Goatman24

Purchased my first PMDG product. Couple questions.

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Even though I've been flying FSX from the start I just recently purchased the PMDG 737 and have a few questions. This is only the second plane I've purchased. The first being the Carenado Beechcraft Bonanza V35B which I enjoy flying.

I did read the manual and tried a flight using the 1st tutorial. Although, yes I did cheat and take a couple flights before hand. 

I did appreciate all the quality in building this thing and can tell how well done it is. 

Is it possible to do a flight without going into all the stuff I went through in the tutorial? I can see at some point wanting to use this but for now am really just interested in flying with no auto-pilot etc.. I noticed on my couple initial flights that my flaps didn't seem to work. Maybe it's harder to tell from the external view but I really think they weren't moving. In the cockpit the flap lever was indeed moving. 

Also, the readings on speed and altitude seem stuck until maybe 10 minutes into the flight then they start working. Not sure what would cause this either. 

My specs on my system are as follows:

Rosewill Thor V2 Gaming ATX Full Tower Computer Case, ASUS Maximus VII Hero LGA 1150 motherboard, Intel Core i7-4790K Haswell QUad-Core 4.0 GHz LGA 1150 Processor, G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB 2x4gb 240pin DDR3 SDRAM, Thermaltak Toughpower 850W PowerSupply, Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1060 NVIDIA video card, Intel Solid State Drive 240GB, Corsair H-80 High-Performance Hydro CPU Cooler. 

Any input would be appreciated. I realize I'm just scratching the surface so far. 

Thanks Mitch

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You can fly it however you like, it's your aeroplane! But, I appreciate what you are saying - there is nothing wrong with simply cranking it up and setting off if you want to, and that's actually not a bad idea really, because above all you should know how to fly your aeroplane manually and how to land it without any help from the autopilot, so bashing around the circuit a few times will be time well spent, although if you do that, don't put too much fuel in or your landing speeds will have to be unecessarily high. The 737 is known for having higher landing speeds than other airliners as it is (it has way higher approach speeds than an A320), and it is also known for floating a lot when in ground effect too, so don't make life harder than it needs to be by lugging round a ton of fuel you don't need.

If I were you, at least put departure and destination airports into the FMC and a few bits of other basic info too: runway, wind speed/direction, weight, flap setting you intend to use etc. That way you'll get V-Speeds on the primary flight display and can use TOGA if you want to.

Personally, I would recommend doing the tutprial a few times until it starts to bore you; the reason for that is, when it comes to learning stuff, the magic number is three, i.e. for most people, if they do something three times, it sticks in their head, and if you get to the point where you start thinking 'yeah, yeah, I've got it!' then you know you really have got it and will be able to quickly amend what you have learned in order to perform the set up for other flights quickly. To do that easily, use the default flight planner to create an IFR high altitude airways flight between two airports, save it and then crank up your 737 and look in the Navigation Log on the FS file menu, and you will then know exactly what waypoints to put into your FMC on the route legs page, which will just be a slightly modified vesion of the tutorial you did. And don't forget to press execute! Get the fuel weight off the FS fuel menu, and the wind offf the default ATIS ATC (or press shift+z.). With a bit of practice, you can have the FMC set up in a couple of minutes.

Above all, have fun with it, the PMDG B737 is without doubt one of the best ever add-ons for FS, and it will reward a little bit of effort in studying how it works by putting a smile on your face. If you can fly the 'Doctor Killer' okay (aka the V35 Beechcraft Bonanza), then the 737 will be a breeze, because unlike the V35, the stabilisers don't fall off it if you overspeed it lol.

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There are many challenges to learning and enjoying this very flexible aircraft; however, it is not designed nor intended to be a kick the tires and go VFR type of aircraft.  Once you become proficient and accept the minor inconvenience of learning and using a flight planner (e.g., PFPX) you will be able to enter the cockpit, start INS alignment and have your flight planned before it is time to enter the coordinates into the INS.  Meanwhile GSX has been servicing the galley and you've added the planned fuel load so it's time to load passengers while you complete the FMS preflight.  It's possible to preflight and be ready for pushback in 15 min or less with practice.  The really fun thing to do is to grab a SWA aircraft and follow it for a day... being in Texas I grabbed the early morning flight from KMAF Midland to KDAL Dallas Love thence to KLAS Las Vegas and finish the day at KRNO Reno.  Use flight aware to get all the flight routes, times and gates for that day then try and accomplish it real time (Note: Best to save/quit/start/load at each gate but that only takes a minute).  The first couple of times you will not be able to do what SWA does every day routinely without fanfare.

 

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11 hours ago, downscc said:

The really fun thing to do is to grab a SWA aircraft and follow it for a day... being in Texas I grabbed the early morning flight from KMAF Midland to KDAL Dallas Love thence to KLAS Las Vegas and finish the day at KRNO Reno.  Use flight aware to get all the flight routes, times and gates for that day then try and accomplish it real time (Note: Best to save/quit/start/load at each gate but that only takes a minute).  The first couple of times you will not be able to do what SWA does every day routinely without fanfare.

 

This is a good point actually. Lots of people forget that aircraft such as the 737, A320, Q400, ATR etc are essentailly 'modern DC-3s'. The 737 was originally designed to be capable of being flown to and from not very sophisticated domestic airports, where there might not necessarily be air bridges, mobile stairs or refuelling facilities, a bit like a bus driving a few routes.

That is why it has a good fuel capacity/range, and built-in airstairs, so it could do that all day long without the pilots having to worry about stuff. Of course that was back when fuel was cheap and nobody bothered to do reduced thrust take offs, so it was common to fill the tanks up to the brim in those days and fly the hell out of the thing, which is also why it can be operated from pretty rough airfields, even grass surfaces if necessary. Fuel costs mean that it doesn't always ferry tons of fuel around these days, but if you've ever flown on a cheap airline such as Ryannair, you will know that their 737s are known for not spending a lot of time at the gate. I think the last time I flew on a Ryannair 737 (from Pirkkala/Tampere in Finland to Stanstead in the UK), it taxied to the gate at Pirkkala, dumped the passengers off, boarded us lot waiting at the gate, and was taxying back out to the runway in less than fifteen minutes, so those guys must be setting up the FMC for the next flight whilst taxying to the gate lol.

It was also the first jet airliner specifically designed to be operated by just two pilots rather than a crew of three, which is why it has a fairly small cockpit in comparison to other airliners designed in the 1960s, and no complex flight engineer's panel where the jump seats are.

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