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New Approach for Aircraft Add-on Documentation

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Member
Registered: Jun 2009
Posts: 297
Location: Northwest Pacific
PMDG had acquired the rights to sell original B737NG manuals with its upcoming 737NGX release. To me it seems a first and fine move towards authenticity. Saves a lot of documentation preparation too:
http://forum.avsim.net/topic/319576-announcement-regarding-flight-manual-availability/

Hardy might want to take a look at it, for obvious reasons.
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Regards, Zinger
Moderator
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 2666
PSX has so many airline options that a single manual of a random single airline would leave lots of things undocumented.

Then multiply all these options by 5 (combi, cargo, pax, cargo-ER, pax-ER)

And then there are the costs. Most customers don't want to pay more than 500 Euro for the whole box. I'll try to stay way below that.

You hardcore simmers have airline manuals already from other sources anyway :-)

(Real 744 pilots, too.)


|-|
Member
Registered: Jun 2009
Posts: 297
Location: Northwest Pacific
I am making suggestions hoping they might help. No intention to intervene in any other way.

The documentation could conceivably regard the product as a basic aircraft with variants and customer options. Having worked on defining and purhcasing RW manufacturer documentation support packages (an anecdote- one such package cost us $250m), I believe Boeing does exactly that (i.e. Maintain a support structure of basic plus variants and customer options), then sell a customer his relevant support package.

While a highly detailed FSX add-on which utilizes licensed strong copy protection and 4000 page Boeing document package can sell at profit for ~60 euros, I'm not sure I understand the cost argument, about adding say just a Boeing licensed QRC.
_______________
Regards, Zinger
Moderator
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 2666
Thanks for your suggestions.

You mean 4000 pages in electronic form? To be honest, if that would be all paper, the parcels would get so heavy that the transport costs alone from Europe to Japan would not leave much from those 60 Euros, I'd have to look for another job to earn my living and do PSX development only on weekends.

So you probably mean the electronic form. Nevertheless, to understand the cost problem you need to see a bigger picture. You remember our failed attempt to get a license from Navigraph and their supplier? This case now is quite similar: If your product is sold outside the enthusiast's market to professional customers like academies and airline pilots etc., they see your business in a completely different category. The costs for licenses suddenly rise dramatically and accordingly high are the demands by insurance companies and everything that goes with it. Add to that the problem of PS not being a plug-and-fly mass product that is sold at supermarkets and game shops. PS serves a niche market because only a few enthusiasts have the same deep technical interest as the professionals who buy PS, and those pros, as well, never represent a mass audience for obvious reasons.

In other words, I would have to downgrade PS, put its complexity under the desk, in order to get into the plain enthusiasts category. Then I could acquire an affordable product insurance, thus get a Boeing trademark license, put 747 instead of 744 on the box and sell PS at the Boeing Souvenir Shop along with 747 baseball hats and model airplanes. All that just for the illusion of having a "professional" product just with a different label on the manual.

Nothing against the idea in general. It's certainly fine and reasonable for many businesses. It's just not my goal.

(Well, correct me if I overlooked something new. Some years have passed since my last contact with Boeing.)


Regards,

|-|ardy
Member
Registered: Jun 2009
Posts: 297
Location: Northwest Pacific
Thanks for the explanation. The add-on package includes pdf documents, non-licensed smaller printed and bound manual packages previously cost ~ 100 euro as separate product.
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Regards, Zinger
Member
Registered: Nov 2009
Posts: 124
Hardy and Zinger...

A very good topic, and very surprised that Hardy actually stated the PS's market audience as I thought that would be part of his "classified" business secret which I also wanted to ask earlier on.

Hardy..I understand completely about the part which you mentioned about the difference between FS fans and PS fans.

Howerver, I would just like to ask you further into that stats. Do you have a record of our profile (professionals) who purchased your products or us as "commentators" of this forum? If you do have, ok to share with us about the stats (off your head, don't need to dig out from your dusty file cabinets). I've been curious about this for quite a while.

As far as I can recall, I don't think that there was a "questionairre" form that needed to to filled in for customer profiling.

(sorry guys, I don't work for the FBI, nor conducting any background checks.... :lol: )...
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OK....I am ok, if you are ok...!!
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 122
Location: Oostende /Belgium
Hello Hardy

Hardy Heinlin wrote
. You remember our failed attempt to get a license from Navigraph and their supplier? This case now is quite similar ....|-|ardy


Sorry if I missed something, but will this mean that with PSX, there will not be a regular monthly update possibility for the navdata according the Airac cycles. (of course with pay -subscription).

This would be a pity as you need them to fly on the online ATC networks as Ivao and Vatsim.

Best regards,


Michel
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Michel VANDAELE
Board member FSCB
EBOS Scenery Designteam
My B744 project

http://users.telenet.be/michel.vandaele/sim1.htm
Moderator
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 2666
OKD, there were customer comments via registration card or mail or forum. I have no data anymore, sorry.

Michel, Navigraph is per agreement not allowed to support PSX. I have another support, and the plan (not guaranteed) is to update the database anually.
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 395
Location: Mumbai, India
Hi OKD,
I'd imagine that it's just intuition ... both the complexity and the price of PS imply that it's not
something that someone just looking for a fun flight simulator 'game' will buy. It must be a niche market.

Shiv
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 147
Hi Hardy, OKD, and folks!

In fact, it's something very "positive" for PSx (compared to PMDG's stuff) that Navigraph actually imagined PSx being used by professionals in real-world training... when it was obvious that PMDG was just some software able for the hobby market.
Sure, PSx benefits from both PS1's long-time reputation, and also the strong feeling that emerges when reading that forum...
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Pierre, LFPG
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 122
Location: Oostende /Belgium
Hi Hardy,
Thanks alot for the very quick response. It is indeed as Pierre said very positive that PSX is regarded as software used by professionals for real-world training and not as a game, as it isn't a game at all in my eyes ;).
At the otherhand it is for a lot of diehard simmers very important to have up to date navdata. Let's hope there will be a good solution when PSX comes out.

Thank you so much for all your most appreciated efforts.

B. Rgds
Michel
_______________
Michel VANDAELE
Board member FSCB
EBOS Scenery Designteam
My B744 project

http://users.telenet.be/michel.vandaele/sim1.htm
Member
Registered: Jun 2009
Posts: 297
Location: Northwest Pacific
I have no knowledge of the size of our community who fliy online. However as an experienced pilot and controller on such network, and a professional pilot with experience in flying RW simulators since 1963 regularly, allow me to make a few comments:

a. To me it doesn't matter what other people think of a ceretain product, what matters is that it works properly and does the job for which I got it.
b. To those here who don't fly online, flight simulation using MSFS as example may be just a game, but from my perspective it is a wrong view. From my experience, you get: Detailed aircraft and other add-ons which handle with fidelity to provide a pretty close perception to the real thing, less G forces and moving base effects (although the latter are possible). Some aircraft and other add-ons are used for training purposes by airlines and other aviation businesses. I started this thread relating to the PMDG B737NGX. It is as realistic as one can imagine outside a level D simulator, and certainly not a game. Look at the DA Fokker 70/100 and FSL Concorde and you would see what I mean; realtime realistic atmosphere and weather; fidel and detailed earth and airports; quality air traffic services with excellent voice; near realistic flight deck, ground support and cabin crew interaction combined with the ability to fly together in the same aircraft from remote locations; I could go on, but be assured that although today's add-ons cost around 60 euros, and although some 13 year olds play with them, the online communities and their suppliers are dead serious about professionalism and realism.
c. There are other simulator brands used, e.g. X-Plane, however their scenery is offset such that they land on taxiways due to that offset. The mess they create in busy airports as a result is tremendous. This is where the product name counts.
d. To encourage new additions to the community, my network doen't require pilots to use updated AIRACs and FMS data, SIDs/ Stars and approach plates at all, those flights are vectored instead. But the vast pilot majority is seasoned and with time the new guys adopt similar habits and use up-to-date information. In such network environemnt, PSX with annual AIRAC updates would to many seem like that simulator whose pilots land on taxiways. I don't want that.
e. I'd stay away from the burden to pay a fortune for updates, like that DANOR dispatch planner for whose weather alone one needs a hefty sum.
_______________
Regards, Zinger
« Last edit by Zinger on Thu, 02 Dec 2010 19:12:19 +0000. »
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 309
Location: Winchester, UK
Surely, after all these years, it's time to cease the insinuations that on-line sim pilots, who depend on the high technical content of products such as PMDG, are just playing an unworthy game. This is to try to insult us by denigration.

Many of you will know that I used to be an avid user of PS1. Then, when PMDG 747-400 was released, I had to say a temporary goodbye to PSx to move up (in my opinion) to the next level. This decision has enabled me to continue to improve my regular flying skills. I may be somewhat atypical of the others on this forum, but I get my kicks by being as near as I can to a line ATP. FSX has enable a rich experience of wonderful sceneries, being able to be amongst other air traffic much of the time, and to belong to a wonderful virtual airline.

My continuing attention to Hardy's efforts to give us the next level of B744 simulator reflects my faith that he will be able to deliver an experience even better than the one I currently get from PMDG. And with PSX, I shall continue to fly regularly as an ATP.

So, please no more one-sided and snide remarks about FSX and PMDG which, I feel, are aimed at belittling those like me who enjoy regular line flying.
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Cheers, Richard
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 395
Location: Mumbai, India
Greetings, Zinger !

By using the word 'game', I was envisioning a situation
like this: Man goes into a shop, and says, "My son's got
his eighth birthday tomorrow, and he's keen to get a flight
simulator as a present. What do you recommend?"

Also, when I first tried to get PS1 many years ago, none of the
computer shops here carried it (although they all had MSFS), and
I finally had to order it online.

Cheers,
Shiv

Sorry Richard, our posts crossed. I, at least, was not belittling
any other flight simulator - I was merely offering my opinion as to
why Hardy's product may not have a mass market.
« Last edit by Shiv Mathur on Thu, 02 Dec 2010 17:31:58 +0000. »
Member
Registered: Jun 2009
Posts: 297
Location: Northwest Pacific
Shiv,
I am not offended, nothing personal, just putting the record straight, or better- letting those flying offline know there is a whole new world of simulated flight out there.
_______________
Regards, Zinger
Moderator
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 1796
Location: KTMB
One extra piece of info needs to be added: with Microsoft's withdrawal of the Flight Simulator series, building a significant new add-on is highly risky. I don't believe the market will collapse overnight (it seems quite undisturbed after nearly two years of FS in zombie state) but there is a risk.

Concerning games: the newly announced Microsoft Flight, whatever it may be, smells like it may be a game. Games make more money than simulators. Never mind that there are many real hobbyists who want the best possible experience and use MSFS for this -- the real money for MSFS is in its sales as a game. This boosted bottom line sales so much that the serious simmers get a lot of value for a little money. Unfortunately for all of us, this may not continue.


Jeroen
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 30
Location: The Netherlands
Aerosoft (www.aerosoft.de) is making (a sort of) "succesor" of Microsoft FSX.

Aerosoft Flight Simulator 2012 (English):
http://www.forum.aerosoft.com/index.php?showforum=278


Hessel




Edit: fixed the URL
« Last edit by Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers on Fri, 03 Dec 2010 16:04:43 +0000. »
Member
Registered: Nov 2009
Posts: 124
Good feedbacks guys, but for me as a "pilot-wannabe", but never got to it...

I first get a kicked out of FS, not only because of my thrills on big jets, but the graphics, the atc, the pushback, smoke at landing, reversers in action, even livery, made me "feel like" a real pilot!!

I get more kick out of PS was due to its technical side (99%) realism (navigtion; fms; eics; fuel pumps; apu; aux...etc..the list goes on), and I remember it took me almost 1 week to start the darn 744, because of some electrical switch which was supposed to be switched on, but wasn't (again, realism)!! From there, I read the PS manual and now easily can remember the (99%) real-live start-up procedure of a real 744.

Just my 2 cents worth in sharing with you all how I (mad mad 744 fan) enjoy both softwares as time time past.

I'VE STOPPED TOUCHING THE FS NOW...ONLY PS!!.. :mrgreen:

Guys, I am not belittling anyone, but just telling my personal feelings by comparison (flying FS and PS).
_______________
OK....I am ok, if you are ok...!!
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 147
Hi Zinger and Richard!

The discussion is highly biased, due to an obvious reason: M$FS is the most widespread general purpose flight simulation software.
- The online flightsimming (VATSIM, IVAO) world is based on the world that's inside Microsoft Flight Simulator program. The controller's "sector" files are based on M$FS: replicating sometimes its misplacements. And even worse: runways and taxiways have to be flat. For X-Plane users: it's quite hard to fly online, unless you uncheck the "sloped runways", and even so you may won't get same taxiways and runways layout as the one in M$FS.
(background: I have 2000+ hours flying online, and 1000+ hours ATCing on VATSIM)
- Being "the most widespread" doesn't mean "the best in quality": I had the opportunity to fly the PMDG B744 at a friend's (who still uses it), and nothing can compare it to PS13's depth inside details, really... apart the nice outside visuals. Saying that isn't underestimating the users of PMDG, but just a technical point of view about the software itself. Examples are: EFIS symbology is very approximative, it's really a pain to save and reload your aircraft with exact same state (specially with failures), unsmooth instruments...
(background: 2500+ hours flying PS13, and 20+ hours using PMDG B744)
- The decision from real-world databases and documentation providers, to accept to supply PMDG, and to refuse it towards PSx, simply show what they considered as possible to learn and do with both sims.
- Of course, another big bias is: PMDG is just something that lays inside M$FS, so it has to deal with its built-in limits. PS1's (and PSx') only boundaries are how deep Hardy decides to model each feature, system, behaviour.

Please note that I don't intend to offend either PMDG users, or PMDG's work as a M$FS addon developper; I just wanted to clarify my post from yesterday!
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Pierre, LFPG
Member
Registered: Jun 2009
Posts: 297
Location: Northwest Pacific
Salut Pierre,
I share your view of the PMDG B747, but it is now obsolete in terms of display quality and degree of detail. If you review the aircraft I mentioned (DA Fokker 70/100, FSL Concorde and PMDG B737NGX), you'd see a different approach to both. Developers are departing from MSFS SDK where necessary to enable such features. If you look at even the PMDG B747, you'd realize that the aircraft fuel system is realistically modelled outside the SDK. PS1.3 set an unprecedented level of professionalism in PC- based aircraft simulation, and it appears that Hardy is continuing this tradition in PSX development. I made two inputs regarding that program, referring to documentation and AIRAC data.
_______________
Regards, Zinger
Moderator
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 2666
Just to be sure, I don't know if I've been addressed, too: Should my comment (#4 in the thread) have belittled anyone or any product, then I want to clarify that this is not my intention. Every product, incl. the old PS1, has certainly its disadvantages and advantages. I can only speak for my product and about what kind of problems my product has to deal with. I have no idea what the other products do or can't do. I feel uncomfortable when the Aerowinx forum is used to bash other simulation products. OK, nobody was bashing here, just posting constructive opinions, but usually the water quickly boils up to 100C in such discussions and my alert lights get on at 50C :-)


Regards,

|-|ardy
Moderator
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 2666
As for the nav database updates: monthly versus annually.

I doubt that an annual update would lead to significant problems within the scope of a non-real-life environment. If somebody fears that this may lead to taxiway landings, then I'd like to point out that airports usually do not shift their runways on a monthly basis.

In many cases you update all your nav data and software (a rather nuisance job) only because something has changed in a corner of the world where you've never been and you don't currently fly to anyway. Significant are only the higher costs of a monthly subscription (Remember: airline prices, not Navigraph prices).

...

A question: I don't understand why online flyers don't want to get vectors. I thought that's why one flies online.


Cheers,

|-|ardy
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 570
Location: Sydney, Australia
Just to chime in from the online perspective, there is no requirement or need for people to have current databases. Any motivation for absolute currency is that of the individual pilot.

ATC will accomodate non current procedures, or as Hardy points out, provide vectors (although you may be delayed slightly). It's also worth noting the overwhelming majority of procedures can be manually entered into the FMC based on freely available charts - it is not unusual in WorldFlight to have to manually enter a SID (DP) or STAR.

Hardy - I find the online experience is more about the sharing of the environment and the uncertainty that introduces - you are in the sky with other real people, behind another aircraft, talking to the same controller. It can be a dynamic, uncertain and changing environment that pushes you to master your flying, navigation and systems knowledge. Stick yourself in Matts sim, and you have CRM to deal with as well!

Offline I can plan whatever I like, set the weather, key in the departure and arrival, exact fuel required, and fly it end to end. This can be great fun, but having to unexpectedly manage speed in cruise and descent to be sequenced, or change course, throw out the arrival and program a new one, change runways etc all without notice are a challenge to be mastered. You listen to what ATC are asking the aircraft in front to do to get a clue to the arrival you will be assigned. You need to be on the ball, briefed for that go-around because the guy in front may be slow to clear the runway... report abeam, intercept xxx radial... report endurance... who knows what the next request will be?

edit: you can't pause on departure if something goes wrong, you can't pause if you are confused at what state the aircraft is in or the automatics are not doing what you expect, and your failure to fly correctly can impact the rest of the traffic - you have to be ahead of the aircraft and fly the plane.
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« Last edit by John Golin on Fri, 03 Dec 2010 22:34:19 +0000. »
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 570
Location: Sydney, Australia
Being online was a significant contributor to the loss of WF523...

View the Factual Report
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Member
Registered: Jun 2009
Posts: 297
Location: Northwest Pacific
Hardy Heinlin wrote
I doubt that an annual update would lead to significant problems within the scope of a non-real-life environment. If somebody fears that this may lead to taxiway landings, then I'd like to point out that airports usually do not shift their runways on a monthly basis.
In many cases you update all your nav data and software (a rather nuisance job) only because something has changed in a corner of the world where you've never been and you don't currently fly to anyway. Significant are only the higher costs of a monthly subscription (Remember: airline prices, not Navigraph prices).

I will repeat what I have already written:
a. I never said that it would create actual problems, on the contrary- I wrote one could fly online without any of this information and get vectored.
b. I was merely indicating that the rest of the online community by and large, would have updated AIRACS in contrast with PSX/PS1, and that it could dubb our users similar to X-PLANE for the reasons I explained.
c. I understand the cost issue and thanked you for the clarification. I also indicated that for most hobbyists. update cost is an issue.
d. I use one add-on, used both as an FS add-on for the hobbyist, and also sold for professional aviation use. It has Navigraph monthly updates incorporated.


A question: I don't understand why online flyers don't want to get vectors. I thought that's why one flies online.

John Golin explained what online flying adds, in my opinion clearly and very well. About vectoring- first I never said that anyone doesn't like to be vectored. Further, there are two distinctly different situations. The normal situation is where ATC vectors aircraft flying in accordance with published procedures, exactly as in real life, to sequence aircraft and separate where necessary. There is another normal situation, in the US many if not most DP are ATC vector-based, as opposed to Europe and other common route-based SIDs.
The less normal situation is where a minority of online pilots lack updated documentation and sometimes aviation education (they usually go together), file and fly without them. In this case ATC would vector them, but they might be delayed due to workload and others flying preferred routes which have preference. Either way they seem to the rest of the community as either beginners, just playing a game in a network dubbed "as real as it gets", and often viewed as trouble makers for the rest, as they often hold up traffic and not getting appreciated for that.


Cheers,

|-|ardy

Finally, while trying to brainstorm new and at times probably less popular opinion, which is no sign of its merit, I got bitten here and notably by the leaders of this forum, another case was about terrorism. Which makes me wonder if it is of any benefit to bring my ideas here. I can assure you that in time and with open minded approach, you are likely to see I was mostly right.

EDIT: Runways don't often get moved you said. Here is an interesting statistics for you: In Europe where infrastructure is well ahead of many other parts of the world, 50% of road infrastructure is modified, transportation direction modified or reversed, deleted or constructed every year!
_______________
Regards, Zinger
« Last edit by Zinger on Sat, 04 Dec 2010 07:45:20 +0000. »

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