pilottj

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About pilottj

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  1. pilottj

    Do you want the 777-200/ER?

    Ask yourself this, why do you like flying the Queen? Certainly not because it is in common pax service, because it isn't anymore. You fly it because it is an aviation legend, a milestone in aviation history. If you love airplanes and flying, who wouldn't want to fly a legend like the Queen. By the same token, the 777-200LR is also a big achievement in aviation history, the first airliner that can connect any two points on earth...a major milestone So the reason to fly that is for the same reason as the Queen, it is a major achievement in aviation history. Same goes for planes like the DC-3, Connie...etc. Of what is released so far, only the NGX and the 777-300ER are 'common' in pax service. The others are quite common in freight service. So if you are a freight dog, you really have quite a nice PMDG fleet to choose from. So what are you left with that is 'common' pax service, what will still be in service by the time PMDG could theoretically release one of these 'common' planes. 1st gen 777s will be on their way out, many of the ERs will be on the latter half of their service life as are many 757/767s. 787s, Next gen 777s, 737s are the future if you are looking at it strictly from what is and will be common in the near future perspective. Wouldn't that mean the desire to fly older 777s is just like the Queen?...for sentimental and historical reasons. Nothing wrong with that at all, we all love to fly what left an impression with us. Bottom line is enjoy what PMDG makes, the 777LR may not have been as common as the 200ER, but performance wise it is the best one, which is certainly a good reason to enjoy it. Cheers TJ
  2. pilottj

    Do you want the 777-200/ER?

    Couldn't you also say that the 747 isn't flying much as a Pax hauler these days too? However like the 777-200LRF, it is a mainstay freighter. Don't discount freight flying as some small fringe part of the aviation industry...it is a 'YUGE' industry, of which the Queen, 777LRF, and MD still all have big roles...even the DC-6 to some extent. Also if it takes 3 years or so of development time, (maybe more with other projects going concurrently, lets say 2025 PMDG is able to release early variants of 777. In 2025, how many early generation 777s will still be in Pax service? Won't most of those have been replaced by 787s? Listen, I'd love the early 777 too, I lived in Nagoya Japan in the early 90s where a lot of students at my school were from Boeing parents working with Mitsubishi during T7's development. I remember how big a deal it was back then. It was a time when Boeing was still run by engineers and not bean counters as it is now. However considering development time for PMDG, I just think such a huge investment for something 95% similar to something already made is not a wise use of manpower. Diversity of projects is the most important. That being said, if PMDG does indeed go for early 777s, I'll be happy for everyone. Cheers TJ
  3. Thank you for your tireless dedication to this hobby Robert. Now that this last round of updates is out, you and the boys should go take a nice long vacation. Enjoy the fruits of your labor. Cheers TJ
  4. pilottj

    List the nations you've been too!

    US - lived current Mexico Japan - lived 92-95 Korea Thailand Singapore Malaysia Taiwan Hong Kong Bali England Spain Germany Turkey Syria - lived 96-97 Jordan Kuwait Egypt Israel Bahrain those are all I can remember off hand Cheers TJ
  5. pilottj

    How to Crush a Guy

    That's a good point, the real thing will always beat the digital, no matter what it is, however flying is such an expensive endeavor, building time in Cessnas and Pipers is expensive enough lol... and the cost to build twin time? forget it. So unless you are very rich, most of us can only afford an hour or two in the local FBO Cessna or Piper. Vintage GA, warbirds, airliners are so prohibitively expensive to operate, those planes become just dreams, that we go crazy when we hear one fly over. When I was at ERAU, no one batted an eye at the unending drone of Lycomings passing over...but when a big V-12, radial, or large turboprop flew over...everyone ran out of their dorms and classrooms to look up. Those rare planes are the dream planes for most pilots, the ones that...just maybe if you meet the right person who knows a guy who owns a T-6 who will let you get a ride in it. Because those kinds of planes are so rare, just like the rare Jaguars and Shelbys, the chances of actually being able to experience one for real are practically 0. So the path to fly a real P-51 is very expensive and out of reach for most pilots. The next best thing is flight sim. Thanks to A2A and PMDG we can experience a P-51 and DC-6 as if we were wealthy aircraft collectors. A fraction of the experience at a fraction of the cost right? Speaking of wealthy collectors, I wish my Flightsim to be like a virtual airplane version of Jay Leno's garage. Jay's garage a fantastic Youtube channel to watch if you have an interest in automotives, even if you are just a casual car enthusiast like me. Jay has quite a large collection of old stuff and new stuff, he likes it all, as he is always having guests either show some rare vintage or some new technology. You can tell just from that show that Jay is very passionate and about everything automotive, just like RR and Scott are about airplanes. That's why I really hope RR and Scott continue to guide their respective companies to do what they are passionate about. It is much better to do what you are passionate about than to pander to what you think the masses want. There is huge difference in quality between product that the developer really wanted to do and a product they felt they had to do. Hopefully with that passion, we'll eventually get a diverse hanger full of awesome addons of every shape an size, like Jays garage lol. Since my 'hobby' account doesn't quite match Jay's.....yet Virtually will have to do for now. Cheers TJ
  6. pilottj

    How to Crush a Guy

    If you want to know what the appeal of a classic airplane is, ask any pilot. Most pilots, including me, look at airplanes the same way many teenage boys and car enthusiasts look at cars. We see the chance to fly a P-51 or Spitfire(vintage supercars of the aviation world) just as if a car enthusiast was asked if he/she wanted to drive a Shelby Cobra or Jaguar XKSS. The chance to fly something virtually that we likely won't ever get to fly for real is very appealing. Even more reason to model the planes that will be gone forever soon so that they may be preserved in digital form. Awhile back when I was flying, I went to the FBO to rent a plane, I had a choice between a brand new 172SP full of moving maps and dual Garmin GPS...or a 1960 Piper Comanche 250 with a cockpit like a 60s muscle car...it was a no brainer for me. That's like choosing between a Prius and a vintage Muscle car.. Old airplanes are not only desired for their historical value or rarity, just like a vintage sports car, they are also valued because they are the best 'teachers' of flying. The 'bar' for aircraft mastery in a vintage airplane is typically a bit higher than that of a modern computerized airplane, because you the pilot have to do more of the work and have to have a solid understanding of the systems. So you really learn a lot about airplanes and flying when you master an old airplane, such as this DC-6. If you really want to learn about flying and develop good pilot 'instincts', there is no better teacher than an old airplane. If you are a simmer and want to know what it's like to 'think' like a pilot...master an old airplane like a T-6 or this DC-6. That being said, I think the best course for PMDG and A2A is to keep a healthy variety of projects, which they have done. I know PMDG will do more modern airliners, I hope they keep a couple of vintage side projects going as well. Most importantly, the developer's should make what they are passionate about. Passion shows up in the finished product. Robert and Scott are both very passionate about flying and bring that to both PMDG and A2A, and it shows in their products, whether it's a vintage warbird or a modern jetliner. Cheers TJ
  7. Congratulations on the release guys! I know this project has been slow cooking for a long long time. LOL How long ago was it when you guys posted the first teaser screenshots? Anyway, it looks absolutely awesome, unfortunately I am doing a system reinstall, but will buy the Six as soon as I got FSX back up and running. Cheers! TJ
  8. pilottj

    Vlado Lenoch Has Made His Final Flight

    Vaya Con Dios Vlado and Bethany. Every time I fly the A2A T-6 or P-51 I will remember Vlado. TJ
  9. pilottj

    Next product of PMDG

    Consider that with the NGX release....the 'Common' variants were released as the 'base' while the 'fun' variants were released as the expansion. The 800 is the daily driver while the 600 is the overpowered fun machine. The 777 is somewhat the opposite. The unique 200LR is the performance machine is first while the common 300ER is the addon package. Perhaps it would have been nice for each package to have a standalone option. I would have preferred only the NGX 600-700 as a standalone package. But from a business perspective I can see why PMDG chooses the base package + addon route. Regarding the -200ER, consider looking at it from the pilot's perspective. (remember many of the PMDG staff are pilots, including the bossman), the -200ER is like a stock V6 Ford Mustang. the 200LR is like a tricked out Shelby Mustang. And if pilots are like teenage boys looking at cars...which would you pick? The stock Ford Mustang is a fine car, but is much more common. The Shelby on the otherhand has the extra 'coolness' and 'fun' factor...not to mention a big boost in performance. Which would you rather show up at the dance in? Something everyone else drives or something unique? I can tell you when I went to the FBO and the guy at the counter said 'You can either fly this new 172SP with its stock Cessna paint job, or you can fly this 1960 Piper Comanche with it's beautiful muscle car-esque paintjob' Guess which choice I made. That's like choosing between a Prius and a vintage muscle car lol.....guess we are all teenage boys at heart when we go to the airport lol. If PMDG chooses to do the -200ER, I'll be happy because I know a lot of you will be happy here too. Happy customers = good for PMDG. However if they don't, I can totally understand not spending a year or two developing something 90% similar to something already done. Another consideration for the 200LR is the Freighter. Maybe you don't fly freighters, but cargo outfits are big users of these aircraft. Isn't FedEx's fleet the largest in the world? As the MD-11Fs eventually all retire, I can see the 777-200LRF taking over as the workhorse freighter for the forseeable future. In 10-15 years or so I bet the 777-200LRF will be quite a common sight at freight hubs. Cheers TJ
  10. pilottj

    Next product of PMDG

    I always find the 'What should PMDG make' questions kinda funny. There are basically two groups. One group views FS airplanes as the Airline Accountant would (ie real world aviation economics). The Accountant asks what is it's fuel burn, what is it's Payload? Those are the planes are common because they are the most practical and economical. Thus the commonly used airplanes are preferred by this group. The other group views FS airplanes from a pilot's perspective....ie how fast does it go, how far does it go? This group tends to prefer the more exotic or high performance planes. It's kinda funny because many pilots view airplanes like most teenage boys view cars. The parents drive a minivan because it is common, practical and reasonably economical. The teenager, while happy to have the chance to drive, doesn't have posters of minivans on his bedroom wall lol. There is no wrong way to view FS, it's whatever you want to make of it and what aspect of aviation you choose to focus on. I just find it funny there are pretty much two consistent themes going here. PMDG isn't alone in this, this is a common thread at A2A as well. On the one hand, make common GA planes that every pilot has flown. On the other hand do exotic warbirds and propliners that only super rich and museums can operate. I think its important to have both. I like the GA planes because I have actual flight time in those planes, and I know them and understand their systems. Those planes are great for practice. However the desire to fly a P-51 or Spitfire is undeniable. Every pilot I know, (including me), would jump at the chance to fly a warbird or exotic GA (with proper training of course). The chance to fly a Mustang or Spitfire would be like a any auto enthusiast getting the chance to drive a Shelby Cobra or Jaguar XKSS. Because those exotic types are so much more rare, having them in simulated form brings those exotic planes to many of us who would never get a chance to fly one. I think PMDG does a great job finding a balance between the common and the exotic. Cheers TJ
  11. pilottj

    Use of dome lights

    I can tell you from GA flying, the only time you turn on the dome light is after you have parked the airplane and are looking for all the pens and things you had dropped on the floor during the flight. I remember when I was a student pilot working on my PPL, I had done a night X-country with my instructor and my good friend who was sitting in the back. Just before the return trip, my friend was going to take my picture in front of the plane, but my IP told him not to do so because the flash would really screw up my night vision for a while. Thankfully we took his advice. That's one of my biggest beefs in FS aircraft, while the night lighting might look pretty, it is often waaay too bright for realistic night flight. Ideally you want it just bright enough for the gauges to be legible. Usually you start off with the gauge dimmer a little brighter, then slowly dim it down as you go. You would be amazed what you can really see at night when your eyes have been given time to adjust. Manytimes you don't even need a taxi light, you can make out the taxiway centerline just fine. It's considered common courtesy not to taxi at night with landing or taxi lights on so you don't blind other pilots. Funnily, I would forget to turn on my car lights at night sometimes because I was used to low light night operations in the plane. Cheers TJ
  12. pilottj

    Sleeping while flying

    That reminds me of a couple of funny memes... Cheers TJ
  13. pilottj

    Sleeping while flying

    I think that's kind of the catch of Long Haul flying, there is no way to make it 100% realistic, so you'll have to choose which way are going to sacrifice the realism, and if you really want to narrow it down, the most 'realistic' plane in FS are those that can *legally* and reasonably flown by a single pilot. Take that with a grain of salt tho, because even a full bells n whistles Accusim GA plane that is realistically flown by a single pilot, there is no way to be 100% realistic.. For as real as A2A can make it, there are still things that are simply beyond the limits of a simulation that you must turn a blind eye to for the sake of your 'realism' quest. If the plane requires a first officer, then you are already pushing the realism factor, so at that point, how you choose to make it work for you is up to you. It is unrealistic for the pilot to be on duty for an entire long haul flight without a flight crew, just as it is to leave the AP flying the plane while you go to sleep or do errands...pick your poison. As real as it gets is more like "As real as average PC simming technology will allow for....the rest you have to fill in with your imagination." Don't worry, there is nothing wrong with a little fantasy in flight sim. Ultimately flight sim, sailing sim, truck sim, farm sim, weed whacker sim, bachelor party sim, whatever sim....its all fantasy in the end. Apart from a few mega rich individuals, having a hangar full of muti million dollar aircraft would be fantasy for for 95% of the worlds population anyway :) It's your fantasy, make what you want of it. Cheers TJ
  14. pilottj

    Sleeping while flying

    It's all relative isn't it? Some people think putzing around in a J-3 Cub is boring. Some think staring at a magenta line at FL300 is boring. You do what you like. I like putzing around in a J-3 sometimes, and I also like doing overnight long hauls like the OP suggest...and I do sleep while it goes. Real long haul flying involves relief crews, and I consider the Autopilot to be my relief crew. It works great, I get to do the fun stuff...planning, departure, climb....then go to sleep during the boring part...cruise, wake up for approach, land...etc. The reason I do it this way is I like to fly real time and real weather. So I when I read the TAF for the destination airport, I can expect the reported forecast winds/weather at the arrival time. Currently I am enjoying two other Simulators that also involve long distance travel...both take different approaches to it. SailAway Simulator, is blue water ocean sailing...real distance, real time, real weather. It took me a week and a half to do the Bering sea challenge. I obviously didn't have my computer on for a week. SAS allows you to plot the course, set the autopilot, then log out, while the boat will continue on course. SAS sends you email alerts when the boat reaches waypoints, change in winds, runs aground...etc. Thats one approach. I am also having fun with American Truck Simulator which takes a different approach. It scales time and distance so, while you get the illusion of travelling long distances, the time you are actually at the wheel is reasonable. IE driving from SF to LA is about 8hrs in real life. In ATS, the same trip is about 30 mins, however fuel consumption and sim time are calibrated such that you need to plan accordingly. Between FS, SAS and ATS, each have their own approach to long distance travel. I think each one does the best for the particular form of travel. The great thing to is all those sims are perfectly suited for short trips too. SAS is perfectly fine for an hour long race or something, while ATS has plenty short hauling to do. Pick what you like. Cheers TJ
  15. pilottj

    Sailaway - The Sailing Simulator

    I've been enjoying SailAway Simulator quite a bit lately. Currently I'm on the Bering Sea challenge...what a long trip lol, and I thought I was crazy to do long haul 777 routes.... Thankfully it keeps going while logged out. Still looking at a week and a half or so due to the tacking. However Bering Challenge aside, it is somewhat relaxing, yet requiring enough of a challenge to remember what all those trim lines do. If we are going to compare SAS to a flight sim, I first was going to compare it to FSX/P3D because of the whole world scale thing, but really, I would compare SAS to SOAR. SAS seems very dedicated to blue water type sailing/cruising/racing, and very focused on getting sailboat physics as right as possible on a PC sim. Like SOAR it can really teach you about the finer points of that type of hobby. As it is still early access, it still has a lot of room to grow. I do think it has a lot of potential, especially if a wear n tear failure system and survival aspects are incorporated. More sailboat types will be awesome too. From what I understand the SAS Dev team is small but dedicated, so hopefully this sim will grow into something great. Cheers TJ