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teopereira

NGX and real NG "feel"?

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I asked a real 378 captain about the "feel" of a Level-D 737-8 full sim, and he said it was "95%" convincing. What about the NGX, how close to reality is its "feel", mainly on landing and take off? What is right and what it lacks? Specially now that we have the ASN...

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That depends hugely on the controls you are using... Even in the FFS I find landings especially unrealistic, never was able to make a nice landing in it (in contrast to the actual airplane) ;)

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IMO, the FSX physics just hinder the almighty NGX. She has to go X-Plane  :ph34r:

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No FSX simulation can really simulate the feel of a plane exactly. First even the best yoke isn't going to feel exactly like the plane. We have over 220 737s in our fleet so far and there is a difference in control feel from plane to plane. On top of that you don't get the motion of the plane so you won't feel how it reacts to your control inputs. All that being said I think NGX is as real an experience as you can get while flying a PC simulation.

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I asked a real 378 captain about the "feel" of a Level-D 737-8 full sim, and he said it was "95%" convincing. What about the NGX, how close to reality is its "feel", mainly on landing and take off? What is right and what it lacks? Specially now that we have the ASN...

 

Having flown hundreds of hours in different level D full flight simulators and owning FSX/737NGX my experience is that FSX is not very close to flying an actual 737NGX. The only thing it is good for, in fact, excellent for, is IFR flying for the brain, not for the hand flying part. I'm instrument rated (not current anymore) and enjoy flying the 737NGX IFR as much as I can.
 
I think most of us know that level D full flight simulators are FAA approved for initial pilot training that requires no actual aircraft flights to get trained (type rated). Primarily, the flight control computer loading, the computerized aerodynamics model, the 6-degrees of motion and the wrap-around visual screens of the level D sims are handled by many, many computers and all come together to provide an extremely high degree of realism. Enough for the FAA to say OK, this is real enough that you, as a new pilot on this aircraft, do not need to actually fly and train in the real deal.
 
You simply cannot get close to this using a desktop flight simulator program...period. However, that being said, the 737NGX is an amazing piece of software for the price. Yes I can hand fly my 737NGX BBJ but its to control the flight, that is, making TO's, landings, etc. so I don't crash. But hand flying it is nothing like flying a real jetliner even if you have rudder pedals from a load and feel stand point.
 
I also think that anyone who flys the 737NGX for a long period of time and who knows the systems pretty well, could fly and land the real 737NGX in an emergency if they had to. They would know enough about how to do it and I think could transfer their hand flying experience with FSX to the real 737NGX and land it. The control feel and loads would be much different but you could adapt quickly and end up flying it pretty well I think and save the day. Really.
 
And finally I'd like to add a true life experience about non-pilots trying to land a full flight simulator:
 
As most of you know, I worked in flight crew training for the manufacturers (Boeing being for one) and for two major airlines. In my 20 years, I brought into the full flight sims about 12 of my friends over the years. They expressed an interest in seeing if they could fly and land a commercial jetliner. So, I said sure, I can get you into one and we can see how you do.
 
I sat in the right seat as a safety pilot and let them fly "Captain". It was important for me to be the safety pilot and not let the sim actually crash because once you crash, the reset process is long and involves the sim technicians. It's a big deal and a very bad thing to let happen (to the equipment, not to mention the pilots ego who crashed).
 
Of the 12 non-pilots, with me talking them through everything they must do and when to do it, the TO, climb and getting around the pattern back onto final for an ILS approach hand flying using the FD, none of them could land the plane. In fact, none of them could even got close to be lined up on center line to be anywhere near the runway at 200 DH. I always had to take over and go around to prevent us from crashing. And most of time I went around at 500 feet since most times there was no runway in front of us anyway.
 
Now many of you reading this may think I'm BSing you but I'm not. Remember, these guys were not pilots. They were trying their best to fly the FD (forget trying to fly on raw data, no FD's) but the mental load on them was massive and you could see that in their faces.
 
Where they had trouble was here: they could not fly 3-axis at the same time like we can. They would focus on throttles for airspeed and not keep the wings level so they would end up off heading (that's why most of the time at 500 feet there was no runway in front of us). Then I'd say watch your heading and they would focus on that for a while. Then I'd say watch your altitude and they would focus on pitch. Then I say your speed is too low or too high. And so it went like this. We don't think anything about flying 3-axis, we just do it.
 
They were so lost and so mentally over loaded they could barely keep up. And here is the shocker: I was there in the right seat telling them what to do and when to do it. If no one was there in the cockpit to tell them what to do and how to do it and when to do it...I'm convinced they would have crashed. So the lesson here is: if you're on a commercial flight and both pilots are incapacitated, a non-pilot passenger who goes to the cockpit to try and fly the plane had better get on the radio fast and get help fast to talk them down.
 
Now for the good news: I took one private pilot into the full flight sim one day because he asked me if I could and he wanted to see if he could land the MD-90. I was working for McDonnell Douglas at the time. With me in the right seat talking him through everything, he was able to land the plane on the edge of the runway. He had only flown C-152's and C-172's before that. He was a sharp pilot. He was able to follow my instructions pretty well. However, I still have to say, if I was not telling him what to do and when to do it, I'm not sure if he could have got the plane on a runway by himself. He was not familiar with the MD-90 cockpit. He would have had to get on the radio to get some help in landing the plane.
 
I think we (the 737NGX simmers) could land the actual plane by ourselves because we do know what to do and when to do it. So I think we could if we had to.
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Ralph, your experiences are always an interesting read!  :lol:

 

Thanks...nice to hear... :P

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Hi guys,

 

I just got my type rating in the 737-800 in February and have 85 hours now in the actual airplane. I have been a sim enthusiast almost as long as we've had sim programs on PCs. I even have the original Microsoft Flight Simulator with the 5.25" floppy disks STILL in the original box!

 

Here's my take on the current topic. The PMDG 737NGX is a marvel among high-end FSX add-ons! I'm using my company's checklists and procedures for all phases of flight with this product. I've owned this product since it was released but never really got into the depths of it because, where home sims are concerned, I've always been a "crank it up and fly" kind of simmer.

 

When I found out that I would be flying the 737 at my new job, I got serious about it. I have to be honest, the PMDG NGX was a huge help in a number of areas. I nailed down my cockpit flows in no time at all. The previous (surface) knowledge I'd gained from using it made me the "go to guy" for the FMC in my class! I was basically teaching FMC to my classmates during basic indoc! While systems were not something I had gotten into using the NGX, basic operating procedures were no trouble at all during simulator training. Bottom line: the PMDG 737NGX was an awesome tool to enhance my training for the actual aircraft.

 

Now on to the big question, which always seems to be COULD someone, with lots of PMDG NGX experience, land a real 737-800. While there are varying opinions on this topic, my answer would be no, with one caveat. While my company does not do coupled autoland, there are those that do. I believe that someone with PMDG experience COULD set the MCP/FMS up to do a coupled autoland, but I don't think they would be able to hand-fly a normal landing. On a PC, you simply don't get the feedback that you get from the actual airplane. The "sight picture" is also different than you experience in the real jet. The one thing that was a new experience for me in the actual jet was the pitching moment experienced as the auto throttles increase and reduce thrust during the approach. You will notice this to some degree in the NGX. It took me about 50 hours to find my groove for compensating for these thrust changes while hand flying the jet. Now it's almost second nature. I still have a long way to go but am feeling comfortable in it sooner than I thought I would.

 

I'm not a very technical person when it comes to replying in forums like this. I hope that relaying my limited experience in the actual jet hasn't been too much of a yawn!

 

Terry Swindle

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Definanly worth a watch, even if it is in German. I posted it about 3 months ago and everyone ignored it. :)

 

It seems the FFS isn't a real as they would like.

 

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Definanly worth a watch, even if it is in German. I posted it about 3 months ago and everyone ignored it. :)

 

It seems the FFS isn't a real as they would like.

 

Most enjoyable!!

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Auch, that's not german... That's Dutch!

Nice video anyway ;-)

 

My bad, I should know, I have been to Amsterdam 3 times, and landed at EHAM.

 

I'm surprized he kept on crashing in the sim.

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Definanly worth a watch, even if it is in German. I posted it about 3 months ago and everyone ignored it. :)

 

It seems the FFS isn't a real as they would like.

 

 

That's in Dutch, not in German! ;-)

Still an interesting and nice video!

I am seriously into flight simming since the release of FS98 and on my two Level D FFS sessions at Lufthansa flight training center (B737 classic, A320) I had a really great time mainly doing landings in these simulators. And (even to my own surprise), it worked really well! I even performed the circle to land into LOWI's RWY08 in the A320 with a good result. The desktop flight sims may lack the feel, but they can build and improve some basic skills in my opinion and experience!

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Auch, that's not german... That's Dutch!

Nice video anyway ;-)

According to my Dutch friend, it's not Dutch either, it's Flemish. Great vid, a must watch for any 737 enthusiast.

 

Thanks for posting

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Flemish isn't an official language, it's just a dialect ;-)

But okay, let's get back on topic.

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Flemish isn't an official language, it's just a dialect ;-)

But okay, let's get back on topic.

Not sure the Flemish would agree with that, aren't all languages a dialect :-)

 

Agree, let's get back on topic :-)

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IMO, the FSX physics just hinder the almighty NGX. She has to go X-Plane  :ph34r:

 

It's saying the word "X-Plane" on this forum and immediately you'll be getting dislikes and disagrees.

 

Come on people, relax a bit will ya?

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I also think that anyone who flys the 737NGX for a long period of time and who knows the systems pretty well, could fly and land the real 737NGX in an emergency if they had to. They would know enough about how to do it and I think could transfer their hand flying experience with FSX to the real 737NGX and land it. The control feel and loads would be much different but you could adapt quickly and end up flying it pretty well I think and save the day. Really.
 
I think we (the 737NGX simmers) could land the actual plane by ourselves because we do know what to do and when to do it. So I think we could if we had to.

 

 

That's exactly what I was saying on another thread. I've had the chance to fly both a Level-D 744 and a A320 simulator and did it pretty well without any help from the instructor. 

 

The feel is completely different to our PC-based simulators, however, you adapt to the feel, input forces, aircraft responses etc.. almost instantly. Just like when you drive a car you've never driven before, you instantly adapt to the force on the wheel, the response etc.

 

A real jetliner has 4 degrees of freedom, or only 3 if we assume the aircraft will always fly coordinated (yaw damper), so that's the 3 axis you have to manage simultaneously (4 during crosswind landings).The important thing is having your brain trained in maintaining heading, altitude and speed all at the same time (anticipating where needed and taking the aircraft's massive inertia into account). Also knowing your instruments and where you must look for your information. Both of those tasks can be trained on our PC simulator.

 

That's for hand-flying. For auto-flying, you need to know the autopilot logic and how to program it, which would be very easy for a serious NGX simmer.

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>I'm surprized he kept on crashing in the sim.

 

Why would that surprise you? The guy is not a pilot. He's a news reporter.

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Of the 12 non-pilots, with me talking them through everything they must do and when to do it, the TO, climb and getting around the pattern back onto final for an ILS approach hand flying using the FD, none of them could land the plane. In fact, none of them could even got close to be lined up on center line to be anywhere near the runway at 200 DH. I always had to take over and go around to prevent us from crashing. And most of time I went around at 500 feet since most times there was no runway in front of us anyway.

 

I've done similar things, acting as co-pilot for sim open days, corporate entertainment events and so on. I found some people could manage an approach and landing, some could not. Some didn't even need much help from me to manage it. None of the ones who did it were pilots to my knowledge. It's really not that hard once you get the basic idea. In good weather conditions at least.

 

The worst simulator performance I ever saw was from a high ranking air force officer (I won't mention which air force, but it wasn't RAF or USAF) who was supposedly a fast jet pilot. He didn't have a clue about flying a multi-engined airliner and metaphorically "crashed and burned".

 

Regarding the feel of a full flight sim, that depends almost entirely on the visual system, control loading and motion system response. In other words the external cues it provides.

 

As for PMDG sims, they do as good as is possible for a desktop sim. Going to XPlane wouldn't improve things much. It would still be a desktop sim. But I remember the first time I ran the FS9 Queen of the Skies. The sounds were so evocative of the 747-400 full flight sim I was familiar with, it was very impressive. It's still the high quality sounds that give me a feeling of realism.

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Ive landed a 737 in a full motion fully certified B737 sim, and not just "landed" but fully stabilised in complience with all the SOPs, precisely in the TD zone with a good rate. Spent 2 good hours there, doing all kinds of approaches, visual, NDB, and not a single problem managing the AP modes, LVL CHG etc.

I have around 700 hours in the NGX and another 1k in other 737 products, have studied FCOM&SOP's, QRH and a lot more, been reading lots about the 737, watching vids and more, but NO real world experience whats so ever, only FSX&FS9

So it depends on the person, and his knowledge on the 737. This is no "YES/NO" question, some simmers will land it, some wont. But yea, its compleately possible.

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