In week 15 of the PMDG 737 rebuild series, we covered the warnings segment of the glare shield, the new 22.9.1 preview build, upcoming Navigraph support, and potential areas of need such as comms and navigation panels. This week, we will focus on the MCP (autopilot). The TFM installer will make a brief appearance as well.
In the current builds of TFM, the MCP is split into major segments such as speed, vertical speed, heading, and altitude. You can access these segments by pressing various keys on the keyboard. For example, left bracket ([), then SHIFT+S brings up the MCP speed controls. In the MCP speed box, you will find various controls related to speed. Most of them relate to the autopilot speed controls, but not always is this the case. In the new MCP boxes, you will find more controls, especially the speed box. Before we get into the controls found on the MCP boxes, I will let everyone know that some features of the MCP/autopilot is not yet finished. We still have to connect the MCP to the glare shield, then validate that the altitude, vertical speed, and heading boxes work as expected. Now, on with the features of the MCP and its controls.
The speed box controls horizontal speed. You can set indicated airspeed, mach speed, and more in the speed box. A few new additions to the PMDG 737 MCP speed controls include the autobrake, speed brake, and spoilers A and B. Below are the keyboard shortcuts for the speed box controls. To use the speed box, while TFM is running, press left bracket ([), then SHIFT+S.
ALT+E – Speed entry field. Enter speed and press ENTER to change.
ALT+I – Intervene button. Turns speed intervene on/off.
ALT+C – Change over button. Changes between mach and indicated air speed.
ALT+U – Autothrottle button. Turns autothrottle on/off.
ALT+L – N1 set selector button. Changes N1 modes between 2, 1, both, or auto.
ALT+N – N1 button. Turns N1 on/off.
ALT+S – Speed button. Turns speed hold on/off.
ALT+A – Spoiler A button. Turns spoiler A on/off.
ALT+B – Spoiler B button. Turns spoiler B on/off.
ALT+K – Speed brake. Use the following keys while the speed brake has focus.
- O – Off
- A – Armed
- H – 50% deployed.
- F – Flight detent. Never exceed this in flight, especially descent.
- U – 100% deployed.
- Minus (-) – Decrease by small amount.
- Plus (+) – Increase by small amount.
ALT+T – Autobrake. Use the following keys while autobrake has focus.
- R – RTO.
- -O – Off
- – D – Disarm
- 1 – Autobrake 1.
- 2 – Autobrake 2.
- 3 – Autobrake 3.
ALT+1 – Overspeed
ALT+2 – Underspeed.
ALT+3 – Autothrottle
ALT+4 – N1.
ALT+5 – Speed hold.
ALT+6 – Speed brake armed.
ALT+7 – Speed brake extended.
ALT+8 – Do not arm speed brake.
ALT+9 – Autobrake disarm.
The MCP heading is self-explanatory, so we will go over the keyboard shortcuts below. To open the MCP heading box: While TFM is running, press left bracket ([), then SHIFT+H.
ALT+E – Heading entry. Type a new heading and press ENTER.
ALT+H – Heading select button. Turns on/off heading select.
ALT+L – Lnav button. Turns LNav on/off.
ALT+1 – Heading select indicator. Indicates if heading select is on/off.
Vertical speed box
You can open the vertical speed box while TFM is open by pressing left bracket ([), then SHIFT+V. The keyboard shortcuts are below.
ALT+E – Vertical speed entry. Enter speed then press ENTER.
ALT+V – Vertical speed button. Turns vertical speed mode on/off.
ALT+1 – Vertical speed light. Indicates if vertical speed mode is on/off.
We don’t have the keyboard shortcuts for the new altitude box yet. The next blog post in the PMDG 737 rebuild series will cover them.
TFM is going to start using a new installer in preparation for Navigraph support. Not only will the new installer satisfy some Navigraph technical requirements, it is easier to use. As it stands, the next preview build will use the new installer.
Testing the PMDG 737 systems
We have the ability to implement 737 system tests into TFM. The consequence of doing so would scatter system tests all over the panels, making it difficult to track down. Once the panels are complete, we are going to create a tests panel that holds all of the system tests. This way they are easy to find.
In this post we covered most of the MCP/autopilot segments. We introduced you to their keyboard shortcuts, new features, and explained that some controls on the MCP boxes aren’t always related to the MCP. Next week, we will cover the remaining parts of the MCP, answer any questions that might arise, and look forward to the forward panel. If you wish to contact us, feel free to fill out the form on the contact us page. We will get back with you as soon as possible. If you want to report a bug or submit a new feature request, press right bracket (]), then CONTROL+SHIFT+I while TFM is running. Make sure you fill out the bug report form as accurately as possible. We will see you next week.