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Some thoughts after a commercial 737 sim session

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Hi all,I thought I would share some brief comments after experiencing a 45 min session in a 737 simulator setup in the Melbourne CBD.The sim is a fixed base unit and is certified by CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia), as a CAT B Synthetic Trainer.My own MS Flight sim experience dates back to FS 95 although I’m definitely not a hardcore simmer and actually only came back to FSX when I bought the PMDG 747-400X after letting FSX sit idle for 18 months. I also prior to Christmas bought an I7 2600K/GTX580 3G system which has made FSX far more enjoyable. In fact I'm still learning things now.The first thing that struck inside the real sim once I was seated with full extension of the rudder pedals was that my viewing position back in FSX is set too far back and too low. The real sim’s glare shield is just a forearm’s reach from your seat, i.e. from elbow to finger tip distance away (I’m only an average 5’10” in height). The next thing to hit me and this is solely due to the excellence of the PMDG 737NGX and it’s accurate system/switchgear replication, everything was instantly recognisable in the real sim and when we did my initial briefing and panel explanation run through I felt like the “smart kid” that had studied over the summer break and had a jump over the others.I earlier chose to do KSFO touch and go’s followed by a Macau to Kai Tak flight (yes most choose this second option however I asked for a setup that was horrendous weather wise to test myself out.Keeping this brief again I’ll say that it’s far harder to keep the sim 737 at a constant flight level, turn off lights, raise flaps and maintain a safe bank angle that’s not too steep while also listening to the instructor. I know it’s normally a shared procedure but you can’t look out the window and enjoy the view as much as I thought, lol. Speaking of view, the scenery is no where near as good as the excellent stuff available to us simmers although it was better then I expected.The next biggest discovery is that my CH FS yoke is no 737 sim replication. The real yoke has a far more linear and smoother response, no spring back and I think my FSX sensitivity is set too high in hindsight. More tweaking is needed here at home.I managed to land at VHHX better then certain real world pilots as shown on YouTube clips so I’m more then happy with that although I did let my approach speed get a little low initially, again looked out the window a little too long The other thing is that I tended to make turns too early (most my flights involved right hand turns and when lining up with the runway earlier at KSFO I often needed more left bank adjustment as my visual reference didn’t match the instrument guidance provided by the ILS or what I normally offer up in FSX.After the session I then realised I had a “need” to start looking at buying some switchgear or instrument panels to take the realism level up a notch. I’m not sure whether a MCP or CDU or a good touch screen monitor might be the way to go initially. I even started researching some cockpit units and was very surprised to find some options for basic setups that are about $3500.I must thank my wife and daughter :( for the present and lastly PMDG for their 737NGX. As soon as I got back home I fired up FSX, took out the 737 and landed back in VHHX after I downloaded some freeware scenery. I completely forgot about worrying about frame rates, tweaking my system or reading any new flightsim news and just went flying and man was it great…I’m now going to fly without the fps display and focus on my panels and scenery….And once again a huge thank you to the PMDG team, we FSX simmers maybe don’t realise just how brilliant their 737NGX really is until such an experience as I had in a commercial level simulator. For the $'s they charge it’s a bargain...PMDG planes that is...

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Hi all,I thought I would share some brief comments after experiencing a 45 min session in a 737 simulator setup in the Melbourne CBD.
I did a 1 hour session with them (Flight Experience - see my avatar) about a year ago. Did you get your DVD? It was quite good fun but also quite expensive. I was expecting it to be the real deal, all gimbled etc... silly me. I was quite disappointed with the graphics as the scenery was very foggy and I couldn't quite get my bearings. Forgot to arm the spoilers but fortunately the co-pilot remembered for me. It was a very different feel after being used to a stick. Would I do it again? No, I would spend the money on a real flight.

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This certainly does make one speculate the age old question once more... "if in a real life situation an ace NGX simmer had to fly a real NG in an emergency, how would they do?" :(

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This certainly does make one speculate the age old question once more... "if in a real life situation an ace NGX simmer had to fly a real NG in an emergency, how would they do?" :(
It depends on who is flying... in a real emergency you don't have the key P to pause the real plane, you are playng with your life and the life of hundreds of other people. If you can manage this fact, you can solve te part of the issues that are correctly simulated on the NGX, then, there is a part not simulated that every NGX expert cannot manage as it is not simulated (circuit breakers for example, manual reversion and so on). The pilot must be calm.Remember also that the plane is flown by 2 pilots...I don't know the level of fidelity of the Cat B simulator, but, the flight controls on the NG are spring loaded to re-center, but the center is what moves due to various trim systems.

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I did a 1 hour session with them (Flight Experience - see my avatar) about a year ago. Did you get your DVD? It was quite good fun but also quite expensive. I was expecting it to be the real deal, all gimbled etc... silly me. I was quite disappointed with the graphics as the scenery was very foggy and I couldn't quite get my bearings. Forgot to arm the spoilers but fortunately the co-pilot remembered for me. It was a very different feel after being used to a stick. Would I do it again? No, I would spend the money on a real flight.
Yep got the video and I'm the same I probably wouldn't do it again unless it was a full motion sim just for the hell of it ..I'd save and spend on some panels etc..

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This certainly does make one speculate the age old question once more... "if in a real life situation an ace NGX simmer had to fly a real NG in an emergency, how would they do?" :(
If all the systems were functioning, and there was enough fuel, and I had someone talking me down and, I could set-up an Auto Land and, it was daytime, and the weather was calm, and I remembered to arm the spoilers and Auto Brake, and I hadn't been drinking (which I don't when flying), and it wasn't raining, and there was no emergency....nah, leave it to the professionals.

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I can certainly sympathise with you, Albert.About a year and a half ago, my family did the same and sent me off to Archerfield for a "Real Sim Experience".Nick Kranenberg runs the 737 Simulator out there and luckily for me, he had the FTX software running on the sim.I was blown away, and from that day forward, I've had the dream to create something close to that in my little cramped computer room in our house.It's been a hideously expensive coupla years and I've really only just got a few bits and pieces together, but I can already see the potential and feel the same experience that I found in the sim.It's not everybody's dream and it certainly needs a lot of cash and very patient family members, but if you can do it, go ahead.The cockpit builders worldwide are so very helpful and always willing to spread the word and the tech gets better every day, too (and thankfully, in some circumstances, cheaper).Good luck with your new found obsession, mate.Frank

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The biggest issue in landing a 737-NG (Or any other commercial plane for that matter) in the event the pilots were not able to do so would be your mental state. Many people think just because you have a feel for the bird by using the PMDG 737-NGX that you could easily setup for an autoland. (This is your ego talking) Your odds of surviving with no real world flight experience are a lot lower than you think. Just ask any real world or retired pilot on here if you don't believe it. There is a huge difference between sitting in front of your computer and being in the real plane with 150+ lives at stake. Most people would panic outright.The actual real plane is much more responsive and smoother when compared to a set of $300.00 plastic controllers. There is absolutely no comparison here. Even if you had a $50,000 cockpit at home with real yokes and rudder pedals your still stuck with the unrealistic nature of FSX.

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I think my FSX sensitivity is set too high in hindsight. More tweaking is needed here at home.
A complaint of every real world pilot I know is that the sim controls are too sensitive.The real problem is in the fact the range of motion is much smaller in our sim hardware compared to the real thing.Best regards,Robin.

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You can increase the smoothness alot by adding the following line to your FSX.cfgstick_sensitivity_mode=0The line above goes in the [CONTROLS] section of FSX.cfg as the top line.Example:[CONTROLS]stick_sensitivity_mode=0

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Hi all,I thought I would share some brief comments after experiencing a 45 min session in a 737 simulator setup in the Melbourne CBD.The sim is a fixed base unit and is certified by CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia), as a CAT B Synthetic Trainer.My own MS Flight sim experience dates back to FS 95 although I’m definitely not a hardcore simmer and actually only came back to FSX when I bought the PMDG 747-400X after letting FSX sit idle for 18 months. I also prior to Christmas bought an I7 2600K/GTX580 3G system which has made FSX far more enjoyable. In fact I'm still learning things now.The first thing that struck inside the real sim once I was seated with full extension of the rudder pedals was that my viewing position back in FSX is set too far back and too low. The real sim’s glare shield is just a forearm’s reach from your seat, i.e. from elbow to finger tip distance away (I’m only an average 5’10” in height). The next thing to hit me and this is solely due to the excellence of the PMDG 737NGX and it’s accurate system/switchgear replication, everything was instantly recognisable in the real sim and when we did my initial briefing and panel explanation run through I felt like the “smart kid” that had studied over the summer break and had a jump over the others.I earlier chose to do KSFO touch and go’s followed by a Macau to Kai Tak flight (yes most choose this second option however I asked for a setup that was horrendous weather wise to test myself out.Keeping this brief again I’ll say that it’s far harder to keep the sim 737 at a constant flight level, turn off lights, raise flaps and maintain a safe bank angle that’s not too steep while also listening to the instructor. I know it’s normally a shared procedure but you can’t look out the window and enjoy the view as much as I thought, lol. Speaking of view, the scenery is no where near as good as the excellent stuff available to us simmers although it was better then I expected.The next biggest discovery is that my CH FS yoke is no 737 sim replication. The real yoke has a far more linear and smoother response, no spring back and I think my FSX sensitivity is set too high in hindsight. More tweaking is needed here at home.I managed to land at VHHX better then certain real world pilots as shown on YouTube clips so I’m more then happy with that although I did let my approach speed get a little low initially, again looked out the window a little too long The other thing is that I tended to make turns too early (most my flights involved right hand turns and when lining up with the runway earlier at KSFO I often needed more left bank adjustment as my visual reference didn’t match the instrument guidance provided by the ILS or what I normally offer up in FSX.After the session I then realised I had a “need” to start looking at buying some switchgear or instrument panels to take the realism level up a notch. I’m not sure whether a MCP or CDU or a good touch screen monitor might be the way to go initially. I even started researching some cockpit units and was very surprised to find some options for basic setups that are about $3500.I must thank my wife and daughter :( for the present and lastly PMDG for their 737NGX. As soon as I got back home I fired up FSX, took out the 737 and landed back in VHHX after I downloaded some freeware scenery. I completely forgot about worrying about frame rates, tweaking my system or reading any new flightsim news and just went flying and man was it great…I’m now going to fly without the fps display and focus on my panels and scenery….And once again a huge thank you to the PMDG team, we FSX simmers maybe don’t realise just how brilliant their 737NGX really is until such an experience as I had in a commercial level simulator. For the $'s they charge it’s a bargain...PMDG planes that is...
are you playing at vatsim?

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Great post!Brought back some memories of days spent running around Pan Am Academy next to KMIA at 2am and trying out my favorite birds. PMDG does in fact deserve a nod, even their FS9 NG did a great job prepping me for an unplanned 737-400 sim session. At that point I had already accumulated all of 5 hours of real world PIC in a C172 so my impressions will be biased. Control forces on the big iron seemed 10 times heavier but much smoother. Even compared to my trusty C172 it felt like driving a dump truck. The other thing that hit me was the immersion possible in these sims. I would swear I even smelled Jet-A. Once I get this degree out of my way and get my commercial ticket I'm likely going to gift myself a 737 training course. I have read about some in Houston and they will take anyone but the course is intended for pilots with Multi, and IFR endorsement to get the full benefit.Thanks for the memories.

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I was lucky enough to fly a 172 for 30 mins as a present, and found it easier to trim thanFS9 (which I was using at the time).Of course, the big complaint from the instructor was that I was looking at the instruments too much (which would have been fine if I wasdoing IFR)The good side was that he said that I had a good 'feel' for the plane,but of course, in an emergency, this is where the years oftraining will take over for professional pilots, something that we cannot really do in a flightsim.

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The fixed base trainers that " Flight Experience " use are not very good.The Guy who started that idea ( in New Zealand ) was only in it for the money.He has since sold out to some third party buyer.They certainly would not meet certification level here in Europe.They are nowhere near realistic in comparison to the real plane !Fred.

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...Of course, the big complaint from the instructor was that I was looking at the instruments too much (which would have been fine if I wasdoing IFR)..
Hahaha, I get the same thing from my instructor. On the flip side, flying and controlling on VATSIM had me really comfortable with the radios before I even started.
I was lucky enough to fly a 172 for 30 mins as a present, and found it easier to trim thanFS9...
Yeah trimming by feel is much easier in the real thing. :(

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Was scrounging around and found some pics...Ever wonder where Janet pilots go to "get their groove back"? ny200911242264.th.jpgny200911242258.th.jpg

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The fixed base trainers that " Flight Experience " use are not very good.The Guy who started that idea ( in New Zealand ) was only in it for the money.He has since sold out to some third party buyer.They certainly would not meet certification level here in Europe.They are nowhere near realistic in comparison to the real plane !Fred.
I can only assume you have never been in one.Of course, dont let the fact that they are CAA and CASA certified or the fact that they are installed and in use in Europe change your mind.

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You can increase the smoothness alot by adding the following line to your FSX.cfgstick_sensitivity_mode=0The line above goes in the [CONTROLS] section of FSX.cfg as the top line.Example:[CONTROLS]stick_sensitivity_mode=0
Paul,What yoke/joystick are you currently using? And would this setting work on my PFC yoke?Regards,jenSptg, S.C.

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I can only assume you have never been in one.Of course, dont let the fact that they are CAA and CASA certified or the fact that they are installed and in use in Europe change your mind.
If anyone would know it would be Fred he builds and designs the things for a living. He is also a retired 737-800 Pilot. So what are your qualifications Paul?
What yoke/joystick are you currently using? And would this setting work on my PFC yoke?
I use the X52 Pro. It is not controller specific and will work fine with any controller. This changes the controller to use deflection which is more realistic. Give a try it will noticeably improve how your controls respond and will be much smoother.

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I tried your tweak. What it does is limit the amount of deflection your controller can apply to about 50%. While it may be smoother in the air it is a killer in ground maneuvering. I had a Vr of 140kts. I didn't start rotating until 174kts with your "tweak" applied (and yes my trim was set correctly.) Not to mention the poor turning radius and inability to pan your viewpoint more than 90° in any direction using the space bar and mouse. Anyways, the same smoothness can be had if you are lighter on the controls.Just some feedback from someone who tried it

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I treat myself to 2 hours a year in a full motion sim. this year I tried the 737-800 at a flight school. The PDMG 737NGX really had me prepared for a full flight (cold dark cockpit at the gates to an ILS landing with 1/2 mile forward vis / 400' ceilings and a crosswind). The 1 thing I took away is my little $4000 computer has 1000X better graphics than the $17,000,000 simulator. But it was good to see all my prep on the 737NGX set me up nicely for the "real" thing.

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They tweak works fine for me and others. It is very easy to move around on the ground. Did you set your FSX sensitivity levels with the sliders? Try setting your control surfaces to a high sensitivity level such as maximum and move from there to the minimum until you find a realistic setting.

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are you playing at vatsim?
No unfortunately, mainly because I would struggle to set aside one straight hour uninterrupted, or is that something that can be worked around?

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No unfortunately, mainly because I would struggle to set aside one straight hour uninterrupted, or is that something that can be worked around?
If your not gonna be in the cockpit don't fly online.

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