As I mentioned last week, most of the PMDG team is working a reduced schedule as a result of the holidays- but a few of us have been here enjoying the relative calm as an opportunity to get ahead on stuff we already have on our plates.
I thought I would drop in with a quick update to give you a little nibble of some of the goodies we have coming for you in 2015, along with a small gift.
First the gift:
Ryan has been slowly chipping away at Tutorial #2 for the PMDG 777-200LR/F, but it has been taking him a bit longer than he originally anticipated. As many of you know, one aspect of Ryan's role at PMDG (one in which he is VERY good at, btw...) is to sift through the forum in order to find suggestions and ideas that will help to enhance our products, make them more user friendly, or generally improve in overall quality. This bit of his work here at PMDG can lead to quite a bit of frustration in-house, because he is always coming at you with ideas that will take up more development time...
This being the case, it was with some glee that Kyle, our newest member, began to suggest ideas to Ryan on how he could expand Tutorial #2... :lol:
A bit of in-house competitiveness not being a bad thing at all, Kyle bet me $5 that he could create a Tutorial 1.5 to cover most of these topics and have it fully completed before Ryan wrapped up Tutorial #2. I spent almost a decade living in Nevada, so betting is always a good pass-time- and I took him up on the bet.
So here we have Tutorial #1.5, covering a number of topics that involve the use of non-flight legs, PMDG Ground Ops, ATC concepts, NATS and a bit of the planning features you can find in PFPX, should you not be familiar with it.
Oh... and $5 for Kyle...
You can download the Tutorial #1.5 from our Downloads Page. And don't forget to thank, Kyle...
Okay- so all you two-engine-guys have run screaming from the room, leaving only us four-engine-guys.... So here is a little update just for us:
You all might recall a moment during the 777 preview series in which I posted an image of the Jason out flying the 777... and it was obvious from the flaperon going into overspeed mode that he was a bit too fast on the approach. We turned it into a quiz, to see how many of you recognized what the flaperon was doing and WHY... (It was moving the center of lift slightly backward in order to protect the tail on landing...)
We have been monitoring Jason's flying since then, with specific emphasis on crosswinds... And a bit earlier if you were out hanging around at CYVR, you might have caught him doing a bit of crosswind work in the new PMDG 747-400 v2.0.
The 747-400 has long been the flagship of the PMDG fleet, and it has been such tremendous fun to finally dig back into this airplane with all of the technology and know-how that we have developed since we clean-sheeted our product line beginning in 2008. The detail level of the airplane model and the cockpit are simply out-of-this-world.
One item that has gotten a significant amount of work is external animations, along with a completely customized landing gear compression model that effectively bypasses the hobbled default FSX landing gear model.
This image, taken from the left side of the runway in a heavy left-to-right crosswind shows the resulting stress on the gear as the right wing starts flying before the left... (an easy thing to do during a touch-and-go)
The majority of the systems are in the airplane and functioning. We are now working on some of the high order stuff, such as failures, proper EICAS message sorting priorities and generally hunting for efficiencies.
We anticipate that we will begin to show you more and more of the airplane very quickly as she is in absolutely superb shape at the moment- and represents easily the finest and most detailed simulation we have accomplished to date. How detailed you ask?
Well... let me pick just one example:
In the Main2 and Main3 wing tanks, the pickups for the Override/Jettison pumps are located in a different position vertically, laterally and longitudinally than the main pump fuel pickups. This was done by Boeing intentionally in order to protect the fuel load of the airplane during Jettison operations, but it has an interesting side effect in that the fuel pickups for the Override/Jettison pumps can become unported at certain fuel level-and-pitch attitude combinations. As the pitch of the airplane changes, (and as you accelerate and deccellerate!) the fuel's natural balance and level within the tank is constantly computed in real-time and as such at certain fuel levels- the pickups for the Override/Jettison pumps can unport, starving those pumps of fuel.
Of course it will take some astute system knowledge to see and recognize this for what it is- and as always the Boeing engineers have created ways to prevent the airplane from flashing nuisance EICAS messages at you when this happens briefly... and all of that is modeled as well.
Just one of the hundreds upon hundreds of nuances you will notice we packed into this product...
Okay- lets enjoy this last shot of Jason's practice flying as he heads for the barn- thus concluding our test flight program for 2014....
On behalf of all of us at PMDG, thank you for another fun year of simming and friendships here in the PMDG forum- we are looking forward to bringing you a range of new products in 2015!
Bring on the New Year!
-Robert S. Randazzo