Other Flight Sim Related News

Eagle Dynamics Showcases Upcoming F4U-1D Corsair For DCS

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We are also pleased to share more exciting progress being made by our third party partners Magnitude 3 with the DCS: F4U-1D Corsair as well as their Essex Class aircraft carrier. Check out the screen shots below, they look wonderful.

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DCS Announces Progress On New Aircraft

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As the new year kicks off at full power, we are excited to announce some splendid progress on the new models for the B-1B Lancer, B-52H Stratofortress and S-3B Viking AI aircraft. We hope you will find these In Development Screenshots interesting. The final level of detail should be impressive.

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IndiaFoxtEcho Update On DCS MB-339

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The DCS MB-339 is coming... we do not have a release date yet but we are in the process of DCS integration and testing, and we are still adding some features. We hope it will be the most complete and realistic rendition of this aircraft available on a home computer.

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PMDG - Welcome To 2022

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Welcome to 2022!

All of us at PMDG are happy to shove 2021 into the same containment box that we have used to dispose of 2019 and 2020- and we hope you will join us in celebrating the new year as we dump the entire contraption down the chute and into the burn pit for proper disposal. (Yes, we do carbon recapture on the burn pit. We are very environmentally conscious here at PMDG!)

All kidding aside, it seems like just a few weeks ago that I opened 2021 (or closed 2020, i can't recall which post it was) pointing out that all of us had been through a unique, generational experience that bound us all together, no matter where on the planet you call home. I think at this point last year we were all feeling pretty hopeful that we would see the inevitable transition from pandemic to endemic normalcy- and that hasn't quite happened. I for one remain hopeful that we are close to being able to go about our business and enjoy the company of friends and comrades.

I've been accused of being an optimist on more than one occasion, but this is a mindset that has served me well so far. I'm looking forward to this year more than any since 2011, as I think this year is going to be truly revolutionary for the entire PMDG product line. We are rapidly approaching our 25th birthday in August- and beginning to put some discussion to precisely how we would like to celebrate the anniversary with all of you. Whether we do some in-person visits to various shows around the world, or some kind of unique virtual get-together, it will be fun to do so with you as we continue building our MSFS product catalog and look forward to even a completely new airplane product going forward.

Not content to rest on our laurels, we have been hard at work through the holiday period, with a massive amount of refinement to the 737 cockpit. The image contained here will give you a bit of an idea what we are up to, as we continue to put focus on graphic quality, model refinement, coloration, lighting and really fine-point detail work.

I grabbed this screen (rather unceremoniously) using windows snipping tool... so it isn't perhaps the most well formatted image, but I think it gives you a good sense of how the detail work is shaping up. Nearly all of the knobs and annunciators have been rebuilt (again!) in order to bring out even more detail, adding to the sense of immersion.

DANGER: This shot is of an in-development airplane, so you may notice layout issues, etc. These are to be expected and will be swept up/cleaned up as a normal part of development.

For my test flight tonight, you can see that I am basing out of Reno, and using runway 7, not because the wind favors it very often but because the terrain past the end of the runway is highly annoying to EGPWS and the various suppression logical processes it contains. There is no better way to test that than to point the airplane at the high-desert ridges while hoping your performance data is accurate.

Speaking of EGPWS, you can see the data display function is present and functional, as well as the profile view of the VSD. The profile view is still being tuned so that the logic redraw call adjusts for airport elevation and I didn't have time to input a departure route so you can see all of the symbology, but you can clearly see the terrain profile out ahead of the airplane. The airplane's vector will easily allow you to see your climb performance vs. terrain which is useful in a place like Reno, especially at night or during inclement weather.

Oh and on the topic of EGPWS: I've seen a few folks refer to it as "terrain radar." That is usually where I make a clucking noise of disapproval. Now... It isn't. Radar. And I would hate for any of you to be perceived as un-serious, or ill-informed when you reach the Flying Club Bar and Grille post flight, so follow along with me here: This is a data derived display of terrain information. It comes from the EGPWS unit in the E&E bay of the airplane and does not rely upon radar for mapping. After all- radar can barely penetrate harsh rain showers, so it definitely cannot pass through terrain to show you what is on the other side... So now we don't call the propeller a "spinny thing in the front" so don't go calling this thing "terrain radar." Unless you are flying something that launches missiles- in which case, yes- you may actually have "terrain radar."

(Since someone will want to play "gotcha": EGPWS uses a couple of radar transceivers located on the belly of the airplane, but those are for height measurement and do not derive the details of the terrain that gets displayed. Apparently here in the USA those transceivers are also useful for receiving bogus signals from 5G antenna installations, thus creating a huge kerfluffle between FAA and the mobile carriers... but that stuff is WAY above my paygrade so lets just stick to using the terrain radar thingie to help us from smashing the spinny thing into the granite things out in front...)The astute will also note that I have my 737-700 configured as an early serial number that uses both the Honeywell mode control panel and the full analog suite of standby gauges. The Honeywell MCP is interesting in that it has very distinct knob shapes, to facilitate being able to make changes without looking at the knob, I suppose. The IAS/Mach knob in particular is an odd shape to grab with your fingers, which leads to some crude jokes and occasional profanity if you are in a rush to keep up with ATC's speed, heading and altitude change all in one go. You will also notice the amount of detail that has gone into the face of the MCP, especially the knobs and buttons. Even down to the odd paint application on the course and altitude knobs. Up close, these things look like they got painted during Honeywell's "bring your child to work day" as the finish is a bit odd and the identifying shapes embedded in the knob caps are actually painted with a brush, leading to normal human imperfections.

It is strange... but this is precisely what it looks like- and it adds tremendous realism to the panel within MSFS.

The analog standby gauges adds the pleasing sound of the standby altimeter vibrometer, which always reminds me of my early airline flying days when most airplanes still carried such a thing. The incessant clacking would drive you nuts during a cockpit brief but eventually you learned how to tune it out or how to depower it. (Disclaimer: I would never. Nor do I know anyone who would ever.

Overall things are moving right along and we are getting into some areas where we are trying to clean up sim-differences that might prove annoying to users and investing some engineering time in trying to clean them up. One example of such a thing is that the standard Boeing landing gear switch used here is a three position affair, and as such you will want to move the switch to the OFF position after takeoff. MSFS however has decided that it would be fun to continually send your hardware controller position data in real time, so if you move the switch to the OFF position but you have a gear switch on your hardware, it creates all manner of mayhem.

In other areas of the 737, we are quite rapidly whittling away at the list of things we have outstanding. I anticipate that we will begin integrating the latest Navigraph API for chart display within the EFB this week, which will be good as it has long been an item we have said "we'll get to that right at the end." I have begun shooting video for compilation into a few previews, and the process of mapping out the tutorial videos has begun as well... Stay tuned for more on that.

In Other Areas of PMDG

In other areas of PMDG, here are a few things that are actively afoot:

We are preparing to beta test a pretty significant update to the 747 product line for p3d users. Quite a bit of initial testing has already been accomplished, but another round is needed in order to vet changes to LNAV and the flight director control laws that have been implemented. We are hoping to get positive feedback from our testers and then the update will roll out to users via the Operations Center. I will obviously let you know it is available with an announcement.

Speaking of the Operations Center: One of the things that caught us on the back foot was just how complex it would be to get livery handling for MSFS implemented. There was really not much information available for us to pre-work the solution, so we had to wait for the PMDG DC-6 to publish in marketplace in order to get live test cases against which we could build. We made the cardinal mistake of thinking, "how hard can it be?" After all, we have done this for a decade across multiple platforms, and Asobo has clearly invested time and energy into unifying MSFS in order to ensure that a single process works for all cases and across all platforms. Except for liveries. Yeah. Except for that.

I'll spare you the long and languid details, but we are currently doing internal testing on a version that we are happy with. We are also tweaking and tuning the livery import/export process a bit to make it more useful to PMDG customers by ensuring the functionality in MSFS and p3d is as tightly knit as possible so that you don't have to learn new techniques as you move back and forth between the two platforms.

Note: Just because someone will misunderstand what I just said- I am talking about user interface issues here, not the liveries themselves. p3d liveries and MSFS liveries are totally different and unrelated to one another. You cannot use an MSFS livery in p3d, nor the other way around... Just to be clear!

Okay, I think that covers things for tonight.

Once again, welcome to 2022. We hope you are looking forward to our new MSFS product releases as much as we are looking forward to sharing them with you. Stick around, as I'll begin laying out the product spectrum in a bit more detail and also begin rolling out some video that will let you see what the fuss is all about. MSFS makes a great platform for our work, even if the initial dev cycle is slower than molasses being poured out of a jar on a January night on the ramp at KMSP.

Be well, stay safe and be kind to one another. We have all been through a ton these past two years and a bit of patience and friendliness goes a long way. (It spreads much further than that proverbial bottle of molasses I was referencing above, too!

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