PMDG 777-300ER Long Hauls

Hello ladies, gentlemen and boys and girls….the past few days I’ve really been giving the new PMDG 777-300ER a good workout traversing across the North Atlantic a few times.  While I spent the first few days of ownership of this awesome aircraft flying some of the shorter domestic routes which American Airlines still operates such as DFW – ORD I felt the need to see how she handles on a much longer route.  After all, this is exactly what this aircraft was designed for.

My first long-haul flight in the brand new PMDG 77W was DFW to LHR, simulating American Airlines Flight 50.  AAL50 holds a very special place in my heart as it was the first time flying on an American Airlines 777.  Back in early 2001 this flight was operated in the Boeing 777-200, but today it uses the 777-300ER.  This business trip was also responsible for allowing me to meet my wife and was also the first of many transatlantic flights I’ve made in the real world to London.

Anyway, I loaded up the B77W in DFW.  It was a full load of passengers and plenty of freight to make the flight profitable.  A mere 8 1/2 hours later I touched down on runway 27L.  The following day I debated picking up a British Airways flight towards the Middle East and just continue eastward around the globe, but instead decided to fly back to the US in time for the US Independence Day holiday and what better place to be than in Philadelphia.


AAL50 PMDG Boeing 777-300ER Catching the sunrise over the North Atlantic.


Descending along the eastern coast of the US headed for Philadelphia (PHL).


PMDG 77W on approach to KPHL RWY 09L and passing the Commodore Barry Bridge along the Delaware River.

I honestly couldn’t be any happier with this new aircraft from PMDG.  Yes, I truly can’t wait for the 777-200, but for now I’m going to be doing all my long-haul flying in this beast.

Until next time….

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

PMDG Boeing 777-300ER is Amazing

But of course, we knew it would be right?   The wait is over…PMDG finally released their very highly anticipated Boeing 777-300ER on schedule just a few days ago.  Due to my traveling schedule, I was actually down in Texas at the DFW Airport when it released so I didn’t get to take part in all the fuss in trying to get my download codes like so many did.  I’ve heard dozens of reports from fellow simmers who tried to purchase the new PMDG 777 on release day and heard horror stories of the long wait.  Hopefully PMDG will invest in a better e-commerce platform as it’s very clear what they are using now is not capable of holding up to the demand.  But I digress…

As I type this, it is Thursday, 27 June and I’ve had time to get a few flights in the new Triple 7 and she flies wonderfully.  While I’ll admit that I favor the shorter Boeing 777-200 over the -300, she’s still an amazing aircraft and after getting a few more shorter flights under my belt, I will be embarking on some serious long-hauls which this aircraft is designed to handle.

Missing GoFlight Functionality

Of course, as the PMDG 777-300ER has only been recently released, it’s currently not yet working with my GoFlight hardware.  But I know in time the folks over at PollyPot will update the GoFlight Interface Tool and I will be able to control much of the MCP, EFIS and Radios via my external hardware just as I can with the PMDG 737.

Some Screenshots

If you already own the new PMDG 777, then you already know what she looks like.  If not, here are a few screenshots I’ve captured in the past few flights.

Not sure what’s going on with those ULD’s appearing at the top of the fuselage. I’m sure this will be resolved when GSX Pro gets updated for the new PMDG 777 functionality.  Speaking of GSX Pro, if you experience an issue with a tail strike on pushback, then make sure you disable the “lift aircraft” option, at least until a GSX update appears that may or may not correct this issue.

Final Thoughts

As I said above, I really much prefer the shorter 777-200 model….but until that is released it’s just a really great thing that we finally have a solid, long-haul aircraft in our virtual hangars.  We now have much better options in the longer range category and I’m looking forward to the release of the 777-200.  Of course, we also believe at some point during the release stages of the 777 that we may get the 737 Max from PMDG.  I also suspect the wait before Fenix releases their A319 and A321 shouldn’t be too awfully long from now.  I believe the expectation is that we’ll have those before MSFS 2024 releases later this year.  Fingers crossed anyway….

Well…until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

The 777 Is Coming….The 777 Is Coming!

Well….blow me down and shiver me timbers.  Yes, PMDG broke radio silence on Sunday to announce a tentative release date for their Boeing 777-300ER.  This anticipated release date is Tuesday, 25 June.  PMDG also mentioned in that same announcement that should a delay be needed (for whatever reason) then provisional backup days extending out to 30 June might be necessary.  So with any luck, we’ll finally have what I’m sure will be an awesome version of the Boeing 777W before the end of the month.  Unfortunately, there was no pricing info provided in this announcement.

An Absolute First

As they say, there is a first time for everything and this is no exception.  PMDG broke a life-long policy which has been in place for years where they never provided a product release date.  Today, that policy has been changed and as I said above, we should have the PMDG 777-300ER this month.

In Streamers Hands Soon

The PMDG announcement also mentioned that within a few days we should start seeing the PMDG 777-300ER in the hands of those carefully selected and just downright lucky streamers and content creators.  Of course the only problem with this is many of the big names in the flight simulation content creation space will be attending FSExpo which takes place this coming weekend.  But hopefully there will be plenty not attending and will stay home and tease us with some great video and streaming content.

I Can’t Wait

Like you, I just can’t wait to have my hands on the PMDG 777-300ER.  I haven’t decided just what will be my first flight.  As I do much of my airliner flying for an American Airlines based VA, I may just do one of the shorter flights such as MIA – LAX or I may just bite the bullet and head across the Atlantic towards London Heathrow. What are your plans for the PMDG 777-300ER?  I’d love to hear them.

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

I was wrong, but we move on…

Well, the 2024 VATSIM Westbound Cross the Pond event is history.  By now all those VATSIM servers will have cooled down from the vast amount of traffic they were handling on Saturday during the event and of course PMDG didn’t release their Boeing 777-300ER just before hand.  While this is disappointing, I know from being a PMDG Customer for over 20 years that PMDG only releases when the aircraft is ready to be released.

Looking Forward

There are plenty of things to look forward to in the coming weeks and months.  Immediately on the horizon is the SU15 update from Microsoft.  While SU15 will bring us the new iniBuilds A320neo, what I’m most looking forward to are the expected performance enhancements we’ve been hearing about in SU15.  While SU15 has been delayed from the original target date of 26 March 2024, the new release date is expected to be on 30 April.

Fenix A319/A321

If you already own the awesome Fenix A320, then you also most likely know that the Fenix team have been hard at work to develop both the A319 and the A321 for MSFS.  As mentioned in this press release dated 14 April 2024, Fenix states that their A319 and A321 coming along swimmingly and should be entering beta testing very soon.  While I don’t want to speculate any possible release date…hopefully we could have these two new Airbus aircraft sometime later this summer.

BlueBird Simulations 757

This is a project I’ve mentioned a few times on my blog.  I’m really looking forward to having a quality 757 in MSFS.  While we don’t really have any new news on this aircraft or the release date, BlueBird Simulations have recently confirmed they will be at the FSExpo taking place on the weekend of 21 – 23 June and will be showcasing a preview of their new Boeing 757.  I’m hopeful we’ll see this release before the end of the year.

iniBuilds A350 and A380

The team at iniBuilds are hard at work creating not only awesome airport scenery, they are also working on two very much needed aircraft for MSFS.  While I believe they have every intention on these releasing this calendar year, I believe these would appear somewhat in the later part of 2024 if it happens, or sometime early 2025.  Time will tell….

PMDG 777-300ER

Once again…I was wrong with my anticipated release time for this aircraft.  Honestly, based on where we thought (or at least I had thought) this aircraft was back in early March…the timing just shouted it would be available in time for the VATSIM CTP.  Now I’m honestly scared to speculate.  Especially considering we haven’t heard from Robert Randazzo since the 6th of April.  OK…I’m game.  I’m going to predict we’ll have the PMDG 777-300ER before 1 June.  That’s over a month away.  But I could still be wrong.

Final Thoughts

As we all know, Microsoft and Asobo are hard at work with the development of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024.  While it should be safe to think we’ll have the PMDG 777-300ER and even perhaps other variants of the 777 and possibly even the PMDG 737Max before MSFS 2024 is released, I have a feeling the BlueBird Simulations 757 and the iniBuilds A350 and A380 won’t come out before MSFS 2024.

While MSFS 20204 will be a day one purchase for me, my expectations on when purchased add-ons for MSFS 2020 will be compatible with 2024 may not be a day one thing.  What I mean by this is while I’m very much looking forward to MSFS 2024, I am comfortable in knowing that it may take several weeks or perhaps even months before some of our favorite add-on aircraft and scenery will be made available for the new sim.  But then again, we really don’t know exactly when MSFS 2024 is expected to be available.  Hopefully we’ll all learn more about this after the FSExpo taking place 21-23 June.

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

Reader Question – PMDG 777 Delay?

We have another reader question which I feel is fitting to turn into a blog post.  Let’s go!

Hi Jerry, I read your recent blog post “Where Are Thou PMDG 777” and had the same opinion that we would surely see the release of the PMDG 777 before CTP on April 20.  With the announced delay of the MSFS SU15 package, do you think this will cause the release of the 777 to be pushed back?  Looking forward to your opinions on the matter.  Thanks for keeping us all in the loop.  Jon

Hello Jon, and Hello to all my wonderful readers.  Jon brings up a very valid question and a concern we all need to be aware of.  When I wrote that blog piece almost a month ago, the release of the SU15 update did play a major part in my overall prediction that we could see the PMDG 777 release before the annual VATSIM Cross The Pond event which takes place on 20 April.  However, I have read in the past few days where PMDG has stated that the release of the Boeing 777 will not be reliant on the SU15 update.

Again, when I wrote that above mentioned article PMDG had not stated which 777 variant would be the first out of the hangar.  We now know that the first PMDG 777 variant we’ll have access to purchase is the Boeing 777-300ER or 77W.  While I actually prefer the 777-200 as it’s the only version of the 777 that I’ve flown on in real life, the 77W will be a day one purchase for me and I’ll happily fly it until and even after I purchase the 772.

Finally, also way back in early March….we also didn’t know what PMDG’s release strategy was regarding the also highly anticipated Boeing 737MAX.  PMDG have stated that the 737MAX will release in between the other 777 variants.  So it’s highly probable that not only will we have a brand new 777-300ER for MSFS in the very near future, sometime soon after that we’ll also see the first 737MAX.  But let’s not jump too far ahead of things.  After all, the question at hand is whether or not we’ll have the PMDG Boeing 777-300ER before CTP on 20 April.

PMDG did provide an update yesterday on 1 April which you can read here.  This update from Robert says “The end of the wait is nearly upon us- I promise.”  So yes, I still believe it’s possible we’ll see the PMDG 777-300ER before 20 April.

In a perfect world, PMDG would release the 77W a few days or even more before the CTP event.  This would give everyone time to get familiar with the 777 in MSFS before this major event.  This is especially important considering the large number of new VATSIM members since the release of MSFS 2020 and many of these would not have flown this aircraft in P3D or FSX.

In closing, again….I believe we’ll have the PMDG 777-300ER very soon and certainly before the VATSIM CTP event.

Thanks for reading!

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

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