7.7.2023 – 18:10z

TFDi Design Releases New Progress Update for MD-11

The team at TFDi Design released a comprehensive breakdown of the current status of the MD-11 project for MSFS, releasing a YouTube video and a thorough progress tracking website.

Following their pre-order announcement at FlightSimExpo2023, TFDi Design dropped a large progress update, and there’s much to cover! With the release nearing, the community is expecting more information. This project has a lot to live up to, the flight simulation community has wanted an MD-11 for a while, and this project is shaping up to satisfy those needs. We’ll look through all of the details they mentioned in the video and then take a quick look at their new tracking website.

TFDi Design MD-11: June 2023 Development Update – YouTube

This YouTube video is the first time we have seen the MD-11 live in the sim, with previous progress updates being model showcasing and pictures. With that, we get shown an interactive powerup procedure and some of the animations. While the cockpit is a work in progress, it is clearly nearing completion, with the overall modeling and texturing better than some paid add-ons already.

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The commentator enables the battery and arms the emergency power, and immediately we get to see an excellent demonstration of systems simulation. The CRTs slowly warm up and fade in, the commentator saying even the showcased warm-up is a bit faster than it will be in the release. The team at TFDi has actually simulated the warm-up of the CRTs rather than brute-forcing the animation. An excellent example of how thoroughly modeled the systems will be.

With external power enabled, all six CRTs power up with the same warm-up and fade-in. The commentator heads over to the FMS, which has seen significant steps in simulation progress, reaching a near-complete stage. Entering a short flight plan, we see that the computer can automatically input holding patterns and calculate turn performance. The holding patterns are actually entered into the FMS navigation, and the computer knows where your plane should be. That sounds like the fundamentals; however, holding patterns are apparently very tricky for devs to get right.

Next, we move onto the autopilot panel under the glare shield. The autopilot on the MD-11 is advanced for its time period, but you have to remember that this is based on an airframe from the 1970s and therefore has a fairly simplistic auto-flight system by today’s standards. While the autopilot has not been fully completed yet, according to TFDi, it already includes many of the necessary features and is missing only the LNAV system.

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From the autopilot, we move on to the systems simulations. Specifically, we’re looking at the various synoptic pages. The commentator simulates a hydraulic pump failure on one of the three systems to showcase the synoptic pages’ accurate failure visualization and related systems’ automatic or consequential responses. TFDi Design has focused on modeling the complete systems rather than modeling cause-effect failures. The hydraulic system is fully modeled exactly as it would function on the real plane.

Similarly, the electrical system is also fully modeled down to independent-system power draw. Turning off systems or choosing settings that increase the load can all be visualized on the electrical synoptic page. The hydraulic and electrical systems are the only systems that are complete and implemented. More to be added shortly.

The rest of the video showcases some of the interior passenger cabin modeling. TFDi Design has paid especially close attention to detail in the immersion factor of their product. They intend for pilots to feel as though they are flying a real aircraft as if it could exist in the real world precisely as it does in your computer. The passenger cabin is looking pretty impressive, with multiple classes and some pretty extreme attention to detail.

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For fans of cargo-ops, the cargo version is nearing completion, with the full external model needing only minor changes. TFDi has plans to make a comprehensive cargo-ops manager, utilizing their EFB and external links to bring an immersive and exciting experience.

That’s about it for the video. The commentator talks a little bit about the release of this product coming within the next few months. The plan is to get the product in a flight-ready state within the next few weeks, wherein it can fly gate-to-gate without noticing any missing systems simulation. After this, and once the sound is finalized by the sound studio they are working with, the product should enter the early access stage.

TFDi Design – MD-11 Progress Tracker:

For those of you more interested in knowing the specific details and staying up to date on the progress of this project, TFDi has created a comprehensive project tracking page. Including each independent system with frequent progress updates. This is an excellent tool, and more developers should follow this example.

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The release of this add-on is coming up quickly. Expect to see the early access start before the end of the year. Until then, we’ll keep an eye out for more updates, so make sure to stay tuned!

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