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AS16 + ASCA first full airliner flight........initial impression

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Hi all - Just completed my first full flight using the PMDG 737-700 NGX using both AS16 and ASCA.  I flew from KTPA to KBWI using Live WX and ASCA Global Dynamic setting. Flight was at 1145z today cruising at FL 370. Route was : BAYPO7 DUNKN J75 CAE J52 RDU GOOOB THHMP RAVNN6.  I used 1024 textures for the clouds but kept my original sky textures.

 

The good/great:

 

Departed KTPA and there were active storms to the north.  Wow, didn't want to get near these things!  Nice CB depiction as they towered over me and I had to navigate between them.  Matched up to WX radar in NGX perfectly.  As I skirted a few of the thunderheads, I hit some moderate turbulence.  I usually never even deviated around storms since they were not depicted well at all.  Now they certainly are something you want to avoid!!

 

Visibility transitions worked great, I saw no abrupt visibility change the entire flight.

 

Another airliner crossed 1000' above me and as I went under the contrail...whoa!!  Wake turbulence!!  NGX did a quick roll left about 20 degrees....and corrected.

 

Cloud motion effect.....pretty cool!!  Works better sometimes than others but I like this effect.  It did happen a few times once I was just cleared of the cloud but I definitely had some speed sensation especially on approach as I hit the clouds.  It does not wrap all the way to the side but I mostly look straight ahead anyway.  I like it!

 

FPS was great, if not better than I have had in the past.  Seeing all of those cloud textures, I would have expected performance issues but there were none!

 

The not quite as good:

 

Cloud pops....oh no!!  I experienced this several times during the flight.  Both pop-ins and pop-outs.  These were both clouds in the distance and a couple times these were big areas of clouds right in front of me that either popped in or out.  This was most noticeable during the cruise portion as I did not notice this on departure/approach to the airport and there were a lot of clouds during both phases. I also saw what looked like another layer of textures on existing clouds popping in/out.

 

Tiny fair wx cumulus clouds at 30k'....noooo!!  One of my biggest pet peeves in the sim.  Maybe this just cannot be avoided?  You generally do not see little cumulus much above 10k'  Never see them at 35k!!

 

Repeating cloud textures.  There are several very noticeable cloud structures that repeat quite a bit. 

 

Odd textures at times.  There seemed to be a ghosting effect around some of the cumulus clouds..almost like a thinner texture??

 

Cumulus clouds rising up through cirrus clouds.  This usually is not seen as the cirrus indicate stability but this was seen throughout the flight.

 

Ground textures look strange as you skirt bottom of clouds.  They seem faded and the autogen pops out more.  I wonder if this has to do with the wing fade effect??    Once down below the clouds the textures appear normal.

 

 

Overall I still think this was a great purchase and I'll have to mess around with some of the settings more.  I will have to try Full Dynamics mode instead to see if that helps anything.

 

Here is a link to some screenshots I took:

 

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/qbaokzjcwqfr8tl/AAAk9jdZrvU-PDWHSs8dULr8a?dl=0

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Great report - thanks a lot. Must say that I'm quite alerted by your cons list - weather popping or abrupt changing is my biggest hater right now. Hope they had it fixed...

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I'll add my experience so far on 3 flights now based on OP comments:

 

 

 


As I skirted a few of the thunderheads, I hit some moderate turbulence.  I usually never even deviated around storms since they were not depicted well at all.  Now they certainly are something you want to avoid!!

Yep.  Same for me.  I never deviated from my flight path before because I never felt the need.  Turbulence was never that bad that you really had to worry.  However, today I departed ENGM with thunderstorms all around and was rocked around pretty good.  For the first time ever, I decided I should actually route myself around them.

 

 

 


Visibility transitions worked great, I saw no abrupt visibility change the entire flight.

Same for me too.  Did not notice a single visibility change so far.

 

 

 


Another airliner crossed 1000' above me and as I went under the contrail...whoa!!  Wake turbulence!!  NGX did a quick roll left about 20 degrees....and corrected.

To be fair, I think they've had this feature for a while now.  At least I know it was in ASN and I think even ASE/AS2012, IIRC?  So, if anyone is reading this as a selling point on upgrading, you should already have it.  I have always disabled this feature though so I can't comment on how good it works vs previous versions.

 

 

 


Cloud motion effect.....pretty cool!!  Works better sometimes than others but I like this effect.  It did happen a few times once I was just cleared of the cloud but I definitely had some speed sensation especially on approach as I hit the clouds.  It does not wrap all the way to the side but I mostly look straight ahead anyway.  I like it!

Yep.  Overall, I like this effect too.  But, it definitely is in need of improving.  The effect itself would be nice to wrap further around you.  Also, they need to sync this better to when you are actually flying in a cloud.  I've gotten it a few times now where I've not really been in a cloud and once I think even on the ground on my takeoff roll.  Also, I think the textures should go by you in more of a horizontal direction, if that makes sense.  They seem to be rising up at an angle.  Though maybe this was because of my phase of flight too.  I don't remember if I was climbing at the time which might explain this.  Have yet to hit this effect in level flight.

 

 

 


Cloud pops....oh no!!  I experienced this several times during the flight.  Both pop-ins and pop-outs.  These were both clouds in the distance and a couple times these were big areas of clouds right in front of me that either popped in or out.  This was most noticeable during the cruise portion as I did not notice this on departure/approach to the airport and there were a lot of clouds during both phases. I also saw what looked like another layer of textures on existing clouds popping in/out.

Same thing for me too.  I've noticed it a few times up at cruise.  Would be nice to eliminate these.  Even if it's at the expense of not 100% accurate weather at that location.  I'd rather have weather act like it would/should in real life than have it instantly jump in or out to just try to match current conditions.  But, that's my preference too and others may prefer the accuracy.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts everyone!

 

I really appreciate the pros/cons list. We will definitely continue to work hard and improve the quality of AS16+ASCA. Eveyone's feedback is important to us! It helps us focus on the areas that we need :) 

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I have a few question.

 

When you're flying, now do you encounter the weather as you go? Or does it feels like you're inside this "bubble" of weather that follows you wherever you go as it is today with clouds forming and disolving all around you?

 

Also, do you clouds extend to the horizon and beyond? Or after a few miles you only see clear skies?

 

Im not sure if i should upgrade. Even the upgrade price is reeeeeeeally steep

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When you're flying, now do you encounter the weather as you go? Or does it feels like you're inside this "bubble" of weather that follows you wherever you go as it is today with clouds forming and disolving all around you?

No.  You are not in a "bubble".  You can see weather ahead of you and fly into it then look back and see the weather you just passed.  This has been the standard more or less now since ASN/Opus about 2 years now.  However, the only part that still needs to be worked on yet is "cloud popping".  Sometimes, you will see clouds just appear or disappear.  This occurs mostly at cruise and not that often but it still does happen.

 

 

 

Also, do you clouds extend to the horizon and beyond? Or after a few miles you only see clear skies?

Yes.  Clouds/weather will extend out as far as you have it set to.  There is a setting that can limit this for performance reasons.  So, if you have it set too low, you would see clear weather after 50nm, for example.  But, by default I believe this is set to be 90nm which seems to work fine.  I have not noticed a "cutoff" of where the weather just ends.

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Is it still necessary to put down wake turbulence from 50 to a much lower value (e.g. 5) in order to avoid PMDG aircrafts to fly S-turns? This was the case with ASN.

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Is it still necessary to put down wake turbulence from 50 to a much lower value (e.g. 5) in order to avoid PMDG aircrafts to fly S-turns? This was the case with ASN.

I ran wake turbulence at the default setting and never noticed S-turns in the MD-11, NGX, or T7 with ASN SP2. I set it to 0 when a Cessna waiting beside the runway took me out of the sky on landing the NGX. Kind of unrealistic and in post #1 a 20 degree bank from wake turbulence from an jet passing overhead is unrealistic also. So I have wake turbulence set at 0 in AS16.

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I don't know if this has been reported yet, but the HUD display gets invisible when flying through clouds from time to time in the NGX. Seems to be related to the wing fade effect. I've never experienced that with ASN, REX4 and SC!

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