Welcome to week 7 of the PMDG rebuild series for TFM. Although We only have one panel for this week, there is a new key feature to be aware of when using panels with lighting knobs. We will now take a look at the Center Overhead panel’s main area.
Center Overhead main area
ALT+B – Circuit breaker knob. Use I to increase and D to decrease.
ALT+O – Overhead panel knob – I to increase and D to decrease.
ALT+E – Emergency lights – Use arrows to change.
ALT+U – Equipment cooling supply switch – Use SPACE or ENTER to change.
ALT+X – Equipment cooling exhaust switch – Use SPACE or ENTER to change.
ALT+C – Chimes – Use arrow keys to change.
ALT+S – Seatbelt sign. Use arrow keys to change.
ALT+ 1 – ALT+5 – Panel indicators.
We would like to remind everyone about a few important points.
TFM is owned and developed by Jason Fayre and Andy Borka.
The preview versions are ‘use at your own risk.’ Neither of us will take responsibility for its current affect on pilot’s flights.
To report a bug or new issue, press right bracket (, then CTRL+SHIFT+I while TFM is running. If you would like to contact us at TFM, fill out the contact form. We look forward to seeing you during week 8!
In week 6 of our PMDG 737 rebuild series, we will cover the Electrical, APU, and wipers panels. We also introduced preview builds of TFM, so keep reading to find out more. Unfortunately, I lost my laptop to a Windows crash and am still putting it back together. Now, on with the panels.
The electrical panel is much like the rest of the panels we covered so far. The methods of access are present: tabbing through the controls and using keyboard shortcuts. We will go over the keyboard shortcuts below.
ALT+B – battery selector. Use arrows to change.
ALT+R – Ground power switch. Toggle with spacebar or enter.
ALT+C – Cabin utility switch. Toggle with spacebar or enter.
ALT+F – Passenger seats (IFE) switch. Toggle with spacebar or enter.
ALT+D – DC power group. Has 3 controls.
DC power selector. Use arrows to change.
DC volts – Indicator.
DC amps – Indicator.
ALT+A – AC power group. Has 3 controls.
AC power selector. Use arrows to change.
AC amps – Indicator.
AC volts – Indicator.
ALT+S – Standby power selector. Use arrows to change.
ALT+I – IDG disconnect group. Has 2 controls.
IDG #1 disconnect switch – Toggle with spacebar or enter.
IDG #2 disconnect switch. Toggle with spacebar or enter.
ALT+G – Generators group. Has 5 controls.
Generator #1 switch. Toggle with spacebar or enter.
Generator #2 switch. Toggle with spacebar or enter.
APU generator #1 switch. Toggle with spacebar or enter.
APU generator #2 switch. Toggle with spacebar or enter.
Bus transfer switch. Toggle with spacebar or enter.
ALT+N – Indicators group. Has 14 controls in this group.
Ground power available
Transfer bus #1
Transfer bus #2
Generator #1 bus
Generator #2 bus
APU generator bus
The APU panel is self explanatory. It only has 6 indicators listed below.
ALT+T – EGT needle. Indicator only.
ALT+M – Maint. Indicator only.
ALT+O – Low oil pressure. indicator only.
ALT+F – Fault. indicator only.
ALT+S – Overspeed. indicator only.
Wipers is a simple panel that has 2 controls listed below.
ALT+L – Left wipers. Use arrows to change.
Alt+R – Right wipers. Use arrows to change.
We added a new keyboard shortcut to restart TFM. You can use it by pressing right bracket (]) then Ctrl+Shift+X.
Preview versions of TFM
We started releasing preview versions of TFM last Monday. This gives users the ability to get hands-on experience with the new features before they appear in the normal release. Since we started offering preview versions of TFM, people have been asking some questions about the process. We will answer the most common questions in this section.
TFM is open source. This means that anyone who has an interest in new features can get the source, build it, play around with the new features, then report back in the GitHub issue queue. Some users aren’t interested in the source or don’t have the technical skills needed to run TFM from source. So, we offer preview versions that are installable and ready to use. The preview versions can be installed side by side with the official release.
You can access the preview versions from the preview releases section of the website. When a preview version is out, it will have a higher version number in the release notes than the official release. When the preview build becomes the official release, the preview releases page will offer the official version. There isn’t a schedule for the preview releases, so we will make announcements when they are released to the public. As a friendly reminder, preview builds have no support attached to them. Use at your own risk. On the other hand, the official release does come with support.
If you need to contact us, feel free to do so on the contact page. If you need to report a bug or new feature, press right bracket (]) then Ctrl+Shift+I while TFM is running. We hope to see you during week 7 of the PMDG 737 rebuild series.
This is week 5 of our series in rebuilding TFM support for the PMDG 737. This week, we will cover the fuel section of the Forward Overhead panel. This one isn’t very complicated, so, let’s get started.
There are more controls and indicators on this panel. As a result, we had to simplify the keyboard shortcuts. They are listed below.
ALT+A – Move to the aft fuel section.
ALT+F – Move to the forward fuel section.
ALT+C – Move to the center fuel section.
ALT+X – Move to the fuel transfer and cross feed section.
The transfer/cross feed sections contain the fuel valve indicators.
As with any other panel, this one comes with settings to turn on/off the offset as it changes. Go to settings/PMDG/737 speech events/Forward Overhead/fuel to see them.
We want your feedback on any TFM features. To report a bug or new feature request, while TFM is loaded, press the right bracket key (]), then press CONTROL+SHIFT+I to open the GitHub issue queue. Please look to see if your feature or bug has already been reported. If not, feel free to post a new report. Otherwise, make a new comment on an existing report discussing your bug or feature. To contact us about getting started with TFM, feel free to fill out our contact form. One of us will get back with you soon.
This week, we continue with our series on rebuilding TFM support for the PMDG 737 aircraft. In week four, we will cover the flight controls and the navigation/displays panels. Before we get started, a quick reminder that there are plenty of websites that show how the 737’s panels are used.
Flight controls panel
The flight controls panel has two parts. The top section that contains the controls to manipulate, and a bottom section that holds the indicators. Below are the shortcuts for the flight controls panel.
ALT+ A – Captains controls, or control A.
ALT+B – F/O controls, or control B.
ALT+P – Spoiler A.
ALT+O – Spoiler B.
ALT+Y – Yaw damper.
ALT+N – Alternat flaps armed on/off.
ALT+F – Alternat flaps position switch.
ALT+1 – ALT+0 – the different indicators for this panel.
The navigation/displays panel is fairly simple. It has no indicators and only 5 switches. Below are the keyboard shortcuts.
ALT+V – VHF navigation selector switch
ALT+I – IRU selector switch.
ALT+F – FMC selector switch.
ALT+S – Source selector switch.
ALT+C – Control pane selector switch.
To report bugs and new features, while TFM is running, press right bracket (]), then CTRL+SHIFT+I to open the issue queue. Take a look at other bug reports/feature requests before posting a new one. If one similar to your own idea exists, comment on that one before creating a new one. Have questions or want to get started? Fill out the contact form and we will get back with you soon.
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.
Over the past two weeks, we have been rebuilding the PMDG 737 Aft Overhead panels. This week we finished them. They follow the same format as the previous ones. Switches and buttons first, then indicators. As always, each panel has its own set of settings found in TFM’s settings dialog. Below is a list of panels not covered in previous weeks.
It has a single switch to set the dome lights. Choices are dim, off, and bright. This panel has no keyboard shortcuts assigned to its controls.
ALT+L – Engine #1.
ALT+R – Engine #2.
ALT+1 – ALT+6 – The various EEC indicators.
ALT+X – Oxygen needle.
ALT+O – Oxygen switch
ALT+1 – Oxygen indicator.
ALT+1 – Nose gear indicator.
ALT+2 – Left gear indicator.
ALT+3 – Right gear indicator.
ALT+F – Flight recorder switch.
ALT+1 – Flight recorder indicator.
If you would like to provide feedback to TFM, while TFM is running, press right bracket (]), followed by Ctrl+Shift+I to launch the GitHub issue queue. Here, you can create new issues to report a bug or request a new feature. If you see a feature or bug report similar to your own, comment on that one before considering making a new one. If you need help on a one-on-one basis, or need help getting started, feel free to contact us. We will get back with you soon.
In week 2 of the PMDG 737 rebuild, we took time to rebuild the aft overhead panels PSEU and service interphone. These panels are fairly simple, featuring a single control for each. The PSEU panel has an indicator, and the service interphone panel has a switch that turns the service phone on and off. Again, these panels come with companion settings for TFM found at settings>PMDG>speech events> 737.
Just wanted to drop a quick post here and let people know of the current status of TFM and support for the new PMDG 737 for Microsoft Flight Simulator.
As of now, PMDG has not yet released an SDK (software development kit) for the new PMDG 737. As a result, FSUIPC 7 has not been updated with any new offsets that might be required. Additionally, the existing offset block for the 737 is actually disabled in FSUIPC 7, since they weren’t needed until PMDG came out with their new aircraft.
We’re keeping an eye on the FSUIPC and PMDG forums and will have some more information once the new SDK comes out for the 737.
This last week, we fixed a few bugs and added a few new features to TFM. One being that the glide slope indicator for the new ILS system reads up/down instead of above/below. We wanted a more consistent flow of information telling the pilot what needs done, instead of telling them were the plane is located. The FDU, offsets for the PMDG 737, and 737/777 cross-grades take up the rest of this post.
The FDU or flight display unit gives key information about flight systems. This post only covers parts of the MCP or mode control panel. In the PMDG 737, requesting an autopilot instrument value such as heading, or altitude announces the aircraft component in charge, the value of the instrument, and the navigation aid controlling the instrument’s flight mode. An example for altitude might look like the below output.
MCP altitude 8000 VNav.
We upgraded the 777 series to show these values when requesting readouts from the autopilot.
PMDG 737 offsets
Last fall, we started rebuilding support for the PMDG aircraft. One of the processes includes reorganization of the PMDG offsets. The new way of accessing them gives us the ability to add one within a short period of time. Each PMDG series like the 737 can have up to 250-300 offsets. Adding these to the 737 will take time, especially when adding them in consideration of future updates.
PMDG 737 and 777 equality
Since TFM started PMDG support, the 737 and 777 were not on equal ground. Either the 777 had better support, or the 737 had more of it. This time in the near future will focus on bringing the 737/777 up to the same level of support. As the PMDG rebuilding process continues, we will get closer to rebuilding the support for the 747 series. Since these upgrades and rebuild processes take time, TFM may not have a release until the second half of June 2022.
We look forward to your feedback. If you want to make a bug report, press Ctrl+Shift+I while TFM is running to launch the issue tracker in your default browser. If you have any questions or need help getting started, feel free to fill out the contact form on the website.