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Gregg_Seipp

How does flying the 777 compare to flying the NGX?

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Hi all,

 

I used to have the NGX (had to say so long when I moved to P3D).  It was my occasional 'fix' from being a, largely, GA/bizjet flyer.  Heavy metal is cool but aviation is more than just that, right?  Still, I miss my fix and pondering what to get.  I have the light NGX experience for comparison. So, my question is, how does the 777 compare as a flying experience?   I know it's bigger and 'fly by wire' but not sure how that matters in a practical sense.

  • Is it more complex or less than the NGX?  More fun?  Less?
  • What airports do you fly in and out of?  What length of runway does it typically need?
  • It's long haul but how do you, in particular, use it?  Shorter routes?  (Cargo is kind of appealing).  I'd imagine long flights would be me leaning back reading a book while it does its thing.
  • Do you use the checklist feature built in?
  • What special software do you use with it?  FS2Crew...does it add much?
  • Is VAS any big issue on P3D3?  Framerates similar to NGX?

Any and all answers are welcome!

 

Gregg

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Gregg,

 

I have both (for FSX) and would generally say that the 737 is a less automated aircraft, more for you as the pilot to do and more flexibility in terms of types of flights.  I have flown the NGX  for as long as 6 hours to short flights of 45 minutes.  

 

The 777 is much more automated and therefore much less for you as the pilot to do.  The flights its used on are generally much longer although there are a number of <3 hour real world routes out there.

 

In terms of challenges, the 737-800 tends to be a challenge to slow down on descent.  The 777 tends to be tough to handle on takeoff especially at light loads (and the -200 version) given the incredible amount of power available to it.  I use the electronic checklist and its is a nice feature.  I will say if you want to get the 777 also get FS2Crew as it really adds lots of additional functionality and things to do as the PF.

 

In FSX-SE I have no issues with VAS.  From what I read P3D v3.2 there are similar results.

 

Only other thing I would add is that both offer the full range of aircraft options and failures that PMDG provides so you can definitely test to your hearts content.

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The quality and clarity of the 777 is amazing. The 737 is great, but the 777 is WOW. The sounds, the button clicks and visuals, along with systems, EICAS pages, weather data link, and a totally different flying style. The electroniinc checklist really cool. Being able to set random failures and use the ECL to diagnose and troubleshoot. 

 

The 777 takes great skill to land well. I could easily grease the 737 most of the time and do it while casually distracted. The 777 no way. It takes all my focus, the flare and thrust idling is so crucial and you have a very very small window. The 300 and 200 fly very differnt and that is fun too. 

 

It really is visually and physically a nice difference from the 737. That satisfaction of ladning perfectly in the touchdown zone, on rwy heading, and smooth is a great feeling of accomplishemnt as it takes a lot of skill and focus to do which I love since it actually takes work to fly this. 

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Hello Gregg, it will be a pleasure to try and answer you:

 

 

 


Is it more complex or less than the NGX? More fun? Less?

 

The 777 is a Fly-By-Wire machine and the 737 is a more conventional aircraft regarding flight controls. Hand-flying the 777 is much easier than the 737. On the 777 the pilot ONLY has to trim for speed changes, as opposed to the 737, where you have to trim for pretty much any change.

 

More info on the 777 FBW on this thread, video and article.

 

Whether it's more fun or less, that's for you to decide! I personally love flying the 777, feels very "noble". :) The 737 is like a very big Cessna.

 

 

 


What airports do you fly in and out of? What length of runway does it typically need?

 

The 777 typically flies to international airports with long runways and good facilities. A typical 777 airport has ILSs on both runway ends and a 3000 meter long runway. Of course it is capable of taking-off and landing on shorte runways, but 3000 meters is just "right" for this aircraft.

 

 

 


It's long haul but how do you, in particular, use it? Shorter routes?

 

I use it for short haul flights, up to 3 hours or so. I don't like using time-compression and my real life duties won't allow me to fly longer than 3 hours.

 

You can have a look at this flight I did from LSGG to ESSA. Just the perfect duration for me.

 

You can even use the 777 for 1 hour hops or less, it's a Simulator after all and you can make it fit YOUR needs, not the other way around.

 

 

 


Do you use the checklist feature built in?

 

Sure! It's great and very easy/intuitive to use.

 

 

 


What special software do you use with it? FS2Crew...does it add much?
Is VAS any big issue on P3D3? Framerates similar to NGX?

 

I use it in conjunction with Active Sky Next and I really recommend it because it works in conjunction with the Weather Radar on the 777. See this video of ASN in action

For managing the views I use EZdok, see here how I set up my views using this tool.

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  1. Is it more complex or less than the NGX?  More fun?  Less?
  2. What airports do you fly in and out of?  What length of runway does it typically need?
  3. It's long haul but how do you, in particular, use it?  Shorter routes?  (Cargo is kind of appealing).  I'd imagine long flights would be me leaning back reading a book while it does its thing.
  4. Do you use the checklist feature built in?
  5. What special software do you use with it?  FS2Crew...does it add much?
  6. Is VAS any big issue on P3D3?  Framerates similar to NGX?

 

  1. More complex, but more automated. In other words, from a pilot perspective, you'll probably feel a little like you're "missing" things, but it's only because you don't have to do as much in the 777. "What am I forgetting" is a common theme when I fly it.
  2. I'm always in and out of KIAD, and usually fly to other larger airports. Runway required is highly dependent on what you've packed into it. On a short route with a light load, the thing can be a rocket.
  3. Depends on how much time I have. I took it on the Cross The Pond about a month ago, which ended up being about 10 hours. I'll also put it on higher density, shorter routes if I want to fly it, but keep the time shorter: seasonal volume (spring break) from IAD-MIA as an example.
  4. I do.
  5. I have FS2Crew for it, but it's so automated that you could get away without it. I do like the added touch. Don't forget ASN if you want the weather radar functionality. vPilot for online flying (though that's aircraft independent, obviously).
  6. VAS is less of an issue in P3Dv3, but it's still an issue. Memory management has been improved, but not completely fixed in the sim itself, and it's still only 32 bit. Framerates in my case are slightly better in the 777 because it's a "cleaner" flight deck.
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"What am I forgetting" is a common theme when I fly it.

 

Very true! Happens to me as well. The constant feeling that you've forgot something and don't know what.

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"Long haul" aircrafts definitely can and do fly short haul flights. Here in east Asia it's normal for 777/747/A330s to fly 500 nm legs. Some airlines do not even have "short haul" planes, like Cathay Pacific, Singapore.

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Another thing worth mentioning: The 777 is a lot more difficult to taxi than the 737. Takes some time and the help of external views to get used to.

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I'll fly the B77W (B777-300ER) for a week then change up and fly the B738 (B737-800) the next week.  Two very different experiences.  The B738 is a hands-on machine and as already mentioned capable of an amazing variety of flights, from short to oceanic.  The B77W is a joy to fly but she has very long legs, for example I have the KLAX KMIA AA68 trip in progress right now and she does this without putting fuel in the belly. The real challenge to the long trips is in the planning and execution of the trip, there is a whole world that opened to me when I started doing ETOPS trips and the complex planning that goes into this, included redispatch planning.  There is something very enjoyable about planning these long trips and then watching what happens to weather, alternates, fuel and time as the hours pass.  This implies an investment in tools such as PFPX for planning and must-have ASN for weather.

 

I'd hate to go without either.

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This implies an investment in tools such as PFPX for planning and must-have ASN for weather.

 

What does PFPX do that other planners don't in this regard?  The obvious thing is that, when you buy a $135 airplane and then have to buy other add ons just for that plane it all adds up.  I have other planners, Aivlasoft and other online planners, and I wonder how they fall short.

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What does PFPX do that other planners don't in this regard?  The obvious thing is that, when you buy a $135 airplane and then have to buy other add ons just for that plane it all adds up.  I have other planners, Aivlasoft and other online planners, and I wonder how they fall short.

I would say PFPX comes into its own if you are interested in the detailed planning and dispatch side of virtual flying. If you want to get straight to the flying then it probably isn't worth investing in. I use Simbrief and that does nearly everything PFPX does at no cost and no annual data subscription. It even includes a flight planner now.

 

In my view, the only essential addon to use with it is ASN. Everything else is down to personal preference.

 

As for you other questions:

 

1. It's more complex than the NGX but also more automated, so it balances out. The 777 feels so fluid though and the built in data uplink system is a joy to use. You will soon forget that it is Fly By Wire. Just fly it like a conventional airliner.

2. 6000 ft is a reasonable minimum runway limit to use. You might be weight limited but you should be able to operate from it. Basically follow real world operations and you can't go wrong.

3. I mainly use it on long haul, but shorter cargo routes are definitely an option. There's no reason why you can't use the 777 on short haul if you wish. I like to stay in control on long hauls so there is certainly time to catch up on reading, web browsing, etc. You can leave it on auto cruise in time acceleration mode if you wish but I don't see the point of that.

4. It's very intuitive and easy to use, so I do use it sometimes.

5. As I said above, ASN is essential, other things are down to personal preference. If you like FS2Crew on one addon you will like it on all of them. I don't like it that much. I haven't bought it since the LDS767 version was released. I found myself sitting there waiting for the F/O to do everything, Not my idea of fun.

6. As others have said P3Dv3 has greatly improved VAS usage and it's now as efficient as it can get with 32 bit addressing.

 

If you've ditched the NGX then the 777 is without doubt the best addon you can buy for civil flight simming.

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In my view, the only essential addon to use with it is ASN. Everything else is down to personal preference.

 

Fully agree.

 

ASN makes the atmosphere become "alive". Without it, FSX feels like flying through a completely still mass of air.

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Fully agree.

 

ASN makes the atmosphere become "alive". Without it, FSX feels like flying through a completely still mass of air.

Indeed, it also looks very good even with default textures, but the main thing is that ASN integrates with the 777 FMC in a way no other weather simulation does.

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Thank you everyone!  I'm busy watching some of the videos and beefing up my knowledge.  Now I get at least a taste of what Fly By Wire is.  Also watching some of Kyle's videos.  I agree, the cockpit is more stately, especially when looking at it from the back.

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