Third-party developer PMDG Provided news about its popular line of Boeing 737 aircraft for Microsoft Flight Simulator, including released and upcoming models.
We start with two lovely screenshots of the upcoming 737-800 (in Boeing Business Jet version) and the much smaller 737-600.
Speaking of the -600, we hear from CEO Robert Randazzo that it could be released next week if everything goes well.
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 testing period as an iterative test program to bring in our new Lateral Flight Path model. This decision was made knowing that it would cause a slightly longer development period than the originally planned six weeks for the PMDG 737-600, but it has proven to be a good use of development and testing time. We are just about ready to release the 737-600 and it will include the new Lateral Flight Path model, along a significantly updated vertical path model that is finally able to leverage the improved accuracy of the lateral model into it’s own computational process. Specifically, bringing in the new LNAV and F/D roll channel model allowed us to unlock some advanced behaviors in the vertical path, with significant improvements to CDA performance and other vertical path computations that really have the 737 behaving like it’s real world counterpart.
We are chasing down a few last minute annoyances and we hope to wrap up testing early in the week with one or two more conforming builds. If those go well, we anticipate she will be in your hands by this time next week. <<NOTE – STANDARD DISCLAIMER APPLIES: If we hit any hiccups we don’t like- we will slide the release out as needed but we’ll keep you posted here!>>”
Moving on to the much more popular 738-800, it appears that it’s still on track for a mid-August release (once again, if everything goes well). Apparently, we’ll see more of it soon.
“Development work on the 737-800 for MSFS continues apace. This includes the 737-800 passenger variant, the BBJ2, the BDSF and BCF versions of the airplane for a total of 8 models in the package. With the release of the 800, a number of equipment changes have been made to the flight deck to reflect the systems differences between the smaller siblings and the larger pair of airplanes in the fleet type. This work continues and we will turn our beta testers loose very soon to begin showing you the airplane from their own perspectives.
The 800 is really the “ultimate” 737 variant from an adoption standpoint- being the most popular variant yet built by a wide margin, we are looking forward to putting her into your fleet in/around Mid August. <<STANDARD DISCLAIMER APPLIES: This timeline, like all timelines is an estimate based upon current progress and remains subject to change.>>
One funny anecdote from inside PMDG for you: We have all been looking at the 700 and it’s much shorter 600 sibling for so long, that we made Jason go back and re-measure the 800 a dozen or so times because by optical illusion and familiarity- the 800 (or in this case the BBJ2!) looks like a 900 by comparison!”
Speaking of the already-released 737-700, today a sizable update has been released, with plenty of improvements. PMDG plans to update it again at the same time as the release of the -600 to add the new Lateral and Vertical flight path systems.
“This week we have a pretty nice update for the 737-700. The team has been hard at work continuing to add detail, adapt behaviors and improving the overall depth of simulation for our flagship 737 package. This update includes a broad range of items from texture and graphical improvements to advanced logical improvements such as alternate gear extension. The change list is included here and you can scan through to see the wide range of areas getting attention throughout the 737.
Concurrent with the 737-600 update (hopefully next week!) we will also push another update to the 737-700 in order to bring the new Lateral and Vertical flight path changes into the 700 series airplane as 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 they had found the source of that problem deep within the Nano layer of the MSFS platform. They reported it was fixed and would push in the next update. We have been testing in SU10 and can confirm that it is indeed fixed. This will be a welcome relief and will also allow us to turn on the EFIS/MAP display configuration. Expect that we will do this concurrent with the SU10 release.”
Here are the patch notes:
CHANGE LIST: PMDG 737-700 3.00.0029
- 0011603: [FMS – Functionality Problems (General)] DTO Incorrect Display (abashkatov)
- 0011434: [External Model – Liveries] Texture Mapping. Element Moves Depending on viewing Angle (jbrown)
- 0011446: [External Model – Liveries] Injestion Warning Decal (jbrown)
- 0011447: [External Model – Liveries] Gaps in Left Side Injestion Waring Line (jbrown)
- 0011483: [Virtual Cockpit – Geometry/Textures] Aux Fuel Panel shows pasrt of the Nose Wheel Steering Panel on BBJ (vscimone)
- 0011486: [Virtual Cockpit – Geometry/Textures] Space missing between R and WIPER (vscimone)
- 0011487: [Virtual Cockpit – Geometry/Textures] ‘NORMAL’ missing from overhead panel temp control panel (vscimone)
- 0011488: [Virtual Cockpit – Geometry/Textures] ‘ENGINE START’ missing from overhead panel (vscimone)
- 0011490: [Virtual Cockpit – Geometry/Textures] Floating decal text on fuel control levers (vscimone)
- 0011491: [Virtual Cockpit – Geometry/Textures] Engine 2 fire handle floats when pulled (vscimone)
- 0011492: [Virtual Cockpit – Geometry/Textures] Glareshield document holder lacks visible bottom (vscimone)
- 0011493: [Virtual Cockpit – Geometry/Textures] Lines missing from cabin pressure gauge (vscimone)
- 0011494: [Virtual Cockpit – Geometry/Textures] Inside of stab trim cutout guards should be red (vscimone)
- 0011495: [Virtual Cockpit – Geometry/Textures] Text on yoke is crooked (vscimone)
- 0011496: [Virtual Cockpit – Geometry/Textures] Text remnant to the right of “AILERON” (vscimone)
- 0011497: [Virtual Cockpit – Geometry/Textures] + missing from cargo fire panel (vscimone)
- 0011498: [Virtual Cockpit – Geometry/Textures] Dots missing from crew oxygen pressure gauge (vscimone)
- 0011499: [Virtual Cockpit – Geometry/Textures] Placard missing from back of jump seat (vscimone)
- 0011501: [Virtual Cockpit – Geometry/Textures] Pass oxygen guard should be safety wired (vscimone)
- 0011503: [Virtual Cockpit – Geometry/Textures] Rudder trim off flag missing (vscimone)
- 0011505: [Virtual Cockpit – Geometry/Textures] AO spots on ACP panels (vscimone)
- 0011615: [General – Ground Operations] Fuel Truck Dangerous Goods shield wrong number (jbrown)
- 0011166: [Systems – Wheels & Brakes] Maingear not recognized as extended after manual gear extension (rsrandazzo)
- 0011175: [Main Panel – PFD] White Speed Bug should not be removed on touchdown (abashkatov)
- 0011187: [Sounds – Internal/Cockpit] Add seatbelt sound chime on aircraft power up from cold and dark (abashkatov)
- 0011534: [Systems – Flight Controls] Hyd System B providing inadequate pressure to rudder actuators (rsrandazzo)
- 0011601: [Systems – Hydraulic] EMDP 1 and 2 control switches wired to incorrect busses. (model code xml reversed due to numbering inversion on panel) (rsrandazzo)
- 0011612: [FMS/AFDS – LNAV] LFP v2 : Reduced distance cut-off between WPTs for creating arcs (emvaos)
- 0011613: [Systems – General/Not Sure] Alternate Landing Gear Extension needs modification to take advantage of MSFS independent gear operation (rsrandazzo)
- 0011238: [Virtual Cockpit – Geometry/Textures] FO Window Handle wrong style (vscimone)
- 0011018: [Main Panel – Aural/Visual Warning Systems] GPWS INOP light should be ON with IRS off (abashkatov)
- 0011113: [General – Engines] Engine shutdown – Simvar N1 engine values reach zero far quicker than expected (acholakian)
- 0011608: [Virtual Cockpit – Geometry/Textures] RECIR FAN panel background color differnt than rest of panel (vscimone)
- 0011573: [Virtual Cockpit – Geometry/Textures] Errant shadow spots on ACP panels on Overhead (vscimone)
- 0010454: [Main Panel – ND] VOR/ILS ident not being displayed (abashkatov)
- 0010989: [General – Unsure] BBJ, AUX Tank gauge at MIP not showing any Fuel quantity when weights are set to LBS (abashkatov)
- 0011596: [General – Suggested/Missing Features] Removal of not needed files from Data/Dynamics (cbpowell)
- 0011605: [External Model – Geometry] APU Drain mast missing (jbrown)
- 0011600: [Sounds – Internal/Cockpit] airspeed callouts sounds missing (acholakian)
- 0011594: [Apps – LightsNSwitches] no smoking / chime only switch does not move (vscimone)
- 0011604: [Virtual Cockpit – Functionality/Click-Spots] GEN switch click spots should be limited to the switch tips (vscimone)
- 0011599: [External Model – Geometry] Mismatch Vortex Generators (jbrown)
- 0011602: [Virtual Cockpit – Geometry/Textures] Aileron trim switches should be offset, not centered, on switch posts (vscimone)
- 0011589: [Virtual Cockpit – Geometry/Textures] Standby Artificial Horizon knobs are low resolution (vscimone)
- 0011587: [General – Ground Operations] Stairs at Door 1 misaligned (hvanrensburg)
- 0010959: [Main Panel – ND] Green line on terrain display with water option on (abashkatov)
- 0010732: [Main Panel – ND] Terrain depiction on ND ‘ghosts’ as you move and turn. (abashkatov)
- 0011309: [Main Panel – ND] Memory Leak when Lower Eicas is set to ND and terrain display is on (abashkatov)
- 0008442: [Systems – Pressurization] Addition of the new style Pressurization panel (vscimone)
- 0011512: [Systems – Electrical] Battery Voltage low. (rsrandazzo)
- 0011548: [FREEZES – All Types] Cockpit Freeze Upon Increasing ND MAP Range to 640, have Terrain Data on and Terrain Sweep to OFF (abashkatov)
- 0011554: [External Model – Geometry] Landing Light Illuminating Inside of Engine Cowling (jbrown)
- 0011557: [FMS/AFDS – LNAV] Routing should be recalculated from PPOS when wings level on a heading to intercept leg (emvaos)
- 0011562: [General – Flight Model] BBJ variant only, nose wheel does not animate when XBOX controller is used for the rudder (jbrown)
- 0011572: [External Model – Liveries] F1 Norm Map Adjustment (jbrown)
- 0011574: [Virtual Cockpit – Geometry/Textures] Engine start text is not illuminated (vscimone)
- 0011575: [Virtual Cockpit – Geometry/Textures] Aft window pillars collision box needs tweaking. (jbrown)
- 0011577: [External Model – Geometry] Brief orange splash on nose of the aircraft when turning on the strobes (jbrown)
- 0010578: [Virtual Cockpit – Geometry/Textures] Overhead Switches need HD texturing (vscimone)
- 0011462: [General – Flight Model] Backcourse APP not working correctly. (emvaos)
- 0011507: [Systems – General/Not Sure] Use last OIL option although enabled not working correctly (emvaos)
- 0011514: [Virtual Cockpit – Geometry/Textures] Oxy. Press. needle does not illuminate with overhead backlighting (vscimone)
- 0011518: [Virtual Cockpit – Geometry/Textures] Speed Brake Handle Textures are Blurry (vscimone)
- 0011595: [Virtual Cockpit – Geometry/Textures] Attendant Switch not animated (vscimone)
We also get a brief updateabout the upcoming flight tablet (EFB) which will be implemented on all models.
“I don’t have much to update you with here except to say that work continues. We are primarily focused on working through the operating system and adding in the various features that make the tablet useful. As mentioned previously, simBrief integration is in place and Navigraph charts are currently being worked through. I am not brave enough to guess when this will be made live within the airplane, but I am hoping to begin showing you some previews shortly after the 800 is released- as it has some pretty cool features to add to your simming experience.”
Last, but not least, Randazzo shared the outlook about the implementation of some of the innovations coming to the simulator with sim update 10, including weather radar.
“Most of the development team is now working in the SU10 beta environment as we want to be certain that nothing breaks for you when the SU10 update is released. We are also beginning to get caught up enough with 600 and 800 development tasks that we can begin to pick at some of the new features Asobo published as having been added with the SU10 beta, such as weather radar. We anticipate beginning to look at the new MSFS weather radar feature before SU10 gets released, but at this juncture I don’t have enough knowledge of what that platform/SDK feature includes- so I can’t comment on schedule for implementation yet. If an actual radar image is provided and we simply need to lay that into a display, it is a simple thing that we can accommodate quickly- but if we have to build out the signal image simulation for the signal refraction model, then it will take more time.
There are a few new features listed in the SU10 beta that we will begin to pick at once the team has some free bandwidth from the primary focus of the development cycle. Our development plate is rather full with two airplanes in testing, but we shall get to this when things calm down. We are eager to see what was really added!”
If you’d like to learn more about Microsoft Flight Simulator, you can check out our brand new interview with head of Microsoft Flight Simulator Jorg Neumann about the 40th Anniversary Edition, the world update, and more.
If you’re curious about Microsoft Flight Simulator add-ons, you can enjoy our recent reviews of Beijing Capital International Airport, Anchorage International Airport, Fenix’s Airbus A320, West Virginia International Yeager Airport, Kansai International Airport, Toronto Pearson Airport, the Twin Otter, Auckland International Airport, Skiathos Airport, Athens International Airport, Bergamo Orio al Serio Airport, Amami Airport, Bristol Airport, Marrakech Menara Airport, Great Britain Central, Tehran Imam Khomeini Airport, Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport, Shanghai Pudong Airport, Kraków Airport, Fukuoka City & Airport, Fort Lauderdale Airport, Chongqing City & Airport, Manila Airport, Santiago Airport, the Frankfurt City Pack, Key West Airport, the Okavango Delta, Bali Airport, London Oxford Airport, Berlin Brandenburg Airport, the CRJ 550/700, the PA-28R Arrow III, Kristiansand Airport, Macau City & Airport, Bonaire Flamingo Airport, Milano Linate Airport, the Singapore City Pack, Tokyo Narita Airport, Yao Airport, the F-15 Eagle, the Paris City Pack, Greater Moncton Airport, Tweed New Haven Airport, Santorini Airport, Sydney Airport, Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, Reggio Calabria Airport, Bastia Poretta Airport, Munich Airport, Paris Orly Airport, Newcastle International Airport, Sankt Johann Airfield, Dublin International Airport, and Seoul City Wow.
We also recently published a review of the Thrustmaster TCA Yoke Pack Boeing Edition, which is a great controller for Microsoft Flight Simulator.
If you want to learn more about the game itself, you can read our review which will tell you everything you need to know about Asobo Studio’s game.