TFDi Design has been passionately dedicating its efforts towards their MD-11 project for Microsoft Flight Simulator, a rather complex endeavor that initiated a limited pre-sale late last year. This pre-sale process was opened up last week to anyone wishing to contribute to the development at this preliminary stage. Currently, the project is still in progress, with no definitive conclusion date despite previous statements that a beta version would be available by the end of June and a full release was expected by September.
Having noted this, it’s time to delve into the latest development update from the team, which offers insights into the project’s current status and the recent milestones reached. Despite its unconventional business model, the MD-11 for Microsoft Flight Simulator remains a highly promising project. It is, after all, a Boeing Officially Licensed Product, with an ambitious scope that aims to deliver an exquisitely detailed airplane that simmers will surely love to fly. This is further emphasized in the development update we are sharing with you today.
The update comes directly from TFDi’s CEO, Collin Biedenkapp, who provides a sneak peek at the aircraft within Microsoft Flight Simulator and highlights advancements in various systems and features.
According to Collin, the MD-11 is now operational within the simulator. The cockpit already displays a remarkable amount of texturing and detail, indicating the project’s advanced stage, while significant progress has been made in other key areas such as the FMC, with most systems now implemented, including the magenta line. Notably, the FMC can pinpoint its exact location, crucial for executing flight plans accurately.
The autoflight system, which has undergone a retuning process due to different flight dynamics in Microsoft Flight Simulator compared to P3D, is now functionally advanced. It offers standard modes such as altitude hold, vertical speed, flight path angle, and speed mode with auto-throttle, among others. TFDi has also integrated the LSAS and RCWS systems into the aircraft.
Other onboard systems, including the electrical and hydraulic systems, are nearing completion. The fire protection system, FCC, FADEC, and engine controllers are also making steady strides.
Collin explains that TFDi paid special attention to the complex electrical system in the MD-11, aiming to authentically replicate its operation. The system is capable of simulating the distribution of power load throughout the electrical circuit and can even simulate failures.
The TFDi MD-11 for MSFS will include the passenger, cargo, and ER variants of the aircraft. Notably, the ER variant will be exclusive to collector’s edition owners. TFDi Design is currently considering features such as dynamic cargo and potentially custom cargo objects for the cargo version of the aircraft. The passenger model, however, features a fully modeled 3D cockpit and passenger cabin.
As for the project’s timeline, the team is aiming for a flyable state in the next couple of months, enabling a gate-to-gate flight without any significant missing components.
While these are the main points presented during the update, the full video above is rich in visual details that provide a better idea on where this project stands right now. For example, the displays can be seen powering on progressively, instead of instantly turning on, which showcases the team’s attention to detail and commitment to realism. Note that per TFDi’s previous development update, the displays were a particular pain point during the development, so it’s great to see that they have managed to surpass that difficulty and deliver an interesting representation of this particular equipment.
As the MD-11 continues to move forward in its development, simmers who see a bright future in this project can already pre-order the package, which ensures that you’ll get the aircraft at its current expected price of $80 and supports the team on its ongoing investment in this project. As always, we’ll bring you every major update to this project, but you can also follow its progress at md11.tfdidesign.com for weekly updates on the development status!