Development Updates

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Jishwaah

First of all, I would like to say thank you to every person who has submitted content for the MD-11. We have been inundated with key materials that will contribute directly to the development of the aircraft.Everything is greatly appreciated. If you do have any more manuals, diagrams, photographs, or information please continue to send them in right here.

A big shoutout to @ozzman1997 for his continued hard work on the exterior model. The control surfaces are now all exported from the model and our flight dynamics programmer will soon begin his work from the amazing material that has been submitted by the community to ensure the MD-11 flies like the real deal!

For our livery painters who wish to work on new liveries for the MD-11, Ozzy has also confirmed that the windows can be configured via the alpha channel, simply by manipulating the alpha channel of the albedo map. If you are interested in learning more, this forum post is great to read: 

On the backend, further development is still ongoing for non-visual requirements and we can’t show these at the moment. Once this is further down the road, we intend to explain this in a little more detail for you to read through when we have more to discuss. Another big item is that we managed to get the aircraft systems working ahead of the models and textures. 

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With recent work from Collin, the FMC is now being worked on and the image above shows an FMC added to some user submitted images. It is important to remember that this is a work in progress, using user submitted files that allow us to make this look correct in place. This is not representative of the final product!

Although the above image only shows a small amount of functionality, the system driving it is important. We are using a system that lets us write and debug code better and easier and eliminates a lot of the bottlenecks we usually encounter. This will become a testbed for our systems code and allow us to develop and test the aircraft while Ozzy is creating the visual elements.

A short note from @RogueShadow, one of the MD-11 Developers:

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One problem that we’ve always had with developing for a simulator is how we reload the aircraft to see our new changes in the code. Basically, the process to reload an aircraft in FSX/P3D is to switch to another aircraft so our code isn’t in use, we compile our code to a .DLL, copy that to the Panels folder, and then switch back into that aircraft (and in FSX, click through the dialog asking if we want to run the external DLL every time!) Doing this upwards of 50 times in a day slowly becomes painstaking and causes headaches! In a previous blog post on our website, we highlighted how we used our in-house tool, D2D Studio, to reduce the amount of times we have to reload the aircraft. This time, we managed to get the entire aircraft systems and gauge rendering to run outside of the simulator, completely independent of FSX/P3D. This allows us to edit and code our systems on the fly without even having to touch any simulators, vastly improving the time spent developing the product. This system will let us get the MD-11 to you  much sooner!

That being said, the development of the TFDi Design MD-11 is now firmly underway and a lot of progress is being made every day. Our team is spending a lot of time to get this project into your hands and in the virtual skies of the world.

 

To Summarise

The aircraft has a lot of work being done but we are still unable to provide a release date, or even an estimate. We hope that regular development updates that we release will allow you to see what is being done on the aircraft. Understandably, these will slow down as in depth code writing begins to pick up, as we would be unable to share that! That being said, we hope to supplement these updates with developer streams on Twitch so you can see the work that is being done when it gets to the finer details!

Thank you, and have a great week!

- Josh

turbofandude

Hello everyone, It's been a very busy few weeks! Over the last few weeks, we've released a moderately sized update for PACX (as it is nearly to version 1.0), we fixed a small snag in the TFDi Design 717's navigation display, and of course, have been hard at work on the TFDi Design MD-11. I've included some new renders and information from a few of the developers on the project.

 

To start, I'll quote @Ricardo Ramos, the systems programmer for this project.

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Electrical system development is progressing fast: buses, generators, relays, switches, loads and overall interconnection mesh were coded individually and now are being integrated to work together. Buses share loads and sources when interconnected. Transformer-rectifiers and inverters were created with efficiency coefficients so when a load is present in a DC bus, the corresponding AC bus will be loaded proportionally to the transformation ratio and efficiency. Generators also share loads when interconnected. The overhead indicators were already added. Buttons event handling are coming next. With all parts working together, the logic for switching relays in automatic mode will be created and integrated last.

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@ozzman1997 has been doing some incredible work on the model as well. The exterior is nearing completion (still pending texturing, of course), but the cockpit has progressed immensely.

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Finally, I've been working on the FMC/MCDU (and its associated sensors, computers, and systems). I don't have a screenshot to show this time, as the majority of my work has been behind the scenes. That said, here are some key points of what's been added to the system recently:

  • Triple, independent IRU simulations with simulated drift and realistic alignment behavior (for example, a fast align can be performed once the IRU has captured true north and has been previously aligned).
  • The GNS systems are implemented and have the appropriate amount of sensors and information channels to integrate in a realistic way.
  • The navigation database system has been optimized and brought into the MD-11 and is now being properly read by the FMC, including both primary and secondary databases.

The next step is beginning to code flight planning and MCDU operations. Unlike our previous aircraft, we intend to simulate all (except maintenance/third-party software) features of the MCDU, such as wind entry and RTA. Of course, we're still early on, but progress so far bodes well.

 

That's all for now and thanks for reading!

turbofandude

This morning, we posted a (not so) cryptic tweet on our Twitter. The time has come for the announcement we mentioned. So, without further ado, I would like to announce the development of the TFDi Design MD-11.

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Before the questions come in, I will answer some of the important ones here.

Project Status
No, we cannot announce a release date. With that said, we are actually announcing this project a tad earlier than we originally expected. Although progress has been solid (and relatively quick), our intent was to show the aircraft off working in-sim as the first preview. We’re still a bit out from that (although, not TOO terribly far).

We decided to do this today as recent announcements would have left the community wondering if there was going to be one in this market at all. We are happy to announce that we will be filling that gap.

We have a larger team working on this aircraft than we had on the last, as well significantly more experience, which will allow us to develop it better and faster. We will, as always, keep the community up to date on development via our official social media and our Discord.

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Fidelity
Our last aircraft, the TFDi Design 717, was a fantastic learning experience for us. We intend to build on that experience to create an even deeper, richer, and more realistic simulation on the MD-11. The similarities in the systems, as well as refined processes and technologies, will allow us to create something even the most experienced MD-11 crew and enthusiasts will enjoy.

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Simulation Support
As of today, our intent is to natively support Prepar3D v4 and v5 at the time of release. It is a possibility that we will create a modified version of the product to support older simulation platforms (FSX, FSX:SE, Prepar3D v1-3), but we do not want to limit the potential of the product by designing it around dated standards.

We have not yet made an official statement regarding Flight Simulator 2020. We will continue to monitor the development of this platform and will do our best to support it. We intend to develop this aircraft in a format that will allow cross-compatibility in a much more practical way.

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Want to get Involved?
As some of you may remember, when we announced the TFDi Design 717, we also put out a call to all community members. This call was to help us by providing documents, videos, photos, sound clips, data, or even their personal experience and knowledge. It was thanks, largely, to this help from the community that we were able to deliver the level of accuracy that we did. Once again, we would like to put this call out. If you have any of the following, please do reach out to us to help us create the best product possible.

  • Aircraft reference documents (FCOM, FCTM, etc.)
  • Any aircraft photos (even of the most obscure items)
  • Sound clips (such as aural warnings, unique flight deck sounds, etc.)
  • Videos
  • Engine data (such as EPR charts/tables, fuel flow data, etc.)

Although we do already have a good amount of reference material, the more we have, the better we can do. We will, of course, continue to research and acquire our own reference material. Thank you, in advance, to anyone who is able to help!

To submit information, please use this form.

House Keeping

TFDi Design 717 for Prepar3D v5
This is still in progress. We have the aircraft and its associated dependencies working in V5 and will be starting formal testing soon. We appreciate your continued patience.

TrueGlass and RealLight for Prepar3D v5
To our commercial customers, we are working on this, as well. They are both operating in Prepar3D v5, but we are awaiting answers from Lockheed Martin to help us eliminate a few snags before we begin formal testing. If you are interested in testing the current iteration of the Prepar3D v5 versions, please reach out to your point of contact.

PACX
We are using the feedback we received from the community survey to develop and refine the product. We have some cool items in progress that should be ready for testing in the near future. Our intent is to wrap up a solid version 1.0 over the next 3 to 6 weeks and complete the Early Access phase of the product’s life.

smartCARS 3.X
This is something we have been alluding to for quite some time. We are working on a few potential directions we can take the development to create the best possible product for our customers and their pilots. There will be more announcements and development updates relating specifically to smartCARS 3.X as they become available.

Closing

Well, that about sums up our current status. We do intend to be more active in our Discord and on our social media regarding development updates for all products. A huge part of what makes us who we are, as a company, is our presence in the community and we intend to continue developing that relationship over the coming months.

Thank you all for your support and for reading. We’re looking forward to embarking on this journey together!

Jishwaah

Good afternoon!

Over the past few weeks since our announcement of the MD-11, a lot of progress has been made to the aircraft alongside ongoing work with our Passenger and Crew Experience addon. This blog post will bring you up to speed on what we are doing in the background.

PACX

We have noticed a few bug reports regarding extreme taxi conditions. Upon further review, there were parameters involved with the extreme taxi conditions that often triggered the message in the client. As a result, the decision was made to remove this event from PACX as it is almost impossible to define every single parameter accurately to trigger the event.

As part of our ongoing updates to PACX, we now also fully support Prepar3D V5 with PACXBridge, several new comments, eight new statistics, and the ability to close PACX from the main menu. Furthermore, our detailed statistics now show your passenger satisfaction as a percentage!

And finally, our major features that are currently out to test in our Discord feature the following:

  • SimBrief Integration
  • Discord Rich Presence
  • Exported data files for streaming overlays.

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The full change log is available to view here for the upcoming version, 0.9.91.0:

 

To join the beta, and to help test new features, join our Discord at https://tfdidesign.com/chat.

 

Community Group Flights

Over the past few weeks, we have been completing group flights with members of both the JetStream Radio and TFDi Design teams with the community on most Friday afternoons. We find these are a great way for you to chill with the developers of the aircraft, ask some questions and enjoy flying. All announcements for the group flight are posted on the official TFDi Design Discord, to which there is an invite on the right of this post, and you are free to join us on a flight!

If you have any suggestions for group flights, we are all ears! Let us know in Discord and we will pitch the idea to the rest of the team!

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Photo: Josh Riley

 

What next?

We are working on the MD-11 in the background and have some amazing work to show you. We expect to publish another post next week with some brand new screenshots taken during the development of the aircraft.

Thank you all for your continued help and support with everything we are doing, and we look forward to bringing you another great aircraft in the near future!