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[19DEC20] Weekend Update - Happy Christmas and a few other Wall of Text Notations...

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    [19DEC20] Weekend Update - Happy Christmas and a few other Wall of Text Notations...


    Welcome to the weekend. For those who celebrate this is the last weekend prior to Christmas so Happy Christmas to those celebrating, Happy Hanukkah to those celebrating last week, and of course let us not forget the upcoming Festivus, which is always a good annual tradition around the halls at PMDGHQ.

    As we roll into the holiday week, I want to give you a quick update on some things that are pending in the schedule, as well as some general flavor for how some other new items are progressing. It is nearly impossible to cover every possible topic and every possible angle on every project- but my hope here is to give you a general idea what we are working on and what to expect.

    Lets get started, shall we?

    PMDG 747-400 QOTSII & PMDG 747-8 QOTSII Micro Updates for Prepar3D:
    During the day on 18DEC20 we pushed a set of micro updates for the 747 product line in Prepar3D. This update set had a primary purpose of bringing the 747 into compliance with the final program structure for PMDG Global Flight Operations. There were a few ticky-tack fixes in there as well, including a long-standing issue for P3D v3 users that resulted from a corrupt VC build on the 744F. We also included a few minor texture adjustments to adapt the product to some changes in the P3D v5 platform.

    You can get this update through the PMDG Operations Center by Clicking on Aircraft and Liveries and then Product Updates.

    There aren't currently any major work programs going on within the 747, except that it is being used as the development platform for the Navdata, LNAV and Flight Director Update detailed below. Occasional updates will continue to roll out with fixes and updates as we see fit.

    PMDG 737 NGXu Product Line Micro Updates for Prepar3D:
    Also during the day on 18DEC20 we pushed a set of micro updates for the 737NGXu product line. This update was entirely contained within the base package, meaning: none of the expansions required updating- so you only see a single update in the base package- that is normal. This update also had the primary purpose of bringing the 737 into compliance with the final program structure for PMDG Global Flight Operations. There were some other minor code issues that we addressed, but most of them are "inside baseball" that have more to do with our own code structure maintenance and don't really have any discernible impact on the operation or quality of the product.

    You can get this update through the PMDG Operations Center by clicking on Aircraft and Liveries and then Product Updates.

    There aren't currently any major work programs going on with the 737NGXu product line, but occasional updates will continue to roll out with occasional fixes and updates.

    PMDG 777 Product Line Update & Preapr3D v5 compatibility:
    We are a few weeks into beta testing on the product updates we have pending for the existing PMDG 777-200LR/F & PMDG 777-300ER products. Testing has been going "okay-ish." Not as well as we had hoped, but not badly either. Some of the issues being identified are simply taking a long time to resolve but we are making reasonably decent progress with it. I think our testers have been enjoying the larger improvements in overall performance and handling, the implementation of the new sound engine and sound packages, as well as the effort we are making to pull it forward to make it feel more uniform with the more modern 747 and 737 functionality that so many of you are used to.

    The point of this update cycle is to serve three primary purposes.
    • Unify the general structure and operation of the product to match the much newer 747 and 737 products.
    • Integrate the data connectivity requirements to allow it to function within the PMDG Global Flight Operations universe.
    • Update the product foundation so that it can support the 777-200ER expansion that has long been envisioned.
    Some folks have asked why we aren't doing a full flight deck overhaul, with rainmaker and a bunch of other animation/immersion features- and perhaps my comments on that topic are being overlooked so i'll restate them here: Those features will come in the form of a future, product-wide update that is currently in development in conjunction with the full-product rebuild that has to take place for the MSFS version of the 777. None of the features that we are already adding are inconsequential updates from an effort/time standpoint, and the ones we are electing not to do at this time are even larger effort/time updates so they are being necessarily held off to fit more efficiently into the much larger workflow.

    The 777 is an older product- and this update cycle is focused on improving it as a foundation for continued growth- which is our commitment to keeping the product line growing.

    PMDG 777-200ER:
    I think many of you have figured out by now that I rarely have time to read/respond to forum private messages. Believe me, I wish I had more time to chat and be social and engage with you all privately- but the reality of circumstance is that there are tens of thousands of PMDG customers and many many of them here in the forum- so keeping up with pm's just isn't possible unless I quit working on code and take up social media as a full time position. But- between the forum system, the support portal, facebook and a myriad of other ways that people can reach out to us privately- it has been a bit overwhelming to see just how excited you guys are for this product. Thanks for that expression- as it really does make the work more fun when we know you guys are happy to hear that we are close to delivering on this promise- finally.

    Like the existing products in the product line, the 200ER is taking more time than we had thought. The biggest difference in this airplane is the engines, and some subtle changes in the flight model due to the different wing, and getting the entire performance metric dialed in for three engines types is just taking a bit longer than we had envisioned. While the GE engine type was a pretty straightforward modification to our existing GE engine model, the RR Trent and PW 4090 series engines are not simply scale-up/downs from the RR and PW models we already have simulations built to handle. This has caused some slowdown as we get the new models dialed in- but the work is progressing nicely and things are moving along.

    The good news is that as of this moment the 200ER progress is not impeded at all by the slower 777 update dev cycle, and the 777 update dev cycle is not impeded by the slower 200ER cycle- so things continue apace.

    We had hoped to move the 200ER to beta testing on 14DEC20 but that hasn't happened. Whenever it does go to beta testing I'll let you know. We anticipate a pretty swift beta process, as the foundation upon which it sits is the 777 update that we are already testing- so <knocking on wood><holding thumbs> the 200ER testing will be pretty smooth.

    If anyone is interested- my favorite part of the 200ER is, much like with our 747 product line, the fact that switching between the various types comes with a completely different sound environment matched to the engines on the airplane. I think you will enjoy that aspect.

    PMDG DC-6 Product Line for P3D:
    Jason is making good progress on a full PBR rebuild of the airplane for Prepar3D v5. When I checked in with him on this a few days ago, he said it was a bigger challenge than meets the eye because the implementation of new capabilities in the P5D platform allow him to capture the form and texture of the DC-6 fuselage skin far more realistically than he could do with the previous version of the platform. He hasn't shared any early captures of this with me yet- but as you know I'm a bit of a vintage airplane officianado, so when Jason asked "do you understand what I mean by that?" I rolled my eyes a bit... but jason has a really good eye for detail so this will be just superb when it is ready. We are thinking 1Q21 for this update and compatibility with P5D, as it only has a few relatively minor code-side issues to resolve in our issue tracking- so nothing major should hold it up in testing.

    PMDG 737NG3 for Microsoft Flight Simulator
    I feel badly not giving this product/platform effort much love in my announcements- but there are some reasons why I tend to skim over this topic without giving too much detail. The past month or so has seen a pretty nice advancement of the state of our PMDG 737NG3 for MSFS product, but we still aren't in a position to really start putting markers on the calendar to predict what the various development gateways look like. My guidance on this one is still about a year out.. possibly more... possibly less... There are some monumentally large hurdles that the platform needs to clear- and I don't want to talk about them here (or anywhere else, for that matter, except in private conversation with Asobo) because I want to be absolutely certain that nothing I might say would be misconstrued as negative by folks who don't understand the larger picture of what is going on behind the scenes at PMDG, Asobo, Aerosoft and other dev houses.

    Asobo is moving mountains for this community- and they have many more mountains to move- so my near silence on the topic is **primarily** to avoid anyone being upset at them because they aren't moving PMDG's mountain right now. All things in the right time and order- so you will hear nothing but praise from us for our friends over at Asobo. The mountains they are moving, are still our mountains, because it all matters in the journey toward delivering you a truly fantastic 737 simulation in the MSFS world.

    Once I think we are ready to begin showing you progress, we will- because I think it is interesting how different the platform really is.

    PMDG Global Flight Operations:
    We are in the process of moving this product from development to production, and preparing it's rollout. Working taking place in the background right now involves implementing some customer focused features that will let you modify and interact with the PMDG Global Flight Operations universe as a creator, if you wish, and also features to get rid of a few areas that we felt had sharp corners from a user experience perspective. The initial rollout period will see users operating the PMDG 747, 737 and 777 products (and I think the DC-6 also- but I need to confirm this detail with Chris...) and we are preparing the documentation that will allow other developers to connect their aircraft simulations and other products to the Global Flight Operations universe if they desire.

    We have been having a bit of fun preparing the marketing side, because we have found that the most difficult questions to answer about this new simulation universe are actually the simplest to answer- but the simplest questions about the simulation universe are the hardest... For example, when we make a simulation of a WoodPigeon or a 737, we don't worry too much about the marketing text on the page. The graphics, our reputation, and the product name itself tells you what it is and whether you want to purchase it. Global Flight Operations is something that doesn't exist in the simulation community yet- and that makes the marketing much more challenging... so we are having a bit of fun getting that prepared.

    I can't wait to show it to you- it has been a very long time coming. (In case anyone wonders why we don't like to publish expected release dates: Original release projection for this product was 4Q18... And here we are. )

    Update for Navigation Data Handling, Lateral Navigation and Flight Director:
    I have been talking about this one for a few years also. With all of our product lines, we have a natural development progression that I think you can liken to painting a large bridge, such as the Golden Gate. The process never really stops. You can paint from one end to the other, and by the time you finish, it is already time to start again. In the developmental environment of our products, we are constantly updating the simulation of complex pieces of very complex machines. While it might seem inane to update the logic of a fuel system, for example- everything about the fuel systems in our airplanes is highly customized. For example, with the 747-8, we found that the airplane uses a predictive algorithm to determine if the fuel in the reserve tanks is sufficiently cold that it might create a temperature problem when that fuel mixes into their associated main tanks. When building this logical process in the aircraft's data management system, it became obvious that in order to simulate the system accurately, we would need to build out the entire fuel system so that it would accurately simulate the effect of volumetric mixing of fluids at different temperatures.

    This lead to an entire rebuild of the simulation logic for the tank systems in all of our products and that new logic was rolled in over time to all three airplanes. (It is now in 777 with the pending update, for example.)

    A few years ago we began to map out the upgrade strategy for a core behavior component of the flight management system on our airplanes, Lateral Navigation, because our existing model was old and based upon technology that we can now greatly improve upon. To do that we determined it would be important to also upgrade the way we ingest navigation data, and then when done we felt that it would be best to also update the flight director logic to make it behave more realistically using the new, more refined and realistic lateral nav logic.

    All of that has taken some time- as these components are core logic and they all have to be replaced together, so it isn't something we could roll into the product lines a piece at a time. We have been using a dedicated development branch of the 747 as the development arena for this new technology- and we anticipate rolling an updated 747 build to our beta team shortly after the 777-200ER is released so that they can begin to help us find/squash any issues and undesired behaviors.

    Once we feel it is ready for prime time, we will update the 747 product line with this new logic, and then roll it into the rest of the fleet as well. I'm not sure which airplane or in which order- as it will depend on twenty other moving parts all at the same time.

    So That is IT? Nothing Else?:
    Oh, of course there is more. It is impossible for me to tell you everything... But I think the information above should give you a good idea how hard this team works to keep our product lines improving over time, not just in terms of fixing service issues, but constantly improving them as well. I think every member of the team is always working with at least two different sub-teams on in-development projects. We expect quite a bit of one another- and we work hard to deliver.

    We hope all of you have a very nice weekend, and a very nice version of whatever holiday you are celebrating over the next couple of weeks. On behalf of all of us at PMDG, we very much hope that all of you have a safe, healthy 2021- and that we can all support one another through the end of this pandemic.

    Many of you know I am perennially private and there are few things I hate to do more than going to sim shows and air shows- but I am actually looking forward to and end to this thing so we can all meet, talk, smile and enjoy a bit of friendship for a change. It is funny the things that you start to miss when you no longer have them, isn't it?

    Okay- that is all for tonight... Have a nice weekend!

    (We gotta get the 200ER into preview... updates are MUCH easier with graphics! )

    Robert S. Randazzo
    PMDG Simulations

    The super early AM update. Yay!
    Tim Barker
    FAA Air Traffic Control Specialist


      Great update Robert. Really looking forward to everything that is to come.
      Have a great Christmas everyone.

      Hamish Lynde

      Hamish Lynde


        Thank you very much for a detailed update with some great things to look forward to (in a not too distant future)! πŸ‘
        SΓΈren Geertsen


          Thanks for the update, Robert! Can't wait for the updated 777 Wish you a happy holiday and hopefully the new year will be an easier one than the last
          Werner Rafteseth


            Thanks a lot Robert for this quite long update !
            You guys at PMDG are just awesome ! The best of the best ! Just take the time needed to prepare good, compkete and working products. No problem at all with that.

            Have a nice Xmas holidays, you all deserve it.

            i just can't wait the 777 and GFO you guys are preparing ! No doubt 2021's gonna the best year for the sim world ever.

            Again, merry Xmas to you all,

            Last edited by BrunoT; 19Dec2020, 10:19.
            Thimote Brunot
            PMDG 737 & 747/8 & 777


              Thanks for the updates. To you and the entire team, have a great festive season and a well deserved break!
              Peter Webber

              Prepar3D v5 & MSFS / Windows 10 Home Edition / CPU i7-7700K / MSI Z270 XPower Gaming Titanium / Samsung 960 EVO M.2 500GB / Corsair Vengeance DDR4 32GB 3000MHz / MSI Geforce GTX 1080Ti Gaming X


                Thanks for the update boss. Looking forward to the hard work of the dev and the other beta teams to be displayed to the public!
                Alex Kulak
                PMDG Studier and flyer


                  Thanks for the updates, Robert, and I can't wait to finally make GFO part of my world!

                  Merry Christmas!
                  Last edited by CANorm91; 19Dec2020, 12:35.
                  Craig Norman


                    Thanks Robert for this update. It is always nice to hear from you about what is going on with all those keeps the spirit high and shortens the waiting time !

                    John Folkeringa

                    Prepar3D v5 /Windows10 pro/CPU AMD Ryzen 5 3600X 6 core 4.25 Ghz /Msi Gaming Pro/Samsung 970 EVO m2 2000Gb/Msi RTX3070 Ventus 2x / Corsair DDR 4 32Gb 3200 Mhz
                    John Folkeringa
                    Cpu Amd Ryzen 5 3600X.32Gb Corsair 3200mhz.Nvidia Geforce RTX 3070. MB MSI X470 Gaming Pro.3x NvMe Samsung 970 2.5 Tbytes


                      Robert, thanks for the update, now get some sleep will ya!
                      Zsolt Szivak


                        Thanks for the update Robert. Merry Christmas to all at PMDG.

                        Greg Morin
                        Commercial ASMEL Instrument CFI


                          Thanks for the update Robert. Any plan for cockpit builders edition for 737ngxu? Merry X-mas....
                          Koray ERGÜDEN
                          Munich- Germany


                          • rsrandazzo
                            rsrandazzo commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Koray- For sure, yes. The operative question is "when?" I have NO idea on that one. We are still working on the technology with our 747 simulator and it is just really slow going. It *almost* works but we are having trouble with making the VSD and the airport mapping work properly. Once we crack that nut- it shouldn't be hard to move it to the 737 and the 777... Cracking that nut just needs developer time- which as you can see from the original post in the thread is a bit hard to find most days! - RSR

                          Originally posted by redsonssi
                          So 777 won't be updated before Christmas, right?
                          who knows... five days can be a lot in PMDG realms ^^ and Christmas releases aren't so unknown in the sim community.
                          i7-6700k, GTX 1080TI, 32GB DDR4 RAM @2666MHz, 4k
                          Marc Ehnle


                            Thank you Rob!
                            Vaccines for Covid, B777 and DC-6 for P3Dv5, GFO, maybe B737 for MSFS2020, "other" things.

                            All of that makes 2021 look pretty hopeful, promising and good!

                            Merry Christmas to the entire PMDG family!

                            Roberto Stopnicki
                            Toronto, Canada


                              Originally posted by stopnicki View Post
                              Thank you Rob!
                              Vaccines for Covid, B777 and DC-6 for P3Dv5, GFO, maybe B737 for MSFS2020, "other" things.

                              All of that makes 2021 look pretty hopeful, promising and good!

                              Merry Christmas to the entire PMDG family!

                              "Somebody that I used to know" suddenly talks about microchips coming with the vaccines and all that stuff.. Maybe we'll be able to control our airplanes with our pure minds soon and the necessity for everyone to carry these chips leads to the PMDG release delays?

                              Maybe Robert's friends he mentioned are actually Bill Gates and Elon Musk
                              i7-6700k, GTX 1080TI, 32GB DDR4 RAM @2666MHz, 4k
                              Marc Ehnle


                                I seldom respond to these updates but this time your comments on the DC6 made my morning. As a guy with some rw time on the R2800 (CL215 water bomber) I enjoy this aircraft immensely. Here's hoping you will include the ability to accelerate time like previously mentioned. Be nice when crossing a large body of water. Take care.
                                Dave Wilton


                                  Tks for the info Robert and Merry Xmas to all of you at PMDG.
                                  Claude Doyen 10 NM from EBLG


                                    I guess we can generally assume the DC-6 for X-Plane is dead?

                                    Warren Allred
                                    -- Warren Allred
                                    -- San Diego, CA


                                    • rsrandazzo
                                      rsrandazzo commented
                                      Editing a comment
                                      Waren- this update cycle is focused on compatibility with Prepar3D v5- which doesn't apply to XPL at all. - RSR


                                    Thank you and your team for working so hard. It is extremely hard to work in such environments where your usual stress release avenues are not readily available.

                                    I pray that you and the rest of the team take some needed break times amidst internal deadlines needed for production to move along.

                                    I am waiting eagerly for the release of the -200ER and updates for the other products. almost every time I see an update my heart skips a beat; thinking "oh my, is it here now?" lol

                                    I cannot say thank you enough for your updates that are detailed yet without detail (I know you get my point).

                                    Have a great holiday week and all the best for 2021. May God bless you and the team.



                                      すごい! Can’t wait to get the ANA fleet on these birds.
                                      Thanks for the update, Merry Christmas to the team!
                                      Gabriel Guzman- IAH "Never stop flying the plane."
                                      My ANA 777 fleet project


                                      • Snowfalcon
                                        Snowfalcon commented
                                        Editing a comment
                                        If your flying ANA I suggest RJBB-RJAA in the NGXu and RJAA-RJCC in the 777-200 when GFO is available. I've flown both routes in the ANA birds in Beta Test/GFO.

                                      Awesome update Captain! Happy Christmas!
                                      Kendall T. Carlile


                                        Originally posted by Warren View Post
                                        I guess we can generally assume the DC-6 for X-Plane is dead?

                                        Warren Allred
                                        we have said more than a year ago that there is going to be no further development in xplane
                                        Chris Makris (Olympic260)
                                        PMDG Technical Support


                                          Thanks for the updates. I was hoping we would see some possible news on a 737 Max.
                                          Dan Moore


                                            Great update, thanks Robert
                                            Harry Nelson


                                              Thank you PMDG for the update, thank you for all the hard work and effort, especially this year which I can imagine. Happy Holiday and be safe everyone.

                                              David Guillen
                                              David J Guillen


                                                Originally posted by rsrandazzo View Post

                                                and of course let us not forget the upcoming Festivus, which is always a good annual tradition around the halls at PMDGHQ.
                                                "A Festivus for the rest of us!"

                                                Ike Callaway



                                                  Festivus! Oh my, yes. But, be careful when you get to the "Airing of Grievances"... no wait - you put up with that nearly every day on these forums.
                                                  Merry Christmas to you and yours this holiday season.
                                                  Patrick Bell, Sr. USA
                                                  Home-built DFI LanPartyJr X58 MB, Intel i7-920 (OC'd to 3.8GHz), Triple-Channel Corsair 12 GB DDR3 3200 RAM, Samsung EVO 860 1TB SSD, nVidia GTX 1070 Founder's Edition, MS WIN 7 64-bit Ultimate.
                                                  P3D v4.5. PMDG products: ALL


                                                    Thanks for the update. Thanks to all of the PMDG team for all the hard work. Happy Holidays to all!!!
                                                    Michael Sill


                                                      Great information Robert! New Year is coming and PMDG will give us nice products for nice platforms! To you and your team at PMDG have a wonderful holiday enjoy guys!

                                                      Rolando Olmo
                                                      Rolando Olmo