Quality Wings 787 Enters “Early Alpha”

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In the early hours of this morning, Quality Wings posted a Quarter 1 Update in which they spoke about what they have completed in the first 3 months of the year. They started off with the one thing that everyone wants to know about, the Boeing 787 Collection!

We’ve put in some pretty long hours over the past 13 weekends to lay much of the groundwork for where we currently are with this project. The majority of the work done this quarter has been to solidify the foundation of the systems on the airplane and to initiate a process of ensuring product performance (AKA Frames per Second AKA the Red Devil) is where we want it to be. We are pleased at the progress we’ve made in both areas. We have reached a very minor (but significant milestone) in that we’ve entered very early Alpha Testing! Initial testing is amongst the team members and a few of our testers to get not only an initial feel of the Flight Dynamics but also the overall aircraft. Feedback has been really positive, especially from the people that know it the best: Our 787 Pilots. So with this feedback, Nick can continue to tweak the Flight Dynamics along with Lars who is controlling the Fly-by-Wire stuff.

So what does “basic foundation of the airplane in place” mean? I guess the easiest comparison is to that of how an automobile is built. We’ve built the chassis (Systems framework like the Overhead Systems, Display Systems, etc) and we’ve put in the Major components like the Engine and Transmission (Autoflight System and Fly-by-Wire). Now that this is out the way, we can continue to add onto the Chassis by adding the Body (Flight Management System Pages and functionality, Thrust Management/FADEC Stuff). By the time that t

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There is alot of little stuff with this airplane that we are trying to make sure that we get right. This real life 787 is so marvelously complex and interesting. One of things we are working on is the Airport Display that shows on the Nav Display. Nice addition, but it takes some time. One of the features of the aircraft that we were able to program in was the Checklists. We’ve still gotta go back and tweak some of the features, but this is at about 90% completion. The initial release will only have NORMAL Checklists with a few Non-Normal Situations. Another feature we’re working on is an Active Flightcrew that calls out the need to do the checklists and also other situational awareness type items (Such as approaching takeoff runway). A video below shows the checklist and the aircraft taxiing to takeoff.

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152802717999639

We’ve also finally gotten around to programming the Tuning Control panel. It’ amazing how something so small could have so much functionality behind it. I asked a question on Facebook recently about how often you folks use the same frequency when flying using online ATC Services and the answer was a resounding VERY OFTEN. The 787 Tuning Control Panel allows for several freuquencies to be stored. Because of your feedback, we’ve programmed this feature in which allows for you to do just that. The TCP handles many other systems other than VHF Communications as the video shows. All appropriate functionality has been (or is being) programmed.

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152802762564639

If I had to give you an overall percentage of completion of this Flightdeck Systems Programming, I’d say it’s around 75%. But that final 25% is an EXTREMELY tedious part of the project. Implementing and trying to perfect the diefferent areas will take some time. I told you during the last update that we were aiming for some point during the middle of this year, but we’d have a better idea around the 2nd quarter of this year. We’ve finally gotten a chance to estimate all remaining areas of the project and how long it will take to get there. Middle of this year is NOT possible given personal commitments of the staff. But we’re pretty confident about Later in 2015. All other areas of the product are at a much higher level of completion.

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Though we’ve come extremely far in the last year..we’ve still got some signficant work ahead of us. As I said a few updates ago, we didn’t truly start working on the guts of this aircraft until last year despite the way too early announcement from us. But THIS STUFF TAKES TIME! We do this on weekends and It’s tough. I can’t and won’t apologize anymore for our pace. It’s just the way it is unfortunately.

As tired as you might be of waiting, we’re tried of working on our weekends from regular jobs lol. It’s not easy to stay the course when the development is no longer fun. The 75-80% is a blast. The 20-25% remaining isn’t. The hardest thing to do is to finish these products off but the QualityWings staff has been pretty good about finishing products despite the challenges you hear about (and the many you don’t). But with each weekend of plugging away at the list of Things to Do…the light at the end of the tunnel gets brighter. Like I said: “painfully fun and frustratingly rewarding process”.

The FMC framework is done, we should have some pretty good data from our testing at what improvements need to made to ensure the plane flies reasonably close to the real aircraft. Then and only then can be complete the Flight Management System.

There hasn’t been much work on the exterior model side as that area is pretty stable at this point. However, the bump and specular mapping for the texturing has been completed and we’re extremely happy with how this aircraft looks. Ron did some nice work.

The majority of the work done during this quarter has been in the Flightdeck Systems Programming department. The Virtual Cockpit textures have also undergone some extensive work from Kyle, who is doing a great job getting the textures to pop despite less real estate to work with. Last we spoke, Overhead Panel Systems Programming was in full effect. We’ve finally completed Phase I of that. The framework has been laid. We will eventually have to go back and tweak all areas (Phase II) to ensure that functionality is accurate. Sure we’ve already laid the groundwork for systems such as the hydraulics, but now we have to make sure that the system does all of the little things that the real airplane does (e.g Left and Right Electric Pumps Shutting off until needed right before takeoff).

Hang with us.

They are getting closer to finishing and it is a good thing that it has entered early Alpha. They also went on the talk about the 737 Collection and the 146 Collection.

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