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rsrandazzo

13JUL13 - Nifty little feature in the 777...

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Captains,

 

I'm doing some light work on the 777, and thought I'd share a little view of something pretty cool we have added to the product.  This will please those who crave realism and like to dive really deeply into the "being there" aspect of our simulations.

 

Starting with the PMDG 777-200LR/F we are introducing a new function that we call Ground Operations.  Ground Ops is essentially a simulation of the servicing functions that take place around your airplane during the course of your time parked on the gate.

 

The point of Ground Ops is to automate the functions related to servicing, offloading, onloading, fueling and pushing the airplane back for an On-Time departure.  Most of you are used to doing all of these things by yourself and having to remember the mundane tasks such as closing the cargo doors and plugging your fuel load into the tanks.

 

You cant still do all of that (Ground Ops: MANUAL mode!) or you can let the simulation do it all for you using the same techniques employed by some of the worlds most experienced airlines!

 

Here is how it works:

 

On the GROUND OPERATIONS page, you simply select MANUAL, SHORT, LONG or CUSTOM as your Ground Ops Management Mode.  You can then manually adjust your TURN TIME to suit your tastes, type in your desired dispatch fuel load, and the simulation will take care of everything else.

 

As you can see the GROUND OPERATIONS management page on the left CDU in this screenshot:

 

GroundOps.jpg

 

 

During my descent into KPAE from CYVR (had to pick up Jason... his car broke down again and he was gonna be late for work...) I looked up the fuel requirement for the next flight test leg, and plugged that information into the PLAN FUEL line on the GROUND OPERATIONS page.  (You can also do this from the refuel page...  We put it there as well for memory simplicity!)

 

I then selected the LONG turn time, since I knew we'd need time for Jason to go to dispatch and get his flight kit, lunch, a change of socks and a haircut.  (He was mumbling something about too much flight-test time and how he is looking forward to a vacation...)  The LONG turn gives us 90 minutes, which is plenty for our purposes.  I could customize this to 1:31 minutes or 1:47 minutes if it suits my needs (which makes it pretty easy to set the turn time so that you push off the gate at your VA's scheduled departure time!)

 

After reaching the parking stand, I shut both engines down, then went into the GROUND CONNECTIONS page to set the wheel chocks.  Once the chocks were set, GROUND OPERATIONS takes over...

 

Watching the DOOR synoptic, you can see the cabin crew going about the business of disarming the doors, then eventually the 2L entry opens.  In proper sequence you will see the lower deck cargo doors and the bulk pit door (or main deck cargo door for your freight dogs!) open so that the offload can being.

 

After a period of time, you will see fuel being to enter the tanks, using real-time refueling that so many users have requested we bring back to the PMDG fleet.  One note on your fuel loading:  If you request a fuel load that cannot be loaded within the turn time you have selected, the system will highlight the fuel load in red to alert you to the problem.  You simply adjust your turn time manually until sufficient time exists for the fuel agent to reach your airplane, prepare for fueling, hook up, transfer fuel, disconnect, complete paperwork and clear equipment from your gate...  (All of these functions are accounted for in the fuel loading time, by the way!)

 

You can see in the following image that fuel is being put aboard the airplane, and the reduction in time required to complete fueling is shown on the GROUND OPERATIONS page, along with the total time remaining to our departure time:

 

 

GroundOps2.jpg

 

 

 

In this image, the sharp-eyed observer will notice that the aft galley and forward galleys are being serviced through the 1R and 4L doorways...

 

As you near your departure time, you will see the various doors and entries close until eventually you have a bulk pit door and the 2L entry still open (so that those oversized carry-ons can be transferred to storage in the tail.  Whatever makes people think those were going to fit in the overhead bin anyway?!)

 

Once the doors are finally closed, you will see the cabin doors sequence over to ARMED as the cabin crew prepares the cabin for departure, and within moments you will get the call from the ground crew to commence pushback...

 

Then within seconds you are backing off the gate and headed on your way!

 

So what can you while all of this is taking place?  You get to do the things the flight crew usually does!  Preflight checks, flows, setting up the FMS and generally getting the airplane ready for departure.  Sometimes it can be a challenge to accomplish all of these tasks so that you are smoothly ready for pushback and engine start- but we think you will enjoy the challenge!

 

Okay- I have to go find out where Jason went off to...  We have a test flight to make here shortly....

 

 

 

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Great Robert. The panel itself looks amazing as well. But more than anything else. Thanks for keeping us posted !!!

 

Xander

 

EDIT: Question to PMDG, has this feature been tested with the likes of GSX and/or AES?

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Very, very nice!!

Now for the obvious question... Will the NGX get this too? ;-)

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Awesome Feature! Really looking forward to this. This feature just took the simulation to whole new level.

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Intriguing will it interact with addons like GSX?

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What a tremendous new feature! Really adds the realism and makes you feel like you were "there".  I can't wait to get fimiliar with the 777 and thank you for yet another update, Robert, much appreciated! 

 

Now, I feel rather dumb asking this but will I be able to open the cockpit windows in the 777?

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First of all, Rob your posts never seem to not make one laugh. I think it's important to add that fun side of things during all these previews, rather than sounding like you're the narrator from a piece of CBT software (-;

 

First thing that caught my eye was actually the EICAS/Memo Messages - very nicely done there. It's good to see all the other Synoptic pages at the same level of detail and quality as all the other screens within the flight deck.

 

Extremely excellent feature you've added here - especially for someone who's a big fan of simulating the full turnaround of the sector. Not forgetting the fueling feature which is very exciting to hear about!

 

I do have two questions though; How will all of this tie in with the other ground service softwares out there such as AES & GSX? Have you created any freight loaders for the 77F? I could be wrong by saying AES or GSX doesn't provide this.

 

All in all, absolutely exceptional work! (-:

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OOHH love the realism. Thats awesome. What an incredibly short flight YVR-PAE for a 772. I didnt even notice a PMDG 772 left YVR. Perhaps PAE is the delivery point. :)   

Thanks for the tidbit update. 

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Gents-

 

We provide the hookups via the aircraft.cfg so that external programs know where to position equipment, but we aren't interacting with those products beyond this.

 

Perhaps at some point if we learn that their SDKs allow a product to clear in equipment for positioning we might do something of this nature, but I don't even know if that is possible...  (And even if it is- it won't make the RTM, I can tell you that already.)  ^_^

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thanks Robert. Great job. Please Post some pics of your test flight if possible.

 

Addition: this ground services addition assures me that the 777 is now at 99% in term of systems and fde. This is an additional thank you PMDG, for completing the simulation cycle, i am just wondering what else can be added now? Preparing meals :lol:?

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PMDG, you're doing it all over again, got me jaw dropping! Stunning work, can't wait for it B) !

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These features really add up to the realism of these addons. Now you can see the fueling is being done on your EICAS, the doors being opened and closed by cabin and ground crew, that is just awesome. This makes PMDG standing out above all others!

 

But indeed, the question how does this interact with AES/GSX? For example, i want to use AES for the pushback. Can the PMDG GND OPS Pushback be turned off or ignored?

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Awesome, awesome addition to the T7. Love it! I can finally do thing on the ground like clockwork. Man, I really wish we could see it in action in a video, that would complete the third "awesome"

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Thanks for the update Capt. Robert.

 

This is a very cool feature and I will make full use of it's awesomeness! :t0106:

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You know. Reading the OP, the first thing that popped into my head was shared cockpit. He kept talking about waiting on Jason for the next flight. Lol.

 

Amazing what wishful thinking can do to the mind. Either way this is amazing. I have been going back and forth on this one, weather or not I will get it or not, due to the fact I don't usually like flights at the most over 3 hours, but man, you guys just got a purchase for sure from this one. Who says 777s can't fly just up and down the coast.

 

 

Sent from my Apple communications device.

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Wow cool feature. Would be good to hear if this is to be implemented onto the NGX also?

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Robert, boss whats the progress of the T7? I think the RTM is almost finished.. :P

 

And please add this great feature to the NGX. We need it on the T7 but the most on the NGX!

 

Thanks for great work and hurry up guys ;)

 

Edit: what is dual jetway plugs??

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Realistic fuel loading times  :yahoo:  :yahoo:  :yahoo:

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Great features thanks Robert, I'm especially looking forward to real-time re-fuelling :D. I was wondering if the distinctive chime of the cabin being made secure has been simulated? Thanks again

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