VeryBumpy

PMDG DC-6 current state seems a bit underwhelming?

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This being my first PMDG product purchase, I was excited and thrilled to finally buy a product from them I wanted. To my surprise, it did not fair favorably to other competitors products I already own and use. It may be standard fair, but I get the feeling like this plane is unfinished. There are things I’m finding that are missing or don’t work like most other AAA or even budget planes I own.

Perhaps many of these things were done and designed on purpose, dunno, I welcome any feedback. Also perhaps many things are still being worked on and will be featured in future updates, dunno that either.

 

Some of the below may have been mentioned elsewhere but here is my compiled list of issues or things so far I feel that are questionable for such an arguably heralded developer and pricey plane:

 

  • C+D does not shut windows, turn off lights nor return some gauges. 
  • No 10 fuel tanks in transatlantic plane variant though aircraft.cfg has a 5512 gallon variant rem'ed out, hmmmm. 
  • Many tool tips seem missing or omitted.
  • No nice Ref Info page or Checklist included in Kneeboard?
  • Throttles won’t move with game controller buttons. 
  • Water injection lights never seem to come on?
  • The lack of blower or cabin noises with various electricals powered up is accurate?
  • Many standard keyboard shortcuts do not function; CtrShiftF1234 does not move the mixture levers, CtrlM does not move Batt Sw, ShiftE does not open main door, Shift and Ctrl and L for lights does not work. 
  • Must mouse click mixture control levers, keyboard does not work. 
  • Possible error: Starter engages even if the boost sw is not on? pg161 POH "...the boost switch must be depressed before the start switch will function."
  • Even though all avionic devices are off, the ATC announcements come through? 

 

Some unexpected nice features:

  • Remembers where you left all switches/levers after closing FSX.
  • I'm no expert at all but most everything seems to be top notch in regards to sim study type accuracy.

 

Questions for myself yet (feel free to contribute an answer if anyone is so inclined(thanks in advance)):

  • Does it shoot flames out the exhaust/engines at any time? 
  • Does save/load function work well mid flight? 
  • What did the 2 buttons on the yoke do on the real plane?
  • What does Aux Blower Sw do? 
  • What does Cooling Turbine Sw do? 
  • I don’t understand the helpfulness function or purpose of Cockpit Lighting area within the Ramp Manager panel?

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Unfortunately I can't answer your questions as I have held off buying this for the moment but having read your comments perhaps that was the right move! The main reason I haven't purchased it yet for FSX is the fairly high price and the fact that I would have to fork out the full price again if I make a move to P3D, which I am considering, as PMDG don't even offer a marginal reduction to previous owners.

I have always had a thing about large piston engined airliners since I was a kid watching Connies, DC-6s and -7s transiting Shannon, my home airport at the time, for refuelling. Through family connections at the airport I even managed to get to sit in the cockpits of a few of them - an amazing sight for a young kid in those days - and as a result I have always jumped at the opportunity to buy any piston airliner for FSX.

I have to say I have done most of my DC-6 flying in the Just Flight (I assume that is the competitor you are referring to!) aircraft which, though not 'study level', is still a very nice product at a very reasonable price. The advent of the A2A Constellation however set a new gold standard for large piston engined airliners for FSX and, at the very least, I would have expected an airliner from PMDG to at least equate to this in its features - do you feel that this is not the case or is the main issue the fact that keyboard shortcuts for many of the controls are not available?

Bill

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Remember the DC-6 was never intended as a commercial product. PMDG then decided they would sell it, but it all started with a "let's see if we can do this and how well it goes" thing.

It doesn't have the same price tag as other products as well, it's considerably lower.

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4 hours ago, Nuno Pinto said:

Remember the DC-6 was never intended as a commercial product.

But it's being sold as one now, at quite a premium price for a classic aircraft. As they say on their website, "After being in development for 2 years, PMDG's award winning development team is proud to release this faithfully reproduced aircraft."

4 hours ago, Nuno Pinto said:

It doesn't have the same price tag as other products as well, it's considerably lower.

But it lacks the much more complex systems of the more expensive jets so couldn't justify the higher price tags they command.

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5 hours ago, scianoir said:

I have to say I have done most of my DC-6 flying in the Just Flight (I assume that is the competitor you are referring to!) aircraft which, though not 'study level', is still a very nice product at a very reasonable price.

There are actually three payware choices for this aircraft type, all of which are for FSX (with two of them also working in P3D), these are the two already mentioned in this thread, i.e. the PMDG DC-6, the Just Flight DC-6, but the third choice, which everyone forgets about, is the Flight Replicas Canadair North Star/Argonaut.

Not strictly speaking a DC-6, the North Star was a pressurised airliner hybrid (i.e. it had a mix of components from the DC-6, the DC-4 and the Avro Lancaster). It was built by Canadair, initially for Trans Canadian Air Lines, on the understanding with Douglas that it was not to be marketed to domestic US airlines which Douglas wanted to sell the DC-6 to, so it was subsequently bought by BOAC and eventually did end up serving with quite a few airlines as it got older. It was equipped with Merlin engines, which made it very fast (i.e. comparable with any other piston-engined airliner of the era), but it was also very noisy because of that engine choice, so most airlines preferred the Lockheed Constellation instead of the North Star, nevertheless, as far as us flight simmers go, it presents another interesting and inexpensive simulation of a piston engined airliner to play around with.

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24 minutes ago, Chock said:

There are actually three payware choices for this aircraft type, all of which are for FSX (with two of them also working in P3D), these are the two already mentioned in this thread, i.e. the PMDG DC-6, the Just Flight DC-6, but the third choice, which everyone forgets about, is the Flight Replicas Canadair North Star/Argonaut.

Yes, I also have the Flight Replicas Canadair North Star/Argonaut but didn't mention it as it was based on the DC-4 airframe, albeit pressurised and I still therefore consider it as a DC-4 equivalent! As you say, its an interesting simulation of another great piston airliner at a reasonable price and, although not quite up to A2A Connie standard, flying it for the odd hour two can be a nice change.

I also managed to sit in the cockpit of an RCAF North Star transiting through Shannon and I was lucky enough to be there while the crew did a full power run up of the number two engine which had needed some maintenance at Shannon after running rough on the flight from Germany. As you say they were very noisy and not only was the engine noise phenomenally loud but the Merlin sound was quite high pitched and different to most of the piston engines of the day. Interestingly the RCAF North Stars were non-pressurised, didn't have the wrap-around noise supressing exhausts that were fitted to the airline versions and I suspect (judging from the decibel level) also didn't have much sound insulation!! Flight Replicas, to be fair, have made a very good attempt to replicate the Merlin engine sounds although I think the sound pitch at full power needs to be just a little higher.

Bill

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I think it's kind of funny watching the "High and Mighty" (at least a dozen times), when the newly weds are in the front seat whispering love talk. From my memory as a kid riding prop liners none of them were quite. You had to speak up if you wanted to be heard. I think smoke, shake rattle and roll is what made those old birds fun. 

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12 minutes ago, PATCO LCH said:

I think it's kind of funny watching the "High and Mighty" (at least a dozen times), when the newly weds are in the front seat whispering love talk. From my memory as a kid riding prop liners none of them were quite. You had to speak up if you wanted to be heard. I think smoke, shake rattle and roll is what made those old birds fun. 

Thanks for that, I just put "High and Mighty' in my Netflix queue.

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Hey VeryBumpy, thanks for your thoughts on this. Another thing I've noticed from watching various videos of the PMDG DC-6 (in trying to decide if I should give it a go) is that the cockpit is extremely quiet and "sterile" during takeoff roll and touchdown/rollout. There is absolutely not a single squeak or rattle or even a chirp from the tires, just a low frequency sound that increases a bit with ground speed. They really need to improve in this area IMHO. No I've never been in a DC-6 cockpit before, but that just can't be accurate.

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I would say that there's plenty of squeaks, rattles and noises in the real thing... (and clapping after landing!). 

 

One can just imagine the co-pilot sparking up a Chesterfield after he opened the window LOL!

However, as has been said PMDG's radial-engined tour de force was initially produced to see what they could do for themselves. Who knows if PMDG will get around to producing updates?

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1 hour ago, PATCO LCH said:

I think it's kind of funny watching the "High and Mighty" (at least a dozen times), when the newly weds are in the front seat whispering love talk. From my memory as a kid riding prop liners none of them were quite. You had to speak up if you wanted to be heard. I think smoke, shake rattle and roll is what made those old birds fun. 

 

Never had the pleasure of a fight in a DC-6 but managed one in an Aer Turas DC-7C during a test flight following maintenance and it certainly wasn't quiet in the cockpit with all sorts of shakes, rattles and bells in addition to the engine noise. There was no jump seat available so I had to kneel behind the pilots in the cockpit beside the flight engineer's seat and, as those were the days before political correctness and health and safety rules demanded everyone in an aircraft should be strapped in, that didn't matter and nobody turned a hair while I remained unrestrained in the cockpit for the landing! My ears were still ringing from the noise in that cockpit for at least an hour after we landed!

Bill

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1 hour ago, VeryBumpy said:

Thanks for that, I just put "High and Mighty' in my Netflix queue.

It's definitely worth a look if you like old aeroplanes, it's even worth watching the melodramtic bits too (of which there are many), since you will find yourself recognising they are the prototype for all the familiar stuff seen in those ensemble-cast 1970s disaster films such as The Towering Inferno, The Poseidon Adventure, Airport, etc, and indeed the parodies of them too, particularly Airplane!

Airplane! is notable for Robert Stack parodying his role in The High and the Mighty with his hilariously deadpan portrayal of Captain Rex Kramer in Airplane! and many of his scenes in Airplane! become very much funnier if you are familiar with his performance and dialogue in The High and the Mighty which ironically, is a bit like that of Ted Striker in Airplane! in places.

Also worth a look is what might be considered the companion film to The High and the Mighty, which was made a couple of years before it, that being Island in the Sky. Both movies were co-produced and starred John Wayne and were written by Ernest K Gann. Having Gann author the screenplays lent them a lot of authenticity since in addition to being a hugely successful author, Gann was a hugely experienced pioneer airline pilot too, who flew the DC-4s and DC-3s which feature heavily in those two movies and had plenty of close calls himself when doing that job.

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Gann's autobiography "Fate Is The Hunter" is among the best aviation books ever penned. No aviation freak should miss it!!!

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I agree Vic! By chance I re-read it for the fourth time about 3 weeks ago and it remains as good as ever. It describes a totally different flying era to that of today but an era that is really fun and challenging to try to replicate using some of the great addon piston airliners now available for FSX without the benefit of GPSs, FMCSs etc. Now to dig out the High and the Mighty for another read of that!

Bill

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In "Fate is The Hunter" you can see how Gann related so many of his fiction story's   and characters to his own experiences and people he came across during his long and storied career .

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34 minutes ago, vortex681 said:

Drifting off-topic here!

My apologies - got carried away on a wave of piston airliner nostalgia!

Doesn't seem like any PMDG DC-6 user has been able to comment on the issues raised initially by VeryBumpy. Could it be that not too many people have bought this PMDG product? Coming from the PMDG stables, I expected their DC-6 to be top notch but given its high price and the fact that I already have a reasonably good DC-6B from JF, I personally decided to wait for some feedback, reviews, etc before deciding to purchase it.

Bill

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Perhaps posting this question in the dedicated forum for the aircraft might have attracted more relevant comment

and perhaps even some answers.

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Perhaps nostalgia is quite relative in a round about way. For a developer to reproduce a long out of production aircraft is far different then a widely used present day machine with all sorts of current data available as well as personnel who are current and active in the real aircraft. Maybe it's sort of like trying your best to reenact a long ago battle or historical event such as "Dunkirk". (If you haven't seen the movie I highly recommend it!) 

When it comes to old classics even PMDG may take a little artistic liberty. If that's the case or not, I doubt anyone is training or hopes to ever really fly a DC-6. Therefore nostalgia is what classics are about. So reminisce with out guilt and have a good day! :biggrin:   

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You should ask these questions in the PMDG forum - you would hear from the developers immediately.   Also, you might want to explore if there are unique key commands for this bird that don't match the FSX defaults.  There are for the jets.   There is no way that PMDG would release a product where the mixture and prop settings could not be mapped to axes or to buttons.  

 

Colin Ware

 

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On 8/16/2017 at 2:42 PM, montanasimmer said:

You should ask these questions in the PMDG forum - you would hear from the developers immediately.  

 

<shrug> PMDG are smart, sharp people, I'm sure they are aware of this thread and can comment here if they wish to.

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On 8/18/2017 at 5:59 AM, VeryBumpy said:

<shrug> PMDG are smart, sharp people, I'm sure they are aware of this thread and can comment here if they wish to.

Or not.  Your criticism of the company feels unfair to me, since, for reasons not clear at all, you are unwilling to get your questions answered in the place where they are most likely to be answered quickly - the dedicated DC6 forum in the PMDG forums here at AVSIM.   Instead, this post is broadly critical one implying that there is no support available, which, as above, is untrue.  The reason any developer sets up a dedicated forum is so they don't have to spider through all the forums looking for posts.   That is reasonable.  They have thousands and thousands of costumers between all of their models.   

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On 8/6/2017 at 5:35 AM, Nuno Pinto said:

Remember the DC-6 was never intended as a commercial product. PMDG then decided they would sell it, but it all started with a "let's see if we can do this and how well it goes" thing.

It doesn't have the same price tag as other products as well, it's considerably lower.

I don't think this is correct.  The plane was originally developed in X-Plane, PMDGs first foray into that sim environment.  It was always meant to be a commercial product, with plans to then port it over to the FSX ecosystem.  Which is what happened.  It took many years to develop.  I urge viewing the many videos on You-Tube - especially Froogle's flights for folks having trouble with the plane.  It is excellent.  And, there is a dedicated DC6 PMDG forum where questions are answered quickly. 

 

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