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    Wouldn't it be better to simulate the Honeywell FMS/MCDU that is in the real aircraft? The FMS in the Wilco/Feelthere E-175 for FSX has a good simulation of key features of the real FMS. The buttons on this MCDU don't look like the real thing and the flow is different. Where are the NAV and PERF buttons? Why are PREV and NEXT in the wrong positions? This seems out of keeping with the approach to the overhead panels. I want to buy a good E-175 for XP 11, but hope it has a closer simulation of the MCDU.
  2. 1 like
    An excellent review of an excellent aircraft, Stephen - thanks. The SSG E170 Evolution is very nice, and a welcome addition to my hangar. It is certainly a far superior product to its SSG predecessor stablemate, but improvements we would naturally expect. Whilst the former model might reasonably be seen as a "lite", SSG's E170 Evolution is surely positioned higher in the league, and ranked and judged accordingly? The FMC is bespoke, with much of it depicted with an Embraer styled overlay, but underlying UFMC Boeing core FMC components do at times show through. This can change the immersion level, especially when Boeing derivative FMC menu's appear in your Embraer VC. One of my gripes is as Stephen pointed out to do with some of the mouse click spots that canne hard to find, for instance the altitude selector (fast up), as well as some of the upper light switches, as I tend to inadvertently operate switches other than the one I am trying to! The seat texturing is below par at this price point, as is some detailing on the sidewalls including the tiller and oxygen mask; my commenting on this is essentially driven by product pricing. The VC lighting would benefit from a revision; having just watched several E-Jet YouTube videos, the main panel downlighting should be much brighter with a greater range of adjustment. It is a known fact that the little LED's above the glare shield controls are not illuminatedy as standard by Embraer, as this is a customer option that is apparently not terribly popular. As an Embraer customer myself (of sorts!), I'd very much like SSG to make this a clickable option, as interpreting LED's within a VC is possibly easier than gauging PFD acronyms, This would be a perfect option for SSG's in-VC menu system - LED's ON/OFF. Some of the PFD notations don't necessarily correspond as I might expect them to, but admittedly this may be my lack of clarity, due in part to not having a manual, and knowing well the old and venerable Wilco / feelThere E-Jet series. Also to be noted is that a full user manual is yet to be delivered, and that a paint kit is said to be enroute. That said, the supplied liveries are diverse and outstanding as they are, and knowing SSG as the prolific livery makers that they are, those liveries will keep on coming. Having watched several more YouTube Embraer videos, it seems to me that the PFD/ND displays are possibly slightly inaccurate, though not wildly so; for instance, the placement of the excellent vertical profile is slightly at odds with the real aircraft, and WX radar labelling is missing where it should sit on the opposite side to the TCAS settings. These latter issues are minor, and perhaps SSG might easily address them. However, reflecting on the fact that SSG have moved their products upmarket, customer expectations have thus been proportionally raised, and when comparing other products by price range, it may be reasonable to expect SSG to tackle some if not all of the comments raised. After all, once done, the product will very much stand up in its own right - it's already very good, and already a sound favourite of mine, but imagine how good it will then be?
  3. 1 like
    Scenery Review : LEVC - Valencia Manises by DAI-Media Route : LIRF (Fiumicino, Rome) to LEVC (Valencia Manises) Valencia Airport in Manises (IATA: VLC, ICAO: LEVC), also known as "Manises" Airport is the 8th busiest Spanish airport in terms of passengers and second in the region after Alicante. It is situated 8 km (5.0 mi) west of the city of Valencia. The airport has flight connections to about 15 European countries and 4,599,990 passengers passed through the airport in 2013. Valencia is a very popular port in the fact that the Americas Cup and Formula One Grand Prix races were held in the city. The airport has one terminal and one runway. The former runway 04/22 is not in use and has no ILS but has a helipad at the southwestern end. (Images GoogleMaps) First Impressions Departure was by Fiumicino's (LIRF) runway 34L to a cruise altitude of FL325. The service from LIRF to LEVC is only around 1h,50m. You cover across the Tyrrhenian Sea to Sardinia and then to cover the Island of Majorca, then direct to Valencia on the east coast of Spain. A side note on the images, here we are using the Aerosoft "skytools" and the effects are very good in - Sun Halo and 3d clouds. The set I am using is the "chilled air" and "theme 1" settings. And the effects speak for themselves. Entry into LEVC is via "Mulat" (RIKOS -> TULNO -> MULAT) which is a straight forward approach. We are using runway 30 and arriving from the east. 12/30 3,215m (10,548ft) Asphalt The Valencia airport is situated a few kilometers (8K) inland, and you cover the south of the city on your approach. The first impression is how well the airport is integrated into the Xplane scenery. Major roads cover the (approach) Eastern boundary (leading to the southern) and northern boundary of the airport. The city is very closely built in to the airport as well. DAI-Media were always very good at this sort of landscape intergration were as the effects between the custom scenery is perfectly aligned with in the default scenery set out around it. Their process of using photo underlays in being matched to the default landscape is very well done. As a visual approach to LEVC this is very highly rated. You have to be aware however that if you have your default settings for buildings and distance set to high it can use a lot of frame-rate power. The airport itself is very frame-rate friendly, but to get the most of the great effect of the approach you must find the best balance of having your default settings then set to get the best outlying coverage you can. Runways are extremely well detailed with runway grooves and texture. All runway (and taxiway) lineage and markings are excellent with great visual rubber patches on the turns at intersections. Closer to the single terminal the direction markings are first rate. The terminal is a bit of old and new as most European Airports usually are. The standard terminal in central but to the right is a new section and left is the newer soaring curved roof design that is the new regional terminal, which includes extended carparks and larger apron area that was recently constructed for the 2007 America's Cup. There are six airbridges on the main terminal that has built in "autogates". The gates are very well done but are not set to work correctly. You have to come in off the center bay line to align with the system. In the B757 the alignment device ends up somewhere in the first class compartment and the bridge ends up halfway across the aircraft (I will note that the autogates do require the aircraft to be set correctly to align with the gates), but the x737 (which I know is correctly set) is just as badly set out. Your Co-Pilot would have to hang himself outside of his cockpit window to send the instructions to the manoeuvring pilot to align the aircraft?... all alignment system boards are way to close to the aircraft and all settings are not aligned to the bay markings? The ramp areas are excellent for gated bays and remote parking. There are well placed static aircraft of the correct airlines that service the airport, static aircraft textures can be a little blurry on lower render settings. The overall feel on the area is excellent in that it is well equipped with plenty of visual stimulation without it being overloaded... in other words the right balance. Terminal and Central Area The terminals look to be three buildings but are in fact just one inside. The older cream building is central and the newer glass and steel structures are built on each side. Set out behind the terminal is the well curved and set in carpark, that makes the whole set look well connected and visually appealing. the trademark terminal roof louvers are well set out. Design work here is excellent with all details well noted, certainly on the newer buildings and their curved roofs and glass areas. The slates on the new right building can be buzzy at points, but that is the way the building is constructed. There is not a lot of really highly detailed texture work here, but just very good 3d modeling and building design that is one stage above the very good but not totally excellent in the scale of almost everything like rubbish bins and building piping which is the very small stuff that make some of the latest scenery so highly detailed. That said, the scenery here is certainly very good in its design and has very good signage, trees and good carparking details. All airport buildings are present and many of them slip into the standard default scenery area, in then creating a seemless transition from one to the other. Traffic ramps are well situated between the terminal and the carparks, there is a some traffic around the inside of the airport but not in the central area. The Control Tower is at rear of the terminal is a stumpy affair that has blind spots on some areas of the ramps (the same in the real tower). It is noted to have your "runways follow contours" switched "on". If not you get some building float (carpark). Ramp side known as "Apron North" there is a lot of detailed work in bollards, caution fences and ramp equipment with plenty of vehicles. There is a lot of space to park the aircraft in the bays, but also plenty of visual equipment to make you feel you have arrived. The main traffic road is well detailed but there is no ground traffic to create any movement. Cargo and General Aviation West of the main terminal area is the Cargo area and GA faciities. By world standards Valencia's cargo hub is quite small, but very busy. The ramps are well marked and there is plenty of space to park your freighter. Like the rest of the airport there are some nice details like pallets and loaders and trolleys but not so much you have to wonder where to site your giant Boeing 747F. Plenty of detail here at the rear with trucks loading and parking space. All airport areas are well fenced with great detailing. Small details I admit, but they make up the difference between good scenery and excellent... and here it is excellent. The General Aviation area is quite small and Valencia is not really noted as an GA airport. There is a parking area and a refueling area and an Aeroclub (Real De Aeroclub Valencia) large hangar. A single row of hangars also are sited in this area with a large covered (long term) carpark set out behind. Further west is a Golf Club and links that is very well laid out (It is known that police pull out plane spotters out of the links on a regular basis?). Apron South As noted runway 04/22 is now not in use but it used to connect over to the South (Apron). It is the main base of Iberia’s regional carrier Air Nostrum which have their base here and the office and maintenance buildings (hangars) are situated over on the south apron area. There is a small tower and a Cessna dealer noted here also. Ryanair used this area as a southern European maintenance base but with drawn a few years ago. Latest news it that they are back but only in a smaller capacity. There is a big helicopter pad and facilities and Iberia also uses the area to park up and store their spare aircraft. Night Lighting Night lighting is uniformly excellent. Great spot lights in the dull daytime with great spread lighting over all the ramp areas with HDR switched "on". Reae terminal lighting is different and looks excellent in contrast to the bright ramp lighting. Terminal building lighting is good and slightly bland but not the focus here. The regional terminal building is more gradiented in its glass and there are people situated in some windows. Cargo and South Areas are similarly well lit, with not only tower lighting but building down lighting as well. Runway approach and runway lighting is excellent. Taxiway lighting and direction signs are perfect and the ramp areas are also first rate in throw and brightness. The huge amount of default highway lighting and local lighting around the airport gives it a great view in any direction. A later in the day as I prepared to leave LEVC the weather changed quite dark and moody. The images here are worth looking at with the new "skytools" and the excellent lighting at Manises. The ground lighting reflections on the low lying cloud layers were very authentic. Operators Most services out of Valencia is mostly regional, in fact 50% of flights are to Madrid? A lot of flights are also seasonal, mostly to northern European ports. Air Algerie - Seasonal: Algiers (begins 26 June 2014) Air Berlin - Palma de Mallorca Air Europa - Palma de Mallorca, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Tenerife-South Air Europa - operated by Swiftair Madrid Alitalia - Rome-Fiumicino Blue Air - Bucharest Darwin Airline - Geneva EasyJet - London-Gatwick Iberia operated by Air Nostrum Asturias, Barcelona, Bilbao, Bologna, Gran Canaria, Ibiza, Madrid, Málaga, Menorca, Palma de Mallorca, Seville, Tenerife-North, Seasonal: Arrecife, Funchal Lufthansa Frankfurt (begins 30 March 2014), Düsseldorf Niki - Seasonal: Vienna Royal Air Maroc - Casablanca Ryanair - Beauvais, Bergamo, Bologna, Brussels (begins February 2014), Charleroi, Dublin, Gran Canaria, Hahn, Ibiza, London-Stansted, Málaga, Marrakech (ends 1 October 2014), Memmingen, Moss/Rygge, Palma de Mallorca, Pisa, Porto, Rome-Ciampino, Santander, Santiago de Compostela, Seville, Tenerife-South, Treviso, Weeze - Seasonal: Bristol, Manchester S7 Airlines - Seasonal: Moscow-Domodedovo SmartWings operated by Travel Service Airlines - Seasonal: Prague Swiss International Air Lines Zurich TAP - Portugal operated by Portugália Lisbon Transavia.com - Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Rotterdam Turkish Airlines - Istanbul-Atatürk Volotea Asturias, Bordeaux (begins 2 June 2014), Nantes Vueling - Brussels, Paris-Orly, Rome-Fiumicino, Seasonal: Amsterdam, Ibiza Wizz Air - Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Sofia, Timişoara Wizz Air Ukraine - Kiev-Zhulyany, Lviv (begins 30 April 2014) But you do get a nice selection of operators from around Europe and Eastern Europe. Africa is a nice bonus as well. In domestic including Portugal then there is also a lot to choose from. Certainly Air Nostrum dominates here and so does Ryanair. But to pop in and out as a refuel stop with a private jet would not go astray. Conclusions I was extremely impressed with DAI-Media's LROP Henri Coanda at Bucharest, RO (LROP Henri Coanda). The airports integration into the default Xplane landscape was one of the best I had seen and so were the runway textures and signage. The 3d work was very good with the newer work but slightly dated with the older main buildings. Here at LEVC the newer work in 3d design is like the best at LROP, So that is its best points, but there is still another level to go to be at the very best end of excellent scenery design. Not with saying this is not very good because it is, certainly far better than most of what Aerosoft deliver and with the far better photo underlay blending in perfectly with the surroundings. The Golf Course is a point to how well this is done... Most photo underlays (green especially) are gaudy and stand out, here it sublime in the right colour and setting. The amount of building detail is extensive and very well done and everything in requirements are in there. The airport is full of static aircraft, equipment and vehicles but not overwhelmingly so. Only the "autogates" need attention and a few ground traffic animations would be very nice. Lighting through out is excellent except for the slightly bland building windows. The airport itself is not very frame-rate heavy, but your settings need to be adjusted carefully to get the visual aspect of the airport and the surrounding default scenery. If you can turn your settings up high then your in for a treat, for the rest of us we may still get a great visual effect on landing or leaving LEVC but you will be in the low 20's in doing so. As scenery goes LEVC - Valencia by DAI-Media is very good. Certainly if you use the airport's great position to cover Europe and North Africa, It also a great jumping off point to the many Spanish ports in domestic and out-lying Islands of the Mediterranean (Ibiza/Majorca) and Atlantic (Gran Canaria/Tenerife/Funchal) destinations. The step from Bucharest's LROP to Valencia's LEVC is a good one and it will be interesting in what destination DAI-Media chooses next. Overall this a very good scenery package to have. Yes! the LEVC - Valencia is now Available from the DAI-Media : LEVC - Valencia Manises Price is Euro 25.00 € (US$34.16 - current conversion 14th Jan 14) Installation : Download is 100.80mb that is unzipped into your "Custom Scenery" folder (132.80mb) with a 3 page "read me" manual. Charts are noted but you have to join (and pay) to acquire them. Requirements: - Software plataform: X-Plane 10.25 - Specification: Sames like X-Plane 10.25, runways follow contours - IVAO / VATSIM, compatible. Current version : v1_1401_1 (last updated Jan 4th, 2014 Review by Stephen Dutton 14th January 2014 ©copyright X-Plane Reviews 2014 Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb Software: - Mac OS Mavericks 10.9 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.25 (final) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle Scenery - LIRF - Fiumicino, Rome - LIRF Roma Fiumicino Leonardo Da Vinci Airport 2.21 by Seaman (.org)