Over the last year, thanks to an immense amount of help from the Community Opt-in Beta, we have added, fixed, or changed over 400 different items in the TFDi Design 717 and Addon Manager. It has become largely a new product. With that said, we are approaching version 1.1, which marks the main, public release of the aircraft that we were initially aiming for last December. When we release the update, we will post another article detailing the significant changes.
So, that said, we have a few changes we wanted to explain to everyone and make our plan clear. As of version 1.1, you can expect the following:
- Development effort toward the aircraft will be reduced, though several new features and bug fixes will still occur
- Information, announcements, etc. for other/future products may occur
- We will move all posts before version 1.1 to a sub-forum to clean out the main aircraft forums
- The latest (at the time of the 1.1 release) Community Opt-in Beta version and Prepar3D v4 will become public
- The Community Opt-in Beta will still be used to test fixes and new features
What will 1.1 Contain?
When we release version 1.1, we will post information detailing specific new features, note-worthy fixes, and significant changes to the aircraft. For users catching up who are not part of the Community Opt-in Beta, you will notice changes like the following:
- Numerous new MCDU features
- Innumerable systems additions, improvements, and fixes
- Major changes to the tablet
- Countless new Addon Manager features
- Considerable stability improvements
- Various CTD fixes
- Prepar3D v4 support
- TrueGlass and RealLight (for Prepar3D v4)
- Significant FADEC and engine improvements
- Performance improvements
- And MANY, MANY smaller changes
For a complete list of what has changed in the Community Opt-in Beta, please see the changelog here.
Version 1.1 will also contain the following (that are not currently in the Community Opt-in Beta versions):
- Exterior texture overhaul and a proper paint kit (this will break existing repaints)
- Overhauled fan blade appearance and added blurred variants for engine running/high RPM scenarios
- Wholly rewritten documentation (full systems and FMS guides)
- Cabin lighting
- The WING/NACL light in P3Dv4 (this will be released to the Community Opt-in Beta soon, but I listed it here for sanity)
- Various external model details and fixes
The Future After 1.1
We have promised several features and had intended for them to be in version 1.1. That said, as we’ve discovered, the current Community Opt-in Beta version, 126.96.36.199, is proving to be one the most stable and thorough versions yet. That, combined with the fact that we do not want to hold out on delivering the massive amount of other improvements to the aircraft from customers, led us to delay those features. We want to ensure that a stable, complete version of the plane is available to all customers while we take time to correctly implement and test these new features.
With that in mind, we will continue working on and testing, and at some point in the foreseeable future, add the following features:
- ALTN F-PLN
- Level-off arrows while changing altitudes
- Official compatibility with specific GoFlight hardware (more details to come)
We do have intentions of adding several other options/features. However, I don’t want to officially promise them as we do not know what the future will hold just yet. We’re aware that the delay of some of these things may frustrate or disappoint some users, so I’d like to take a minute to explain entirely, from our side, our reasoning beyond the obvious.
Last year, as we prepared for release (still blissfully unaware of how far we still had to go), we all strapped in and worked weeks of 16 hour days. During that 6 week sprint, three of us put in, combined, nearly 2000 hours of work. Although I am, to this day, impressed with the level of commitment and dedication my team showed, we felt the effects of that up until around Flight Sim Con 2017. It affected our drive, the enjoyment we took in our work, in some cases, the quality of work, and it contributed largely to the tunnel vision that led us to release the aircraft in the state we did. I made a promise to never do that to my team again, and I wanted to ensure that we all, our fans, customers, and us alike, can enjoy the holiday season this year with our families. So, this, combined with the fact that we have a version of the aircraft we know everyone will enjoy and that the remaining features will require more time and testing, we decided that this was the best route to take for everyone.
Although we will not announce the exact date of this update, it is getting VERY close. We all sincerely appreciate your patience and enthusiasm and look forward to seeing you all fly what our vision for this aircraft was. Also, to add some media to the wall of text above, here is a preview at cruising altitude with the WING/NACL light on in Prepar3D V4: