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!
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:
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!
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
And, of course, a good update would be incomplete without some beautiful PBR wing shots.
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.
Below is a very much work-in-progress image of the P&W engine model.
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.
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!
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.
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!