As a "newbie" with the PMDG FMC does any vets out there have an other tips to share? I really want to thank The GPS Kid and Grunge for their help. I thought I should start with a short hop from point A to B. Any suggestions, tips or shortcuts would be welcome!
The 737NG is one of the best and most complex add-ons for FS2004 so master that and you'll cruise through anything else !
The FMC is pretty straightforward once you start using it... always remember to go into the N1 and TAKE-OFF screen and click on the V1, VR and V2 buttons so that they are populated.... if you don't you'll have some problems in the flight. Also, you need to ZFW (Zero Fuel Weight) in but this won't be possible until AFTER you have entered the CRUISE altitude on the same page. Once this is in, you can click on the ZFW and it will populate.
Next tip is that if you are starting the plane up and you are NOT using "Dark & Cold" you need to click on the yellow warning light (left hand side of Panel) AS SOON as th plane loads up...... If you don't do this you may find that the AutoThrottle will not arm ..... this is a bug.
Very last tip is that most people CLIMB in the 737NG using the V/S area of the AutPilot.... Ie.. Take off, engage A/P, select ALT HOLD, then immediately select V/S and select the Vertical Speed (say 2400)... But in the real world, most 737-700 pilots use the LVL CHG part of the AP to climb.
To do this you need the Autothrottle armed and the correct initial climb speed entered... (let's say 250ias)....If you have the correct Altitude set in the ALT window, simpy press LVL CHG, next to the Autothrottle.. The plane will now climb, not according to a preset Vertical Speed, but according to the preset speed of 250ias...... so the plane manges the Pitch to retain 250kts.....
It feels a lot more real..... as the plane climbs in steps, as in real life...
Try it !
Thats great stuff, but can anyone help me once i gain full altitude? the plane just seems to carry on climbimg past the programmed altitude, and yes ive already programmed all the FMS and the FLT ALT on the overhead, so what am i doing wrong?
If the plane is continuing to climb beyond your Cruise altitude, (and you definately have the right alt set in the AutoPilot Altitude panel), then it's very likely that you are flying with the wrong Altimeter QNH (...the 29.92 bit)..... it's easy to have the wrong Altimeter pressure on the 737NG as it doesn't have much annunciaton for this.
So check where you'tr flying, and make sure you're set at the correct setting.
For example is you have left it at 29.92 and in fact the area you are flying in is 29.82, then your plane will be approx 300 feet out !
It may not be that but worth checking it out.... It's a puzzler beyond that because the MCP (AutoPilot) Altitude setting should hard limit the plane.. (Ie.... physically not let it climb higher than that setting, regardless of what's set up in the FMC for altitudes).
Thanks for that, I tried the things you said about the LVL CHG and they work, but how can i start from a cold and dark cockpit to avoid the problems with the yellow warnings ( or do they still occur when you have started up? ) and if I cant start from cold and dark does it mean always starting with engines running to avoid the problem with the A/T?
It should be in the options. When you're sitting in the cockpit hit the "alt" key to bring up the menus, and then click on the PMDG tab and the setup or otions. Now you can select whether you want to start with cold and dark or not. With the 800/900 upgrade you get a lot more setup options too.
As far as making your first flight, follow as many tutorials as you can. Several people have posted them on line, besides the one given you from PMDG. Practice 3 or four different tutorials and you should start seeing how things go together, and which systems are dependent on what. (Note, as a big help into the secret of startups, make sure you fully understand what the APU does, especially the APU bleed-air. This will give you insight into all complex aircraft, boeing and airbus alike.)
By that time you should be comfortable flying with just a checklist and procedures (provided from PMDG), and soon you'll be getting through startup in just 10 minutes.
Best of luck!!