Checklist for Boeing 747-8i and 787-10 Planes - Cold and Dark Only*

All - Here is my cheklist on 747 as title says. Moderator please move to tutorial if deemed worthy. The pictures did not come over.

Steps to take: NOTE: if you start plane at active runway, your systems will be on, engines running etc. You will have to review all the things you setup in World Map, so it would be better from time standpoint to either be at a gate or a Heavy Ramp Parking Area, plus this is a cold and dark checklist. Setup your departure and arrival (SIDS and STARS – IFR/GPS, which Runway going to land on, etc.) in the World Map of the Simulator. It will send all pertinent information to the FMS and the autopilot system. Tweaking can be done in the FMS (the FMC is actually the computer underneath the FMS which you program using the FMS display), which will change the parameters of what the auto pilot does.

The test routes I have used are:

KBNA (Nashville, TN, as Nashville, has less traffic, and so it will be easier to input or check for all this stuff) to KOMA (Omaha, NB International Airport). For the KBNA/KOMA route choose the Pawnee City one arrival, since this brings you in from the south going to the north, in harmony with ILS RWY 32L or R to keep maneuvers to minimum.

KATL to KCVG which also worked fine, you can choose SID/STAR you want.

KCVG to KVCG-Setup up ILS RW for landing, let sim choose SID, but used HARDU05 arrival for ILS 36R.

The flight lasts about 120+ minutes or so. It will take you longer to review all the information you setup, so plan on at least 2.5+ hours or more for complete flight & preparation. SU6 updated MSFS and is way more stable and NAV/AP works much improved. Both VNAV and LNAV vastly improved to the point the 747 stayed right on course once they were selected. Try these or one you especially like.

Check the FMS anyway to make sure it’s got the correct data so you can land etc. Check Radio frequencies to make sure they are correct; you get that data from approach plate for specific airport runway selected. I have SID’s and STAR’s and Approach plate for selected departures and ILS runway arrival, minimized at bottom of screen so it can be referenced while in flight. Currently, MSFS does not list or fly over all the waypoints on the STAR, so it’s a handy reference to make sure you are on the correct route. Still, lots of bugs in ATC system. Real pilot would have all on paper, so print them out might be option, then have for later reference, rarely do they change much. NOTAMS are issued as needed, and all Approach plates, SID’s and STARs are updated every 90 days, if emergency situation as needed. Verify – ILS Frequency is IN FMS, and correct landing heading also, see NAV-RAD button on FMS.

747 – Cold &Dark: Plane is at parking Heavy area of the (KBNA-your selection) - airport, everything is off. Parking brake is set. MSFS upon open sets parking brake on all Aircraft. Easier to bind Joystick button to set/release PB.

☐ - 01. Standby Power Switch Knob – turn and set to auto. Located upper panel above Pilot Position.

☐ - 02. Turn Battery Master Switch to On. Click on door, opens, click on switch-on, close door.

☐ - 03. Turn on External Power switches – Two of them. MSFS provides external power at ramp/gate.

☐ - 04. At this point, you have power to check the FMS this checklist moves to that point.

FMS Checklist – You will come back to 747/787 Startup Checklist after completing all steps here.

*Boeing 747/787 FMS setup and configure-Using Flt Plan KBNA Nashville, TN to KOMA, Omaha, NB for reference-*From Step 4 above.

☐ - 01. On FMS, INT REF is the button to get main index on screen. It then shows all relevant pages, next page takes you to the next page in the area you are working in if more than one page. All the soft keys are in area known as the “Line Select Keys” in some tutorials. FWIW-The Boeing FMS/FMC is different than the one in Airbus or other planes so equipped. This would work in 737-all models/747/777/787/C-17GMIII and other Boeing planes equipped with this FMS/FMC in MSFS-2020.

☐ - 02. The plane needs to know where it is, it loses that info upon power shutdown. The exact location on earth, using #01 above to get to index, then click on key to right of POS (soft key). This takes you to the page where you need to tell AC where it is. Click on the GPS Soft Key, this puts position known into the scratch pad at bottom of screen. Now click on the “Set INIT Pos” soft key, this pastes the scratch pad into FMC so it knows where plane is really located. NOTE: Some buttons on this FMC are NOT WORKING, not bug, have not been enabled in sim.

☐ - 03. Assuming you used the world map to setup your departure and arrival locations, plus ILS/GPS routes, and selected your level of flight ILS Low Level/ILS High Level airways, then all or most of this data is now loaded into the FMS (and really stored in the FMC). In real world, Company would have sent plane the data, based on pilots (your) Flight Plan preparation. Regardless, the FMS has most of what is needed for this to work properly.

☐ - 04. Since you are still on the “POS Init page”, you need to enter the Ref Airport, i.e., Airport where you are at, i.e., KBNA. You also need to put in the arrival airport, i.e., KOMA. Use key RTE page and make sure arrival location is listed. You use the keypad entering the letters and or numbers which puts that into scratch pad area, pushing the correct soft key pastes that info into the desired field. I did NOT use the EXEC key, because it was not green indicating I needed too. If you create Flight plan in this unit directly, the EXEC key would light up green indicating you need to push it, so all the data is stored in FMC and displayed in FMS.

☐ - 05. If necessary to plan routes (which should be in FMC now) and waypoints, you would then push the “next page” button, and enter that data on that screen. Not sure if World Map inputs all the VOR’s/Airways and reference points in correctly. However, the plane knows the waypoints and flies to them.

☐ - 06. Before you exit this section – VERIFY-ILS Runway arrival, the Frequency of the ILS, and make sure that data is in the FMC. To verify ILS Frequency/Runway push the NAV/RAD button on main panel of FMS, that frequency and Runway selection should be there. Check against the Real Approach Plate.

Continuation of Boeing 747-8i/787-10 Checklist.

☐ - 05. On AP Panel enter your airspeed, i.e., under 10,000 feet, not over 250 KIAS.

☐ - 06. Set your Departure altitude, i.e., ATC will assign an altitude for departure climb out, put that number in here, and upon new one from ATC put that one in. In World Map, it you look at “Flight Plan” it will show you highest altitude sim has chosen for you, note that number, so you know what is going on. If flight is not long (less than 500 miles) I change it too 35 – 37,000 feet. ATC never gets you down low enough for proper approach to Runway at destination, this gives the system a change to get it close.

☐ - 07. Turn on Flight Director Switch, if not on already. Mine is always on.

☐ - 08. Start APU - Overhead Panel-Using mouse, drag to on, and then hold over to start for 3-5 seconds or so. Go outside aircraft to rear and verify it’s running. See Picture-No pictures

☐ - 09. Turn on APU Generators – Both of them, the lights will be lit when enough power is available. See Picture above-no pictures.

☒ - 10. Turn on Beacon button, and then strobe, and other Navigation Lights. See Picture Below-no pictures.

☐ - 11. When Beacon is ON, it tells ground crew to clear area – Push back can be done via ATC window or the key combination Shift + P. I have Joystick button enabled to “pushback plane”. Push second time stops process. BUG-Sim ground crew never moves out of the way, nor clears equipment.

☐ - 12. Once plane has cleared the parking area, you can now start engines. Turn on fuel pumps for engine #4, on the overhead, before starting each engine turn on associated pumps, total pumps about 12 of them.

☐ - 13. In 747 - Using mouse, pull engine 4 start button out. Watch TCIS screen until #4 is reading 0.2, then on throttle quadrant on center console open the fuel selector for #4 engine. Watch “start button” on the overhead when it pops in, do same for Engine 3, same for Engine 2 and same for engine 1. Once they are started. Make sure generators on all engines are “on” overhead panel lit on. Sequence of Start is: start 4, then 3, then 2, then 1. In 787, start 2 then 1. Assumed-Why, hydraulic pumps and generators are different on each. Since 787 is one huge electrical user, assumed both are large and put out lots of power. Engine #01 has hydraulic pump pressure for system and brakes. See Picture Below-no pictures.

☐ - 14. Turn off APU and the APU generators. Once all engines are running do next step.

☐ - 15. Taxi Lights on (rest of lights), and set flaps to 10 degrees. In real world, pilots only deploy flaps going down taxiway, prior to arrival at runway threshold.

☐ - 16. Get taxi clearance and start to taxi. Hold Short at Runway Threshold RED markers. Set your flaps to the FMC recommended angle, I use full flaps just makes it easier to remember, this will raise your TO speed, and the VR speed. You can check FMC and see what it now is.

☐ - 17. Set auto brake knob to active.

☐ - 18. Contact ATC get T/O Permission, look both ways before entering Runway for takeoff.

Some notes, the FMS will have your V1 and VR speeds in it, you need to know when to rotate and do it shallow, don’t want to scrape tail. Although Computer Voice will announce V1 and VR too, but using full flaps, will be different. Using full flaps, will change V1 and VR. Once airborne, increase climb angle and raise gear. You can retract flaps based on FMS or just use judgement, it aint check ride.

ATC will keep you on runway heading for a while. This allows you time to get Altitude and your Airspeed entered into Autopilot Panel, set auto throttle and turn on the master AP CMD button pilots left one. You can now take time to check route on screen. Once the plane is stable, turn on LNAV and VNAV, plane will almost immediately increase speed, pitch nose up and start turning to get the course as programed into FMS for route to destination and climb to initial ATC departure altitude. Sometimes, World Map, creates Flight Plan, but it never gets to the “Map” page fully, but it tries to take plane to closest point of the route and then will follow route once it gets to it. I had this happen on my second flight, after I had to restart. There are lots of bugs in the World Map, and the ATC/AP systems, some of them have been fixed in SU-06 to some degree, not perfect.

You now can ask FA for cup of coffee, most of the work is done for now. Setting AP and associated buttons up will require a study of the proper procedure, and maybe this is close, NOT STUDY LEVEL. I have verified this checklist works for my plane. FWIW-I tested this three times, for different conditions (night) or TO/LDG locations. It works for me. Keep your approach arrival airspeed to no less than 155 KIAS, control of airplane is impossible less than that mostly. Arming Spoilers will help slow down plane on runway, or manually engaging them upon touchdown, then reverse thrust. I would practice landing this big thing many times, as it’s not a F-14.

The checklist as provided by Asobo in MSFS does not do all these steps, many steps missing. That is why I made this one as closer to the real thing, as far as simulator goes. Once study level aircraft are released, that procedure will expand, I’m sure. If you want to see involved start up, watch the 787 quality wings from cold and dark to Ready for takeoff video with below link.

*NOTE: This procedure will take you to the desired destination airport and assist you in landing the plane. Some caveats, 1) Upon arrival at final approach, you must engage the APP (approach) mode on autopilot, by pushing button on AP. 2) You also should change the display (knob on dash) to APP so you see the vertical and horizontal lines on the display and how close you are to the LOC/ILS path. 3) I personally take over complete control of plane at least two miles from touchdown, making sure I did not forget landing gear and full flaps. 4)To do this, you must turn off Auto Throttle, Flight Director, and the AP system, it still may not go off, so pull the bar under the Switch. If you forget, the plane will not slow down, and may try to take off again.

A suggestion, go to PMDY, (Midway Island), and practice TO and LDG there. You can setup up an RNAV approach and the plane will fly it, and try to land. But better if you as pilot learn how it handles, and attempt to do approach and landing. I believe at least 10 attempts and success will help you learn how this plane currently works in MSFS. Hopefully Study Level Planes will make this more real and more exciting.

There is a whole lot more to the FMS/FMC device, watch the referenced videos to learn all there is to know. If you are X-Plane User, there is an excellent 40-page tutorial on the FMS/FMC contained in the files of that sim. It works perfectly in Boeing A/C.

Setting up Auto Pilot for B787-10 – Both planes use same buttons/device etc. Similar power startup as well.

Referenced Videos: - The links will take you to the Creators Page and it’s referenced Video – These folks really get the process they are describing – Some are real world pilots.

Boeing 747 C&D: (1) [MSFS] Boeing 747-8i Startup Tutorial|Drawyah - YouTube – Excellent

Boeing 747 AP: (1) FS2020 - Boeing 747-8 Autopilot Tutorial - YouTube – Most involved-real pilot doing this. P. Gatcomb.

Boeing 747 AP: (1) Microsoft Flight Simulator | B747-8 Basic Autopilot Tutorial (inc. VNAV) - YouTube

Boeing 787 C&D: (1) [MSFS] Boeing 787-10 Startup Tutorial|Drawyah - YouTube

Boeing 787 C&D: Tutorial: Boeing 787 Cold & Dark Startup + FMC Tutorial! [2019] [QualityWings 787] - YouTube – This one is tops, goes into every system on plane, albeit, many systems NA on MSFS version

Boeing 747 FMS: (1) FS2020 - Boeing 747 Manual FMS Tutorial - YouTube

Copywrite © Montgomery D. Bonner in 2021. You may use and or distribute to others, but credit must be given to me as author and the Videos on YouTube must be credited. This is for SIMULATOR USE ONLY not to be used in Real World Application, it is NOT approved for use by Boeing Aircraft Corporation or any real-world operator of the 747/787 aircraft models.


Thanks! Very helpful to get started flying the 747, starting from cold and dark!

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You are welcome, as stated one included in Sim is sadly lacking in depth, maybe mine has TMI, but more is sometime better.

I noticed some problems during my flight. Not sure if I did something wrong or they are just bugs. I’ve already read that the default B747 is buggy:

The APU didn’t start at all, also not after holding it on start for at least 5 seconds. In the end I just had to do Ctrl+e to start the engines.

When VNAV is enabled during climb, but an altitude is set with the altitude selector (e.g. the altitude instructed by ATC), the set altitude is ignored. It just continues climbing until it reaches the cruise altitude set in the FMC.

VNAV for descending didn’t work for me either. I needed to activate VS mode with a negative Vspeed in order to start the descent.

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Yes, VNAV in descent is buggy, VS for me as well. APU started for me as I remember, have not flown it in while not since SU7 release, I will check tomorrow. And a power cart is always hooked to plane at ramp in MSFS don’t know why but it’s always there. I will post findings after I test it, been a while. When tested planes after SU7, just checked to see they would open up. Did not test fly any but F-14, and it had bad HUD which was fixed in new version. As aside, AI Controls reset tonight after working fine yesterday, you know because VFR Map and checklist pop onto screen when plane on ramp or RW.

All - I checked and the APU works in the “stock 747” with no mods, once you start it have to go outside to rear of plane and hear it running, then need to enable APU generators on overhead panel. I could not upload the pictures I took into the CL, and I don’t know why they will not upload. Went through CL at PMDY, did TO and one touch and go, terminated game, as I have medical appointment in AM and have some things to do for that. One thing to keep in mind, this is one huge plane, and it’s not like jockeying around the F-14 I can tell you. I need to remember I need to be lined up on RW and in Glide Slope long way out, it does not do last minute big changes quick. It seemed to work for me as I wrote it. Issues, let me know.

Very helpful Thank you. Love the 747 it’s the Queen of the sky.

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