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Guest cw1011

Thoughts after about 20 hours...

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I have been reluctant to write this post, hoping I guess that perhaps my feelings would change. But the havn't. Ever since purchasing this jet, I have had this sense of disatisfaction that simply won't go away. So, I thought I would share this in hope that future releases might take my thoughts into consideration and to see if I am alone in my views (after browsing the panels in the AVSIM library, I have a sense that I might very well be an outlier on this subject).Also, this is not a rant - just my own reaction to a generally very good product. Let me be clear. I love the way the plane flies - this jet outclasses the DF 734 in this regard in every possible way. It is a joy to hand fly and I was able to fly it by hand from alitude to roll out the very first time. Given the so many bad flight models out there, this is a real accomplishment. I also think the gauge programming is a triumph - as smooth and accomplished as the Reality XP products which is also an accomplishment. So here it is, my one nagging irritant: I don't like the 2d panels. I miss my DF 734 panel view every time I fire up the jet. Why?I've never liked the trend in FS design to put my butt in the jump seat. The main panel looks like a cartoon to me - a very well crafted and highly accurate one, but a cartoon none-the-less. The long, flat top and offset primary flight display give no sense of being in the cockpit. I find it very difficult to concentrate on the pfd way over on the side when trying to fly with the flight director on - my eyes are naturally drawn to the center of the screen.I've sat in the deactivated 707 simulator at Pima. They just don't look like this. The primary fligh instruments are dead center in the pilot's view. The alternate or captain's view is a good start. But the window post is so heavy that the sensation is overpowering and not immersive. It also wipes out any sense of peripheral vision.My solution is to use the VC, simply panning down a bit from the default view. This looks terrific - the VC is beautiful. It really impacts performance though. I really wish I had this view in 2d mode. I understand the difficulties in getting all the gauges on one panel -especially the MCP which occupies middle of the glare shield. That said, I would much prefer a true pilot's view with the option to undock the MCP and put it on a second monitor, along with the engine gauges. Just a thought. Thanks all for indulging. I hope this will be taken in the spirit it is offered - constructive as opposed to destructive criticism. There is so much that is good about this product - I just wish I had a good pilot's view.

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wow...this is just the exact opposite of my feelings on the 'pilot seat issue'. I have for years had an issue with panel designers placing you on the quadrant or the jump seat. PMDG in my mind have been the only designers that have a handle on this. I think that the 'approach view' is right on. Yes, I have the DF 737 and yes that will center the PFD in the sreen, but it seems to me that you are sitting directly BEHIND the pilot, not in his seat.There has always been emphasis on 'seeing' the entire panel at the same time. I for one have never been in favor of this. This was the primary reason I purhased the FLY products and also only utilize add ons that either have an 'approach' type view or VC.Think about this, when your driving your car, can you see the keyhole in the glove box? Ya, maybe you can perceive it out of corner of your eye but it is not in your ACUTE field of vision.Again, thank goodness that PMDG deal with this issue. Just my thoughts, good post.

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Interesting, you've almost said exactly what I would have. Fly is the only time I ever really felt in the cockpit. If I wanted to see stuff, I (scrolled) turned my head and looked at it.I have always found Microsoft cockpits to be very cartoonie because of that quest to cram the whole thing into your screen.Maybe someone needs to invent a scrolling cockpit gauge so we can get bigger perspectives instead of the try and cram everything into the poor little window world of Microsoft.Maybe as simple as just using the existing cockpit, but defining a window on top of it that just zooms it bigger, so you only see part of it at once.The 3D stuff while being probably the real solution, is still a quite a few processor upgrades away before it really comes into it's own in enough detail and depth to replace 2D for real.Ray

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Just so everyone knows what I would love to see duplicated as the 2d alternative view, here is a jpeg of the vc in just about the perfect position/perspective. Colin Ware

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Hi Colin,I've never really been bothered by the offset of the primary flight instruments in a MSFS cockpit. There simply isn't enough space on the screens of 99,99% of the simflyers to put the PFD or basic six in the center and squat all your other information on the right of that and have some unused space to the left. The only real thing impacted by the offset might be the sense of centering when looking outside, especially during landing. That, however, is most people can easily get used to. (Did it ever happen that you landed in the grass next to the runway because of this?) If you're really having difficulty with this, I believe there's still the tick marker display option in MSFS that will put a marker in the center of your screen.So you have the right to be annoyed with this, but I say, why should you? You're only bothering yourself with it. Perhaps you could try to get over it. Flight simming isn't real. The word "simulator" says it all. There are certain limitations with the computer simulations we have now, and the physical aspects of computer hardware.One way to get over it is to buy yourself a bunch of screens or LCDs and place the cockpit panels on different screens. Yeah, it might be expensive.You might be really annoyed that your Toyota Corolla won't do 0-60 in 5 seconds as well. That's just the limitations you have with your Corolla. You can do something about it, but it's gonna cost ya. So either, try to get over it, or spend some dough.Enjoy!

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Iz,Collin in no way was beeing critical I think he put in to words what a lot of us feel. He is just trying to say that instead of placing an emphasis on puting all the gages on one panel he would like to see a closer representation of an actual, sitting in the left seat view. I don't know, that is just my 2 cents.Cheers :-beerchug

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I think it would be something special if PMDG bought/borrowed a top quality digital camera and made some photo realistic panels; of a true pilot's perspective! :9 (Or as near as possible on a monitor.)Bring on the 747! Paul

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just one point of comment:putting someone in the left seat of a jet in FS is simply put impossiblei own both the DF734 and 73NG and i must say that both are equally good for me.(qua point of view)normally, when you fly, you don't use a pointer cue to see whe're you're going, you just track your track along the ground visually...i don't really see the point of having a centered EADI or EHSI(PFD/ND) as when u actually use the EADI(PFD) or EHSI(ND) for lateral navigation, you'll probably( hopefully) not be on visual approach as that should be done looking outside, once in a while crosschecking speed and alt.i think both devellopers did a great job and if you want to have the 'real left seat view' you have only one option and that is to get yourself an ATPL and go fly the real thing...just my 2 cents

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".....of a true pilot's perspective!"It's simply not possible. If you sit in the cockpit with your head where it should be and you use a normal lens (non-fisheye/wide-angle lens), and look straight ahead, basically you can't see any panels at all, only window.... You may be lucky to even see parts of the window frame (More like the PMDG landing view)On a real aircraft, it's up to the pilot to look down at quite a steep angle to see the instruments. The main instrument panel is simply not angled enough to get a "square" image. The square instruments are trapezoids... making the instruments impossible to model. If you move further back with your camera, you have the control column obscuring the vital instruments (To highlight this point, on a 747, for example, with the control column fully forward, there is only 4" clearance between the column and the glass of the instruments... and these sticks really don't move as much as some might think they do).Simmers have it too easy with their perfect so-called "realistic" views of the instrument panel (where the view is more like that taken from a point in line with the cockpit door). Enjoy it before you take up real flying as a profession/hobby ;-)My 2c's worth.Cheers.Ian.

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I love the PMDG 737! I have no problems with the Panel views but I guess it would be nice to choose the Left or right seat as well as keeping the current views!Pete

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I'm not sure I agree with you. I think DF does a great job putting you in the left seat, as does Paul Golding's 707 package for FS2002 that contained both the full panel and a pilot's view. When hand flying, I focus intensly on the EADI, esp. when following the flight director. Even without it, I find I need to remain really vigilant to keep the right attitude and an eye on the speed. When the EIDI is centered, it feels very natural to be glancing up out the window, then back down to the gauges. I don't get that sense of realism glancing over to the left looking at the small gauges.

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I really think the solution to this issue in the future is going to be continued development of VCs - once computers are powerful enough and MS fully commits to having the VC be the primary view and optimizes the engine for it, that the only way we're ever going to have a "true pilot perspective." Let's not forget what we're doing here in the meantime - simulating a multimillion dollar airliner cockpit in the space of 17-21 inches!! The fact that we can do it at all, much less with the correct perspective, is amazing.

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Hi,Despite the risk of repeating things what Colin said, and the risk of making myself look stupid, I have to comment on this.I agree with Colin. Although I know that the 737NG cockpit layout is what it is, and PMDG have captured the essentials on the main panel view, I am not entirely happy with the 2D view. Also, I don't use VC for jet flying at all, I feel it simply is not suited for it. But that's a whole different story.A few messages below, Iz, who is a real NG pilot and ex 757 pilot, commented on the realities of views etc. Basically I agree with what he said. However, I still feel that PMDG's main 2D view does not give me the immersion of being in a cockpit of a jetliner. One might ask, if ANY MS FS aircraft gives me that, of course. I'm both sad and happy to say that there are some that do the trick.767PIC's main panel view is not that good, but it's better than PMDG's view. It doesn't look so "cartoonish", which also bothers me. I've said to some flightsimmers before that in the PMDG bird everything works great, but it leaves me with a "plastic" feeling, a feeling of really flying a desktop sim, rather than a simulator simulating something else. I know this is semantics, and a matter of preference but nevertheless, I have to say that I agree with Colin. I cannot choose my feelings about this issue, however much I really like PMDG as a whole. Their customer service is in my opinion excellent, nothing so far has even come close to it. But that doesn't change how I feel about the aircraft.I also know how it feels like to fly a real aircraft, and I have tried several full flight simulators as well. I have a hunch about the atmosphere of guiding a large airliner, in the simulator that is. Yes, it is impossible to make a perfect view with the whole MCP visible, and at the same time putting the main instruments right in front of the pilot. But, there are other tricks that can be done to "simulate" the feeling of being in a cockpit, and in this respect I feel PMDG panel design has failed.See below for our own Randy's old landing view for PIC. This view could not act as a main panel view, never ever. But, this captures (at least with a 21" monitor) the feeling of flying a real 757 really well (save for the twisted RDMI). The angle of the gauges, the position of the pilot, and the unblocked wide view are very much like the real situation behind the yoke of a 757, and I think even Iz will agree with me here. This is what I mean about the immersion. If PMDG could make the 2D views a little more "alive" and change the layout from 1.2.3.4.5. to something else, I would feel differently.peaceful regardsTerohttp://www.ee.oulu.fi/~partanen/tokku19.jpg

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I agree that it is just about impossible to "Simulate" a real world 3D environment on a single 2D display. But I disagree that the answer is a better VC. As long as only one display is utilized the solution will have some type of significant tradeoff due to the viewing limits of one 2D device. IMHO the future could really change if multi-display capable adapters would become mainstream. I realize that multi-display products are available today, but most rely on a user having multiple standalone PC

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>The main panel looks like a cartoon to me - a very>well crafted and highly accurate one, but a cartoon>none-the-less. I generally agree. In terms of artistry and sitting in front of a real "expensive" panel nothing in my opinion beats Flight1's Meridian. However once you switch to VC things go sour quickly - there is no product yet that would give me satisfying "quality" look/feel, even the Meridian.Michael J.

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Well, Michael J.,it's a well-known fact that you're NEVER pleased... ;-) After all, the 737NG is the best-in-the-business when it comes to your biggest pet-peeve (the flight-director), but when that came out, you found another thing to complain about ("I don't fly heavies anymore").Now, it's the "cartoony" panel. What's next, the empty seats in the back? I mean, we'll do THOSE too if you say so!!! (Just get ready to pay for the extra hardware required to display all those extra polygons!)We are sure GLAD to have you around, though! You really keep us on our toes! ;-)Cheers Mate!

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>>We are sure GLAD to have you around, though! You really keep>us on our toes! ;-)>>Cheers Mate!Cheers Lefteris !!I am GLAD to see your TEAM enjoy this TREMENDOUS success. More power to you. As to your 'toes' or 'pleasing' me - forget it. I haven't even started FS9 in the last 3 months. Busy sorting out a lot of personal stuff and also a bit 'burnt out' FS user. Yeah, I still like to read forums but spend more time these days playing with my dog than thinking about simulators.But I will be back - eventually.Michael J.

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I agree 100% with Colin.I believe Tero summed it up very well in his post also, so I don't have anything to add to what Colin and Tero has already said. I like the PMDG 737, but I strongly dislike the 2D panel layout and graphics. Cartoonish panels, lack of proper pilot's perspective, to name a few things.To those who say this is as good as it gets, and it is impossible to replicate a real cockpit any better in FS: a better solution is possible. Look at Dreamfleet's panels as an example. http://atr.flight1.net/2dpanel.htmlThomas K.

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Thomas, I very much appreciate your thoughts. However, what you said, "lack of proper pilot's perspective" I cant figure out. I have taken the liberty of ripping the images from the respective sites for discussion purposes.I have to say that both are very comparable. Window posts, 'seat' height, window area, glaresheild height, ect... I find both products to be very well done in this 'pilots view' concept. Granted there are variations with nuances like reflections and highlights.thoughts?DF panel (level flight)http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/61143.jpgPMDG panel (climbing turn) - slightly lower reshttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/61144.jpg

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I'm with Mike on this one. Although relatively inexperienced (FS2004 only) I prefer PMDG's graphics to the photo panels for the simple reason that they blend in better with the scenery.I own the Cessna 310 which is a great plane but I find that the stark contrast of photo panel and computer graphic scenery distracts from the immersive experience.I think the above screenshots illustrate this point and the pilot perspective very well. At the end of the day its like previous posts have said, unless you have a huge viewing area you can only SIMULATE the experience and you can't please everyone at once unfortunately.But then again what do I know :-).

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Mike,I think the keyword here is "proper" pilot's perspective.The PMDG737 does offer a pilot's perspective, but to me, it's not one that I would consider great. It seems like a rushed last minute addition, done as a way of silencing people who are vocal about the need for "proper perspectives". There are differences between the 2 screenshots you posted above, whether or not you see them I think depends on your artistic senses and your spatial abilities and intelligence. I can say right off the bat from looking at the comparison above that the PMDG perspective is lacking in aesthetic appeal.And I quote from Colin, "The alternate or captain's view is a good start. But the window post is so heavy that the sensation is overpowering and not immersive. It also wipes out any sense of peripheral vision."Speaking of the PMDG737, in my opinion, I believe that giving the user 4 alternative and highly viewpoint-varied main panel views is not a good solution (e.g.,the whole MZAL idea). It's all simply too aesthetically confusing- In one view, you're way back in the jumpseat and the gauges are far too small to see properly; in another view, you're seeing things from a pseudo captain's perspective (which, like Colin said, is a good start, but the perspective is implemented poorly); and in another view, you have 3 artificially enlarged instrument displays across the entire width of the panel, which destroys the realistic configuration and layout of an authentic 737NG panel (which already looks cartoonish to begin with). In the end, you have 3 highly different and compromised perspectives which is not only confusing, but each of them are less than satisfactory. I know developers don't like to hear criticism about their work so that's all I wll say about this. Apart from the aesthetics of the 2D panels, I must say that PMDG has done a very fine job with the 737. Thomas K.

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point taken about the left side of the above PMDG panel (a bit large). I am going to snoop around airliner.net to see what I can found out. I actually think that things look like this in the real aircraft. And in fact the window frame is both large and at a relativly severe slope that it indeeds cause this 'oversize' optical effect.Kind of like holding you left arm straigt out, bending it up to a 45 angle from the elbow, now rotate your forearm to the right about 4-5 inches and then flatten your hand out level with the horizon (like your frozen in the middle of saluting). At least this is how it was described to me by an NG pilot for Alaska Airlines.BTW; he said that he would try to get a digital photo shot for me soon, we'll see.

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