Where Art Thou PMDG 777?

With the arrival of the recent Fenix V2B2 update, the next question on everyone’s mind (including my own) is when will we finally see the PMDG Boeing 777 for MSFS?  Of course I know only what you all know. If you’ve been following along with the development process you know that Robert Randazzo has provided us a few sneak peeks into the process.  His most recent update, dated 24 February he states “Things are coming together nicely” and “It won’t be long now”.  He further comments about how some bugs users have been seeing in the 737 are also appearing in the 777 and testing is underway with a fix package and if that resolves the issues, then we should see an “emergency update” headed our way for the 737. 

Naturally, PMDG is remaining very tight lipped regarding any possible release date for the Boeing 777.  This is 100% natural for PMDG and is directly from their playbook.  While some developers might stick their neck out a little and suggest a future release date for their add-ons, PMDG just doesn’t play this game. 

So when do you think we’ll see the PMDG Boeing 777?  Well….I believe it is safe to say that we will have the PMDG Boeing 777 in our virtual hangers sometime this year.  But I’m going to go a step further and make a prediction.

Of course, my prediction takes a few assumptions.  First and foremost, PMDG will absolutely NOT release the 777 if there are major issues.  Second, PMDG isn’t going to rush to get the 777 into our hands just for the sake of selling an add-on. 

We now know that Microsoft/Asobo are shooting for a mid March release of sim update (SU) 15.  So it is safe to say that PMDG will not release the 777 between now and the release of SU15.  Even if PMDG is currently testing the 777 on the public beta of SU15, I believe they will wait until SU15 is released out of beta and they can spend the necessary time testing the aircraft in the same release of MSFS as we all have on our PC’s. 

There is another key date which is part of my overall assumption.  20 April 2024.  On 20 April 2024, the annual VATSIM Cross the Pond Westbound event will take place.  This is a major online VATSIM event where hundreds of virtual pilots will depart the UK and Europe for destinations in North, Central and South America destinations. 

My prediction, if PMDG believes their Boeing 777 is ready for release, they’ll release it sometime after SU15 releases and 20 April 2024.  Of course if 20 April comes and goes and we still don’t have the PMDG 777, then obviously my prediction was wrong.  But I think if my assumptions are correct, I do truly believe we’ll have the awesome PMDG Boeing 777 sometime in early to mid April. 

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

Fenix A320 Update = Awesomeness

I just realized it’s been over two months since I’ve posted anything to this blog site.  The previous two months (January and February) have been busy months for me and honestly, the time has flown by.  But during this time things have been relatively quiet until just a few days ago. 

While we’ve been anticipating the Fenix development team to release the long awaiting and highly anticipated version 2, block 2 update which includes the IAE engine option and many other fixes, until just a few days ago we didn’t know when that would happen.  Then on Wednesday, 27 February Fenix broke radio silence and informed us all that V2B2 would release on the next day, Thursday 28 February. 

The Fenix team didn’t disappoint.  The Fenix V2B2 update dropped during the afternoon (my time) just as expected and I downloaded, installed and performed a test flight from KDEN to KPHX.  While I’ve always considered the Fenix A320 to be one of the very best high fidelity aircraft available in MSFS, the state of the aircraft before the V2B2 update was certainly not the best that I hoped it would be or become.  However, with the V2B2 update I must honestly say that the Fenix A320 is now, officially better than what we had with the FSLabs A320 in P3D. 

FlightSimulator_YFxMs6BSHo

Fenix A320 (V2B2) arriving into DFW. 

Everything about the Fenix A320 changed with this new update.  First, having the extra engine option wasn’t that big of a deal for me.  I mostly fly American Airlines with the Fenix A320 and they have the CFM’s in some of their A320’s.  But I know for most flight simulation enthusiasts (even myself included) we truly want an “As Real As It Gets” experience and that means not flying an aircraft with an engine option which the real world counterpart doesn’t use.  So for all those who have been flying British Airways with the CFM’s when BAW actually use IAE’s in all their A320’s….I feel your pain and am glad you are all happy now.

Second, the performance factors of the aircraft have changed tremendously for the good with the new update.  I’ve performed several flights since the update and when hand-flying on departure or on final approach, the aircraft is so much more smoother than before.  Specifically on final approach and even more importantly on the final few hundred feet the aircraft no longer handles like a wild bull.  Before the update the final 30-50 feet were extremely nerve wracking as sometimes the aircraft would appear to fall out of the sky and come crashing down on the runway.  This no longer happens since the update. 

Third, the overall performance improvements are also very much appreciated.  While my system wasn’t necessarily struggling to run the Fenix A320 pre-update, I do certainly notice a much smoother experience when flying into highly detailed airports.

Finally, I really love the full GSX integration efforts the Fenix development team have put into the new V2B2 update package.  This integration allows GSX to do it’s thing with little to no extra effort on my part.  I can just sit back and watch the whole thing play out.  It really is sometimes just about all those “little things” that truly matter in the sim. 

If you currently own the Fenix A320 and haven’t updated yet, I would encourage you to do so now.  The new update is truly amazing.  Check out the V2B2 Release, Quick Start Guide and Changelog before flying for the first time.  If you don’t own the Fenix A320, then what are you waiting for?  You will not regret your purchase.

Of course, now we’re in the holding pattern again with regards to Fenix development on the sharklets and the release of the Airbus A319 and A321.  I know that much of the rework done in the A320 V2B2 update was to pave the way for the A319/A321. Now that this is done, let’s hope we’re on short final to receiving those in the somewhat near future.  

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

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