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Aircraft Release : Boeing 727 Series Study v2 by FlyJSim

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Aircraft Release : Boeing 727 Series Study v2 by FlyJSim

 

Every developer has a long list of features and ideas to incorporate into their X-Plane aircraft project. Many items on the list are essential, but many are just great features that will enhance the final aircraft to the buying purchasers and are not essential to the overall flying and operation of the aircraft. But to develop and refine those ideas can take time, and then there is the constantly evolving evolution of the simulator itself that can render even the most up to date aircraft, out of date within only a year of its release.

 

So there is usually a compromise in not only features but in the amount of time a developer can need to devote their considerable time to release the aircraft to not only get a return on their investment, but to be also current to the market forces around them. Spend too long developing an aircraft can bring out substantial problems in that the development cycle which will be slower than the ever changing ideas and constant revision of the simulator can mean constantly redoing already done work that is already out of date. Known as "being behind the ball" it then becomes a fight to release the aircraft in any sort of condition to meet the current markets demands or to just simply give the whole project away as a lost cause.

 

So a first release aircraft is always a compromise between quality and time, and then a flurry of updates can follow to rectify and major issues and even add in a few more promised features. Over a few years the developer can refine and update the aircraft to keep the aircraft in the current condition as required by the new features and new versions of the simulator.

Then after many years a complete new version with many ideas and a load more new features can be added in to give even the very best aircraft a new lease of life and add a bit of new shine on an old fuselage. The bonus is that the developer has had the extra time to do the work without the pressures of a first release and can be more thorough in the refinements and new ideas and create an even more better aircraft (or scenery) in its second release without losing the original release's best attributes and features.

 

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FlyJSIm Boeing 727 Series v2

 

The FlyJSIm Boeing 727 Series has been around X-Plane since just before a few days before Christmas in 2012. This classic aircraft of a classic 60's icon is certainly one of the best aircraft in X-Plane, certainly the very best 60's airliner you can fly in the current simulator bar none. In simulator terms you could note it as old, but certainly it is not out of date with the constant updates keeping it current.

I never kept a log on how many hours I have spent in the office of FlyJSIm's B727, a lot, substantial and mostly far too many hours to count over the years. In value of return of pleasure to the dollar it is off the chart in the direction of how do you measure the return of giving up a large part of your life to fly on a computer...  The B727 gives a lot to make all that time worthwhile and give you the many returns of huge amounts of flying satisfaction.

 

Okay, so I like the B727 a lot.

 

I like it a far more better now because now it has been released as totally new version as in Version 2 (v2) and a quoted "Study" Series, and that means a lot of new features and even more refinement for an aircraft already a best in the simulator.

 

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There are three versions in the Original -100 (short fuselage) then the most popular version in the -200Adv (Advanced) and the most current flying version in the -200F - Freighter. And all of these three aircraft versions come with the FlyJSim series v2 package, the single purchase version aircraft have been dropped.

 

Externally there are no changes to the v2 of the B727 Series

 

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There is still not in v2 any ground equipment, engine covers, chocks or tags or other external options, WYSIWYG. So if you like your operations equipment (like I do) then I recommend to use JARDesign's excellent Ground Handling Deluxe plugin that has a great B727 set included in the plugin's default sets.

 

Another feature not included in v2 is the internal cabin or cargo floor for the freighter. Both features have been promised for years but are still not included in the package. Most users will note that "I don't need a cabin, I fly from the front and I don't care what is in the rear". But I think that is a pretty old fashioned view today. I have spent many hours replaying my flights from a passenger seat and enjoying my (excellent!) piloting skills and just enjoying the views, ditto in flying freighters and loading and unloading the cargo is all a big part of my simulation timeline and the B727 has a large list of cargo routes I can fly with. But I don't use this aircraft because at the end of the flight all you can do is shut the aircraft down and walk away from a sealed hull, there is no fun in that.  In the early days after the original release the aircraft was noted as quite heavy in frame-rate, and the cabin would have added in too much frameweight. That is also not a consideration anymore with 4gb graphic cards and superpowerful processors. The  cabin and freighter features for the B727 Series have been again noted as coming, but I feel the aircraft will not be totally complete until they are (finally if ever) installed.

 

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In 2012 the cockpit of FlyJSIm's B727 was a revelation of brilliant design. And still today it has that huge "wow" factor in every single time you see that cockpit for your next flight. The design work is still here and still simply exceptional, breathtaking in its scope and usability, and now updated in v2 to an even better and higher quality texture feel and detail.

 

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Beauty is there to behold, with the complex engineers station, the metal mechanical mechanisms of the levers and throttles of the throttle quadrant, the radio and overhead panels and the almost "put it in a museum for 3d art" with those exquisite chairs. For v2 you would at first glance have to look really hard to see if it was anything different, but it is and with a lot of new features.

 

The differences between v1 and v2 are not apparent until you put the aircraft actually side by side, and then you realise how much change there actually really is in the new v2 cockpit.

 

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Original Release Version                                                                         v2 Release Version

 

The menus have been expanded by two more extra tabs (left screen).

 

VCard and WnB (Weight and Balances) are the same but the "options" is not "OP" anymore and has been expanded. INS (for the CIVA popup) is still there, but there are now two new tabs for "Maintenance" and "Checklist".

 

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The excellent 'in real time update" vRef VCard's is a great feature of the FJS B727/B732 and has EPR and Trim targets added. So is the Weights and Balances (WnB) manger (right) which was a pioneer of this sort of visual aircraft loading and settings page, still the best and easy to use.

A note on using the WnB set up in that it is important to get your CoG (centre of Gravity) correct. You can't adjust the CoG in the X-Plane "Weight and Balances" menu later or at all, and get it wrong and the aircraft feels badly balanced (as it should) and makes landings almost impossible. So take your time and get that CoG right at the start for a perfect flight.

 

FMC Choices

The biggest new v2 feature is on the pedestal...

 

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Original Release Version                                                                       v2 Release Version

 

The v1 (original) pedestal was a pretty blank affair. You can have the same look in v2 if you want that and fly VOR point to point only.

In the "Options" menu tab there is now a new selection for three different FMC or Navigation options.

  • No NAV Option
  • 3D CIVA INS
  • 3D XFMC FMS
  •  

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No NAV Option                                                                                      3D CIVA INS

 

So the "No NAV Option gives you a pretty blank panel and more so than in the v1, as also the pedestal is missing now the FLT DIR (Flight Director) panels on the lower sections, as they have been moved to the glareshield.

 

CIVA: (Delco Carousel IV-A Inertial Navigation System. Nicknamed "CIVA") was available in v1 and is an extra addon that costs US$10. In v2 you still have to pay for the CIVA addon, but it is now fitted directly into the pedestal of where it looks very good. It still popups with the menu INS tab (only the popup was available in v1) and for the US$10 investment you can use it in FlyJSim's Boeing 732 as well. So it is a worthwhile investment.

 

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X-FMC: The third NAV option is now you can use X-FMC Project's Flight Management System in the B727. It is free to download (but I think a small donation would be nice), and again it is well intergrated into the upper pedestal. A popup is available as well using the F9 key, which is slightly annoying as it conflicts with a few X-Plane settings I use. It uses the NAVIGRAPH or Aerosoft NavDataPro (VasFMC and KLN90B) files and can be updated (with a fee) to the latest data packs.

 

As FMC's go, the X-FMC is not too bad, and a good choice for the Boeing 727.

 

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I struggled with locking in the DEP (Departure) airport (KRSW) and associated SID's and had to settle for just a waypoint departure pattern, and the landing STAR had to be adjusted on arrival as it went from the last waypoint directly to the runway, but not to the correct runway angle, so I had to readjust the approach waypoints for to work correctly. But as the FJS B727 does not have a Navigation screen to use, then there is a handy popup screen that shows you your route and for planning. The popup is a bit basic, and not very detailed and in need of a better version of the idea. but it is far better than setting up the system blind.

 

As an FMC it is very good considering the diverse of selection of aircraft it has to be used with. You do get all the performance settings, thrust-limits and takeoff and landing prefs. Climb, Cruise and Descent pages, and a great PROG (Progress) pages and Radio setting page.

So why an FMC is a 60's era aircraft? Well many of these 60's era aircraft are still flying if mostly in a cargo role, so a modern FMC is not out of place on a modern B727 flightdeck.

 

Maintenance

 

Another new feature is the "Maintenance" tab.

 

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This feature covers the maintenance of your B727. It covers the airframe, the three engines and the APU (Auxiliary Power Unit).

It is powerful as well because this B727 is not a modern efficient aircraft, it comes with it's 1960's design and wear. Noted is "if you push the engines to the limit, you may have them catch on fire, or just get damaged a bit more than usual; Engine oil now gets burnt off, and you will need to refill this every now and then; Tail strikes on takeoff may induce pressure loss; exceeding flap and gear speed may lead to jams or collapses; Over exciting the engine or apu generators can lead to them failing; over pressurizing or excessive speed or g-force can lead to airframe damage". The maintenance feature is not however a random failure system (like the annoying X-Plane failures) but a progressive in use, wear and tear programme to make the aircraft more realistic in service or with constant use and flying hours.

 

And yes it works with my landing at KDFW (Dallas Fort Worth) I had to contend with a broken left flap system.

 

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A quick look at my maintenance sheet told me it needed fixing before my return flight to KRSW, but only on the ground. You can leave the issues to pile up if they don't create a flight risk, but all will have to be attended to at one point or another. The active maintenance feature can be turned off in the "options' panel.

 

Checklist

 

Last new tab is the "Checklist" feature.

 

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60's aircraft require a lot of procedures, and FJS aircraft are renowned for their depth and procedural starts from cold. So this feature is very welcome to help out with the workload, it pops out and is very easy to navigate. You can also modify or add into the checklist with 32 pages available which is a really great idea to adopt the lists and notes to your own preferences.

 

Overhead

 

One of the biggest visual changes in the cockpit is on the "Overhead" (OVHD) panel.

 

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Original Release Version                                                                       v2 Release Version

 

Nine extra items have been added onto the OVHD, and also note the new two spotlights either side.

 

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Areas included are: FLT Control Warning test and speaker grill (left). Flight recorder (test), Compass, VHF NAV - Compass (1), Vertical Gyro, Cargo Fire (centre). Compass (2) and Microphone Monitor (right). The "Autobrake" function now has a (working) RTO selection and the standby compass at the lower section of the OVHD panel can also now be stowed upwards if required.

 

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  Pushback has been moved from the "OPS" (options) panel to the "Ground Crew Call" button on the OVHD panel like on the FJS B732. Auto and Manual options are still available with a "Ghost" feature to show you where the aircraft will be positioned after the auto function is completed, there is no physical pushback truck. A note is required in that the pushback truck will not turn if the hydraulic systems of the aircraft are not pressurized, or if the engines are not running.

 

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Original Release Version Yoke                                                                      v2 Release Version Yoke

 

A twice look back at the B727 Yokes reveals that they are quite basic and even look unfinished. In v2 the Yokes from the FJS B732 have been installed and look more the part.

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Most of the already excellent engineers panel is still the same, except for the addition of a radio panel on the lower left and the Radio panels have also been added to each side lower panel by the Pilot and First Officer.

 

The workings of the engineers panel has had however a lot of attention starting with the Pneumatic and Engine start system which has been totally overhauled. Engines start now require sufficient bleed air to turn the turbine. This now works similar to the 732 Update. Cross bleed starts are also now possible and the brakes do also require hydraulic pressure to work effectively and rate of pressure depends on gear wear and tear.

The Electrical system has been overhauled as well. The electrical system now works more closer to the real thing, requiring more effort on the users part to make it work as it really should. Power consumption is now closer to the real Boeing 727 power use as well, and the APU can’t now run everything. Bus ties are also no longer tied together. External power and air simulation has been added, but no external cart (I use the Ground Handling Deluxe unit),

 

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As noted the FLT DIR (Flight Director) panel has been moved up to the glareshield.  This is now the same as the FJS B732, but the quirks remain. The awkward Autopilot (AP) panel behind the throttle quadrant is still needed to select certain functions that are accessible on the glareshield unit? The Nav Selector unit won't work for certain positions like Auto/GS or APP which is really annoying on approach finals. And the Pitch Command knob is still slightly quirky to use until you work out that holding down the manipulator to turn it will over or under pitch the dial (the issue is the time for the knob to respond to a command, so you hold it down and then the slow delay finally clicks in and you are well down or round the dial). The trick is just to do one click or several clicks at a time and not hold it down, but it is messy to use effectively, it drove me nuts on the B732 as well.

The fire panel has had some attention with the new engine fire warning cutout button and fire test feature to the glareshield, there also has been added a APU fire test system as well. Engine fire suppression system also now works as it does in a real aircraft.

 

The original cockpit was even in the first instance stupendously good for detail, can you make it even better? well yes...

... as most of the finer details have been redone or many items replaced as used on the FJS 732. Window bolts, updated cockpit glass items to look better, and the standby ADI now has glass. Wipers park correctly, Clock stop watch feature and cockpit sounds have all been updated to include all switches and knob sounds.

 

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Knob manipulators are now duel action with both half-moon and arrow (each-way) functions. But I found the half-moon functionality a bit slow and why do you need two actions for the same thing? The original arrows quick movement was very practical and worked just fine and still does.

 

Lighting

 

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The lighting has had in v2 a work over as well. Very good before it is outstandingly brilliant now. You had that great collection of eleven dials and switches (four more dials and a dome switch are on the engineers station), and the choice of red or white illumination aspects.

 

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Add in two fully animated reading spotlights and life in the dark does not get any better than this. You can change around with the huge range of various lighting conditions that can satisfy even the most dissenting pilot of low lighting judgement conditions, but remember to fly the aircraft as you can become seriously distracted with all the lighting knob tuning.

 

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Approach and landings are more impressive in the confines of the lighting in the Boeing, It is a wonderful place to fly at night.

 

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External lighting is very good, with a nice tail illumination, great navigation, strobe and beacon lights.

 

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Ground and landing illumination is excellent...  with four main landing lights in outboard and inboard. The outboard lights however require a flap setting of at least 5º to work through the front leading edge spoilers. Side left and right runway turnoff lights, single taxi light (swivels with front gear direction) and wing lighting are all excellent for ground manoeuvres and taxiway work. X-Plane lighting is a bit too large, bright and blobby for my tastes at the moment, but that effect is not to bad here.

 

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Only note on the lighting is that the tail illumination lights from some angles shine through the tail?

 

 

KRSW (South West Florida) to KDFW (Dallas Fort Worth)

 

Time to put the v2 Boeing 727-200adv into service, with the Delta route from RSW to DFW. If starting the B727 from cold it is a very complex and procedural task, add in the route planning of the X-FMC or CIVA (only nine waypoints) then you will need a fair bit of time for pre-flight planning and setup.

 

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The new checklists really help here in setting up the aircraft, but it is a study aircraft if you want to understand all the detailed systems and controls...  but that is the attraction of the aircraft, so you wouldn't want it any other way.

 

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The complex and excellent flap animations still bewilder and amaze you every time you pull another notch of the (noisy) flap lever. The tyres have had a retread and new textures as well in v2 and they look all the better for it.

 

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The ground handling and braking system has been changed in v2 and that makes the Boeing easier and more realistic while moving around on the ground and while taxiing. The great vRef speed bug settings feature is still there for takeoff and landings, the text is now however in blue.

 

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External ground sounds were always excellent, but put on full power and you can hear those JT8D engines roar. You can adjust the internal cockpit sounds and the external sounds via the "options" menu, I thought the JT8D engines were a bit loud for a cockpit so far forward of the rear engine mounting positions, and so I adjusted them down a little, but they are very good.

 

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Of any of the heavy aircraft in X-Plane then the FJS Boeing 727 is I think one of the most manual hand's on aircraft to fly. The cockpit work load is high and you are constantly working every aspect of the flying. No engine management systems here, so you are the hands on adjustment to keep those JT8D engines in working order and under their operating parameters...   if not they let go, in a big plume of smoke and with a severe loss of power.

 

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Flying with the X-FMC does not take away that 60's feel. In fact it is quite good and saves you a lot of time in VOR hunting.

 

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Two progress pages are both very good (both shown side by side), and gives you a lot of information that is not available with the CIVA or blank setting. I found the digital speed in TAS very helpful in finding the exact speed with the throttles, because in the past with the analog panel instrument you tend to hunt the speed, in once going too fast and then too slow with the throttles, with the digital digit I was able to find the exact speed and hold it by the more minor adjustments with the throttle.

 

I found you also become more aware of the speed vs weight vs fuel burn factor in that the aircraft need less power for more speed as the fuel load is burnt off, in an engine management system aircraft this is of course done automatically for you, but here you notice it in an increase of speed and so you need to constantly over a period adjust the throttles manually to compensate for the fuel rate burn.

 

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Only minor gripe in flying the FJS B727, is in replay mode...  you get this annoying initializing loading alert box throughout all your replays, it was there in v1 and is still there in v2, and while replaying a takeoff or landing and it covers over parts of the instruments and it really sticks out at night...  annoying.

 

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With that high T-Tail the B727 is a sensitive aircraft on approach and landing. With 30º flap is the highest you dare to go without stalling the aircraft out of the air with all that drag, dropping the gear then creates more drag, but the v2 aircraft feels better than the original on approach and with a not so "on the limit" feeling than you had before, you seem to have more room to flex and find a balance. It is still a "hard days work" in flying and landing the aircraft, so let us not kid ourselves or get too far from the fact that you have to be "on your game" and use your skills to get it perfectly right...

 

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...  but then that is the huge attraction of flying the Boeing 727, it is a real hand's on aircraft to fly and fly really well.

 

Liveries

 

Noted here are the liveries with the series package for all versions -100, -200Adv and the Freighter. On the X-Plane.Org there is a huge selection of FJS B727 liveries available (mostly for the -200Adv version) as is this Delta version as shown here in this review, so there is no shortage of choice selection. All liveries here are of really great quality except the M-Star which I don't care for.

 

B727-100

Most -100 liveries (six) are all Retro themed, but all are very good, and new inclusion with every version is the FJS brand house livery which is very nice.

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B727-200Adv

There are five liveries with the -200Adv. The Alaska is excellent, but I am not sure about the over saturated coloured M-Star?

 

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Freighter - F

All the usual cargo suspects in FedEx, DHL and UPS are all represented, with FJS doing their own parcel delivery service now.

 

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Summary

 

How do you make a "classic" even better, well release a new version with a lot of new great features and don't mess with the important areas you have got right in the first place and refined over the years...  and that is what you have here in this new v2 release of the FlyJSim Boeing 727 Series.

 

Quirks are few, but today's aircraft have to be more rounded in what they deliver for their purchase, you do expect ground support (in 3d objects) and a cabin (freight floor) in this price range, as simulator users flying aircraft now do more than just sitting in the left front seat, it is a complex and complete simulation experience that you want from block to startup to taxi to takeoff to cruise to landing to taxi to shutdown to block and you want to load and unload the aircraft as well, yes the FJS B727 does certainly deliver more than this, but externally on the ramp you can't do much with the aircraft.

 

As this is a new version and not an update, there is special price of US$10 to upgrade to Version 2 if you have the original v1 aircraft. Single aircraft package's can be upgraded for US$25 but will get all the versions as part of the upgrade package.

 

The "Study' aspect to the title is that "to operate the 727 from startup to shutdown just like a real 727 captain, and making this model the only study sim of a 727 in X-Plane". And that notes the very deep systems and operations that you get here with this aircraft, so the aircraft is not for complete novices and "Study" is the right word if you want really fly this Boeing really well. It does require a discipline and fine flying skills to get from this aircraft the huge return it can deliver. But as a simulation and one of the most iconic aircraft of the 60's and even ever, the FJS Boeing 727 is an amazing experience and does deliver that "Best of" in X-Plane Simulation.

 

The second release of the Boeing 727 Series is not only to bring the aircraft up to date and to the same high quality as FJS's excellent Boeing 732 TwinJet, but to also to add in more features and refines the aircraft to a higher degree, it goes far past that initial feature list and goals with set out with the original version. In every area the B727 is certainly far better, with better sounds, better sharper quality, better flying, more systems and more features...  The FlyJSim Boeing 727 Series was really good before, now in this new version it is up to date....  and certainly it is an X-Plane classic that deserves to be in anyone's top aircraft list in the simulator.

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________
 

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The Version 2 Boeing 727 Series Study by FlyJSim is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

 

727 Series Study v2

 

Your Price: $60.00
 
The v2 upgrade is however not free but it is an pay upgrade and the deal is for those who bought the complete original 727 Series package, it will be only a mere $10 USD to upgrade to v2. Or for those who only bought the cheaper single packages of the 727 Series, it will be only $25 dollars to upgrade but you will get all versions as part of the package.
 
Features in Version 2:
In this 727 package you  have the choice between three different navigation systems: (There is a easy option in the menu to select your system of choice)
  • 3D X-FMC - For modern FMC Navigation
  • 3D CIVA - The original inertial Navigation system installed on many 727 and early airliners (optional)
  • Standard VOR-NDB Navigation
The Complete Series includes not one but all three versions of the 727 :
  1. 727-100 - Airliner short version
  2. 727-200Adv - Airliner Long version
  3. 727-200F - Freighter

Features:

  • Detailed exterior model which comes with details textures and a full set of animated surfaces
  • Detailed 3D cockpit with hundreds of animations, high rez textures, and night lighting
  • Simulation of all major systems including:
  • Detailed Electric system: Electrical, Bleed air, Air conditioning,  Pressurization
  • Fuel Pumps and fuel heating
  • Hydraulic systems, including A and B
  • Braking system with dependency on hydraulic pressure
  • Exterior and interior lighting
  • WX radar - Sperry SP-150 Block V autopilot
  • Engine fire suppression system -  Anti Ice System
  • Radio stack including Com 1/2 Nav 1/2 and ADF 1/2
Comprehensive Menu system:
  • Weight and Balance Manager
    • allows you to change the weights for PAX, Cargo and fuel, with dynamic effect on CG
  • Vcard popup showing dynamic Vspeeds for landing and takeoff
  • Options menu popup
    • Navigation selections, various display options
  • Pushback manager
  • Maintenance Menu
    • Shows you the state of the aircraft and repairs needed
  • Checklist and notes

 

Requirements:

X-Plane 10.40+ (any edition) -  running in 64 bit mode
Windows, MAC or Linux - 64 bit Operating System
Minimum: 1+ GB of VRAM, 2Gb+ VRAM Recommended. 

Current version: 2.0 (Last updated  June 22nd 2016)
 
 
X-PlaneReviews covered the original aircraft in a special profile of the aircraft and flying the FJS B727.

Aircraft Profile : Boeing 727 Series by FlyJSim (Part One)

Aircraft Profile : Boeing 727 Series by FlyJSim (Part Two) "Flying the Boeing 727"

FJS - 727 Series - Support forum

FJS - 727 Series - Developer Site

 

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Installation and documents:

 

Download for the B727 Series is 639.80meg and the unzipped file is deposited in the "Heavy Metal" X-Plane folder at 1.08gb.

The plugin for the X-FMC GPS systen can be downloaded (Free) here: X-FMC Project

The plugin for the CIVA Navigation System addon that costs US$10 is here: CIVA Navigation System

The X-FMC comes with an installer that puts the correct files into your X-Plane Plugins folder. The CIVA - XCIVA plugin is installed in the aircraft's plugin folder (same place for the B732 version as well) and is required to be registered via the X-Plane plugin menu.

Documents: There are three items included in the documentation - All are excellent :

FJS-727 SeriesChecklistandProceduresManual (67pages)

FJS-727 SeriesManouversManual (9Pages)

FJS-727 SeriesSystemsManual (55pages)

 

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Review by Stephen Dutton
 
23rd June 2016
 
Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews
 

Review System Specifications:

Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 8 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD 

Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.45

Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin

Scenery or Aircraft

- KRSW - South West Florida Intl by Aerosoft  (KRSW - SouthWest Florida Intl - X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$24.95

- KDFW - Dallas Fort Worth - American Country by Tom Curtis (KDFW-Dallas/Ft. Worth X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$24.95

 

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