rsrandazzo

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rsrandazzo last won the day on July 25

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About rsrandazzo

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  • Birthday 08/04/1969

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    KDCA
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    Airplanes. Yeah... That pretty much covers it. If it has four engines or radial engines, I am smitten. If it has four engines AND radials... well... even better!

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  1. Gents, I will try to start a few threads to bring your attention to some of the really cool stuff buried in this simulation so you can get an idea just how deeply our modeling really goes. I have a pretty significant amount of time flying radials of a various size, and obviously have quite a bit of vintage propliner time in the logbook. Chris and the team spent hours bouncing ideas and collecting data which we then fleshed out using anecdotes, experiences and knowledge from what it takes to fly and maintain one of these airplanes. We also had a significant amount of input from folks who still operate these airplanes, and that really went a long way toward making this simulation a complete one. If you are even remotely interested in old airliners, this product will definitely get your juices flowing- especially when you turn the sound up.
  2. Gents, We need to conduct an in depth engineering review of this product in order to determine if it is feasible to update it for compatiblity with FSX-SE and both versions of P3D. There are a number of road blocks that make it unlikely that it can be done without a very significant effort- but we haven't ruled it out yet.
  3. Karsten, You know... I think I shall. The team will probably throw things at me. But that happens most meetings anyway.
  4. Carlos, I forgot to mention that specifically in my post at the top of this thread: YES. That is actually one of the major changes for all three product lines is that the installer will now carry and place the PMDG licensed version of RAAS into Prepar3D v4. Sorry I forgot to mention it. Was one of the high points of the post.
  5. Dave, I'm curious: Do you talk that way to the staff in a restaurant? Might want to refrain from doing so. It is a good way to get someone to spit in your food if you speak to them as if you own them and have a right to tell them what to do....
  6. Lawrence, There is nothing to find strange, if you take the time to read the information that we provide, rather than simply diving in and hoping to start a pissing contest because your own personal agenda. It is clear by the tone and your choice of words that you feel your needs should come first and foremost. I am sorry to have to be the one that introduces you to disappointment- but we have been describing our agenda for the XPlane DC-6 since... 2013... (So this is new information to you- I understand!) As described many times previously and in the XPlane update at the top of this forum, our development agenda was originally planned as a release for Xplane, then a release for FSX/P3D, then an evaluation of changes that happened to the product during conversion and when/how to work them back into the XPlane version. Now I know the thing has been out for 72 hours in FSX/P3D, but on the day it released I updated the XPlane users thread to reinforce that our originally stated plan remains in effect and that we need a bit of time to collect ourselves and evaluate as previously discussed in 2013. As for your flailing points regarding conversion to XPlane11: In 2013 when we laid our our agenda, XPL11 didn't exist. We learned about it around the same time the community learned about it because we are outsiders to the XPL "inner sanctum" and since the DC-6 released half a year prior to XPL11 and our development team had by then switched to working on the version for FSX/P3D, it is sort of obvious why we haven't worked XPL11 into our agenda just yet. Prepar3D, aside from having a market size staggeringly larger than XPL, was known to have v4 coming for almost 18 months before it released to customers... That sort of developer awareness is a huge advantage to companies like ours when you consider that many products take years to develop. This is a business, Lawrence, and decisions on how and where to invest our resources are made from the standpoint of 'what is best for the business and the team" not "what does Lawrence want us to do for him this week." I hope you can understand this.
  7. Jan, Thanks. It means a great deal to hear you so effusive. This project originated primarily out of our own love for this airplane and this era of flying. Oh if only it were practical to own and operate such a beast in the real world- but at least we have a very good one to fly in our sims. The guys really did incredible work on this machine. It has been fun to help them test it- and they also appreciated seeing your comments.
  8. Gents, A not-so-gentle reminder to everyone in this thread that your opinion is yours alone. Others may have different opinions, and theirs are equally valuable to them. Because someone has different priorities than you does not make him wrong- and you will treat his opinion with the same respect you would give to someone who agrees with your point of view. Also- I would like to stomp publicly on the toes of anyone in this thread who tosses out phrases like, "now that we have no limits" or "I expect this" or "it is easy to do" or "PMDG won't because." These over-generalizations are always wrong- usually misinformed- and almost always simply a strident way of stating what is otherwise your opinion based loosely on what you would like for us to do. If you have questions, please ask them- but do not tell us what we SHOULD do unless you buy the company and thus assume that right in the transaction.
  9. Captains, We anticipate this week will bring a last round of major changes, and then everything should calm back down once again- which I think all of us are looking forward to. Here is what you can expect; 737, 747 and 777 product lines will all get another round of installer replacements in order to wrap up changes triggered by the wide array of updates we have pushed over the past two months. We anticipate that this will be the last round of mandatory installer updates, as we finally have stability where we want it and feel that mixing base installation and micro update processes will not create confusion for customers and tech support. 747 and 777 product lines are getting an update to provide additional debugging diagnostic information to assist technical support in solving problem reports. 747 and 777 product lines are getting some additional functionality to allow affected customers to gracefully avoid the "captains pfd popup CTD" . All product lines are getting a bit of cleanup and tweaking based on our work of the past couple of weeks. For those eagerly awaiting the 737-600/700 expansion pack, we have had a hard time getting that product stable enough to release to you- not because of the product itself but because we keep making changes to the base package that then have to be tested again in the pass-through to the 600/700. It sounds simple enough, but when you consider how much testing we have going on with the 747, 77L, 77W, NGX8900, NGX6700 and DC-6... Both the development team and the beta team has had to load-shed and set things in priority order- else we risk giving you more headaches than you really deserve. I have set the ETA for the 737-600/700 to "before 31JUL" in order to get it on the far side of this weeks updates for our own sanity- and in hopes of avoiding having to move the date again. (This- right here- is why we don't give release dates... Sometimes you just can't see the things that will pop up and kill your timetable at the last minute. It is frustrating on our end too...) I've mentioned a few times just how much work has gone on here at PMDG as we have pushed all of these product lines out to you with new updates and compatibility for P3D v4- and we are nearly finished- but we are definitely seeing stress cracks in the workflow over the past month- with some needless errors being made for no other reason than task saturation and fatigue. Thank you very much for your patience as we get these last few updates completed- and then we can all get back to simming and the development team can get back to wrapping up the 747-8 for beta testing!
  10. Marc, The address in your eCommerce account is the one to which we mail the invoice for our airplane that you dumped in the ocean? We can do payroll deduction if you like...
  11. Zolt, When we released the first version for X-Plane, someone stumbled into the PFPX profile files and decided it was some magical "lookup table" for the flight model and it was held out as proof to his uninformed friends that somehow we had tried to cheat him... I wasn't sure whether to be more impressed that he knew he was looking at a table of aircraft data, or disappointed that he has sucked down so much kool-aid that he thought such a thing was really an issue.
  12. Captains, Today we have released the FSX and Prepar3D versions of our long awaited PMDG DC-6 Cloudmaster product line! This product was created by a development team led by Chris Powell that included Henning vanRensburg, The World Famous Vin Scimone, Jason Brown, a PMDG premier for Alexander Metzger, with contributions from Michael Frantzeskakis and Alex Bashkatov and an incredible sound mix by Armen Cholakian. I would also be remiss not to point out the dozens of incredibly detailed liveries created by Pete Sterling- once again bringing Jason's model to life in all of the classic colors of historic aviation! Unusually, I was not involved in product development this time around, serving instead as an expert witness, offering suggestions on the care, feeding and operation of classic airliners and occasionally providing useful anecdotes to help the team along the way. The DC-6 is one of the last of the Old Breed of airliners ushered in by the development that took place during WWII, but rapidly made obsolete with the advent of the Comet, DC-8 and 707 aiframes a mere decade after entering service. Still many DC-6s soldiered on, eventually finding conversion to freighter use and a number are still found at work today hauling difficult cargo into poorly accessible regions of the world. A few examples, such as the Flying Bulls and the NCA ship located in Namibia remain well preserved anthems of the history of modern aviation. The PMDG DC-6 Cloudmaster is an incredibly feature rich simulation, with every single switch, knob, button, lever and latch modeled in the flight deck. She is modeled in typical PMDG complexity, with electrical amps/volts playing a factor, all the way down to individual circuit breakers and their effect on systems within the aircraft. Variable loading is possible with the resultant impact on CG and performance, and a full set of performance tables is included to help you plan your flight to the same level of detail as flight crews of yore. Select your power settings, make the lever adjustments and then monitor engine performance through your gauges in order to keep ahead of atmospheric changes and mechanical failures. Realistic engine starts are an option, for those who want to try and manage the complex process and see what it is like to coax an old radial engine to start and run. For those who are concerned that they might be overwhelmed by the sheer number of switches, buttons and knobs, we have created a logic driven Flight Engineer to handle nearly all of the tasks required to manage the mechanical conditions of the airplane from before start to end of flight. You can ask for his involvement to a high degree, allowing you to focus on flying the airplane, or you can use him for absolutely nothing and learn the entire airplane yourself. The decision is all yours! Plenty of aural details in the engines and cockpit. You can hear as the airplane speeds up and slows down, subtle changes in the mixing of propeller noise and cyclinder rumble as power settings are adjusted throughout the flight make the experience incredibly immersive. Oh and I almost forgot to mention the subtle visual details... the panel is mounted on rubber chock mounts- so if you have an engine in or transiting the prohibited harmonic range, it transmits its harmonic vibration to the airframe, which makes the panel dance about before your eyes... Lots and lots of cool details to be seen here. The team that created this masterpiece should be incredibly proud of the product- and we hope you will be equally happy to join the ranks of PMDG pilots capable of handling a classic, four engine airliner. Happy Flying!
  13. Gents, In reference to the OP's question: I think it is absurd for anyone to "blame" Lockheed Martin- and we certainly aren't- so I resent the implication that we are. Dynamic lighting is a new feature in the platform, and like any new feature it will go through a few iterations of changes in order to maximize it's performance in the real world. The only reason our name comes up in the discussion is that we are in a position to push our modern product line into Prepar3D v4 and thus the majority of users flying airliners in P3D v4 right now are using PMDG products. From our point of view- the platform is fine and needs additional tweaking based upon feedback from the community. Many users in the community have "grown up" with VAS being their primary performance concern and thus they aren't used to running a simulation that needs to have "overall performance" as a primary metric. Welcome back to the 90s and 2000s.
  14. For tonight, I am going to take a break from the constant work and announcements related to product conversions for Prepar3D v4, and instead focus on something new and truly incredible from the development team here at PMDG- namely our upcoming new product release, the PMDG DC-6 Cloudmaster for FSX, FSX-SE, Prepar3D v3 and Prepar3D v4. We are planning to turn her over to you later today, and we wanted to give you a really nice look at what you are getting! This product was announced nearly five years ago, and began it’s development life as a project for FSX. A short time later, we elected to completely reset development, instead using the DC-6 as a development sandbox to teach ourselves a strategy for releasing products into XPlane. That product released a year ago, and conversion work commenced to bring the product back to our roots in the FSX and Prepar3D platforms- also turning our attention to expanding our existing physics models to includes some aspects that we have not previously modeled, such as all of the various factors involved in the production of flight by use of radial engines. Okay, so like everything else PMDG, it took on a life of it’s own and took five times longer than it should have, but in order to be a part of the PMDG team you have to afflicted with the “but I can make this more realistic” bug… and the team of Chris, Henning, Vin and Jason certainly have a good case of this infection. What has resulted is an incredibly detail rich simulation that brings an entirely new aspect of flying to the forefront. Simmers who have even a passing interest in the history of modern airline travel will lap up the thousands of tiny details we have included in this product. Where a modern airliner is mostly about managing navigation, flying a classic propliner like the DC-6 is about managing the engines. Mismanage a cowl flap setting, fuel flow, oil pressure or the RPM/Manifold pressure settings, and you could ruin what should be a very reliable set of machines strapped to your wings. So along with some of tonight’s visual display, some things you will notice and appreciate in the design of this simulation: Automatic Flight Engineer, or AFE as we call him. “Back in the Day” it wasn’t often the pilots that managed the complex processes of the airplane’s systems and engines. That was the job of the Flight Engineer. Recognizing that many modern simmers really don’t know much about a 1950s era airliner, we have coded an entire flight engineer behavior suite that will give you that kind of support, allowing you to start your learning by focusing on the process of flying the airplane without having to worry about every switch and lever movement required to fly the entire airplane. Bring up the AFE, tell him what you would like to accomplish from the context driven menu, and you will hear him reading out the checklists to crew confirmation while moving switches and knobs to their proper positions. As you become more comfortable with the airplane, you can select his input for specific phases of flight, or to simplify complex tasks such as setting up the airplane for start, or you can simply take over and do all of it yourself- which will bring a whole new level of satisfaction to your simming. To that end, we have also thought to include a ton of customization options as well. The DC-6 comes complete with pre-configured setups to make it compatible with your Flight1 GTN650 or GNS430, RealityXP GNS430, and it comes with it's own Garmin unit just like the airplane we used as the baseline for this simulation... We figured you might want some of those tools to use onboard if you already own them, so that you can concentrate on learning how to handle the airplane. (You can also navigate old-school if, like me, you are into that sort of thing- believe it or not, it is still legal!) We have also provided native simulations of the GNS430, GPS400 and Bendix radios actually carried aboard NCA's DC-6, as well as a faithfully accurate simulation of the Sperry GyroPilot. Want to learn what a magical instrument today's 3 axis autolanding marvels really are? Come fly the DC-6 and master the charm of an old school, gyro driven flight controller! So what kinds of things do you get to fiddle with while flying a DC-6? Lots of cool stuff! Actually- no. That really isn’t the truth. The problem you are managing with radial engines is almost ALWAYS not cool, it is HEAT. You want to prevent your engines from soaking up too much heat during the taxi-out and runup. You want to make sure they don’t absorb too much heat during the climb, and you want to make sure you don’t let them lose too much heat during cruise/descent and landing. Setting power in these old radial engines isn’t done by slapping the throttles around like you are used to doing in jets. It requires an entirely different approach to flying that involves adjusting both RPM and Manifold Pressure in order to obtain a proper BMEP (a measure of the amount of torque created to turn the propellers.) Don’t let the jargon scare you- once you follow through the tutorial and use the AFE a few times, you will find yourself taking huge amounts of satisfaction from constant, minute adjustments to your power settings throughout the climb, cruise and descent in order to match the performance tables and fuel flows perfectly. There is something quixotic about using three sets of levers to control a half dozen parameters related to the health of your engines. And we have given you some incredible realism inside those great, shining engine cowlings. For example, when you first start your engines, the oil temperature is usually somewhere around ambient air temperature, which makes it thick, and highly viscous. Any of you who have flown a piston powered airplane of any sort will recall that after starting the engine, you occasionally have to nudge the throttle backward as the engine warms, because the RPM tends to creep up over the first few minutes of engine operation- and this is even more pronounced when operating a big bore radial engine. You will find that in order to keep the RPM at the recommended idle speed, you will be constantly tweaking the throttles aft while the oil warms and the rotation of the engine increases speed on it’s own. Then of course, you have the other side of things… After landing, you have nice warm toasty oil circulating throughout the inside of your engine. If you pull the throttles to the idle stops while on the taxi in, you are going to see the oil pressure plumet due to low viscosity at higher temperatures, and that can lead to metal-on-metal contact which will prematurely wear your engines and possibly ruin a day much later in your flying… Most likely will a full load, at night, low visibility, in mountainous terrain and icing conditions. Because that is when engines tend to fail… (They never fail when you are empty, near a nice beach resort, on a sunny day, when the parts department is closed, guaranteeing you an extra day to sun yourself and enjoy the surf!) This is just the tip of the spear when it comes to the depth of simulation present in the DC-6… and wrapped about all of it is the sheer beauty of a machine from the golden age of aviation. We have provided you with both the DC-6A (freighter) and the DC-6B, which is the passenger variant operated for so many years by the world’s airlines. (Trivia: A DC-6C is actually a bass-tard <cough> designation invented someplace outside Douglas Aircraft and represents a conversion of sorts that is neither an A nor a B… gofigure.) We have a broad range of liveries, including most of the famous designs seen around the world and even a few still flying today, such as the Flying Bulls and NCA’s DC-6 that was used as the survey airplane for this product. And one thing I simply cannot show you: Sound. As many of you know, I operate a classic propliner and big fire belching radials are near and dear to my heart. They make a certain sound. It is indescribable, but immediately recognizable. Sonorous. Resonant. Vibrato. Bass. Baritone Hum. Harmonization. All mixed together in a magnificent symphony of tonality that can only come from radial engines in flight. Armen has captured this PERFECTLY, then mixed it in with the natural hiss of the slipstream slicing past the hard edges of the cockpit windows and individual recordings of every switch, knob, lever and dial recorded aboard NCA’s airplane specifically for this product. The thrush of props going into reverse, the clanking of an engine rolling to a stop, the squeaking brakes… The airplane is alive around you- and if you appreciate sound- you are going to LOVE the DC-6. Oh- and one good parting shot of a DC-6 climbing out at night. This image is from Prepar3D v4, and shows the dynamic lighting effects and of course a beautiful flame blossom from the exhaust stacks as those engines haul 100,000lbs+ of people, bags, aluminum, fuel and dreams skyward! Okay- time to get some crew rest in preparation for the release… Stand by to fall in love with a glamorous old lady- we are certain that you will!
  15. Steve, Short answer: No.