Benjamin J

Considering the PMDG 777

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Quite a while ago now I was considering to get either the PMDG 747 or 777. At the time, people seemed to favor the 747 for its more manual operation, as well as it being the more 'modern' development of the two, and therefore packed with the latest features. Eventually I had decided to get neither, as I wasn't particularly into long haul flights. However, I then realized a simple thing: the 747 was (obviously) being used on a plethora of short to medium haul cargo routes. While I had initially considered getting the iFly 747, at the time this addon didn't have a cargo variant included (I realize it does now), and so I took a deep breath and bought the PMDG 747. I had never shelled out this much money for a single addon before, hence also my apprehension to buy it.

Having now flown it on a bunch short and medium haul flights in Europe, Central and South America, and Asia, I have to admit: I'm discovering something new every time. And every time I'm blown away by the sheer immersion. As I accelerated on my takeoff role out of KMIA, a bug splat on my windshield. I sat agape, not realizing PMDG has simulated something this trivial. Then, a week later, as I descended in heavy turbulence into SKBO, the rattling of components on the flightdeck, as the aircraft was negotiating the winds, really made me feel like I was actually there. And, more importantly, when on final I got out of the turbulence, the rattling stopped and I smoothly touched down. (Of course, in my half panic due to the weather, I accidentally applied full breaks and saw the brake temp and tire pressure warnings appear, telling me I had messed up there...).

All to say that the PMDG 747 has gone above my expectations and given me a simulation that doesn't just allow me to fly realistically from A to B, but does it with the sort of extra, little things that truly make you feel like the plane is not just a bunch of pixels, rather it's reacting logically to its environment. That's also when I realized that, besides the 'real meat' of the simulation, it's the little things that are actually really important as well!

And this brings me to the PMDG 777. It's tax seasons, and as a foreign national studying in the US, that means I get a refund. And while most of that check goes straight to my savings account, I thought I might buy myself a little present :) Now, the fact is that the 777, like the 747, is not trivially priced, and so I want to get a better handle on what I can expect from it - how it compares to the 747.

Here's why I'm considering the 777: While I have come to love the 747, the fact is that, when it comes to pax operations, the 777 is pretty much king (queen?), notwithstanding the fact that even in the cargo realm a significant number of operators are adopting the 777F, some of which are high profile going-all-over-the-globe operators such as FedEx and Turkish Airlines Cargo. Thus more and more, I'm considering getting the 777. for both pax and cargo flights

Now, my question is, to what extent is the 777 detailed in the way that the 747 is? Does it include these sort of (sound) effects, like the rattling in turbulent conditions? Will I see bugs splat on the windshield?

I realize these sorts of features are not that important to the majority of people - but let's be honest: it's PMDG, so it's more than likely that normal operations of this aircraft are already working great, so I'm not even bothering to ask about that. Like I said, it's the small things that really finish the plane for me. Now I'm trying to get an idea of how the 747 and 777 compare, taking into account that the 777 is an older development than the 747.

I'll add that I've been somewhat interested in the QW787 as well. The reason I'm not considering it right now, is because I principally want a jetliner that is used for both pax and cargo, and the 787 is currently (1) not used as a dedicated freighter, (2) the 777 seems to be much more prevalent on the routes that I'm most interested in, which has a lot to do with the major operators at the addon airports I happen to own. Now, I'm not saying I'll never get the QW787 - just not now.

 

So, tell me your experiences with the PMDG 777 that reveal the intricate detail of the simulation. Like I said, I'm assuming it does VNAV and LNAV and all that pretty well, no need to bother telling me about that :)

One final thing to say: I'm the type of simmer that enjoys flying real world routes using the right equipment, and so if a flight is performed by a 777F instead of an A33F, I'll want to fly it with the 777F. I'm adding this note as there's usually somebody that tells me to just fly the routes with what I have, rather than investing in something new. And, while certainly a logical and sensible piece of advice, it's nevertheless not how I roll (fly?).

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PMDG's 777 is a truly great plane and I have spent many, many hours flying it. That said, it does not have the same features as the 747 yet: the rattling and shaking in turbulence is not present; there are no bug splatters, no rain or snow effects; it does not have an EFB, I do not believe it has an updated ground friction model. Because of this I find myself flying the 747 much more now with only an occasional trip in the 777. They have said that these will all be added in time, as development resources allow.

 

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@Benjamin J: I agree with Cognita's summary. You'll see in this forum as well as the "new" PMDG Official Forum that there are many customers looking for a little love (updates) to the T7. It's a great plane...it's just a 3-5 year old plane...a lot of other developers have caught up (and surpassed added features). Most people want to see windshield effects now...not yet available on the T7.

PMDG will update it...nobody really knows when...or what variants.

The OldProp immersion effects add-on is available (at added cost) to simulate what some others are offering with there base product.

As is, it is very stable and won't (shouldn't) cause you any issues. In that respect, it is PMDG quality. There are plenty of Youtube videos out there for you to judge.

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Well we made a training video series for it with a real world United 777 skipper of 13 years and he’d never seen the desktop sim in action, let alone the PMDG 777. His jaw was on the floor with how well modelled it was. It really is that good. 

Yes it a little mature now and others have rain effects and a few other goodies so of course the 744/8 feels like an add on that is bang up to date because it is. The 777 will be updated and it’ll be every bit as good as anything else out there but if you can live without the rain effect and a few other toys then you’ll have hours of fun with the triple. 

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Thanks all for your insight. Then it is as I thought... I just wasn't sure what features of the 747 were 'new' versus 'old'. Don't get me wrong - I don't need these features by any means: I still fly the PMDG 737NGX regularly, and very happily so. But, the 777 is not cheap, and so I wanted to know a little bit more about the details of the plane. rmeirer mentioned Youtube videos - it's the videos that triggered this thread, as I couldn't hear any rattling or shaking, and wanted to verify that this indeed isn't part of this product at this time.

It's good to hear there are (theoretical) plans for it to be updated, and add a bunch of these '747 features'. It's also exciting to hear that additional variants may be added as well, besides the 200LR, F and 300ER (which, frankly, is a little bare-bones compared to the full lineup of the 747!).

So, I may pass on the 777 right now and get the most out of the 747 while it's still in pax service. Once clearer plans for a 777 update roll out, I'll certainly reconsider it. For now though, I'll probably just put that tax refund all towards my savings 😉

Thanks for your all's comments, that was helpful!

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Whilst I understand that you want those "extras" that are apparently included with the 747, I would highly recommend the 777 on its own merits. I have no idea if it "rattles" in turbulence, but it certainly does during take off and landing. I also really enjoy the sound of those massive GE90s spooling up, and the FBW control system results in subtle differences to the handling (particularly on final approach and flare).

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I fly the 748 F and its wonderful as you know. The 777 is just as good, the 777 does not have the EFB, but so what? it does have wind uplinks etc. It's a wonderful aircraft. I have the 300 version also as BA do a nice real life "short" flight from LIMD-EGLL. But the F version I fly as much as the -8F.

IMO the 747 is not better(OK PBR apart) than the 777, I prefer the 777 in many ways. I could not imagine for one second you would be disappointed in it.

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Posted (edited)

PBR is a nice bonus, but it is almost irrelevant to me as far as flight enjoyment is concerned.

Edited by Christopher Low

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23 hours ago, Nyxx said:

I fly the 748 F and its wonderful as you know. The 777 is just as good, the 777 does not have the EFB, but so what? it does have wind uplinks etc. It's a wonderful aircraft. I have the 300 version also as BA do a nice real life "short" flight from LIMD-EGLL. But the F version I fly as much as the -8F.

IMO the 747 is not better(OK PBR apart) than the 777, I prefer the 777 in many ways. I could not imagine for one second you would be disappointed in it.

David, I was wondering why you prefer the 777 over the 747? is this due to capabilities of the two addons or simply a personal preference for one type over the other?

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I prefer the looks of the 777 and its two huge engines. The 747 is and looks its age even the -8. But within the sim there very close but flying the 777-300 and its huge size from LIME into EGLL with wonderful fps. Its as much a joy as any flight I can do with the -8. The PMDG 777 is right up there as one of the best addon aircraft we can buy.

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Thanks for weighing in David. I think I might hold out for now, and come back to it later. I'm pretty sure I'll buy it at some point... but probably not now.

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Sure, these addons are a lot of money so if your unsure it's wise to wait. 

All the best.

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Posted (edited)

For me (as well as any other flightsimmer), the PMDG 777 has given me so many hours of joy and excitement. It is still an upper echelon FS add-on despite being released in Q3 of 2013.
Compared to the much newer PMDG Queen, the differences in experience are not that great, initially. However, they will tend to materialize over time. Small items such as LNAV being more sloppy than the 747, autothrottle reacting too slowly (during approaches this is very apparent for me) sending you back of the drag curve and subsquently AT commands too much thrust, launching you above speed target instead.

But those are no showstoppers at all. You can't go wrong with the 777 and PMDG has promised to update the aircraft as time comes.

BR

 

Edited by SAS443

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It's by any means not bad, just lacks the current tech like rain effects or better VC lighting. Considering airlines start to retire more and more T7s, take it as a second option. And BTW the prices for extension are anormally low (30 european roubles i think) so nothing like the 747. It's fun indeed. Specially the -300 on landings. You kinda have to hold the flare and not pull too much on the stick (hard for newbies) and your first landings with it will be quite BANG dIng OW like. ALso I LOVE the sound (if you have some low fequencies device for the bass you'll fall in love with the bird)

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On 4/1/2019 at 6:36 AM, LH340fan said:

ALso I LOVE the sound (if you have some low fequencies device for the bass you'll fall in love with the bird)

I run a 12-inch subwoofer on my FS sound system (driven by a home theater receiver I found on the scratch-and-dent table at Best Buy), and the rumble of the rotor growl during start still makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.   Reminds me of the BR710s on the Gulfstream V.

 

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