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Sukhoi Baron 2318

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  1. X-PlaneReviews : 4th Anniversary Competition!

    The FJS 732 - For pure unadulterated joy of Flying There are the big jets and there is the 737-200. This little Stubby Bird is, in my opinion, the best aircraft in X plane. You can automate and take on the role of 'pilot monitoring' in the other jets but you have to truly become an aviator and imbibe the spirit of flying the aircraft in this little gem. The 737 was the brainchild of two of the legendary engineers at Boeing, Jack Steiner and Joe Sutter. Jack's vision to use the 707 fuselage and share commonality of parts with the 727 and Joe's vision to keep the jet low to the ground for ease of maintenance and rapid turn-around for the airlines was a master-piece, the result was the first short-haul jet to have engines under the wings and hence the stubby bird's distinctive appearance. The FJS-732 was designed by another Jack-namely Jack Skieczius (aka the Flying Jackal) and his creation is as brilliant as the aircraft. You are greeted by authentic steam gauge instruments which you have to master to tailor the aircraft to your liking. There is not an iota of an FMS (none of the stupid LNAV and VNAV) and hence you have to fly VOR to VOR and as Stephen says, "throw an occasional NDB". You get the sense of communicating with the aircraft by easing the wonderfully modeled throttles, flap and speed brake levers. The aircraft itself, in the words of the Canadian Northern pilots who are still lucky enough to fly it, is probably the sweetest handling bird which keeps them on their toes for flying proficiency and Jack has captured the perfection of hand flying this machine. Whenever I fly this beauty, she never fails to put a smile to my face! She gracefully responds to every control inputs and the Sperry 77 Autopilot is powerfully simple and elegant to operate. No wonder, the chief test pilots Lew Wallick and Argyle did not want the test flight to end! Kelly Johnson, the legendary developer of the SR -71 once remarked that for an aircraft to fly good, it has to look good and the WWII engineers at Grumman said that every aircraft had to follow KISS (Keep it Short and Simple). This Stubby Bird checks both the boxes. I Thank the developers for giving us this purely electro-mechanical wonder in this sterile digital era.
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