rsrandazzo

[18OCT17] So what is going on at PMDG?

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Captains,

We have been fairly quiet the past few months as we finally took some time off to recharge after releasing the PMDG 747-400 Queen of the Skies II.  Wait.  What?  We released that back in January?!

True.

And immediately upon release we cancelled the normal post-development break for the team in order to have all hands on deck to convert our product lines to make them compatible with Prepar3D v4...  This pushed our workflow well into the summer, and by the time it was over all of us were in good need of a vacation.

So now that the PMDG DC-6 Cloudmaster is out, the 747-400 is updated and the product lines for Prepar3D v4 are stable, the teams have had a break and we have all returned to focusing on forward progress, I thought it was time to give you a quick update on what we are up to!

 

EXPANDING THE SUPPORT TEAM:

At the beginning of October, we welcomed long-time beta tester and friend to the PMDG team, Chris Makris to our support team.  Chris has been with us for nearly fifteen years and earned a reputation on our beta team for tenacity, detail focus and technical knowledge covering a wide range of computing, simming and PMDG topics.  This is hard to do, as our beta team to the man has demonstrated an incredible willingness to dive deeply into each of our products in order to uncover even the most minute faults, so Chris was an obvious choice for us when it came time to expand our support team to continue meeting the needs of our ever-growing customer base.

Chris has already been at work for nearly three weeks and if you haven't had a chance to work with him, I think you will find he fits well into the mold cast by Paul, Ryan and Kyle.  Chris picked up the workflow quickly and was already so comfortable with the normal flow of reports that come in from our customers that his introduction to the team was incredibly smooth.

I hope you all will welcome Chris to the team- and recognize that his addition represents further preparation for things to come!

 

UPDATES FOR THE 737, 747 and 777 product lines:

Last weekend we pushed a series of updates for the PMDG 737NGX, PMDG 777 and PMDG 747-400 product lines.  These updates represented a bunch of cleanup details that we collected during the previous couple of months to further stabilize the existing product lines and correct some outstanding flaws.  You can check the PMDG Operations Center and the versions tab of an individual product module to get a rundown on what has been updated.

 

PROGRESS UPDATE: 747-8

We are busy doing some pretty significant work on the 747-8 at the moment.  I am going to be intentionally cagey in not telling you precisely what we are working on, except to say that we are adding new functionality that is unique to the 747-8 that wasn't accomplished during the 747-400 development cycle.  I don't have a clear feel for when we will drop this product into beta testing just yet, but I will tell you when that happens.

We will begin giving you some previews of the airplane right around that time as well.

The 747-8 is a significantly different product than the 747-400 in many many regards.  It is interesting to experience the difference between the two airplanes and to observe how similar, yet completely different the airplanes are.  Many crews around the world are dual qualified and move back and forth between the two types as part of their employment. You will be able to do the same in short order and if you are at all like me, you will develop a real love of the technological capabilities of this magnificent new airplane!

 

Okay- I have to get back to some tasks on the code-side, but I will be back with a few more interesting new items in the days to come.

I hope you all had an enjoyable summer and that you are looking forward to a fun winter of flying!

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Boomer said:

Shhh...EFB for the 748...shhhh...

Yup, that's obviously going to be the case, it's not a good fun dash eight variant without it, even though strictly speaking it is an option rather than a standard feature on the real aeroplane. Since we've already seen a few FS add-ons which have one (FF A350 and QW 787), it's kind of got to be in there anyway from a competitive product standpoint.

The tricky part is how does one do some of the features of one. The electronic checklists aren't such a big deal to pull off since they are essentially a set of pages for a clickable gauge not dissimilar to a PFD gauge since everything which has to be displayed is a known quantity; the feature is certainly a welcome one on the QW 787 and the FF A350.

It's the moving maps and charts which are the trickier bit; one can do something as basic as allowing it to display PDFs you can stick in there, which we've seen quite a lot of add-on aeroplanes do, but isn't a very sophisticated way of doing it and a bit of a faff to use, or something a bit more refined such as that offered by Flight Control, which generates them from the sim's database, and so I suspect that'd be the way to go, since licensing charts for an add-on to use would indeed be cool, but it would be expensive and probably require a user subscription, and that kind of thing is a turnoff for buyers even for stuff which isn't too expensive, as seen on Carenado's new Cessna which will require a subscription for its synthetic vision simulation after one year's use gratis. That's supposedly only a tenner, but it was enough to put quite a few people off pulling the trigger on it.

What I hope PMDG will do, is take a leaf out of Flight Factors and make the manuals for the product accessible in the cockpit EFB too, as that really is a useful feature in a simulator. I'd put money on them making it linkable to an iPad/Android Tablet too, which again is not a new feature for sims, the CS 777 can do that with its FMC and Eric Marciano's Easy FMC does it too, but it is cool.

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Was hoping for some mention of the JS41 as its currently in Beta  :huh:

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Thanks for the update Mr. Randazzo and welcome to Chris Makris.  

It seems to me that if Aerosoft can provide a shared flightdeck option for their Busses (that cost a lot less too), PMDG should be able to do so easily.  It is an important feature that is sadly lacking in their products and I feel it's time they implement something similar.

Can't wait for the next updates....

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1 hour ago, rsrandazzo said:

I hope you all had an enjoyable summer and that you are looking forward to a fun winter of flying!

Don't forget us "simmers" here in the southern Hemisphere who have just had a terrible winter and are hoping to have a fun summer of flying! :gaul: Thanks for the info and updates!

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1 minute ago, tgcbraun said:

Any updated when the DC-6 for X-Plane will be updated?

We said it was going to be updated?

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Aircraft manual access in the aircraft efb would be awesome.

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Not to be a negative-nally here, but who says it's an EFB, they're cooking up?
I'm genuinely curious, as I personally don't see the great benefit or idea of an EFB in the VC.

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Great news! Let's hope it's the moving map on the ND - would be pretty amazing if you guys pulled that off! Hope we'll see some new screenshots of the new bird rather sooner than later. :biggrin: 

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3 hours ago, scandinavian13 said:

We said it was going to be updated?

I think he is referring to the update provided in the main X Plane thread from Robert where he says (my emphasis added):

"New Item, 20JUL17:  With the release of the PMDG DC-6 Cloudmaster in FSX/P3D- we will be focused on those platforms and making certain that the DC-6 is delivering as a stable, predictable product, just as we did after the initial XPlane release in 2016.  Once we are through the release period, we will evaluate what product changes to roll back to the XPlane version of the DC-6 and on what timeframe we may make those changes.  We have no timeline for such decision making as yet, nor do we have a timeline for making the changes that are subject to that decision.  We will post more information here when we have it available."

My reading of this statement leads me, and I imagine others, to conclude, perhaps incorrectly, that there will be changes made to the XPL version of the DC-6, with an acknowledgement that decisions are still to be made on "what product changes" and "what timeframe". I think that has lead to the conclusion that there are going to be updates.

I suppose the evaluation of the product changes could conclude that no changes are to be made, but I don't think this is the essence of what Robert was saying, leading to the conclusion reached by the other forum member that you are questioning. 

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7 minutes ago, anthonyg96 said:

Will it be free for people who have 747v2

No, the 747-8 will be a paid add-on.  The same as the 600/700 was to the 737.

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Anthony - based on past add-ons, probably in the $30-$45 US range as a guess. Since we are not in beta just yet, plenty of days to set aside a little savings for the bird when it is ready.

Scott R

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3 hours ago, Anders Bermann said:

I personally don't see the great benefit or idea of an EFB in the VC.

Try the QW 787 or the FF A350 and you will. Or ask anyone flying the real thing who doesn't have to hump a flight case with a ton of paperwork shoved into it about and clip a dog eared approach chart onto their yoke lol. Having the SID or STAR on a big screen just to your left in the P1 seat is great for hand flying the departure or approaches. You don't want to let George have all the fun do you?

Even if you don't want to use it for your flights themselves, having the tutorials an reference manuals available in the VC or even on a linked tablet which mirrors it is great. It puts an end to all that alt-tabbing to a PDF nonsense when learning the things.

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2 hours ago, nriddell said:

Once we are through the release period, we will evaluate what product changes to roll back to the XPlane version of the DC-6 and on what timeframe we may make those changes

They said evaluate, not "we are definitely going to update it but we need to know what we are going to roll back". Big difference.

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Let's not forget PMDG's big game changer... The 747-8i/F has ground charts :happy: Can't wait to see that implemented!! 


Also, any chance of seeing an update with the 737 & (mainly) 777 to have the PMDG Ground services like the 747 has? It'd make it much more fun to use! Also to implement the 777 with the ACARS in the 3rd FMC like the 747 has? I also would love to see an update about the JS41

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4 minutes ago, KRAKE802 said:

Also, any chance of seeing an update with the 737 & (mainly) 777 to have the PMDG Ground services like the 747 has?

Yes this! 

As far as the -8, I just hope any little toys they add to it can be disabled if they are graphics hogs.

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Have you worked out the cause and created a fix for the caution light that appears on the 747 that you cannot get rid of? 

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