TFDi Design shared their MD-11 off at FlightSimExpo last month and has since been working hard to make progress on the long-awaited aircraft. In this development update, the team shared the progress they have made, particularly regarding engine start-up, autoflight and the brakes and gear systems.
Since June, the TFDi Design team has achieved engine start-up without the assistance of the simulator (e.g. Control+E). This is a big step forward, but TFDi Design says that there is still work to do. There is a focus on ensuring that the air system is fully developed and that we will hear more about the pneumatic system in the future.
Another area which has seen significant progress is the brake and gear system. The CONFIG Secondary Display (SD) has now been implemented with a full simulation of landing gear, tires and brakes. TFDi Design says that the brakes behave realistically, and there are also some pilot-induced failures. The hydraulics which power the braking system also works realistically, meaning if you don’t have hydraulics, then you won’t have brakes. Brakes will also overheat, meaning if you get them too hot, they could depressurize the tire.
TFDi Design has also developed a custom autobrake system that will decelerate the aircraft at the speed the real aircraft does as well. The central landing gear responds appropriately to the CTR GESR NORM/UP switch, meaning it can be controlled separately. Finally, the reverse thrust system has been implemented.
One area that has seen a huge amount of work is the autoflight system. TFDi Design says that the autoflight system is now fully functional in Microsoft Flight Simulator. All standard modes are implemented and the aircraft is “flying relatively well.” Along with this, there is also improvements to the LSAS functionality too. Furthermore, TFDi Design has implemented a single cue PFD layout as an option for those wishing to use it.
There have also been some improvements with the visuals, with other yokes and throttles seeing improvements. Animations in the cockpit have also been improved.
All of these changes go towards making the MD-11 ready for release. One thing TFDi Design is keen to do is to be more transparent with how development is progressing. They recognise that the pre-order system requires trust from the community, which is why they have built a new MD-11 progress page. This page breaks down each of the various components of making an aircraft and then applies a percentage of completion and timeframes for when there will be a new update. You can check out the page on their website.
If you do want to pre-order the MD-11, you can still do so via their website for $80, which is a saving of $5.00 USD.
Not only has the MD-11 seen improvements in the past few months, but so too has smartCARS 3. The newest update fixes a number of bugs, whilst also improving on the premium features. “As we approach the end of the Premium roadmap, we are getting closer to a Release Candidate for smartCARS 3, which will mark a code freeze for the project until release”