We get several questions on how long it takes to build support for an aircraft, and will partial support be released to the community. I want to take a few minutes and answer these questions.
How long does it take to build support for an aircraft?
The short answer to this question is it depends on the aircraft. It can take a short amount of time for some of the freeware aircraft because they don’t have any panels or controls not provided by the simulator, and checklists are usually short. On the other end of the time scale, it could take a long time if the aircraft has a large SDK and detailed checklists. Each PMDG aircraft has a detailed SDK that provides access to most controls and indicators. On the other hand, the Aerosoft A3xx series SDKs are detailed, but compact. They provide access to most controls, indicators, and markers for the start, in progress, and end for each stage of flight. Each SDK will require evaluating what it can or can’t provide, building support, and testing. Evaluating and testing are the most time consuming parts of building TFM support for an aircraft. Below are estimated due dates for each of the PMDG aircraft.
sept 22 2022 737
mar 20 2023 777
sept 22 2023 747
Since these dates are estimated guidelines, we could finish early. Each week of the rebuild process will feature a blog post covering the completed items for that week and a video demonstration of those items.
Will you release partial support for an aircraft?
In the past, we would release support as we built it – the alpha versions were the released version. Now, we only release a feature when it is complete. Sure, it might need more work, but the feature is still complete. The new ILS feature is an example of this. It is complete, but we can still add to it. From now on, aircraft are part of this decision. An incomplete aircraft means beta or alpha versions, which we will not release. Since TFM is open source, anyone can retrieve the source code, build it, test it, then report on it. You can report bugs, new features, confirm existing bugs, and report a fixed bug. For this, you need Visual Studio 2022, a GitHub account, and a local install of git for Windows. I recommend consulting the documentation for these products to get started with testing preview versions of TFM.
At the end of this week, we will continue our series on the PMDG 737 rebuild process. If you have any new features or bugs to report, press right bracket (]), then CTRL+Shift+I while TFM is running to reach the GitHub issue queue. Try to find existing bugs or features to comment on before creating a new one. Trying to get started and need help? Feel free to fill out the contact form. We will get back with you soon.