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nharwood

MD-11 Flight Planning - Clarification from PMDG

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I've been a long time customer of PMDG, having purchased every single product (some of them more than once - call that "stupid tax" on my part :( ) but I've been out of the hobby for over a year now for various reasons... Anyway, I noticed a week ago that PMDG had released their MD-11 which I had been anticipating for a long time... So I purchased it without much research / study because I've always been overly impressed with the fidelity of PMDG's products regardless of the cost.That being said, I was shocked while studying that I didn't find flight planning data (fuel burn, etc) and I'm quite concerned now that I've spent a few minutes reading some of the posts here in the forums regarding this issue.Could someone (preferably a PMDG representative) point me to an official statement regarding this? I'm somewhat surprised to not see this addressed in the product page on the website, FAQ portion of the product wiki, nor a forum sticky here. Admittedly I haven't done a thorough search of the forums for this but quite frankly I just spent a respectable amount of money on this product and feel, to some extent, that I've been misled (or not told the whole story).I'm not trying to get everyones opinions here, I'm just looking for the facts from the source (or a link to the facts if already provided).Thanks, and keep up the good work - it's still an awe-inspiring simulator! (and I'm still secretly hoping someone calls me an idiot and tells me to check the FCOM manual, page L.00.22)Nathan Harwood

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The short answer is that we had support from Boeing/MD in building the product, but part of the deal is that they did not allow us to publish the performance data for the aircraft for a variety of reasons we can't get into relating to their business...The maker of TopCat is working on getting the data on his own for integration into the utility... that's unfortunately the best that can be done at this time.

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The short answer is that we had support from Boeing/MD in building the product, but part of the deal is that they did not allow us to publish the performance data for the aircraft for a variety of reasons we can't get into relating to their business...The maker of TopCat is working on getting the data on his own for integration into the utility... that's unfortunately the best that can be done at this time.
Ryan, thank you for your prompt response and I will respect the confidentiality of the situation.I would like to make two recommendations:
  1. Make it obvious on the product page that PMDG is not able to provide all the information necessary to use this product (and obviously that there are reasons beyond your control as to why and the options your customers have to work around this situation). I will hesitate and research considerably more in the future before I make a purchase decisions with PMDG due to this lack of transparency.
  2. PMDG should work out a partnership with TOPCAT to provide verified PMDG customers with discounted TOPCAT full version products - seeing that it seems necessary. If this violates your agreement with Boeing, then offer some sort of rebate or retro discount to compensate our additional and in my case unanticipated cost.

After reasearching TOPCAT it appears this product is world class as it relates to takeoff and landing performance calculations but is elementary at best from a total fuel planning standpoint. Their manual even states that fuel burn calculations are Estimates only and "does not relieve the PIC from accurate flight planning." So this option only gets us 30% there.My parting comment is that I sure hope this situation does not turn into a trend in the commercial add-on space. If it does, I would rather have a less accurate flight / engine model with ficticious fuel burn characteristics if it means I can have a corresponding planning tool to match but that's just me.Thanks again for the clarification,Nathan Harwood

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Guys,I highly recommend you take a quick peek at your public library or your local university library. I found most of the manuals for the PW MD-11 in the basement at my university. They were dated 1991, but the data's still pertinent.They weren't listed in the online catalogue or in general circulation (which I suspect was more to do with the pretty poor condition of the books), but a quick question to the librarian brought me to a whole swath of technical-oriented documents well hidden in the stacks. ;)Patrick

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How cool that is... I wonder if our uni library has the FCOM?Worth checking out, just out of curiosity if nothing else... :DAndrew

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I can't see anywhere on the PMDG site that this data was promised to us. However, I was also not pleased with this. I've since learned how to use the FMC and Flightsim Commander to help me get ballpark figures that can then be adjusted. Thus, I treat FSC's estimates as though they were given to me by dispatch and then, at my discretion as the captain, I will check the FMC to determine if I need to take on more fuel. I find that I can use the FMC to do all of my "what if" checking and then use the "FMC" refuel function to load up my adjusted fuel needs. I realize this method does not use seperate software, or printed tables which can be used before-hand, but it does the job pretty well.

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For the record, I've just spent a few hours prepping and getting my MD-11 airborne and I have to say, this is one awesome piece of software! I'm a real world pilot and absolutely love all the payware aircraft that I can get my hands on... but this one takes the cake (in the best possible sense)! Thank you PMDG for all your hard work to make this baby FLY!Regards,Nathan HarwoodPS - In response to Jeff, you are of course correct and its no matter, I've put on my rose color glasses now that I'm behind the yoke! ;)

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