Angle of Attack has once again developed another stunning training program which features the PMDG 737NGX. Most of you should recall AOA’s previous training videos such as the 767, 747 and the newer MD-11 Training. It seems like with each release the team at AOA seems to outdo themselves in terms of instructional approach, content and video editing. This is by far the best and most comprehensive training I have come across and is probably only rivaled by the real world training programs available today.
The only difference with this training is that unlike the MD-11 training which came out nearly 2 years after the PMDG MD-11 was released, the NGX training came out almost simultaneously with the release of the NGX. The release of the training videos came in stages which were met with mixed feelings on the part of some customers. I, however, found this was a practical approach since it allowed for updating and tweaking of training videos based on the response and experiences of the customers. It also give you a greater opportunity to benefit from the product since you take your time to get acquainted with the training released and are not tempted to jump ahead.
The training contained in this product entails the following:
| || |
| || |
- Training updates
- Aircraft repaints
- EZDOK setup
- Team discussion on 737NGX training
- 737NGX TCAS
- 737NGX aircraft lighting
- 737NGX GPWS
- 737NGX ice & rain protection
- 737NGX fire protection
- 737NGX emergency equipment
- 737NGX caution and warning
- 737NGX air conditioning
- 737NGX pressurization
- 737NGX electrical system
- 737NGX fuel system
- 737NGX autoflight
- 737NGX instruments
- 737NGX Flight Management System
- 737NGX primary flight controls
- 737NGX secondary flight controls
- 737NGX bleed air
- 737NGX engines
- 737NGX landing gear and brakes
- 737NGX hydraulics
- 737NGX APU
- 737NGX Flows - bleeds off takeoff
- 737NGX Flows - throughflight
- 737NGX Flows - engine shutdown
- 737NGX Flows - after landing
- 737NGX Flows - 10K descent
- 737NGX Flows - 18K descent
- 737NGX Flows - cruise
- 737NGX Flows - climb
- 737NGX checklists
- Training updates
- 737NGX flight deck panel diagrams
- Angle of Attack 737NGX repaint
- 737NGX EZ Camera setup
- EZCA camera setup and movement
| || || |
This section is pretty much self explanatory. It is basically the area where you find all of the essential files you will end up using to its full potential. Here you will find AOAs custom NGX livery along with files for your EZDOK setup which enables you to have the same stunning views of the virtual cockpit as seen throughout the training.
Again another self explanatory section which basically provides additional material provided by AOA which should enhance your experience with the 737NGX. These extras files are for EZDOK, 737 Cockpit Diagrams, 737 NGX Checklist and the FACTS/AIRBAG document.
Line Work covers all of the various flows that you, as a virtual airline pilot, would be expected to perform during various phases of your flight. The flows covered in this area range from start up to after takeoff, 10,000ft climb/decent, 18,000ft climb/descent, throughflight flows, and after landing and shutdown.
The presentation of this information isn’t simply a chart with lines showing the order of your flows (which are available for download), but it also contains video presentations for each flow. This is very helpful since you are able to see it being done rather than reading about it and trying to figure out what you’re supposed to do.
The only thing different with the videos are that they were filmed while the aircraft is on the ground. While this may seem like a shortcut, the reasons for doing it this way is understandable as it allows more focus on the actual flows rather than running through them quickly during an actual flight.
As a pilot you are expected to do just that but for these videos it’s more about learning the reasons why a particular flow is done in a certain order. Overall this was very useful and something that was missing in the previous 767, 747 and MD-11 Training.
Since Flight Work and Ground Work are very extensive I will discuss these in more detail as these are the major aspects of the NGX training.
I am going to start off by taking a deep breath because this segment is very in-depth. It starts off with an overview of the APU and covers areas such as its use, model, location, inlet door operation, its general operation, cooling and the ECU control unit. These presentations are made using a very helpful diagram of the APU and the inner working of its parts.
The second area covered is the Fuel Supply. This mainly focuses on how the fuel system to the APU works by using AC/DC fuel boost pumps. I found this to be very informative as it shows the logic in why the start sequence is tied to a specific order. This type of information is essential in order to truly know your aircraft and to be a proficient airman.
While on the topic of start sequences, the next segment of the video focuses on APU Start. This is controlled by the ECU and the discussion and graphical presentations focus on the conditions required for startup and the sequence of events that take place when the APU start switch is selected. Something that many may find interesting are the various modes of operation the APU can facilitate.
The APU has four bleed modes which is dependent on demand. No Bleed, Duct Pressurization Mode, Main Engine Start Mode and Air Conditioning System Mode. Each mode is presented via an animated diagram which I found useful to help understand them and I am sure you will too.
Finally while still covering the APU start, there is also an interesting discussion on Pack Operation and why it is more efficient and practical to use two packs instead of one. While knowing and applying this knowledge may not result in any tangible benefits, it is most welcome in that it teaches you to be a meticulous pilot.
The final two areas covered in this segment of our Groundwork training include Altitude Operational Limits and Shutdown/Auto Load shedding.
Altitude Operational Limits for the APU tops off at 41,000ft but to stop here in our explanation of the operational limits can be misleading. This is because while the APU has a max operating altitude of 41,000ft, its output in terms of electrical and pneumatic production will vary. For example, up to 41,000ft only 66 kilovolts is assured while at 32,000ft 90 volts is assured.
Simultaneous output, both electrically and pneumatically, is only assured up to 10,000 ft and Pneumatic output by itself is assured up to 17,000ft. These variances in output are largely due to the reduced air density that comes with a rise in altitude.
Knowing this information can truly open your eyes as to the complications you have to consider when operating the APU in flight and is invaluable to safely operating the 737NGX in adverse conditions where the APU may be required.
The final part of the video considers Shutdown and Auto Load Shedding. During this segment we consider the two types of shutdowns namely Normal Shutdown and Automatic or Protective Shutdowns and the various conditions required for each type.
Overall this was a fascinating journey into the operation of the APU unlike any other you will encounter outside of a real world airline experience
Caution and Warning Systems
While there are many topics that can be discussed in this section of our Ground Work training, AOA focuses on the major systems that are more relevance to the flight simmer. Starting off with the 737 cautions and warning philosophy, I was impressed with the presentation on the types of caution indications, dark cockpit philosophy presentation and the meaning of various indication colors in the cockpit which are used to determine the urgency of alerts.
It was a fitting introduction for what was to follow and I must say that the depth of knowledge presented in this video was quite an eye opener as to what I thought I knew about the 737.
The second segment focuses on the Master Caution System and the various conditions that will trigger an indication. Also covered along with the various indications are the explanations which take you to the corresponding panels in the cockpit and how these issues are corrected.
Next we move to the Mach/Airspeed Warning system which covers aural warning indications and the conditions which trigger them. It’s only fitting that after we discussed Airspeed, we move right along into the Stall Warning System. While this may seem to be a no brainer, you might be surprised how many people don’t know what a “stall” refers to in aviation terms. Thankful AOA does a fine job in thoroughly explaining how a stall occurs and they also provide some in-depth information on the stick shaker and how it is triggered. This is also shown in a brief in-flight demonstration.
The final segment of this video features the Aircraft Configuration Warning and PSEU (Proximity Switch Electronic Unit). At first I thought, what on earth is a PSEU? And do I really need to know what it is? Well the answer would be largely dependent on how well you want or need to know your aircraft.
The PSEU interprets and indicates air/ground relays, door warnings, speed brake deployment indications and landing gear configuration and take off warning. These are all warnings and indications we are familiar with but perhaps never knew how they work. Apart from the discussion on what triggers each of these indications I especially appreciated the emphasis on the importance of these systems in conjunction with the checklist.
It was sobering to learn that even with these systems, it is still possible to make severe and even life threatening errors. This video was nothing short of mind blowing. It was only after looking at this video that I realized how seemingly archaic the CAS in the 737NGX can be in comparison to the more modern EICAS. This by no means indicates that the 737 caution and warning systems are not effective because after looking at this video it is quite clear that Boeing knew what they were doing when creating this aircraft. It is even more apparent that it is possible to effectively comprehend the caution and warning systems of this aircraft if you put your mind to it.
737NGX Emergency Equipment
The emergency equipment segment of our training covers a wide range of topics. This was quite surprising to me since it’s easy to dismiss the urgency to discuss emergency equipment in a simulator.
We start off by learning about the flight crew oxygen system from its storage, its use and the controls and indications in the cockpit. This portion of the video really highlighted the marvel that the PMDG 737NGX really is. Who would have thought that you can carry out even a test of the oxygen masks and a microphone test!
While on the topic of oxygen we also cover the passenger oxygen system and its location, controls and indications and its activation. Perhaps the most startling fact I learnt was that the flight crew were the only ones who had at their disposal a 100% pure oxygen supply while the passenger oxygen supply was chemically generated from sodium chlorate and iron!
The next portion considers the emergency lighting system and covers how it is controlled, powered and activated by the power loss in the DC bus 1. This portion also covers the cabin and cockpit interior lights location, use and how they are operated. The final area which is covered is the evacuation features and procedures.
At this point some may question the relevance of this information but even though we do not use this feature in the simulator, the information is still valuable to anyone who is either a pilot or passenger on a real 737-800. Keep in mind however, that the information provided should not be used to override the instructions of a real world flight crew in an emergency.
737NGX Fire Protection
I honestly thought this section of the training would be easy but I have to say that the information presented was very enlightening and in some cases very technical. Some of the areas covered are Engine Overheat Detector Loops, Engine Fire Extinguishing and APU Fire Detection Loops and Fire Extinguishing.
In each of these presentations we learn how they work and are controlled. It’s important to note that when I say “we learn how they work” you REALLY learn how they work! This is done by very detailed and in some cases with animated diagrams which show you the intricacies of the various systems.
Again, I am very impressed with the level of training provided here as it really teaches you not just how something works by why it works that way. Knowing this can have a profound impact on how you react in emergency situations.
| || |
The TCAS or Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System was of particular interest to me since I always wondered how it works and is able to communicate with other aircraft. I have to say right now that through this lesson I gained a lot more than I bargained for. It was interesting to learn of the two types of TCAS and the various modes in which they can operate. In addition to this we also learn how aircraft communicate and how traffic advisory and resolutions are issued.
The final segments focused on the Advisory Display and a detailed overview of its various symbols, their meaning and how it is controlled via the mode control panel. By far, one of the things I will always remember from this lesson is the reason for having the mode, TA and TARA. Have you ever wondered when exactly do you use TA (Traffic Advisory Only)? Well, it was interesting to learn that in an emergency when an aircraft is flying with one engine, it would not be possible for an aircraft to comply with resolution advisories which would require it to either climb or descend.
This to me was almost a revelation as I never considered this as even being an issue. Thumbs up to AOA for their brilliant research.
This is perhaps the video that will require the most focus and concentration. The GPWS or Ground Proximity Warning System is very extensive and some of the areas covered include its objectives, functions, ground proximity warning computer, navigation terrain display and GPWS enhanced functions.
The GPWS was introduced in the 1970s but had various limitations. This was addressed in the EGPWS (E=Enhanced) which was introduced later and is currently used by the 737NGX. The GPWC (Ground Proximity Warning Computer) is the heart of the system and there is a detailed discussion on how it works and receives inputs from various sources. The meaty part of the training comes with the discussion on the various modes of the classic GPWS. These modes are:
- Excessive descent rate
- Excessive closure rate
- Excessive altitude loss
- Unsafe terrain clearance
- Excessive ILS deviation
- Advisory Callouts
- Reactive Wind shear
Some of these modes are divided into sub modes and I can assure you that if you enjoy in-depth systems, this will be your wonderland! The process of learning these modes were made palatable through the use of picture illustrations and examples, so there is no need to worry about everything “flying over your head”.
I think everyone should be able to glean something from this lesson and be better enabled to understand the functions of the GPWS including the various modes and what parameters trigger specific warnings.
The EGPWS is also highlighted in this lesson and perhaps the most significant fact that I benefited from this was the lesson on the added internal database which in the EGPWS, stores information on worldwide terrain, obstacles, airports and envelope modulation. What is envelope modulation? Well I could never truly explain it any better than AOA, but basically it desensitizes the GPWS based on the type of airport or approach procedure. This is why the GPWS may be triggered in one area but it won’t in another.
The final segment focuses on the Navigation Display Terrain Display and its operation, how it is interpreted and controlled. At the end of this lesson I can humbly say that this is truly a marvel of engineering and it’s perhaps even more so amazing that PMDG was able to replicate this feature onto a flight simulator platform. This is information you may never have obtained if not for the hard work of the AOA team. Simply amazing.
737NGX Ice & Rain Protection
Aircraft icing and icing conditions are perhaps the most significant topics that every pilot should be thoroughly versed in and I am sure many of you will enjoy this. First of all, we start off by learning what the exact definition of Icing, Aircraft Icing and Icing Conditions really are. This is followed by an extensive discussion on the controls and indications for various ice protection systems such as engine anti-ice, probes and flight deck window heat.
One of the most informative segments of this video (at least to me) was the discussion which focused on the cockpit windows. It was enlightening to learn how they are constructed and why in the more recent models of the 737NGX the famous “eyebrow” windows were removed. This apparently saved 20lbs and lowered maintenance cost so much so that even older aircraft are removing them as well.
The final segment focused on rain removal and how the wipers work and should be operated. During the lesson summary it was stressed that these systems should be managed effectively as it could mean the difference between life and death if aircraft icing is not handled properly (examples of aircraft icing incidents were also discussed during the training).
This part of the groundwork training focuses on the Hydraulic systems of the 737NGX. It starts off with an overview of the principles behind Hydraulics and a presentation which covers an overview of the 737 hydraulic systems. This is followed by an even more in-depth presentation of the Hydraulic A and B system, A,B System Fluid Leaks, Power Transfer Unit, Standby Hydraulic System and finally the Standby Hydraulic Fluid Leak.
The knowledge gained from this video is absolutely priceless. Hydraulic systems can be very complicated but AOA went to great strides to ensure that the information was presented in a manner which can be easily understood. This was achieved by using very detailed animated diagrams that thoroughly explained the mechanical functions of the various features of the hydraulic system.
Of particular interest was the presentation on hydraulic systems A and B, Hydraulic Reservoirs and how control surfaces are moved with very little effort on the part of the pilot. Also, you will find it interesting to see how the Power Transfer Unit and the Standby Hydraulic Systems operate.
I should warn though, that you will not be able to fully understand everything you are taught in this video by looking at it just once. You may have to revisit this video a few more times for all of this information to sink in.
The hydraulic system of the 737 NGX is a marvel of engineering. It was humbling to see that by using very simple methods and utilizing the principles and laws of physics governing fluids, engineers has been able to develop this seemingly essential system which we may all take for granted.
In the beginning I mentioned that this information was priceless and I am sure you are wondering why knowing all of this would be necessary for a flight simulator. Well, think about it. If you had a failure of your Hydraulic system A or B, would you know which control surfaces would be adversely affected? To the average simmer, this may not be very important but to those of you out there that enjoy realism at its best, knowing this can mean the difference between “life and death” in the face of a virtual emergency.
737NGX Primary Flight Controls
I thought at first that this lesson would be the shortest; after all, how much can you say about rudders, ailerons and flight controls? It was quite humbling to see how much we often take for granted.
In this lesson we learn about the three principal axes, physics of control surfaces, 737NG primary flight controls for pitch, roll and yaw. Finally, AOA touches on other interesting topics such as Horizontal Stabilizer Trim, Flight Spoilers, Yaw Damper, Mach Trim Systems and Flight control components of the 737NG. Keep in mind that this lesson is nearly 40 minutes long and is quite intense but not as difficult as the Hydraulic lesson mentioned before.
One of the highlights of this video was the in-depth discussion on each axis of flight and the various control surfaces that play a role in controlling the aircraft. During the Pitch section there was a very detailed and easy to understand lesson on how input from the pilots are received from either the Captain or First Officers control column. One might think that by moving either column that the input would be received by the same control units, but this is not the case and I think everyone will find this lesson very interesting. Apart from Pitch, Roll and Yaw is also discussed in great detail along with the topic of Mach Trim and the Yaw Damper.
One of the questions I often ask myself is; what do pilots do if there is a hydraulic failure? Since the flight controls are moved by hydraulic pressure, this is an important to consider. I was very impressed when this was discussed and further impressed by Mr. Boeing who brilliantly designed the 737NG in a way that even if hydraulic power is lost, control of the aircraft is still maintain though with much effort on the part of the pilot.
On a final note, I couldn’t help but be amazed at how AOA has been able to produce such fantastic videos. The teaching method was of the highest quality utilizing highly detailed animated diagrams and video editing that is second to none. Overall, this is a great lesson with invaluable information that every NG driver should be aware of.
737NGX Secondary Flight Controls
The Secondary Flight Control video expands into more detail on the Flaps, Slats and Spoilers of the 737NG. For a video that is 21 minutes long I was very interested in seeing how much can be said about these seemingly simple devices.
It starts off with an overview of what flaps, slats and spoilers are and how they function and operate. Apart from learning what they are, you also learn how they are powered and controlled by means of an animated illustration. The later portion of the video focuses on protection mechanism such as Flap load relief and Auto slat function to name a few.
To elaborate more on at least one of these features, the Flap load relief will take effect by moving the flaps from position 40 to 30 if the speed of the aircraft is over 163kts. When the speed is below 158kts the flap moves back to position 40. Impressive isn’t it? What’s even more impressive is that all of these features are modeled on the PMDG 737NGX.
The final segment of the video also discusses what ground and flight spoilers are, how they work, are operated and the various protection mechanisms they possess. Overall, this was a fine lesson and one that is extremely important. Flaps and slats aid in slowing down an aircraft and learning how they work will help you to become a more proficient NGX pilot.
737NGX Gears & Brakes
| || |
The Gear and Brakes training video covers all you need to know about the NGX as it relates to the overall design of the landing gear, controls and indications for extension and retraction, manual extension, nose wheel steering, wheel braking and much more.
Some of the highlights of the video that stood out were the segments on Manual Extension, Nose Wheel steering and Anti-skid. What I really enjoyed was the in-depth look into these systems and the logical explanations that made it very easy to grasp.
Apart from being in-depth, it was very insightful and provides a lot of helpful tips that will enhance your abilities as a virtual pilot. Gear and brakes may seem like a trivial topic but I can assure you that what you learn here in this video may surprise you.
737NGX Engines & Powerplant
| || |
As would be the obvious, an aircraft just won’t fly without engines (unless you’re a glider). The Engine and Powerplant video teaches you all you need to know about the CFM56 engines used by the 737NG. It covers an in-depth look at the engine fuel and oil systems along with start/ignition procedures and thrust reverser operation.
Some of the highlights that stood out was the in-depth look at the components of the CFM56 7B, how fuel is supplied to each engine and the oil storage and distribution system of the 737NG. Another area of interest was the on-ground and in-flight start procedures and thrust reverser operations which were very enlightening to say the least.
The knowledge you gain in this video will go a long way in the way you fly the 737.
737NGX Bleed Air
The Bleed Air video focuses on the overall description of what bleed air is and what are some of its applications and sources. You also learn about the inner workings of the Pneumatic Manifold, Engine Bleed Air, APU Bleed Air and GPU Bleed Air.
Some of the highlights I thought were interesting was the discussion on Bleed Air applications, system controls, differences with regard to APU and engine bleed air and the effects of bleed air on aircraft performance. With the aid of very detailed animated diagrams, AOA has made learning the Bleed Air system of the 737NG all the more instructive and enjoyable.
| || |
| || |
| || |
Part 1 Conclusion
At this point I think you get the picture. All of these videos are very in-depth and well put together. I can assure you that you have never seen anything like this and for the price; it’s remarkable that AOA has managed to provide so much for so little.
Other videos under the Ground Works section that I encourage you to check out is the Air Conditioning, Flight Management System and Pressurization videos which provide a remarkable look not only into the systems themselves but also some of the principles and basic knowledge everyone should know about atmosphere and pressure.
| || |
| || |
While this review is not complete, it is fair to say based on what has been seen thus far, the NGX training video certainly deserves an Avsim Gold Star Award. The editing and graphic presentation of each aspect of the 737 was flawless and it certainly sets a new standard.
| Publisher: Angle of Attack |
Reviewed By: Marlon Carter
- Instruction that is easy to follow for even the most amateur of users
- Comprehensive explanation of the 737NG and its systems
- Stunning graphic presentations which aid in understanding some of the complex systems of the aircraft
- Additional background information on many aspects of the 737 and its systems
- Videos come along with downloadable transcripts for easy reading in various languages!
- Attractive and well presented Study Guide
- Video Formats are available in HD 720P and Mobile 480P
What I Don't Like About AOA 737NGX Training