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[11JAN22] Happy New Year? Probably. Let's get started.

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    [11JAN22] Happy New Year? Probably. Let's get started.


    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!)

    In other
    Robert S. Randazzo
    PMDG Simulations

    Thanks for the first update of 2022, it doesn't sound much longer for the 737
    Joe Colehouse EGCC


      Dear Robert,
      Happy New Year and all the best for 2022 from a long-time user (or does customer sound less dodgy?)!
      Thank you so much for this detailed update, which I have read with great interest. A great start of the day here in Europe!
      Looking very much forward to welcoming an old friend back from the P3D days to MSFS.
      I have a gift coupon for a full motion simulator session in the 738 waiting on my desk for quite some time now, but I need some sim practice hours first...
      Keep up the excellent work and - most of all - keep up your good humour.
      Last edited by newjancke; 11Jan2022, 09:36.



        Cesar Perez


          Check it out several times a day to see if it has been released, can't wait!


            Happy New Year Rob and the whole PMDG team. Thank you for the detailed update. This is an epic gamer moment. Keep up the great work and stay healthy!
            Avisekh Chowdhury



              Thanks for the update!
              Tomas Hoste


                Thanks for the update Rob, appreciated always, just an idea for your 25th anniversary, perhaps PMDG could release a more updated version of your first aircraft 757/767 for P3D and MSFS! Just a suggestion though!, here's to 2022 and beyond

                SimXperience-XL (XL Virtual Group)​


                • EasternT3
                  EasternT3 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  With the 787 in MSFS currently, 2 things 1) it's only the -10 which is considerably the least popular, where a PMDG product would likely be the 8, 9 and 10, 2) even if asobo decrypt it, it'll unlike reach the level PMDG could produce for 5+ years if at all. As for the 757, that's only coming (if it is the 757) after the 737, 747 and 777, as for the benefit, it just gives us a different ac to fly.

                • Ephedrin
                  Ephedrin commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Jeff, the PMDG 777 is going to come to MSFS, this has already been confirmed.

                • Crabby
                  Crabby commented
                  Editing a comment
                  There already is a mod going on for the 787 in MSFS. The caveat is you to have the version of the sim that unlocks the 787 in order to use it. The 757 has great benefit over a 777. It can get into and out of much smaller airports. MHTG for example, or even KLGA. The 757 is the one plane that caused carriers who mothballed it to say, "what the heck did we do!!!". There is nothing to replace what it was capable of.

                Thx for the amazing update Captain
                Coletta Domenico
                PMDG Enthusiast


                  Thanks Robert.
                  Jordan Collins


                    Originally posted by Always View Post
                    Check it out several times a day to see if it has been released, can't wait!
                    Don't waste your time - there will be more previews to come before it's released along with an idea of timescale nearer the time. Then you can consider wearing out the print on your F5 key...

                    Trevor Hannant


                      Thanks for the update Rob and happy new year to yourself and the team!
                      Rob Crawshaw
                      Photographer |
                      Flight Sim Content Creator |


                        The more you tease me with MSFS 737 shots the more I want it... It seems 25 years of PMDG have tought you something lol


                        F-18 ground radar..


                        Oh and... I have 5 different trash cans for waste separation... FIVE. I have totally lost track what belongs into which can so it's a good mix of everything which can't be the point of eco-friendly disposal
                        Ryzen 9 5900X, RX 6900XT, 32GB DDR4 RAM @3600MHz, 4k
                        Marc Ehnle


                        • Crabby
                          Crabby commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Yep, RS said that you won't have ground radar UNLESS you are flying something that fires missiles. I think the F/A-18 qualifies.

                        Thanks for the update Rob, much appreciated as always.

                        Happy new year to all at PMDG.
                        Pete Simpson


                          Thanks so much for the update, it's really exciting to read this detail...and I personally think the graphical fidelity presented here is and will be stunning. Keep up the great work and many thanks for the update!
                          Andrew McHalpine


                            Happy New Year 2022.
                            Thank you for your time and great information Robert.
                            From distant Europe, I wish all aviation enthusiasts and the PMDG group that it would be only good.
                            Looking at the attached photo to the message, I will look for the moment when not only the mountains appear on the horizon,
                            but also on the navigation display.

                            Best wishes
                            Mariusz Piet


                              Happy New Year to all PMDG team!

                              best wishes.
                              Fabio Loyola


                                Is the cockpit lighting still work in progress? The cockpit is very dark on this screenshot and darker than on other MSFS screenshots of the 737 before that I remember. Having just spent hours to come up with a solution for the dark cockpits bug in P3D (which is even worse in 5.3) I'm having a bit of dark-cockpit-PTSD.
                                Niklas Graefe
                                Prepar3D v5.2 | 737/777 | i9 9900K 5 GHz | Corsair 32 GB | RTX 3090 24 GB | W10 | HP Reverb G2


                                • threegreen
                                  threegreen commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  Thanks for the replies. Other than the dark cockpits, P3D 5.3 is a winner, especially in terms of performance. I'm looking forward to jumping ship to MSFS when the time is right though.

                                • Vicinian
                                  Vicinian commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  threegreen Your PC specs seem excellent. You shouldn't have any issues running the sim.

                                  Unless you want 4K at ultra... I'm not sure then... But with my much worse GTX 1070 and Ryzen 7 3700x, I run 1080p at high/ultra with generally over 40 FPS.

                                • threegreen
                                  threegreen commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  I don't have any performance concerns over MSFS. I do fly in VR though, so different requirements apply than for a screen, but P3D runs fine so MSFS should be even better.

                                Great stuff once again from team! Appreciate all the work y'all are doing and I cannot wait to fly this beauty once it's out.


                                  Great work from the team. Thank you for the Update!! Cant wait to have the product launched!!!


                                    Always enjoy reading your posts Captain Randazzo, and thanks for the Happy New Year wishes! It'll be fun learning how to properly operate an airliner flying the 737; I've been waiting to begin that experience with a "proper" model, and it seems like this one will be the one. The DC-6 remains my all-time favorite complex airframe in any simulator, going back twenty-some years. Best wishes in 2022, and keep the blue side up!
                                    Matthew Scott @ KSBP (controlled) and KPRB (uncontrolled) - PPL since 1978
                                    5600X; X570; 5700XT; 32GB RAM; 1TB Gen 4 SSD - T.16000 M FCS + TWCS Throttle


                                      Originally posted by rsrandazzo View Post
                                      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.
                                      When I was helping my friend with getting his equipment set up with MSFS, I had thought that having the switches synced to the hardware would be a good thing. Of course, I hadn't taken into consideration the off switch on the landing gear, so I guess that's not so good in that case.
                                      Captain Kevin

                                      Kevin Yang


                                      • Crabby
                                        Crabby commented
                                        Editing a comment
                                        I use axis and ohs. You could easily just program a button to put the gear into the off position. That way AAO would be sending the signal to the sim.

                                      Hi, Randazzo, congratulations on your project. I would like to clear a question, as there is something that really bothers me a lot in MSFS. I know the PMDG 737is going to simulate all systems in a complex way and that's pretty exciting. But when we're at 1,000ft AGL, for example, and we turn the autopilot off, will the feeling of a faithful simulation continue? .Does the PMDG 737 have its flight model independent of the MSFS or does it also run into this simulator limitation? I dream of an airliner that will make me migrate to MSFS. Please PMDG team, tell me the magic will happen and the 737 will behave like an airplane when the autopilot is off and not like a boat in a storm. I'm depositing all my chips with you! Thank you very much!
                                      Pedro Guedes


                                      • EasternT3
                                        EasternT3 commented
                                        Editing a comment
                                        Robert, for some reason your response has made me laugh out loud, which woke my girlfriend, of which she isn't too happy with me now

                                        Pedro, I recall Chris telling someone all PMDG aircraft have their own flight models, and I remember on Fabio's livestream (I think) Robert talking about the guy who does the flight modelling, so I would be 99% sure in saying the NG3 has it's own flight model

                                      • Vicinian
                                        Vicinian commented
                                        Editing a comment
                                        rsrandazzo LOL

                                        Trovis There seems to be a general misconception that the MSFS flight model is somehow worse than all other sims. This, to my understanding, isn't true. It is certainly better than P3D, and is better than X-Plane's in certain ways as well. One crucial thing both P3D and X-Plane lack, for example, is wind variation depending on terrain. Flying in P3D and X-Plane feels quite stale because the aircraft behaves exactly the same, no matter whether you're flying over steep mountain ranges or flat plains. This is not the case with MSFS.

                                        Yes, the MSFS flight model can be improved, and developers have to put in some work to get their aircraft to behave the way they want, but I *think* this is to be expected with just general software development.

                                        I have full faith the PMDG 737 will feel just right too, or at least, as right as it can feel when flying a home simulator with home hardware.
                                        Last edited by Vicinian; 11Jan2022, 23:12.

                                      • Ephedrin
                                        Ephedrin commented
                                        Editing a comment
                                        The MSFS flight model is very wrong in many aspects but it FEELS better. And it‘s certainly better than the P3D stock flight model. P3D is only good with developers doing their own stuff. I always praise A2A‘s Accusim. A real physics simulation beyond the limits of a known lookup table. Nothing against the PMDG flight model development of course but I doubt that someone intentionally would stall a 747 or DC6 to back up a not-anymore-flight model with data. That‘s different in a Cherokee or C172. MSFS currently has a terrible representation of any behaviour beyond the normal flight envelope. I used to fly the default Katana a lot when MSFS was released and it stalled okay-ish, it was somehow believable. Same the addon P.149. At some point an update ruined this experience, now airplanes only lower the nose a bit and go into a descent. I don‘t own many addon aircraft in MSFS and I haven‘t tried to stall the DC6 so maybe developer effort can still bring good results. But the default planes behave very very wrong, same for turns.

                                      It sounds like it is quite close! Really happy to hear that, you made my day
                                      Enrique Hugo


                                        Thanks Robert for the update, and a Happy New year to all at PMDG. Looking forward to the 747 updates for P3D. I'm still waiting for triple monitor support from Asobo, but I guess I'll have to buy the 737 if it pops up before!
                                        Dave Nash
                                        P3Dv5.3HF1 on Win 10 64 bit (21H2.19044.1466) 3 x 4k Monitors


                                        • rsrandazzo
                                          rsrandazzo commented
                                          Editing a comment
                                          Dave- Oh- you and me both. I very much want the ability to do defined views. This is an area where P3D truly provides wonderful, easy to use functionality. - RSR

                                        OK, now THAT made me laugh.... "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. "
                                        Jeff Soule


                                        • #27
                                          Hallo Captain, vielen dank für ein tolles update, ich kann es kaum erwarten wann dieses tolles Produkt aus dem Hangar rausrollt und in den Himmel abhebt, ich schaue jeden Tag paar mal rein ob sich was geändert hat, und heute? ja super update.

                                          Vielen Dank noch mal


                                          Is this just a copy&paste of the NGXu into MSFS? I still see several model errors/inaccuracies like the old clock, missing guard panels and missmatched equipment which isn't seen in reality. Sure hope this is heavy WIP and will be improved upon.
                                          Bogdan Misko


                                          • Stearmandriver
                                            Stearmandriver commented
                                            Editing a comment
                                            What are you seeing that's inaccurate? That's the standard NG clock; at least, I've never flown or jumpseated in one with a different clock, and we were getting brand new -900ERs delivered right up until the MAXs started coming. What are you seeing that should be guarded but isn't? I see the missing RAAS override switch but not all NGs have RAAS. The old MCP and analog standby instruments go together.

                                            What I haven't seen teased yet is any evidence of a HUD. I'm really hoping that's an option at launch; handflown AIIIs on Vatsim were one of my favorite things to do with the NGx .

                                          • Crabby
                                            Crabby commented
                                            Editing a comment
                                            There is some issue with MSFS/Asobo and HUD's. Aerosoft just got theirs "collimated" however it is still off a bit from what both they and PMDG did with P3D and the NGxU. I wouldn't be surprised if PMDG has not got it to "good enough to show".

                                          • Crabby
                                            Crabby commented
                                            Editing a comment
                                            Airhunter, jeez marie. This is the kind of post that will quickly send me into snarky/facetious mode. Just like the NGXu was not a copy paste of the NGX this is not a copy paste. If it was it woudl be released already and you would be pissed at the loss of function, if it worked at all? New sim, new code, new aircraft. How many hours do you have sitting in the cockpit of a 737? Which type? How was it equipped? Sometimes it is better to keep thoughts in one's head and not let them escape. Don't get butt hurt if you can't keep silly observations in check.

                                          Happy New Year to the team! And best wishes to all this year.
                                          Gabriel Guzman- IAH "Never stop flying the plane."
                                          My ANA 777 fleet project


                                            Nein danke...