The team has been hard at work with continued improvements in allareas of the 737 product line, including the 737-700, 737-600 and737-800. This is the first time we have had this many products indevelopment testing all at the same time and it certainly does keepeveryone on their toes as we begin spooling up to move through aseries of releases in very rapid succession during the weeksahead.
PMDG 737-600 for Microsoft Flight Simulator
First up, lets talk about the Babiest of Baby Boeings: The PMDG 737-600!
I mentioned last month that we had decided to use the 600 testingperiod as an iterative test program to bring in our new Lateral FlightPath model. This decision was made knowing that it would cause aslightly longer development period than the originally planned sixweeks for the PMDG 737-600, but it has proven to be a good use ofdevelopment and testing time. We are just about ready to release the737-600 and it will include the new Lateral Flight Path model, along asignificantly updated vertical path model that is finally able toleverage the improved accuracy of the lateral model into its owncomputational process. Specifically, bringing in the new LNAV and F/Droll channel model allowed us to unlock some advanced behaviors in thevertical path, with significant improvements to CDA performance andother vertical path computations that really have the 737 behavinglike its real world counterpart.
We are chasing down a few last minute annoyances and we hope towrap up testing early in the week with one or two more conformingbuilds. If those go well, we anticipate she will be in your hands bythis time next week. (NOTE - STANDARD DISCLAIMER APPLIES: If we hitany hiccups we don't like- we will slide the release out as needed butwe'll keep you posted here!).
PMDG 737-700 for Microsoft Flight Simulator
This week we have a pretty nice update for the 737-700. The teamhas been hard at work continuing to add detail, adapt behaviors andimproving the overall depth of simulation for our flagship 737package. This update includes a broad range of items from texture andgraphical improvements to advanced logical improvements such asalternate gear extension. The change list is included here and you canscan through to see the wide range of areas getting attentionthroughout the 737.
Concurrent with the 737-600 update (hopefully next week!) we willalso push another update to the 737-700 in order to bring the newLateral and Vertical flight path changes into the 700 series airplaneas well.
One note we want to call out: For those who experience the dreaded"gauge flicker" in the 737: Asobo advised us back in mid-May that theyhad found the source of that problem deep within the Nano layer of theMSFS platform. They reported it was fixed and would push in the nextupdate. We have been testing in SU10 and can confirm that it is indeedfixed. This will be a welcome relief and will also allow us to turn onthe EFIS/MAP display configuration. Expect that we will do thisconcurrent with the SU10 release.
PMDG 737-800 for Microsoft Flight Simulator
Development work on the 737-800 for MSFS continues apace. Thisincludes the 737-800 passenger variant, the BBJ2, the BDSF and BCFversions of the airplane for a total of 8 models in the package. Withthe release of the 800, a number of equipment changes have been madeto the flight deck to reflect the systems differences between thesmaller siblings and the larger pair of airplanes in the fleettype. This work continues and we will turn our beta testers loose verysoon to begin showing you the airplane from their ownperspectives.
The 800 is really the "ultimate" 737 variant from an adoptionstandpoint- being the most popular variant yet built by a wide margin,we are looking forward to putting her into your fleet in/around MidAugust. (STANDARD DISCLAIMER APPLIES: This timeline, like alltimelines is an estimate based upon current progress and remainssubject to change.)
One funny anecdote from inside PMDG for you: We have all beenlooking at the 700 and it's much shorter 600 sibling for so long, thatwe made Jason go back and re-measure the 800 a dozen or so timesbecause by optical illusion and familiarity- the 800 (or in this casethe BBJ2!) looks like a 900 by comparison!
PMDG Flight Tablet
I don't have much to update you with here except to say that workcontinues. We are primarily focused on working through the operatingsystem and adding in the various features that make the tabletuseful. As mentioned previously, simBrief integration is in place andNavigraph charts are currently being worked through. I am not braveenough to guess when this will be made live within the airplane, but Iam hoping to begin showing you some previews shortly after the 800 isreleased- as it has some pretty cool features to add to your simmingexperience.
Post SU10 Updates (Things such as Weather Radar)
Most of the development team is now working in the SU10 betaenvironment as we want to be certain that nothing breaks for you whenthe SU10 update is released. We are also beginning to get caught upenough with 600 and 800 development tasks that we can begin to pick atsome of the new features Asobo published as having been added with theSU10 beta, such as weather radar. We anticipate beginning to look atthe new MSFS weather radar feature before SU10 gets released, but atthis juncture I don't have enough knowledge of what that platform/SDKfeature includes- so I can't comment on schedule for implementationyet. If an actual radar image is provided and we simply need to laythat into a display, it is a simple thing that we can accommodatequickly- but if we have to build out the signal image simulation forthe signal refraction model, then it will take more time.
There are a few new features listed in the SU10 beta that we willbegin to pick at once the team has some free bandwidth from theprimary focus of the development cycle. Our development plate israther full with two airplanes in testing, but we shall get to thiswhen things calm down. We are eager to see what was really added!
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