Here we can only briefly reproduce the key moments of this two-hour interview by Jeff Turner of SkyBlueRadio.
The interview begins with the story of Robert S. Randazzo, the founder of PMDG. It is revealed that his interest in programming began at a young age when he wanted to learn how to program on an Apple computer. However, he got an Atari instead. In 1986 and 1987, Robert and his college roommate connected their computers to play Falcon 3.0, unknowingly laying the foundation for PMDG. In 1997, PMDG was officially founded when Robert sold products to finance his flight training. The company faced challenges, including being scammed by a marketplace. Since then, PMDG has sold its products primarily on its own website and has established a partnership with Aerosoft.
Robert’s dream was to become a pilot and he pursued a career with United Airlines. He started as a toilet cleaner and worked his way up to a position in operations management. However, he decided to take a year off from flying to focus on PMDG after his wife hit a career hurdle with the Secret Service. Robert has earned various pilot licenses and even owned a DC-3, for which he was recognized as a Golden Age Ambassador by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA).
The interview also discusses PMDG’s experiences with the MSFS Marketplace. Robert reflects on the time when PMDG dominated the market with P3D and discusses the marketplace’s challenges in terms of quality control and delays in releasing updates. PMDG estimates that 50% of their MSFS sales come from the Marketplace, enabling a new generation of simulation enthusiasts to discover their products. Robert emphasizes the importance of maintaining quality so as not to tarnish the reputation of their brand.
The interview also touches on the Universal Flight Tablet (UFT), the innovation recently released by PMDG. Robert mentions that developing the UFT was challenging, but planned features are now being added on a three-week cycle. The next feature to be released is the integration of navigation map display via Sim Brief.
Finally, the interview addresses the perception of PMDG in the flight simulation community. The company recognizes that it has a reputation for being “antagonistic” and reiterates its commitment to becoming more accessible and improving its brand image.