It seemed only yesterday we talked to Colin from Milviz about his company, and his already impressive collection of add-ons. The release of their B737-200 has been very well received, and must say, it is a very enjoyable aircraft to fly.
So I decided to as Colin a few things about this new add-on, so us Avsim folk would know a little more with a different set of eyes:
Colin, thanks for your time again,
I thought we could have a quick chat and talk about your latest release, how it was done, the people involved, and what is “next”…
Q – First of all, congratulations on the release of your new product, the Boeing 737-200 “Classic”. When we talked last year you were indeed a busy man. Has this project been your sole focus?
Hi and thanks! I’m still a busy man and no, we have 12 different projects in the pipeline, pretty much all the time. That said, the closer we got to release, the more people became involved and the more time became devoted to getting it out.
Q – Let’s talk your B732…the good old question…why the B732? What influenced the decision?
So far, it’s a bit of a surprise to me that no one has noticed something key in all of the releases we’ve done on our own... (with the possible exception of the B-55).... I won’t say what it is but it’s the reason why the 732 was chosen and why most of our aircraft are in the lineup...
Q – The package comes with a good amount of manuals in it. Where they hard to source? Was there any input or collaboration with Boeing (was it necessary?)
The manuals were easy to source. No collaboration with Boeing was required.
Q – You have added the classic Autopilot as well as a “retrofitted” version with a basic FMC (which is remarkably versatile). Was it hard to draw the line into sticking with the true “classic” B732 and an FMS retrofit? How did you decide what features to add?
The decision to add the FMS was twofold: first, we wanted a test bed for the tech, which although it’s been in other FSX products, was new for us and secondly, we wanted to offer our customer base something, other than a gravel kit and working rear airstairs, that no one else did. As well, someone spilled coffee all over the PDCS... so doing that was out.
Q – Every good add-on has a fair amount of input from people “in the know”…can you tell us a bit about the team that helped on the B732? Beta Testers?
Our team included Tom Falley, who, as well as being an actual Captain on 747-800’s, also captained 200c’s so he knew the plane. We also tried to include as many real life pilots as possible and as many “in the know” people as we could find. We were approached by many people, as we are on all of our projects (especially the King Air) offering their help. Needless to say, after about 500 of these in a month, it’s hard to sift through the chaff to find the wheat. So, with that said, in all honesty, we did mess up on that one. We had access to two people that we didn’t take up on their offers of assistance and that, surely, would have helped us on certain issues that went into the original release. It happens... That it happened here is something that we’re not exactly proud of but we will fix those errors and, with luck, never have to repeat that again...
Q – The sound set is very very good, I enjoy listening to the old JT8s, what was the process of obtaining the soundset?
Glad you like the sound set. It was done by Mike Maarse (Hi Mike! *waves!*) He sources all of our products now and I know he’s got his own methods as well as a ton of connections in the airport world... And it’s a secret how we got access to one of the ONLY working 732’s in the world...
Q – How did you obtain the data for the aeroplane? Did you actually need access to a real B732 for cockpit shots and comparisons? What about the fuel burn, flight dynamics, etc?
We did access a real B-732 though it wasn’t a cargo combi. The other stuff was using manuals, perf charts and, of course, Tom...
Q – What do you wish you could have added but didn’t make it to the release?
Wow, tough question. No bugs would be my first choice every time. However, I would have loved to have been able to do the ADV as well but it would be difficult to redo the external model just for that...
Q – Your favourite feature of this add-on?
That it loads without a CTD. (no, I’m not joking, I’m a dev) That it’s got pretty good FPS for such a complex model is another. I do like the gear animation as well... (did that myself!)
Q – There have been a few requests for changes and improvements, what can we expect in the near future? I hear of some hot fixes, and service packs, which is great for your customers, can you tell us more about them?
We will be, very shortly indeed, releasing a hot fix. The only things not in that are the following:
1) FMS fixes
2) Custom AP code that allows for FLCH and LVL as these are presently inop.
The things that are in the hot fix are various and many including, but not limited to:
1) Corrected startup procedures
2) Redone manual that will open in adobe acrobat 7 and above (i.e. on an iPad)
3) Corrected APU and related systems.
4) Corrected fuel transfer systems
5) Auto brake system fixed
6) Night-lighting fixes
Q – What is in store for this add-on in the future? Any expansions to it?
Pretty sure we’re done on this one, though, if it gets lots of sales... we might look at doing the ADV external. Maybe...
Q – Finally, what’s on the horizon from Milviz? Any more airliners?
Maybe. Not sure. Who knows. If we were to do so, we’d want one that fits our madness... and doesn’t have a 3 person cockpit.
LOL, fair enough!
Many thanks for taking the time to chat to us at this very busy time, and all the very best.