blackbird7

Recommendations for first airliner in P3D v4?

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

For awhile now I have been flying GA aircraft (mostly from A2A and RealAir), but I also have an interest in airliners. The problem is that I have no idea where to start or what add-on I should get as my first high quality airliner. I am leaning towards the Majestic Q400, but I have also heard good things on PMDG's lineup of add-ons. Is one recommended a little more than the other for beginners, or should I just go with my gut and get the Q400?

Edited by blackbird7

Share this post


Link to post
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

Go with the PMDG 737. Lot of rw flight options, many variants and lots of airlines.

Share this post


Link to post

Flightsim labs Airbus 320 and 319 are very good also.  I also have the PMDG 737 which is also very good.  I also have the Majestic Q400 which is also great but is a Turboprop still a very fine aircraft.  I think any one of them would make you happy.  It many depends on you wants.  The Majestic and the PMDG  can be more hands on, but the FSL Airbus seems to me to be very easy to learn and fly.  Aerosoft also makes the Airbus family but I know nothing about them.  I am sure there will be many more Captains stopping by with more experience than me to give their opinions.  

Share this post


Link to post

If your not into spending big dollars, the Aerosoft Airbus and CRJ are fine products.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post

Maybe watch a few youtube videos featuring the ones you're interested in? See how they work.

All three mentioned above are great.

Share this post


Link to post

The Majestic Dash 8 Q400 is certainly a good choice, and if that's what you want to fly then go for it, since flight simming is about having fun. It's probably one of the most realistic simulations of an airliner you can get for P3D. It has the advantage of being a fairly short-ranged aircraft (which makes for fun flights which don't take hours and outstay their welcome), but it is almost as fast as a jet, so you don't have to limit the scope of where you fly it to in a relatively short period of time. All this means that you can spend more time doing the interesting bits of a flight (i.e. the landings and the take offs). It's good value too, with even the fancy all singing and dancing edition of it comparing favourably price-wise with everything else.

If learning to operate airliners is something which you might need to do a bit of study on, you may want to consider going for a Boeing 737 NG (either the iFy or the PMDG Boeing 737s are good choices - there isn't much to choose between then in terms of what they simulate, so you really can't go wrong with either of them). The reason the 737 NG is a very good choice for learning airliners is that, having been around for 52 years as a design, there is quite possibly no  airliner on Earth other than the Boeing 737 which has had so much written about it, video'd, made into tutorials and so on. The wealth of information you can find for it is absolutely exhaustive.

So if you were looking for something with tons of tutorials and information, there is literally nothing finer in terms of choice than a Boeing 737 NG. It's worth considering too that the 737 is a relatively simple aeroplane to operate, with an intuitive autopilot and a flight management computer which is comparatively easy to learn, not least because it has probably had more written about it than any other, since it was in fact the first ever airliner to actually have an FMC of the kind which is common these days put into it. Add to this that the 737 is well suited to everything from short hops to flights of several thousand miles and you've got what is probably the ultimate introductory airliner in terms of learning.

 

  • Upvote 5

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, blackbird7 said:

Hi all,

For awhile now I have been flying GA aircraft (mostly from A2A and RealAir), but I also have an interest in airliners. The problem is that I have no idea where to start or what add-on I should get as my first high quality airliner. I am leaning towards the Majestic Q400, but I have also heard good things on PMDG's lineup of add-ons. Is one recommended a little more than the other for beginners, or should I just go with my gut and get the Q400?

What are your system specs?  This will make a big difference with your decision.

Share this post


Link to post

The PMDG 737 is great, but it's also a bit long in the tooth. The 747 is a much more modern simulation with better looking visuals, much more realistic extras such as ground operations, and is a lot more impressive to explore. It's a very good addon. 

Another one to look at is Leonardo's Fly the Maddog MD-8x series. It's really, *really* good.

And I might (or might not, I don't know) be in the minority here, but I think the QualityWings 787 is also worth a look. Unlike the Maddog and the offerings from PMDG, it does not simulate abnormal operations, only normal flight, but it's a very good looking product that flies well and has a good deal of depth to the normal ops.

Edited by eslader

Share this post


Link to post

It all depends on what you're into... In my view:

 

If you're a Boeing man....

  • Go with the PMDG Boeing 737NGX. It's a very good starting choice and it's - despite the fact that I own all of PMDG's boeings - the one from them, that I fly the most. Flies excellent and a huge number of liveries.

If you're more into Airbus - well...

  • My personal choice and recommendation would be the FlightSimLabs Airbus A320-X and/or Airbus A319-X. It's probably one of the most realistic airliners you'd find for P3D. The system fidelity and sound immersion is just unbeatable. But be prepared for some studying... 🙂

Other options? - Well ... :

  • Another option could be the Maddog MD-82, which has been re-developed for P3D. I don't know this one, but I had the previous version for FSX. I was very impressed with it. The new version looks even better!
  • QualityWings Boeing 787-8/9. It's a very good representation of a highly modern airplane and it flies quite well. Sounds are also quite nice, IMO. 

If you like smaller range regional jets/props:

  • If jets: Go for the TFDi Boeing 717. It's absolutely magnificent and a little different than the usual setup 🙂 
  • If props: My choice would be the Majestic Dash-8 Q400. As @Chock said - it's most likely one of the best representations of an airliner you'd find. From systems, to handling and sound. But again - be prepared for some studying... 

 

Well, there's something for you to dive into... My own personal choice for starting out, would probably be the PMDG 737NGX. The learning curve isn't so steep as some of the other planes above and it isn't SO automatic, that it gets boring... 🙂

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
2 minutes ago, Anders Bermann said:

Well, there's something for you to dive into... My own personal choice for starting out, would probably be the PMDG 737NGX. The learning curve isn't so steep as some of the other planes above and it isn't SO automatic, that it gets boring... 🙂

+1

Share this post


Link to post
19 minutes ago, eslader said:

The PMDG 737 is great, but it's also a bit long in the tooth. The 747 is a much more modern simulation with better looking visuals, much more realistic extras such as ground operations, and is a lot more impressive to explore. It's a very good addon. 

Another one to look at is Leonardo's Fly the Maddog MD-8x series. It's really, *really* good.

And I might (or might not, I don't know) be in the minority here, but I think the QualityWings 787 is also worth a look. Unlike the Maddog and the offerings from PMDG, it does not simulate abnormal operations, only normal flight, but it's a very good looking product that flies well and has a good deal of depth to the normal ops.

The Maddog X and 747 would be a bad first step into airliners.

Share this post


Link to post

The transition from GA to airliners involves two basic challenges--coping with speed, and coping with complexity.  Speed, because at turboprop and jet speeds things happen significantly faster than in a GA prop acft, and complexity because you are now a systems manager as much as you are a pilot.

From the perspective of speed, the Q400 is a good choice because it's faster than GA, but things don't happen nearly as fast as they do at jet speeds.  It's an incremental step forward.

Complexity covers a wide gamut, and is a combination of the more complicated navigation/autoflight systems and acft subsystems (e.g. hydraulics, electrics, pneumatics, pressurization etc).  The Q400 has an FMC that is not especially intuitive, but the acft systems are fairly basic, so it is, again, a measured step forward.  There are a number of  B737-200 add-ons out there (Milviz and Captain Sim) that are basic round-dial panels, and with fairly simple systems.  The FSL and Aerosoft Scarebus add-ons represent a fairly complex navigation system, but the 'bus has mostly automatic acft systems that are complex, but easy to manage in a nothing-ever-goes-wrong sim environment where in-depth systems knowledge isn't mandatory for basic operation.  The B737NGX (PMDG and iFly) have more straightforward FMC/navigation systems (and no fly-by-wire flight controls like the 'bus), and have mildly complex systems that aren't as automated and therefore more hands-on.  And then the MD-80 (Leonardo Maddog), 777 (PMDG), 787 (Qualitywings), and 747-400/8i (PMDG/iFly) are big, fast, complex aircraft with a lot going on in both, and would be a whole lot to chew on all at once.

So with all that said, I think the Q400 would be a good call for a first step into faster, more complex aircraft.  The others will still be there when you're ready for more.

Regards

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post

If you like historic airliners, the Aerosoft DC-8 is excellent. It keeps you much busier during flight than modern airplanes since you have to keep track of de-alignment of the inertial navigation system, power settings, and fuel tanks. 

Peter

Share this post


Link to post

If you are just learning them...I'd say Aerosoft Airbus, with its co-pilot and checklist feature turned on.  This will really help you learn, and reduce your workload so that you can concentrate on other aspects of flying the aircraft and operating its systems.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post

The ones mentioned here. I anyway put the Qualitywings 787 on the list, even if PMDG pilots here won't agree. It is not as perfectly simulated as PMDG or FSL, but it has one killer feature for me: "jump ahead" to whatever waypoint in your FMS you want. As I do not have the time for real-time long haul flights and time compression sometimes does not really work with complex addon aircraft such as PMDG, it is the only possibility to do long haul flights for me within 2-3h (max). Besides that, the model is beautiful and 08/15 operations work pretty well.

Share this post


Link to post

I think you are getting incredibly bad advise from most of the posters.  You say you are a beginner with respect to airliners and everyone suggests the most complex models with a high learning curve.  Obviously, the goal is to frustrate and confuse you so you never touch an airliner again.

I would suggest going for simple models that are easy to learn and fly.  The god news is that many of these models are freeware, and others are relatively inexpensive.  If you have a copy of FSX, you simply might want to copy the Boeing 737 and the CRJ 700 from FSX.  (I have not tried it so cannot guarantee compatibility.)  Navigation in the default planes and should be familiar to you.

Another possibility are the aircraft from VirtualCol.  https://www.virtualcol.com/products.php?kcmdlnk=productoinfo&id_prod=77&idmenu=2#  These are all relatively simple and inexpensive models which can be a lot of fun to fly.  You might also look at the F-Lite models from Just Flight.  They have a number of Airbusses and Boeings, as wells as a basic MD80..https://www.justflight.com/category/f-lite  You don't have a complex FMC to deal with.  See a review of the VirtualCol CRJ here:  

 

Although primarily limited to FSX, but promised for Prepar3d, the Quality Wings 757 is a nice aircraft to learn with.  http://www.qualitywingssim.com/v.2.0.1.8/Boeing-757.php

Once you are comfortable with some of these simple models, you can move onto something more challenging.  Personally, I had a lot of fun with the default CRJ 700, Airbus 320, Boeing 737 and 747 which came with FSX.  I spent many hours with them.  You can always add complexity and expense.  But right now you might not want to shell out hundreds of dollars for an overly complex model which might only frustrate you.  The advantage of some of these more basic models is they don't cost much (and in many cases are free) so you don't stand to lose much.

Edited by tjstreak
  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post

Don't forget Chuck's Guides that will make the process a tad better.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Mace said:

If you are just learning them...I'd say Aerosoft Airbus, with its co-pilot and checklist feature turned on.  This will really help you learn, and reduce your workload so that you can concentrate on other aspects of flying the aircraft and operating its systems.

Cant recommend the Aerosoft Airbus high enough for exactly this reason

Whilst I've got the PMDG 737 as well I've not really strayed from the Airbus of late simply because of the Checklist feature which is helping me learn the procedures etc. Once mastered I'll probably then get the FSLabs Airbus as have read its a lot more realistic with more features than the Aerosoft version

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, tjstreak said:

Another possibility are the aircraft from VirtualCol.  https://www.virtualcol.com/products.php?kcmdlnk=productoinfo&id_prod=77&idmenu=2#  These are all relatively simple and inexpensive models which can be a lot of fun to fly.  You might also look at the F-Lite models from Just Flight.  They have a number of Airbusses and Boeings, as wells as a basic MD80..https://www.justflight.com/category/f-lite  You don't have a complex FMC to deal with. 

I agree that VirualCol planes are easy to fly due to reduced complexity, but I could never seriously advertise them. The 3D models are ugly like hell, it is not even on par with freeware available. And, as you said, the systems are as basic as in any default plane. Spending money for VirtualCol planes is simply a waste of money, even if they are pretty cheap. I bought the Dash Series as well as the E-Jets and never fly them anymore, it is just not fun to sit in virtual cockpit that looks like already being outdated for FS9 and external models of the same sub level quality.

If you want easy planes that are at least good looking, go for Carenado or, as you mentioned, the F-Lite models from Justsim. But be aware about P3Dv4.x compatibility...

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, tjstreak said:

I think you are getting incredibly bad advise from most of the posters.  You say you are a beginner with respect to airliners and everyone suggests the most complex models with a high learning curve.  Obviously, the goal is to frustrate and confuse you so you never touch an airliner again.

 

Really!

Well, that "bad advice" comes from people that have been around for years flying these aircraft.  Saying "Obviously, the goal is to frustrate and confuse you so you never touch an airliner again." What a ridiculous thing to say. lol, it's shameful and very disrespectful.

If you want to give your ideas to what is in your opinion a good place to start, do so, but don't try ridiculing others that have countless years of experience and are offering there advice and knowledge to the OP.

-------------------------

My advice blackbird7 is to follow the advice you have been giving from very informed members of these forums. 

The Q400 is fantastic aircraft if......if you like prop aircraft. If you do go for it. If you want a jet airliner. Then I to would suggest the PMDG NG. Youtube is full of tutorials on the aircraft and anything you need to learn is there. It also comes with a walkthrough tutorial flight from PMDG. Yes, it's a learning curve but all the help you need is there and it's very rewarding to learn. where you go from there is a different topic.

So it's a big jump and it might feel overwhelming, but just learn a bit at a time. 

I suggest you start whats called Cold & Dark (the aircraft has everything turned off) Follow videos on how to power it up and work through one step at a time. Once you're happy with powering up. Set the starting state so the aircraft starts on ground power or on its APU. Then move on to learning the FMC. Then to the point of engine start. Sometimes it's better to just take one step at a time and feel comfy with each stage.

Just enjoy the journey because we have all done that journey and enjoyed it. Have fun and fly what appeals to you the most. Just ask whatever questions you like, people here will help, well not all ^^.

 

Edited by Nyxx
  • Upvote 6

Share this post


Link to post

You may wish to consider things other than the type and complexity of the aircraft.

1) Do they have a support forum?

2) Can you access all parts of the forums and evaluate their response to issues without purchasing?

3) If you can access the forums then how rapidly do they respond to bugs and agree to fix?

4) Is there a requirement to use your real name as your forum name and does this concern you?

5) Do they have a support contact and how quick is the response?

6) Do pilot that actually fly the aircraft visit the forums to give suggestions and report bugs?

7) Are there videos on you tube you can use to help you?

8 What documenation is provided?

9) Are liveries free or paid for?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Quote

The PMDG 737 is great, but it's also a bit long in the tooth......

I think that it is an excellent choice for a "first airliner" in P3D v4, and I would think that it is also easier to fly than the Q400. It may well date back to 2011, but it sure does not look or feel like that.

Edited by Christopher Low

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, tjstreak said:

Although primarily limited to FSX, but promised for Prepar3d, the Quality Wings 757 is a nice aircraft to learn with.  http://www.qualitywingssim.com/v.2.0.1.8/Boeing-757.php

Once it's ported over to P3D v4.4., which apparently won't be too long now according to one of the devs I have been communicating with, I would think that the QW757 would be a decent choice for a first airliner for a beginner.

If no one has already mentioned the QW Bae 146/RJ series, that might be one to consider as well.

Share this post


Link to post

The FSLabs A320/A319 is my current favourite airliner.  Though it’s complex in what it simulates, for day to day operations the A320 family is one of the easiest aircraft to pilot IMHO due to high levels of automation.  The most complicated thing about it is programming the MCDU...that becomes second nature with a bit of experience.

The great thing about it is once you’re comfortable with it, you can get into the increased complexity of abnormal operations, failures etc...it really is what you want out of it.

The majestic Q400 is excellent as well, but it’s more of a handful in the air (and trying to get it back on the ground! - “Crash 8”).  It requires frequent trimming and is overall a more manual aircraft.  Don’t let that turn you off though...I just think it would actually be more difficult as a first airliner than some of the jets out there.

I have all PMDG jets and they are great too.

Edited by regis9
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now