Over at Cosford, the team that brought the 787 to X-Plane, Magknight, just finished presenting their latest update to the aircraft. ThresholdX was on scene to attend the presentation and we’d like to thank them for their information and source for this article, available here.
Head developer Mariano Gonzalez was the first presenter for Magknight. Mariano explained how important the systems simulation are in the aircraft and what the team plans to build on in the newest edition of the 787. The most important feature they plan to add is a full flight management system.
Next on stage was Alexander Beavil, the head systems manager for the aircraft. He gave us insight into the evolution of the flight model from version 1.0.0, that was released in December 2018, all the way to version 1.3.0. Alexander also spent some time giving us a better look at the custom systems that have been implemented.
Once Alexander had finished, Mariano got back on stage to talk about the future of the 787. Lots of time was spent showcasing the new exterior model which includes animated doors and improves the overall quality of the model. Along with the external model, the 3D cabin was also shown; while we didn’t get a chance to see the entire aircraft, the economy class was shown.
Following the cabin previews Magknight unveiled that AudiobirdXP was going to be creating a brand new FMOD sound pack for the 787. AudiobirdXP is most known for their extremely popular sound set for the 737 Ultimate. Magknight shared two videos of the new 787 FMOD sound pack, the first one is an initial spool of the engines and the second showcases the thrust reversers and groundroll. You can take a listen to the initial spool here and the thrust reversers here. Cabin announcements are also coming to the airplane with up to 33 customisable sounds from the flight attendants. The cabin announcements are manipulated by livery, this gives you the ability to have an announcement pack for American Airlines in their 787 and one for another company in their aircraft. There will also be a standard pack that can be used by all airlines.
Following the new sounds, we were shown the brand new CPDLC system. This system bridges the gap between pilots and controllers allowing them to communicate via text. Magkight are currently talking to VATSIM and POSCON for compatibility into their networks. Integrated checklists were also mentioned to be in development, no definite timeline was given other than soon.
A fuel jettison capability is also in the works. This feature is more complex than one may think due to the 787’s auto-dump capability. Auto-dump allows the pilot to simply tell the system how much fuel is required for a safe landing and the system will automatically begin dumping fuel.
Matt Haywood, most of you know his as MattDesigns, was also brought up on stage to discuss the flight dynamics of the 787. He explained the differences between the GEnX and Trent 1000 engines, the only two engine options for the 787. The Trent 1000 is currently in development for the aircraft and we were shown the differences between the two engine indications on the EICAS.
Following Matt, Omar Alam joined via Magknight’s chatroom on Discord, Omar is the developing the custom flight management system. We were shown some screenshots of some routes with the work-in-progress system. He was able to confirm that the aircraft will include LNAV and VNAV along with the capability to fly all instrument approaches into all of the major airports. Some screenshots were shown one of which was an RNAV departure from Manchester and an entry into a holding pattern.
The final new feature mentioned was an improved autothrottle. This new autothrottle will be able to preform derated takeoffs and is almost ready to be rolled out. Not everything mentioned above will be available right away. In the meantime the team is releasing an “interim CDU” which will be available in the 1.4.0 update. This new CDU will feature realistic ident pages along with the nav radio page, fix, and progress pages.
Version 1.4.0 is set to release this week and will include the following features
- Interim CDU
- New autothrottle
- Throttle limiter
- FMOD sound set from AudiobirdXP
- New exterior model
- 3D cabin model
- PA announcements
Any features not listed above that were covered are to be listed as “soon”.