The reason is simple, it's a perfect add-on, no bugs, no ridiculous fighter-style pitching or banking. Moreover, it's very easy on resources, has an excellent auto-flight and FMC. It's just pure pleasure, load it up and have fun. If you have watched a 737NG cockpit video you will notice that this add-on matches the real thing outstandingly.
Also, bear in mind that this aircraft was done a few years ago, yet it still feels much newer than most of what's on the market...Bravo PMDG!
This flight is Air Europa UX 3182 (fictional) from Palma de Mallorca, Spain (LEPA) to Lyon, France (LFLL) which is around 420NM taking an hour and a half today. I decided to fly with a heavy load considering this is a tourist haul with all the luggage and stuff bought in Palma. Shopping is always a pleasure on holidays. LEPA scenery is the old Aerosoft version and LFLL is a good freeware done by some french guy.
ZFW was roughly 132K lbs with a fuel load of 15K lbs. Note that the 737-800 has a Max ZFW of 136K lbs.
After calculation, rotation speed (Vr) was 140KTS.
LEPA MEROS UN853 LUMAS UM976 MTL LFLL
The winds at Palma were blowing from the Northeast, 052/9 with few clouds at 2000 and broken at 4500. The visibility was 6 miles and the temperature a warm 22C. All this indicates that a runway 06R take-off and a Meros 3B will be on the menu. This SID is pretty much straight forward so no fancy turns on climb up to cruise altitude of 32000 feet.
Here I am parked at the gate. The huge winglets on this airplane go very well with it's low fuselage, it kind of looks like a sports car, unlike the "Bus" which looks rather like a family saloon.
There was a lot of traffic at LEPA, probably because of the tourist season, I had a hard time trying to cut in and get taxi clearance from the ATC. Busy airports can be a pain in the ass in flight sim with all the radio chatter and AI traffic but thanks to WOAI it's a joy to watch them on the apron.
Here this Iberia A321 is off to mainland Spain. Call me crazy but I love watching the AI line up and take-off. As you might know WOAI runs real world schedules so you would probably see this Iberia flight if you were at Palma at that time.
After a long take-off roll I had mild turbulence on the initial climb.
Climbing into the clouds, beautiful.
I selected a derated take-off as you can see in the picture. You really don't need all that thrust.
Nice view of Mallorca on the left side.
I checked the winds for my cruise altitude before my flight and just as Jeppesen forecasted, there was a strong headwind, arrrgghhh
I had some mild turbulence too with the occasionnal "juice spiller"
After passing over the bustling city of Marseille I started my descent into St. Exupery airport.
Planned arrival was MTL1 which is a straight line from the MTL VOR to the initial approach fix (IAF) of runway 36R. This saves time, I hate those long downwind legs!
Weather at Lyon was windy from the North, 356/16, with few clouds at 1600, 6 mile visibility and a temperature of 17C. Perfect for a runway 36R landing, "Nickel" as the french say.
Intercepting the localizer for runway 36R, flaps5, keep an eye on the glide slope indicator.
In some add-on aircraft, localizer and glide slope intercept is shitty, it's very violent, the aircraft banks sharply as it struggles to intercept the horizontal beam or pitches suddenly to grab the vertical one. In the PMDG both are very smooth, you can notice it in the above shot.
If you take a look at Air Europa cockpit pictures on airliners.net you will notice that they do a lot of flaps 40 landings, company procedure...?
In the NG, if the visibility is clear I usually disconnect the A/P and A/T at the "1000" callout. It's a joy to handfly this aircraft, playing around with the trim.
On very short final 36R, flaring is trickier with flaps 40...The runway is 8750 feet. Gotta love the high Vref attitude of this airplane.
At the gate in Lyon. The Transat A310 is pushing back for it's long trip across the pond.
Comments are most welcome
Thanks for viewing.