In a much anticipated session at FSExpo, PMDG Founder Robert Randazzo, unveiled details about their new project called PMDG Global Flight Operations.
PMDG Global Flight Operations
Speaking to a packed room, Randazzo unveiled their software called PMDG Global Flight Operations. Calling it a ‘live simulation of global operations’, this persistent-state software would allow users to use and share aircraft being flown on real-world routes, including sending and receiving operational messages, flight plans, airline-specific real-world departure and arrival gate assignments, and dispatching via live ACARS data and the PMDG Operations Centre (see below). The software would also allow for airplanes to maintain their panel state as left by the previous pilot (user), and would be specific to individual tail numbers and aircraft, including non-PMDG aircraft. He also mentioned the software would have future X-Plane compatibility.
Randazzo said there are ‘hundreds of functions being added everyday’, and that the ACARS will use both VHF and satellite collection data, and will simulate the loss of VHF and satellite connections during polar operations, as would happen in the real-world. The software will also work with time acceleration and allow pilots to fly using that feature.
The software will also keep historical data on each airplane and allow users in the sim to see specific aircraft history, viewing each flight the aircraft has taken.
Randazzo showed off some of the technology included in the upcoming aircraft, including the database driven terrain map, and electronic checklists that include the ability to use deferred item and situationally relevant checklists.
Randazzo also showed off the Airport Environment Display capability of the 747-8. This technology will display taxiways, runways, hold shorts, and other relevant details. The included Electronic Flight Bag (using the Airport Environment Display) will recognize any add-on scenery that installed, ensuring that pilots will see charts that match the scenery that they are seeing out of the aircraft window. As part of the EFB software, Randazzo hinted at upcoming iOS capabilities in the near future.
The upcominng 747-8 will also include dynamic interior cameras. These cameras will allow pilots to monitor the boarding process or cargo loading in real time.
The included EFB will be included in the 747-8 (not the -400 variant) and will also be ported to the 777
Randazzo also demonstrated technology called Rainmaker. This allows various weather affects, including snow and ice accumulation on the windshield when anti-ice is not in use. Windows will also fog up, simulate various rain effects, and display insect debris on the windshield, including the ability to wash the bugs off with rain or windshield washers.
Operations Centre 2.0
Randazzo confirmed a complete rebuild of the PMDG Operations Centre to make room for ‘future development ideas’. The updated version will included a refreshed interface, and will allow users to manage product licenses and liveries directly from the interface dropdown menu. Users will also be able to manage their account directly from the operations centre.
Randazzo went on to say that PMDG is looking to hire more developers, including iOS application developers, using them to work on plans for an unnamed application that will be coming in the future.