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WTE_Pharoah

The evolution of jet aircraft

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I fly for a VA and have been noticing slowly over the last few years the transition from B767 and B747 to B777/A340/A380. My two fav a/c are the LevelD 767 and PMDG B744 because of the complexity of their FMC...but actual routes are getting harder to come by (ie. replicating RW routes). Sooner rather than later all the B763s and B744s are going to be mothballed and I'll have to fly routes using 'less complex' payware a/c such as Wilco, etc. This isn't a problem if you fly offline, but I enjoy flying online and like to be able to just 'dial in' the SID/STAR as requested by online ATC rather than try to manually fly it :(It therefore means, for VA flying, we're going to need a B777, A330, A340, A380 and B787 sooner rather than later eh? Other than the PMDG B777 'in the pipeline', which software devs are designing complex versions of these a/c?

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I'll leave the answer to the more knowledgable on the subject, but couldn't help but notice you don't list the MD-11. I know it has nothing really to do with your topic, but I must say as impressed as I was/am with the aircraft you mention above nothing compares to the detail of the MD-11 systems, well not until the NGX is released that is. I was never going to buy the MD-11 since looking at it, it just wasn't my style AC that I wanted to own, but I've flown little else since and will be flying it years to come. I'd even go so far as to bet that if you tried it you'd agree. Get it and if you don't think it's the BEST addon aircraft you have within, ummm say 90 days, then I'll paypal you the cost directly, promise :Smug:Edit: Does not include the NGX should it be released in the mean time :(

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sorry, yes the MD-11 is an excellent a/c from what I've seen. However, I live in Australia where the only MD-11s you see (I'm speaking generally here) are FEDEX. However, even the MD-11s are being phased out (I did a wiki search on google and it says that a lot of airlines are phasing out MD-11s to B777s, A330s, etc eg. American Airlines - I think they don't have any more). So yes, the RW airlines are evolving into using newer a/c like the B777, B787 (when released), and the Airbuses. Hopefully developers will focus on creating PMDG-quality-like versions of these a/c.

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Take this with whatever grain of salt you wish:As a virtual controller I would like to think if you file it, you can fly it in all modes necessary. Sadly, I'm impressed when the pilots on VATSIM don't balk at my direct-tos, route amendments, vectors and visuals. All too often, the rest of the "pilots" set up their pretty (and expensive) aircraft and let it do all of the work. True, part of what makes the expense worth it is that the plane functions nearly realistically in the respects of its autopilot and FMS (also known as the 'idiot box' around the controlling ranks), but where payware really shows its strength is in its abnormal and lesser-used areas.Unfortunately, as a controller, I get the request all too often that the pilot would like to remain on his incorrectly filed route because he "already programmed it into [his] FMC." Even worse is when the visibility is so nice that one could see Miami from DC and someone requests the ILS instead of a visual because they can't fly an approach manually (and worse still, the ones who use autoland on ILS that aren't the appropriate CAT). I can forgive those who wouldn't want to accept or cannot fly an NDB approach, less so for VOR, but I cannot forgive the over-reliance on the FMS. When you're first online, by all means, concentrate on the communications and leave the rest to the aircraft, but always be looking for opportunities to explore the more manual modes of the autopilot.I agree with you in that I find it somewhat upsetting that Airbus is taking up a larger market share (I'll spare you my Airbus v Boeing rant), but even the "less complex" modern airliner add-ons have at least somewhat of a functioning FMS, and if it doesn't have accurate SID/STARS, you could program it in manually (another task few know, unfortunately). Hopefully we'll eventually have Airbuses worthy of space on my hard drive (despite my preference of Boeing), but until then enjoy the good add-ons while they're still flown, and start getting out into the lesser-known realms of them (autopilot or otherwise).As one last example:Controlling at Dulles (KIAD), there is only one approach that I'll clear someone directly onto from the STAR (BARIN to the ILS 1R over BRV). The rest are all vectored. The departure we use is vectored as well, and of those who can hack the vector, very seldom do you see one who can actually use the direct-to function properly - I know who you are!. There's no way one could get away with programming around that airport. Even more so at Reagan (KDCA). DCA is my proving ground of sorts. If I see a pilot avoid P-56 on departure or fly the River Visual correctly, I know he's pretty good.I'm not just spewing an anti-pilot controller rant, though. I'm a pilot in both realms, so I know how difficult things can be (especially in the virtual realm with a big aircraft all to yourself). In the end what I'm saying is, yes, we despirately need good payware for the popular aircraft of today, but we also despirately need pilots who know what they're doing as well.The aircraft is only as good as its pilot (despite what Airbus might have to say on the matter)Kyle

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Take this with whatever grain of salt you wish:As a virtual controller I would like to think if you file it, you can fly it in all modes necessary. Sadly, I'm impressed when the pilots on VATSIM don't balk at my direct-tos, route amendments, vectors and visuals. All too often, the rest of the "pilots" set up their pretty (and expensive) aircraft and let it do all of the work. True, part of what makes the expense worth it is that the plane functions nearly realistically in the respects of its autopilot and FMS (also known as the 'idiot box' around the controlling ranks), but where payware really shows its strength is in its abnormal and lesser-used areas.Unfortunately, as a controller, I get the request all too often that the pilot would like to remain on his incorrectly filed route because he "already programmed it into [his] FMC." Even worse is when the visibility is so nice that one could see Miami from DC and someone requests the ILS instead of a visual because they can't fly an approach manually (and worse still, the ones who use autoland on ILS that aren't the appropriate CAT). I can forgive those who wouldn't want to accept or cannot fly an NDB approach, less so for VOR, but I cannot forgive the over-reliance on the FMS. When you're first online, by all means, concentrate on the communications and leave the rest to the aircraft, but always be looking for opportunities to explore the more manual modes of the autopilot.I agree with you in that I find it somewhat upsetting that Airbus is taking up a larger market share (I'll spare you my Airbus v Boeing rant), but even the "less complex" modern airliner add-ons have at least somewhat of a functioning FMS, and if it doesn't have accurate SID/STARS, you could program it in manually (another task few know, unfortunately). Hopefully we'll eventually have Airbuses worthy of space on my hard drive (despite my preference of Boeing), but until then enjoy the good add-ons while they're still flown, and start getting out into the lesser-known realms of them (autopilot or otherwise).As one last example:Controlling at Dulles (KIAD), there is only one approach that I'll clear someone directly onto from the STAR (BARIN to the ILS 1R over BRV). The rest are all vectored. The departure we use is vectored as well, and of those who can hack the vector, very seldom do you see one who can actually use the direct-to function properly - I know who you are!. There's no way one could get away with programming around that airport. Even more so at Reagan (KDCA). DCA is my proving ground of sorts. If I see a pilot avoid P-56 on departure or fly the River Visual correctly, I know he's pretty good.I'm not just spewing an anti-pilot controller rant, though. I'm a pilot in both realms, so I know how difficult things can be (especially in the virtual realm with a big aircraft all to yourself). In the end what I'm saying is, yes, we despirately need good payware for the popular aircraft of today, but we also despirately need pilots who know what they're doing as well.The aircraft is only as good as its pilot (despite what Airbus might have to say on the matter)Kyle
I find this post quite sad. It is sad to hear that their are pilots who seem to learn how to fly by using the FMS, instead of learning how to fly the plane first, then learn how to use the FMS to make their workflow easier. I also find it sad that you say these pilots cannot handle being vectored in a departure. I know you dont have time, nor is it the right place, to take these "pilots" aside and let them know what is required of them. The best thing for them would be to join a VA, one with a Training Hub, where veteran realworld and sim pilots can instruct them on proper workflows and technique using the autopilot.I often find myself flying the first few segments of a SID by hand, only handing the plane over to autopilot when I am sure that the plane is line up on the route properly. I just do not trust these add on aircraft to get them selves on the route.And I have found myself flying RNAV approaches almost exclusively these past few weeks, which I obivously have to use the FMS to get the waypoints to show up, but always fly these by hand. Love flying the RNAV RWY1 into KDCA. The RNAVS into KPSP, and I just flew the RNAV into rwy 26L in PHNL. I find payware aircraft often botches a lot of these RNAV routes up, where if you have the A/P and FMS fly the plane through these routes, your plane will turn right when it should turn left, go wildly off course, so for those who fly only by the FMS will end up crashing into a mountain. But if these pilots tend to autoland, they wont be asking for RNAVS anyway.I do appreciate your post, very good to hear how you controllers think concerning these sort of things.

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Well, as much as it is getting closer and closer to the phasing out of certain aircraft, all the aircraft mentioned really still do have a lot of real world service left in them. The 763 for example is going to be around for quite a while. Check flightaware at almost any time and there are usually more 763s in the air at any given time than anything else, occasionally getting bumped by a few A320s or 737s. Without being guilty of issuing a timeframe, I'd think its safe to say we will see the PMDG 777 before any of these are impossible to fly on a RW route. It would be nice to see some PMDG level Airbus models on the horizon somewhere, I definitely agree with that.

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I also handfly SIDs and STARs usually, however the reason I love FMCs is the ability to dial in what the online ATC wants and be able to follow the STARs to the threshold. Whilst manually trying to fly a STAR is 'fun', I find that it increases my workload (esp with other a/c in the area) which is compounded by nav fixes not in the default GPS, etc etc and still trying to correctly configure the a/c at the correct time for landing. I've manually flown STARs previously where I forgot to drop the flaps or arm the spoilers, etc etc (which is embarrassing). doh! :) Anyway, my point is - there's a demand for a/c with working (and accurate) FMCs like the PMDG or LevelD a/c especially if you fly online into busy airports. Its up to the virtual pilot whether they want to hand fly or push buttons from t/o to flare - their money, their game, their choice. All I"m after is option to purchase a/c with good working FMCs - most software guys don't bother designing one that works most probably because of the amount of work that must go into it (eg. CLS, Wilco, Capt Sim, etc).

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Capt Sim probably came the closest. I cant speak for anything past the 757 (just cant bring myself to spend the bucks after that unfortunate debacle), great model and an OK FMC but it dosent play nice with the sim and the bugs just arent addressed, both in the airplane and in the FMC.

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does the Capt Sim a/c have an fmc? gosh, I didn't know. Half the time its hard to know with the CS products eg. releasing a/c without a VC or cockpit....a bit rushed if you ask me. However, when fully released, their products are awesome (I had the 707 for FS9 and loved it...haven't rushed out yet to get the FSX version). But yes I'm still waiting for an A330 and A340. :)

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does the Capt Sim a/c have an fmc? gosh, I didn't know. Half the time its hard to know with the CS products eg. releasing a/c without a VC or cockpit....a bit rushed if you ask me. However, when fully released, their products are awesome (I had the 707 for FS9 and loved it...haven't rushed out yet to get the FSX version). But yes I'm still waiting for an A330 and A340. :)
Oh yes, the 757 series has it and im almost completely sure the 767 has it. They DID make improvements from the initial release which was causing ALOT of CTD's if you used certain aspects of the FMC in flight, but it IS a fully functional FMC and even has a monthly AIRAC update thru Navigraph. Their 707 diddnt have these issues I believe because of the overall simplicity of the aircraft. All of their models are really nice, it's a shame they cant match the rest of the package with the overall quality of the model itself. They seem big on "fixing" issues up to a certain point (a point that would never fly with PMDG!) and then moving on to the next thing. I'm not trying to bash them, I certainly couldnt do it better myself. But it's like opening a nice big bag of Cracker Jacks only to find theres NO PEANUTS in it :(

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Kyle,these are your preferences, other people have theirs, after all Vatsim is realistic simulation for non-RW, hobby pilots. Not everyone had quality flight instruction or good yokes to accurately fly manually. NextGen being a process in the making, the accuracy required during terminal and approach phases is very challenging. I am a Vatsim long time senior instructor, with 36 year RW PIC experience on multiple aircraft types, and still like to fly automated approaches.

Take this with whatever grain of salt you wish:As a virtual controller I would like to think if you file it, you can fly it in all modes necessary. Sadly, I'm impressed when the pilots on VATSIM don't balk at my direct-tos, route amendments, vectors and visuals. All too often, the rest of the "pilots" set up their pretty (and expensive) aircraft and let it do all of the work. True, part of what makes the expense worth it is that the plane functions nearly realistically in the respects of its autopilot and FMS (also known as the 'idiot box' around the controlling ranks), but where payware really shows its strength is in its abnormal and lesser-used areas.Unfortunately, as a controller, I get the request all too often that the pilot would like to remain on his incorrectly filed route because he "already programmed it into [his] FMC." Even worse is when the visibility is so nice that one could see Miami from DC and someone requests the ILS instead of a visual because they can't fly an approach manually (and worse still, the ones who use autoland on ILS that aren't the appropriate CAT). I can forgive those who wouldn't want to accept or cannot fly an NDB approach, less so for VOR, but I cannot forgive the over-reliance on the FMS. When you're first online, by all means, concentrate on the communications and leave the rest to the aircraft, but always be looking for opportunities to explore the more manual modes of the autopilot.I agree with you in that I find it somewhat upsetting that Airbus is taking up a larger market share (I'll spare you my Airbus v Boeing rant), but even the "less complex" modern airliner add-ons have at least somewhat of a functioning FMS, and if it doesn't have accurate SID/STARS, you could program it in manually (another task few know, unfortunately). Hopefully we'll eventually have Airbuses worthy of space on my hard drive (despite my preference of Boeing), but until then enjoy the good add-ons while they're still flown, and start getting out into the lesser-known realms of them (autopilot or otherwise).As one last example:Controlling at Dulles (KIAD), there is only one approach that I'll clear someone directly onto from the STAR (BARIN to the ILS 1R over BRV). The rest are all vectored. The departure we use is vectored as well, and of those who can hack the vector, very seldom do you see one who can actually use the direct-to function properly - I know who you are!. There's no way one could get away with programming around that airport. Even more so at Reagan (KDCA). DCA is my proving ground of sorts. If I see a pilot avoid P-56 on departure or fly the River Visual correctly, I know he's pretty good.I'm not just spewing an anti-pilot controller rant, though. I'm a pilot in both realms, so I know how difficult things can be (especially in the virtual realm with a big aircraft all to yourself). In the end what I'm saying is, yes, we despirately need good payware for the popular aircraft of today, but we also despirately need pilots who know what they're doing as well.The aircraft is only as good as its pilot (despite what Airbus might have to say on the matter)Kyle

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It's one thing to let the aircraft fly the approach because you enjoy watching the automation, and another entirely to let the plane do it because you can't.You'd be hard pressed to find a time where I won't provide instruction on the side to help someone who's willing to learn how to properly fly an aircraft, simulated or otherwise. My irritation stems from those who don't try and don't care to. This irritation is the same for pilots here, on VATSIM, and those I find at the airport who buy their way through training, barely pass (or fail) checkrides for lack caring except for that little glimmer of SJS, and take to the sky with little more knowledge about their aircraft than where the checklist items are.True. Those are my preferences, thus the opening of "take this with whatever grain of salt you wish."The main part of my post was meant to point out that concentrating on the finer points of simulation only requires self-motivation. It doesn't require an instructor to pick up the manual. My opinions are not the only ones valid, true, or worthy. I put them out in the world for people to ponder - if you like them, great; if not, let them float by on their merry way.Kyle

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