We’ve been quiet for a while (like always – our progress tends to come in waves), but I want to break the silence to give everyone some information regarding the 717’s progress. Today’s update won’t have pictures, but there is some information I want to share.
As it is, the virtual cockpit, external model, systems, and flight dynamics model are being developed by different team members at the same time. We will continue this throughout the development, which will let us move faster without loosing quality. As promised from the start, we’re pushing development speed as hard as we can without sacrificing quality. In addition to the amount of people working on the project, we have thousands of pages of reference material and countless pictures taken by 717 crew members specifically for us that have been our guidelines while making this airplane.
On that note, I want to talk about our “lite” simulation plans. Originally, that idea was intended as a way to deliver the 717 to our followers faster, as well as involve the community (which we will still be doing). As progress has become more reliable, we’ve been able to reconsider our plans. As of now, the initial release is no longer planned to be lite. This decision was made as a result of the speedup in development (which we alluded to when we announced our contract with Milviz), a growing library of resources (which were not available when we planned the lite release), and our utilization of new technology.
This “new technology” will remain secret until release, however, it has allowed us to do a few things that users will appreciate. Our systems will be very detailed and accurate (for instance, our primary flight display is currently accurate within a pixel of the real one – less than 0.2% difference), and we will continue to go the extra mile to match small details. Something that this new technology delivers is the ability to have such details with next to no impact on the framerate. Now, we can develop a higher quality visual model and still end up with better performance than the old technology would have delivered. Similarly, we will be able to introduce new features which were previously considered impossible due to their performance overhead.
So, although we’ve been quiet, it is for good reason. We are making progress very quickly and look forward to sharing pictures in one of our next progress updates.