Welcome to the wonderful world of PMDG. For those who are new to the flight simulation world, this is a wonderful pay ware aircraft you will be able to fly with the use of talking flight monitor and a lot of patience, plus a flight stick, or Xbox controller. I won’t walk through setting up the flight sticks or Xbox controllers as that is not my expertise, however you can join our discord, see the home page for more info located in the nav bar.

ON this page you will find resources which can be also accessed via the navbar. There will be info on set up, and recommended tools which will be updated as time goes by.

I wanna fly this thing. What do I need?

You will need the pmdg airplane of course which you can get from pmdg’s website. you will also need, at least at the time of this writing, a program called “flight simulator first officer professional” which you can get from simMarket. I assume you already have a weather app, if not that’s fine, all in time. You won’t need it for a while, nor will you need the navigraph subscription, even though those are highly recommended.

The CDU and its layout

I will try my best to describe the layout. Don’t feel bad if you cannot understand how things work, you will get the hang of things, and it will be like muscle memory after the first 30 or so flights. I have over 200 hours in the 737, and I still every once in a while forget to do something, so do not feel bad. You can view my YouTube playlists for proof of that.

Picture a 2 by 6 grid or, a table with 2 columns (sometimes 3, but the middle can’t be edited) and 6 rows. This is your CDU. The two columns which can be edited are on the left and right of the table. I will call these lsk and rsk for left soft key and right soft key. For those of you who are maybe 30 and older, you might remember simbion. Think of the CDU as an operating system that is similar to simbion. For space sake I will not be putting the tables here. doing this will turn the page into a mess. Ther are a few tings you should know first before taking off.

What to know

To activate the buttons you will either use f1 to 12, or control plus f1 to control plus f6 for rsk and f1 to f6 for lsk. I prefer the f1 to f12. This can be changed in tfm’s settings under the category “PMDG.”

To enter items into the scratch pad you can either tab to the edit field, enter the information requested and copy it to lsk or rsk by hitting the corresponding key. Or, going into your simulator, holding down the tab key (think of it like shift, or the deadman’s switch you can’t let go of on a train) and enter in the data, alt tab back to the CDU window and copy it into the lsk or rsk needed. I prefer the first way personally.

That first flight

I’ve gathered some notes produced by a colleague of mine, and edited them for clarity. Thanks Tylor for those. I also added some notations to the document in case there was more than one method, or if something needed to be explained. This document is quite long, about 5 pages in length. I recommend you, the end user of this document, to work your way through the notes very slowly the first time. Don’t’ worry about taking off and hitting the skies, just understand what the interface will look like. Then take a break, and go grab some dinner. Now head off to the first flight page. Good luck. After that you can learn how to do a diversion when ready.