Welcome back! Last time we covered the new PMDG 737 cockpit panels window and our intent to list all converted panels in each update. During our time off, we went to Flight sim expo and had a great time. There is a little to cover, so let’s get started!
Flight sim expo
Flight sim expo was a great experience, and we plan on doing it again next year. The museum staff and expo volunteers did an excellent job helping out and accommodating us as blind visitors. We took a look at several exhibitors and have things to report.
One of our main stops was the Navigraph booth. Everyone there had great things to say about Talking flight monitor. We had the time to explain what Talking flight monitor did for the BVI pilots community, which was one of the problems they had when we applied for access to the Navigraph database. As a result of talking to them in person, we are ever so close to getting access. At this time, I am in conversation with their CEO on where to save the nav data when it is available. He also pointed out that since FMS data manager is going away at the end of this year, and since it is not accessible for us, they are going to include us in the Navigraph HUB. We will keep everyone up to date on this matter when something new comes around.
Fly by wire A320N support
A new development came out of visiting Fly by wire’s booth. After talking to
their head developer, we discovered that we could support the A320N and the A388 when it is released. This would require pilots to make use of a helper utility called sim bridge. It comes with the A320N and is the mode in which we would access the FMC. The Fly by wire SDK is complete and well documented. The only thing we are waiting on is access to the EFB. Without it, it is impossible to set your Sim Brief user ID and access settings.
The Beyond ATC booth had a few things in store for us as well. After talking to the lead developer about accessibility problems BVI pilots ad with ATC software in the past, he was interested in making Beyond ATC completely accessible for assistive technology. We will see what is in store for us when it is released.
Talking flight monitor presentation
Our presentation went better than expected. I don’t know the final count on attendance, but we had a few key people present. Among them were the Navigraph CEO with two other managers, some active-duty pilots, some retired pilots, and some interested hobbyists. You can access the presentations from expo by accessing your flight sim expo account or waiting until the no-share clause of our agreement is no longer valid. Once this done, anyone can watch them on YouTube for free.
Talking flight monitor’s 3rd anniversary event
Talking flight monitor is now three years hold! Happy birthday TFM! This year’s event will take us from George Bush International (KIAH) to Toronto (CYYZ) on September 2, 2023. This is the first Saturday in September. Everyone should start parking at KIAH between 11:30AM and 12:00PM EST. We hope to have everyone off the ground no later than 1:00PM EST. This is a Vatsim event, but is not required for those who don’t want to use Vatsim as their ATC. For those who want to watch the event streamed live, we will stream it live from our YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/@talkingflightmonitor).
Development down time
I am having surgery on August 2, 2023. There will be at least a week of down time for initial recovery, so there will be no development progress during this time. I will reevaluate my recovery progress after the first week to see if resuming work is possible. I will keep everyone updated on my progress. My problem is not serious or critical, so I will remain stable through the recovery time. Keep me in your thoughts and prayers – I hate general anesthetic!
Talking flight monitor updates
Now, on to Talking flight monitor updates. July has been busy, so not much in terms of development has happened. We do have a new jump to runway, jump to gate, and destination runway dialog available. We will cover jump to gate and destination runway. Jump to runway has no new features at this time.
Jump to gate
Jump to gate is a dialog where pilots can enter an airport code and get a list of gates and ramps available at the given airport. In the current release of Talking flight monitor, pilots have to sift through gates and ramps to find a suitable gate or ramp to park. In the new version, pilots have the ability to narrow down the list of interested gates or ramps, making it easier to find one to use.
Destination runway is a feature that gives pilots the ability to track ILS landings with heading and altitudes instead of percentages. In the current release, pilots enter their destination airport code, choose an ILS runway and press OK. When the ILS becomes active, Talking flight monitor will start reporting ILS tracking information in heading and altitude values. In the event the system crashes or restarts, pilots have to choose their destination runway once again. This could cause problems on descent or on final approach. In the new version, pilots still enter their destination airport code and choose an available runway. However, we expanded the list of runways to include ILS and LOC only approaches. New in the destination runway dialog is a checkbox allowing the pilot to save their current destination runway for future use. When checked, the system will save the chosen airport and runway. We also included a new key command ‘destination runway info’. To access this new feature, press right bracket (]), then the letter N on the keyboard. This will announce information about the current destination runway. Now, there are safety nets in place if the system crashes or the pilot is forced to restart.
We don’t have a release date for the new Talking flight monitor, but we will keep everyone updated as we make progress. We hope to see you in the next blog post. Happy flying, and if you need anything, send us a contact us form on the website.