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Efussander

In-Depth Review of NGX Manuals

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Hello Everybody,My manuals arrived, so I want to do an in depth review of them. At least as in depth as I can considering I only got them four hours ago.I would like to preface this by saying that I blurred any text from the manuals that I felt might upset PMDG if shown. Also, I'm only allowed a certain number of images that I can post. I'm quite sure I'm over the limit, but PLEASE do yourself a favor and click the links to view them on PhotoBucket! It opens in a seperate window and loads very quick. I promise. Big Grin.gifI wanted to upload the very hi-res pictures I took, but they were over 12MB each and that would have taken an eternity to upload, so I had to reduce the size and resolution. But They should still be good enough for most people.Okay, So the point of this review is to make public my opinions about the manuals. To start, I'd like to say that I believe 100% that they are worth the money. I new they would be good since PMDG was offering them, but I had no idea how 'good' they were going to be. The information provided is nothing short of ASTONISHING. They explain everything that you would need to know in order to safely and effectively fly this aircraft (in the sim of course :( ). After receiving these manuals, I feel compelled, if not obligated to do my best to persuade everyone else to BUY THEM.Now, you may be wondering, "If the text is blurred, why is he showing the picture anyways?" Because, even though the text is blurred, it is still evident what you are looking at. For example, you could tell that you're looking at a chart or diagram, it is just that you cant actually read the text. I want to show the types of things included in each manual.Let me start off with the packaging. The box and packaging was nothing out of the ordinary. The box was thick so I wouldn't worry about damage or a small amount of water leaking in. As stated in another review, there is a sticker stating that you've received the Captains Set. (or Chief Pilots Set) I found the actual packing to be very lose though. For example, when the box is tipped from side to side, you can hear the manuals sliding back and forth in the box. This is not PMDG's fault, but instead Jetpubs who is the printer/distributer, and thus would've packed the box. I don't think that its going to promote damage to the manuals, nevertheless, it is a tid bit unsettling after you've spent the amount of money you've spent. That is something that Jetpubs could improve on.Here is a picture of the box unopened. How in the world did that bottle of hand sanitizer end up so conveniently directly over my address? :(DSC_0102.jpgHere you can see the box opened, and that the only 'packaging' is a thin cardboard divider.DSC_0101.jpgHere are the contents out of the box.DSC_0099.jpgLet's start off with the QRH or the "Quick Reference Handbook" shall we?Okay, I was completely astounded by the QRH. It is truly fantastic. It feels great when you first get it in your hands. It is spiral bound, and the quality of the binding is very good. The pages are not packed to tight, and turn easily. It has a protective clear plastic cover on both front and back. The clear plastic covers had a lot of static when the manuals arrived, so the paper shavings from the binding process, and fuzz were stuck to the front and back. I wiped them off with my shirt before I took the pictures, but they remained charged with static so they picked up more fuzz and paper shavings, as is evident in the pictures. I am a computer builder so I had an anti-static cloth handy, and after wiping the covers with that, they are fine. I did this after the photos though, and didn't want to retake all of the pictures, so you'll just have to look at some 'gunk' in the pics. Also, the paper is of good quality. It doesn't feel like off brand stuff that looks like the toilet protector in public bathrooms. I have had plenty of experiences with those! I mean the toilet seat protector not the off brand paper. Big%20Grin.gif The tabs are not stick on tabs that get put on the first page of a new section, rather they are a full page tab. This means that the tab is a page itself that is bound into the QRH as a divider between sections. The tabs are the thickness and type of paper as a manila file folder. Certain tab 'pages' are printed with the contents of the section. The QRH is not just procedures and text. There are many charts, diagrams and illustrations as well. I purchased the black and white version, and I am completely satisfied. I'm sure the color version is great as well, but in all honesty, I see no NEED for it. The B/W version is crystal clear and the color would not really add any benefit to the learning process, although I'm sure it looks nice.And just so everybody knows what they would be getting if they buy the QRH, which I certainly hope you do (you really need the Captain's Set! {or the Chief Pilot's Set if you can}), I will list the tabs:Lights/EICAS - Very Important! This has the section and subsection to go to for each of the alerts. For example: DUCT OVERHEAT ........ 2.8Unannunciated IndexAlphabetical IndexNormal ChecklistsSections 0-15 - Each has its own tab.Ops InfoPerformance InflightManeuvers - Illustrated w/ diagrams!Checklist InstructionsOkay here is the QRH overview.DSC_0032.jpgIn the next two shots, you can see the massive amount of information provided because of the thickness of the QRH. You can also see an overview of the tabs.DSC_0026.jpgDSC_0029.jpgThis is a shot depicting the full page tab, and the section contents printed on it.DSC_0038.jpgThe following shots show certain pages from the QRH to give you an idea of the types of pages included.http://i1228.photobu...er/DSC_0040.jpghttp://i1228.photobu...er/DSC_0041.jpghttp://i1228.photobu...er/DSC_0042.jpghttp://i1228.photobu...er/DSC_0045.jpgOkay, Let's move on to the laminated checklist.There's not much to say here. This is a standard Normal Procedures Checklist. The laminate is very thick though, which is nice because it should stand up to a lot of use. I don't forsee the laminate separating from the paper as sometimes happens when you get a poor quality lamination. The quality and durability is a consistent theme throughout all of the manuals. Just a little FYI there.Okay, Here's the pic.http://i1228.photobu...er/DSC_0048.jpgNow let's get to the Flight Crew Operating Manual Volumes 1 and 2.Hmm, where to start? Well, again fantastic. I mean truly as good as it gets. Both manuals have the PMDG logo and slogan silk screened to the front and spine of the binder. Then there is a clear plastic pocket on the front with a piece of card stock slipped into it with the name of the manual and the volume number, as well as a picture of the NGX. The overall look is very professional and clean. I looks like it could easily be on the flight deck of a real NG. Again, I can't stress how well done the manuals are, not just in the contents, but also in the design and construction. The binder itself is DEFINITELY not the kind of binder that you could pick up at your local office supply store. This thing is constructed to LAST! When I say last, I don't just mean last through years of reading, but years of ABUSE! The binder is THICK. I don't mean thick like the size of the binder (ie. 3 inches) I mean the actual plastic skin is thick! I will include a picture of the skin and the iPod Touch next to each other so you can see what I mean. It is nice and stiff. Though I wouldn't recommend it, you could probably drop this off of the roof of your house and have it be just fine. (Please don't do this! Really, Why would you!?) Again the paper quality is good. This is definitely made to be thrown around a flight deck and in and out of a flight bag for many years. The 1st Volume as stated by PMDG, contains in depth procedures, limitations, and performance info and calculations. The first ~50 pages are an introduction with legends and contents information. The next ~100 pages contain Boeing bulletins or advisories just like in the real manuals. They describe anomalies or other things that the pilot should be aware of. This to me adds a huge amount of realism! Very cool!! In keeping with the pattern, I'll include the tabs of the FCOM Vol 1.LimitationsNormal ProceduresSupplementary ProceduresPerformance InflightNow the Pics:Overview.http://i1228.photobu...er/DSC_0050.jpgSize.http://i1228.photobu...er/DSC_0051.jpgThickness of plastic skin. This is DURABLE!!!http://i1228.photobu...er/DSC_0085.jpgPrinting on the spine of the binder.http://i1228.photobu...er/DSC_0082.jpgInterior Overview.http://i1228.photobu...er/DSC_0052.jpgHere is one of the Bulletins I was talking about.http://i1228.photobu...er/DSC_0057.jpgNow just some standard shots of the inside.http://i1228.photobu...er/DSC_0065.jpghttp://i1228.photobu...er/DSC_0067.jpghttp://i1228.photobu...er/DSC_0068.jpghttp://i1228.photobu...er/DSC_0069.jpgOkay, Now we'll talk about Volume 2.Volume 2 was the biggest surprise of the whole package. I didn't really know what to expect from volume 2. I was told it explains what makes the 737NG tick. Well buddy lemme tell ya, if for no other reason, this is why you should buy the FCOM! This manual is great! It explains all of the different systems and how they work. It contains great explanations and diagrams! I had to tear myself away from it to write this review! By studying this, you will understand the ins and outs of the NG. Pure awesomeness!Here are the different sections/tabs ....... there are a lot of them!AIRPLANE GENERAL, EMERGENCY EQUIPMENT, DOORSAIR SYSTEMSANTI-ICE, RAINAUTOMATIC FLIGHTCOMMUNICATIONSELECTRICALENGINES, APUFIRE PROTECTIONFLIGHT CONTROLSFLIGHT INSTRUMENTS, DISPLAYSFLIGHT MANAGEMENT, NAVIGATIONFUELHYDRAULICSLANDING GEARWARNING SYSTEMSAnd some pics:Tabs.http://i1228.photobu...er/DSC_0070.jpgInside shots.http://i1228.photobu...er/DSC_0072.jpghttp://i1228.photobu...er/DSC_0074.jpghttp://i1228.photobu...er/DSC_0075.jpghttp://i1228.photobu...er/DSC_0077.jpghttp://i1228.photobu...er/DSC_0078.jpghttp://i1228.photobu...er/DSC_0079.jpgNow comes the Flight Crew Training Manual.The FCTM is made of the same paper and in the same type of binder as the FCOM. It is much smaller than the FCOM though. This manual is not a push that button and flip this switch kind of manual. It covers how to operate the aircraft, and the principals that one needs to understand to do so. For example, it talks about maneuvering the aircraft on the ground. It doesn't explain HOW to do it, but it talks about your viewpoint from the cockpit, and where your wheels are in relation to your viewpoint, braking technique, etc. I hope that I have made it clear with this example what the purpose of the FCTM is. Overall a very nice little guide. I can forsee a very enjoyable time reading it. It reads better than a manual, because its not strict information, but more like an instructor teaching you. It feels a little more laid back if you know what I mean.It includes the following tabs:PREFACEGENERAL INFORMATIONGROUND OPERATIONSTAKEOFF AND INITIAL CLIMBCLIMB, CRUISE, DECENT AND HOLDINGAPPROACH AND MISSED APPROACHLANDINGMANEUVERSNON-NORMAL OPERATIONSAPPENDICESINDEXHere is the overview.http://i1228.photobu...er/DSC_0080.jpgHere is a pic showing the size difference between the FCTM and the FCOM.http://i1228.photobu...er/DSC_0081.jpgHere are the tabs.http://i1228.photobu...er/DSC_0087.jpgSome shots of the inside.http://i1228.photobu...er/DSC_0088.jpghttp://i1228.photobu...er/DSC_0092.jpghttp://i1228.photobu...er/DSC_0093.jpghttp://i1228.photobu...er/DSC_0095.jpghttp://i1228.photobu...er/DSC_0096.jpgWell that about wraps it up.Overall, a FANTASTIC package from PMDG. Absolutely worth the money. You really need to buy the Captain's Set, or better yet the Chief Pilots set! You'd be doing yourself a favor by getting these!What I didn't like:The packaging in the box was non-existent.What I liked:EVERYTHINGOkay, I hope this helps you make your decision regarding whether or not to buy the manuals!And a very big THANK YOU to PMDG who gave me the pleasure of owning these manuals!Oh, I almost forgot, here is that exterior shot everyone has been asking for. B)DSC_0023.jpgPfeww...This review only took 4 1/2 hours. :( Cheers!

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No problem guys! To have someone appreciate it and benefit from it makes it worthwhile. I see several grammatical errors, but I'm too tired to fix them. At least I said too here instead of to. ;)

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Thanks so much guys. No problem.Oh, I also wanted to add that if there's anyone who has a question regarding the manuals, I'd be more than happy to answer. I check the forum bi-hourly so I will answer you very quickly!

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Thank you for creating this very informative review! Much appreciated :) I'm still deciding, might wait for the NGX to release and then buy it all-in-one as I live in Holland and payment out of The Netherlands is something I've never dealt with before and rather not do haha.

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Hi All,I recieved my Chief B737NG set in the mail. I concur with Ethans assesment. Absolutely extrorinary! I'd like to reiterate, these are the exact manuals that Boeing gives out to new B737NG drivers for type ratings, etc.The officiall FAA/CAA revisions in the begining accumulate to the point of nausea. lolCheers,BillyBob

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Thanks for the review! With the info you gave about the FCTM (which is the only one I could afford at the moment) it seems it's going to provide good material to fly the plane in a realistic way.

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I've received the manuals yesterday. For those who find it a bit pricy, i can say that it's worth every penny. Very nice large cockpit posters and smaller (but easy to read) posters for the different aircraft systems. Unfortunately, my english isn't enough good to write a large review as Ethan did but i can say that you won't regret a such purchase. I hope now that the B737 NGX wil be release soon. But it gives me time for reading those manuals. As you can see on the picture below, i've added a little label on the manuals (MD-11 and B737-NGX) to spot them more easily.Congratulations to the PMDG team for this great work. You've raised the bar higher again. You're topflight.Best regardsLmaire

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Wow!! Thank you so much for spending your time on making this review! 4,5 hours is a long time but it looks fantastic, good pictures too! I'm so happy that I've bought this and confident I'm gonna be satisfied, but I'm still waiting for it to arrive. (Yeah I was cheap on shipping) ... Big%20Grin.gif

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Good job on the review. You ventured into the territory I did not as I wasn't sure how taking pictures of the inside pages was going to be with the copy right stuff and all. Excellent work though!

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