In week 19 of the PMDG 737 rebuild series, we covered the new Vatsim mode, introduced the forward panel, and launched the 2022 fall survey. If you haven’t gotten a chance to fill it out, it is located in the primary menu. For screen reader and braille display users, it is at the top of every page on the website. It shouldn’t take more than 5 – 10 minutes to complete. This week, we will cover more of the new Vatsim mode, testing preview builds, and ending the PMDG 737 rebuild series over the next few weeks.
Vatsim mode is used when flying on the popular Vatsim ATC network. Vatsim mode replaces the AI traffic window in TFM. Although we will eventually release Vatsim mode to the public, we must mention that it is unstable at times. So, sometimes users might get an error while loading traffic and ATC controllers. Hopefully, we can fix the problem later. The next preview build of TFM will have the controllers, traffic, and distance filter for Vatsim traffic. We will add more features to Vatsim mode as the year progresses.
Testing preview builds
As of this blog post, TFM preview has only had 6 downloads. There are no issues filed against TFM preview builds. We would like to remind those interested in preview features that reporting issues when detected is important in making a stable release. It is good if there aren’t any bugs. However, if you find a bug or want a feature included, you must fill out the new issue form found on the issues page of the repository. Have fun exploring and testing!
PMDG 737 series 80% complete
What is left?
Through the past 20 weeks, we have rebuilt TFM support for the PMDG 737 series of aircraft. If estimations are correct, we should finish TFM support for the 737 in about 4 or 5 weeks. Here is what is left.
- Forward panel
- Lower forward panel
- Some random offsets not on any real panel.
- Minor feature additions/changes
- Code cleanup.
Once the 737 has a week or two left to complete, we will start working on the 747 series. It will follow the same format as the 737. At the end of the week, we will publish a blog post covering the new features for the week. Then we will publish videos demonstrating it. Estimated time to finish the 747 series is roughly 52 weeks. We hope to see you there!
In week 18 of our PMDG 737 rebuild series, we covered Vatsim mode, Flight sim expo, and the fall 2022 survey. This week, we will continue our updates on Vatsim mode, and provide the link for the fall 2022 survey.
Vatsim mode is a mode built into TFM that allows users to obtain online pilots and controllers who are signed into the Vatsim network. At this point, both aircraft traffic and logged on controllers are working. Vatsim mode will not be available until December 2022 at the earliest.
Live vatsim radar
Once the Vatsim traffic/controllers user interface is complete, we will start working on a live Vatsim radar. The new radar will request you provide a distance, upper altitude, and lower altitude in TFM settings. This will allow the radar feature to automatically announce aircraft that enter your airspace. For example, setting the radar distance to 20, the upper altitude to 2000, and the lower altitude to 2000 will announce any aircraft within a 20 mile radius of your aircraft which as an altitude that is either 2000 feet above or below your current altitude. The radar feature will come some time in 2023.
We are still working on the forward panel. Roughly a third of the panel offsets are in TFM. We still need to add the remaining offsets and create the panel’s user interface. We will keep everyone updated on its status in future blog posts.
Fall 2022 survey
The purpose of the fall 2022 feedback survey is to collect feedback on various topics that arise during the year. The answers will help TFM developers direct their efforts in the development and implementation of TFM features during the next year. Depending on gathered responses, we may publish a follow up survey to gather more specific information. There is no right or wrong answer, so provide honest answers. If a question does not give an option that identifies with your preferred choice, give an answer that best matches your preferences. This survey is open to anyone. You are not required to sign into your Google account to take the survey. The feedback survey will be open from October 1, 2022, and close on November 30, 2022. The survey link is located in the primary menu of this website.
We look forward to seeing you in week 20 of the PMDG 737 rebuild series. Remember to fill out the feedback survey when you get some time. As always, if you need help or have questions, feel free to fill out the contact form. We will get back with you as soon as possible.
It is hard to believe time passes so quickly. However, we are already at week 18 in our PMDG 737 rebuild series. This week, we have been working on the new Vatsim mode mentioned last week. We also are applying to be a presenter/speaker at the 2023 Flight sim expo in Houston Texas. Finally, we want to announce the upcoming fall 2022 survey, explained later. With the exciting news let out of the bag, let’s get started!
Vatsim is a virtual network of people getting together as pilots and air traffic controllers to provide a realistic flying experience in the simulator. We were given a web service that provides traffic and controller data provided by Vatsim. TFM is going to make use of this data, turning it into a Vatsim mode.
So far, the live traffic tab of the TFM radar is working. You can see the callsign, distance to the pilot, altitude, heading, bearing to the listed pilot’s location, their ground speed, and the rank or pilot rating for each person in the list. You can filter out pilots beyond a provided distance, much like a live radar works. For instance, typing ‘600’ in the radar distance box will only list pilots that are 600NM or less from your current location. We plan on adding other features to the radar. Some of the improvements include column sorting, filtering based on a column, and the ability to reorder columns in the lists.
Flight sim expo 2023
We are applying to be a speaker at Flight sim expo 2023. If approved, at least one of us will make the trip to Houston TX to give the presentation. To anyone who is going, we would like to meet you in person. We will let readers know more when we know the next steps to follow.
Fall survey 2022
Each year, we put out a survey that asks community members to affirm our direction over the next year. The survey typically asks questions about the direction of existing projects such as the PMDG 737 rebuild series, future plans, and queries users about new projects. This year’s survey will be available after Oct 1 2022, and will end on the last day of November 2022. When it becomes available, we ask everyone take 5-10 minutes and complete it. The answers do help us during the next year.
We will see everyone during week 19 of the PMDG 737 rebuild series. Stay tuned!