Our community blogs
To say 2020 was a unique year puts it lightly. There has been a lot of learning, growth, and struggle. We saw Microsoft Flight Simulator and Prepar3D v5 bring new opportunities and challenges to the table.
This year, our relationship with the community has strengthened through our forums, Discord, social media, and helpdesk. Our team has grown significantly and is ready to take on exciting new ventures as well as continue to deliver on promises we have already made. The PACX Early Access phase was completed, we announced the TFDi Design MD-11, and added two new simulators to the list of those we support (although, we still have things to polish up). We began our partnership with Orbx as our newest vendor. We also celebrated six years of TFDi Design with the community.
With the wind of these accomplishments in our sails, we step forward into a hopeful new year. We look forward to working with the community to continue to create and improve the products we have become known for. I, personally, look forward to spending another year with the fantastic, motivated team we have here and doing great things with them. Finally, we all look forward to hopefully reuniting with familiar faces at the upcoming events in 2021.
On behalf of all of us, I wish you all a fun, safe, healthy, and happy New Year.
As our team start to wrap up with a shortened week for Thanksgiving, we just wanted to provide a quick update on our development progress since the last one was pushed out.
With the addition of an extra team member on the project for a couple of weeks, immense progress has been made on smartCARS 3, bringing in the next installment of the iconic tracking software used for many years.
With a new login system, only one version of smartCARS will need to be installed at any one time. This means that no longer will you need to install a version for every airline that you fly for with a single, integrated login system. Upon login, you will be met with the following page which allows you to choose your airline from a list or type in the URL of the airline you wish to fly for. This login system is still in the early stages of development, so things may change between now and release.
In addition to the much improved login page, we have an overhauled look on the dashboard, allowing news articles from the virtual airline to be visible in the tracker and for any service updates from TFDi Design to be easily visible to pilots using the tracking software.
Our chat area has also seen an overhaul in design, though the script used to run the chat functionality still needs to be written.
As you can see, smartCARS 3 is clearly starting to take traction and development is certainly well underway as we approach the end of 2020. We are hopeful that continued effort will pay off and a working version of the application will be ready in the near future, especially now the layout and design features are taking shape. At this time, a release date is not yet known but we can confirm that for our developers, a fully functional API will be developed alongside it, allowing for easy interaction with the application and full support for phpVMS 7 out-of-the-box and the ability to support custom software with the API.
If you have anything you would like to see included in smartCARS 3, the following forum area should be used for formal suggestions:
Our eagerly anticipated aircraft has also made significant progress since the last development update posted. Screenshots from the development team included in this post show an almost fully-functional FMS that is able to be interacted with our in-house software used for development. The FMS will now respond just like the real aircraft, with behaviour replicated from the real aircraft based on community-submitted videos and manuals from the aircraft.
The following video shows the ability of STARS and Approaches being used within the flight management system:
The graphic below also shows the VERT REV page and wind data entry:
This final graphic also shows the use of a custom runway as a departure airport - a feature that the 717 did not have:
Great headway is also present in the hydraulic systems with ongoing development now visualising the reversible motor pumps providing power to system #1 after the shutdown of engine #1. There is still development work required to make it as realistic as possible, but the logic is now in place for more detailed development to take place. The following image shows this logic in action.
We will soon be getting the model of the MD-11 completed and ready for use in the simulator, with the modelling team being expanded and various other pieces of the puzzle fitting together to bring together the latest aircraft from TFDi Design!
Thank you for all your support so far in our development of ongoing projects. For all of those celebrating tomorrow, we would like to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving, although it may be slightly different than usual, and we look forward to bringing about new products and showing off projects in the future.