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Guest Yak Yak

GA to heavies...

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hey everyone,I first purchased fs9 to help me practice for my IFR license. Since then, i've only installed/bought a handfull of very good GA planes. The Aeroworx King Air in probably the most complex aircraft in my virtual hanger (since i don't have a multi-engine license, i wanted to test the waters with it).lately, i've been itching to get into the heavies. I know both PMDG and Level-D do a good job of simulating the 7 series boeings. I know i'll never be able to fly the real-deal, but it might be fun to understand how they operate.However, would a hardcore GA person like myself enjoy all the systems? I'm just curious to see if anyone else was in my shoes but made a happy transition.my credit-card is holding short... :)thanks-feng

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>hey everyone,>>I first purchased fs9 to help me practice for my IFR license.>Since then, i've only installed/bought a handfull of very good>GA planes. The Aeroworx King Air in probably the most complex>aircraft in my virtual hanger (since i don't have a>multi-engine license, i wanted to test the waters with it).>>lately, i've been itching to get into the heavies. I know both>PMDG and Level-D do a good job of simulating the 7 series>boeings. I know i'll never be able to fly the real-deal, but>it might be fun to understand how they operate.>>However, would a hardcore GA person like myself enjoy all the>systems? I'm just curious to see if anyone else was in my>shoes but made a happy transition.>>my credit-card is holding short... :)>>thanks>>-fengHey Feng, as an admirer of your outstanding GA pics in the screenshot fourm, I will be the 1st to tell you that the only advice I can give you in this area is that flying heavies is a different form of flying...but flying just the same. :)Long ago a friend of mine, who couldn't grasp my love of aviation, asked which plane was my favorite..to which I replied "If it flies, I like it."One thing that is essential for a successful experience flying heavies is to fly them as realistically as possible, which is to say that if you're gonna' dive in, I consider it a manditory to fly on Vatsim. You'll find (if you don't already fly on Vatsim) that it will test your IFR rating almost as well has real life, and as you know, there is no such thing as a VFR heavy flight. :) The interaction with live controllers and having other real people flying in the planes around your airspace adds a touch of realism that no AI package or ATC product can even come close to.The next thing of course is to have an aircraft which is accuratley modeled in every aspect. Few would hesitate to recommend the LDS 767. Besides the fact that every major repainter has painted just about every livery this plane has ever flown in (14 from me alone...shameless plug :-lol), its systems fidelity is second to none, and its user base is probably the most friendly, helpful and knowledgable group of airline simmers around. In fact alot of them have direct ties with Vatsim, one of which I know personally and who's on the governing body of Vatsim.I also think the 767 is a good overall choice because of its flexibility in route choice. You can easily find a 767 running from KATL to KBOS as well as on Track Charlie glidling over the Atlantic. :) The 747, while an excellent offering from PMDG (and RFP), really only fits long-haul duty (except for some instances in Japan).Alot of the initial jump into this part of the aviation world may seem daunting at first, but as you get into it, you'll start to see the logic and flow of the national airways system and never wonder just what is going on at the airport on your next commercial trip. :)I hope to see you posting pics of your 1st heavy fight in the near future. ;)Regards,Steve Drahttp://img47.photobucket.com/albums/v144/S...Dra/banner1.jpgDownload my planes at Avsim here:http://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?CatID...&Go=Change+View

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Hi Feng,another admirer of your beautiful screenshots here... :)I was intimidated by the heavy iron once. Only flew GA airplanes (and had a time of my life in the Bush Flying Unlimited - FUII and III)Then I decided to give it a try and plunged into the world of simulated airline flying. I can summarize in one simple line: Once you grasp the procedures and general principles and master one big airliner, you'll have no trouble flying them all. You master one FMC, the rest is variation. Or, at the other end of the spectrum, I thought I would never be able to fly the RFP B742 properly and ended up flying for Globe Cargo VA. :) I tried VATSIM as well but I must say I prefer Radar Contact. My typical flight would go like this:1. decide where I want to fly2. get weather (ASV6, load ground textures - GEPro II, FE))3. load the chosen aircraft and write down weights, ZFW, etc.4. Start FS5. Make flight plan (FSNav)6. Start FS Flight Keeper with all the goodies like ambient music, announcements and such7. Calculate necessary fuel (weather, weight, alternate, etc...) or just use Fuel Loader if AC has one8. Write down rest of data (SID, Fuel load, TOW, etc...)9. Start from cold & dark10. input flight plan into the FMC if AC has one11. Start Radar contact and getting IFR clearance12 Startup, taxi and takeoff...and so on...With a complex airliner like RFP B742 it takes me up to 1 hour to get airborne and not much less with LDS B767 or PMDG B747 or Dreamfleet B727. Especially if I fly a route I haven't flown before and don

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My preference for heavies is the PMDG 737NG series suited for short to medium haul flights (this includes the US West Coast to Hawaai). I usually do anywhere from sixty to 150 minute legs.The systems are interesting as an expansion of modern GA aircraft. GA twins are now fitted with advanced electronics even with indirect systems planning. Newest heavier commuter turbo props contain very similar FMCs as heavy jets. I've got a cockpit video showing some older Saab 340Bs with some kind of FMC. The idea of adding FMCs where possible to older aircraft centers around efficient flight control in terms of fuel as well as possibly increasing the safety factor for planning.If you decide to get a PMDG 737NG but do not want to buy two sets (the 600/700 or 800/900) I recommend getting thed Aerosoft CD version of the 800/900 which unlike the download PMDG 800/900 version which requires the 600/700 is a 800/900 stand-alone. The 800/900 has a more complete FMC and instrument feature set like adding TCAS to the ND. (Get the service packs from Aerosoft after registering on their site. The key comes with the CD.)Many years ago I real world flew advanced GA aircraft SE VFR CPL and had some instrument training. I do not find the systems on the 737NG too difficult to manage. On the PMDG forum here at AVSIM you can locate tutorials. There is an excellent (in my opinion) manual written by former airline captain Mike Ray especially for this class of 7xxNG aircraft called in his PC SIMULATOR SERIES the Flying the Boeing 700 Series Flight Simulators. With the Aerosoft published PMDG products comes a hard copy pilot's ops manual plus a dedicated FMC manual, but Mike's manual elucidates and gives practical suggestions for flight management taking advantage of the FMC functionality. It is described at www.utem.com along with his professional checkride series which probably is overkill for your intended use.t is available at sim pilot shops and amazon as well. Just make sure you get the right publication. There are detailed .pdfs on the Aerosoft/PMDG products as well with performance graphs for full planning functionality.With the fitting of modern avionics to none-heavy aircraft these days much of the same functionality might be found in GA aircraft. If you are willing to put in a bit of time for the learning curve.

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Thanks guys for the great replies! This is such a helpful community.I've actually downloaded a bunch of PMDG/Level-D tutorials from here before i make the actual purchase. I've scanned through them briefly (will spend a lot more time this weekened on them), and wow, there are a lot of procedures (and i thought flying my 172 in real life had a big check-list to remember...well, not really..haha). Now i know why they have 2-3 pilots in these planes. It does seem very interesting, and an excellent learning tool. I do agree that these type of tools (such as the FMC) would definitely benefit the GA world as well, especially for safety. I might purchase both the level-d and pmdg and start the learning process. You guys have mentioned a bunch of external tools as well (FSnav, Radar contact, etc), which i have heard, but know nothing about. So i'll do some research on them as well. All these procedure talk sure sounds exiting. I love "flying by the books" in fs9. It's amazing on how much it helps with real-world flying. Sometimes the flight is so real, i forget that it was simmed.thanks again for the in-depth help. I'm looking forward to finally entering the Class A airspace, instead of admiring the contrails from below. :) -feng

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I'm fairly new to simming and have no real life pilot training but otherwise I'm a little like yourself wanting to get my feet wet on the heavies. I've started with the PMDG 737 and have picked up the FS2Crew add on for it. Between the two I'm having a ball as well as really learning a lot. Having a co pilot on board adds tremendously to helping with the learning and workload as well as making it a lot of fun.As to the other part of your last post, and I'm no expert on this stuff eitherbut I've found FSNavigator to be just the greatest. Very intuitive, loaded with tons of information and great to have on board. The beauty of it for a beginner deciding what to get is that you get a full working no charge demo with no restrictions for 20 startups of the program so you can have it running for hours if need be. With the 20 tries you get a good idea of its full functionality and whether you want it or not. For me there was no question.Here are links for those two add ons.http://www.fsnavigator.com/download.htmhttp://www.fs2crew.com/

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Oh, here is a video showing just how real it can be with Tracker IR, Vatsim and the LeveD 767 flown by someone who knows how to fly her. http://www.simradar.com/Feature/4057/Vatsi...767.html#streamThe controller voices are from live controllers, the other voices are fellow Vatsim pilots or the 3rd party first officer doing the checks.Enjoy the video. :)Regards,Steve Drahttp://img47.photobucket.com/albums/v144/S...Dra/banner1.jpgDownload my planes at Avsim here:http://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?CatID...&Go=Change+View

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^^^^ that above video is pretty cool. Thanks for the link.It does sound like the real deal. Quick question, i noticed he had zero AI at the airports, but ATC is giving instructions to several in the area. So can you see the other "players" when using Vatsim? I guess i should visit Vatsim now... :)-feng

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>^^^^ that above video is pretty cool. Thanks for the link.>>It does sound like the real deal. Quick question, i noticed he>had zero AI at the airports, but ATC is giving instructions to>several in the area. So can you see the other "players" when>using Vatsim? I guess i should visit Vatsim now... :)>>-feng>>Yes you can see other players aircraft. There is a CSL "Common shapes library" that loads with squawkbox (the free software you install to connect to the system) that models the planes other online pilots are flying. The models are really basic, but have to understandable be when you may be in a area with dozens of pilots and all that data has to be conveyed to everyone at the same time. :)In addition, several payware aircraft you can purchase (the LDS 767 included of course) link the TCAS to the online targets in your area, so you also recieve live TCAS data for collision advoidance. :)Also (if that were not enough), FSnavigator (payware) has a module that lets you connect to your multiplayer session (this whole thing uses flightsim's built-in multiplayer functionality to give you other planes in your area) so you will see all the aircraft in your area superimposed on your FSnavigator map....they have target information just as a controller would have....like this:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/163054.jpgIn this example, you can see me and a few friends are decending into the Atlanta area after a flight from KLGA. I am AAL 1068 (bringing up the rear :-lol) at the top of the screen, and you can see my friends being lined up by the controller for the approach to 26RThere is also a freeware utilty called servinfo that lets you see the controller coverage worldwide, and places all the aircraft flying in the whole world are...like this:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/163055.jpgThe gray areas represent controller coverage for that area (broken into actual TSRA's, TCAs etc as in the real world) Holding your mouse over the area tells you who's the controller, and it also tells you if the tower is up at an airport. (You can see the train of aircraft heading to Atlanta as referenced in the FSnav pic above)Here is an overall view of the US:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/163061.jpgServinfo also gives you detailed info on pilots, controllers and airports in the system..including flight plans, where a controller is controlling, how long he's been on duty, etc.http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/163062.jpgIn short...when you really get into it...you'll find that not only will you not be flying in a vacuum, you'll also have a wealth of tools to help you plan your flight to and from populated areas (many controller areas have thier own websites and sponser "Fly-ins" to thier facility where they'll have all their controller positions fully staffed, giving you the total IFR experience from clearance delivery to pushback & startup clearance,taxi, tower, departure, center, approach, etc...just like in real life. :) Virtual airlines also schedule these types of events to coordinate with the Centers...and even if you don't belong to the VA, you can benefit from the ATC coverage in that area just the same (they take all traffic during these VA flyins...not just the VA traffic). ;)Now, I can't lie to ya and say you can just jump in and be 100% right off the bat....there is a moderate learning curve here. But in the end if you stick with it and get all the procedures down, your overall flight experience will be well worth it. :)Regards,Steve Drahttp://img47.photobucket.com/albums/v144/S...Dra/banner1.jpgDownload my planes at Avsim here:http://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?CatID...&Go=Change+View

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Hi Feng,Others have already talked about the 767 and 747, so I'll simply say they're both great! Another one to consider though, albeit NOT a heavy is the Flight 1 ATR 72, it's the most advanced turboprop out there and excellent if you want sectors under 2 hours. PLUS if you run things like ultimate terrain and a good mesh, you're still low enough at 13,000-20,000 to see and enjoy it all!Plus, given the ATR cockpit design philosophy, it will make for good transitional training for a yet-to-be-released A320 package! ;-)www.airsimmer.comNow THERE are some cool systems. Go download a flightdeck systems notes file from www.wingfiles.com and see what you're in for.Good luck!

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>Hi Feng,>>Others have already talked about the 767 and 747, so I'll>simply say they're both great! Another one to consider though,>albeit NOT a heavy is the Flight 1 ATR 72, it's the most>advanced turboprop out there and excellent if you want sectors>under 2 hours. PLUS if you run things like ultimate terrain>and a good mesh, you're still low enough at 13,000-20,000 to>see and enjoy it all!>>Plus, given the ATR cockpit design philosophy, it will make>for good transitional training for a yet-to-be-released A320>package! ;-)>>www.airsimmer.com>>Now THERE are some cool systems. Go download a flightdeck>systems notes file from www.wingfiles.com and see what you're>in for.>>Good luck!Hey Mark,Yes another excellent package.I happen to own it too but haven't flown her in ages. :(I painted her up in many liveries as well...this one being my favorite for taking short little hops around Italy:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/163089.jpgThis and all my repaints for the ATR (and LDS 767) are available here at Avsim by clicking the link below my banner. ;)Regards,Steve Drahttp://img47.photobucket.com/albums/v144/S...Dra/banner1.jpgDownload my planes at Avsim here:http://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?CatID...&Go=Change+View

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Neat vid. How did he pan around the VC like that? Is that a feature from PMDG or can most FS2004 VCs do that?

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Feng.I have been flying GA only for almost 2 years. Bought many airliners like PMDG 737, CS 727, Phoenix, Flew it a few minutes/hrs and they went back into the hanger. For me GA was everythinng... The kind of aircrafts I flew for real, I flew in the sim. When I started twins for real...I flew twins. No Turbine twins.. Just piston. Cuase, thats what I flew for real.Until... I saw F1 ATR. I loved their VC. WOW...I then got it and started flying it. But never learned the system. Just dialed in my Nav radios and flew it like I flew my GA aircrafts. Then one day, I took out the PMDG out of the attic (so to speak) and wanted to fly it the same way. Hanfdly by dialing in the Nav radio. But I didn't know how. So I went and posted a Q at the PMDG forum. How the heck do I dial in my VOR Nav freq? ....then I was introduced to the FMC. Do i really want to go through this I thought. Luckly there were some helpful folks at the PMDG thread who posted/pointed me to some basic tutorial. (Let me know and I'll dig them up for you). Basic tutorial to start (warm start) fly to a location and land... all auto. Then I picked another tutorial to go a little deeper..,...and on and on and on..... WOW. Loved it. All this time.,..never a cold boot. Then once I learned the FMC and MCP and whatnot... I started on the engine start procedure. Don't do everything from start.. It could be overwhelming. But do it in modules. Worth it. Surpringly I never learnt the F1 ATR system...because I could not get a user friendly tutorial compared to the choices you have for the PMDG 747. Infact I found a good 737FMC thats 98% useful for the 747. I also tried not to learn the systems of too many airliners at the same time. I stayed focused on the PMDG 747 to fly using all the systems. Even though I love flying the LvlD 767 and other airliners.Manny

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Thanks again for all the help everyone. I've looked into everything mentioned here, and i'm definitely going to take the leap this weekend. :)The ATR does look very nice! This might be a good plane for me to start with (plus it's still prop driven). I've read up on all the FMC stuff, and it's not super difficult to understand. Of course i've only scratched the surface. There are just layers and layers of information - it's overwhelming, but at the same time, it's a good challenge to face. I also started fs9 thinking "if i can't fly it in real-life, then i won't fly it in the sim." But now days, the simulation of these more complex aircrafts are so well done, it's a shame to not learn them. I can't count the number of times fs9 has aided me in real-world flying. These days, i won't go to any new location without flying the route first in fs9 :) ps. Trying to explain this to the wife...it's impossible. She saw me spend 1 hour last night staring a FMC tutorial....hahah..-feng

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The Flight 1 ATR is an absolute favorite of mine. It looks intimidating with such a busy overhead panel, but you don't mess with any of it during flight, unless you need icing or to adjust the lights. I'm not one to start cold very often since it just takes time and isn't very interesting, however, the cold start on the ATR is easy, plus you have two ways to do it. The FMC on the ATR is very simple too. If you can learn the PMDG FMC, you can learn the ATR. I find very little difference. The nicest thing the ATR FMC has is the option for two flight plans, it comes in handy sometimes. Out of all my payware, I have to say the ATR is one of the best. It banks very well in a turn without pitching all over like some do. The Aeroworx King Air you mentioned is another one that allows a bank that's manageable in pitch. The ATR is a little easier to land though, as it's doesn't float as bad as the King Air.The PMDG 737, 747 and LDS 767 are obviously the best of the best Heavies for FS9. All have excellent flight dynamics and a easy to land, IMO. I find the PMDG 747 the easiest to land (I never use AP for approach) or at least control for ILS. For some reason it's really responsive without sensitive like a default Cessna ;) The 737 is a great aircraft, and the easiest of the three to learn. All good choices no matter what.

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