If you are a fan of flight simulation, you may have heard of the PMDG 747-8 Queen of the Skies II, an expansion package for the PMDG 747-400 V3 base package. This add-on brings the latest and most advanced version of the Boeing 747 to your FSX or Prepar3D simulator, with stunning graphics, realistic systems, and immersive features. But is it worth buying Here is a review of what you can expect from this product.
Exterior and Interior
The PMDG 747-8 comes in two variants: the passenger version (747-8i) and the freighter version (747-8F). Both models have high-resolution textures, accurate animations, and dynamic lighting effects. You can choose from a variety of liveries, or create your own using the PMDG Operations Center. The exterior model also features PMDG Rainmaker, a new technology that simulates realistic rain effects on the windshield and windows.
The interior model is equally impressive, with a detailed cockpit that replicates every switch, knob, and display of the real aircraft. The cockpit also has a night lighting system that allows you to adjust the brightness and color of each panel. The passenger cabin is fully modeled as well, with 3D seats, galleys, and lavatories. You can even walk around the cabin using the camera controls.
Cockpit and Systems
The PMDG 747-8 is not just a pretty model, it is also a complex simulation of the real aircraft's systems and performance. The cockpit has a fully functional flight management computer (FMC) that allows you to plan and execute your flight plan, as well as an electronic flight bag (EFB) that provides useful information and tools such as charts, checklists, performance calculations, and more. The EFB also has an airport map feature that shows your position and taxiways on any airport in the world.
The systems simulation is very realistic and accurate, with custom-coded logic and physics for every component of the aircraft. You can experience the advanced features of the 747-8 such as the electronic checklist, the vertical situation display (VSD), the ACARS system, and more. The systems are also affected by failures, weather conditions, and maintenance status, so you have to be prepared for any situation.
To test the PMDG 747-8 in action, I decided to fly from London Heathrow (EGLL) to Frankfurt (EDDF), a short hop that would showcase some of the features of the aircraft. I started from a cold and dark state, following the normal procedures to power up and configure the aircraft. The startup process was smooth and easy, thanks to the EFB and electronic checklist. I entered my flight plan into the FMC, requested clearance from ATC, and pushed back from the gate.
The taxiing was smooth and responsive, with realistic sounds and vibrations. I used the airport map on the EFB to navigate to runway 27R, where I lined up and applied full thrust. The takeoff was exhilarating, with a powerful acceleration and a graceful rotation. I retracted the gear and flaps, engaged the autopilot, and climbed to my cruising altitude of FL350.
The flight was uneventful but enjoyable, with beautiful views of the scenery below. I used the VSD to monitor my vertical profile, and checked the ACARS messages for weather updates and company information. The aircraft handled very well, with a stable and smooth flight behavior. I also noticed that the fuel consumption was very realistic, matching the performance data of the real aircraft.
As I approached Frankfurt, I prepared for landing by setting up the FMC and EFB for my arrival. I selected runway 25L as my landing runway, and followed the STAR and ILS approach procedures. The descent was easy and accurate, with clear guidance from the FMC and VSD. I disengaged the autopilot at 1000 feet AGL, and hand-flew the final approach. The landing was smooth and gentle, with a nice flare and touchdown. I applied reverse thrust and brakes, exited the runway, and taxied to my 061ffe29dd