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JaneRachel

777 first beta impressions

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Gang,

 

Capt Randazzo has kindly lifted the restrictions of those of us in the beta group to share our views of this wonderful aircraft with you! By his good grace, we have been allowed to discuss whatever we wish about the aircraft and be honest with our views. So none of us are writing paid infomercials here :)

 

Yet, I say wonderful completely genuinely. From the moment you enter the virtual cockpit you will find yourself immersed like never before. At first glance you might be tempted to think that with the familiarity of gauges such as the PFD and ND, that this is just a very big NGX. You would be VERY wrong. The 777 complexity is in a whole different ballpark to the NGX. Its an order of magnitude more complex. Does that mean that the aircraft is hard to fly? No, all of that complexity translates to making life easier for the pilot. An intelligent overhead panel, interactive checklists an autostart procedure and much much more. PMDG have modelled the whole thing in complete ENTIRETY!!

 

As Deputy Editor of PC Pilot magazine in my day job, people often ask me "how realistic is aircraft x". So, I will head that off at the pass right here. There is no weather radar, there is no Electronic Flight bag and of course electronic communication with ATC is not possible. Those things aside, everything and yes I mean EVERYTHING in the aircraft conforms to Boeing manuals and further than that, conforms to how this bird actually flies. There has been a lot of work done by the team to recreate the whole performance and flight responses of the aircraft. Personally, I find that the 777 flies more fluidly than the NGX, everything seems more realistic in the handling and that is saying something considering the work of art that is the NGX! You will not be disappointed with how she flies!

 

The guys at PMDG have the support of a  number of very clever 777 pilots and engineers who know this aircraft inside out, from every perspective. They have been through this aircraft with a fine toothcomb. How accurate are those systems, from the fly by wire to hydraulics pressures to landing gear heat dissipation? Let me just share a little secret, in the last month alone there were over 800 suggestions from the tech team to push that realism even further to reach the apex of what can be achieved in FSX. All of those suggestions have seen fruition in the beta plane I am privileged to be flying today. Rest assured that every last detail of this aircraft, every nook and cranny has been recreated with such incredible precision. I was impressed with the 737NGX, with the 777 I am blown away, seriously! Every last detail has been taken care of, and every detail of those little details!

 

There is just so much to discuss. I am open to your questions and I will try and post some screenshots later today.

 

Let me leave you with a little snippet of info on the sounds, Yes, we have all heard sounds when you press a button on the overhead etc, how about that sound changing depending on where you click the overhead button or the pressure of the mouse. The whole aircraft is organic, you will never hear the same sequences of sounds twice, that includes the engines that may be just that bit quieter or whine that little bit more depending on atmospheric conditions. This is not an aircraft of looped canned sounds, the whole aircraft responds to you as a pilot and how you treat her. From every cockpit click to those enormous engines you are not going to be hearing cut and paste sounds but an evolving, living breathing soundset that responds to you!

 

JaneRachel

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Just wanted to say thank you, for this preview!

 

no problem, just working out how to upload images to share with you all :)

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Hi Jane,

 

Great to hear that the 777 is just that little bit nearer for us all.

 

So with all the details you mentioned in your above comments would you give this a Just Flight Platinum award..............Just joking, like I need ask.

 

Interested in any comments you might have with regards the 777 running on average performance systems.............My PC manages the MD11 well and the 737 flies ok but with lower frame rates, A2A and Carenado it does great, even the Dash 8 Q400 is good............But with all these details packed into the 777, what kind of performance can I expect to see?

 

I'll probably still buy it though and hope it works well, looking forward to reading any more comments you might have.

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777checklist2_zpsaded3c5c.jpg

 

 

Non Normal checklist for an autothrottle failure

 

777checklist1_zpsd0392f30.jpg

 

16 categories of non-normal checklist, each menu item spinning off in to further checklists for just about every eventuality.. The checklists are interactive too! responding both to pilot input and onboard sensors which monitor aircraft status

 

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Thank you for the post, look forward to seeing your screen shots.

 

*EDIT.. I see them and wow! Thanks for posting.

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Hi Jane,

 

Great to hear that the 777 is just that little bit nearer for us all.

 

So with all the details you mentioned in your above comments would you give this a Just Flight Platinum award..............Just joking, like I need ask.

 

Interested in any comments you might have with regards the 777 running on average performance systems.............My PC manages the MD11 well and the 737 flies ok but with lower frame rates, A2A and Carenado it does great, even the Dash 8 Q400 is good............But with all these details packed into the 777, what kind of performance can I expect to see?

 

I'll probably still buy it though and hope it works well, looking forward to reading any more comments you might have.

 

Dave, as always everyone is going to see varying mileage depending on their systems. I am running it in Windows 7 on a new i7 Imac and seeing stunning frame rates. You know yourself though, that all hardware is different, so there is no definitive answer I can give. What I can tell you is that the 777 has significantly increased frame rate performance over and above the NGX. The guys continue to really find ways to optimise with every release. I can say that all the testers who have reported performance so far are finding it is beating the NGX hands down. I kid you not! By quite a margin too! Again, I drop in the disclaimer about different people with different hardware, but across the board all the testers are seeing better performance.

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I should point out too, as this is a really great feature:-

 

I was concerned (before seeing the aircraft) how easy would it be to use all those checklists, using the little joypad thingamajig that they have in the 777. I need not have worried. If any of you wonder how all this works, I can allay your fears. Whenever you mouse over the checklist screen the mouse cursor changes to the checklist cursor and you can just point and click at checklist items!

 

It is really clever because if you have another display on that display unit it acts just like a regular screen, ditto if you move the checklists to another display rather than the lower display, such as replacing the ND with checklists. The bottom line is that wherever you put the checklist screen, it automatically uses the new cursor feature when you mouse over. Click dead centre on the screen and it pops-up can be resized and still maintains the checklist cursor when it is in the screen region!

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I'd be curious to hear your impression of 'weight' when you're at heavy/max take off weights.

 

How do you find performance after a 14 hour flight? The "OOM" is obviously a big concern in the community (personally, I've never had one) and blasting a 14 hour flight could cause issues. Do you run any add-on scenery?

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That is very nice to read, because I was quite concerned about how the were about to implement it

I should point out too, as this is a really great feature:-

 

I was concerned (before seeing the aircraft) how easy would it be to use all those checklists, using the little joypad thingamajig that they have in the 777. I need not have worried. If any of you wonder how all this works, I can allay your fears. Whenever you mouse over the checklist screen the mouse cursor changes to the checklist cursor and you can just point and click at checklist items!

 

It is really clever because if you have another display on that display unit it acts just like a regular screen, ditto if you move the checklists to another display rather than the lower display, such as replacing the ND with checklists. The bottom line is that wherever you put the checklist screen, it automatically uses the new cursor feature when you mouse over. Click dead centre on the screen and it pops-up can be resized and still maintains the checklist cursor when it is in the screen region!

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Hello Jane,

 

Did you have a chance to look at the introductory documentation and the tutorial flight?

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OOMs related to PMDG aircraft? All my recent OOMs have been related to scenery.

 

What about the 2D popup with the MFD set to the ECL? Does the cursor feature work the same in 2D popups?

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Thanks for the initial review, so I'm assuming that this is finally good news and that we're close to releasing this thing finally? :)

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I thought you've been quiet lately! Lol it looks great Jane and we must catch up soon.

 

Hey Jess, thought you were in deepest Austria!

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Hi Jane,

 

Looks like your going to be busy lol,

 

Thanks for your comments to my question regarding PC performance, well I can fly the 737 in regional airports at a comfy 18-24 fps, so if the 777 is a lot better, sounds more like the MD11 performance wise then I better start saving and get one for my hanger!

 

Thanks again Jane, oh and love the screen shots too.

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I have posted this elsewhere, but I will post it again here as I think it is such a breakthrough for those of you who want to cover the globe but don't necessarily have the time!

 

Guys,

 

One of the features that really impresses me with this aircraft is a feature in FSX that I have never seen before. It means you can SAFELY do a longhaul in a little over an hour! seriously!

 

Yes, we have all used time acceleration, only to regret it as the whole sim goes pear shaped! The 777 has an intelligent, auto acceleration feature built in, should you wish to speed up your flight!

 

Right clicking the CHR button on the clock by default engages a new automatic time compression mode that PMDG have developed. This mode intelligently accelerates time along the straight line segments of the route up to a maximum level that can be set in the SIMULATION options menu in the FMC. The feature will slow time down at turns, step climbs, level offs etc and is also capable of detecting wind, pressure, or temperature shifts that could upset the aircraft while it's flying accelerated. If these happen, it slows to 1x, recovers and then accelerates again. This mode works extremely well in our testing so far and allows you to complete the longest 200LR flights that exist like KATL-FAOR in just an hour or two. You can turn the mode off by left clicking the CHR button.

 

Yes really, I am not kidding!

 

JaneRachel Whittaker

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Hey Jess, thought you were in deepest Austria!

I am. But I'm NWI or Never without iPad. ;). Home on Monday. Now back to the beta thread.

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Hi Jane,

 

Looks like your going to be busy lol,

 

Thanks for your comments to my question regarding PC performance, well I can fly the 737 in regional airports at a comfy 18-24 fps, so if the 777 is a lot better, sounds more like the MD11 performance wise then I better start saving and get one for my hanger!

 

Thanks again Jane, oh and love the screen shots too.

 

Hey Dave, there really is a lot more going on with the 777 than the NGX, take for instance the full fly by wire implementation etc, but what I think has happened (and don't quote me on it!) is that with each release the team really are sharpening their skills. Everything seems faster and more fluid right across the board. Everything has been upgraded, I even find things like the glass display screens look much more like real glass with crisper displays, without any performance penalty.

Hello Jane,

 

Did you have a chance to look at the introductory documentation and the tutorial flight?

 

Hey Dennis, in all honesty I haven't yet, but I will dig in just as soon as I am able and report back!

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