Stephen

Aircraft Release Review : Boeing 757-200 v2 by FlightFactor VMAX

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Aircraft Review : Boeing 757-200 v2.0 by FlightFactor/VMAX

 

In November 2013 FlightFactor/VMAX released the Boeing 757-200 RR (Rolls Royce) Professional aircraft. It was for the time and then went on to rule over X-Plane as the best aircraft in the simulator for a few years. A high standard to achieve but more so to hold on to such a high acclaim for a period showed the sheer quality and the large feature set that you got with the aircraft. It was eventually dethroned by its sister aircraft the Boeing 767-300ER also from FlightFactor last year in 2015, and that aircraft then lifted the standard for "The best in" to a completely whole new level again.

 

Version 2 (V2.0)

So here released now is the Boeing 757-200 in it's Version 2 (v2.0) form. The aim of FlightFactor with this new design of their 757 is to bring the B757 up to the same standard of the B767 sister aircraft. So from the start of this review if you have the Boeing 767 already, you won't find the B757 that much different in quality, features and systems from that aircraft, which is really the same aim of the B757/B767 twins anyway.
X-PlaneReviews can't cover every aspect of the FlightFactor Boeing 757 here as we are only focusing the v2.0 features, but for further coverage of the aircraft, modeling and its systems, then go to our original review here: Aircraft Review : FlightFactor Boeing 757RR-200

 

Boeing 757-300 v2

There is a new start up screen that mirrors the Boeing 767 version, but it allows you to select your engine choice and to have winglets on or off.

 

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First thing you notice is that the aircraft now has the same shine and chrome areas as with the B767.

 

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 The dullness of the original v1 aircraft has gone. The shine brings out all the detail even more which was very good in the first place.

 

You can see the difference on the engines, of which you have two choices with the Pratt & Whitney PW2037 (top) and the Rolls Royce RB211-535E4 (bottom) and note that chrome exhaust cowling on the P&W, it is just gorgeous...

 

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Menu

The menu system is changed in v2.0 to the same layout of the B767, which is the iPad graphic menu.

 

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The original banner Plugin menu is still there if you want to select from that, but you can also activate the screen from the iPhones on each side of the pilots. The Checklist is not on the iPad, so you have to select that still from the plugin menu list. The checklist is also still in the old format and still does have the "auto" help to set up and start the aircraft and has a automatic action detection system to show you if you are doing it wrong or correct.

 

Menu options are very comprehensive. They are covered by seven tabs in: General, Ground, Airplane, Failures, Avionics, About and PA

 

757RR-300 v2.0_Menu General.jpg757RR-300 v2.0_Menu Ground.jpg

 

General covers mostly global settings and four additional menu options that we will cover below and all your favorite settings can be saved.

Ground covers the Ground Equipment, Pushback, Maintenance, and weights, fuel and balances sheet.

You can adjust your passenger load and cargo weight, fuel requirements to your desire then optimize the CG (Centre of Gravity) to match the new load factors. When happy you "Load/Unload" the aircraft and all the choices can be saved, but a small warning in that the loading/unload is in real time and if you want to fly quickly then you will have to wait.

 

757RR-300 v2.0_Menu Airplane.jpg757RR-300 v2.0_Menu Failures.jpg

 

Airplane covers all your aircraft preferences including engines, winglets and effects adjustments. All preferences can be saved. Lower is the door/cargo configurations and you can open or close all.

Failures covers the aircraft systems failure, and they work when you certainly don't expect them, worse you can only fix them on the ground and shutdown under the Ground  Maintenance tab. My failure was a very realistic "left starter valve" failure on starting engine one.

 

757RR-300 v2.0_Menu Avionics.jpg757RR-300 v2.0_Menu About.jpg

 

Avionics covers all the options in setting or using the aircraft's avionics in EADI, Autopilot, EHSI, EICAS and the feature list is very comprehensive.

About is all the team that brought you this excellent aircraft.

 

757RR-300 v2.0_Menu PA.jpg

 

PA is the announcements which I really like, easy to use and great fun.

 

Additional Options are four tabs on the General page that covers Simulation Settings, Cokpt (Cockpit) Interaction, Advanced Sound and Effects Params (parameters). 

 

These four areas are new to the Boeing 757 and not on the B767, but my guess they will be added in soon with the next update. 

 

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The provided ground equipment (left) is the same set that comes with most FlightFactor aircraft and look a little too eastern block for my tastes. I prefer the JARDesign "Ground Handling Deluxe" plugin (right) which is far more comprehensive and flexible in airline or airport liveries.

 

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Cockpit

Your first impression is the Boeing 757 v2.0 cockpit is exactly the same as v1.0, but it is far from it. Side by side with the newer v2.0 on the left and the original v1.0 on the right they are quite different and more so than just the darker textures.

 

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If you liked the more darker tones you still have to admit they where a bit overwhelming in their somber atmospherics. Changes are quite substantial as to look at the side panels and even the window opening arrangements and they are all completely different, in fact there is a huge range of changes in here from changed switchgear to new controls like the steering tiller...  bet you thought that was on the original B757.

 

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Panel and dial faces are completely different as well and the also a different colour. Note the worn hand rest. The good news is that if you are so very much used to the original version, you don't really notice the changes from an operational point of view...  but it a far more lighter and breezier place to be now for extended periods of time.

 

FMS

That amazing and fully operational FMS (Flight Management System) is still in here, and now with those reflective deep glass glow effects from the B767.  

 

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Not many internal changes to the FMS, but it is pretty comprehensive anyway, so there was not much to add in. Both Pilot's and Second Officers units are independent and programmable and there is a guide to connect the FMS up to your own personal iPad.

 

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Performance Preferences with Takeoff and Approach preferences are quite easy to set up and the takeoff speeds are set automatically on the bugs on the speed dial.

 

There is a very detailed and deep simulation of almost every system in the real aircraft including a custom air and pressure system, the Electrical system with all the AC and DC busses are modeled depending on which bus you use. Realistic use of the hydraulic system which uses a little fluid when treated correctly and a lot of fluid if used incorrectly. A Multistage custom failure system as noted on the failures menu, which is very good and very realistic. So you have a persistent (or to keep you on your toes) a failure and maintenance system and any aircraft wear and misuse will carry over to your next flight.

 

Flying the Boeing 757-200 v2.0

APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) Startup gives you a feel of what is coming? The APU can be monitored on the lower "Status" display.

 

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Set the APU bleed to on (engines off), Isolation on, Packs off and turn the Start switch for engine one to GND. And when it gets to about 18 N2 kick in the fuel. It is not the actions or the activity that is great here, but the sounds...

 

The B757 v2.0 comes with a full BSS (BlueSkyStar Simulation) sound package (worth US$20 alone!). These excellent sound packs are simply brilliant and like they have totally changed the feel of other aircraft they have been installed in (JARDesign A320/A330, JROLLON CRJ-200 and the FlightFactor B767) you know they are something special. And that is the case here. Every knob, every pump and in fact almost everysound on the B757 is heard in here. The startup whine, the fuel kick in, the power generators kicking in (visually as well) and finally once those engines are running the switching of the packs back on and the powering APU off...  its all here in glorious 3d sound and you can adjust it all to your preferences as noted in the sounds on the iPad menu.

 

757-200_Start 3 LG.jpg

 

Externally the sounds are excellent as well and 3d as you move around the aircraft and zoom in closer.

 

The cabin internal sounds are excellent as well and they change as you move about the cabin in relation to the engine noise source.

 

The cabin itself has also had a modern makeover. Out go the old darker tones and side paneling and in comes the bright new, fresh and new seatback video screens. New is top and the older version are the bottom images.

 

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Pushback

The pushback truck is available on the "Ground" menu as is still one of the best for not only joystick turning control, but throttle speed control as well.

 

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On the ground the tiller works, but the rudder pedals don't. Nice touch!

 

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Window and instrument reflections are perfect, but you can still adjust the window reflections if you want to in the Advanced Effects menu.

 

Panel lighting is very different with the HDR on (right) or off (left), you may be restricted to having HDR off, but it is far more nicer with it on.

 

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If you have a nice sound system the bass and background engines rumble to perfection, my desk actually shakes with the sounds!  That annoying "cabin call" person has also been toned down!, and thank god for that one.

 

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Lined up and you push up throttles to max....  the distinctive brrrrruggggh engine noise is excellent, your spine tingles.

 

Rotate and if you have set the A/T Arm (250knts) autothrust and LNAV buttons before you power up, then when you hit the CMD button to turn on the servos then the autothrust will set itself correctly and the flightplan will lock in perfectly, the aircraft will also hold your pitch as well but you will soon need to adjust that V/S (vertical Speed) down to adjust to the new power setting and not lose your speed.

 

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I never was really smooth in the original version, not the aircraft or FlightFactor's fault, but I just couldn't get it all together in a smooth set of actions to make it absolutely perfection in the takeoff, but here I have hit it perfectly every time now, so was it me or the aircraft?

 

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Manipulators have been up dated with on the altitude and speeed a + for single changes and ++ for a fast change. Tricky, but you soon get used to it. The V/S has arrows, but they point to the wheel direction and not the turn direction so you tend to go the wrong way...

 

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also note to watch the "Gear up" lever, it needs a two up switch and not one.

 

But that panel is a beautiful thing...  

 

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              ...     and so also is this Boeing 757-200.

 

These two major features premiered on the Boeing 767 last year, and now they are both on the Boeing 757. We will look at one now which is the terrain radar and the weather radar later on approach.

 

Terrain Radar with built in GPWS (Ground Proximity Warning System)

 

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Terrain radar is really well done, but there is not much terrain over flat Arkansas to see much on the MAP/NAV displays. A set up sweeping colour chart sets up the system for use, and both the NAV/MAP displays are independent of each other. Get too low and the warning GPWS will shake you out of your tiredness...  What the!

 

Note the excellent shape shifting reflections above the PFD (Primary Flight Display), beautiful.

 

Lighting

The internal lighting has been upgraded to match the Boeing 767's better quality one.

 

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Obviously the panel's lighting is very different, with that green/yellowish glow, but you gt used to the new tone very quickly.

 

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There are loads of cockpit lighting options, including panel, glareshield, A/P, standby instruments (and main), two types of flood, dome and chart spotlights.

 

The FMS looks beautiful in the darker lighting as well with that soft green glow from the displays, PROGRESS page is comprehensive, and I love really good Progress displays and in this 757 it is one of the very best.

 

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You can brighten or dial everything back to your heart's desire and find the right ambience you like, and I found just the right level for clear view outside for landing without the distracting panel lighting getting in the way...

 

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Cabin lighting can be adjusted as well, which is a very good thing as too many X-Plane cabins can be too bright and spoil the feel.

 

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It feels far better as well in the cabin at night with the newer brighter textures.

 

External lighting is the same as v1.0 with the Nav, Beacons, Strobe and logo tail lighting.

 

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Wing (Ice) lighting is very good, and looks great on the wing from the cabin as well.

 

Weather Radar

Bad storms around Texas allows us to see the weather radar at it's best. You get another sweeping style of a colour set up chart, and then the coloured storm bands themselves. The beam constantly moves but your route can be harder to see through the bright colours. Both displays are independent of each other so you can one set close and another at a distance to see the full areas of the storms and custom windshear is built into the system...   It is impressive.

 

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For the full experience at low light and poor visibility, you then get the rain effects to make your approach even more highly realistic.

 

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My view is that when X-Plane hits a certain mood or feeling, you get the sheer rewards of the simulation you dream of. Here with the right (bad) weather and this great 757 aircraft the experience can start to be overwhelming as it is so realistic and very visually fulfilling.

 

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You are working in the cockpit as well to master the landing as good as you can in the conditions, note the excellent landing and nose lighting and runway turnoff lights are available once you are down.

 

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Autoland feature works correctly as does the reverse thrust and, you get the full auto (arm) airbrake working on landing. There is a landing vibration built in but I use Headshake by SimCoders as well and that gives you even more movement and feel.

 

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Flap extension (and retraction) and the animation is superbly done.

 

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The trick of a really good simulation is small stuff as well as all the big features. Here as the engines shut down (in 3d surround sound remember) you start to pack up after flight, and set the aircraft up for the next sector... 

 

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              ....  but you will want to do that next sector and not pass the aircraft over to another crew, you just want to do more of the same....  

much more.

 

Liveries

There are four liveries with the aircraft package: Boeing House, British Airways (retro), Air France and Lufthansa noted at the time of release

 

757RR-200_Livery House.jpg  757RR-200_Livery BA.jpg

 

757RR-200_Livery AF.jpg  757RR-200_Livery LH.jpg

 

And there are eight new livery packs available for US$10 per pack - Includes:

 

Asia Pacific Livery Pack for 757 - Europe Livery Pack #1 for 757 - Europe Livery Pack #2 for 757 - Europe Livery Pack #3 for 757- Middle East/ Africa Pack for 757

North American Livery Pack#1 for 757 - North American Livery Pack#2 for 757 - Russian Livery Pack for 757

 

Summary

If you already have like I noted the Boeing 767 series from FlightFactor VMAX, then obviously you can relate to most of the areas in this review, but that was the original idea anyway. But there has been also a significant amount of changes beside the obvious translation from the B767.

 

Most of the Boeing 757's cockpit has been completely remodeled as has the cabin fixtures and panels and the aircraft feels more modern and lighter in feel than the darker musty earlier version.

 

Negatives, not many. The ground support is a now a few decades old and feels out of place in the western hemisphere, but the JARDesign handling plugin is a great fill in. The aircraft does need a lot of setting up with flightplanning and preferences, but that is part of the simulation experience. So for users new to these high-grade aircraft there is a bit of a learning curve, but the (Real) Boeing Flight Manuals are very good.

 

The FMS (Flight Management System) is not changed in this v2.0 so transition from the older version or the B767 is not hard at all and again it is the best in X-Plane.

 

A sound package from BSS (BlueSkyStar Simulation) is always a sound experience excuse the pun, but these incredible audio packages have transformed aircraft in X-Plane in the last few years and now the Boeing 757 get that full surround and background sounds feel and they do certainly raise the bar higher again.

 

The systems have been totally upgraded and reworked, so the there is deeper immersion there with the failure system almost real-world in modeling, if too real. And thankfully the annoying cabin purser has been told to not to keep pressing the button for the flightcrew as much to the total relief of us the flightcrew.

 

This is a new version of the Boeing 757 and not just an upgrade. The price goes up as well to US$64.96 but if you have already purchased the original version there will be a coupon to save US$20 on the new purchase available at the release. The older liveries don't work either, so if you bought all the livery packs, then will have to repurchase and download the full sets again, it is noted that a coupon will be available there as well.

 

So now you have both the Boeing 767 and 757 from FlightFactor/VMAX in the same high quality packages...  Best aircraft in X-Plane?

 

Yes they both are or if not then they are certainly at the very top of the list, but as a simulation they really both totally deliver the very best experience you can really get in the X-Plane simulator...

 

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X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

 

Yes! the Boeing 757-200ER Professional by VMAX and FlightFactor is NOW! Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

 

Boeing 757-200ER Professional

 

Price is US$64.95

Features

Flexible Options

  • A very flexible architecture : You chose the set up
  • Different options for many avionics instruments including two types of FMC.
  • Options to composite your own EICAS, EADI and EHSI displays.
  • Most of the options included in the real 767

Checklists and 'Autohelper'

  • Full electronic interactive checklist with automatic action detection.
  • Automatic mode 'Helper'  who performs all the actions for you, you just CHECK the items.
  • A tutorial which shows the user what to do and when.

Perfected Flight model

  • Accurate flight model, as close as it gets to real performance. Tested by real pilots and translated to X-Plane
  • A dynamic and customizable center of gravity that depends on actual cargo and passenger load

Fully Functional Professional FMS and EFIS System

  • Custom Flight Management Computer, integrated with other plane systems.
  • Custom programmed LNAV logic for terminal procedures from updatable database.
  • VNAV-managed climbs and descends.
  • Optimum cruise performance and step climb calculation.
  • Two independent analogue instrument sets for captain and first officer.
  • Two independently simulated EFIS (EADI/EHSI configuration) for captain and first officer.
  • Dual-FMS with two independently working CDUs.
  • Working instrument comparators.
  • Triple IRS and triple symbol generator systems with realistic instrument source switching.
  • Dual air-data computers with custom failure modes and source switching.
  • Independent 2 nav and an ils recievers.
  • Realistic inertial, radio and GPS position updating, you can see the individual inaccuracies of those systems.
  • Triple-channel autopilot with realistic dependencies.
  • Fail operational and fail passive auto land with mode degradations based on system failures.
  • Load company routes generated by Professional FlightPlanner X (or other compatible programs) directly into the FMC.
  • FMC can be used on external touchscreen or tablet, optimized for the Retina iPad.

Custom Systems and Failure model

  • Detailed and deep simulation of almost every system in the real aircraft.
  • Custom air and pressure system.
  • Electrical system with all AC and DC busses modeled - see which system depends on which bus.
  • Hydraulic system that uses a little fluid when treated correctly and a lot of fluid if used incorrectly.
  • Multistage custom failure system - over 200 more failures than X-Plane.
  • Ability to fix failure by following proper procedure.
  • Persistent failure and maintenance system. Aircraft wear and misuse will carry over to your next flight.

Warning system and radars

  • Fully functional GPWS with all the modes the real plane has.
  • Fully functional terrain radar, with custom database (just like the real plane), a look-ahead warning system and many other features.
  • Weather radar that works like the real thing. Including tilt and gain functions, ground clutter, turbulence detection and windshear prediction.

3D Modeling

  • Accurate dimensions based on exterior drawings provided by Boeing.
  • Very detailed exterior modelling with high resolution textures.
  • Very high resolution 3D cockpit with every switch functional.
  • Spatial rain simulation with high detail.
  • Very detailed passenger cabin graphics including galleys.
  • Additional graphic features: real working oxygen masks both in cockpit and cabin, dynamic window blinds that react to sunlight etc.
  • New and improved wingflex.

Special effects

  • Multilayer dynamic reflections on all glass objects.
  • Reflective metal and plastic objects in the cockpit.
  • Glossy exterior that reflects the outside.
  • XP weather enhancements like custom windshear.

______________________________________________________________________

 

Installation :   Download aircraft file size is 2.27gb - Liveries 426.20mb. Installed file size is 2.91gb

Authorisation key is required, and I highly recommend a desktop startup when Key activation is complete.

Notes: You will need a lot of time to programme the aircraft before actually flying it.

Documents : Both a Official Boeing B767 Operating Manual and FlightFactor aircraft manual and Remote CDU set up guide (iPad).

I also recommend to download this: B757_Flightdeck_and_Avionics guide 14.6mb for a more quicker overview than the extensive official manual.

 

757-200_Docs.jpg

 

Requirements :

X-Plane 10.50+ (any edition) running in 64bit mode.
Windows 7+, Mac OS 10.9+ or Linux 14.04 LTS or compatible. 64bit mode
1Gb VRAM Video Card Minimum. 2Gb+ VRAM Recommended. 3Gb+ VRAM Preferred
(Note aircraft is exceptionally good on framerate, playback is current with similar sized aircraft and features)

______________________________________________________________________

 

FlightFactor Developer Support : FlightFactor 757 Professional
 
______________________________________________________________________
 

Review by Stephen Dutton

31st October 2016

Copyright©2015: X-Plane Reviews

 

Review System Specifications:

Computer System:  - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27”- 9 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 6970M 2048 mb- Seagate 512gb SSD 

Software:   - Mac OS Yosemite 10.10.4 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.42 (final)

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

Scenery or Aircraft

- KATL - KATL - Atlanta International by Nimbus (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$23.95

- KIAH - Houston George Bush Intctl Airport v1.4 (no known developer or listing)

 

Logo Header X-PlaneReviews 200px.jpg

 

 

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I'm unconvinced that BSS did the full pack. There are still a lot of "FF characteristic" sounds like the autopilot disconnect, and I heard that BSS simply did the engine sounds for the 767 and 757 and not the full experience.

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On 10/11/2016 at 9:17 AM, Guest John Optegrove said:

I'm unconvinced that BSS did the full pack. There are still a lot of "FF characteristic" sounds like the autopilot disconnect, and I heard that BSS simply did the engine sounds for the 767 and 757 and not the full experience.

 

There is more in there than engine sounds, If you sit in the rear (cabin) and surrounding aural sounds they are all very BSS, ditto the full range of cockpit sounds, but yes they are still a fusion of both sounds from both parties. SD

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Presently, I own Boeing 757-200 v1.2 by FlightFactor VMAX. Must I purchase

Boeing 757-200 v2 by FlightFactor VMAX or can the

Boeing 757-200 v1.2 by FlightFactor VMAX be updated?

Bob Thomas

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2 hours ago, Rthomas18 said:

Presently, I own Boeing 757-200 v1.2 by FlightFactor VMAX. Must I purchase

Boeing 757-200 v2 by FlightFactor VMAX or can the

Boeing 757-200 v1.2 by FlightFactor VMAX be updated?

Bob Thomas

 

The v2 of the latest Boeing 757-200 is a new version, so yes you have buy the new version, but there is a discount available by quoting your current invoice number, contact sales@x-plane.org for details..   SD

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Is there any news on a v2 of the -200F and -300 expansion yet as I would like to have these so wondering whether to buy the v1 expansion pack instead of v2?

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4 hours ago, Guest Michael Doherty said:

Is there any news on a v2 of the -200F and -300 expansion yet as I would like to have these so wondering whether to buy the v1 expansion pack instead of v2?

 

I agree with you Michael that is tough decision. Part of the problem is that X-Plane11 is still in beta, but the basics are done with the v2 release. Yet It may take still a few months before the new v2 expansion pack comes out. If you want XP11 only then I would wait. SD

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