What a contrast this flight has brought compared to last nights flight! What was a cloudy and foreboding atmosphere in San Francisco is now a bright and hot environment in Dubai.
I must say, that the screenshots in San Fran were some of the best I had ever taken. So I had to approach this particular flight realizing there was basically no way I was going to ‘one-up’ myself.
Rather, I went in with a clear mind, and no expectations, just wanted to see something new.
Click to Enlarge for Amazing Detail
I really wanted to get shots in Dubai, as the recent FlyTampa Dubai Rebooted would give me an incredible backdrop.
Apart from that, I have always been a big lover of the Emirates livery. Because Emirates flies so many 777s, it’s no surprise that this painted look is a bit iconic for the 777. It just fits.
Today’s flight consisted of loading up in Dubai, getting all the systems setup on the aircraft, doing a departure, and then arriving back into Dubai. Simple enough.
Now, you would think I would be flying the PMDG 777 any time I’m not sleeping, eating or po… nevermind. But truly, I’m in the thick of a lot of efforts here at Angle of Attack, like getting our new website done. So this is only my second go with the aircraft.
The setup of the aircraft is getting much faster. Again, the automation makes this a complete breeze. It feels like cheating after so much time in the 737.
The flightdeck and all it’s tools on the PMDG 777 make for an incredibly user friendly cockpit. It’s made to make the pilots life easy, so he/she can focus on things other than monitoring.
I had a little more trouble with my throttles today, which makes for an initial, squirrely takeoff. Now I can see why people build home cockpits.
I setup the sim with a new REX theme (I usually randomize until I see something I like) that had a dirty looking sky for this area.
I also got ActiveSky Evolution activated. Although I used real world weather, I decided eliminate the cloud layer. I can’t imagine there are many clouds here… ever. Could be wrong, though!
The OAT (Outside Air Temperature) is a whopping 32ºC! May not seem a lot to some of you, but I’m from Alaska!
Eventually I got in the air, and was well on my way through the climb. With such a light fuel load, the aircraft had zero issues climbing to 15K.
I had to extend out by departure before the turn back, as it’s a lot easier to climb than descend. Speed simply becomes a major issue.
As I went through these largely abnormal procedures, it was nice to dive into some seldom used functions of the FMC. Namely, RTE 2 and setting up an arrival at the departure airport.
What can I say about frames again? Goodness! I jacked up my water effects to 2.x High (usually at low) and saw little difference in framerate hit.
Now, it’s nice to have really smooth framerates, but the biggest thing about framerates for pilots is that it makes handling the aircraft so much easier when things are smooth.
It also makes it feel like the aircraft is cutting through the air a lot easier.
Through the various maneuvers I performed, it’s clearly evident that this is a much large aircraft than the 737, as it flies much differently.
Wherewith the PMDG 737 you feel like you can jump around, and get knocked around, the PMDG 777 is an absolute rockstar. It’s solid, stable, and mechanically confident.
Flying past the city of Dubai was really great! The scenery is fantastic, and there just isn’t much out there you could say is better. Especially because this includes the city AND airport.
Being in a realistic flight simulator environment, I feel, is key. It gives a greater sense of immersion.
Although I made a straight line for an IAF on the ILS 12R, I’d imagine the actual STARs come past the city like this. And what a view it is!
At first I was thinking of doing an AUTOLAND (I know… a sin!) However, I decided once on the ILS to just handfly it in, then go visual.
I’m really glad I did this! As I got to get a feel for the aircraft that I hand’t before.
As I lined up visually, it was incredible just how stable everything was. I felt suspended and floating to that runway. And it didn’t seem to come for a long time, as I didn’t feel I was fighting the aircraft.
With the proper trim and power setting, the PMDG 777 flies a rock-solid, hand-flown approach.
There is nothing more enjoyable and rewarding in flightsim than flying something like the PMDG 777 on an ILS, disconnecting and taking over manual control, flying visually, and nailing the landing.
Admittedly, I didn’t do the perfect flare. I floated a bit. The PMDG 777 flares much differently than the 737.
At 50 feet, you give a gradual and slow reduction in power, moving your eyes completely outside the window, if you haven’t already, and pitch up ever so slowly starting at about 20 feet.
The 777, with those unmistakable gear trucks, will kiss the pavement with grace and elegance.
Once down, when all the ‘stoppers’ come out, like the speedbrakes, reverse thrust and autobrakes, it still is solid and commanding. You don’t feel like your jaws are being rattled out like with the 737.
The taxi in was more or less a non-event, choosing a gate from GSX to get all the services I wanted. It’s always nice to see the ground handling crew waiting.
Reflecting on what’s next, I want to do a full flight and see how it goes. And I want to be bold about it. We’re talking about a long 15 hour flight with that fancy time compression feature.
With all aircraft, even this one, even with all the automation, I have a lot of room for improvement. I have hundreds of hours of real world flying experiences, years of experience teaching people how to fly complex simulation aircraft, yet I still have so much to learn.
I think we all get in this mindset that we can simply load up, jump in the aircraft, and more or less do a great job flying from Point A to B. And to a certain extent, that’s true I suppose.
What’s a shame is, here is the PMDG 777- the most advanced simulation to date- and I’m not getting in there and flying it how actual pilots fly it. What’s the point of all this realism if I just get in and test drive it?
That’s why I think our training at Angle of Attack has been so popular over the years- your aircraft can only get you so far, then you/we/us/me have to pickup the slack.
I am my own worst enemy when it comes to the realism that goes into my simulations. All the tools are right here and available to me.
There is no other aircraft I want to do a justice for than the 777. If ever I was going to become a commercial airline pilot, the 777 is the aircraft I would have loved to fly.
Along with this amazing aircraft, with my love for its history and track record, its design and production, and its intuitive systems- I must be willing to step up my game and match this level of realism. I must become that guy that does things right- that guy that is methodical- that guy that is always striving to learn more.
Learn more about our extensive video training coming soon for the PMDG 777. See below.
SEE THE PREVIEW
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