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NicolasCYOW

First Impressions

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Greetings to all,Well, after much pondering, and since I have much much more time on my hands now that my M.A. is completed, I finally bought the 737NG (-600 and -700, that is) two days ago. First of all, the eCommerce site proved very efficient and I got the download link mere seconds after entering the relevant information. Installation was pretty straightforward -- no surprises there. Needless to say, I was somewhat intimidated when I first "arrived" on the flight deck, and felt like I didn't belong there!I decided the best thing to do was to browse through the manuals (that was my girlfriend's suggestion) and Fred Clausen's tutorial. That had me (well, not me, the plane) up and running within a few (dozens of) minutes. To make a long story short, I accidentally skipped a few crucial steps in Fred's tutorial and ended up in some field, somewhere in Michigan, far from what had been my destination, Chicago. In retrospect, starting the plane was the easy part, while meeting the FMC for the first time felt like a calculus exam for which I had not studied or reading Plato's Republic - in Greek. Now, I don't know if I am the only one who felt that way when first bringing up the FMC beast and I would find much comfort in knowing that I am not alone.I yet have to learn how to enter a proper flight plan (that is, something more detailed than CYOW-CYYZ direct) and also how to find all the flightplan information (waypoints, fixes and all). While I am starting to understand how to enter information in the FMC, I still do not know where to find that information - for instance, what to do if I want to do a decently realistic CYOW-CYYZ flight with an actual flightplan, SIDs, STARs and all. I would be most pleased to entertain suggestions and to know how fellow 737NG users go about programming the FMC and finding the required information. I will feel quite happy the day (or night) I manage to input a real flightplan in that FMC!The 737NG really feels like a simulator within the simulator, and is already a challenging learning experience. Congratulations to PMDG!I look forward to hearing from you all,Nicolas in a somewhat icy CYOW

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Guest 160732

Hi Nicolas.I believe I'm in a situation like yours. I have folloved PMDG from the start and learned to fly 737 when Timothy Metzingers tutorial first came out, but I sort of gave up after the first attempt to master the FMC. Now I have started again and have the time and will to hold out, so I will follow this thread closelyOle

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Guest Newflyer

The FMS is a pretty intimidating piece of work. But once you master it, it is so simple, it's all intuitive. Just follow his tutorial over and over, and you'll start to UNDERSTAND what you're doing. Not just doing what he says. As for the flightplan, I use the free version of FSBuild, sure, it doesn't export into the PMDG's FMS, but I can live with that, just search for FSBUild in Google, and download the free one. V 1.4 I think... Anyway, there, you just enter departure and arrival airports, and hit auto-generate, and there is is, the flight plan to follow :)

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Thank you gentlemen for your replies!Zack, I thought about the free version FSBuild... the only thing that intimidates me is that I will still have to enter the flightplan in the FMC myself, but, as you say, I guess this will become easy once I'll have completed the tutorial a dozen times!Nicolas in CYOW

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Nicolas,Inserting a flightplan in the FMS is not that intimidating if you know how to use the VIA field and airways. You only need to enter start/end waypoint and any waypoints that are connecting the airways you fly. Do a search as this has been covered on the forum. Usually the route is entered manually in real life as well. And if you have a route without too many DIRECTs it's fast to enter.That said. You can export FS9 flightplans to PMDG routes via some handy converter. I think the name is PLN2RTE or something like that. And version 1.4 of FSBuild should be able to export to PMDG format. Hope it helps,

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Guest TELCO1

Hi Nicolas,I just started flying the PMDG 737 as well. However, I've been flying the PIC767 for years so the FMC was very familiar to me and I knew what to expect. I still read the manual to make sure I didn't miss anything.>I decided the best thing to do was to browse through the>manuals(that was my girlfriend's suggestion).Great suggestion, but "browsing" is the wrong thing to do in my opinion. I can only speak for myself, but I purchase aircraft like the 737 to learn it's systems as well as the enjoyment of flying it. In fact, right now, I only fly two aircraft in FS9...the 737 and Flight1's Piper Meridian. You'd be doing your self a big favour by taking some time and going through the FMC manual page by page. You may not use all the features at the end of the day, but you would certainly get alot out of it and the intimidation would be a thing of the past in short order.>I yet have to learn how to enter a proper flight plan (that>is, something more detailed than CYOW-CYYZ direct) and also>how to find all the flightplan information (waypoints, fixes>and all). While I am starting to understand how to enter>information in the FMC, I still do not know where to find that>information.Go to http://vatsim.net Go to any of the Division Websites shown in the right hand column. Most of them have Pilot Sections where you can get plans already done for you to and from the most popular destinations. In most cases, you can get the departure and arrival procedures as well. You would still have to input the destinations manually, but hey....that's part of the fun.Of course, this in absence of a good flightplanner. I use FSBuild 2.1 and can export plans directly to the 737's FMC. I still program the SIDS/STARS seperately for weather and wind considerations.Hope this helps you get started.Lawrie (here in Toronto)

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Thanks again for your replies,Lawrie, thanks for your suggestions. Indeed, I visited the Canadian VATSIM site and found a good resource for flightplans there; and already, the idea of inputting the flightplans manually appears less frightening! And, as Fred Clausen says in his great tutorial, patience is a definite requirement... This brings back childhood memories of assembling Legos - in other words, you have to do everything step-by-step.Nicolas in a soon-to-be-snowy CYOW

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