As we create new products, we would like to take advantage of more modern technology which older operating systems do not support. These older operating systems often have major security issues and no longer support modern security practices. For example, we see this manifested in the difficulty some of our products have using newer security protocols on Windows 7.
For these reasons, in addition to Microsoft’s own end of support for these older operating systems, from September 1st 2021 onward, TFDi Design will no longer support Windows 7 or Windows 8 operating systems. We will continue to support Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 for as long as Microsoft chooses to add security updates. You can find more information about Microsoft’s support dates here. We plan to support Windows 11 from release, which is expected in late 2021.
As a customer, there are now two options:
Please contact our support team via the helpdesk if you have any questions about these changes.
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.
Will X be compatible with MSFS 2020?” is a question that we have been asked a lot recently, both in Discord and on the forums. For the past couple of days, I have been testing the compatibility of both smartCARS 2, smartCARS Premium and PACX. These tests have not been thorough by any means, but we feel that enough has been covered to make this announcement.
smartCARS 2 and PACX will be compatible with MSFS2020 at launch.
From our tests using FSUIPC7, the results were staggeringly positive. All variables that our application reads to and from are all working and being recorded inside of smartCARS and shown in the flight log. PACX was also able to correctly identify the stages of flight, and all announcements were spoken at the correct time. You can view a log for the test flight here: https://hastebin.com/dudakudahi.
Although these two pieces of software both run well, we have noticed a bug with the flight pausing system included within smartCARS Premium, in which abnormal flight (such as steep banking or stalling) would cause the simulator to pause. This behaviour is normal, but during testing, we were unable to unpause the aircraft while this option was enabled. At the moment, we do not know whether this bug is within our code for smartCARS 2, FSUIPC7 or the simulator directly. Until we have more test flights completed using smartCARS, we will not know immediately. In the mean-time, this option can be turned off, then re-enabled once normal flight has resumed, and you can still enjoy using smartCARS in MSFS 2020.
We look forward to the launch of the sim next week, and we will be asking for users to help test these products following the release of the simulator on Tuesday, 18th August. Should you wish to help test this upon launch, or if you have any additional questions, please ask in our Discord server and one of our team will reply to you.
At this stage, we have no immediate plans to bring the TFDi Design 717 to MSFS 2020.