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500 hours later with the PMDG 777...

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So, it's been four nearly five months (wow, time flies) since I first took the PMDG 777 to the virtual skies. During that time I've managed to rack up a few hours - didn't expect anything else from myself though  :lol: So I think it's finally time to give my take on this product you probably heard of called the PMDG 777. I wanted to get my hands stuck in a little more before giving my opinion on it - but now, here it is!

 

Being fortunate enough to be invited on to the 777 beta was a little surreal. For one it took me by utter surprise- since I'd not long been in this community and had zero past experience with that kind of thing. Good thing I was in the passenger seat when I read Ryan's email whilst in the car LOL. Receiving that email and getting everything finalised and waiting for beta to begin was probably the hardest wait of the entire development. I kid you not I was checking my email every five minutes the following days... after some wait myself and the other guys (and gal!) received the email we'd been waiting for, right before bed (Sure Rob planned that- I now have a date of the longest night of my life). But safely to say I received the aircraft about ten minutes after waking up the following morning. Like a kid on Christmas I scrambled to get everything set up whilst it downloaded - in the process teasing Peter from the team!! 

 

Seeing the aircraft in the menu I wasn't sure if PMDG were trolling me and the NGX would actually appear in the simulator... nope. This aircraft that I waited for, completely impatiently and annoyed a dozen or more people in the community in the process of doing so...

 

What hit me first? 

The flight decks geometry. These guys did an absolutely ace and realistic job with it! The real 777 is a weird one to me - you always expect it to be much bigger than it actually is. Which hits me every time I go from watching a DVD to walking in the real flight deck. I was extremely thrilled to get that exact feeling within the simulator - which I thought was impossible. Although it's not a small flight deck, which can be felt by going back over to the NGX... one way I think of it, is the 'perfect' fit between the 767 & 747. The depth is magnificent with the beautiful 3-D modelling. I love going down to the pedestal and MCP to seeing the class work that has been done there up close and personal. 

 

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Favourite feature, if you had to pick one (apart from its good looks, of course!)? 

The Electronic Checklist (ECL). Hands down one of the most fluid systems I've seen and worked within a flight simulator, and what a breeze it is to use. I can only imagine the crew flying it enjoy its easy, friendly usability during both normal and non-normal operations. The way your mouse turns into the cursor completely seemingly beautifully and smoothly. So you have a non-normal situation? Not to worry - EICAS is watching your back and within one click you'll have the applicable checklist(s) there, waiting for you to complete. No thumbing around a QRH wasting what can be extremely precious time. Not only that, but the fact it assists you even greatly by filling in items as green/check when it senses the switches position. 

 

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Favourite flights yet?

Probably my Heathrow to Vancouver trip was one of the most enjoyable yet. What a stunning flight that is in the Northern territories and YVR is a beautiful city as a whole. If you know me, then you'll probably know I need to cross the Atlantic at least once a week. Something about crossing on the North Atlantic Track system I find exhilarating. Another fantastic flight was from Dubai to New York - which has been my longest yet at 14:22 flying time. I'm yet to get myself over the Pole, which I really want to do. However I'm probably going to wait for the summer and it to be sunny over there! 

 

Which have you flown most - LR or F?

I had never flown a Freighter aircraft before getting the base package - must say I've warmed to it greatly. One big reason is I love landing the Freighter at MLW. Quite an experience bringing a 777 down at 260,800 kg's! I've taken it into some different destinations that a passenger aeroplane probably wouldn't go. One of my favourites was Dubai to Bagram, Afghanistan. What a thrill that was- incredibly fun and could not recommend it more, although I imagine it's a little more tense getting in there in the real world! Saying that, flying the LR has taken most of my time with scheduled passenger services by Emirates & British Airways. I can see the 300ER getting my complete and utter, undivided attention. What a stunningly sleek aeroplane that is - probably my favourite variant if I had to pick. 

 

Are you bored of flying it yet and was it worth all those hours spent waiting?

No, I am not even sick of the aircraft! What is even crazier, I STILL to this date, get excited at the thought of loading it up and flying it. Even I thought maybe I'd be sick of looking at the Navigation Display by now.... hasn't happened an has been the complete opposite. A great friend of mine who flies the real thing still thinks I'm crazy by saying that haha. This is why I love PMDG and the experience they bring to the table. I'm still learning TONES about this aeroplane and feel it's only the start of possibilities - because lets face it, the 777 series has endless possibilities! This is what I love about aviation as a whole - it's a never ending learning experience, always putting yourself to the test and testing ones capabilities. Flight simulator is what you make of it! I started at the VERY bottom - my first Vatsim flight I went to put my squawk in where the QNH goes in the default A321 I think it was. My learning took off from the NGX and I cannot thank PMDG enough for that. It's been worth every second I waited - the 777 is my dream to fly one day, the fact I can get a similar experience from a PC simulator is sometimes a surreal feeling. This is a study simulation - get your teeth stuck into those manuals, it's complete and utterly worth it!

 

Why on earth do you sit in the right seat?

I get asked this on a weekly basis and the truth is; it's just where I first got comfortable in my first 'pro' addon that I started flying (LDS 763) about two years ago. I stayed there simply because I got used to it - followed through on to the NGX last year and now in the 777. 

 

Final conclusion - worth my $89.99? 

This is THE aircraft to buy. PMDG have upped their game once again with the 777 and it's only going to get better from here. I cannot wait to see what happens with Service Pack 1 and the rest of the expansion models. You need to REALLY think about what is in this product - it is FAR from a fancy model with a basic autopilot system. I sat down with a friend on the fleet and I got given a range of things to do - left him in shock, simple fact he couldn't actually believe it actually acted how the aircraft he flies on a daily basis acts. I can't say I love something more than seeing people really wanting to learn this aircraft and its operations. The learning never stops - I seem to learn something new every single flight and couldn't be happier with it. Everybody must experience this simulation.. it's truly something to witness in your own flight simulator! 

 

That beautiful virtual cockpit & exterior; the sounds; the lighting; the systems; the possibilities... I still have hundred if not thousands hours planned flying her exclusively. I must give a big THANK YOU to PMDG for developing this aircraft - making it everything I expected and more  :biggrin:

 

11560414753_c1c33ae0f8_b.jpg

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Fantastic work Luke! I spend more time using EZdok to walk around the cockpit and the aircraft than actually flying it, that's how impressive it is! I've currently flown it for roughly 330hrs and thought I knew everything about the 777. During that time, my knowledge of the 777 has quadrupled. 

I still have no words to describe this beauty. PMDG scored a hat-trick with this addon and it's not even complete yet. There's still the -300ER, -200ER and service packs to go. With ASN and Flytampa Dubai, it's a dream come true!

 

It's the most well spent £55/$89 so far and I don't regret a single bit of it. Just came back to OMDB yesterday with UAE9997 and 9998, OMDB-EKCH-KORD,  KORD-EKCH-OMDB and this was by far my favorite flight ^_^

 

EDIT: BTW I noticed at night, the Glide slope inhibit button right above the gear lever is pitch black compared to other buttons in the flight-deck, is that normal?11563452513_451a9d42f5_o.jpg

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Nice marketing story but when I read a review of sorts I like to also hear the 'bad' things. Reading your comments it sounds as if you have had a trouble free 500 hours. I unfortunately cannot say that. Mine crashes often after a long flight especially during approach which is a pain when you have been flying for 12 hours. Right now I just fly 5 or 6 hour sectors which is not really what the LR was made for. It is a good simulation I agree and I hope that the Service Patch fixes some things but I for one will not be purchasing the 300ER.

 

Maybe it is FSX but that's all I have at the moment so I have to live with it. I am a tad disappointed and don't fly much anymore with the T7 , I have gone back to the 737NGX which has given me years of trouble free flying pleasure.

 

If you have had a trouble free 500 hours then good for you.

 

Glen

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Stunning job!

 

 

I Flight only freighter. I love the 77W, I look forward to the release.

 

 

I'm pleased to acquire the FS2Crew PMDG 777. 

 

For the price it has not bothered me. There are currently no price when you have a passion ... . 

 

 

I'm disappointed to EFB. I hope it will be added in a future update after SP1?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Again thank you for this wonderful work!

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Nice marketing story but when I read a review of sorts I like to also hear the 'bad' things. Reading your comments it sounds as if you have had a trouble free 500 hours. I unfortunately cannot say that. Mine crashes often after a long flight especially during approach which is a pain when you have been flying for 12 hours. Right now I just fly 5 or 6 hour sectors which is not really what the LR was made for. It is a good simulation I agree and I hope that the Service Patch fixes some things but I for one will not be purchasing the 300ER.

 

Maybe it is FSX but that's all I have at the moment so I have to live with it. I am a tad disappointed and don't fly much anymore with the T7 , I have gone back to the 737NGX which has given me years of trouble free flying pleasure.

 

If you have had a trouble free 500 hours then good for you.

 

Glen

Thats unfortunate Glen,

 

I have mine now for almost 700+ hours and do long flights light OMDB to LAX and LAX to OMDB (some real time, some accel), alot of long haul flights, lax-phl,bos,etc few flights to New Zeland and 8+ hours and never had it crash on me, i would say this is more of an issue with your FSX or pc setup then PMDG 777,  i have better fps with 777 then with NGX, so for me it has been smooth and very pleasant plane to fly, in matter of fact its only one i fly now and once in a while q400.  Sorry about ur experience, but would defiantly hold of on commenting saying its buggy, as i only found more annoyances that they already listed on fixes to do but overall this is the most bug free plane i fly.

 

 

thx.

 

 

Andrei

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Very nice review. I have the 777 although not quite as addicted as you are. Great plane but I find the long hours in the air a bit boring.

 

Some questions for you in regards to flying her.

 

1) what speed do you intercept the loc? I find I can't slow down if I intercept at speed of 190 a 200 knots.

 

2) hand flying down the glide slope I have a tough time trimming and it seems to want to float up.

 

 

Thx.

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Great Review Luke I couldn't agree more with your post. I only have around a 100 hours in the right seat and have flown around the globe. IMO It is Boeings and PMDG finest aircraft. I hate to say it but it will be hard to go back to the 747 v2 due to my love of the 777 flight deck. I also thought my enthusiasm would tire for her but it has not been the case.

 

Luke side note have you got any tips for taxing. I have referenced the indoc, FCOM, and FCTM, but moving her from one side of the airport to the other continues to kick my Butt. I under/over steer her and I have never had a problem taxing with the NGX, MD11, 747. I use saitek rudders and yoke....... I just hope NYC port authority doesn't find out how many blue taxi lights my boogies destroyed last time i was there.

 

 

Ash Keelson

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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2) hand flying down the glide slope I have a tough time trimming and it seems to want to float up.

 

This is a weird quirk with the FBW that PMDG appear to be fixing for SP1, the trim is not working as it should. I've noticed upward floatiness too, until I maintain down pressure on the yoke for a while.

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Nice review. I have not flown it that much yet. Only have had it for  12 days but my flights with it so far have been nothing be great. I have a 3 year old PC, middle of the line system and my flights have not had a crash yet nor bad performance. I have done, 5, 12, 10 and 15 hour non-stop real time flights. I love the save the flight automatically saves the cockpit feature. I have the plane pause on TOD and I always save the flight before decent incase of a crash. I also randomly save it a few times in the flight. Worst case it crashes and I either just fly another day or load it back up and speed up time. No biggie. I am expecting some issues at some point but so far my FPS have been better in the 777 than the NGX.

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'm pleased to acquire the FS2Crew PMDG 777. 

 

This is really what I am waiting for before I dive in, really not the same without it 

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Wow, that is a lot of hours.  I probably few every day since the 777 came out for 1/2 to 2 hours.  So I estimate 150 hours.  I had 2 crashes.

1 into a mountain in Carson City NV, and the other when I changed views 50 times in a minute looking for approaching traffic.

 

So all I gather is, don't fly the 777 where you are not supposed to go and don't change views like a rabid monkey.

I hope I didn't jinx myself.

 

 


Wow, that is a lot of hours.  I probably few every day since the 777 came out for 1/2 to 2 hours.  So I estimate 150 hours.  I had 2 crashes.

1 into a mountain in Carson City NV, and the other when I changed views 50 times in a minute looking for approaching traffic.

 

So all I gather is, don't fly the 777 where you are not supposed to go and don't change views like a rabid monkey.

I hope I didn't jinx myself.

 

 

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This is a weird quirk with the FBW that PMDG appear to be fixing for SP1, the trim is not working as it should. I've noticed upward floatiness too, until I maintain down pressure on the yoke for a while.

 

OK, good to know it is being addressed.

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Nice marketing story but when I read a review of sorts I like to also hear the 'bad' things. Reading your comments it sounds as if you have had a trouble free 500 hours. I unfortunately cannot say that. Mine crashes often after a long flight especially during approach which is a pain when you have been flying for 12 hours. Right now I just fly 5 or 6 hour sectors which is not really what the LR was made for. It is a good simulation I agree and I hope that the Service Patch fixes some things but I for one will not be purchasing the 300ER.

 

Maybe it is FSX but that's all I have at the moment so I have to live with it. I am a tad disappointed and don't fly much anymore with the T7 , I have gone back to the 737NGX which has given me years of trouble free flying pleasure.

 

If you have had a trouble free 500 hours then good for you.

 

Glen

This is a valid concern. The 777 uses more vas than any other payware plane I own and I constantly have to worry about OOM issues, which impacts the amount of time I spend flying it. The issue is usually triggered by flying from and two a payware airport. Some airports use a huge amount of vas (cyvr fsdt or flightbeam ksfo) for example while others like (flytampa's omdb and tncm, orbx jackson hole) use surprisingly low amounts of vas in comparison to other payware airports. Sadly I have found using external cameras with the 777 is a no-no since it burns way too much vas. The bottom line is that there are work-arounds, but I hope with future planes pmdg comes up with a way to minimize the vas usage. 

 

Chris H

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One thing I do want mention on my setup is that I do disable all my external models, meaning I only fly in cockpit view and my external view of model is not showing, some would say its dumb but for me it gives two things forces me to fly plane as pilot and stay in cockpit for duration of flight and second better fps. If I do want to enjoy external model for screenshots etc I'll enable it temporary. So that's me. And my setup.

 

 

Thx,

 

Andrei

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One thing I do want mention on my setup is that I do disable all my external models, meaning I only fly in cockpit view and my external view of model is not showing, some would say its dumb but for me it gives two things forces me to fly plane as pilot and stay in cockpit for duration of flight and second better fps. If I do want to enjoy external model for screenshots etc I'll enable it temporary. So that's me. And my setup.

 

 

Thx,

 

Andrei

Do you mean you just do not look at exterior views or do you actually do something ahead of time that disables your ability to view them? If you are disabling them ahead of time how are you doing that?

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Nice marketing story 

 

If this was some kind of marketing story, why would I pick to do it nearly half a year after release and AFTER Christmas? Logic to that.... this was aimed towards everyone working at PMDG. There is not one ''bug'' that affects normal operations of the B777. I wouldn't start blaming your issues directly on the 777 without hard prof that you've tested x-flight with a different aircraft and have succeeded. This isn't meant to be a review - this is my opinion. I have no issues with this aircraft. There are a couple of things I'd like to see in it that aren't possible within Flight Simulator X. 

 

 

EDIT: BTW I noticed at night, the Glide slope inhibit button right above the gear lever is pitch black compared to other buttons in the flight-deck, is that normal?

 

Thanks bud. I did the DXB>CPH>ORD freighter run during testing, but yet to get round to the return. I'm currently 141nm off 78N090W on my DXB>LHR>ANC>NRT>KUL>DXB round trip ha. That is indeed normal. P.s - nice photo! I think I'm following that guy on Instagram/Flickr hehe.

 

 

I'm disappointed to EFB. I hope it will be added in a future update after SP1?

 

For your own sake, don't expect it. Unless a decent deal can be worked out to cut the costs.... TopCat are adding the 777 in the coming weeks - that's probably what you should look at for performance. As for charts, check out Navigraph. A few airlines are even ditching the Boeing EFB as the iPad/Laptop way is much cheaper. 

 

 

Luke side note have you got any tips for taxing. 

 

Thanks Ash! Practice makes perfect!! It's all about judging on how much to overshoot the centreline... I was pretty rubbish at first and still not perfect. Take them nice and slow at 10 knots and just keep at it. I'm not really sure how to explain it ha. 

 

 

1) what speed do you intercept the loc? I find I can't slow down if I intercept at speed of 190 a 200 knots.

 

2) hand flying down the glide slope I have a tough time trimming and it seems to want to float up.

 

Cheers Mark! Normally 190/180 knots and am at least 10DME by the time of interception. I pretty much always vector myself to the LOC or IAF if I'm doing a VOR/RNAV. Then once established on the ILS/VNAV PTH, I normally do the 160 knots to 4>6 DME. To get from 190/180 to 160 on the glide path can be tricky and many times it won't go at flap 5 - so I normally take 15 and a bit of speedbrake action. Sometimes I need the gear earlier than other times. Really can vary! My last landing at Heathrow was 154 knots - so to do 160 knots down I needed the gear and flap 25. Don't be afraid to use those speedbrakes! If you watch a lot of 777 videos, you'll probably notice they use them most on base/down glide slope. 

 

As for the hand flying, I don't think there's much need to trim. This of course is being addressed in SP1. So most of the time I don't unless I'm forced in a pitch angle I don't want. 

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There is not one ''bug'' that affects normal operations of the B777. I wouldn't start blaming your issues directly on the 777 without hard prof that you've tested x-flight with a different aircraft and have succeeded. This isn't meant to be a review - this is my opinion. I have no issues with this aircraft. There are a couple of things I'd like to see in it that aren't possible within Flight Simulator X. 

 

I don't know about the poster that initially responded to you, but I have actually tried the same exact flight with the 737ngx and airbus x extended and the 777 does use more vas which can lead to oom when combined with other addons. There are bugs that affect normal operations, but they do not prevent the plane from being flown and they are being addressed in the next update.

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One thing I do want mention on my setup is that I do disable all my external models, meaning I only fly in cockpit view and my external view of model is not showing, some would say its dumb but for me it gives two things forces me to fly plane as pilot and stay in cockpit for duration of flight and second better fps. If I do want to enjoy external model for screenshots etc I'll enable it temporary. So that's me. And my setup.

 

 

Thx,

 

Andrei

I edit the files before i start FSX and flight, the files located under simobjects for model option you can disable and enabled it via that method by editing a model.cfg file. see below if you are interested:

 

[models]
//normal=PMDG_777_200LR.MDL  <------------------ putting // infront disables visual model from outside.
interior=PMDG_777_VC
 
 
file is found under model section of the plane you are trying to edit same folder where, texture, panel, etc  located.
 
 
 
THX,
 
 
Andrei.

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I edit the files before i start FSX and flight, the files located under simobjects for model option you can disable and enabled it via that method by editing a model.cfg file. see below if you are interested:

 

[models]
//normal=PMDG_777_200LR.MDL  <------------------ putting // infront disables visual model from outside.
interior=PMDG_777_VC
 
 
file is found under model section of the plane you are trying to edit same folder where, texture, panel, etc  located.
 
 
 
THX,
 
 
Andrei.

 

Do you notice a dramatic difference in vas usage compared to if you did not do the edit and just stayed in the cockpit the whole time?

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That is indeed normal. P.s - nice photo! I think I'm following that guy on Instagram/Flickr hehe.

 

Yep, he flies with Korean Air on the Boeing 777 as an FO. I like their yellowish tie they wear too :) 

 

This IMO is the best shot I've seen so far this year. They say a picture speaks a thousand words...

11581683974_9ef28e922b_o.jpg

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Aside the master caution light glitch with the cold and dark (which I use for my VIP plane) I haven't experienced any issues as well, I got around the MC glitch by making my own cold and dark state.

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This is really what I am waiting for before I dive in, really not the same without it

This adds even more reality

If this was some kind of marketing story, why would I pick to do it nearly half a year after release and AFTER Christmas? Logic to that.... this was aimed towards everyone working at PMDG. There is not one ''bug'' that affects normal operations of the B777. I wouldn't start blaming your issues directly on the 777 without hard prof that you've tested x-flight with a different aircraft and have succeeded. This isn't meant to be a review - this is my opinion. I have no issues with this aircraft. There are a couple of things I'd like to see in it that aren't possible within Flight Simulator X.    Thanks bud. I did the DXB>CPH>ORD freighter run during testing, but yet to get round to the return. I'm currently 141nm off 78N090W on my DXB>LHR>ANC>NRT>KUL>DXB round trip ha. That is indeed normal. P.s - nice photo! I think I'm following that guy on Instagram/Flickr hehe.   For your own sake, don't expect it. Unless a decent deal can be worked out to cut the costs.... TopCat are adding the 777 in the coming weeks - that's probably what you should look at for performance. As for charts, check out Navigraph. A few airlines are even ditching the Boeing EFB as the iPad/Laptop way is much cheaper.    Thanks Ash! Practice makes perfect!! It's all about judging on how much to overshoot the centreline... I was pretty rubbish at first and still not perfect. Take them nice and slow at 10 knots and just keep at it. I'm not really sure how to explain it ha.    Cheers Mark! Normally 190/180 knots and am at least 10DME by the time of interception. I pretty much always vector myself to the LOC or IAF if I'm doing a VOR/RNAV. Then once established on the ILS/VNAV PTH, I normally do the 160 knots to 4>6 DME. To get from 190/180 to 160 on the glide path can be tricky and many times it won't go at flap 5 - so I normally take 15 and a bit of speedbrake action. Sometimes I need the gear earlier than other times. Really can vary! My last landing at Heathrow was 154 knots - so to do 160 knots down I needed the gear and flap 25. Don't be afraid to use those speedbrakes! If you watch a lot of 777 videos, you'll probably notice they use them most on base/down glide slope.  As for the hand flying, I don't think there's much need to trim. This of course is being addressed in SP1. So most of the time I don't unless I'm forced in a pitch angle I don't want.

 

I will look. Thanks for the information. Otherwise I use my Ipad

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Cheers Mark! Normally 190/180 knots and am at least 10DME by the time of interception. I pretty much always vector myself to the LOC or IAF if I'm doing a VOR/RNAV. Then once established on the ILS/VNAV PTH, I normally do the 160 knots to 4>6 DME. To get from 190/180 to 160 on the glide path can be tricky and many times it won't go at flap 5 - so I normally take 15 and a bit of speedbrake action. Sometimes I need the gear earlier than other times. Really can vary! My last landing at Heathrow was 154 knots - so to do 160 knots down I needed the gear and flap 25. Don't be afraid to use those speedbrakes! If you watch a lot of 777 videos, you'll probably notice they use them most on base/down glide slope. 

 

As for the hand flying, I don't think there's much need to trim. This of course is being addressed in SP1. So most of the time I don't unless I'm forced in a pitch angle I don't want. 

 

Thanks for the info,  I have had to use the speedbrakes on the ILS, good to know that is somewhat normal.

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Luke side note have you got any tips for taxing. I have referenced the indoc, FCOM, and FCTM, but moving her from one side of the airport to the other continues to kick my Butt. I under/over steer her and I have never had a problem taxing with the NGX, MD11, 747. I use saitek rudders and yoke....... I just hope NYC port authority doesn't find out how many blue taxi lights my boogies destroyed last time i was there.

 

 

Ash Keelson

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Hi Ash,

Additional to what Luke has already said, Youtube "how to taxi a 777" parts 1 & 2 are what I follow in the PMDG 777 - works just fine.

Thanks

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