The PMDG Boeing 737 is probably the most anticipated aircraft for MSFS since it was released back in August 2020. We’re inching closer to the launch as the days go by, but we don’t have an exact date just yet. There were some hints last week that the launch date might be revealed by this time but, instead, PMDG has begun publishing a video series of the aircraft, looking to prepare simmers for the experience ahead once the 737 finally becomes available.
In another development update from PMDG’s Robert Randazzo, we learn that the team is now evaluating whether Sim Update 9, currently scheduled for release later this month, will have an impact on the stability of the product. It seems the release date is being planned around this evaluation, so we’re likely to see the 737 landing in MSFS sometime in May. That’s our current guess, anyway. Remember that the 737-700 will be the first variant to be released, to be followed by the -600, -800, and -900, in this order, about six weeks apart. It will be a summer full of 737s!
While we continue to wait for the release date to be disclosed, Robert Randazzo is starting to fulfil his promise of launching a series of videos about the product, which should prove to be very useful for new and old users of the PMDG 737. The first three videos of this series have been published today on PMDG’s Youtube channel, introducing viewers to several key factors to be aware off before taking flight in the 737. Additional videos should now be uploaded regularly, so stay tuned for new additions over the next few days showing the aircraft in more detail.
If you’re familiar with the DC-6 videos, then prepare for something a little different regarding the 737. While, in the case of the DC-6, PMDG was looking to educate simmers on how to operate the aircraft, the strategy will be a little different this time, because Randazzo feels that the 737 is a much more known airplane, with plenty of savvy content creators that are very familiar with the airframe and even operate it in the real world, so he’s leaving the more educational materials for those beloved folks.
Instead, this series of videos about the 737 for MSFS will be focused on giving more details about the depth of the airplane. PMDG hopes to get new customers acquainted with the “PMDG experience” in Flight Simulator, with all the customizations and simulation nuances that come with it. For example, there will be a video showing how to turn on and operate the head-up-display, another one totally dedicated to the failures system, or a video about the differences between a one-battery and a two-battery airplane. That’s the sort of content that you should expect from this series of videos.
These videos start with the 737 parked in Renton Airport, a very appropriate location considering that every single 737 is born there in Boeing’s factory. It’s also a location that has been beautifully rendered for MSFS by Drzewiecki Design. From then on… not much of the aircraft can be seen. However, there’s some useful advice to consider after installing the aircraft. First, Randazzo advises not to use the built-in MSFS payload and fuel manager, as well as the failures system. Those features will be handled directly in the aircraft, with more videos coming later to explain this functionality.
Furthermore, note that the 737 will take a considerable time to load (more than 10 minutes), upon the first launch of each airplane type (passenger, cargo, or BBJ versions). This is to be expected as MSFS makes the necessary optimizations whenever a complex airplane such as this is first launched. Subsequent loading times should be much shorter. We’ve seen this same thing happen with the Aerosoft CRJ, for example.
Finally the third video deals with the usefulness of the PMDG Operations Center. It’s a tool that will be installed along the 737, enabling the selection of several customization features for each and every airplane variant. For example, the combination of winglet styles with detailed liveries from known operators of the aircraft. This will be the place where simmers will customize the package to their liking, before heading to the simulator itself and flying the desired airframe selection.
Make sure to check PMDG’s Youtube channel to watch these first three videos. New ones should arrive soon, hopefully starting to showcase those unique features of the PMDG 737 and how to best take advantage of them for a full simulation of this aircraft! In the meantime, we’ll be eargerly waiting for that release date!