Over the past few days I’ve been watching different streamers showcasing the AAU2 (Aircraft & Avionics Update) beta for Microsoft Flight Simulator. This update which is scheduled to release to all users on 23 June and is a partnership between Asobo and Working Title and will bring a major overhaul for both the Boeing 747-8i and the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner.
I’m particularly interested in the Dreamliner as I believe this will be our best chance of seeing this aircraft in the sim at any point in the near future. From what I’ve seen, and while the beta still has some challenges to overcome, it’s going to make for a very nice addition to the virtual hangar. Upon release I would expect the default MSFS Boeing 787 Dreamliner to be just as flyable/enjoyable as the QualityWings 787 in P3D.
Speaking of QualityWings and MSFS. Last month I posted my thoughts on the “PMDG 787 Dreamliner Rumors” which was making the rounds on social media. While we’ve not heard anything further on this possibility, (and it’s possible Robert Randazzo was just trolling the flight sim community) I just don’t see any sort of partnership between PMDG and QualityWings ever coming to fruition. While the development team at QualityWings remains silent on the subject of MSFS….it’s certainly not something I think we’ll see this year and actually may never see happen.
While we’ve had the ability to enhance the default MSFS 787 with the HeavyDivision Mod for over two years, I believe this update for both the default 787 and 747 is fantastic news for the flight sim community. In addition, I could see where the HeavyDivision mod could (once it is reworked after the AAU2 changes are implemented to further enhance the experience.
While I’ve not had the opportunity to install the AAU2 beta (experiencing major hardware issues at the moment), I trust the few individuals who have spent time with the beta and shared their opinions. I’m looking forward to the official release on 23 June and truly believe this update to the default Boeing 787 will help bridge the gap until PMDG releases their 777 later this year.
About two months ago, there was a Community Q&A livestream between a YouTube Content Creator named FilbertFlies and PMDG’s Robert Randazzo. During this 3 hour, 32 minute and 48 second event a question was asked by FilbertFlies regarding whether or not PMDG would be interested in developing a Boeing 787? The response from Robert is somewhat vague, but his response nonetheless has lead some to believe that PMDG and QualityWings could be planning to work together to finally bring the much loved Dreamliner into MSFS. But is this true? Is this really what Robert Randazzo said?
Let’s break down the conversation which took place at the 2:17:00 mark of the video (see video below).
FilbertFlies: Might you make a 787?
Robert Randazzo: (long pause), Hmmmm, Would I like to? Yea…Sure…Hmmm…So we’re having some conversations about that with someone else.
FilbertFlies: Woooo, that’s interesting!
Robert Randazzo: Yea, hmmmm, yea it is. The people we’re having that conversation with actually make 787’s. So it’s an interesting conversation. But yea, sure….why not.
Of course, Robert didn’t mention QualityWings by name, only that “The people we’re having that conversation with actually make 787’s”. While this could be QualityWings, it could also be the team behind the HeavyDivision mod as they are developing a stand alone 787. But….it could also mean that PMDG is talking with Boeing. After all, PMDG has a longstanding relationship with Boeing and all of the PMDG add-ons are officially licensed Boeing products.
In my opinion, everyone that has jumped to the conclusion that somehow, someway PMDG and QualityWings will join forces to bring the 787 Dreamliner to MSFS is putting the cart way ahead of the horse.
But don’t get me wrong….I understand why a PMDG/QW partnership makes sense. After all, the team at QW has all but gone dark with any new news regarding their plan to bring the 787 into MSFS. While we’ve known for some time that QW is working on it, we haven’t heard from them in a really long time. The last comment I’ve found on the QW forums was back in March 2022 where they mentioned “the Q2 2021 estimate for the 787 was way off. We’ve decided that for now being quiet is better than giving wildly inaccurate deliver estimates”. While I can appreciate QualityWing’s does not want to set a release date, I certainly believe they could and should provide some news on at least a quarterly basis just to let us know things are progressing. But I suppose at the end of the day, QW can run their company as they please.
The bottom line is, we just simply don’t know precisely what Robert meant with his comment. For now, I’m optimistically hopeful we’ll see the PMDG Boeing 777 release sometime this year and I’m sure a study-level, high fidelity Dreamliner will eventually make its way into MSFS at some point in time. Until then….we just have to wait and see.
Our tourists are once again on the move. The time spent in Singapore was certainly not disappointing. Only time will tell just how historic of an event which also took place while our travelers were visiting Singapore. Without getting too deep in the political weeds, I’ll just say that anything positive will certainly be a great thing for not only the region…but the entire world. As mentioned during the last trip report, we will be flying this next leg in the beautiful QualityWings Boeing 787 Dreamliner. For this leg we’re flying the Scoot Tigerair Dreamliner. Scoot Tigerair (not to be confused with Australia’s TigerAir) is a low-cost airline from Singapore. More about that later.
An updated version of our tour map.
History of City
The Sultan Iskandar Muda airport is located 13.5km southeast of the capital of Banda Aceh, in the province of Aceh, Indonesia. Banda Aceh is situated at the tip of Sumatra and has long been a strategic, transportation and trading hub in the eastern Indian Ocean. The first mention in western accounts comes from 1292 when Marco Polo and his expedition visited the city and noted as the logical first port of call for travelers from Arabia and India to Indonesia. On December, 26 2004 the city was hit by a tsunami which was caused by a 9.2 magnitude earthquake in the Indian Ocean. The disaster killed an estimated 167,000 inhabitants and destroyed more than 60% of the city’s buildings.
History of Country
The history of Indonesia has been shaped by its geographic location and consists of 17,000 – 18,000 islands of which 8,844 are named and 922 of these are permanently inhabited. Indonesia is positioned along the equator in South East Asia.
History of Airport
Sultan Iskandar Muda International Airport also known as Banda Aceh International Airport, is located 13.5km from the capital of Banda Aceh. It is named after the 12th sultan of Aceh, Iskandar Muda. The airport was built in 1943 by the Japanese Government and is currently the 23rd busiest airport in Indonesia.
History of Airline
Scoot Tigerair is a Singaporean low-cost, long-haul airline owned and operated by Singapore Airlines. It launched flights in 2012 on medium and long-haul routes from Singapore, predominantly to China and India. Initially, Scoot’s fleet consisted of Boeing 777 aircraft obtained from Singapore Airlines. The airline began to transition its fleet to Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft in 2015.
Once again it’s time for our travelers to head towards their next destination. Our next stop will once again have our travelers back in Indonesia, but this time on the northern side of the equator. Once again the clouds are building as this is pretty much the pattern in these locations. The ground crew in Singapore is getting the final cargo items loaded and soon we’ll pushback and taxi to the runway.
As Scoot is a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, the Singapore airlines crew is helping with the ramp operations including pushback.
If you follow aviation news, you may know there are some major issues with the Rolls Royce Trent engines. However, in the virtual world…they work just fine.
Lined up and waiting on runway 20C. The tires have been kicked, we’re just waiting to light the fires on these RR Trent engines and get the Dreamliner in the sky.
Just as the tag-line reads under the Captains window, it’s time to “Lickity Split”.
A little artistry “Dream like effect” for the beautiful Dreamliner.
Rolls Royce Trent engines doing their thing…
I love wing shots. The differences between the Boeing 777 and 787 vary little. The wingspan of the 787 is 197’.
Fully configured for our landing this evening.
Short final into our very basic default P3D airport. Not a lot of eye candy.
Parked and awaiting the ground crew. Another leg is safely and successfully in the books.
ActiveSky Weather Engine
ActiveSky Cloud Art
Envtex & Envshade
QualityWings 787 (Scoot Tigerair livery)
Orbx Global Texture
Route Planning Tools
Navigraph Charts Desktop
Yes ladies and gentlemen, another successful and most importantly safe flight in the books. As I have some real-world travel of my own coming up, it will be a few days before I can sit down and fly the next leg. But when that time comes, we’ll be back in the Boeing 737-800. While I haven’t planned out the equipment for each leg of the tour, my guess is the 737 will end up being the most used aircraft for the tour. But I’ll do my best to keep it interesting. Thanks for reading.
Before I start this review. Please allow me to get the fine print out of the way.
The product I am reviewing was purchased by me and for my own personal use. I receive absolutely no compensation of any form (cash, credit, discounts, promises) for reviewing this product. I have not contacted, nor have I been contacted by the vendor to provide this product review. The opinions expressed (good or bad) are my own, your mileage may vary.
OK…with the legal disclaimer out of the way, allow me to get started. Like many of you, I purchased the QualityWings 787 for P3D v4 within minutes of it being released. I’ve personally been anxious about this aircraft release from the time I first learned of it. However, I’ve often been critical of QualityWings for their decision to first release this aircraft for FSX and FSX: SE. But I’m also man enough to admit that I’m biased as I’ve not thought much about FSX since the early days of P3D v3.x and certainly have no interest in FSX now that the 64 bit P3D v4 is available and performing so well.
Study Level She’s Not
A question which is popping up just about everywhere has to do with whether or not the QW787 is a study level aircraft similar to any of the PMDG or FSLabs aircraft. For the record, I don’t currently own (nor will I ever) any FSLabs aircraft. The reason for this can be summed up here. But I do own the PMDG Boeing 737, 747 and 777 and enjoy flying each and every one of them. I can certainly confirm the QW787 can’t be compared to the likes of the PMDG Boeing lineup, but she’s still a joy to fly.
Study vs Quality
I make no bones about the fact that I’m NOT a real world pilot. I suppose some might wonder how I can spend over 35 years flying computer based sims, enjoy them passionately and not have any interest in real world aviation. Simply put, when I was younger and had more time, I didn’t have the money. A decade or so ago, I had the money…but just not enough time. Now days…well, as I’m older the cost of learning to fly is much more expensive and I suppose I just have a lot of other interests in my life. At least this is my story and I’m going to stick to it.
While others may see PMDG as a developer of study level aircraft, I see them as developers of quality simulation aircraft. Some folks might not see the difference between these two things…but I certainly do. As an example, I really have no idea if the PMDG 737 performs like the real thing. I believe it does as that’s what others say…but my only real experience comes from riding a few thousand miles a year in one for work related trips. Likewise, I have no idea if the PMDG 747 performs like the real thing. But from my point of view in my nice business class seat, I’ll just order another glass of wine and I’m a happy passenger.
The point I’m making here is while I do enjoy the level of detail and the tasks which must be carried out to be able to simulate flight in a PMDG 737, 747 or 777….I really have nothing to compare that to other than the fact that I appreciate the level of quality which goes into a PMDG aircraft. But I’m starting to digress and this article is reading more like a review of PMDG so let me get back on track. The QualityWings 787 Dreamliner at this point in time, is not study level and it’s also not on the same level of quality as that of the PMDG models I own. But I believe it can be.
I honestly can’t remember the last time I purchased a flight sim add-on aircraft which was 100% bug free on day of release. Most likely the reason I can’t remember is because in the history of flight simulation (and I have just about been around the entire time) no aircraft that I’m aware of has ever been released 100% bug free. Yes, the QW787 has a few bugs. Most that I’ve discovered I would classify as minor annoyances, but a few certainly qualify to be labeled and identified as major. Fortunately, I’ve personally not discovered anything I would label as a show-stopper. Here are a few of the bugs I’ve discovered.
ActiveSky and WX Radar CTD – When using both ActiveSky for P3D v4 (ASP4) and using the onboard wx radar features of the QW787, a CTD or Crash to Desktop can occur. While some may identify this as a show-stopper bug, the CTD can be avoided by simply not using the wx radar features. QW’s are aware of this and working on a fix. This is the only bug which has caused me any issues which I couldn’t overcome.
VNAV Issues – Some folks are experiencing various issues related to VNAV mostly during the descent.
LNAV Issues – Consisting of the aircraft attempting turns too early and/or overshooting turns altogether.
Altitude Constraints on SID/STARS – I’ve experienced both while flying the QW787.
If I’m not mistaken, Qualitywings have recognized these issues as bugs and are working on a fix. As of a few days ago, the ETA for the hotfix was in approx. 2 weeks.
I’m extremely happy with the purchase and I look forward to the hotfix patch which hopefully will resolve all the issues. I’ve spent several hours flying this beautiful aircraft on mostly short hops of no more than 2-3 hours. The QW787 Dreamliner is a new favorite in my hangar. I’ll leave you with a few recent images of this beautiful aircraft from some of my recent flights. I’ll also return with an updated post once the hotfix has been released. But if you are looking to add a Boeing 787 Dreamliner to your fleet for P3D v4, then look no further than the QualityWings version. I believe you’ll be pleased you did.
Ladies, Gentlemen and Children of all ages who absolutely love everything avgeek, the wait is over. Yes, QualityWings released their Prepar3d v4 version of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on Wednesday. Earlier in the week, news broke that QW had lifted the NDA (non-disclosure agreement) with their beta test team and images, videos and discussions began appearing all over the interwebz. The assumption was the QW787 release was imminent.
It’s been a long and winding road
According to my blog site search engine, the first mention of the QW 787 Dreamliner in any of my writings was back on 22 June 2017. Later in 2017 from a hotel room in Orlando, I followed up with my comments regarding the fact QW opted to release the 787 for FSX (boxed) and FSX: Steam Edition before any version of Prepar3D. This was somewhat of a head scratcher for me especially since P3D v4 had been out for about 5 months at this point and other aircraft developers (PMDG, A2A and others) had managed to release their aircraft which were originally developed for FSX and older versions of P3D with P3D v4 installers. But oh well…we would just have to be patient.
The Un-official Race
I’ll admit that over the years I’ve been slightly critical of QualityWings. I’m not the only one that has wondered “what the heck are these guys thinking” when it comes to the decisions they’ve made. I often speculated just how long it would take them to release their 787 for P3D v4 and even felt it would be well after Aerosoft released their Airbus A318/A319 & A320/A321 product for v4. I guess it’s a good thing that I didn’t actually wager any money against this bet, as I would have lost. The guys at QualityWings have beat Aerosoft by country mile. As I recently discussed, the Aerosoft busses won’t be released until 26 June. So congratulations QW.
Not a First Impressions Article
I’m going to wait a few days before I write my official “first impressions” piece. I feel I need some more time in the aircraft before I’m able to write a fair and balanced piece. But I’ll certainly share two screenshots and a bit of commentary from my inaugural flight last evening. I plan to spend some of this upcoming long, holiday weekend in the Dreamliner and will have a much better sense of just how good (or bad) this aircraft is. But I can tell you this much. My initial impression of this is QualityWings have lived up to using the word “Quality” in their brand. I’m impressed.
Cruising at FL360 enroute from KDFW to KDEN. As I’ve discussed before, I really don’t have the time to fly a lot of long-haul flights. So while the Dreamliner truly was designed for long-haul and even ultra long-haul flights, most of my use will most likely be fictional flights of no more than 2-3 hours in length.
The “Sporty” style of the B787 Flight Deck is impressive. While this aircraft shouldn’t be compared to a study level PMDG aircraft, it truly isn’t bad. There’s still enough work that needs to be done to ready this aircraft for flight to keep me 100% interested. I’m fairly confident, the QW 787 Dreamliner will get used often.
One Small Issue
Ok…well, perhaps it really isn’t that small. Especially considering I did experience a CTD (crash to desktop) on my inaugural flight. One flight, one CTD…I guess one could say it might be a bigger issue. But after reaching cruise altitude, I was messing about with the weather radar features and while doing so experienced the CTD. This was the first CTD I’ve ever experienced in P3D v4 and certainly the first CTD on the new Beast v5 gaming machine. But I see absolutely no reason to panic. I’m fairly certain this product will be like most others….there will be a few quirks that will get resolved in an update patch/fix soon.
The good news, I run auto-save via FSUIPC. FSUIPC performs an auto-save of my flight, complete with all aircraft configuration settings every 15 minutes. I was able to re-launch P3D and resume my flight (just like nothing ever happened) from the latest save.
OK…well I must get to work now. I quickly wrote this piece while easing into my Thursday morning in the office. The coffee is gone and I must go find more or today will be a long and difficult day.
Until next time….I’ll be dreaming of my next Dreamliner flight.
Hello to all. Life has been quite busy for me the past few months. I must apologize to my readers as in typical fashion, my busy schedule has had an impact on my blogging. It’s been several months since I posted an article to my blog and for that I must apologize. I had the best intentions of writing more and of course writing about flight simulation. After all, it was flight sim which caused me to create this blog site over 10 years ago.
As I write this, I’m sitting in my hotel room in Orlando, Florida where I’m on my third business trip in the past five weeks. I just got back from dinner (I’m stuffed), turned on the TV (boring) and decided to check my email. One of my long time readers messaged me asking if I had spent any time with the newly released QualityWings 787 Dreamliner and what my impressions were. Well…unfortunately, I had to answer his question with a short answer of no, followed by some additional comments I’m going to share here.
I believe the last time I wrote about the QualityWings 787 was back in June of this year. At that time I had read a Facebook message stating the aircraft was expected to be released in the Summer of 2017. Unfortunately, QualityWings missed their mark slightly. The season of summer came to an end on Friday, September 22nd and the QW Dreamliner was released in early October. Now I realize I’m being a bit cheeky with pointing this out….but details matter right? OK….perhaps not. The good news is the much anticipated QualityWings 787 Dreamliner is available, but the bad news…it’s only available for FSX!
Of course, we knew this would be the case and I even touched on that in my previously mentioned June blog post. QW explains this decision is due to the fact the 787 has been in development longer than Prepar3D v4 (or even v3 or v2) had been in existence. While I understand this fact, I must also mention that I’m of the opinion that QualityWings really have never fully embraced the Prepar3d P3D platform. While it is true they did FINALLY update their Boeing 757 for P3D v2.5…but their treatment of P3D could be likened to that of a “red headed step-child”.
While I fully realize many flight sim enthusiasts still fly FSX and FSX Steam Edition, surprisingly there appears to still be a large number of FS9 users….but I’m of the opinion that FSX (in all forms) is just simply dead. But I must again say that I don’t blame or fault QualityWings for releasing the Dreamliner for FSX. But I’m curious how long it will take them to bring this wonderful aircraft to P3D v4?
I know some might say, “but the QW development team is small” and “these things take time”. I get all that. But I will remind everyone that PMDG was able to update their older Boeing 737 NGX which was released in the 2011 timeframe (if I’m not mistaken). So in theory, the same can be said of PMDG that they began development on an aircraft prior to Prepar3D, but was still able to update/release the NGX for P3D v4 within a few weeks of release.
So….to answer my readers question. Unfortunately, when Prepar3D v4 was released earlier this year I made the decision to embrace it as my flight sim platform and I’ve not looked back to earlier P3D versions or FSX since and I don’t plan to.
But having said that. Just as soon as this beautiful aircraft is released for P3D v4.x, I will purchase it and I’m sure I’ll have more than a few things to say about it here.
I’m exhausted after a long day and ready to turn in. I’ll post this sometime on Wednesday or Thursday. So until next time….Happy Simming!
Could the wait be almost over? It certainly appears so. Looking back through my archives of blog articles, it appears the first time I mentioned the QualityWings Boeing 787 Dreamliner was way back in February of 2013, so yea….over four years ago. What I said back then (and I quote myself) “QualityWings Simulations currently has a Boeing 787 Dreamliner in development and if it is anything like their 757, I’ll certainly make the purchase pending it has the upgraded batteries”. Of course, the battery remark was referencing the issues Boeing had been experiencing during that timeframe on the real Dreamliner aircraft.
Anyway…according to this Facebook post directly from QualityWings, this awesome aircraft is expected to roll out of the QW Hangar sometime in the Summer of 2017. This truly is great news for those who are Boeing fans (like me) and are looking for a little variety.
FSX Rollout First
I suppose the news stating that initially the B787 will only be released for FSX doesn’t come as a big surprise. After all, with a development spanning over four years and their initial reluctance to support P3D….those still on FSX will get to have the first level of fun. But don’t fear…the QW787 will also be supported on FSX-SE (Steam Edition) and Lockheed Martin’s Prepar3D v4. Unfortunately there is no mention if they also plan to support the older P3D v3 (or even v2 for that matter). I would certainly hope QW would at least consider releasing and supporting it for P3D v3.
QualityWings have announced their QW787 will be sold separately for FSX (including SE) and P3D. This is become more and more common with add-on developers and the price will be $69.95 USD for each platform. Purchasing the product for FSX will not guarantee operation in P3D and vice versa. Finally, the QW787 will be sold through Flight1 and will include a 30 day refund policy.
More about the Dreamliner
Boeing announced the development of the 787 Dreamliner in 2003 and the first test flight occurred in late 2009 with the first production model being introduced in 2011. The Dreamliner is a long-haul, mid-size widebody, twin engine jet liner. It offers variants seating anywhere from 242 to 335 passengers in a typical three-class configuration. The Dreamliner is approx. 20% more fuel efficient than the Boeing 767 which it was intended to replace. Airlines are using the Dreamliner for both long-haul and shorter high-density routes.
Saying Goodbye to an old friend
With my move to Prepar3D v4 (and not looking back), it appears I’ll need to say goodbye to my old friend the QualityWings 757 as QW has no plans to make it available in P3D v4. At one point in time, the QW757 was my favorite aircraft. But much like the Level-D 767, they both really began to show their age in a post FSX world. Fortunately, according to the latest news from FSELITE, the folks behind the popular Level-D 767 have finally announced their 757-200 which is reported to be approx. 80% ready and in beta. Of course, time will tell just when and how this will be released. Rumors are also going around that Level-D is looking at what it would take to get their 767 into P3D v4.
My Hangar Needs
When (if) the QW787 is available for Prepar3D v4, it’ll fit in nicely with my PMDG Boeing 737NGX (800/900 and 600/700), Boeing 747-400 (Queen of the Skies II) and the wonderful Boeing 777 (200 and 300 variants).
As I just don’t have time for many long-haul flights, I would suspect I’ll use the Dreamliner in the shorter-haul high density passenger route configuration (2-4 hour) both in North America and Europe and continue using the 777 and 747 to simulate freighter operations across North America and Europe. My 737NGX will continue to be my workhorse.