• Review: PMDG 777 Major Upgrade And 200 ER Expansion

    Review: PMDG 777 Major Upgrade And 200 ER Expansion

    By Alex Dickinson

    PMDG Boeing 777

    The classic PMDG 777 has (since its release back in 2013), proven to be a fan favourite with the flight simming community, and rightly so. However, myself and many other eager fans felt as if the product was starting to age, and as such wondered if it could benefit from some of the newer features found on PMDG's latest products. Well, it seems like our prayers were answered, as this major update and expansion pack brings together a whole host of improvements and new features to this airframe which should ultimately improve the users experience.

    It is important to add, that the update and expansion were released at the same time and are only available for P3DV4 and V5 users.

    PMDG Boeing 777     PMDG Boeing 777

    The -200ER Expansion

    The much anticipated 777-200ER expansion has brought the extended-range variant of the 777-200 into P3D. First entering service in 1997 with British Airways, the aircraft offers an additional 1825 nm range as compared to the standard -200 variants. PMDG has also modelled the aircraft with three different engines, and these are the Trent 800, PW 4070, and General Electric GE 90.

    PMDG Boeing 777     PMDG Boeing 777

    Each of the engines has been modelled accurately and each has its own respectable sound set included. All three-engines sound terrific and include accurate 3D audio and precise variations both internally and externally. PMDG has also paid close attention to detail into how each engine affects the aircraft, for example when using the Trent engines, PMDG have realistically added EPR gauges to the engine displays, a standard feature found with Rolls-Royce engines.

    Another feature with the expansion pack is the inclusion of an EFB, which comes with both a takeoff and landing calculator tool. This feature was highly welcomed as it meant that I no longer had to eyeball my derate and landing configuration figures. The result being, I was able to takeoff and land the plane more accurately.

    PMDG Boeing 777     PMDG Boeing 777

    Update Features

    It would be an understatement to say that PMDG has simply updated their 777, as there are so many things which have been completely overhauled. For starters, one of the most anticipated features has been the inclusion of PBR modelling to the exterior of the airframe. This has seriously improved the visual quality and gives the model a far more authentic look overall. PBR has been added to the fuselage, wings, undercarriage, engine, and trailing edge components. When it comes to the interior of the aircraft, you now have higher resolution displays for all the cockpit screens as well as some new equipment options, all of which look and work great. PMDG have also upgraded the fly-by-wire mechanics and this is certainly noticeable from a handling perspective, as the 777 feels a lot more like a fly-by-wire aircraft than before.

    PMDG Boeing 777     PMDG Boeing 777

    Users will also be excited to hear that the entire line of PMDG 777 products are now compatible with P3D V5. As well as this, PMDG have also included their ground animations feature. This is a nice alternative to GSX as it offers animations for ground vehicles such as cargo loaders, fuel trucks, water, and lavatory service vehicles.

    PMDG Boeing 777     PMDG Boeing 777

    Issues

    On the topic of GSX... this brings me onto the subject of issues. I have recently noticed that PMDG has stopped adding GSX profiles to their aircraft and this is something I find quite annoying as I hate having to make them myself. Doing so is quite time consuming, and often mine are far from perfect. Regrettably, the -200ER has this issue and my frustration has been shared by many others within the community. However, one silver lining is that I was able to copy the data for the base 200LR model and port it over to the 200ER, with the result that, whilst not perfect, it now works somewhat. Hopefully, over time I have no doubt that others in the community will release profiles, but with the amount of money I paid, I would have expected to see a profile included as standard.

    PMDG Boeing 777     PMDG Boeing 777

    Conclusion

    The update alone is worthy of a lot of praise, as it has added so much to the airframe. If that was not enough, PMDG have stated that they are also working on a cockpit overhaul, so this is something I cannot wait to see. Compared with the previous flying experience, the update has really given new life to the model and adds even greater realism and authenticity.

    The expansion brings even more immersion to the 777 by adding the last remaining variants of the product line. With fantastic attention to detail, great sound, and lots of features, it certainly does live up to the high expectations and high quality we expect from PMDG.

    Alex Dickinson

    PMDG 777 Base Package
    PMDG 777-200er Expansion


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