Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Still Here...

I made some upgrades to my main FSX rig this summer, and things did not go exactly according to plan.  It took me a while to get everything sorted out, but I am pretty happy with the result now.  I finally got around to upgrading the OS from Windows Vista to Windows 7, and although the difference isn't terribly dramatic, flying in Win 7 generally seems a bit smoother to me.  I also upgraded from 4 GB to 20 GB of memory, by adding two 8 GB memory sticks to the existing two 2 GB sticks.  In my view, I think this has made the greatest impact on FSX performance for me now.  I realize FSX is a 32-bit application, but with all the external add-ons and such running on my system alongside FSX, it barely slows down anymore.

QualityWings recently released their Ultimate 146 Collection for FSX, and I picked it up last week.  It's not perfect, but I have enjoyed tooling around in it here and there so far.  I will post a mini-review soon.

In other news, I visited the Museum of Flight in Seattle again this past weekend - one of my all-time favorite museums, up there with the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum.  Definitely a must-see for any airplane geek in the Seattle area.

Elsewhere, Coolsky looks like they are getting achingly close to pushing their DC-9 out the door.  I am really excited about this one - it looks beautiful, and will be a fun plane to learn.

PMDG head honcho Robert Randazzo relocated from Nevada to Virginia over the summer, and took PMDG's operations with him.  Some previews of the 777 trickled out about a month ago, and things are looking good.  Sure would love to fly this one soon, although my gut tells me not to expect anything until 2013.  That's OK, though, as the NGX has sealed itself firmly in position now as my all-time favorite FSX airliner ever.  I'm sure the 777 will eventually displace or share that distinction when it is released, but the NGX will tide me over nicely until then.

Speaking of the 777, the Captain Sim guys have also been busily working away on their 777 Captain product.  It is already out as a work-in-progress, but still lacking a lot of functionality.  I will be interested to see how it stacks up when it is fully released.  Which reminds me, I need to go check out their 737 Captain ("Baby Boeing") series sometime soon...after seeing a 737-200 cockpit up close and personal inside the Museum of Flight, I definitely want to try it out.

The FlightSimLabs guys also apparently continue to make progress on their Airbus A320 series as well.  I am really excited about this one, too!  This one seems to offer the most promise of delivering a PMDG-level simulation of the Airbus series...which admittedly, is a tough bird to model in a simulation like FSX.

I don't know that I have seen as many new product announcements from the usual suspects this year - I know a lot of this has to do with the maturing of FSX (and FS9) as a simulation platform.  High-quality examples of most popular aircraft now (or will in the near future) exist for FSX.  There are still plenty of exciting projects coming down the pipe - PMDG is apparently working on a Dash-8, DC-6, and a rewrite of the 747-400, in addition to ongoing work with the NGX expansions and the 777.  I would still love to see a high-quality CRJ - the Digital Aviation one seems to have stalled for a while, although work apparently is slowly proceeding.  There are still lots of classic airliners out there yet to be fully modelled in FSX, such as the L-1011.  X-Plane also seems to be gathering some interest from popular FSX developers, although it is too soon to tell yet whether it will fully emerge as a viable successor to FSX, which is now going on six years old.  All in all, it remains an interesting time to be involved in this little hobby of ours...

Monday, June 4, 2012

Captain Sim Releases 777 Captain To CIP Phase 2

Looks like Captain Sim is the first one out of the gate in the 777 add-on race this year.  They just released the 777 Captain (featuring full VC) to the Customer Involvement Program, Stage 2 (experimental).  This means there are likely still some issues with the product, but it is basically flyable.

It will be interesting to see what the initial impressions of this product instinct tells me that they hurried this one out to beat PMDG out of the gate, but I really hope I am wrong on this.  Cost for now is €39.99, or about US $50.

(Well, I will say this much about the ongoing Euro economic least it's making the exchange rates with the USD a bit more favorable for us here in the U.S. these days.)

Update: my initial hunch appears to be correct.  Some of the initial reviews over at AVSIM indicate that they pretty much rushed this one out the door to the CIP program.  I would advise letting this one bake a little longer before giving it a go...

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

And I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to honor the brave men and women who have fallen in the line of duty to protect our freedoms here in the U.S. on this Memorial Day.  Thanks to them all for their service - without heroes like these, I would not have the privilege of being able to enjoy simple hobbies like flight simulation.

Captain Sim Previews 777 VC

Well, isn't this interesting?  Captain Sim has unveiled a little video of the upcoming Virtual Cockpit addition to their 777 Captain.  It looks quite nice - complete with a simulated Electronic Flight Bag.  As best as I can tell, it will be up to the user to populate it with charts, though.  Will be interesting to see how this one turns out.  Gotta give them credit, as they have done a nice job up to now.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

QualityWings BAe-146 Released (Phase 1)

QualityWings has released the initial phase of their BAe-146 series today!  This release spans the newer AvroRJ series, and is for FS9 only for now.  The FSX version is in the works, and then they will work on the older BAe-146 series of the planes next.

Unfortunately I do not fly FS9, so no mini-review from me until the FSX version is out...

QualityWings is using the Flight1 eCommerce wrapper for this product, although this product does not show up at the Flight1 website at the moment..

Those of you FS9 flyers, I'm anxious to hear what you think about this product.  I've been looking forward to it for a long time.

Edit: initial impressions over at AVSIM are rather positive.  C'mon QualityWings, hurry up with the FSX version now!  :-)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Preview Video of Coolsky/McPhat DC-9

McPhat released this juicy video today:

They promise it will be out "soon" - getting excited yet?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sky Simulations Adds Military Variants of DC-9

By popular demand, Sky Simulations has added some new military variants to their DC-9.  These include the C-9A Nightingale aeromedical and evacuation aircraft (USAF), the C-9B Skytrain II passenger/cargo transport (USN/USMC), and the VC-9C VIP transport (USAF).  All of these are available at no charge to existing Sky Simulations DC-9 customers, and are now included with new purchases.  Enjoy!

Flight Sim Labs Shows Off A320-X Screenshots

Check them out here.

Wow - so many neat projects in the pipe.  It's a great time to be a simmer!

Monday, March 26, 2012

External Views of the PMDG 777

PMDG gave us some additional eye candy of their 777, with these screenshots of the external model.  It appears that the 777-200LR will be the initial base model, with the 777-300ER coming along later as an expansion.  Can't wait to hear more on these from the PMDG team!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

GNU Aerospace: Reborn from the Ashes of ACES?

There was another recent interesting announcement in the world of flight simulation this week.  The GNU Aerospace project has been announced.  The goal of the project appears to be to create a new development paradigm for flight simulation, using the "crowd funding" model: the products will be free, but interested customers can sign up to sponsor and fund development of the product.  The initial product will be known as TestPilot, which appears to be intended to be an open source drop-in replacement for FSX.  It will be compatible with FSX add-ons, but will reimplement and update the sim engine's graphics, effects, and interfaces such as SimConnect.  It seems unclear how they are going about this - not sure whether it will be a scratch effort, or whether they will leverage existing open source projects such as GNU FlightGear.  I will have to do some more investigation into this, but it looks very interesting.

Oh, they have recruited two former ACES developers to contribute to the project, too!

Flight Sim Labs Discusses A320-X

Also today, Flight Sim Labs was due to present some additional details about their upcoming Airbus A320 series, which seems to have been tentatively dubbed the A320-X.  I cannot find any specifics about their presentation at the 10th German Flight Simulation Conference yet, which may indicate that there was not much news to tell at this point.  If I run across any details or screenshots from their presentation, I will update this post.

As a refresher, Flight Sim Labs was founded by PMDG alumnus Lefteris Kalamaris, and their first product was the highly-regarded Concorde-X.  Now they have set their sights on an apparent PMDG-level simulation of the Airbus series, which will be very interesting to watch.

UPDATE - FSL has promised to publish an update on the Airbus series as presented at the Munich conference, once everyone has returned home.  Word in the AVSIM forums from those who attended is that FSL demoed a working model of the A320 at the conference, and they expect to release it to the public sometime around November.

PMDG Makes Big Announcements Today

PMDG showed up at the 10th German Flight Simulator Conference (sponsored by Aerosoft) in Munich today, and made quite a splash.  Captain Robert Randazzo showed off some screenshots of the 777, and they look very exciting.

Now, for the best part: apparently, PMDG has been holding out on us.  The 777 is nearly ready for beta stage!  Robert expects beta testing to begin within about two months.  Apparently, it will not be long before the first PMDG 777 models begin to take flight in our virtual skies.  No details yet on pricing, or expansion models, but I will be keenly watching PMDG for more information about the 777 in the coming months.

"But wait -- there's more!"

As has been widely rumored, PMDG has also been working on a refresh of the 747X "Queen of the Skies" product as well.  It is tentatively known as the 747 2.0, and will cover both the 747-400 and 747-8 models.  The same technology and processes used to model the NGX and 777 have also been incorporated in the 747 2.0, which should make for an exciting refresh of this product.  Robert says that they expect to have the 747 2.0 out to the masses about two months after the release of the 777.

Some exciting times for PMDG fans!

CoolSky/McPhat Studios Shows Off Some DC-9 Tails

Elsewhere, CoolSky and McPhat Studios have recently been teasing us with some screenshots of several repaints (tails only) from their upcoming DC-9.  This is usually a very good sign...generally, the fact that they are doing repaints now means that most of the other major items are out of the way.  We could see a release of this one very soonish.

More Original 737 Models for Flight Simulator

I have already touched on Captain Sim's 737 Captain at great length.  In addition, there are a couple of other Original 737 products either out, or due, that look interesting:
  • JustFlight is offering the 737 Professional for US $45.95.  This is apparently the first product produced by BlackBox Simulation, which is the successor to PSS.  Unfortunately, initial reports on this one from the AVSIM Forums have been underwhelming - in particular, the sounds and textures are way below par.
  • A Canadian outfit known as Military Visualizations (MilViz), which is primarily known for producing military aircraft for Flight Simulator, appears to be branching out with development on a 737-200 Adv of their very own.  Screenshots and videos posted so far look very impressive.  No known timeframe exists for a release yet, but it looks like they are coming right along.
The Original 737 is definitely long overdue for a proper treatment in FS, but it looks like it is definitely getting a lot of love this year.

Captain Sim Updates 737 Captain to Version 0.6

Captain Sim has updated their 737 Captain product to version 0.6.  This will supposedly be the last version in the "Stage 2" experimental/paid beta mode, before the product revision is bumped to 1.0, and presumably on to "Stage 3" release status.  Here is the list of fixes in version 0.6.

There are lots of 737-200 products out or due soon...more on this in a separate post.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Captain Sim Releases 737 Captain Under New Release Paradigm

I've debated whether I should mention this, but since there isn't much else going on right now, I may as well.

Captain Sim announced a new three stage release paradigm about a week ago:

Stage 1 - Exterior - Call this an early alpha stage of the release, with only the exterior model available.  Interior systems are typically aliased to one of the default FSX aircraft for now.

Stage 2 - Experimental - Work-in-progress version of the product, essentially an early beta.  Product is flyable, but may CTD, and some items are not yet implemented.

Stage 3 - Release - Product is in a state worthy of release.

In essence, if you buy the product at Stage 1, they will charge you around €10.  If you buy the product at Stage 2, the price goes up to around €30.  If you wait until Stage 3, the price goes up to around €40.  They charge you to upgrade at each stage, although the purchase price of the previous stage is applied toward the cost of the upgrade.  So, if you paid €20 for Stage 2, it will only cost you an additional €10 to upgrade to Stage 3.  The 737 Captain is the first product that introduces this tiered release model, and it currently sits at the Experimental stage.

The tiered model seems reasonably fair, I guess.  You can decide to pay to help test what is essentially a beta stage of the product, and then have that amount applied toward the final purchase price of the release version of the product.  I'm not in that big of a hurry to get hold of the 737 Captain yet, so I will just wait a while until the release version is here - or at the very least, something close to that.

This  is also why I am holding off on doing any sort of mini-review of the 737 Captain for the time being - as a general rule, I do not review works-in-progress here, although I am happy to talk about them.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Captain Sim Updates Progress on 737 Captain

Captain Sim appears to be nearing the finish line toward a release of the full version of the 737 Captain (737-100/200 series) product!  They announced a major update today, including some screenshots of the interior and flight deck.  Good stuff.

Included in the announcement were a few other interesting items:

  • 737-200 will now be the base model.  This is a great call, because the -200 was immensely more popular than the -100 model.  Outside of Lufthansa, very few airlines ordered the -100.
  • A 737-200 Adv has now been confirmed as an expansion model.  Unclear if this will simply be the range-enhanced exterior model, or if it will also include the updated cockpit (more 737-300/400/500 like) of the later 737-200 Adv series planes.
  • Price for the base model is confirmed as €39.99, or about US $52 at today's exchange rate.
If you're looking to try out the exterior model, there is now a free demo of the 737-100 available, too.

Looks to be a fun year to fly some classics, between this one and the upcoming Coolsky DC-9!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Microsoft Flight! Released

Microsoft released Flight! on February 29.  The basic game is available as a free download from the Microsoft web site.  Microsoft plans to make money on Flight! by selling add-ons, in a manner reminiscent of MMORPGs.  I downloaded it and tried it out, and my basic reaction is, "meh."  It really seems to be more of a game than a sim.  In essence, you are given little mini-quests to complete, which have the purpose of teaching you how to fly.  I think the graphics do look a little slicker than FSX on some elements, but it lacks a number of features from FSX.  I haven't totally given up on Flight! - it's still on my hard drive for now - but I think I will be sticking with FSX for the time being.

PMDG Releases NGX SP1c

This weekend, PMDG released the SP1c update to the 737 NGX.  Info and links to the files are available here.

The highlights of this update include:

  • Numerous tweaks and fixes (see the link above for details)
  • PMDG NGX SDK - for developers working on products that will interact with the NGX
  • Tutorial #2 - this one teaches a few new tricks with the NGX, via a cool approach.  Capt. Randazzo highly recommends all pilots try this one out.
In addition, Capt. Randazzo notes that progress on SP2 and further expansions has slowed a bit, due to a "lack of data issue on a few key pieces."  Sounds like work is ongoing, but we should not expect to see anything right away.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mini-Review: Wilco 737 PIC Evolution

I have a confession to make: I honestly hate doing reviews of bad or mediocre products.  It is no fun.  I know many developers put a lot of time, money, and effort into producing their products.  I really do not enjoy trashing things that people have poured their heart and soul into.  I want to like everybody's products - I really do.  However, when a particular product leaves me less than satisfied, I have to call it as I see it.

Wilco Publishing has something of a mixed track record in flight simulator enthusiast circles.  Some of their products have been above average.  Many others, however, too often come up a bit short.  Unfortunately, their new 737 PIC Evolution falls into the latter camp.  To be fair - there are aspects of it that are quite good.  However, it also has a number of shortcomings that are downright maddening.  When the original 737 PIC was released several years ago, it was well-received as the only game in town for flying a quasi-realistic 737.  Unfortunately for Wilco, PMDG and iFly have both since appeared on the scene and upped the ante with their 737 products.  Wilco needed a home run to stay in the game with the 737 PIC Evolution, but unfortunately, they just aren't there yet.

OK, so to be fair, it's not an apples-to-apples comparison.  The 737 PIC Evolution models the 737 Classic series (737-300/400/500), while the PMDG NGX and iFly 737 NG both model the newer 737 NG series (737-600/700/800/900).  Still, I have to think that if PMDG or iFly deigned to take a crack at producing a 737 Classic, they would both produce something that tops the 737 PIC Evolution.

Before I get into why I find the 737 PIC Evolution distasteful, let's start out with a view of the exterior model.  This is a repaint of an Alaska Airlines 737-400.  Looks nice enough:

Here are some shots of the 3D VC.  I'll give Wilco some credit here for actually rendering the clickable buttons in 3D on the 737 PIC Evolution, rather than relying on flat textures as they did in the old 737 PIC:

By day, it's actually a rather nice virtual cockpit:

Although not shown here, you can optionally switch out the digital instruments in the middle of the panel with old steam-style analog versions.

Here is a view of the main 2D cockpit panel, sized adequately for widescreen monitors.  Some have described it as a bit unrealistic looking.  It's not horrible, at least...

Here is the 2D overhead panel:

Here is the INS panel:

Here are the radios, transponder, and TCAS controls in a 2D panel:

This little 2D panel allows you to change the range on the EHSI.  It is also included in the previous 2D panel above:

Here is our good friend, the FMS:

This 2D panel controls throttles, brakes, flaps, and spoilers:

And here is an action shot of the 737-400 taking off from Portland International Airport (KPDX), eventually bound for Gowen Field in Boise, Idaho (KBOI):

Cruising past Mt. Hood:

And now, we get to the aspects of the 737 PIC Evolution that really annoy me.  (This is with the v1.1 update, too.)  The taxi and turnoff lights are turned on here, but you sure wouldn't notice by the lack of reflection on the ground:

Only when you turn on the landing lights can you see any sort of reflection on the ground:

Next, the 3D VC is entirely too dark without any lights on.  Even the glass displays are abnormally dim.  Turning on the lights in the cockpit turns on the lights for the entire cabin - is this normal?  It seems to me that there should be a way to just turn on the lights that backlight the key instruments on the flight panel, but I confess I am not an expert 737 Classic driver here, so maybe this is expected.

However, what isn't expected is how strange and funky some of the night textures look when they are lit up.  The lighting just looks very unnatural - it's way off somehow:

I guess these things are mostly aesthetic, and do not affect the operation of the aircraft.  And arguably, I'm terribly spoiled by the attention to detail on the PMDG 737 NGX.  Still, you would think Wilco could have done better than this on the 737 PIC Evolution.  The whole thing just seems like they were in a big rush to get the product out the door and cash in, without paying attention to all the little details that make a product truly special.  If I'm given a choice between this and the NGX, I'm going with the NGX every single time.

So, to summarize:


- The 737 PIC Evolution flies reasonably well.  Most important functions seem to work correctly.
- Winglets are now modeled on the 737-300 series.
- No problems with crashes to desktop or similar fatal bugs.


- The lighting bugs are really glaring, and detract from the overall enjoyment of the aircraft.
- Not as realistic as other 737 products.


I went back and forth over how to rate this product - in particular, whether it should merit the very first Pretend Flyer "Recommended" rating.  The Wilco 737 PIC Evolution is functional, and generally seems to be an improvement over the original 737 PIC.  However, the 737 PIC Evolution is uninspiring, and has some substantial flaws.  It's difficult to say that this one will see a lot of time in my virtual skies when there are other, similar products that are just better.

The bottom line is that, ultimately, to whom would I recommend this product?  I honestly cannot come up with a great answer to this question.  If you are just looking for a decent 737 to add to your virtual fleet, and you do not really care whether it is a newer 737 NG versus a 737 Classic, then the iFly 737 NG is a better choice at almost the exact same price point.  If you want the ultimate in realism, then spend the extra cash on the PMDG 737 NGX.  But if you absolutely must have a 737 Classic in your fleet, then I guess the Wilco 737 PIC Evolution is your only viable choice at the moment.  However, this is a pretty tepid recommendation, given how crowded the marketplace is with various 737 products.  There just does not exist a really good reason to purchase the Wilco 737 PIC Evolution otherwise.  I suspect the number of people who insist on owning a 737 Classic is probably a very small fraction of the overall market.

Rating - Recommended (sort of)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Microsoft Flight! Due February 29

Microsoft has announced a release date for Flight! - February 29.

I am trying to work through how I feel about Flight!  The whole thing feels like it has been set up to fail from the start.  I totally get that Microsoft is trying to broaden the appeal of flight simulation by watering it down for the masses.  From a financial and marketing standpoint, that makes perfect sense.  However, Microsoft risks alienating the legions of loyal Flight Simulator fans who appreciate the technical superiority of Flight Simulator 2004 (FS9) and Flight Simulator X.  These fans may well find Flight! to be a less than satisfying experience.  In essence, Flight! seems to be a lose-lose proposition for diehard Flight Simulator fans:

  • If Flight! succeeds, then Microsoft will move flight games in the direction of casual gaming - and diehard fans who crave more realism will be left out in the cold.
  • If Flight! fails, then Microsoft can use the failure as justification to cease future development of any sort of realistic flight simulation games.
Developers like PMDG have already stated that they are very unhappy with the terms Microsoft has offered third-party developers to develop additions for Flight! - and as a result, many longtime Flight Simulator developers have passed on developing additions for Flight! at this time.  This does not portend good things for diehard flight simulation enthusiasts.  I will be watching Flight! with a wait-and-see approach for now...

One interesting related development - PMDG has admitted they have hired a developer who is experienced in X-Plane development, with a view toward porting one of their products to the X-Plane platform.  It will be interesting to see how things develop on this front.  I have not used X-Plane at all up to now, but if PMDG releases a product for X-Plane, then I will certainly have to give it serious consideration as a flight simulation platform in the future.

Revamping the Mini-Reviews

Going forward in 2012, I have decided to revamp the mini-reviews a bit.  Mainly, I will be simplifying the recommendation system for product reviews from here on out.  I am doing away with the previous five star rating system.  In practice, it seemed a bit arbitrary and perhaps even capricious at times.  In its place, I am introducing a simpler system that I think will more fairly and accurately reflect how I feel about various add-ons as I review them.  The recommendations shall be as follows:

  • Recommended - the product delivers as advertised; it offers a good value for the price.  The product merits a "Pretend Flyer Seal of Approval."
  • Not Recommended - the product falls substantially short of expectations in significant ways.  It may have significant bugs that detract from its overall enjoyment, such as frequent crashes to desktop (CTD's).  Or, the product may be decent in terms of features, but greatly overpriced in terms of value.
  • Deferred - I am withholding final judgment on the product for a while.  It may be a beta or initial release that is not ready for prime time.  I will give the developers a chance to rectify any issues with a future update before I make up my mind for good.
The upcoming mini-review of the Wilco 737 PIC Evolution will be the first one using this new system.

Wilco 737 PIC Evolution v1.1 Update Available

Wilco Publishing has released the v1.1 update to their 737 PIC Evolution product.  Customers can go log into their Wilco accounts and download the update.

Fixes include:

Exterior model:
Re-modeled wingflex effects with flaps and spoilers seamlessly following flex angles even when deployed.
Revised and improved Krueger leading edge flaps and slats. Kreugers now have correct secondary retractable segments.
Revised spoilers and ground spoilers with more details.
Revised flap animations more closely resemble the triple slotted flaps of the real 737 classics.
New "flatter" profile windows now with visible frames.
Numerous gtweaksh to shapes and profiles, all over the airframes.

The cockpit has received attention in the shape of many revised systems and improvements to
Correct TOGA switches are now present and functional on the throttle levers.
3D Engine start/fuel levers now function to match 2D popup throttles.
It is now possible to follow procedures from "Cold & Dark" state to flight entirely in the 3D cockpit mode.
Perhaps the most significant upgrade to the 3D cockpits is the ability to change out from digital to analogue instrumentation "on the fly" to match your selection of 2D panel.

I got this soon after it came out, but I was very disappointed with the initial release.  It was clear that it had been rushed out the door ahead of the holidays, and many things needed fixing.  I decided to let Wilco have a "do over" on this before I did a mini-review on it.

In other news, Wilco has posted a preliminary date of March 30, 2012 for the availability of the download version of the CRJ NextGen add-on.  I'm not holding my breath on that one yet, but maybe they will surprise us...

Monday, February 6, 2012

PMDG Unveils Secret Project #1: The DC-6

Well, this came out of nowhere!  This weekend, PMDG opened the kimono a bit on one of their secret projects they have hinted at previously.  It turns out that deep inside their virtual hangars, they have been hard at work on a classic plane: a Douglas DC-6B Cloudmaster.  See the pictures and the story from Captain Randazzo here.  The DC-6B inaugurates a new series from PMDG: the PMDG Classics.  Captain Randazzo assures the faithful that PMDG is carefully coordinating their development plans with other developers of classics - namely A2A Simulations - to avoid any duplication or overlap in product offerings.  It's as yet unclear whether the PMDG Classics will solely focus on the old piston props, or whether the line will include classic jets like the DC-8 as well.  Guess we will have to wait and see...

Release date and pricing are as yet unknown, but it looks like they are rather far along with this plane.  I would not be at all surprised to take flight in the PMDG DC-6B Cloudmaster sometime in 2012.

This is not a huge surprise - many of us have speculated that they might take on some classic planes at some point.  After all, there are only so many modern Boeing jets with glass displays and FMCs around to be made...

In other news, Captain Randazzo promised a preview of the PMDG 777 by the end of Q1 2012.  Looking forward to that one, as well.  The 737 NGX SP1c and SDK should also be out in the not-too-distant future, but no news yet on SP2 or the next NGX expansions (the -ER series?).