Greetings from QualityWings,
I promised an "Update in a few weeks" about a month ago, maybe more. For the 2 or 3 of you who actually believed that I would actually make that deadline, I apologize. I’m sure the rest of you never beleived I would make that deadline anyway. I can’t imagine why ;-). Anyways, we're very busy, and I loathe writing these updates. Not because we don't appreciate your interest in this development...but because the only thing most that follow seem to be interested in is "When will it be released" and I'm not going to provide any estimates anymore. The team has enough pressure on them to get this thing out - without having to adhere to a defined release date to the public.
It has been mentioned several times in previous updates that we would be communicating less. This product has been in full focus development for about 3 1/2 years now, but it's been announced since 2010. So at this point, I'm as tired of previewing it you as you are undoubtedly tired of seeing it. So this post will be the last 787 update that we provide. The next time one of these updates comes out...it will include information on a release (whenever that is).
So with that, here is the overall QualityWings update - first with the 787.
We have been in Beta since December of 2016 and prior to providing our Beta Testers with the product – we underwent 2 rounds of internal Development Team beta. The good news is that we are finding ALOT of bugs and things that need to be fixed. Since the start of Beta we have correct over 150 items reported by our testers. These discrepancies range from serious things such as Crashes to Desktop to various improvements. Improvements range from simple cosmetic issues to things not quite working the way they should. We also have a few systems that are in final stages or polishing. Many flight tests are being done by a pretty detailed and diverse set of Beta Testers...ranging from those who have a complete grasp of the 787 to those who thought the 787 was designed by Airbus ;-). As I mentioned in the post where we announced entrance into Beta, we have a lot of work ahead. We have accomplished a lot in Beta and every day we get a step closer.
So you might be wondering why I said that finding a lot of bugs is good news. Because every bug we found NOW, and every imperfection that we find NOW is one less thing that you will have to deal with when the product is released. This is undoubtedly the most in-depth Beta testing that we have ever done for any product. We are trying our best to minimize the issues that naturally occur Post-Release. I know some people don't like to read that I said minimize issues instead of saying eliminate issues, but it's just a fact of life with software development. Just know that we are doing our due diligence with testing.
It's difficult to discuss what has been worked on since the last time we communicated with you all since everything is getting worked on to be honest. We are trying to polish everything off.
- The Flight Management System is getting the most attention these days since there is so much going on in there.
- The Electronic Flight Bag and its interface with the FMS has also received a lot of work.
- The Fonts recently received a complete redo and we are still picking up the pieces and making sure the new font fits everywhere. It was not something that we wanted to do this late in development, but we just weren't happy with the original font produced. We still have to make some sacrifices on accuracy on the displays in order to ensure fonts are legible.
- The sound environment in the flightdeck has received extensive work
- A huge upgrade to the Passenger Announcement System (QWPAS) to include F/As speaking in the selected Airlines First language
- Implementation of an all new feature called Crew Announcement System (QWCAS)
- Performance Tweaks.
- Virtual Cockpit Refinements
Those are just the things I can remember off the top of my head. But we still have our hands full. But with each day/week...there is considerable progress.
See this video below. It’s not a professionally made video. There is no narration. It’s just me using OBS Studio to record the a Cold and Dark startup, FMS loading, EFB interface, taxi to takeoff in real-time. I still haven’t figured out how to work OBS Studio or setup the PC correct to allow for best recording environment.
Many of you have asked questions several questions about this product besides the boring "When will it be released” question. I will do my best to answer these questions now with as much as I'm WILLING to share.
Some popular questions are
What type of product this 787 will be? Is this a Study Level Simulator? Will it be like the QualityWings 757 in terms of complexity? Will it be like the QualityWings 146 in terms of complexity?
Let's start by answering the last 2 questions because it's always best to work from a place that many of you can already draw a basis for comparison because you are current customers.
This 787 product is a huge leap from what the QualityWings 757 is. And as much of an improvement as the QualityWings 146 was from our 757, this 787 is a huge leap from that product as well. Not just because of the fact that the 787 is a much more modern aircraft than both of those airplanes, but because we knew that we had to write code for systems from scratch to make sure that we weren't limited by FSX defaults. That being said, many things that our 757 & 146 drivers have loved about that product are still mainstays in this product, such as the ability to Load an ATC Route into the FMS and QWPAS.
Those who might be intimidated by the complexity of an aircraft like the 787 should know that in many ways, the 787 makes it EASIER to fly rather than harder. We will do our best with Help Dialogues in the flightdeck to guide from some common mistakes a new Pilot might make in this flightdeck, but more importantly we will do our best to ensure that a good tutorial is available. We are also making the selection of options much more intuitive than we have in the past (I.e...No more manually editing CFG files). In other words, we are finally making the process of selecting options the way it should've been in the first place :-)
With regards to the "Is this a Study Level Simulator" question, I have no idea what this means...I sincerely mean that. I'm not trying to being elusive with you at all. Having worked on many Boeing products professionally and having a pretty deep understanding about systems and reasonably good feel on flight procedures, when someone says Study Level Sim it has a different meaning for me personally. I actually googled the term and after reading up on it, a gentleman by the name of Jim on Avsim posted something that makes the most sense to me about the Term "Study Level Sim":
“The definition could be highly open to interpretation, but to me, a study sim is defined not only by the quality of the simulation, but by how much of the aircraft is simulated. A true study level simulation should have as close as possible to full systems simulation, right down to the circuit breakers. Very, very few developers go to those lengths; in many cases, I don't believe the added complexity and cost of development are worthwhile to do so.”
So with that, I will answer the question this way:
If you're expecting this product to behave exactly as things are written from an official Boeing 787 Flight Manual, then there are times where you're going to be ecstatic and there may be just as many times where you may be disappointed. Our pilots have found much that works just like the real 787, and also things that are a bit different than the real life aircraft. Generally speaking, systems are modeled to about 80% accuracy. Some things just don't make since in our mind to program. Besides the deeper we go, the more time and the more we'll have to charge you ;-)
The Ultimate 787 will be a pretty deep simulation of the 787 aircraft. There are a handful of Big Jet Flight Simulation products out there that take things a bit further than we do. Prior to purchase, if you would like to compare this product against your favorite developer, a product Manual will be available for download on our website for you to get an idea. A Tutorial flight manual AND video will be available online prior to release so you can make an informed decision. The purpose of the transparency prior is more to tell you what the product IS than what is is not. We are proud of what this thing has become (and what it will continue to become over time).
Is this aircraft ready for Multiplayer?
Unfortunately, we have not put an ounce of energy into Shared Cockpit. We simply had too many other things we were trying to get done for our initial release. Perhaps this will be revisited at some point. This is a product that in many ways will grow over time.
What is the price range?
The 787 is scheduled to be priced competitively (but not necessarily comparably) to other Boeing Jets. Your pockets won't hurt (and neither will ours lol).
What 787 models will the Package include?
This is one question that I have to remain non-committal on. We're a small group with a pretty decent sized fan-base. We have always done these huge releases with a lot of different models in one package, so there is some trepidation about releasing too many models at one time. So stay tuned for this one.
Will it be available for FSX and P3D on release?
The product will first be released for FSX. Once any and all kinks have been ironed out in FSX, then we will market for P3D. Some of the guys on the development team been testing within P3D, but we are just not there yet with that platform. The 787 will be developed for P3D as well. But the product is a bit of challenge to develop for at times with the version changes.
Are you looking for Beta Testers?
Periodically, we grab testers from Facebook users and forum users. Reliable testers are hard to come by, but we don’t pay for Beta Testing - so we understand. The unfortunate reality is that at least a third of those who sign on to test do so just to take a quick peek and don't offer much assistance. We are lucky to have a pretty good crop of testers at the moment.
Once we get to a Release Candidate Testing, we will likely open up the pool a bit more. Occasionally, QualityWings has asked for assistance and those who have followed through on our requests for assistance will definitely receive Release Candidates. Speaking of which, I sincerely appreciate those who have helped with the Language translations, language audio and Safety Demos.
That's it for the 787. Again, there will be no further Project Status updates on the 787. The next Status Update you receive on this product will be regarding the move into Release Candidate testing and hopefully soon after that a release announcement. Thanks so much for your interest and patience with the 787.
We apologize for those who are waiting for an updated 146 for P3D V3. We simply do not have the resources to devote to that product.
We apologize about the recent issues requiring a redownload of our 3rd party's Addon Manager. This temporary resolution has been made available on our forums that requires a download of the Stand-Alone Addon Manager from the FS Dreamteam Website.
As stated in previous updates, this product is on the backburner until further notice. There are no resources available to work on the 737.
FlightSimCon 2017 Connecticut
QualityWings is scheduled to attend FlightSimCon(ference) 2017 in Hartford Connecticut. We have a blast at these events, and were disappointed that we couldn't attend FlightSimCon 2016 in Cosford. But the event last year in Connecticut was an amazing experience. We hope to see many of you there again. If you're a Flight Simulator fan, come check out these conferences. And by all means, stop by and say hello.
More information about FlightSimCon 2017 can be found here.
Just want to publicly thank the Development Team for pushing as hard as they have over the past few months especially. And a big thank you to the dedicated Beta Testers we have on the roster. A few of these guys have pushed through especially hard even when it has been unbelievably frustrating.
Thank you all for your interest. Until next time.