Why I'd Pay Anything! 

Archive: September 15th, 2013

[Editorial] "Why I'd Pay Double/Triple/Anything for a PMDG 777 that Works in Prepar3d (or X Plane)"

I abandoned FSX late last year. I had bought a brand new computer specifically to use for FSX. It's powerful and can easily get it running at a high level of detail and info, the only thing not perfect being that I opted for an ATI graphics card rather than the recommend for FSX NVidia. I followed Nick's bible on set up and looked through Kosta's tweaks but kept things simple not wanting to create problems. I loaded up my PMDG's (I had all that had been released at that time) and set off to fly around my Orbx and FlyTampa scenery. About a month later following crash after fatal error after reinstall I decided to give up. I was spending more time fixing problems (75% tweaking vs 25% flying according to Pete Dowson sounds about right) than flying. 

You all know that soul destroying moment when you have spent 30 mins setting up a flight, 15 mins taxiing, getting clearance and then taking off only for FSX to decide to throw a fit and crash. You want to scream.

So I gave up. I followed PMDG's FSX uninstall guide, lost my favourite aircraft but ultimately I'd been fighting with FSX for years now, I couldn't stand it any more.

So what next? Someone pointed me to X Plane but it just didn't feel quite right - I can't put my finger on why. Someone then suggested I try Prepa3D so I bought an academic license. Booting things up (minus my beloved PMDG's) I found a rejigged FSX. Admittedly I couldn't load from a start screen (which is still an a£&e) and the graphics had been tweaked for the worst I thought - performance seemed better but honestly I don't think it's a beautiful as FSX for some reason. I installed my compatible scenery and some compatible aircraft and started flying again. Actually flying! What was this miracle? How had Lockheed Martin found this stability with the FSX code? It was brilliant and performed really well on my system and I was happy. It didn't crash, not once! Well once but that was during a power cut.

Scenery and aircraft have since come out that work with P3D and my system was set up well. But I was missing my PMDG's. The only aircraft (in my opinion) comparable in complexity (which is the type I prefer) has been Majestic's Dash 8. But it won't get me on a long haul flight like PMDG's 747 or MD-11. I have sat quietly pretending it doesn't matter but then the 777 came out. I tried to ignore it and the clamour and videos but it's been impossible. 

So I took the painful decision last week to buy a new hard drive for a fresh, separate, clean FSX installation specifically for the 777. I bought the 777 too. I vowed to do things right this time. A bare bones set up that couldn't possibly cause me problems. I would add FTX Global and a couple of their regions plus one or two Flight Beam and FlyTampa sceneries. But that would be it. Maybe I'd add the Airbus X (as I had struggled with this in P3D) but that would definitely be it. I followed Nicks guide to the letter. I didn't tweak any of the fsx.cfg other than what he said to do. I didn't bloat it with traffic or other add-ons other than FSUIPC. I wanted the 777 and if all was well there I would slowly add the other PMDG's in time.

With graphics set I loaded up FSX. The menu music played, my girlfriend rolled her eyes and I fired up the 777 at New Chitose Airport (not taxing scenery). Amazing! It looked amazing! I went in to set up the controls making sure all worked ok and took off. It worked! And then it didn't. Something went wrong, the controls disconnected (Windows 8 grrr) and I fell from the sky. Except I didn't as before I crashed FSX crashed. Here we go again I thought. My next flight was more successful and I did a hop over Japan. I really loved the 777 and FSX was behaving itself it seemed. The next couple seemed ok too, maybe all would be well.

Then something went awry with control settings. Auto throttles didn't work so I followed the forums solutions to make sure FSUiPC didn't calibrate them. That worked. For a while. Then I loaded up FSX without having changed anything since the last shutdown and now the text around the dials in the VC was blurry, Why?! How can FSX do this? Solutions were forthcoming (see my last posts on the support forums) and tweaking the graphics settings with RadeonPro (instead of NVidia Inspector) fixed things. But then FSX suddenly took a dislike to RadeonPro so I searched for a solution which suggested......and so it goes on. I was tweaking again but worse still, FSX was not playing ball again. 

Finally I gave up tweaking and set up my 777 for a hop across Australia. I left the blurry dials, I just wanted to fly. I programmed the FMC, started her up and taxied out. I lined up, advance throttles and took to the skies. Oops I caused a tail strike but we would ignore that. I was on track and settled back for a 3 hour flight. After reaching cruise I popped downstairs to get a drink (of water!) and that's when I heard the most awful noise. What the hell was that? I rushed back upstairs to find the OOM bing noise on repeated loop (it wasn't an OOM, just the noise) and FSX frozen. Nooooooo! As I reached to salvage something FSX laughed at me (I heard her) and restarted my computer, flight over. I couldn't believe it.

So here I am writing on this forum my tale of woe. I love you PMDG but I hate you FSX. Why can't you work for me? Granted I may be doing something basic wrong but I haven't got any more time in my life to try and figure out what it may be. It could be anything! So I'm abandoning a new hard drive, a new 777 and other PMDG's and loading up my P3D. Right now I'm cruising at 25,000ft in my Dash 8 and will be landing soon. I know I will land too. And takeoff the next time and land the next time. Because P3D works. I don't have the FSX crash fear anymore.

And that my friends is why I would pay anything to have my PMDG's working in P3D. I understand the EULA stance you've taken and respect your decision not to support P3D. I'm also sure there are some who have FSX flying (pun intended) beautifully with the 777 and to them I say good for you....as I cry into my water glass. None of this is PMDG's fault, it's FSX. It's old and needs updating and we all know that to get it working requires an investment of time and money. But I'm not doing it any more. My PMDG's will remain in storage in my hard disk hangar and that makes me sad. I will even try X Plane when PMDG move there but that is a long way off. So I repeat, that is why I would pay anything to have PMDG in P3D. It probably will never happen but if you do decide to give it a bash, let me know will you? I'll be waiting.

Rant over :-)

-James Long