Robert Randazzo has posted an update on the PMDG forums, giving us a lot of details about their upcoming products. Covering everything from Global Flight Operations, to the upcoming first Microsoft Flight Simulator release, let’s dive right into it.
The NGXu has two new expansions that are nearing completion. First is the NGXu Cargo Expansion. This product is going into beta testing later this week, and PMDG expects that it will be a short beta cycle before the release. The expansion will include the “737-700 BDSF and 737-800 BDSF (BeDeck Special Freighter) as well as the 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter”. The initial release will only have the blended winglet option, but with a micro update, the split scimitar 800 BCF will be added to the expansion. The expansion will only require the NGXu base package to be installed as well.
Second, the NGXu Boeing Business Jet expansion. This will include both the BBJ and BBJ2 aircraft. The product is about to start alpha testing, and PMDG anticipates it will be rolled out in the next few weeks. The team will provide a visual overview when the product goes into beta testing.
PMDG has said that the 777 update is progressing slowly, but is still coming along nicely. At the moment, the FMS is being brought up to the same level as the 747 and is now ready to start communicating with PMDG Global Flight Operations. The team is also mapping out a strategy of bringing the 200ER to the product as well.
Global Flight Operations
The testing team for Global Flight Operations has been expanding as the team is quietly bringing on new users to test out specific functions of the product. PMDG anticipates having some more announcements about Global Flight Operations, as well as a way to join the early access program in the coming weeks.
PMDG has been working on an update to the whole fleet of products offered by PMDG. This will include an update to the magenta line drawing, LNAV, and Flight Director. The 747 is close to going into beta testing, sometime in mid-August, then the 737 NGXu and 777 will follow in the following months.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
As previously announced, PMDG will be bringing the NG3 to Microsoft Flight Simulator as an exclusive product to the sim. PMDG also intends to bring all of its core products over the new sim, which includes the 737, 747, 777, and DC-6. The NG3 will be the first product from PMDG to be released for the new sim and is not simply a conversion of the Prepar3D product. The team says that just as the NGXu was a big jump from the NGX, the NG3 will also be a big jump from the NGXu.
The NG3 will feature an entirely new flight model that is designed to use the new capabilities of MSFS. The sound design will also capitalize on the abilities of the new sim. The NG3 flight deck also is a lot larger in terms of texture size and number of polygons, with no negative effects on performance. At the moment, the displays are not powered on as they are simply not ready to be shown off. The team expects there to be no functionality lost in the NG3 and expects to be able to add a number of new features to the NG3. The team has been working with Microsoft and Asobo to get development tools to where they need to be to fully develop products. The team is also excited as they say the new platform will allow them to do so much without having to “hack” the platform to get the results they are after.
At the moment, the team is expecting the beta testing to start in the fourth quarter of 2020, with the release coming late in the first quarter of 2021. This, however, is not a very firm timeline as Robert has said that depending on how some of the current development hurdles are handled. The timeline could shift earlier or later depending on a number of things. If progress is accelerated, Robert hopes to give an updated timeline on the NG3 near the end of the summer.
As always, we will share more information once it becomes available. Check out the full update on the PMDG forums for more details.