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Guest bobsk8

Purchasing first complex jet

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I've been flying GA for quite awhile and am now considering buying my first complex aircraft. I'm looking to fly primarily shorter flights (2 hours or less), so I'm thinking the PMDG 737 or similar. I guess my question is whether there is a better alternative, such as the soon to be released Feel There 737 PIC. The screenshots look awesome and it comes with an illustrated guide to help newbies. The PMDG is considered by many to be the best in this genre, but could it be surpassed? Any opinions are appreciated.


Curt Branch

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Well, I think you would have a lot of fun with the PMDG 737. It is a quite steep learning curve coming from GA, but their manuals are excellent, albeit a tad overwhelming at first. If would say that you should prefer the PMDG, because it is a mature product with a large fanbase and little known bugs that could keep you from enjoying your first commerical jetliner.Good luck!!

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Guest bigun

Curt,I have owned the PMDG737 since the day of release and it is STILL a fantastic aircraft. Keep in mind that it has been out a couple of years now so there have been advances. Also remember that to get the FULL functionality of the 37, you must buy both the base pack and the 800/900 expansion pack.A couple other good alternatives for shorter hops is the Flight1 ATR (absolutely a fantastic aircraft), but it is a turbo prop.Also the FeelThere ERJ is a fine add-on. If you want an older, "steam engine" type aircraft the DreamFleet 727 sets the standard.Hope this helps

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Yes the PMDG 737 is excellent - shop around for the disk versions - easier if it comes to reinstalls and probably cheaper - Play.com for instance.The 737 is improved even further with FSCrew http://www.fs2crew.com/For a smaller step up from GA, try the ATR http://atr.flight1.net/ - a turbo-prop, but complex and well regarded, and FSCrew comes out for that shortly.



 

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Depends on what kind of flying you want to do...basic jet, or all-glass electric jet with every imaginable gadget.In the basic jet department, the Dreamfleet 727 is King. OTOH, you could also try Stellan Hilmersby's amazing freeware DC-9, which when coupled to the payware JetCity models, rivals the Dreamfleet in the legacy iron category.In the electric jet department, the PMDG 737 is the standard in the short-haul division. But...a Ready for Pushback or PMDG 747 painted up in Air Force 1 colors flying 2 hour legs isn't out of bounds...or for that matter a Level-D 767 (757 coming) in 89th Airlift Wing colors. The FeelThere ERJ-145 is, IMHO, the best regional jet panel.I agree with the previous posters as well, in that the Flight1 ATR gives you the complexity of a glass jet panel with good short-leg options.I have 'em all...hardest part of waking up on a Sat morning is deciding which one(s) will fly that day...RegardsBob ScottATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300Santiago de Chile


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Thanks everyone for your responses. I'll do some research on the alternatives suggested and try to immerse myself into one during my upcoming 2-week vacation. I may need more than 2 weeks if it's very complicated.


Curt Branch

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I totally agree on the PMDG product. Just a really good all-around polished package with no bugs; nothing that I've seen anyway. And that is important in my opinion.Also, there are tons of liveries for the PMDG and all are for free. Make sure, as George mentioned, to get both the NG and 800/900 series because the 800/900 adds TCAS functionality as well as a slightly more polished panel.George, If you read this, I PMed you a little while ago about your install process for LD767. I'm not sure if you received it.Regards,

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If you really want a commercial jet, the PMDG 737NG is the way to go. It is expensive if you want the whole package with TCAS and the extra models, but a great plane. Nothing else out there really fills that segment, except perhaps the Eaglesoft business jets, but they lack an FMC and some other nice features. I can't speak about the upcoming shorter range jets from FeelThere or anyone else (Flight One 737-200) since they aren't out, and may not be out for a while. I'm personally dying to get the 737-200 from Flight One, but they haven't even talked about it or displayed one screen shot :(I made a very easy step-by-step list (~tutorial) of what to do in the PMDG 737 using an example flight from KPHX to KSLC (Phoenix, AZ to Salt Lake City, Utah). It's nothing fancy like the other tutorials, but I'm sure it's worked for someone. I'm making one for the ATR as well, and it's another favorite plane of mine. The ATR might seem more complex, but it just depends on your view of complex.Also, both the PMDG and ATR will slow your computer down, especially if you try to fly from VC, so keep that in mind.


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Guest bigun

Got it Rob. Thanks for calling my attention to the PM. I'm bad about not looking at my inbox:-roll

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I bought the boxed versions of the PMDG 800/900 and 600/700 on CD as packaged by aerosoft. If you go to their site it states that their CD version of the 800/900 is stand-alone as opposed to the PMDG download versions. Their stand-alone version of the 600/700 does not have TCAS so I bought both CDs (from pcaviator.com), followed the installation instructions from aerosoft's web site (http://www.aerosoft.com/shop-re_s/fs2004_aircraft.html) going to the faq and support pages and downloading a small CD version service package.One advantage is that the CD packages each include two small but fairly complete printed operations manuals for the aircraft and FMC. The original PMDG pdfs are on the CDs including all the performance charts required for the aircraft.I also bought Mike Ray's Flying the Boeing 700 Series Flight Simulators manual. There is a thread already about it here in this forum so I won't repeat it other then to say it is great and expands on the supplied manuals with details and practical suggestions that I found extremely helpful in expanding the package material. Mike's site is www.utem.org. It applies to the 767 as well such as the LDS product. All are glass cockpits.Whether you get the 600/700 or 800/900 or both depends on the flight lengths and aircraft sizes and if you want (I highly recommend it especially with FS AI ignoring you in flight) a TCAS.The only bothersome bug I have noted and is verified is on shutting down the AT the throttles fall out of synch and your throttle controls only one of the power levers. Work arounds are given on the PMDG support forum here:http://pmdg.forumsplace.com/forum-4.html&s...dd8755097be73cewhich my having a fully registered FSUIPC took advantage of mapping a throttle lever synch function to a hot key. There are other ways.Aerosoft also maintains a common support forum but it is not as complete nor exclusive to the product.I do not regret purchasing both boxed versions (it did not cost more than the download versions as I recall except for shipping) and the $30 for Mike's book was well worth it. The discussion about Mike's book might be found here by its title or searching for Mike's handle, Fang, here on this forum. He replied to the thread after I made him aware of it in an e-mail regarding his book content.So, in summary, I spent quite a few bucks on the 737NGs, but the immersiveness gained with these products was well worth it. It has been a challenge to learn these sophisticated aircraft and coordinate with ATC (I use Radar Contact) but I have done it and it brought me tremendous satisfaction.The accuracy has been quite good to real world observations as I noted in viewing JustPlanes Hapag-Lloyd Express DVD for the 737NG-700 video and flying real aircraft as noted in Mike's book. (For those that care, get the JustPlanes Belair 757/767 DVD for another good similar cockpit session of a similar aircraft).


Ron Ginsberg
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I have the PMDG 737NG - I bought it right before (literally, the night before!) my 2 hour slot in last year's Avsim/UAL simulator blowout in Denver, where I got to fondle UAL's 777 simulator controls for a while. To be honest, I haven't flown the PMDG product since - I'm more of a GA, non "big iron" pilot. But the PMDG product was an excellent training aid for my short triple-7 sim hop!With that experience in mind, and given what you posted, I will recommend the Eaglesoft Citation X airplane to you. It's been criticized for not having an FMC, but I have had a lot of fun with the airplane and one flight in particular is a fond memory, where I "flew" it from KSFO to Kona, Hawaii - the longest FS flight I've done up to this point. Based on your post, I think it's a great "transition" aircraft in terms of moving from prop-driven GA airplanes to jets.Note that my CX flying was done in conjunction with the RealityXP GNS530 GPS add-on - I'm not sure if a real CX would have one of these in the cockpit but it does serve as a "mini FMC".Dave Blevins


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I can fully endorse the Level-D 767 as well as the PMDG 737, if anything the 767 is better than the PMDG 737 (but not by much) - but if you want short-haul, then the 737 probably gives you more of what you want.However, two things which may sway you.Firstly, the 767 has the ability to save a flight en-route and then restart later with the panel and FMC just as you left them. The 737 can't do this. Thus with the 767, you can fly longer hauls by breaking them into smaller sections, whereas you may be doing short hops in the 737 but you have to do them all in one go.Secondly, you should have a good look at FSCrew. I know this is an extra add-on - which costs money - and in theory adds complexity when you already have a learning-curve ahead.However, it gives you a fully functional First Officer who operates lots of the switches for you according to the checklists and your instructions. This means that I now always start the 737 from cold and dark without difficulty, whereas before I always found this very hard. He also reminds you if you make obvious errors!The 737 doesn't have a First Officer Panel, the ATR and the 767 do. Presumably when FSCrew comes out for the latter two, you'd be able to fly as FO or Captain.



 

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Another rather (potentially) annoying bug is that the autospoilers in the -800 don't deploy when you arm them for landing.If you don't arm them they do deploy.Reverse logic, I'm pretty sure that's not how Boeing designed it :)And oh, make sure to get a full set of SID/STAR data from navdata.at and an update of the navdata.The default dataset is rather empty, missing even such major airports like Schiphol and Heathrow.

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They caution on the PMDG support forum to use their supplied navdata due to possible airac delays by navdata.at. This all has to do with some of Richard's sources drying up but it looks like he's got them again.


Ron Ginsberg
KMSP Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Puddles
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Just to clarify, while the PMDG product does not have an FO that throws the switches and flaps for you out of the box, it does call out V-Speeds for take-off. If V-Speeds for takeoff are entered as the last step in the FMC preflight (the FMC TAKE-OFF REF page must be the last setup page) then V-Speed bugs and flap setting bugs appear on the PFD speed tape. Flap setting bugs also appear during approach/final at the flap Vref speeds for your current gross weight.


Ron Ginsberg
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