In an announcement shared via their Facebook page, SimWorks Studios (SWS) reports that the exterior model of their upcoming PC-12/47 is now complete, marking a major milestone in the process. Next up, the team is moving on to the interior with the aim of having the cockpit wrapped up by next weekend. But, perhaps even bigger news for those eagerly anticipating the release of the PC-12 is that SWS provided detailed insight into the development roadmap. This relatively rare glimpse of transparency gives quite a bit of insight into how things are progressing and what is left for the team to tackle.
PC-12 Public Development Roadmap Unveiled
In the text of their status update, SWS posted a publically-viewable link to the development roadmap for the PC-12 accessible via a Trello board. Trello boards are frequently used by software development teams to manage projects, outline workflow, and keep track of tasks.
The PC-12 public development roadmap can be viewed here.
Reviewing the development roadmap, we learn that there are still several areas of focus for the dev team as SWS works toward release. These areas include avionics, interior animations, de-icing simulation, and flight modeling. The flight controls section appears to be in the home stretch with just stick pusher operation and fine-tuning of the aileron-rudder interconnect system left to resolve. As noted in the Facebook post, the avionics section contains the next major area of focus — and in the roadmap, we can see what exactly is left for the team to tackle. Specifically, this list includes adding functionality to the EHSI as well as completing the Thommen chronograph, and KAS-297B altitude/VSI selector. The aircraft’s amp and voltage meters as well as the cabin temperature indicator also remain for the team to complete.
The engine simulation section is marked as complete with an improved engine simulation including custom fuel control unit (FCU) simulation, improved power control lever (PCL) operation, engine component wear, improved ITT simulation, and more to come in an expansion pack further down the road. This expansion pack will also include failure simulation of electrical, pressurization, hydraulic, pneumatic, and instrument system failures on a scheduled or time-between-failure basis depending on component aging and wear.
The roadmap also details a free upgrade that SWS are considering for the PC-12. These include functionality updates to the Bendix King EFS 50 EFIS and KMD 550 MFD to possibly include map mode and weather RADAR operation. Additionally, we are able to learn quite a bit about the planned features of the SWS Tablet. From the looks of the roadmap, this update will add the ability to set aircraft loading, add fuel and payload, as well as determine the aircraft’s CG all via the tablet interface. Exterior animation control including setting covers and chocks as well as maintenance tracking is also planned for the tablet interface. Finally, the SWS Tablet will feature a link to a PDF version of the aircraft manual as well as an integrated map and the possibility of adding integrated charting capabilities.
Also of note, in a recent development preview, SWS mentioned that the PC-12’s codebase will be inherited by their upcoming TBM-series and Kodiak 900, so be on the lookout for some of these roadmap features to make their way into those aircraft in the future.