Aircraft Upgrade to XP11 : Douglas DC-8 Series by Wilson's Aircraft
Mike Wilson has upgraded his Douglas DC-8 Series to X-Plane11. The upgrade is known as 11x and also adds in another variant of the DC-8 family in the DC-8 -71 passenger version. This goes with the already included in the package the original 61, 63 and the 71F (Freighter) variants.
I love these old birds, they are interesting and a more manual analog style of aircraft to fly and they give you more feedback and control. The release of the DC-8 in X-Plane from Mike Wilson was a welcome addition to my flying and I covered the aircraft in a full review here: Aircraft Review : Douglas DC-8 by Wilson's Aircraft
This is the 63 with the CFM International CFM56-2 high-bypass turbofans (22,000 lbf (98 kN). In reality all the aircraft here has the same 187.4ft fuselage length, it is the engines and age that makes the differential difference. Personally I love the huge turbofans of the later aircraft, they seem to fill out the airframe to a better degree, and so this 71 is a nice addition.
The other engine variants are:
DC-8-61 Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3 turbofan (18,000 lbf (80 kN)
DC-8-63 Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3B turbofan (18,000 lbf (80.07 kN) )
Internally the new passenger 71 is the same as the 61 and 63.
There are two new liveries with the new 71 variant for Zambia Airways and Air Sweden, two current liveries for Delta and United are also available.
All the liveries for the other variants are all listed in the original review.
The aircraft now also comes with two FMS versions. The modern 71 has the standard X-Plane FMS built in...
... the 11x version in the earlier 61 and 63 also has now the era 60's xCiva plugin built into the upper pedestal. The CIVA (Delco Carousel IV-A Inertial Navigation System) was the mostly widespread early navigation system and it can be used in the DC-8 but it is an add on (xCIVA Nav System US$10). It is also deposited in the "Aircraft's" plugin folder and not in the general X-Plane plugin folder.
I fly mostly in this package the DC-8F (Freighter) variant. In the 11x update I got a nice surprise in that now I also have a nice cargo door... that also opens.
That nasty royal blue carpet has gone as well and now there are rollers and a hard floor. Some containers are welcome as well. The doors now also open without the stairs in the way as well. It was odd to park at a gate and you couldn't open the doors without the stairs in position? The doors are now thankfully on a separate switch from the stairs as is the Ground Power Unit (GPU). However the power cart does still not provide power if the engines are switched off?
The DC-8 bird is a nice aircraft, I love the sheer bulk of the machine. A few details have also been attended to with the wing texture sharpened and leading edge riveting removed on the older 61 version, it is more cleaner now.
This is the 11x or X-Plane11 version. But the textures have not been updated to X-Plane11's PBR (Physical Based Rendering) feature. So the aircraft is pretty much the same as it was in X-Plane10 and slightly dull, the mapping is just a little better in the better XP11 lighting, but overall these DC-8's don't take advantage of the PBR feature.
It is the same on the internal textures as well. So the cockpit comes across not as X-Plane11 dynamic as it really should be?
The cockpit looks the part though, and there are some great 60's era detailing features throughout the design... and still in here it is a very nice place to be, but overall it feels like a missed opportunity. Another change is an odd one as well...
The instrument reflection texture has been reduced, obviously because someone complained. The instruments with the change are certainly now more clearer, but also far more duller too add in to the overall picture, the whole visual has lost that panel sparkle and it feels quite greyed out. And even with the lighting knobs on full there is no backlighting to the instruments. The IAS needles on the co-pilot's side are also missing?
It does look thankfully very nice at night. But you have to watch how much you turn down the pilot's and co-pilot's panel lighting, if not you get black holes instead of instruments. So there is no happy medium of separate instrument adjustment and panel brightness, it is or either one or the other.
The ridiculous 30º + bank is still in there as well, with XPRealistic Pro running I thought I was going to die as I went into a total lunge into the never never, with the plugin off it still churns your visual aspect...
You can still choose your crew including a male and female co-pilot.
The speedbrake has had some attention in appearance and the arm function now works as it doesn't cut into the pedestal anymore...
... also the fuel transfer panel is now fully operational and you can select where you want what fuel to go where. Other notes include the NAV 1&2 and transponder numbers are now correct and the old (very old) extra rocket engines sound system is gone and has been replaced with a new sound system.
I have flown the Mike Wilson DC-8 a lot since its initial release over a year ago, I particularly like the cargo version with the huge CFM engines.
It is not a complicated aircraft to fly either, but there are some foibles to get used to. It is challenging as well, and certainly at slow speeds on using those huge barn door flaps and DC-8's are well known for their exciting crab (sideways) landings in crosswinds.
Another run done, so a turnaround and back to KATL is in order, now in X-Plane11 as well!
Note: This is an X-Plane11 version and a new version of the package including the new extra 71 variant. So a full purchase price is required. There is a discount on this X-Plane11 version for older purchasers of the XP10 version at 50% off. The coupon code is located in the original DC8 order on your account page at the X-Plane.OrgStore.
You do now get 4 different versions of the DC-8, the DC-8-61, the DC-8-63, the DC-8-71 freighter version, and the DC-8-71 passenger version. Which is four aircraft for the price of one with three engine options. The aircraft is also now compatible with X-Plane11 in performance and specifics, but it doesn't have X-Plane11's PBR features or textures and with that a bit of the dynamics of X-Plane11 is lost externally, internally and it shows as well in the cockpit with the loss of the instrument reflections as well and a lot of the original foibles and quirks are still in there.
Added new features like the cargo door and a more modern FMS and built xCiva are also very welcome and adds in a lot of new functionality to the aircraft.
But as noted I really love the DC-8 and it is very welcome to fly it in X-Plane11 in all its glory. Reimageining these classic aircraft into something usable and enjoyably fun to fly is always a crusade for me and certainly that aspect is applicable to Mike Wilson's DC aircraft and they are all very welcome into your X-Plane hangar.
The DC-8 Series from Wilson's Aircraft is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store.
Price is currently US$ 35.00
Get the - DC-8 71 XP11 Series - Here
New Version for X-Plane 11
new DC-8 71 passenger version
3D civa added (version 61-63)
new v11 3D FMS: two distinct FMS (version 71-71F)
removed extra rocket engines sound system, instead uses new sound pack with new plugin
fuel transfer & selector added (x-plane default)
new custom gauges
nav 1/2 + transponder numbers corrected
instruments reflections texture reduced
speed brake handle corrected (arm function + texture)
GPU and stairs can show separately now
DC-8-61 version: wing texture sharpened and leading edge riveting removed
animated cargo door added on freighter version
two new liveries: Delta Airlines & Zambia airways
new v11 custom icons for all liveries
Full features list:
Flight testing by retired DC-8-63 and L-1011 pilot Andre Poirier, and DC-8-71 Captain Carlos Roldos, and DC-8-63 captain Gerhard Opel
42 functions on the flight engineers panel however plane can be flown with out using the flight engineers panel
Total of 15 high resolution liveries with a paint kit for user to make their own liveries
Transcontinental, United, Quebec air, UPS worldwide, UPS classic, United, Eastern, KLM, ATI, Garuda Indonesian, Transamerica, Japan Airlines, DHL, , Eastern, UTA
3D cockpit by Julien Brezel
Animation of the doors includes the animation of the corresponding stair car.
Two choices of textures for the cockpit are provided, low definition & high definition, depending on your graphic card abilities.
Visible hot air jet exhaust
Animated thrust reversers and spinning fans
Choice of 3 pilot figures, male and female. Custom slider keys can be defined in your "joystick and Equipment" menu in xplane to show/hide First officer and Flight engineer, also show/hide ground services GPU/stairs), also front door opening, and aft door opening.
Uses 3D lighting for both interior and exterior night textures. For the best experience, ensure that the HDR is activated in your rendering options. The rudder illuminates when taxi light is ON.
Comprehensive user manual and full checklist including cold and dark starting based on scans that Andre sent me of his flight manual
Detailed pneumatic hoses underneath spoilers and flaps
The most realistic way to fly a jet plane of this era is to use the CIVA plug in which is available at this store
X-Plane 11 Only
Windows, Mac, Linux in 64bit mode
2Gb+ VRAM Video Card
DC8 XP10 owner can buy this new XP11 version at 50% off. The coupon code is located in the original DC8 order
Installation and documents:
Download for the DC-8 XP11 Series package is downloaded via four zip files:
DC-8-61_v1 4216 393.00mb - 447mb Installed
DC-8-63_v1 6837 403.00mb - 458mb Installed
DC-8-71_v1 6837 358.10mb - 392.40mb Installed
DC-8-71F_v1 2149 449.00mb - 543mb Installed
... and the unzipped files are deposited in the "Heavy Metal" X-Plane folder.
Note the download is slow, so allow time (30min) for each download.
There is a secondary download package consisting of:
Manuals and ADDONS - Download 291mb
CoPilots (objects to change crew)
Manuals: Checklist - Cold and Dark, Checklist - Running, DC-8 Flight Profile, DC-8 Landing Speed Chart and DC-8 Manual (20 pages)
Textures (high and low resolution)
If you own or purchase xCIVA Nav System US$10
It can be installed in the DC-8 in only two variants 61/63. The plugin is installed in a folder called "plugins" in the aircraft file (not the X-Plane plugin folder). There is NO such folder with the aircraft... so you will need to create a "plugins" folder in each aircraft and then insert the xCIVA plugin into that folder to make it work, an operating manual is provided.
Review by Stephen Dutton
29th July 2017
(Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)
Review System Specifications:
Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD
Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.02
Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini
Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 2.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95