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[09DEC21] PMDG 737 for MSFS Cockpit Preview Images and some cold water for Drama Llamas

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    [09DEC21] PMDG 737 for MSFS Cockpit Preview Images and some cold water for Drama Llamas


    Earlier on Wednesday, I had the great pleasure of spending a couple of hours chatting with Fabio Miguez on his twitch stream and through that arrangement Fabio showed off a couple images of our upcoming 737 for MSFS. I thought I would give you guys a chance to see some of those images here in case you missed the stream- or in case you have enough going on in your life that listening to me tell boring airplane stories to Fabio for nearly three hours isn't really interesting to you.

    Before I dive too deep into the images: I've known Fabio for almost 22 years. He knowledgeable, affable and modest- so it would be easy not to discover the incredible amount of experience he has in aviation, aviation training and the use of simulation for training flight crews. His stream is a great place, with lots of humor and the sort of energy that leads me to wonder if he might have a caffeine intake higher than my own- and I hope you'll give him a watch and throw some support his way. If you spend some time with him, I guarantee he will teach you things that will enhance your learning of the simulator, aviation and how to fly- and he'll make you laugh to. You can find him here.

    So lets start out with a sample view of the overhead panel. Throughout the cockpit, existing PMDG customers will note a tremendous improvement in the overall model quality and level of detail. The tremendous capabilities of the lighting model in MSFS really allow us to improve the total visual quality of the simulation in a way that simply couldn't be supported on previous platforms.

    If you look at the engine and apu generator lights for example, and the associated bus indicator lights, you can almost feel the surface scaling of the indicators through which the illuminated text will show when the indicator is powered. The reflectivity and light reflection off the chrome switches just "looks right" in ways we have struggled to achieve prior to bringing the 737 to the MSFS platform.


    This next image, I spent some time trying to desribe to Fabio: You can see how the volume/selector switches on the audio control panel are made of of multiple material types, with the top-most layer containing a light emitter. The dramatically increased texturing and texture definition capabilities of MSFS allow us to capture the subtleties of these surfaces in a way that was never previously possible for us- and it makes the model really appear true-to-life to your eye.

    If you look up toward the top of the image, you can see some subtle changes in the way reflection is handled off the glass of the #2 NAV radio. What this still image doesn't show you is that as you move the viewpoint around, the reflectivity changes quite realistically- and this really increases the immersion and the sense of "being there."

    One of my favorite aspects of the new sim platform is the ability we have to model plastics, and the way in which light moves through them. You can see this put on display here by looking at the green cargo fire bottle squib indicator lamps in the top left of this image. Those green hard plastic lenses fit over the top of the lamp housing, and the light is projected through the plastic lens. The end result is incredible real-to-life.


    Next up is the same general area of the cockpit, but this time at night with the panel backlighting on display. Flood, wash and dome lighting is all fully variable, along with the panel backlighting. The flexible grimes lights and reading lights are also available for your use if you like to add a bit more lighting to your night flying.

    We are still working through some of the backlighting in this image, and we haven't finished dialing in all of the parameters in some of the lighting. In this example, the parking brake light is giving us a bit too much flood lighting and causing some aspects of the panel to wash out a bit more than is appropriate. The tuning and balancing of these properties involves spending a bit of time with the parts manual and then pulling the technical specifications for the bulbs being used in various locations throughout the flight deck. This is tedious work at times, but it does really help get the lighting to look proper once it is dialed in.


    Continuing our journey forward along the pedestal, and back in daylight, you can see the amount of detail that has gone into everything here from the trim wheel to the flap handle track to the lenses on the fire handles. For airframes with the newer option style fuel control switches, you will have the option to turn those on with the touch of a button in our options pages. I have had the occasion to view this cockpit in VR and it really is something spectacular.


    Lastly, an image of the main panel. Once again you get a really good feel for the improvement in visual quality that comes from the detail overhaul we have given the model, and the incredible capabilities that the simulator offers us with textures and lighting.

    Don't panic too much over some color in consistencies and indication inaccuracies (a yellow VSI, for example) as these are "markers" we put in place for our own use during development to help us test behaviors and data transmission to and from the simulator. Normally we would just use a debugging tool to check on such things, but.... For now we have to make our own fun ways of displaying data and information and these sorts of things are how we do it.


    As you can see, we have just a magnificent airplane pending for you. We are still working through a few items that we haven't fully implemented, such as the EFB, HUD and Terrain map. I'll share images of those as we get them to a point where we think they are ready for you to see. We are cultivating our list of "risk technologies" that is comprised of items that we know won't work upon release due to technical limitations of the simulator (weather radar, for example) and items that will take some engineering work in order to bring them over from Prepar3D. We aren't sharing the entire list at this juncture because it is dynamic and some aspects of it have unknown qualities of both the known and unknown variety- and I want to refrain from setting expectations incorrectly while we tidy things up.

    Drama Llamas: Over Here Please:
    Yesterday, I announced that we have decided not to release the 737 according to our most recently communicated timeline. I also announced that we are not projecting a release date for the 737 because we need input and discussion with Asobo in order to ascertain which, if any, of a series of important requests we have made will be acted upon, and when those items might come to us for testing and then also land on customer machines.

    This has caused some users to begin pulling out hair and gnashing teeth, decrying that we have "stopped development on MSFS products" which is not actually true. This untruth has caused another group of users to howl that "since we are not developing for MSFS" we should <insert that poster's favorite item here,>

    I would like to invite everyone involved to take a deep breath, stretch, wiggle your fingers and toes, and please accept my assurance that we have NOT stopped development on the PMDG 737 for MSFS. Quite to the contrary we have shifted development resources into the project in order to try and improve development speed in spite of not having appropriate debugging tools for the platform.

    Additionally- some folks have tried very hard to twist these misinterpretations into some imaginary, cataclysmic battle pitting PMDG vs. Asobo for reasons that are never quite clear to us. That is also not a true statement and can be put to rest.

    To clarify the point that I think fuels this (intentional?) misinterpretation: We have stumbled into some items that cause us to feel the 737 cannot release without some platform input from Asobo. These items have been communicated to Asobo. Unsurprisingly, Asobo has a highly complex, very busy development agenda and has not provided us with feedback on which items are actionable by them, which are not, and when the actionable items might arrive on user machines. Until we have better clarity on this, it is not possible for us to set a release date for the product with certainty- and thus we are refraining from doing so.

    The moment we have some clarity- we can get back to setting timelines and when we can do that- we will communicate with you our updated release expectations for the 737.

    I can assure you- we hope it is soon, because we didn't build this thing just for us to sit here and stare at it.

    Attached Files
    Robert S. Randazzo
    PMDG Simulations


    Very beautiful. I'm really looking forward to the release.! Thank you.Tomas Zíma

    Last edited by TOMASZIMA44; 10Dec2021, 09:05.
    Tomas Zima Prague


      Absolutely beautiful, gorgeous… I can not wait for fly this plane in MSFS. The “under the hood” part is very well established already to be the best of the industry, and now the visuals are literally rivaling real life itself… amazing work that the whole team is doing. Take your time, and I am sure everyone will be blown away by this plane, specially those that have not experienced PMDG standards before…
      Cristian Caicedo A.


        It looks amazing, can't wait to fly it
        Joe Colehouse


          Just wow an absolute peice of hard work and dedication right will be my first pmdg purchase and can't wait to throw a fly dubai livery on this gorgeous plane and fly from and to dubai airport.. take ur time Robert and the development team and thank u for the honest and consistent updates...

          Best wishes and regards from sunny dubai
          Amine Sheikh


            What ever happened to the max for p3d? Still coming or no?
            Dave Gray


              Excellent reading. We will just have to wait until these issues have been tackled, we don't want a broken plane, and for that we need Asobo to implement part of your feedback, it is a win-win-win situation, except it will take a bit longer.
              Robert, thank you for taking the time to communicate with the community, we really appreciate it, and I really enjoyed listening to the interview with Fabio, sometimes it is difficult to convey emotions through a forum posts, and that leads to speculation, but you can see honesty in your face when you explain things in video.
              Enrique Hugo
              Youtube channel:
              Twitch channel:



                thank you for clearing things up. This sim looks phantastic and a developer who has understood the techniques of the sim to build great models can create wonderfully detailed and immersive addons.

                one thing though which you as a CEO/developer with direct contact to Asobo might feel different from a general customer and forum user: Asobo (and certainly MS too) has used 7 simupdates and a handful of world updates to make sure that there is noone left who hasn‘t noted that this sim is prone to be broken with every new and highly praised update while barely anything gets fixed. Lightning strikes out of the blue have occured for almost a year, massive bugs in UI or flight model have either never been adressed or have been changed. We as customers see a sim that continues to break and a developer that apprently has no red line nor a sensible schedule of how to resolve these things. To us it looks like a huge messy chaos that has been almost unchanged for over a year with the announcement of a great bugfix update in February. So fae that‘s what we hope to be able to look forward to but with the track record of the past there is little hope that it will really be so great.

                Now please understand that all that leads to a frustrated mood, constantly looking for new workarounds and trying to ignore flaws that seem so unnecessary if there was at least some quality assurance. It‘s hard to believe that now, out of the blue, Asobo suddenly makes a jump and follows the requests by a Mr. Randazzo while a certain Mr. Kok tries to find some care and comfort in the MSFS forum. Your statement yesterday sounded extremely frustrated although your typical tone is always optimistic and praising. When you, who always tries to find the good things about other developers suddenly deliver such a slap people naturally assume the worst. Also keep in mind that PMDG is not the only developer who struggles. A2A‘s Scott said at some point in September or October that he wasn‘t sure if Accusim would ever be able to come to MSFS until he recently announced that they cleared the way. Of course nobody knows how. Fenix have teased with videos in flight, so did Leonardo but nobody has released anything yet that comes up with the complexity of an airliner.

                People of this hobby are massively fed up with the unclear update practise of this sim and the release of a PMDG 737 would have released all the pressure and concern as you and your team are simply considered the alpha and omega of flightsim, now you‘re pulling back any release expectation and we all know how hard it is to rely on Asobo. That‘s a totally natural reaction. We all fear that Microsoft will not allow high fidelity addons for whatever reason, most likely simply no interest. It definitely HELPS that you show us these amazing screenshots… the detail is incredible! You wouldn‘t do that if you hd doubts.

                I won‘t go into P3d topics as I‘ve neglected the sim a lot myself since the DC6 has been released.

                Again, I‘m loving the visual detail this sim makes possible and I‘m looking forward to any release of PMDG and other developers. I‘ve spent a little fortune on DCS this year and MSFS is certainly the cheaper way to fly, lol.

                Last edited by Ephedrin; 09Dec2021, 11:03.
                Ryzen 7 5800X3D, RTX4080, 32GB DDR4 RAM @3600MHz, 4k
                Marc Eland
                GFO Beta


                • Ephedrin
                  Ephedrin commented
                  Editing a comment
                  EasternT3 Joe, thanks for your great comment. I basically tried to explain the reaction to Robert‘s long post by subjective and collective feelings of the sim/forum community. Purely objectively I‘m absolutely sure that PMDG has great contact to Asobo and that Asobo (!) understand how important PMDG‘s success is to their progress. Once PMDG is able to bring their 737 to the sim with them caring about XBox it‘s ensured that everyone can do it and that Asobo has done everything right. I am a 3000+2000 posts PMDG forum veteran though, I‘ve been using PMDG addons for 15 years and read all RSR announcements since my first step into their Avsim forum. But most MSFS users have not, many of them don‘t know the name of the brand but only know that „PDMG is the best and they can‘t make it“. They also feel (subjectively) that the sim doesn‘t progress and that‘s where the perception of a developer and CEO differs from that of a paying and waiting customer. While a developer notices in detail how the background progresses we as customers find the same issues from autumn 2020 to be still present or appearing again after they were claimed to be fixed. It‘s not only 2 or 3 minor bugs, it‘s about huge annoyances and in some cases simply plain wrong behaviour. Every update breaks parts of the sim to a level that some parts of users find it not usable anymore for their specific reasons, in my case it‘s TrackIR which I totally rely on and the assistance settings that reset to easy every time. Known, released anyway, needs more than a month to be resolved. This is the same with every single update, it takes hotfixes that fix a couple of things but leave other newly introduced issues untouched for months.

                  At that speed we have no idea when Asobo will „jump up“ how I called it and follow the advice of PMDG of what‘s needed. They might being it to the sim with WU8 or it might happen with an intermediate SDK update. Or in late 2022. PMDG don‘t complain about a lack of SDK tools since last week, I remember the 737 to be scheduled for release in late 2020 initially. Scott Gentile had spoken about a 20% chance of no accusim at all, until they have found a way to bring it in anyway. But it‘s at least likely that they will use external executives too like Fenix apparently has announced and as FBW will probably do. PMDG seem to do the proof of producibility, either for or despite Asobo ( ).

                  The point is that the community sees a sim that progresses extremely difficult with a lot of moaning by developers and a lot of frowning. And then Robert said things like the worst case scenario of reduced support of features. PMDG and „dumbed down addons“ because of a uncapable sim. Of course this goes off like sodium in water…

                • EasternT3
                  EasternT3 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks for clearing it up for me, I fully understand what you mean,

                  Sometimes I do feel like I jumped to early from P3D to MSFS, but I hoping that Asobo are having lessons learnt meetings and will improve going forward, but on the positive side going forward is once the 737 is released then PMDG shouldn't face these issues with the 777/747 and others. for example with the load panel state issue they are having now

                  (Oh and like you and many others, I can't wait to have Track IR back)

                • jsmarko3
                  jsmarko3 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Marc I 100% agree with you on this. I hope that SU8 being a bugfixing patch, like I mentioned in another topic in the DC-6 subforums, is a shifting in the metaphorical winds because IMO their current path is unsustainable. I used to champion MSFS but since SU5 it's really gone downhill.

                  I would love some sort of confirmation of that from someone in-the-know with Asobo, like Rob, but it would be wholly unprofessional for him to come in here and say "yes they're aware of the massive shitshow they cause and they're trying to do better," even if it were true, so I won't be too disappointed when he doesn't. I will instead take his chipper way of delivering news and PMDG's continued push forward as a sign that they still see promise and a light at the end of the tunnel.

                  Hats off to the people at PMDG, Aerosoft, JustFlight, and all our unmentioned friends elsewhere because navigating this must be exhausting.

                This sounds much better than the post from yesterday. Not sure if the Drama Llamas are to blame, if the post from yesterday states that you are worried about worst case scenario's... Your post itself did sound quite dramatic as well ;-) Keep on the good work, really looking forward. The pictures are just awesome.

                The Fly.
                Hendrik Blok


                • rsrandazzo
                  rsrandazzo commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Hendrik- Agreed. More on that later. :-) - RSR

                Hello Robert

                Too nice to be true... Asobo would be really well inspired to stick to your demands as the sooner you're able to release this marvel the more new customers will switch to their sim.
                So far no plane offers any real interest in this MSFS. (But the DC6 of course)

                Furthermore and considering only my own little person, being 69 y/o I'd like to have a bit of time to enjoy flying her around the world...

                My bucks are ready..

                W.rgds to all the team

                Michel Maillou



                  you are doing a great job. i hope you will pay as much attention to the flight dynamics as you do to the cockpit design.

                  best regards



                    Originally posted by micstatic View Post
                    What ever happened to the max for p3d? Still coming or no?
                    The development timelines for P3D have basically evaporated. We'll be lucky to see the LNAV update for the 747 if it somehow gets through beta testing without issue.
                    Alex Pugh


                      I am extremely excited to see this add-on make it into our hands very soon. Sometime's it takes a second to think that, wait a second, this is not a real 737. This is Microsoft Flight Simulator, and I will be able to fly this thing in the near future. Keep up the great work!
                      Elijah Meadows


                        You usually "make my day"

                        But reading:

                        ...."I have had the occasion to view this cockpit in VR and it really is something spectacular"....

                        "made my week" !

                        Loking forward to all that!

                        Roberto Stopnicki
                        Toronto, Canada


                          Rob - Watched the whole stream. Great stories, discussion and absolutely stunning images. It's really impressive to hear how you've been using PBR to really make this thing shine! I think this add-on is probably going to exceed many peoples expectations!

                          Really great to hear some of your insight into PMDG's processes and your interaction with Asobo/MS. It sounds like whilst the situation isn't super agile, everyone is wanting to move in the same direction, broadly speaking, which is great. I hope some of the wider community who is a bit unsure about the platform or has been stung by it, hears those words and it helps restore some faith! I think in a few years time this sim will be quite a sight to behold.

                          Thanks again!
                          Rob Crawshaw
                          📺 Flight Sim Content Creator |


                            Do you guys know that 80s/90s Disney/Looney Tunes cartoon with the wolf in a suit who goes into strip (?) clubs and his eyes pop, tongue rolls out of his mouth, and his jaw drops on the table?

                            PMDG's 737 is on stage right now, and I'm that wolf.

                            Wojtek Pietrusiewicz


                            • rsrandazzo
                              rsrandazzo commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Wojtek- I started out reading your reply, thinking to myself "where is this going.... uh oh...." AHAHAHAHA Yes- yes- i DO know what you meant. LOL -RSR

                            • Tony Vallillo
                              Tony Vallillo commented
                              Editing a comment
                              That wolf character was from way earlier than the 80's! And I think it was Warner Brothers, via Tex Avery.

                            Wow Robert, I could stare at this all day. Would you be able to explain what things you need off Asobo to complete the 737? Also, if you had these items, wpuld the 737 be ready to release?

                            You guys are amazing!
                            Sam, MSFS Cardiff


                              Great update as always. The detail you have put into this is astounding.

                              As I read through your post I did start to wonder how all this would look in VR as I use this exclusively, had me a tad worried there for a bit!, so many thanks for mentioning this aspect too in regards to the 737. You've put my mind at rest over this one.

                              Lets hope it isn't too long a wait for release.
                              Pete Simpson


                              • rsrandazzo
                                rsrandazzo commented
                                Editing a comment
                                Pete- It doesn't look good. It looks superb. :-) What I LOVE about it in VR is that you get the sense of sitting in the cockpit. In VR you appreciate the relatively cramped space. In 2D it looks palatial... VR really sings in this one. - RSR

                              • Bart
                                Bart commented
                                Editing a comment
                                Many thanks for your comment Rob.

                                Absolutely agree with everything you said about the VR experience, it's a wonderful tool for flight sim, just about as close to the sensation of flying you can get without actually flying! I've spent many a happy hour in the DC-6 in VR with a big grin, my wife must think I've gone nuts!

                                So yeah, I'm really looking forward to having that "wow" feeling the first time I load up the 737 in VR, and take in that first look around. Like Christmas all over again!!.

                                Seasons Greetings to all the team at PMDG, and best wishes to you all for 2022, hopefully the year of the 737! :-)


                              Thanks for the update, we’ll be here waiting patiently for when the 737 releases.
                              Tomas Hoste


                                Stunning images, thanks for sharing them! Looking forward to this whenever it makes it out.
                                Andrew McHalpine


                                  I can't remember when last I was teased this much. You can look but you can't touch .
                                  Onela Pivra [ATPL (A/H) ME CFII]
                                  [email protected] GHz, Nvidia RTX 4090, 16GB DDR4 3200, 4K samsung UJ59


                                    Hello Robert,
                                    Has anyone ever told you that you're a great salesman?
                                    Jude Bradley
                                    System specs: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit, i9-9900KF Gigabyte Z390, RTX-2070, 32GB RAM Prepar3D V5 X-Plane 11.50 Beta tester for MS2020


                                      Drama Llamas? How condescending to those who just, maybe, might have some reservations about your love for MSFS.
                                      Last edited by Bob_Z; 09Dec2021, 15:51.
                                      Bob Zolto


                                      • matrosov
                                        matrosov commented
                                        Editing a comment
                                        Well I'm russian and have plenty of ego so I chuckle at that. But at the end of it MSASOBO knows that they've got tremendous revenue potential for third party devs, at least P3D devs, and that third party devs need MSASOBO a lot more then MSASOBO needs them so MSASOBO got those devs including PMDG by the proverbial pair of body parts and they,MSASOBO, can make devs sing to whatever tune they desire. MSFS is a gold mine and a future of staying in business for P3D devs given that Lockheed is precluded from introducing enterntainment features to P3D. I actually do feel for PMDG and the rest of tier one devs. On one hand you have unbaked platform on the other pressure to stay in business and generate revenue stream and yea on the other other hand pressure to preserve reputation of producing highly detailed feature rich products. Meanwhile it makes it for some dried fish and beer(Russian popcorn equivalent), moments for me.

                                      • rsrandazzo
                                        rsrandazzo commented
                                        Editing a comment
                                        Bob- I have a long history of offending Llamas. I'll try to switch to alpacas. Would that be better? (Come on, bob... you gotta have a sense of humor!) - RSR

                                      I AM NOT A DRAMA LLAMA!!!

                                      *bangs fist on keyboard and throws airplane models at the monitor with the other hand*
                                      Matthew Glanden


                                      • rsrandazzo
                                        rsrandazzo commented
                                        Editing a comment
                                        Matthew- Just don't throw the 757 model... okay? - RSR

                                      • EasternT3
                                        EasternT3 commented
                                        Editing a comment
                                        Rob - I sense you are getting enjoyment teasing the 757

                                      • Steve Dra
                                        Steve Dra commented
                                        Editing a comment
                                        ..."Rob - I sense you are getting enjoyment teasing the 757"
                                        I can only imagine the next tidbit will be something like a semi-blurry image of his monitor in the background...with a Boeing Brown cockpit that looks vaguely like a 777 or 747...but you can juuuuuuuuuuuust make out that the PFD and Nav display are stacked vertically vs horizontally. Hehe. So many ways to tease us may already be at his disposal. Just depends on how dastardly he wants to be.

                                      I do not know if it has been asked before. Best plane ever. It's a pain to be on the 320 for a while but MSFS is braking things up I cannot even fly until that new patch is release since I only fly in VR. Back to the question, Is this plane VR compactible?
                                      Amilcar Ponce
                                      Processor AMD Ryzen 5 3500 - (RAM) 32.0 GB - AMD Radeon RX 5700 - 8GB


                                      • rsrandazzo
                                        rsrandazzo commented
                                        Editing a comment
                                        Amilcar- It is! - RSR

                                      Originally posted by amilcarnj View Post
                                      I do not know if it has been asked before. Best plane ever. It's a pain to be on the 320 for a while but MSFS is braking things up I cannot even fly until that new patch is release since I only fly in VR. Back to the question, Is this plane VR compactible?
                                      Robert mentioned in the post that he’s seen the cockpit in VR
                                      Mark Flynn


                                        Originally posted by Bob_Z View Post
                                        Drama Llamas? How condescending to those who just, maybe, might have some reservations about your love for MSFS.
                                        Reservations based on what? The fact they’re bringing their entire product line into the sim? Or that they’ve moved MORE resources onto the 737 project?

                                        So many people lost their minds over their own assumptions. So I think it’s fitting.
                                        Mark Flynn


                                        • rsrandazzo
                                          rsrandazzo commented
                                          Editing a comment
                                          Well, he **is** right. I may have unfairly blamed the Llamas for the drama. They might have been alpacas. Honestly I don't know how to tell them apart. - RSR

                                        Five years from now we’ll all look back at this and hope no new game engines get thrown into the civil aviation simulation world.
                                        William Holland


                                          being unfamiliar with you r p3d poduct line, I was wondering, will the jet airliners also have freighter variants like the dc6 ?
                                          from the website shop I take it those are additional products in p3d.
                                          how will that be in MSFS. I work in that area so a cargo jet airliner would be more interesting to me than a passenger plane.


                                          • rsrandazzo
                                            rsrandazzo commented
                                            Editing a comment
                                            Andreas- Yes to freighters. The layout of our products is changing with MSFS in order to make it easier to get what you want without having to buy things you don't want... I will detail that more once we have a release timeline nailed down. - RSR

                                          Robert, very well put and well said. You are always extremely clear and helpful in your updates. I currently use the PMDG DC6 for MSFS and it is a magnificent aircraft - if your upcoming 737 is anywhere close to this then it will be amazing!
                                          Rudy Fattal


                                          • rsrandazzo
                                            rsrandazzo commented
                                            Editing a comment
                                            Rudy- Thanks. I do think I made some missteps in the 08DEC message and confused some folks. I try to limit those mistakes to once every 7 years or so... -RSR