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Delta Airlines 777-200LR KATL to KLAX (Warning: Big Pictures!)

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Hello friends, well, it was time for a promotion and I will be embarking on a series of 777LR flights on the freshly released PMDG bird.  As mentioned in my earlier flight, I might return for some NGX flights occasionally, but I'm too obsessed with this new jumbo to consider flying anything else!   I've been waiting for this day for so long, I have always wanted a proper 777 in the sim.  So without further ado, let's get going.


For my inaugural flight, I decided to use a carrier that operates the 777LR, as I cannot bring myself to fly airlines/routes that don't use the equipment IRL.  Sure I may fly some British Airways routes in the LR even though they use the 200ER and 300ER, but for now, my anal retentiveness dictates that if I'm going to take the LR out, she better be flying for the proper carrier and the real world routes.  Is this a limiting view?  Perhaps, but I can't help it :rolleyes:


After some time reading the intro document and tutorial, I felt comfortable picking out a decent length route to test her out.  Flightaware showed a daily, early morning route between Delta's main hub, KATL - Atlanta Hartsfield, and KLAX - Los Angeles International.   And it's only 3 hours 47 minutes, not too long, not too short!   Imagine the lucky souls who get to fly this route that is normally served by a 757 or 767!  Upgrade!


SID is the GEETK7 of KATL runway 27R, the longest runway and closest runway to where I was parked at the international terminal, concourse F.  STAR into KLAX was SEAVU2 for runway 25L.   Real time was 3 hours 47 minutes, I made it in 3 hours 42 minutes. 


Early morning at KATL, with the Atlanta skyline in full view.   Around me are assorted 757s, 767s, and 777s serving Delta's international routes.  Charter Omni Air 767 also leases a gate at this terminal.  



Time to taxi to the active takeoff runway serving my side of the airfield, 27R.   Care must be taken on turns as she is just a tad big bigger and higher up than the 737NGs I have exclusively flying for the past 2 years.



Man this thing can move!   In no time I was at VR and rocketing to the sky.   With such powerful engines, and a relatively short route, I think I took off using 1/3 of the available runway. 



Here I am about to retract flaps and accelerate to the flaps up speed after passing 1000 ft AGL.  Below is Interstate 85.


As seen from the ground by the airport's neighbors.



In cruise at FL380.  The time to reach top of climb was about 18 minutes.   Those big GE90-110B1 engines mean business.



I found some company on the way over to the west coast, a Delta 767.



Time for descent, as I pass the TNP VOR located at Twentynine Palms, California, in the Mojave Desert.  Never mind the caution light, I messed something up on startup but could not retrieve any sort of EICAS message.  



Passing above some of the nearby hills and parks that make up the remote area east of San Bernadino.


Just passing through.  What a beautiful ship.



The view from my seat in the office.


Passing through 18,000ft, overhead of Moreno Valley, with a view of March Air Reserve Base and Lake Mathews. 



Here below me is Chino Airport.



After a slight turn to the right to line up with the extended line from ILS25L, I straighten out passing by Ontario Intl Airport.


Still on LNAV, but I have been told to descend to 3600ft and to capture the localizer.  Flaps 5 and maintain 180kts to the Outer Marker.  Unlike the 737NG, I have no need to drop the gear early to prevent the aircraft from accelerating on the descent, nice!   I have always had difficulty on this ILS approach in the 737-800.


Just 400ft AGL, 3 nm from the threshold and at VREF+5, 144kts, I can safely proceed with the landing.


Passing over the 405, with the City of Los Angeles in the background.  Darn FSX, the trees are already yellow?  It's only September 5th!


As seen from the tower, the time is 9:46 AM and the massive 6 wheel main landing gears catch the runway.


I receive permission to cross runway 25R to taxi to terminal 5.



It's time for shutdown!


What can I say about the 777 from PMDG that hasn't been said already?  PMDG has raised the bar even further than I ever thought possible.  From the new PMDG Operations Center application which simplifies addon maintenance and livery installs, to the complete systems depth and flight envelope fidelity modeled so accurately by the expert programmers, and everything in between, this is hands down the finest simulated aircraft of all time.   I have yet to run into any serious bugs, and if there are any, I don't know enough about the 777 to notice.   I had my share of flight ending issues with the NGX when it was first released, but knock on wood, things are very smooth with this release.  PMDG and the beta testers deserve much praise for this.

There are only two things missing that will make the 777 complete for me, a TOPCAT profile for the ability to choose the correct derate on takeoff, and FS2crew to provide a much needed hand in operating the big bird.  Fortunately, the 777 has a lot of automation built in so the absence of FS2crew is not as upsetting for me as it was when the NGX debuted.   But I will also say, that FS2crew can spoil you as it does much of the work for you, so it's beneficial to be able to start this machine from cold and dark as it's good for learning the complete aircraft, and also to see the 777 from a co-pilot's perspective. 


After this short flight, I will start to tackle the long hauls this bird was made for.  Real Delta routes for the LR only of course, but I do not want to forget to fly the British Airways flight I flew between Heathrow and Bangalore International airport in India on my recent vacation.  But first, I'd like to build up some hours in the Delta colors before I can do the vacation route some justice.  


As I type this, I'm currently in the LR high above Iraq with 2 hours left before my descent into Dubai.  That's right, my second flight in the Delta LR is a proper long haul, KATL to OMDB.  A 13 hour 40 minute trip, it will be fun putting PFPX to work to see how well it pairs up with the 777 in ensuring I have the appropriate amount of fuel for my first oceanic crossing in 2 years!

Can't wait to share those photos with you all!


All in all, it has been a very exciting 2 weeks for the FSX userbase.   In fact, I'll say it's been one of the best times in FSX history as there have been a slew of game changing addons released in the space of a month or two.   Orbx Global, PFPX, PMDG T7, A2A Cessna 172, who can argue that these are just regular addons?   And to think I was burned out on this program at the beginning of the year, thinking FSX has hit a wall, that it's a dead platform that no one is interested in developing for.   Recent releases have changed all that, and I am thrilled to be a FSX nut!


Until then, take care!  

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Thanks Clayton.  She is indeed a beauty.   Just finished the KATL to OMDB trip, you folks are going to love this report!

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