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Rate of climb / descent indicator in 747 / 777

Pro Member Trainee
calum Trainee

Hi Guys,

Is there a simple way to see your rate of climb or descent on the 747 and 777. It is obvious on the 737, but I cant see it on the other two.

Without knowing where this is, you can switch from being on the glideslope, to well over or under it in a few seconds.

When flying these, I have my old 737 fault (now fixed) of thinking I am landing, but the plane crashes into the runway. I think I am concentrating too much on glideslope, or trying to, and then stalling from about 50 or 40 feet. Once I can keep an eye on my descent rate it will be much easier. What approach / touchdown speed woluld you recommend for the 747 and 737.

Sorry for all the questions. I found you guys really helpful with the 737,
and I can land that every time now ( not always as smoothly as I would like). Posting on here seems much easier than wading through all the flight sim info that doesn't seem to answer my actual questions.

Thanks guys!

16 Responses

Pro Member First Officer
PH First Officer

I think on the 777 it is on the PFD far right hand side. So next to artificial horizon going (L to R) you have Altimeter then VSI.

dvorak Guest

I dont fly the 747 often so I cant help you there but I can help you with the 737 (I fly the 737-700 in the real world, but also like to fly the 737-800 in Flight Sim, but it should be more or less the same for them all)

Approach at about 160kts, gradually slowing down to VREF (which is about 135kts). You should cross the threshold of the runway at VREF. To follow glidelope you will be descending at about -600ft/min but this varies, when you get 20ft above the runway, start flaring. Remember on your approach you are aiming for the runway numbers, but following glideslope should bring you here anyway. When you flare your descend rate will decrease, and so will your speed. This means you will touchdown after the runway numbers, which is what is supposed to happen. You should aim to touchdown at -150ft/min at a speed of about 120kts - 125kts with a headwind if possible

Hope this helps

Pro Member Trainee
calum Trainee

Thanks dvorak,

That's great. You are a pilot in real life? Wow! How realistic do you find msfs? I've just had a couple of lessons in a Cessna, but found it was exactly the same, given that you can't feel the actual movement of the aircraft and the turbulence. You also have to work out the correlation between the real controls and the buttons / joysticks you use on the computer.

I would be really grateful if you could clarify a little further. Where exactly can you see your descent rate on the instrument panel of the 777? Does your flare alone reduce the descent rate from 600feet pm, or should you be reducing this to around 150 before you flare? I think I was so focused on trying to descend really slowly ( difficult without knowing which instrument to look at) that I failed to keep an eye on the speed and probably stalled. I want to know what to do before tying the 777 again as i hate crashing! Also, does your decreased descent rate slow the plane down from 160 to douchdown speed, or do you gradually reduce power to do this. I was reducing power and trying to slow the descent rate as well. I think that was maybe the reason I stalled. It is hard to concentrate on all factors at once when you are inexperienced.

Thanks

dvorak Guest

Yeah, I am a real world pilot, I fly the 737-700. I like MSFS, alot lol

I have the PMDG 737-700, and its very alike the one I fly in real life. The FMC is more or less exactly the same and the cockpit is layed out the same, and even some of the sounds actually make me thing I'm in a real plane!!

The flare alone should reduce descent rate to about -150fpm (if you touchdown a bit higher than this, its alright, its hard at first, but anything over about -300fpm puts a strain on the wheels, over -400fpm could damage them but since its a simulator no harm in practising over and over lol

Just remember to flare at a good height, dont flare too late or it wont get a chance to slow all the way to -150fpm. And remember to flare slowly and gently, no sudden jerks, it more than likely will result in a hard landing, and also creates extra G-Forces if its very sudden, which isnt a nice expierence for passengers

Here is a screenshot from the default MSFS 777-300 panel, the VSI is highlighted in red

The green 'bug' represents your vertical speed, now it reads around -600fpm. The pink bug represents the vertical speed the autopilot is set to hold (this will appear regardless whether you have the autopilot on or off, its irrrelevant at the moment, so you can ignore it). It reads 000fpm

I know and understand that at first its hard to scan all the instruments at first, speed, pitch, height, localizer needle, glide slope needle, engine instruments, but you get used to it after practising landings over and over

You should never approach at idle, your plane will drop like a stone. There is no hard-coded power setting for landing you just keep moving the throttle throughout the approach to make sure speed, descent rate are correct. The only time you put the engines to idle is when you are about to start your flare.

So the routine is to cross the runway threshold at about 30ft above the runway. Set power to idle and begin a slow and steady flare (by this time you will be about 20ft above the runway). By 10ft above the runway you should be at flare pitch, and your descent rate will slow down, and so will your speed. You then should touchdown shortly after, back wheels first obviously, and let the nose down gently and slowly.

Another tip which people dont know, the nose shouldnt just fall down itself if the landing was good, it should come down itself gently enough, but you still need to apply back pressure to keep it more gentle. Do not apply thrust reversers as soon as the back wheels touchdown, because this will make the nose of the plane lose this natural lift and will make it fall down. It will do this because when the thrust reversers are started, the air around the engines is going against what normally should happen, and this makes the air more turbulant, and some of this lift is lost. Instead apply thrust reversers just before the front wheels touchdown.

I suggest watching some real world videos of 737 landings, but from the cockpit, it gives you a good idea of what it should look like from the cockpit

Here is one of a 737-700 landing from the cockpit (no its not me flying lol)
http://www.flightlevel350.com/Aircraft_Boeing_737-400-Airline_Transavia_Airlines_Aviation_Video-5620.html

It says 737-400 but it was a mistake, its actually a 737-700, if you read the comments you will see, and there's no mistaking an NG cockpit lol

Also have a look around www.flightlevel350.com great site, lots of videos, not all from the cockpit, some passenger views, cabin views, runway side views, aircraft to aircraft views etc but the most educational ones would be the cockpit landings

Hope this helps 🙂

Pro Member Trainee
calum Trainee

Dvorak,

That's brilliant! Really helpful.

Thanks

Calum

Pro Member Trainee
calum Trainee

Dvorak,

I downloaded the 737-700 you are using. Well worthe the money, It's great! It seems earier to fly than the default fs 737, although it is very difficult to lose speed if you are coming in / descending too fast. The dafault one loses speed really easily no matter how fast you are when descending.

Can you use the map function and GPS you get in the default planes with it? I couldn't work out how to see them.

Calum

Pro Member Chief Captain
Jonathan (99jolegg) Chief Captain

calum wrote:

Dvorak,

I downloaded the 737-700 you are using. Well worthe the money, It's great! It seems earier to fly than the default fs 737, although it is very difficult to lose speed if you are coming in / descending too fast. The dafault one loses speed really easily no matter how fast you are when descending.

Can you use the map function and GPS you get in the default planes with it? I couldn't work out how to see them.

Calum

It doesn't have the GPS function in the cockpit - nor does its real world counterpart. The map function is still available from the 'World' tab at the top of your screen.

😉

dvorak Guest

calum wrote:

Dvorak,

I downloaded the 737-700 you are using. Well worthe the money, It's great! It seems earier to fly than the default fs 737, although it is very difficult to lose speed if you are coming in / descending too fast. The dafault one loses speed really easily no matter how fast you are when descending.

Can you use the map function and GPS you get in the default planes with it? I couldn't work out how to see them.

Calum

No, it has no GPS, either does the plane I fly in the real world. We use the FMS (Flight Management System) to do what the GPS helps you with in default planes, but it also does a great deal more that the GPS is unable to do, so therefore makes it far more functional.

The default GPS has a GPS hold feature, in where it will follow the route and turns on your route that you have planeed in the flight planner, but it only does this laterally. The FMC has the equivelant of this, it takes longer and more work to get the route planned in but when its in you can activate LNAV (lateral navigation hold) and it will do what the GPS does. But in the FMC you can control VNAV also (vertical navigation), so it will climb and descend for you at preprogrammed times, and at preprogrammed speeds

As 99joelegg mentioned, you can the map feature, but in the real world this isnt possible, but it is needed for flight simulator to get ILS frequencies and airport details. In the real world we would have charts for the airports we are taking off from and landing on. But the map feature in flight simulator is just a handy way of saving you from printing out charts 🙂

Get to learn the FMC, and when you know it you'll never fly the PMDG without it 😉

To learn it, read the manual that came with it.

I saw this on avsim and it looks good for learning the FMC
http://library.avsim.net/search.php?SearchTerm=program_fmc.zip&CatID=root&Go=Search

Hope this helps,
dvorak

Pro Member Trainee
calum Trainee

Thanks Dvorak,

I'm sure that will realy help. On the link he tells you to display the FMC, then click on the button next to ACARS. Unfortunately my ACARS button is greyed out and nothing happens when I press it, so I am failing at step 1.

I will try to find the manual and see what it says.

Calum

dvorak Guest

You shouldnt need the ACARs page to plan a route. Instead, go to the RTE1 page and plan it from there

Have a good read through the manual, it will help, but it might take a while, the FMC is a complex instrument that takes a while to get used to it. I use it for every flight I fly, and I fly for my airline often, so its second nature to me now, but I remember, all them years back (well it wasnt that long, just a few years) learning how to program the FMC, its quite a handful at first.

Whats even harder than learning how to program the FMC, is flying without the FMS, requires constant attention where as when the FMS is controlling and monitoring the flight and will make aural warnings so you can relax a bit more when at cruise altitude, etc

Good luck with it anyway!!

dvorak

Pro Member Trainee
calum Trainee

Thanks,

I will persevere until I can use it. I have been flying the new plane between 2 airports I know well, and using the ils but not autopilot. at least by the time I work out the FMC, I will be well used to flying the plane manually.

My computer runs FS9 quite well. It seems to be struggling with the new plane. Do you need a really top of the range pc to run these payware planes without any jerkyness or delays if you ask for other viewes etc?

I also downloaded ultimate traffic which I havn't really worked out how to use yet. It also seems to slow things down a bit.

I will buy a new computer if I need to, but I'd rather not. I have a decent Sony laptop which is 7 months old and was £800. It is / was probably mid to high price range for laptops. 512 ram etc.

Calum

dvorak Guest

The jerskyness your expierncing is normal I'm afraid

Its the same for me and I presume most people who have top of the range quality planes for MSFS, with highly detailed textures in the VC. When you switch from some view to the VC, its normal for the panel to appear grey for a second or longer (this means its still redering textures) and then the textures come on

It should stay steady enough if you dont change views often.

If you dont mind me asking what are your PC specs?

dvorak

Pro Member Trainee
calum Trainee

Hi,

CPU:IntelPentium M 740, 1.73 GHz
Memort:512 Mb /Mo

Graphics : Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900 with 128 MB / Mo max. Shared with main memory

OS : Windoews XP home

I wouldn't have had a clue as to the spec, but the sticker's still on it. lol.

I might see if I can put more memory in, but it looks like it only has one slot. It is a Sony Vaio Laptop VGN - FS315B.

Calum

dvorak Guest

Now I know very little about computer hardware, but as far as I know upgrading memory in a laptop is easier said than done, not as easy as in a standard desktop computer

Your computer is good enough to run flight simulator nicely, as long as the scenery detail isnt up full, frames should be ok

Pro Member Trainee
calum Trainee

Good point,

I just realised when I first bought the game a month ago I put scenery to max as it was running very well. Probably I can't do that with the new 737. I'll change it now.

Thanks

Calum

dvorak Guest

Well you could always change them to a lower setting than full when flying the PMDG but change them back to max when flying something else??

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