Mettar Simulations has provided updates on a range of their projects during their presentation at Flight Sim 2018 this morning. During the presentation, Matt Davies spoke about projectFLY, POSCON and more.
The widely-used flight-tracking companion for every style of simmer is about to be updated with a number of new and improved features. The items that Matt touched on included:
- Infinite Flight support
- Support for the macOS platform
- Updated projectFLY dispatcher
- projectFLY chat
- Mobile Push Notifications
While no ETA was given for any of this (only “soon”), the most interesting point was the push notifications, which Matt explained would enable a user to have these sent to their mobile device for events such as VATSIM/IVAO events (including “contact me” messages), and flight plan events such as the aircraft approaching Top of Descent. There was no demo or preview of this, but we hope to see some more on the topic soon.
After some delay due to technical problems Matt continued on to talk about POSCON, starting with a voice demo of the POSCON voice codec capabilities. The initial demo showed the difference between a few scenarios of radio transmission on the network, with one sounding clearer than the other, which was covered in static due to the distance from the transmission point. There was also an instance where the background noise was of a “Boeing cockpit” – indicating that the network will produce different effects on your voice transmissions depending on the aircraft that you’re flying.
The second demo was one that displayed the capabilities of the signal degradation, with the scenario of one aircraft in the air and one on the ground, both 250 miles apart. It also showed the “blocking” effect on frequency with the blocking tones and modulation that occur in such a scenario. Furthermore, there was the effect of multiple blockers at once, with different tones for each blocker being placed over the top of one another.
The third and final demo was a role-play style demo where we heard multiple aircraft calling into New York CTR with some coming through crystal clear, others blocking them, and additional aircraft getting progressively worse in radio quality due to distance. It sounded like something straight from a liveATC.net recording. Matt explained this is due to server-side algorithms that calculate distances and obstacles between aircraft and controllers on-the-fly.
Finally, Matt went on to talk about the elephant in the room – the A380 sized elephant.
Explaining that telling people about it was one of the worst mistakes of his life (due to being asked about it constantly since doing so), Matt discussed the history of the 1.5 year development up to this point. Most of this time has been spent on research & development for the plane, with the team wanting to make sure the product was well-researched and accurate.
The aircraft has been a side-project for his team, with POSCON and projectFLY the main focus, however, the aircraft is now at a point of a complete exterior model, of which was modelled by the same modeller responsible for the QualityWings 787 model.
Matt discussed that the systems are going to be of such high quality that the aircraft is not going to be able to run in FSX, and will be released simultaneously for X-Plane and Prepar3D (presumably v4+ only). The way they’ve done this though, will mean that in the event they wish to bring it into a new simulator, his team will simply need to create a “bridge” to the systems running externally of the sim.
The A380 is expected to have a shared-cockpit system comparable to that of Majestic’s in their Dash 8. Matt says this will be achieved through the use of a web-based system that will allow a user to connect to their counterpart and take off from their departure point before disconnecting to go off and do something else. The user will then be able to return for the top of descent and connect back to the session without any sync issues. Additionally, Matt assures us that in the event of one person’s sim crashing the flight will not be compromised.
Finally, Matt spoke of the cabin model on the aircraft, which he says is going to be fully detailed to the point of allowing a user to fly the aircraft from a passenger’s perspective. Not much more detail than that was given, but this is a point that a portion of the potential purchasers will find exciting.
Running out of time, Matt touched on Simstall. It was summarised as Steam, but for flight simulation.
The biggest selling point he gave was the purpose of Simstall being able to create a restore point of a user’s simulator, enabling them to reformat their PC and have everything restored just as they left it prior. Additionally, it will allow the backup and sharing of customisations, presumably to aircraft and their liveries, as well as sceneries.
He once again mentioned that the platform will be beneficial for developers who sell their products through SimStall, with the platform intending to take the lowest commission rates of any distribution platform currently available.
At this point he ran out of time and couldn’t go on much more, but check out the few shots that were shown on-screen in the presentation.