased flap animation control to provide a smoothness of 3000 keyframes - no visible frame steps shown anymore10) Improved takeoff trim display gauge clarity11) Change in Lower EICAS ENG page automatic display logic (only when fuel set to CUTOFF in flight)12) Correction in Spoiler handle position detection logic to improve response and correct control.13) Optional use of FSUIPC for online flying when FSUIPC detected14) GPWS code to allow disabling of specific altitudes depending on configuration15) "Approaching Minimums" callout added16) Fuel add/remove logic improved to allow user to directly type entry of fuel quantity in PMDG Options menu.17) EICAS Target N1 / Ref N1 indications removed when in REV mode18) Reversers logic altered to prevent REV lockout when NAI active.19) Load Manager now handles payload / fuel directly when FSX / 747-400X loaded and running20) Load Manager has option to remove VC model and panel (requires restart of FSX)21) Modified Cost Index Equation: The equation is a differential equation solved by successive iterations. This is a very CPU intensive operation. The element of the numerical procedure has been optimized, yielding a factor of 5 speed up with minimal effect on result accuracy, thus reducing the required load on the CPU for the mathematics involved.22) CDU Legs page - predicted Alt Improvements: Above / Below type (e.g. 6000A8000B) soft constraint both vertical flight path prediction and VNAV mode bug corrections and predictive improvements. Also UNABLE NEXT ALT message will appear in all cases referring to soft altitude constraints. 23) CDU N1 page - flight phase improvements: Regular thrust limit page (instead of TO limit page) will appear now below flap retraction altitude.24) CDU Fix page - changes to RAD/DIS to be BRG/DIS25) CDU Cruise page - change in step alt code: At 2R the last step altitude target would not appear when step climb was not possible. It does now above the NONE header.26) FMC: Various small and large behavior corrections. 27) GA thrust limit will automatically be set now only if ToD is sequenced and flaps are out (or GS is captured as before)28) Retuned the entire pitch channel of the autopilot to accomodate flight modeling changes within FSX. The This includes all related pitch modes (VS, FLCH etc). The main target was to improve mode stability even at high simrates and in connection to idiosynchratic FSX "real" weather handling. Thepitch channel in some places was enhanced with a secondary control routine to improve effectiveness in pitch sensitive roles such as glideslope tracking.29) Modified air file related to new aerodynamic centre definition for FSX30) Various cosmetic changes to CDU display and text handling.31) Adaptive refresh rate control for CRTs / LCDs based on target and actual frame rate (order is PFD, ND, EICAS, sby instruments)32) Added Bump Map Textures to all 400/400F models.33) Added additional fuselage detail to all 400/400F models.34) Updated PMDG House Livery for FSX version.35) External models rebuilt to take full advantage of new FSX features such as self shadowing, specular bloom, normal maps, vertex animation and more.36) External and VC models rebuilt to take full advantage of FSX materials: allows for more realistic reflections, specular highlights and normal maps (bump maps)37) Conversion of bitmaps to DDS: allows for faster loading times, and cleaner bitmaps with less compression artifacts.38) Smoother animations: Used new FSX animation techniques to smooth out the model animations. This is especially noticeable with the landing gear extension/retraction sequence, and the deployment of the flaps.39) Vertex animation: Wing flex and control surfaces now driven by a complex skeletal system, which allows for smooth bending and deformation without visible segments. Wings now flex smoothly and seamlessly, and the variable camber leading edge flaps are now a single piece which smoothly deforms as it extends. The wing structure including flaps and leading edge devices now bends fluidly reflecting the flex tendency of the materials from which the wing and devices are constructed.40) Updated external lighting: You will notice higher quality lighting effects for the tail illumination of the logo lights. Navigation, position and strobe lights are brought up to FSX standards.41) Updated all models to include the ability to display various external dorsal antenna configurations.42) Virtual Cockpit fully compatible with FSX43) Great care has been taken to bring the cockpit up to FSX standards and improve realism. Now present are self Illuminating (emissive bitmaps) during daylight hours. Indicator lights now illuminate properly in both day and night environments. Daytime backlighting is fully functional. Glass displays are bright and easy to read even if the aircraft is in shadow, or during dusk/dawn operations. (Use your display dimmers when transitioning between bright and dim lighting.) Together with normal maps (bump maps) and the cleaner compression of DDS bitmaps, these effects bring a higher level of clarity and realism to the cockpit.44) Controls and animations updated to conform to FSX specifications.45) Modified control and animations techniques used in the FSX VC's in order to reduce processor load on FSX.46) Numerous performance optimizations of display and computational code to reduce processor load on FSX.47) Various other assorted minor fixes along the way.48) Improved wing flex and wing flight path distortion model.49) Singificant re-tuning of landing gear animation to accomodate changes in the way FSX handles ground contact.50) Flap and wingtip vapor vortexes visual effects that appear in rain/snow conditions when appropriate.51) Added engine and APU fire visual effects.52) Added Fuel Dump visual effect.53) Unique sound.cfg code programming and sound mixing experiences for four distinct views: 2D / VC / External / Wingviews. 54) 3D Cone Implemented VC sounds - Engine sounds vary with eyepoint movement and when moving through the cabin gradually getting louder as you move to the wings.55) 3D Cone implemented external sounds - Sounds vary related to position, eyepoint and distance to aircraft.56) Special wing view sound mix.57) New engine sounds in cockpit and external views for all three engine types58) All sounds loudened, reprocessed and remixed since FS9 Universal sound update to account for the quieter default volume of 50 in FSX.59) Various sounds now have reverberation, pitch shifting and other special effects.60) The wind sound loudness with respect to airspeed not linear anymore - Now the wind varies with airspeed (linear in FS9) - the wind volume can be almost as loud at 280 CRZ than when at 330 CLB.61) Gear down rumble sound - about 2 minutes of nose gear rumble has been added once gear down is selected. Note in FS9 switching views would not cancel the playback of this sound - unfortunately they have removed this feature in FSX so changing views with cancel the rumble sound.


Robert S. Randazzo coolcap.gif

PLEASE NOTE THAT PMDG HAS DEPARTED AVSIM

You can find us at:  http://forum.pmdg.com

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Hi Robert, for some reason the links don't appear in the post until I click on "Reply". Have you noticed this? The post stops at "... and our PMDG 747-400X as possible!". The bit from "So head over to..." does not appear until I click on "Reply".Regards,


Matthew Bellette

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Robert, one question just out of sheer curiosity. Do you know what date you actually commenced first work on the -400X? I was wondering if you could tell us pretty close to how long it took to get to today's release?Thanks,


Matthew Bellette

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Matt - it was prior to FSX's release. We had started on the SimConnect conversion during FSX beta I believe.


Ryan Maziarz
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For fastest support, please submit a ticket at http://support.precisionmanuals.com

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So it's 12+ months of work, or under a year? Sorry - I don't recall when those events occured that you mentioned.


Matthew Bellette

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That is very upsetting to hear about the memory issues with Vista. I was planning on building a new machine with a new Penryn processor using Vista and taking advantage of the DX10 visuals. It really stinks that Microsoft dropped the ball on us with this crappy OS. I hope FS11 will take full advantage of the DX10 capabilities and force Microsoft to address these memory problems.Thanks for your research and testing PMDG!Kevin

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I also appreciate you guys taking the time to make that page and the chart even if it means I won't be buying it. I'll make it up to ya when the FS9 MD-11 rolls out.

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Kevin,Yeah believe me, we're disappointed too. I actually really like Vista from a day-to-day computing standpoint, but it absolutely is not ready for prime time as far as gaming goes. The combination of memory intensive OS, memory intensive FSX, and memory intensive 747 is just too much for it to handle with the limitations it has on user address space.We were seeing constant OOM errors even on Core 2 Quad/4GB/8800GTX 768MB machines - it's just ridiculous.We hope that MS and the video card companies will rectify this stuff at some point in the future. If that happens we'll certainly revise our recommendation.


Ryan Maziarz
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For fastest support, please submit a ticket at http://support.precisionmanuals.com

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QTEPMDG strongly discourages using FSX in the Windows Vista operating system, regardless of how much processor speed, video capability or memory you may have.UNQTEThis will kill my purchase . . . How about the FS9 update ? - Is it free , since I have to call the 400X download ??Karl-Heinz - EDDI/THF " Tempelhof "" The mother of all airports " - Sir Norman Fosterhttp://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/747400.jpg


Karl-Heinz Wichmann - EDDI/THF "Tempelhof"

"The mother of all airports" - Sir Norman Foster

Now CLOSED - its a shame !

747400.jpg

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Matt-Early May of 2006. The plan was to have this product in your hands during the same week that FSX released.Unfortunately, FSX was in no condition to accept the work of third party developers. Thus, while simultaneously trying to develop the airplane for FSX we were sorting through a quagmire of problems, identifying reproducable steps and making suggestions to our friends up there in Redmond as to how best to implement solutions that would benefit the community.We spent a significant amount of time lending our knowledge of the developer community to them in order that FSX could be put in a position where it might live up to it's potential from a developer's standpoint.On a positive note- we learned quite a bit on how to better communicate with our own Technical Adivsors teams to ensure we don't ever find ourselves on the other end of this equation....


Robert S. Randazzo coolcap.gif

PLEASE NOTE THAT PMDG HAS DEPARTED AVSIM

You can find us at:  http://forum.pmdg.com

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Alex-As much as we hate to see a post like yours- it also means we are "doing something right."We think that giving you the information you need to make a good purchasing decision will make you (and others!) much happier with us in the long run. This way- when we get the MD-11 to market, and the NG2 after that- you will know what to expect- and we'll hope to see you back in the purchase cue then!


Robert S. Randazzo coolcap.gif

PLEASE NOTE THAT PMDG HAS DEPARTED AVSIM

You can find us at:  http://forum.pmdg.com

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This new product maintains the compatibility with MCP of Aerosoft Australia like in the previous versions?GreetingsIsrael Abril

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