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[12FEB22] Developer Update: PMDG 737 for MSFS Enters Beta Testing

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    [12FEB22] Developer Update: PMDG 737 for MSFS Enters Beta Testing

    Captains,

    This week has been a busy one for the dev team, but the end results were certainly worth the effort. As of today, the first product in our new series of products for Microsoft Flight Simulator has entered beta testing in a form that will mostly conform to the final product.

    Primary development focus for this week is similar to last week but with a couple of beta-focused changes:
    • Further adjustments to the 3D model of the Heads Up Guidance System, including improvements in the combiner glass technique and positioning.
    • Scale work, detail and adjustments over all of the 3D models, including VC and external models.
    • Implementation and testing of TCAS II v7.2 with both online/offline traffic.
    • Continued work on shadow models and texturing
    • Verification of hundreds of hardware/equipment/functionality options.
    • Updated models and textures for ground handling equipment.
    • Improved accuracy for automated pushback features, including user-driven pushback tractor.
    • Continued system logic checks, verification and adjustment to resolve previously and currently reported system logic service reports.
    • Implementation of client side installer and server-side installer assets.
    • Functionality verification for flight plan loading from outside tools (simBrief, etc) as well as saving/loading of FMS generated flight plans.

    This week can be summarized in long form by saying that it was a big week for cleaning up details all throughout the airplane as we are finally to a point of product stability where we can zoom the focus out a bit, look at the larger details and begin to focus on systems, operation and refinement. Up to this point we have been heavily focused on integrating large pieces of the airplane's functionality in order to get it to full capability. Now we are starting to look at refined details.

    We are also shifting into a mode where we go searching for distinct "platform-PMDG issues" that fit into a group of issues that arise from our own lack of familiarity, lack of understanding and lack of experience with the MSFS platform. For example, the 737s appearing all over the world as AI traffic are showing up with their landing gear in the retracted position, (which looks odd unless you happen to be parked next to the Mos Eisley cantina- in which case you fit right in. ) so we are working through what causes this, among a number of other minor nuisance items.

    From our standpoint the airplane is feeling very complete and as such we made the decision on Thursday to move forward with transitioning it into beta testing!

    All of our testers have now received the airplane and have just begun to put it through paces. We have embargoed their feedback to just the designated PMDG beta testing spaces for now, as we want to get them up-to-speed with it before we turn them loose to start showing you what they are experiencing. Normally our embargo periods last through a few build versions until we know the product is stable, then we turn them loose pretty much without restriction.

    In the mean time, here is a quick couple of shots from some of Jason's internal testing that will whet your appetite for the fun that lies ahead!

    First up we have a look at the HUD, which is finally coming into it's own. It works well both in daylight and in night modes, with variable dimming of the projected image to suite your needs. The HUD includes all of the flying modes that you would normally use in flight, and the image is fully collimated to the outside world as you can see in the image here below. (For those who don't know what collimation is: This is the method of projection on the combiner glass so that the image appears to be placed an infinite distance from your eye, and conforms to the outside world so that if the airplane's path vector touches an object on the earth's surface, such as the touchdown markers on a runway, that is the point at which the airplane's path will intersect with the runway. This makes flying in marginal conditions very intuitive and low workload.)

    One of my favorite features of the HUD is that it outlines the runway environment for you when landing in IMC conditions, providing great spatial awareness while landing in low visibility. One of a few things I am trying to work into video for you to see.

    PMDG_737_MSFS_003_12FEB.jpg

    Much like our PMDG DC-6 for MSFS, all of the lighting has been built from the ground up to capitalize on the MSFS rendering engine, which really shines at night. (Wow- that was a terrible pun, sorry. ) This image looking into a setting sun with all of the reflected light and the glow of the panel flood lighting really shows how great the lighting is. We think you will love this airplane at all times of day and night.



    PMDG_737_MSFS_001_12FEB.jpg


    A number of folks have asked about performance. This week we expect to be able to give you some pretty solid performance numbers now that many of our beta testers have the airplane in a conformal build. On the development side, we work with a development build that is built specifically for the purpose of development, but when we hand builds off to beta testers and to you as customers, it gets built as a product release that involves a significant amount of optimization. As of right now the results we are seeing are right in line with other products available in the platform. I hesitate to provide raw numbers because my mid-life development machine is usually running the sim, a debugger attached to MSFS and debugger running the 737 attached to Prepar3D at the same time (since we still don't have native debugging tools for MSFS...) and my FPS are well usable and stable in that configuration. Last night I tested the beta release by simply loading MSFS without any of the other development tools and I was quite pleased with the performance result. So much so in fact that I thought something must be wrong.

    Anyway- we'll get you some raw numbers from our betas once they have had a chance to weigh in.

    Okay- that is all for now. I had thought I would spend time in the video editing booth this past week, but it wasn't to be. Hopefully this coming week? We shall see...
    Robert S. Randazzo
    PMDG Simulations
    http://www.pmdg.com



    #2
    Nice!
    The VC looks great. Thanks a lot
    Jordan Collins

    Comment


      #3
      Great update Robert! I love hearing about the implementation of the HUD, not only the collimation but the ability to show the runway in IMC conditions. It's one of my favorite parts of the HUD technology as well.
      Nick L.

      Comment


        #4
        Looking good, dude! Hope beta moves swiftly and smoothly!
        Jackson Dart
        MFS DC6 & 737-700 NG3

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by rsrandazzo View Post
          We are also shifting into a mode where we go searching for distinct "platform-PMDG issues" that fit into a group of issues that arise from our own lack of familiarity, lack of understanding and lack of experience with the MSFS platform. For example, the 737s appearing all over the world as AI traffic are showing up with their landing gear in the retracted position, (which looks odd unless you happen to be parked next to the Mos Eisley cantina- in which case you fit right in. ) so we are working through what causes this, among a number of other minor nuisance items.
          Hello Robert.

          Beautiful update.

          being a dedicated AI tester, I can tell you that the problem with the retracted gear as parked AI traffic is due a sim issue and not due to your aircraft. It has been affecting all AI traffic appearing at the gates with live traffic enabled, and it's actually solved with Sim Update 8 which has just gone into open beta. If you download that, you'll probably find that the landing gears will be correctly down.

          Couple of useful links for the sim update 8 beta below.

          https://forums.flightsimulator.com/t...he-beta/413528
          https://forums.flightsimulator.com/t...-23-9-0/496878

          It is an issue that has been driving AI developers mad for a few months.

          Incidentally, unless you have a dedicated low-polygon model for AI use, I would advise leaving isairtraffic = 0 (instead of 1) in your aircraft.cfg file, otherwise people are gonna find their aircraft full of super high-poly B737s, which is possibly gonna tank their performance.

          Hope this helps
          Giuseppe Nelva

          Comment


          • rsrandazzo
            rsrandazzo commented
            Editing a comment
            Giuseppe- Thanks. I used this as an example, but didn't bother to wind the thread all the way out to explain that we found a conclusion, etc etc. It was an example of the sorts of things we are now looking for in order to ensure we haven't created problem that can be solved with the application of some dedicated research. Also- as we did with the DC-6 we have a full model set that allows the product to play friendly with AI, etc etc. We were fortunately to take the DC-6 through the development process first so that we could see and learn these techniques for the 737 and beyond! - RSR

          #6
          I am reading this at 2am spanish time and now it will be hard to go back to sleep!
          I can't wait to be able to test this incredible machine
          Enrique Hugo
          Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/hugothester
          Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/hugothester?lang=es

          Comment


            #7
            Awesome news! The 737 looks beautiful. Looking forward for the videos, prices and release dates!
            Fabio Loyola

            Comment


              #8
              There is no other MSFS product I am more excited about than this 737. If the DC-6 is anything to go by, then I'll have to say that this will likely be the most detailed systematic simulation of this aircraft short of a Level D simulator. It also has the bonus of the fantastic visuals that MSFS can provide. I can't wait!
              Elijah Meadows

              Comment


                #9
                Originally posted by rsrandazzo View Post
                One of my favorite features of the HUD is that it outlines the runway environment for you when landing in IMC conditions, providing great spatial awareness while landing in low visibility. One of a few things I am trying to work into video for you to see.
                Glad to hear/see the HUD will be included; handflown AIIIs are one of my favorite things too.

                One question: in your screenshot, with the HGS in Primary mode, why is the HSI compass rose stuck up at the top of the display? The airplane symbol is in the right place at the bottom, but the compass is moved. WIP still I'm guessing?

                Sure looks great though; thanks for the update!

                Andrew Crowley

                Comment


                  #10
                  Day one purchase without a doubt. Maybe this will finally allow me to want to fly more in MSFS. I'm thrilled that we are getting closer to this long anticipated beauty!
                  Joe Testerman

                  Comment


                    #11
                    Thanks for the update, I like the way you started to publish them nearly weekly.

                    Really looking forward for the HUD
                    Benjamin MATHON
                    Abidjan, Ivory Coast

                    Comment


                      #12
                      Just to confirm, the BBJ is included with this 700 varient package? Cheers.
                      David Norfolk

                      Comment


                      • rsrandazzo
                        rsrandazzo commented
                        Editing a comment
                        David- It is indeed. - RSR

                      • davidnorfolk96
                        davidnorfolk96 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Cheers Robert, best of luck with beta.

                      #13
                      Congrats to the Beta team! They're testing one of the most high, bar-setting products for MSFS yet.
                      Gabriel Guzman- IAH "Never stop flying the plane."
                      My ANA 777 fleet project

                      Comment


                        #14
                        Thanks for the update Robert. Beautiful photos as well! I’m looking forward to your 737 presentation videos.
                        Andreu Escuain


                        i7-10900 @ 3.60 GHz - be quiet! Dark Rock 4 - HyperX Kingston 32GB RAM @ 3200 MHz DDR 4- 2TB m.2 SSD WD Blue - MSI GeForce GTX 2080 Super 8GB GDDR

                        Comment


                          #15
                          Will simbrief be implemented with the 737?

                          Comment


                          • slaapzz
                            slaapzz commented
                            Editing a comment
                            My bad, should have read before asking LOL

                          #16
                          - Stunning images! - Cannot wait to get a taste of the audio you guys have put together for this beast!
                          Jeff Hendershot

                          Comment


                            #17
                            I can't wait for the videos to start!
                            Eroc Morales

                            PMDG Hanger - MSFS DC-6, 737-700

                            Comment


                              #18
                              Randy matey, you've given us an epic and a pog update about the upcoming 737 for MSFS. My question is that can we expect a MAX varient of the 737 in the future?
                              Avisekh Chowdhury

                              ​​​​​​Amogus

                              Comment


                              • HenrikIsaksen
                                HenrikIsaksen commented
                                Editing a comment
                                It's been stated numerous times throughout the previews posts that it will be! I hope they finish the 737NG/MAX line completely before they change focus to the 777/747

                              #19
                              GBAS Landing System will be available?



                              Ezequiel Kampf
                              Ezequiel Kampf

                              Comment


                                #20
                                We are looking forward to the first video. Hi Tomas
                                Tomas Zima Prague

                                Comment


                                  #21
                                  That heads up display image is sublime! Not thought I'd see something like that within MSFS for quite some time. Looking forward to seeing your videos RSR and hearing eventual feedback from Beta testers too!


                                  Luke Carter | Flight Sim Content Creator & PPL Student Pilot
                                  youtube.com/britishavgeek

                                  Comment


                                    #22
                                    Gents we have removed a bunch on unsigned posts. Please remind to ALL. Sign your posts with first and last name. Unsigned posts will be removed without warning.
                                    Chris Makris (Olympic260)
                                    PMDG Technical Support
                                    http://www.pmdg.com

                                    Comment


                                      #23
                                      It looks absolutely amazing. FIrst of all, thank you PMDG for bringing your high quallity boeing to this new platform. Thanks to the fact ive been in MSFS from first wave of alpha i was able to see the progress of this platform and the only thing i was praying for was good boeing model. Now light at the end of the tunnel shines more and more. IF there is any need of betatests, our pilot discotd group are fully at your service, flying IVAO, VATSIM or native MSFS MP and xperienced in most sim platforms. We have all our wallets ready and avating only for that christmas day when you will release. WIsh you all the best, smooth development into final and as big succes at release as its possible. Once again, thank you for your work.....

                                      Vojtech Karban
                                      Last edited by Vojtech Karban; 13Feb2022, 09:54.
                                      Vojtech Karban
                                      FlyvirtualCZ discord group

                                      Comment


                                        #24
                                        That is just looking lovely. Roll on the first hops with the cargo variant into some tricky airfields around PNG and the islands
                                        Greg Buckley

                                        Comment


                                          #25
                                          Will ng3 feature any updates to FMC? Such as route 2? How about MMR or LNAV? Or it's set to be released at "later stage"?
                                          Last edited by Dzosef; 13Feb2022, 13:14.
                                          Matthew Chalupniczak

                                          Comment


                                            #26
                                            Performance/frame rate will it be be similar to DC6?

                                            Luís Lino

                                            Comment


                                              #27
                                              Originally posted by Copilot198 View Post
                                              Performance/frame rate will it be be similar to DC6?

                                              Luís Lino
                                              DC6 uses different cockpit that the 737 so can not be compared. On my case I have exactly the same FPS in the 737 as in the FBW airbus (Please Note this is what I see on my machine with the settings I use)
                                              Chris Makris (Olympic260)
                                              PMDG Technical Support
                                              http://www.pmdg.com

                                              Comment


                                                #28
                                                This is great news, I can't wait to get on the plane, but I'm still looking forward to getting everyone on the 777 this year?

                                                Sorry forgot to sign
                                                Michael Dong
                                                ​​

                                                Comment


                                                  #29
                                                  Can't wait. Would love to be part of they Beta team. Congrats!
                                                  André Nóbrega

                                                  Comment


                                                    #30
                                                    That's a significant update. I can't wait to see the videos soon
                                                    Oshane Hamilton

                                                    CYYZ - 🇨🇦

                                                    Comment

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