PMDG Announces Global Flight Operations

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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.

Tags : FlightSimExpo 2018FSExpoGlobal Operations CentreP3DPMDG
Jonathan Clayton

The author Jonathan Clayton

Digital Marketer by day and high-performance sprint and hurdle coach by night. Also finds a little time to fly in P3D. Professional Twitch lurker (JC_YYZ). Nintendo Switch aficionado (but true Sega Genesis fan). Lives in Canada, (eh), with his blue-eyed Siberian husky named Aspen. Likes maple syrup, bacon, and saying 'sorry' a lot.
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What a load of shit

@Speedbird ATC

Nobody was suggesting that Chuck should alter his opinion..

Speedbird ATC

And Chuck is fully entitled to share his

savage level over nine thousand…

Chuck, Nick is fully entitled to share his opinion.

Don’t be so negative. ACARS and the other features will add to the enjoyment and immersion of flight simulation in P3D and, yes, X-Plane.

Got to admit I am disappointed in this announcement. It is not something I would personally use in the sim. However, I can see how it might be used by other people. But the hype got out of control and PMDG are going to have to use some serious PR skills to re-build some lost rep tonight


I Agree Gordon or a proper note on the post saying “Hey guys this is not new sim, or even a plane”. I would be like ok what sort of product will they been bring out. But I went in with higher expectations than needed. Ok great now I can load someones else lame flight and do another one.

Gordon Freeman Kenobi

They sould have killed the hype way before

Speedbird ATC

I cannot understand why there is so much disappointment over this. A huge portion of real airline flight involves company communications. This is the one thing that has been missing from our sims for years. I for one am excited to finally not have the ACARS box greyed out. The second you press the CMD button on a modern jetliner, all your immersion flies out the window and you ignore your flight until T/D. I feel that what PMDG are doing gives us a greater sense of immersion, that our flight is part of something larger. As long as this is priced reasonably, and Matt isn’t able to accomplish the same thing with project fly, I am pretty sold

I will give it a go: we should be embracing change not automatically rejecting a shift. My judgement will come from my pattern of sim use, not available utilities and tools that I can use as I please. There are shaders and the like which I choose not to use, others do, as well as all sorts of other enhancements. It is not money, it is choice. So some of the savage reactions maybe just reflect the fact you would prefer another aircraft!!!

What I want to know is WHERE IS SHARED COCKPIT. This would be a massive improvement to PMDG

I might also add – to the people saying the community hyped it up and not PMDG, yes we did hype it up however when a company like pmdg has a “product reveal” I think that statement itself is enough to hype up all of the community in the first place. Anyway I think the product will be useful to some but useless to most.

So, no 748 release date info? Oooor…

Speedbird ATC

Since when did PMDG EVER give release dates?


To be frankly, I do not pay that much attention to that. I do not build any hype inside of me about any product or release dates. All I care is that I will get a good end product, worth every penny. 🙂

Too many times in past I expected something what at the end wasn’t what should be or got nothing at all.

In case of our flight sim realm, the only product I was really hyped about in my entire sim adventure was new version of “The Queen”. I love this plane since I was a few years old child.

The other product I was really happy (but not hyped) about was REX’s SimAir which suppose to be released long long long and long time ago. Last year (or two years ago) folks from REX said it came back to pipeline and I expected to have some info on FSExpo but it seems there is no news about it. At least not on their forum, either any detailed info about their roadmap for other products except one post about FSExpo.

So… I learned to just wait when something is out (or canceled). It makes life easier and help to avoid disappointment. 🙂

Which way is better? PMDG’s ultra top secret approach to project conclusion, or Aerosoft’s open book approach? I like Aerosoft’s best, I enjoy seeing the project grow.


PMDG never gives direct info about release dates. The only tips you get are:

1. Putting the product with real plane price

2. Info about arriving to beta stage.

It means, we should see the product on the market within few months.

John Moore

Unfortunately not, but you know PMDG ;). RSR did say that the -8 would be entering into beta testing on Monday, so it’s getting closer!

Okay, the hype has clearly not matched the news. I thought I was going to be taking my wallet out this morning and giving PMDG some more of my hard earned cash.

Personally, I don’t see the need for such a utility in the flight sim world. The reason ACARS is used in real-world aviation is that fact we (the pilots), don’t have access to Wi-Fi or direct communication with company/ground stations. ACARS is a great catalyst for information during the flight weather/clearances etc. However, inside the flight sim world, we have access to all this information with a quick google search. As for tracking each individual aircraft/tail number ProjectFly already does a great job and its free.

I have a sneaky suspicion that this might be PMDG’s way into the monthly subscription market?

Interesting to see what happens I hope it’s not been a waste of 10 years in the making…

Persistent panels, global economy, global interactivity, all from a company committed to detail and realism? sounds very interesting! Where’s the squawk sheet? I’m won’t be taking off without a serious preflight inspection anymore.

For non PMDG super fans (their QOTSII was my first serious PMDG aircraft), any other announcement would have sounded like more of the same. “Oh, they’re making another airplane”. Perspectives.

Hype was built by people in the community. Not PMDG. Seriously, did you guys really think they’d be working on a plane for 10 years? They’re already working on the 747-8/8F and made a reference to them working on the NG3…what else could you guys possibly want? A 757? Level-D has that covered. Gulfstream? Oh wait, they don’t want anyone replicating their aircraft so that’s out the window. An up-to-date MD-11? They already said their sales weren’t too good on the first release so why would they make that same mistake again?

Honestly, I think most people set themselves up for disappointment by expecting them to announce a new aircraft or a new flight sim (lmao)

“Other people have fully featured (and integrated and in-plane) ACARS traffic: weather requests, OOOI times, CPDLC capability, arrival data servicing, and automated multi-user persistent states?

…man…where have I been? I want that plane.”

Also, this will NOT be a paid subscription service.

To be fair they’ve been “working” on the 772ER for over five years now, meaning it’s been on their books for that long but not actively pursued daily. Same for this project per their forum staff.

There’s no question PMDG was aware of the buzz they created, and that a HUGE number of their customers were expecting some new aircraft. The “we said it’s something you’ve never seen before” defense is somewhat of a cop-out since that statement is a big part of every aircraft they’ve launched previously. As the hype grew it would have been wise IMO for them to clarify it would not be an aircraft, but it’s their company.

Your comment on the md-11 is similar to the first thing that popped into my mind at this announcement, but I was thinking that a new -11 wasn’t sales-justified but THIS highly targeted add-on is? As part of that debrief their staff clearly stated that their mistake was developing an aircraft that met their interests more than the market. If that is the case, based on reaction to date it’s hard to see how GFO beat out another potential development. Your example of the 757 is a good one; a PMDG 757/67 package would be like printing money for them, and even the most optimistic among us can’t realistically expect LevelD to launch a current-gen product.

GFO isn’t for me either, but I still wish them success with it in the market.

HAHAHA Nor did we expect them to be working on this for 10 years

Speedbird ATC

“Level D”


What a useless pile of crap. Everything is made to enforce the anti piracy protection, the customer is just a guinea pig.

PMDG now is few notches below Qualitywings 787.

Could expand this statement? Seriously I don’t get it.

It’s like calling Battlefield series to be anti-piracy protection directed when the main purpose of the product is multiplayer.

I feel sorry for all folks disappointed and expecting “some OH! AH!! Product” but this is not PMDG you should blame on that but yourself. People within the community built the entire hype with their speculations and to be honest, sometimes very interesting and nice ideas.

However, it isn’t PMDG you should make memes about now, it’s all these folks who created this hype.

I don’t know, it’s probably experience that comes with the age and learning the reality might be surprising either positive and negative way but I wasn’t excited about anything, especially sim related product for years already. I prefer to stay calm until I see the pure facts, not to be excited with speculations as the background.

It simply makes life easier and let you enjoy the product or its part when you have in your hands instead of be disappointed in the long run.

Don’t get me wrong, there is no sarcasm or laughing at you at my end but watching all this building hype was like watching a kids excited about going to the Theme Park with plenty of roller-coasters next day but when they wake up and look behind the window, magic is gone because of the heavy rain and wind which will keep most of the outdoor attractions simply closed.

In regards to Global Flight Operations. It looks interesting and tho it isn’t something for me, for sure there are some people who will make a usage of it.

The only feature I’m still waiting for all PMDG products and generally for all planes is decent shared cockpit function. If any developer will decide to do it and find a way to make it working let say with all products, this will be awesome. Tho I guess there are some heavy technical limitations (in ESP?) and this is why it can’t happen. Anyway, even if it was just for PMDG planes, this would be something what I would love to make usage from.

Rain maker is also something I’m waiting for (next to -8) but no big hype. I just hope it won’t hit the system performance much.

Ne wOperations Center? I hope it will not become some heavy tool with too many features. I really like the current one we have and the only things I would like to see changed would be:

1. re-designed drop-down menu for plane lists. It’s looks old and it isn’t handy for someone who use it very often.

2. re-designed almost entire UI of the app

The thing I wish it won’t be changed are the lists of repaints installed or at least with possibility to keep the current (list) view. It is really great like it looks now because it makes very easy to keep same scheme or catch any mistakes in naming the planes.

In regards to 747-8, it looks great with all these features. I wish AED would be implemented in -400 as well, tho I know it won’t happen. I am really thankful that PMDG went with 747 series which is my beloved plane and I’m looking forward to -8.

Yes yes yes. Ageing among the FS community has multiple advantages. Learning patience and acceptance for product release delays, hype immunity (keep expectations low, be surprised later) and last but not least, being thankful – I started with a 48Kb RAM flight simulator and now… THIS!

Miles Harrison

We created the hype not PMDG. I like what they are doing but the EFB of the 748 and future integration into their 737 and 777 was more exciting to me. I will use the Global. Its real life and complete immersion.

Probably it would have been better if they had invested the time in a new MD-11.

Andrew Pharoah

And this is the reason I’m still waiting for the P3D compatible J41 (shown in beta nearly a year ago) to appear!?

Don’t get all the hype over the MD-11 either. Seems over-rated and boring. Much rather have seen them do some real aircraft like the DC-10 and 747 classics. INS implemented. Unfortunately the button pushing kids who can’t actually fly an aircraft want a boring button pushing add-on. Snore fest…

No, the paused the J41 to develop windshield technology and thats how we got rainmaker. Thy’re waiting for the 747-8 to release with with rainmaker as a sort of launch operator as the 748 is their start aicraft. Afterwards technology rollbacks to the 747-400, 777, as well as NGXv3 and J41 releases and the next unannounced aircraft to follow and global flight too.

It’s a new way to go deep in flight simulation, but the hype generated was overrated. It’s a part of simulation not for casual users that claim reality but don’t want a “job”.

“At the moment, project fly is nothing but a logbook.”

Yet that ‘logbook’ also currently has real world schedules to choose from and will implement other functions that this PMDG flight ops program claimed no-one else is doing.

Btw @Speedbird ATC, you’re responding defensively at every opportunity on this article. You should divulge if you have a vested interest.

Speedbird ATC

And for the record, some of us like to feel like our simulated flights are part of something larger. It gives us enjoyment. If your sense of enjoyment comes from pressing CMD and waiting till td to do anything, by all means enjoy it, but don’t make statements on how other peoples enjoyments are “needless”

Speedbird ATC

At the moment, project fly is nothing but a logbook.

Exactly, there is no need for online sim second jobs, unless there is real cash for flying on “real” flights and schedules online…then yes one could reconsider…but in any case this is a projectfly ripoff and that is my view currently unless they present something not as a second job online-flight

Maxkillers “Maxkillers Gaming”

Ohh well, perhaps they just didn’t want to share the new plane being made at the sim-con, maybe they’re doing what A2A did and keeping it secret for a long time… Can’t wait for the 747-8 though

Feels like PMDG is about to jump the shark

I totally get how people expected a plane. 10 years in the making isn’t that much of step beyond the CRJ…. But I find the guesses that it could have been a plane less than 10 years old entertaining 🙂

I also get that most simmers don’t use failures or use FS2Crew or use checklists or spend 30 minutes planning their flight. However, I don’t think the presentation gave enough information to really convey what the ACARS part of the FMC does and how much real world pilots use it during the flight. It’s been grayed out on the INDEX screen for our entire flight simming lives. I’m lucky enough to have jumpseated on a bunch of planes, and it’s amazing how often the pilots are using the ACARS screen. For VA’s I would imagine that once you set the parking brake at your gate and open the door (which triggers the IN times to finalize), you’ll be able to hit “SEND” and your flight report will be filed with all your times and your fuel burn.

Granted, I am NOT an airline pilot, but I’ve seen it in action, so I’m in a rare position to know what this could be and I’m excited. I’ve seen a bunch of comments around the internet that think this is like ProjectFly, and I don’t think that is remotely the case. I am curious to know where the flight plans come from the “dispatchers”.

All that hype…. for nothing.

PMDG didn’t hype anything though, it was all from the community…

what was the reference to the NG3?

The minute RSR put up the global operations slide, my heart sank and I was disappointed.. I knew where this was going.. Fs economy extension.. Most simmers don’t have time for that extra boring paper work or simming in multi player environment..

Speedbird ATC

And yet you some how have time to sit around for 10 hours while your plane does nothing. I would rather add paperwork to fill that time with

@James. They already have it. His name is Kyle…

Then dont buy it, problem solved

If PMDG can get the same arrogant people in charge of things like the crew over at FSEconomy, then it’ll be JUST like it! Fingers crossed!

Very disappointing news and totally not worth the one month hype.. It is just a slight extension of what you do in Virtual Airlines or FSEconomy.. Nothing ground breaking.. Secret for 10 years? Come on..

For the average simmer who doesn’t even enable failures, let alone persistent failures etc, it doesn’t add much value.. It’s just basically more paper work before you start flying.. Great.. Thanks..

I was hoping it will be a product that can solve the bigger issues every average Joe simmer is facing like poor performance with dynamic lighting etc or some new aircraft or new platform etc..

I’m not saying this is a bad feature.. Ya its sorta nice to have for some people who have the bandwidth to do that.. If I had seen this news as a casual news item on fselite, I’ll be like “oh I see, good to know” .. But one month of hype over this.. Thats what makes it so disappointing.. And it’s not just me.. Read the responses in other forums and news sites..

Speedbird ATC

If you actually watched the presentation, you would know that this product will in fact work very well with virtual airlines. Having a fully integrated ACARS has been something many simmers have wanted for years

They did what they always did and people got away with their thoughts (really?? People thought a new sim, come on)

My guess on the forum was in the right direction and I am glad for such a tool. Making it more realistic.

We knew the B747-8 is comming and the NGXV3 thereafter. Good times ahead.

and the 737 MAX, almost forgot, PMDG even showed us the new MAX calendars received from Boeing

Bash me if you want… but i’m not impressed AT ALL! This will be probably a paid subscription service… wich I don’t really need.

Not free either. sooooooo

except it is not going to be a paid subscription service…

IMHO- There is just no need.

Completely pointless over complicated product that looks about as user friendly as a black widow. It will be a complete failure it’s really the most ridiculously over engineered piece of crap .

As for the Ui design it’s about 10 years old which is why it took so long I’m guessing, looks like is some of the shit dell used to cram there computers with.

Hardly any market research has gone into this, most of the market comes home from work/ school and sets up a flight monitors it and does a bit of stuff around the house.

If this is a subscription service it will just be used and abused by pmdg to plug income holes between big releases.

Ill stick with project fly does everything I need and doesn’t seem to want to turn my hobby into my job..

Speedbird ATC

I fail to see how a product that simulates key real life procedures is pointless. Maybe it isn’t to your tastes, but to call it pointless is hilarious

I kinda enjoy the idea of learning and performing the extra aviation procedures. I am curious about this and will be watching it very closely.

But *most of all* I think we need to feel that we are all flying in our home sims in a common virtual sky! It’s not common in the sense that we’re all sharing the same virtual space – but we could. And this idea goes in that direction, in helping us all share the same universe.

What if someone (someone else, not me, of course!) crashes the 747 that I was supposed to fly next, I wonder how that will play out, given panel persistence. And what if there are more pilots than airplanes? : )

First of all, I am not a PMDG user but am at the FSExpo here in LV. It was made clear that this is *not* a paid subscription service, but a standalone add-on which presumably must be purchased (since it will eventually work with non-PMDG a/c). Secondly, it is clear this is a mid-late alpha. I asked one of the PMDG folks after the presentation, on the ACARS screen is shown a gate assignment (in this case A1) — will this be passed somehow to ATC ground control so the ATC assignment matches the ACARS display. He answered that at the present time it doesn’t. It seems then this is just window dressing. Bit, again I don’t have a dog in this fight, so this is just FYI. TBH, I was surprised that PMDG got 70 minutes on the agenda while FSDreamteam and others only got 5 minutes each to announce new things. Any other questions, feel free to ask.

LOL. I’m sure the PMDG fanboy heads are exploding in unison

The PMDG lapdogs will buy this regardless. Even if they don’t need it.

People are acting like a bunch of kids after hearing this. Pretty cool idea if you ask me.

Andrew Thompson

I watched the stream and no doubt the Global Flight Ops will be a very in depth piece of software. It’s feature list seemed to be very advanced and I’m sure what we were shown today does not do it justice, but only what he could only touch base on in a short allotted time. I bet there are people that will love it. But…. It’s not something for me. I’m a lone soldier kind of simmer.

But you can still be a lone simmer flying your own cockpit (vintage pilot style) and still be sharing a common sky/universe with every other simmer :). Wouldn’t that be cool?

nice memes

Speedbird ATC

I do not understand why anyone would be thinking PMDG would be developing a new sim when they tried to buy the rights to the ESP platform, or that they would seriously be developing a new plane for ten years. PMDG Global Flight Operations has my interest, however they need to be more clear on how it will work. Will dispatch be done by PMDG employees? How will virtual airlines interact?

I welcome the idea…..and if executed properly, there is absolutely room for it even if you fly with a VA. Infact, i fly with a handful of VA’s but there are times where i want to fly a route not offered by any of my airlines. So i fly an adhoc route outside of my va’s network and record it with Belynz App (i think it’s called simstall). PMDG’s offering sounds like a direct competitor to it…….and if executed properly, it sounds like a much better (and more immersive) option. Bring it on…….I’m absolutely a user from day 1.

SERIOUSLY… wow I think I wasn’t the only one who was waiting for a big news… they really disappointed me and a lot… I waste my time waiting and be excited for nothing…

Speedbird ATC

I am sure all that waiting deprived you of many other opportunities

`The software would also allow for airplanes to maintain their panel state as left by the previous pilot (user),` that will be interesting, I think most people will not know how to correctly shut the aircraft down fully, then you will have the simmer trolls that will try and catch the next person who uses the plane out by turning on or off a switch that does not need to be touched.

I do like the idea for a global flight operations, but I think it will also come with a lot of problems, I think for me it will be a case of wait and see and maybe check it out in streams to see how it looks when it come out.

This mentality of downvoting someone because he left a switch unturned, is something i did not expect from Randazzo, that now falls into the elitist mentality niche few people that make the flight sim community so aggressive, attacking any newcomer that doesn’t fit instantly into their “elite” level….Pointing the finger on others was a characteristic of some societies that were “giving” note to the superior, for the “wrongdoings” of their fellows. Instead of highlighting in red for example all the switches not turned off, as a TEACHING tool, not as a humiliating to the community tool…i am disappointed, i mentioned in many streams my wish for a world of airliners, but it doesn’t fit my need to learn…i have no need to crucify others…for lack of knowledge

Bash me if you want… bit im not imptessed AT ALL! This will be probably a paid subscription service… wich I don’t really need.

Aww pmdg is the latest company to try that shit. Everybody else failed horribly in it.

Guess what pmdg, ive been with my VA for 15 years. I aint leaving it. GL tho.

Speedbird ATC

If you watch the video, you will see Robert specifically mention an API that allows VAs to have their own experience with the product.

Not really no. Many reasons why no established VA will even bother (like in the past). this argument comes up every time some company tries to make a commercial VA type addon. simply put, it technically isnt possible and i can guarantee you PMDG will not make an API nor allow access to it because they want to control every aspect of their product.

what you might be thinking of is flying for your VA while also using pmdg or whatever other system you want at the same time, if they dont conflict. but chances are any VA that uses proprietary ACARS will not work with that. also most will not allow you to double log; ie log a flight to more than 1 place.

On the hypothetical it can be done but it will require too many brains working together. in an ideal world, you can fly your place with united VA then switch to a plane from AAva that somebody left at your next airport and head over to a BAvirtrual out of gatwick 2 days later. to achieve this, it all needs to run 1 backbone system. who will code this? control this? manage this? not going to happen. this is just another attempt by a commercial dev to commercialize VAs under their own monetary model. it will fail.

Existing VAs can integrate their stuff into it.

Good and disappointing news at a time. Obviously almost the entire flight sim community was expecting a new PMDG airliner addon.

Speedbird ATC

What in their announcement suggested a new airliner?

I would never, ever use this product. It’s just not for me.

No info about NGXv3??? Sooo sad 🙁

its coming. along with 777v2





REPEAT FOR THE NEXT 50 years. done.

Robert did make a reference to the NG3 during his presentation. So, it is in the works.