Commercial FSX Aircraft Review
Boeing 737-600/700 NGX
Service Pack 1
Alienware Area 51
Asus X58 P6T Deluxe
Intel QuadCore i7 3.0ghz
12 GB RAM
500 GB HDD
NVIDIA GTX 280 1024mb
NVIDIA GTX 280 1024mb
HP 2009 20” LCD x 2
Creative SB X-Fi Sound
TrackIR 5 Pro
Windows 7 x64
Direct X 11
Flight Test Time:
Service pack 1 summarized over 300 updates and improvements for the NGX platform. The most notable improvements were:
- Prepared the base 800/900 NGX product for the release of the 600/700.
- Internal systems intercommunication rewritten to prevent panel freezes.
- Performance and memory usage further optimized, all users should notice a smoother experience of a magnitude dependent on system hardware.
- Performance Manager app added (run from Start Menu/PMDG Simulations/PMDG 737 NGX) that allows for selection of reduced quality VC textures and models for users with lower end hardware.
- Added 4:3 aspect ratio 2D panels. (see the non-WL 800 panel folder for instructions on enabling)
- Added integrated IVAP TCAS control capability to the NGX's transponder. (FSInn and Squawkbox 4 use a proprietary method not accessible to us unfortunately)
- Autobrake system completely redone, values match Boeing braking distance tables extremely closely.
- Added numerous LVARs for cockpit hardware users to access via FSUIPC or the freeware LINDA utility.
- Added FO V1, rotate and V2 callouts. (FO V1 is suppressed if the GPWS V1 option is enabled)
- Added new remade panel states, including an "NGX DEFAULT" that returns the plane to its normal engines running and ready-to-go state.
- Added more accurate fonts and colors for the digit readouts on the MCP, the pedestal, and pressurization panel.
- Added several new aircraft and display options:
- Integral PFD heading display when FPV button pushed
- Always show next waypoint constraint on ND (without DATA button being pushed)
- Show N1 limits now has a third option to only show when a derate or reduced thrust setting is being used.
- Moved several options from being aircraft specific to the global Options/Simulation section (now affects all liveries/variants):
- A/T Manual Override
- Realistic AP engagement
- Set FSX LOC CRS
- Added more robust support for custom FMC waypoints that are created as the result of down selecting already existing LEGS, RTE or FIX page waypoints.
- Added the ability to make and use custom runway-based waypoints (ex - RW26/10).
- Added enhanced manual editing on APPROACH REF and TAKEOFF REF pages for V speeds according to real world range limits.
- All liveries and associated options (.ini) files have been remade to reflect the options changes. Several new fully accurate options layouts sent in from real world crews are now also included.
- Livery Manager updated to version 1.08, now supports removing multiple liveries in a single operation by Ctrl or Shift clicking in the installed list. Also contains numerous minor bug fixes.
Almost every aspect of the simulation was touched up and fine-tuned to create an even more impressive presentation. I had no issues with freezing or crashing to desktop errors prior to SP1. After installing SP1 I noted a performance increase and felt the airplane was tuned even better than before.
-600/-700 Add-on Package
In early November, 2011, PMDG released the 600/700/700WL (winglets) variants of the Boeing 737 NG family. The package is 150mb in size and features the cockpit/engine/sound/flight model/performance differences respective to each variant.
I spent a total of 15 hrs in the variants bringing a total of 65 hrs spent in the NGX add-on.
I found the advertised differences were indeed modeled (especially the handling in the shorter -600 compared to the -900) and was very satisfied with the high level of detail and attention afforded to the new variants of the package. I found each variant new but easy to operate and adapt to with my previous knowledge of the 800/900.
My same observations from the 800/900 of quality and detail apply to these additional variants. They make for a fun and different way of experiencing the NGX simulation especially when one size does not fit all! Paint kits were made available at the same time as release and enable the more creative pilots to paint their own color schemes.