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rsrandazzo

01APR14 - PMDG 777-200LR/F Feature Preview - WX RADAR

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Captains,

 

We are essentially finished with work on the SP1 update for the PMDG 777-200LR/F, but we are not yet happy with it on the Quality Control side, so it remains in testing for the moment.  We are chasing down a few behaviors in the fly-by-wire system that we do not like, researching a few reports of unexpected problems that our beta testers have identified, and generally going through the normal process to verify all the changes we have made.

 

We have added almost a dozen completely new features to the airplane, one of those features is a simulation of the operational FMC datalink for performance, weather forecast along route, alternate data, etc.   (But we’ll come back to that a bit later!)

 

The other is a very advanced weather radar implementation that was created in partnership with HiFi Technologies and we think represents one of the best radar simulations yet created in the FS market.  Last night’s post didn’t show off our new features as well as it should have, so let’s take another shot at this, shall we?  :ph34r:

 

pmdg_777_radar6.jpg

 

 

As many of you know, we have always held HiFi Technologies in good regard in large part because of their product line, but also because Damian Clark was once part of the PMDG team.  Over the years we have had off-and-on discussions with HiFi about various ways that we could improve the accuracy of our products by creating data channels between PMDG products and HiFi’s weather engine.  These conversations were always interesting but on both sides of the discussion we always seemed to be too busy creating “the Next Big Thing” to really make it happen.

 

Late in development of the PMDG 777-200LR/F, we decided to offer weather engines a way to push data to the 777 so that users could get forecast data from any weather engine they chose, so long as the engine author pushed the data out in the format the 777 needed.

 

Shortly after 777 release, HiFi came to us with a very interesting briefing in which they demonstrated that they had overcome PMDG’s long-standing problem with the FSX weather:

 

HiFi had figured out how to ensure that the cloud data and precipitation data could be utilized in such a way to create an actual weather radar process- and they asked for our input.  More specifically, Damian Clark and Kostas Terzides wanted to know “what else would PMDG need that we can provide?”

 

With that kind of offer- I detailed Alex Bashkatov to working with Kostas directly- and over the course of a few weeks the 777 suddenly developed a full, 3D, reflectance derived weather radar that was able to sing and dance just like the Collins WXR-2100 carried aboard many of the world’s 777 airplanes.

 

I am glossing over some details here because this was incredibly detailed work- (and no, I don't want to explain how HiFi's technique works- because it is theirs...) and those details are largely boring to you- but suffice to say that Damian, Kostas and Alex deserve a world of credit for bringing such a realistic implementation to FSX.

This implementation grows on HiFi’s initial implementation of this technology and takes it much further than its original capabilities because Alex was able to bring our expertise on the airplane side and couple it nicely with Kostas’ expertise on the weather side….

 

The result is simply fantastic!

 

pmdg_777_radar2.jpg

 

Now- we still have a few items we are working to resolve, such as a proper ground reflectance model but we don’t want to hold up the whole SP1 or keep this little radar gem disabled while we work that out- so look for ground interaction in a future model…

 

We rolled this out to our beta testers last week, and they are in love with it.

 

Now- a few details you absolutely MUST know about this implementation.  Currently it only works in conjunction with HiFi’s ASN- and it is designed specifically to work with their weather export data only.  The implementation is dependent upon data that only ASN can provide to the PMDG 777 and this is the basis for the requirement.

 

I fully anticipate that other developers will want to create implementations that allow us to accomplish the same task with their weather engines- and I don’t doubt that over time we will do so…  But like all things it will take time- and of course those platforms must be able to provide the same level of technical implementation that was accomplished by HiFi.

 

(And since I’m going to get a ton of angry email from folks who didn’t read the two paragraphs above closely:  No- we aren’t saying that only HiFi is capable of doing this, nor have we evaluated the other implementations for technical feasibility.  HiFi approached us based on a long-standing partnership and they demonstrated a very cordial, informal, relaxed working style that just happened to fit perfectly in our own workflow for the SP1…and thus the SP1 will include this capability only in relation to ASN.)

 

Okay- more information on some of the other new features in just a bit!

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Oh my god, it was true! That 777 really is my best payware purchase ever! Will definitely buy the 300ER and probably the 737 too to show my support!!

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My heart has officially stopped !!!

 

Trust me. Its my ghost typing this ...

 

Amazing news. Very exciting about the software development. I want to thank you for the effort you guys are undertaking on not to compromise on quality.

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Wow! Congrats on this great step forward. The problem with ASN's standalone radar is that it's more like a map. I look forward to seeing radar shadows and ground interaction in the future.

 

This is going to be quite a SP! 

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And if I may add, ASN is a really impressive wx simulation, so much that flying without a radar is dangerous! I'm so glad developers are investing in wx radars combined with ASN so that our hobby becomes so realistic!

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Great news, thanks for sharing Robert. Excellent cooperation between two fantastic developers and shows what can happen when developers cooperate to improve and enhance their products for the users.

 

And of course well done to Damian, Kostas and Alex for making it happen!

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It's Wonderful News Robert! I knew it was not an April Fool...I appreciate your frankness

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Bits I like:

We are essentially finished with work on the SP1 update for the PMDG 777-200LR/F,

 

B)

 

Don't like, -_- only coz this means delay .... the QC bit is essential and let's hope any issues are quickly resolved:

but we are not yet happy with it on the Quality Control side, so it remains in testing for the moment.  We are chasing down a few behaviors in the fly-by-wire system that we do not like, researching a few reports of unexpected problems that our beta testers have identified, and generally going through the normal process to verify all the changes we have made.

 

Like:

We have added almost a dozen completely new features to the airplane, one of those features is a simulation of the operational FMC datalink for performance, weather forecast along route, alternate data, etc.   (But we’ll come back to that a bit later!)

and

Now- we still have a few items we are working to resolve, such as a proper ground reflectance model but we don’t want to hold up the whole SP1 or keep this little radar gem disabled while we work that out- so look for ground interaction in a future model…

And the best bit .... :lol:

We rolled this out to our beta testers last week, and they are in love with it.

 

 

 

Now that I like :)

 

Tessa Hauke

 

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Time to crack open the manuals and read that section on weather radar.

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Okay- more information on some of the other new features in just a bit!

 

I'm thinking one more update tonight!

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We have to buy the HIFI as a separate expansion for this to work?

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Wow, what a cool feature

 

......and I hope Damian Clark can implement this feature so that the updated ASN weather package (including this new feature) can run on a second PC, downloading the weather from the HiFi servers, massaging the data prior to sending it over the network connection, only to be injected into the PMDG 777 ND display directly, or via another module.

 

Anything  that can be off-loaded to a 2nd PC should help minimize the resource load on the PC running FSX or P3D?

 

ASN, coupled with either the PMDG 737 or 777 is combination that is unbeatable...................realistic weather makes sim flying so immersive. With PFPX for flight planning, it doesn't get any better than this!

 

Bill Clark

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Hi robert, quick question, i notice the seems to have what appears to be an auto tilt function (am i mistaking the A for something else?), but will it also have the option to look at weather at a selectable Flight Level instead of an angle, or is that a different model radar?

 

Secondly, will it depict windshear and show its alert and FD guidance?

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You know what'll make everyone happy?

 

Port it to the NGX.

 

 

 

 

Nate Guarasci

 

That would be absolutely epic; while I'm sure a lot of us own the 777, theirs plenty who like me use the NGX as their trusted FS plane as we prefer the 1-3 hour flight segments.

 

We have to buy the HIFI as a separate expansion for this to work?

 

PMDG stated that it would be up to others to work with PMDG for their product to give data to the 777.

 

Maybe this is why REX 4 Wx direct is taking so long... :ph34r:

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Real happy to hear about this Captain Randazzo!!! A couple weeks ago I was descending into KMSY (New Orleans), when i ran into what seemed to be the mother of all storms. The turbulence was so bad I wasn't sure we were going to make it, I eventually disconnected the autopilot and took over, but that wasn't much better. If you're using ASN weather radar is a MUST!!!

 

Thanks for the hard work PMDG!!!!!

 

Richard Bansa

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