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  1. #1
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    Cleared for takeoff

    Hi all,

    after desktop-simming for years on PMDG's 747-400X, I have progressively started building a cockpit, and researching on the web. I evidently found mycockpit and have been reading it silently for quite some time now.

    I am building a 777 cockpit and, after spending much time planning, reading lots of forums, website of other builders, budget making, negociating with the wife,... I have now come to the point where I need to choose the software if I want to move on, as some parts (MCP,...) have already arrived.

    The question is therefore PM or SimA ?

    Some of you seem to have owned or at least tried both (Westozy ?), and to be very enthusiastic about SimA (or PM for others) so your insight would be invaluable : what do you think of both, pros and cons ? Which one would you recommend and why ? Why be so enthusiastic about SimA for some of you ?

    Many thanks in advance, glod to join this community of passion

    Emmanuel

  2. #2
    500+ This must be a daytime job Sean Nixon's Avatar
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    Re: Cleared for takeoff

    Hi Emmanuel, welcome to the forum.

    PM -v- Sim-A can be a bit like Boeing -v- Airbus at times. PM set the standard, and others, Sim-A among them, are catching up fast.

    I'm a PM user myself, but have flown sims using Sim-A. 90% of the time, both seem almost identical. But the newer programs are trying to dislodge PM by adding more features and functionality. It's upto PM to make sure they stay in the race. This can only be good for us sim-builders.

    Your choice of software may be decided by your choice of aircraft. As far as I'm aware, only one of the two programs you're discussing is 777 specific.

    Be sure to try the somewhat limited time limited, area limited demo's. It's almost impossible to decide where to spend your $$$ given 10 minutes flying in an unfamiliar area (software vendors please note)!

    Sean

  3. #3
    25+ Posting Member Bug738's Avatar
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    Re: Cleared for takeoff

    Hi Emmanuel,

    first I would also like to welcome you at Mycockpit.org.

    Although I've no experience with PM as an owner, I am owning and using Sim-A for some time now. It's constantly developing and the support is quite good. The main advantage for a 777 builder like you is that it was originally intended for this plane and the simulation is already very advanced. However, the 737 version (which I am using) is also on a very high standard. So from a technical point of view I can highly recommend it this solution.

    The price is a totally different story today. I was lucky enough to buy the software when it was still in the introduction phase so I've got the complete package for both planes for this great price. The new prices after the merge with FDS are on the same level as PM, so there seems to be no real advantage for Sim-A any more.

    If you have any more detailed questions on Sim-A feel free to ask or just have a look on their forum.

    Best regards,
    Michael
    B738: 3,892 orders and counting...
    My cockpit building blog can be visited here.

  4. #4
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    Re: Cleared for takeoff

    Hi all,
    sorry to have taken so long to reply, I've been burried with work.

    First and foremost, many thanks for the warm welcome and info sharing ! I can indeed imagin that PM/SimA can be like A/B

    I have been reading as much as possible on both, and still can't decide as honestly it is difficult to really quantify the differences. I'll try the demos though.
    Here is what I gathered, please feel free to correct me or to underline what is true or false according to YOUR experience :

    1) both are top notch according to most users
    2) however PM seems more bugged than SimA (which doesn't mean that SimA is bug free: which software is ?). I read lots and lots of complains about bugs in PM, either here, or on other cockpit builder's forums. Especially with the LNAV/VNAV following, and VNAV descent anticipation. On the contrary, very few bug complains with SimA. How do you feel about that ?
    3) PM seems on the other hand to have a larger support community, which helps finding solutions when the soft creator themselves don't answer. Did this help you ?
    4) PM creators seem to ignore and not answer most of the time whereas Mark and Peter Cos seem very responsive and listening to customers.
    5) PM is written in an old language (Visual Basic if I am not mistaken), therefore being slow and heavy, meaning it still requires several secondary computers for it to run wmoothly, whereas SimA seems written in a modern way and requires only one (strong but one) secondary PC to run smoothly.
    6) PM boeing GC is 737,767,747,777 whereas SimA is only 777 and 737
    7) One BIG problem for me : there is an instructor station and failure simulation unit in PM and there is no such thing in SimA. This is a real drawback for me with SimA as I am used to working with a (low) level of random failures and believe it is part of simming : I know my computer is capable of flying on its own from Paris to KJFK. But then, where's the fun ? Whereas if I know there is always the possibility of a failure, my presence becomes necessary. Not to mention pax problems set at random too. And I do enjoy failure training from time to time (any kind). So no instructor station/failure simulation in SimA is really a big problem for me.
    8 ) as Michael said, prices are almost the same now, so not an issue really, even if SimA is still a little bit cheaper
    9) Support : it seems PM has been waking up a bit lately from what I have read. After some time without any development they have started again with updates on the Boeing side. Did this really make important changes ? Do you PM users feel a change of behaviour here ? SimA seems to be updating more slowly as Mark is alone, but more steadily. Am I wrong here ?
    10) there is no flight model that comes with PM and you have to create your own, and AFAIK there is no really realistic one for 777 in FSX available, whereas SimA comes with a realistic flight model for FSX. As I like to handfly as much as possible after takeoff and during approach (not to mention regular circuit patterns training and failure training) this is important to me as well : having a plane behaving as realistically as possible.

    Well that's about it. How do you feel about the above ?

    Many thanks again for such a warm welcome
    cheers

    Emmanuel

  5. #5
    25+ Posting Member Bug738's Avatar
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    Re: Cleared for takeoff

    Hi Emmanuel,

    since I know only SA, I can only comment on your SA related remarks.

    1) totally agreed, regarding SA
    2) there are also bugs or some missing features in SA, but they are normally quite fast in dealing with it
    3) the SA forum is also active but I have to agree that the number of clients seems to be significantly less than for PM
    4) my only PM experience was simply no answer when I asked some questions about their product during my software selection process more than two years ago, but this may have changed today
    7) that's correct and still a big issue for SA (and it has been announced for some time now)
    9) regular improvements are the rule with SA, since the FDS merger Mark could more focus on the development
    10) either this is a new feature for SA or you are wrong regarding the flight model from SA, as far as I know, no flight model is part of the SA package "only" a complete system simulation

    Best regards,
    Michael
    B738: 3,892 orders and counting...
    My cockpit building blog can be visited here.

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