After stealthily announcing that it would be available last week, PMDG has formally released the Boeing 737-600 for Microsoft Flight Simulator. The meticulously designed “Baby Boeing” features a shorter body and no winglets, which allows it to get into some smaller airfields than its larger brothers.
The -600 variant of the 737 is not one that’s seen much these days. It serves as the smallest edition of what is known as the Boeing 737 Next Generation (NG) family, both by physical size and sales numbers. Since its launch in 1995, only 69 of the variants have ever been produced. It competed directly with the Airbus A318 — a similarly “tiny” edition of what is considered to be a mid-sized family, which also happened to not sell that well.
Small is powerful
Despite it not being a common variant of the 737, the -600 does have some key advantages. It only needs 6,161 feet of runway for take-off and landing, all while still having the same technical capabilities as its bigger brothers. Its cruise speed is the same Mach .078, and it even has the longest range, coming in 3,235 nautical miles. Of course, its one real downside is that it cannot carry as much cargo or PAX as the other variants.
Nevertheless, PMDG has made sure to capture the 737-600 in the same level of detail as the previously -700 variant. It features all the intricate systems, accurate flight model, failure simulation, high-quality sound package and richly detailed textures.
The real icing on the cake, however, is how cheap it is at $34.99 USD. This means that it’s a full $25 USD cheaper than the -700 variant. The upcoming -800 (due to release in mid-August) is likely bound to be similarly priced to the -700, if not just a tad more expensive.
So, this all means that you can still enjoy the richness of the 737 while still having some extra left over for another add-on or two.
Such a low price tag for what is a very high-quality airliner add-on is very abnormal. But, as PMDG has stated in the past, the sheer size of Microsoft Flight Simulator‘s reach has contributed to this different, slightly more accessible approach to pricing. As it stands, the Boeing 737-600 is now the cheapest quality airliner that you can pick-up for the sim.
There are others a little cheaper. For instance, the Embraer E-Jet models from VirtualCol which are jets of similar size and capability to the -600. Yet, the contrast in model quality is quite notable. VirtualCol’s products are far more simplistic and are often compared to being of lower quality than even some freeware projects. So, PMDG has a very strong case here by pricing the -600 so low. This isn’t an introductory price, either.
All things considered, it will be interesting to see the appeal of the PMDG’s latest project around the community. The launch of the -700 was so hotly anticipated it remains as the only add-on for the sim so far to have had to be delayed after launch due to servers being overrun. There hasn’t been nearly as much fanfare surrounding the arrival of the Baby Boeing, but this price could swing some of the more curious simmers into its court.