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Spring 2022 Development Update


Jishwaah

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Spring Development Update

Hello and welcome to our first official development update for 2022! 

Since our last update posted at the end of the year, we have made some fairly significant progress towards achieving our goals for the quarter and becoming one step closer to the release of the highly-anticipated TFDi Design MD-11. Our team has been working very hard in the background, and we are proud to start showcasing their efforts so far!

 

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PACX

PACX has quickly grown into a staple for many simmers, and we recently spent several months working on an update to keep it fresh. This update was released on the 28th of April and had some pretty exciting new features. 

We added an improved “start flight” experience, namely via the aircraft cabin preview:

 

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Now, while starting your flight, you can get a better look at the cabin and seating layout. The aircraft begins to fill up in real-time as you increase your passenger count.

We added some in-flight experience customization options, such as better control of the customs card announcement and the ability to specify if a flight number continues or not.

We also added a new In-Flight Entertainment system!

 

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This IFE system allows you to view a live map of your flight, view news from FSElite, and listen to either of JetStream Radio’s music channels! We also added some extra sound options, native support for the FSLabs Airbus seatbelt sign, and fixed or tweaked a host of other items. The full changelog is on our forums here.

We can focus more energy on the upcoming voice packs update with this update out of the way! We are working to create the tools and infrastructure needed to work with voice actors and actresses worldwide to offer a vast selection of accents and languages. We’ll talk more about this once we get further into it.

If PACX interests you, head over to https://pacx.online to learn more. If you want to get your hands on PACX, use discount code PACX10 to get 10% off your PACX order! (Code valid until May 31st, 2022) 

smartCARS 3

While our artist works on finalizing the UI design, the team have been working diligently behind the scenes to establish a remarkable base for our next generation of flight tracking software.

We have designed smartCARS 3 to allow a virtual airline to tailor the experience they want their pilots to have. Below is an example of our smartCARS 3 web API (this is subject to change and is currently still in active development) for searching the details of a flight, straight from phpVMS. In addition, our all-new API will provide virtual airline owners and developers a phenomenal base for their unique modules to allow each VA to have unique modules to support the individual needs of their organization. smartCARS 3, as has been discussed previously, will be a completely new system compared to earlier versions of smartCARS, bringing with it an entirely new level of functionality for everyone.

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We recently accomplished the first working version of our more advanced flight tracking and post-flight review features. Reviewing your past flights will mean more than a few boxes and flight log items. smartCARS 3 will offer data review and experience customization that we never thought possible. We are intentionally vague - we want you to be excited.

JetStream Radio

Our sister company, JetStream Radio, has been hard at work on several new things! In addition to being the primarily in-flight entertainment in smartCARS, as mentioned earlier, JetStream Radio is now front and centre in the PACX IFE.

JetStream Radio is proud to announce their launch of JSR Classics channel playing classic hits music in addition to the recently refined JSR Hits playing the 90s to now favorites. Tune in at https://jetstreamradio.com for flight simulation-related interviews, news, giveaways, and more.

If you are interested in becoming a Show Host or helping behind the scenes, please contact the JetStream Radio team on their Discord server here.

MD-11

Our MD-11 team have been working diligently in the background to bring this project forward in leaps and bounds. While we still do not have an official timeline for release and testing, just know that we are progressing at rates never even imagined during the production of the TFDi Design 717.

The art team has been hard at work on modeling and texturing. Take a look at some of the latest previews before diving into further details.

 

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And, of course, a good update would be incomplete without some beautiful PBR wing shots.

 

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Another exciting area we’ve started working on is the airframe variations! Work has begun on the cargo variant and the P&W engine variant. Below, we can see the cargo model taking shape and the amount of detail in the cargo area.

 

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Below is a very much work-in-progress image of the P&W engine model.

 

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We are continuing to work on mapping and texturing. We expect to see significant progress in these areas over the next few months. One of the most important advantages of our workflow is that the code can advance simultaneously with the visuals.

In terms of system progression, Romel from our team has successfully connected the ISIS and is a true backup - it is a fully self-contained instrument. Complete with all three statuses: self-test, alignment, and operational. As the system is entirely standalone like the real thing, this does not depend on the Primary Flight Display for any data obtained from the simulator, allowing failures of the PFD not to affect the backup displays, paving the way for future development of the failures package going forward.

 

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Collin has been working on the autoflight system recently. We have taken what we learned from the TFDi Design 717 project and used it to build a much more robust autopilot. The added complexity of this aircraft’s automation, such as the RCWS and LSAS, makes it a challenging system to implement correctly. However, the autoflight has been able to hold the aircraft level successfully, and we have laid out the foundation of the code required for the mode logic and FMA. We expect to have an autopilot capable of at least basic flight control modes within the next few weeks.

We are also welcoming a new programmer, Pedro, to our team this week! He will be working on systems code with us to help move the project along even faster.

And in very positive news - our MD-11 repository hit 1,000 commits last week! For those of you who don’t know what that means, our team has written code for the MD-11 and submitted it to our central storage area (repository) 1,000 times!

 

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Our goal is to start working more within the simulators as we progress from here. MSFS previews are coming, but it is easier for us to test in P3D, which is where we will begin. 

Closing

As always, we appreciate your support and patience. We aren’t providing any release date estimates because our priority is quality. We’re working as fast as we can without sacrificing that quality until we’re ready to put some awe-inspiring products in your hands.

 

Thank you for reading, and be sure to join us on our Discord to chat with our developers and stay up to date with the latest developments!

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39 minutes ago, P3Disworstsiminuniverse said:

What are you going to need to fly that MD-11? Quadro RTX 8000? Please, take care of VRAM usage because 717 is unusable in P3Dv5.

It isn't actually unusable according to the thousands of users not having a problem. That said, we've taken special care on the MD-11 to ensure it exceeds the 717's performance.

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I'm very excited about this project. Nice to see the progress on the MD-11. The DC-10 and its derivatives are my favorite. I currently use the Just Flight (CLS) DC-10 in Prepar3D. I did a custom private livery which looks stellar on the aircraft. I would likely do the same livery for the MD-11 which begs me to ask a question. As the MD-11 is no longer in service other than in cargo, it can seem a little out of place at the gates of an airport under former liveries which were rather limited as there was not huge uptake by carriers as the A330/340 and B777 were its competitors. Boeing wasn't interested in promoting it either after it bought out McDonnell Douglas for that obvious reason. They were happy to let it fizzle. Since the number of operators were limited I would likely operate it as a private aircraft which got me thinking. Have you ever thought of doing a optional luxury interior for this aircraft for such a purpose? No other developer has ever done this for their aircraft. Interior details are for passenger layout with galleys and other associated details and of course for cargo but I imagine a interior with dinning and board rooms and sleeping quarters. I want to fly this thing everywhere without being out of place. Private aircraft are perfect for such a scenario. You could be the first developer to ever do this. Just my thoughts. Thanks and keep up the awesome work.

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How to get the flight to continue, I selected the feature and started flying, but everything is the same as before, all announcements are the same as before.

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Thanks for the update, it looks fantastic so far! What variations are you planning on developing (i.e. ER, Combi, BCF, etc.)? Any plans for variations in things like engine exhaust nozzle size, flap fairings, engine thrust rating, cargo door placement, etc.? 
 

Nice work!

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12 hours ago, haoyoulo said:

How to get the flight to continue, I selected the feature and started flying, but everything is the same as before, all announcements are the same as before.

Pop open a support ticket or ask in our Discord and we can get you some help with your issue!

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12 hours ago, JK5987 said:

Thanks for the update, it looks fantastic so far! What variations are you planning on developing (i.e. ER, Combi, BCF, etc.)? Any plans for variations in things like engine exhaust nozzle size, flap fairings, engine thrust rating, cargo door placement, etc.? 
 

Nice work!

We keep finding more and more variations the further in we get. We're going to try to do as many as we can get adequate reference for, so if you have any further details, please be sure to let us know so we can work them in!

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21 hours ago, High Iron said:

I'm very excited about this project. Nice to see the progress on the MD-11. The DC-10 and its derivatives are my favorite. I currently use the Just Flight (CLS) DC-10 in Prepar3D. I did a custom private livery which looks stellar on the aircraft. I would likely do the same livery for the MD-11 which begs me to ask a question. As the MD-11 is no longer in service other than in cargo, it can seem a little out of place at the gates of an airport under former liveries which were rather limited as there was not huge uptake by carriers as the A330/340 and B777 were its competitors. Boeing wasn't interested in promoting it either after it bought out McDonnell Douglas for that obvious reason. They were happy to let it fizzle. Since the number of operators were limited I would likely operate it as a private aircraft which got me thinking. Have you ever thought of doing a optional luxury interior for this aircraft for such a purpose? No other developer has ever done this for their aircraft. Interior details are for passenger layout with galleys and other associated details and of course for cargo but I imagine a interior with dinning and board rooms and sleeping quarters. I want to fly this thing everywhere without being out of place. Private aircraft are perfect for such a scenario. You could be the first developer to ever do this. Just my thoughts. Thanks and keep up the awesome work.

This is a very interesting idea. I don't know that we'll do this for the initial release, but a legitimate charter version of the plane does sound intriguing.

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