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Found 6 results

  1. News! - Aircraft Announcement : McDonnell Douglas MD-11 Coming from Rotate Everybody loves some good news, but great news is even better. Rotate the developer house that created the McDonnell Douglas MD88 has announced their next project is the Tri-Jet McDonnell Douglas MD-11. Now that is totally brilliant news. These middle-tier Tri-Jets are certainly in need of a though deep design attention in X-Plane and the coming of a MD-11 in the sort of quality that we have with the excellent MD88 is going to be a much anticipated release... when, no idea, but I hope before Christmas 2017 would be nice. Only one image has been released and it is the nose of the freighter version, which is good news as well as the freighter is the version I much want more than anything else... If any thing new pops out I'll let you know... ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 27th May 2017 Copyright©X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews
  2. Aircraft Update : McDonnell Douglas MD-88 Pro v1.30 by Rotate The McDonnell Douglas MD-88 has been upgraded to v1.30 and now comes with the added Pro moniker. The better news is that this version by Rotate is also compatible or "flyable" in X-Plane11. It is to be noted that the update v1.30 is for X-Plane 10.51, but changes have been accommodated so it will fly in the current X-Plane11 beta and a final X-Plane11 version of this aircraft will be released when X-Plane11 goes final. There are a few quirks in flying the MD-88 in X-Plane11 of which are to be expected, but nothing that gets in the way of flying this excellent airliner in the new version of the X-Plane simulator. The v1.30 update is also very significant because it covers a lot of areas that brings the aircraft up to the almost a more complete systems coverage, and that is where this release is basically aimed in the focus on systems and the switchgear that are now active. The changelog for v1.30 is quite extensive (bottom), and visually there isn't much difference as everything is mostly in the aircraft's operations than new features. However that doesn't mean this upgrade doesn't make a big difference to the aircraft because it does. Although this v1.30 update is aimed at X-Plane 10.51, this overview of the update is in X-Plane11(beta15) as if any aircraft that was made for the new features of X-Plane11 it is this MD-88, it always looked sensational before, but now it looks and feels like it is from another world again in X-Plane11. The added PBR (Physically Based Rendering) shininess and harder shadows gives the aircraft a very different definition. The aircraft being from another era looks sublime in the right light as many areas give off that great metallic feel that is created by PBR in metalness. Metal and shininess was one of the real challenges before PBR, but not now and you can see the real advances in X-Plane11 in this area on the MD-88. The leading edge is just beautiful, as are the paneled wings. The engines which are also upgraded here in v1.30 to JT8D-219's (21,000 lbf) look very authentic and note the worn metal detailing with the thrust reverser doors in the open position. v1.30 Focus The Rotate MD-88 has had a lot of comments since it's debut in that externally it is extremely very good with those huge dense textures, but very light on systems and switchgear. Over the last year and through the recent updates there has been a lot of attention to these minute items but in v1.30 this area has been the update's main focus. So now almost every switch and dial is active, everything now has a job to do. That also means a lot of time setting up the aircraft from cold and you will need your checklists to get it all done. To help you out the sounds have been upgraded as well to reflect the use of these smaller items. But to note that the sounds are at this point only relevant to the X-Plane10 version and not the X-Plane11 version as X-Plane11 has a completely new FMOD-based sound system. This system has been noted as complete in beta15, but developers have not yet being given access as the tools are not yet compete, but the intergation of the FMOD-based sound will be certainly extensive and the new sounds will certainly come very quickly to this v1.30 in a very short time. The menu system in X-Plane11 makes it easier to activate the GPU and the doors, than the older (but still there) way of on the FMS. This feature is handy for starting up the APU without ant power to the aircraft and you can now also watch the doors in action as you select them. This menu selection was in X-Plane10 earlier, but it was more difficult to use. With PBR you get a reflection on the dials and they look like they are actually lit but they are not, but there is a difference when you turn up the backlighting. With the panel power up, the Avionics are not lit. To save you an hour or so looking for the Avionics power switch it is because there isn't one? The displays only have to have their brightness turned up, via the two knobs on the panel and the FMS knob on the FMS panel. It is also now important you get the IRS "Align" mode correct as well in v1.30. It has to be done in the correct order on the FMS, if not it won't align or work. On the now aligned flight displays note the two alerts in "G/S Fail" and "LOC Fail", These alerts are now on most of the time unless the G/S and the VOR frequencies are active. FMS (Flight Management System) is comprehensive and on the surface looks the same as the earlier versions. Fixes also include for ARINC424 instructions and the changes for the missing X-Plane10 Avionics in X-Plane11. But the system has had a big overhaul in the internal code, we will see more later of these features in the review. Overhead (OVHD) panel is now highly active. Small items like resetting the Flight-Recorder Voice-Recorder and testing the volume are workable as are overhead tests for Fire, GPWS, Windshear, CSD, IRS-2, Ground Service Bus, Audio panel and Fuel Heat. More significant in v1.30 is the new long system list in that that far more areas are now represented. Fuel Heat is simulated, CrossFeed valve works, Pump logic improved, All fuel burn logic now accounts for APU, AC and Anti-Ice bleed use. More includes complete engine fire detection and extinguishing is simulated, Hydraulic system improved, flight surfaces hydraulic dependencies and Rudder Travel functionality, Airfoil and Tail heat logic and Annunciators, the Brake Temperature indicator and testing, and so are the Brakes and reverser hydraulic dependencies with Custom Auto Brake Systems, and most the of the accumulators now including the Brakes and Reversers accumulators are also simulated. Ditto the aircraft environmental systems when the engines are running, they are all now also adjustable and switchable. It is a big long list, but it brings the "Mad Dog" alive like nothing else did before. KRSW to KATL My usual service route is between South Florida and Atlanta, and that is the service I am flying today. There is a lot of small differences between the X-Plane10 version and the X-Plane11. Not large but significant. One is the very different engine thrust parameters that has thrown a lot of developers out into the deep end. It also mean almost all the original thrust calculations are now not valid. You fly very differently in X-Plane11 than you do in X-Plane10, that is made more aware when you go back to the older X-Plane version on how quite simplistic it was. From a cold startup, or even on a service turnaround there is a large amount of setting up to now to do. In the manual there is the full sequence to start up and to make sure all the buttons and switches are all in the right positions, there is simplistic checklist as well. But nothing here beats time in the seat and learning with your own notes to over and over again to get it all right. You can set a lot of the flying parameters ready on the ground like Speed, NAV (FMS navigation), Altitude and Vertical Speed (V/S). The knobs are very authentic, but the speed setting can take time to adjust as you need many mouse moves to get to the higher speed settings, once there though it is not an issue in flight. Everything armed ready should be visible in the FMA (Flight Mode Annunciator). DC bus electrics need to be set right and running correctly, loads generated are now very authentic. A nice touch is the power to the panel is temporary lost as the electrics switch over from one bus to the other. Setting the "Trim" computer has always been a bit of a minefield for newcomers on this aircraft. But there is a set of tables to get the right selection and nothing beats just a little bit of practise and learning to get it right. This aircraft is full of alerts. So your aim is to do a full fight without sending them off and that is harder than it looks. Two in particular are a pain "On Ramp" and "Altitude". Get a setting wrong like your flap position and off it blares "On Ramp, On Ramp... " but gradually you keep it quiet. The other in "Altitude" is actually not as big an issue. It goes off if the aircraft is below the set altitude, and just sitting on the ramp can set it off if the airport is set below sea level. Just make sure the altitude is set above your current altitude and it won't go off, of course a none set altitude can set it off but that is what the alert is actually there for. The newly adjusted thrust feel is brought to your attention straight away from the moment you get rolling.... or try too? All brake work has to be manual by pushing the button to release or lock with the brake on the tiller. You do still get the regular braking action, but the aircraft won't operate correctly unless to set the position to off from the pilot's seat... this is another X-Plane11 characteristic. Now you can feel the thrust differences as you taxi to your departure runway (RWY06). The MD88 is nice aircraft to taxi, lots of feel and adjustment through the throttle to get the right movement speed. Rotate around 162Knts + 10 and up comes the gear. You now have a decision to make? In v1.30 the FMS now controls the bank speeds, so if you select the NAV option the aircraft is restricted to only turn at 10º bank if the wheels are up and your flaps are stowed away, and this is to make sure the aircraft does not stall at slow speeds. The problem with this is that if you have a tight 90º turn after departure, then the small bank angle can take you seriously off your flightplan, and then give you a lot of adjustment in resetting the aircraft back into the right flightplan heading (banking this way and then that way). So your choices are to keep the flap down (and your speed) or do the turn manually before setting the NAV into operation. From the first moment I saw the features in X-Plane11. There was no aircraft I wanted more to fly in the new version of X-Plane than this Rotate MD-88. And when I did, I wanted nothing more then than want everyone else to fly it in X-Plane11 as well. If any aircraft was created to fly in X-Plane11 it was this one. With those mega massive HD 4K 4096 x 4096 and 350 pixels/meter texture sizes (livery size is 190mb on average) and so the quality is overwhelming, but it is the way the aircraft interacts with the new PBR lighting that is also stunning. You feel almost every panel and every rivet, it is a totally beautiful thing. Internally the X-Plane11 detailing is superb... Light and haze bounces off everywhere, but to focus on detail then you only have to look at the FMS body, totally authentic and beautifully reproduced. This sort of detail was a only dream a few years ago but now we are using and living in it. But back to the v1.30 update systems... The data in the aircraft's performance has been completely rewritten in v1.30. This is reflected into the PROG (Progress) pages on the FMS. Most of the changes have been on page 2 with a burn SCHED for N or A and the calculated remaining fuel. Other items are now highly detailed as well with VNAV predictions, time, fuel, ToC (Top of Climb), ToD (Top of Descent). Also economy (ECOM) target speeds allow you to set the best climb, cruise and descend speeds to get the best performance out of the flight The ToC and ToD targets are now also shown on the Navigation Display and a new and far better feature is the target altitude marker. The altitude marker is an extremely handy tool to set your altitude position at a certain place or fix on the flightplan via the vertical speed, mostly it is used to target the arrival altitude from your cruise level, but here it is a great companion to hit your ToC and ToD targets as well. This is an invaluable tool and one I use in collaboration with all my altitude changes to hit position targets... In other words I love it. Detail in the Navigation Display is now very detailed, but very adjustable in allowing what you want to see and what you don't, but the DATA detail is excellent. Excellent cabin is not changed in v1.30, so maybe a little adjustable lighting would be nice... Window view is one of the best in the business, you can select both forward or rear of the wing and still get an excellent view. I personally like rear of the wing to look at the flap animations. Let us be clear, the MD-88 is not called the "Mad Dog" for nothing. This is a very physical aircraft to fly, watch a few online videos of pilot's wrestling with the Yoke and Rudders would make to think they wouldn't climb in there ever again. But the opposite is true, in that it is the physical nature of the aircraft that makes it one of the most enduring machines to fly and why it was and still is one of the most loved aircraft ever produced. Speed select is a quirk on these older MD's. The actual speed change selection from IAS to .Mach or the other way round is done via pressing the actual knob. But you have to select the actual speed zone you want to use with the autothrust via the two speed selection buttons in "SPD SEL" or "MACH SEL". Another quirk is that on pressing the speed knob it doesn't do a straight speed swap, so you have to change the speed zone, adjust the speed and then press the selection button. If you think that simply pressing the actual the "SPD" or "MACH" button to change zones then it doesn't work that way. KATL (Atlanta) is up and front, time to prepare for landing on RWY27R... but first. ... an small annoyance with the "AutoThrust" disconnect on the FMA (Flight Mode Annunciator) panel. Disconnect the ATH or Autothrust to take over the manual speed control for landing (working the throttles) and the "Throttle" disconnect warning comes on, fair enough... But you can't silence it? There are datarefs to simulate the reselection on and off (cycle) the autothrottle that duplicates the system on the real aircraft to silence the alert, but here it doesn't work, then disconnect the AP or Autopilot to land manually and then you have two blaring alerts in your face all the way to the gate? There is a "Reset" button right on the panel but it is not allowed to work and so it is an annoying and distracting quirk? Throttle response is quite different in X-Plane11, although this is officially still the beta stage. You can feel the smaller throttle inputs more as the MD Series is very light on the pitch with the CoG (Center of Gravity) point set so far behind you. I don't think there is any aircraft that demands as much throttle input,speed, balance and concentration on landing as the MD-88, put a crosswind in there and the "Dog" can make you seriously sweat. But Atlanta is clear today with only a light breeze. Finals... ... and keep that light nose pitch under control, it is far too easy to have a nose high landing. Reverse thrust and full power and control your line down the runway, then you are at taxi speed and a taxi to the gate is all that now has to be done. Job done. Summary Up front I am not going to deny my love for this aircraft, as I have mentioned the same in the past. Would that mean a biased review? In fact it is the completely opposite situation here as I have hounded the developers on even the smallest details to get the aircraft to be the best it could be for X-Plane. That is not for my own worth here, but because this aircraft contributes so much to the X-Plane experience and one that can deliver the sort of experience that makes X-Plane such a great simulator. The aircraft is not totally absolutely perfect, but then no aircraft is, as there is always another system, tweak or feature that could be added into the design. When Rotate's MD-88 was released it was the only DC-9/MD quality payware aircraft in X-Plane. But since there has been the new default X-Plane11 MD-82 and A.T.S. are releasing their MD-80 Series aircraft soon as well. So there is competition now although the default MD-82 is very basic. With this v1.30 though the Rotate MD-88 is certainly pushing well up now in its class, if not leading in the area. In X-Plane11 the aircraft is astounding, but you now have the working systems to back it up as well. Certainly not absolutely perfect as a few things would be nice to have like a "Weight, Fuel & Balance" page, or built in checklists or the nice to have cabin announcements that are standard on aircraft from the likes of FlightFactor or FlyJSim. Not for the novice now, but the is a great overall design and to a point reaching a sort of level of completion that would allow the developer to move on to say another variant (Freighter!) or a newly designed aircraft. I had a choice over the last Christmas/New Year break, as flying time was restricted to having a break from the computer, but there was the odd day to fly, and my own choice to only pick one and one aircraft to use... The choice was overwhelmingly this MD-88. It didn't disappoint, now available in X-Plane11 and with this added system deep v1.30 in my off reviewing flying time, it is still the only choice. Positives: Looks Brilliant and now has the systems to match the looks, "Just look at it", an overall personal favorite. Negatives: Still a few quirks, Sounds currently not same in X-Plane11 as X-Plane10, Not for the novice any more, tricky to fly as all "Mad Dogs" are. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Yes! the v1.30 McDonnell Douglas MD-88 Pro by Rotate is NOW available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : McDonnell Douglas MD-88 Pro Price is US$59.95 If you already have purchased the McDonnell Douglas MD-88 by Rotate, then go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account and download the free v1.30 update. Developer Rotate - Rotate.Com Developer Support - MD80 - X-Plane.Org Note: included in the update review is JARDesign's excellent TugMaster Deluxe and Ground Handling Deluxe plugins, these add-ons are not included with Rotate's MD-88 aircraft package. But ALSO important to update both plugins for use in X-Plane11 as the older versions crash the aircraft. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Features: -> Precise flight model and fine tuned engine performance -> Developed with the advice and counseling from MD-80 licensed pilots -> Works great on all three platforms: Windows, Mac and Linux Custom Flight Management System (FMS) and Automatic Flight Route, departures and arrivals procedures (SIDs and STARs) Save and load route to/from text file Performance management, cost index and optimal altitude and speed calculation Custom VNAV. Climb, cruise and descend management with altitude and speed restrictions Takeoff and approach speed management Custom Navigation Display Improved autopilot with specific horizontal and vertical modes All EPR performance modes Flight Mode Annunciator Aerosoft NavDataPro (2014) included (for updated database third party subscription is needed) Detailed simulation of systems Power plant Electrical Pneumatic and pressurization Slat/flap controls with dial-a-flap feature Takeoff trim computer Customized alert and failures Hyper-realistic visuals Highly detailed 3D cockpit, passenger cabin and exterior model Normal and specular maps for enhanced detail Thorough HD day and night textures Accurate animations, including wing flex animation All external and internal lights\ Liveries: A set of ten ultra-high resolution liveries, including a paintkit Custom sounds 3D sound engine with stereo and doppler effects High quality multi-layered engine sounds Cockpit ambient and custom alerts _____________________________________________________________________________________ Requirements 64 bit operating system Windows Vista/7/8/10, OSX 10.8 and up, Linux Ubuntu 14.04 (or compatible) and up X-Plane 10.31+ (any edition) running in 64bit mode Processor: Multi-core Processor 3.3GHz 8 GB RAM -Hard Disk: 3.3 GB Graphics: 2GB VRAM (3 GB VRAM or more for best performance) Current version: 1.30 (last updated March 20th, 2017) File Download is huge 960.40mb CoG Table jepg: CoG Table.jpg.zip Version v1.30 full changelog: - Custom LNAV guidance. - Compatibility with ARINC424 instructions. - CDU HOLD page with PPOS capability. - Complete HOLD functionality with entry pattern calculation. - Improved ND with curved transitions. - Improved VNAV predictions, time, fuel, ToC, ToD. - More accurate, wp to wp VNAV. - CDU PROG pages with pilot selectable waypoint. - Improved FGCP ALT logic. - Navigation Display marker for FGCP ALT. - Navigation Display and CDU MAG/TRU operation. - CDU RTE DATA page added. - New fuel burn logic, now accounting for APU, AC and Anti-Ice bleed. - Improved PERF page, now BURN SCHED N or A and calculated remaining fuel. - Sound set reworked. - Added CLB DIR functionality. - Added DES DIR functionality. - Added commands to FGCP ALT knob. - Fuel heat is now simulated. - Improved fuel pump logic, with feed by gravity at low altitude. - Fuel crossfeed valve is now operative. - Updated engines to JT8D-219. - Bank limit is now FMS driven in NAV mode. - CLR key timer for scratchpad clear function. - Pitch FD indication bar corrected in TO and GA. - Solved bug related to CDU paging. - Airfoil and Tail heat logic and annunciators now working as expected. - Complete engine fire detection and extinguishing simulation. - Brake Temperature indicator and test. - Custom Auto Brake System. - Overhead tests: Fire, GPWS, Windshear, Flight Recorder, Voice recorder. - Other overhead systems: CSD, IRS-2, Ground Service Bus, Audio panel, Fuel Heat ... - EOAP new alerts. The messages are now ordered correctly as they are triggered. - Added OAP annunciators. - Hydraulic system improved. - Flight surfaces's hydraulic dependencies and Rudder Travel functionality. - Brakes and reversers hydraulic dependencies. Accumulators are now simulated. - Other texture and light improvements. - Mousewheel support for X-Plane 10.50+ _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 17th March 2017 Copyright©2017: X-PlaneReviews (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 11b15 and also used in X-Plane v10.52 and checked with current flight route and details Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : Headshake by Simcoders : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 Scenery or Aircraft - KRSW - Southwest Florida International by Aerosoft (X-PlaneStore) - US$24.95 - KATL - Atlanta International by Nimbus (X-PlaneStore) - US$23.95
  3. Aircraft Update - McDonnell Douglas MD-88 v1.20 by Rotate Rotate have updated the McDonnell Douglas MD-88 to version... v1.20. As updates go it is not a long list but has some really nice significant new features. Note: since this post there has been an update v1.21 posted, details are noted below. The main feature has been the work on the Weather Radar and TCAS - Traffic Collision Avoidance System. And the new system is also compatible with any third party addon using X-Plane's multiplayer interface to position traffic and it has been tested in IVAO and VATSIM, of which was highly requested from online flyers. The pedestal around the TA/RA panel has had a little attention as well. In operation it works very well but not the level of FlightFactors Boeing 767. I can't remember that folded crew seat being there... I could be wrong. Another new feature is the engine output numbers now have rolling numbers and blinking advisories, very nice it is. Autopilot has had attention with retuned up fuel burn rates that still work to with the APU. SPD/MACH SEL now selects V-SPD pitch mode when out of IAS/MACH mode and the SPD/MACH SEL is now not selectable while in TO, GA or TO-FLX modes. I still find the Speed to Mach change goes out (higher number) and is not consistent when you switch over in up or down changes? Autobrakes are now disengaged when manual braking is detected and all custom commands are now operative for hardware controller allocation. I found and reported some white flashing on the wheels with HDR switched off, that has also been addressed and fixed. The full 1.20 update list is: - All custom commands are now operative for hardware controller allocation. - TCAS implementation in VSI and Weather Radar (TA and RA modes). - Weather Radar range and other fuctions are now operative. - Barometric pressure manipulator correction. - Engine's displays now with rolling numbers and blinking advisories. - Solved some texture problems in the wheels. - Slow fast indicator is now shown with AT dissengaged. - Aerosoft airac database naming convention now supported. - X Plane GNS430 airac database naming convention now supported. - Tuned up fuel burn rates. Still work to do with APU. - Tuned up AP modes. SPD/MACH SEL now selects V-SPD pitch mode when out of IAS/MACH mode. - Tuned up AP modes. SPD/MACH SEL is now not selectable while in TO, GA or TO-FLX modes. - Other improvements in AP modes. - Tuned up exterior lights. - Added camera movement restriction to the inside view. - Added details in cockpit textures, specially in aft pedestal. - Corrected some texture problems in the wheels. - Autobrakes are disengaged when manual braking is detected. Update v1.21 Rotate has posted an update to be added into version 1.20. This covers a few items: - Solved issue preventing the loading under OSX versions previous to 10.10. - Rudder trim tab animation is now correct. - Minor cockpit's textures changes. - Missing cockpit lights are back. - Camera limits removed. They will be back if we find a satisfactory solution. You don't have to redownload the full aircraft from your store, but download this v1.21r1 patch here: Rotate MD-80 v1.21r1-patch 1.0.0 Patch is 76mb and just replace the contents into their relevant folders. So all in all a nice set of tweeks and small updates to keep the MD-88 flying the routes in service... You can go and download the v1.20 update now from your account at the X-Plane.OrgStore if you have already purchased the aircraft or purchase below. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Yes! the McDonnell Douglas MD-88 by Rotate is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : McDonnell Douglas MD-88 Price is US$59.95 If you already have purchased the McDonnell Douglas MD-88 by Rotate, then go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account and download the free v1.20 update. Developer Rotate - Rotate.Com Developer Support - MD80 - X-Plane.Org _____________________________________________________________________________________ Updated by Stephen Dutton 20th July 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews
  4. Aircraft Update - McDonnell Douglas MD-88 v1.11 by Rotate Rotate has already produced another update for the McDonnell Douglas MD-88. This v1.11 update is really a patch, but a quite an extensive patch that it covers again a lot of ground in firming up the MD88 as a first-rate aircraft. Yes it does still certainly have a way to go but the basics are now in place to build up the feature list. Full v1.11 Changelog is: - Fixed list filter in ARRIVALS page. - Random missing waypoints in STARTRANS are now inserted correctly. - Inhibited the CRZ ALT limit due to performance. - New CDU warning will be issued if CRZ ALT is over MAX ALT (MAX ALT FLXXX). - Transition altitude now accepts input formats FLXXX and XXX. - Landing and nose lights range extended and intensity increased. - Boarding door position adjusted for AutoGate plugin. - Glideslope capture inhibits Altitude Alert. Also flaps deployed at or over 28º. - ALT knob click resets Altitude Alert. - Adjusted track indication in ND MAP. - APU EGT bug solved. - CDT while changing STAR has been solved. - Resolved bug preventing VIA insertion in last position of the route. - New CDU alerts END OF ROUTE and DISCONTINUITY. - NAV and VNAV disengage when these alerts are triggered. - ART READY annunciator logic corrected. - TOGA button now keeps the current EPR mode and heading if selected. - Corrected HDG knob animation. - APU and GPU frequency readings are now correct in the overhead gauges. - HDG bug in ND hidden when HDG not available. - Pitch and roll commands are now less sensitive. - Adjustment to Vref 28º and 40º in the manual. The altitude alert (Which drove me and obviously a few more crazy) has again had a change in this time now you only have to click the altitude knob to disconnect the alert or have your flaps set at past 28º. You must really adjust it to the go around (GA) height at the point of intercepting the ILS, but at least now the alert will be calmer and remember it is there for a reason and can't be disconnected completely. The boarding door has been adjusted as it didn't quite touch the ground, now it does. The earlier landing lights have also been fixed, they looked good but the actual light throw was average and they are now corrected. Otherwise the patch is concentrated on the CDU (Control Display Unit) with a lot of small changes and fine-tuning. I personally never had a lot of issues loading the CDU, but even small fixes are welcome. Only area that needs more tutorials is the setting of the aircraft's CoG (Center of Gravity), the handbook has had an update, but I think this area still needs a full tutorial to itself in getting the settings right. As noted in my v1.1 update review there is in the future an aircraft weights and fuel setup page coming and I think that will eliminate a lot of the set up confusion, but in the mean time a good document on the set up would be a great idea. You can go and download the v1.11 update now from your account at the X-Plane.OrgStore if you have already purchased the aircraft or purchase below. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Yes! the McDonnell Douglas MD-88 by Rotate is NOW available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : McDonnell Douglas MD-88 Price is US$59.95 If you already have purchased the McDonnell Douglas MD-88 by Rotate, then go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account and download the free v1.11 update. Developer Rotate - Rotate.Com Developer Support - MD80 - X-Plane.Org _____________________________________________________________________________________ Update by Stephen Dutton 20th March 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews
  5. Aircraft Update : McDonnell Douglas MD-88 v1.1 by Rotate As long as I have been in X-Plane, I can think of no aircraft release as dividing as Rotate's McDonnell Douglas MD-88. You were either in one camp that absolutely adored it which was most of the users, but the 10% in the other camp absolutely hated it. Both reasoning's were by and large... reasonable, some however were totally out of the ball park and plain stupid. I think the real objective points was somewhere in the middle. I will state my position as in the "I really love" the 90% MD-88 aircraft camp, but I am not going to be compromised or blinded on the facts of where the aircraft was not totally developed, hence this worthy v1.1 update from Rotate. First as I have repeated in various areas is that the MD-88 is a first release by Rotate as a developer. Second is the fact the misguided notion that any aircraft in X-Plane is released done and completed. If you want that then I suggest hanging up your yoke and rudder pedals and find another hobby like golf. I don't know where for some reason lately users suddenly want completed perfect aircraft on release? Yes the $US60 price tag for the MD-88 may be a big part of the argument in that what you pay for you should receive and yes I agree you want your dollars worth of aircraft or scenery. But in simulation it does not work like that. I hate to break the bad news to you all but you are all actually being used as testers, just like Apple do with their iPhones, iWatchimacallits and iPaddys, and you have to pay to test as well. Developing great aircraft in X-Plane is a constant process, no aircraft is actually ever complete, just updated or fixed or patched, and with a lot of finger crossing that the damn thing will actually work on thousands of totally different computer and X-Plane configurations. Your point that the aircraft though has to be certainly authentic in its systems and flying dynamics and that is a valid claim. In that area the MD-88 was compromised, but not as compromised as it was totally wrong, again the truth is somewhere in the middle. If you look back through the reviews on X-PlaneReviews you won't find one for Rotate's aircraft. I did a release preview on the MD-88 but not a full comprehensive review. The DC-9/MD Series of aircraft are very interesting aircraft in both to operate and to fly. You are on that crux of time between the old dial and gauge era (sometimes know as steam-gauge) and the new modern glass cockpit that we fly with today. But the MD series goes up one or more levels in the setting up the balance of the aircraft and its amazing flying control systems in operation. This is a very manual and laborious aircraft to operate, and you have to work extremely hard to fly the aircraft really well. I think this was also part and parcel of why users couldn't quickly connect with it, personally I couldn't do an objective review because I needed to fly the aircraft really well to actually give you one. To give you a review and not understand the aircraft completely I thought was pointless, as you need an objective and full understanding of the aircraft. As a note was the aircraft in that position as well? well no, so a review would have been wrong and off the mark. No doubt a few of you would note that a review should have been done to note the current state of the aircraft. Yes I could done that, but as noted I didn't feel I understood the aircraft enough that early in the release period to give a balanced report. One thing that important is that a quick update was not done by Rotate. They were very good in receiving and even welcoming the comments of what was good with the aircraft where it was under-developed. So this v1.1 update has been and is a though and a well tested release. The many items and the list here in this update is very long and all comments have mostly been addressed or fixed. There is a video from Frooglesim with a current MD-80 captain taking a look around the aircraft and flying it. They as noted in the video created a list of issues that was forwarded and addressed by Rotate in this v1.1 update, but the ineptitude of the way sometimes they interacted with the X-Plane interface was certainly nonsensical in many areas and certainly not a good indication of how the aircraft is actually flown in X-Plane and was not a good indication of the current situation of the aircraft. But there was some very good informative information in there on the operation of the aircraft from a professional MD-80 Series user. A lot of negative comments were of the performance and pitch, drag and lift where way off. They have all been tuned in this update as has the airfoil data been changed. But I didn't find it that way off the mark, and the tuning is minor. Getting to understand the MD-88 is to understand its balance and Center of Gravity (CoG) limitations and finding the absolutely correct performance to fly the aircraft. Get this wrong and you were way off everywhere else. The devil was deep in the details and time to understand the details would find you flying a vastly different aircraft. Nothing made me more mad in the fact that users (I won't call then pilots) were sprouting the aircraft was unflyable and blah, blah, blah only hours after its release. I have spent eight weeks and well over forty flights in the MD-88 and only now getting down to the performance of flying the aircraft correctly and I am good at this, and I still think there is a bit more fine tuning from both Rotate and myself to come. Hence the users that love the aircraft is because they are willing to understand it and learn its unique capabilities. I am not saying it is perfect, as it is not, but it is far better than you imagine with the right perspective and flying abilities. MD-88 Cockpit Mostly tuning in the update is noted on fixing small errors. Areas like Altimeter light logic, Altitude warning corrected (more on this below), Baro knob adjustment, gear door open logic, TAS indicator values reset, APU and GPU logic (and lights) corrected, TAT and RAT readings are now correct, tuned N1, N2 and EGT readings, tuned engine fuel consumption, tuned CI ranges and Economy SPD/MACH calculations. Not major adjustments overall but fine tuning. Another area that brought out the venom was that a lot of the switches didn't work. Many have been addressed in the update with Galley power switch is now operative, source selection switches (overhead panel) and corresponding annunciators are now interactive, CSD Temp indicators now also simulated, Added GS reading to PFD (when IRS is in NAV and above 10000ft), Empty view now available and GPU toggle is now available through the plugin menu. A lot but I still think a few (okay a lot) more switches can be activated, but the aircraft is now nothing worse or better than say a FlyJSIm Q400, B727 or B737 in this panel area. There is now an aircraft management page that has been added to plugin menu. Basic operations that are on the FMC are now available via the menu and include the APU toggle, front, rear, cargo doors and lbs to kgs weights toggle. A newly added menu item is the front stairs. Now you have the choice to have only the front left door to open if standing at an airbridge gate or with the combo built in stairs as well. A great change that will be appreciated with now no stairs protruding from out of the lower parts of the airbridges. A note that the Frooglesim notes were taken seriously by Rotate was that the missing static discharges commented upon in the video on the tailplanes have been fixed, they are all present now, MD-88 FMC One of the annoying quirks has been addressed in the setting of your standing position Lat/Lon in the FMC. A lot of switching on the OVHD panel with the (one working) IRS switch was a real hit and miss affair of trying to get the GPS coordinates to appear on the FMS POS INIT page to lock in the co-ords. Now it works correctly and you can now spend far less time aligning up the IRS on the main panel PFD/Nav displays. Shame the other IRS switch is still a dud... Like most FMC's (Flight Management Computers) the one in the MD-88 has had a lot of attention in this first v1.1 update. FMC's are tricky buggers to get right and work correctly in an X-Plane environment. The points of entering in a flightplan are usually straight forward, the difficulties are created in the editing and fine tuning of the flightplan or changing it when it is actually completed. I found the FMC in the MD-88 when it was released in the top grade in usability. Very high quality compared to a lot of units out there with minimal input failures, but it still required a bit of fine tuning and you get that in this update. - FMS route sequencer improved and compatibility issue solved. - CDU crash in route edition has been fixed. - DIR TO routine is now operative. - CDU function keys delete functionality added ("pick and move up"). - CDU ERASE option added, and corrected EXECute's logic. - CDU RTE activation logic functionality added. - CDU Candidates pages ordered by nearest to current position. - CDU altitude XXX format (without FL) now supported for input. - FMS route altitude and speed restrictions now available in all waypoints. - T/D calculation improved and available with DISCs in the route. - FMS route now support airports as waypoints. - DEP and ARR pages rebuilt and selection logic improved. - Missing STARs and SIDs issue has been solved. - Vector and unsupported terminator legs in SID and STAR procedures are shown as DISCs. As noted I found the input and editing of the flightplan quite good, but now it is very good, and a great FMC to use. You can save your completed routes as well into a folder in the aircraft's root folder called "saved-routes". Only the centre route section is saved so you will still have to complete the flightplan with your route required SID and STARS. As noted the SID and STAR logic has had a big overhaul and it is excellent, but you will need as usual to do a little waypoint editing to get the perfect approach route. DIR TO (Direct to) function is a great addition and needed when you are editing in flight your route. It is listed under the ROUTE menu page and you can call up as many DIR-TO's in the sequenced right menu pages. The DIR-TO is also available for quick access on the flightplan LEGS page at the bottom of the FMC display. Only annoyance is still a missing PROG (Progress) page on the FMC, badly required it is noted as in production for the next update. Aircraft PERF (performance) data in very good and comprehensive. Covers Main Initial (INIT) page in weights, wind and temperatures. TAKEOFF-REF and APPROACH-REF. Special care is needed on checking the fuel and weights and measures are correct. These can be set via the X-Plane Weight and Fuel menus. But a lot of care with the CoG is required on light or very heavy loads. In other words, do your home-work and get it right. Takeoff Trim One of the most crucial aspects of flying the MD-88 is making sure you get the "Takeoff Trim" correct. There is a built in computer system to get this right, or set correctly as it is called "Setting the long Trim". By inputting the correct CoG and Flap selection the computer will give you a number on the "long Trim" window on the forward pedestal. You set the trim via the huge white grab handle which you pull to adjust the negative or positive stabilizer position. You can also adjust the small pitch value by using the "ALT Long" Trim handles on the lower centre section of the pedestal. Rotate in the v1.1 update provides an Excel trim conversion sheet (I have attached a image of the sheet below) to allow you to find the correct CoG trim of the current fuel, cargo and aircraft weight. Payload weight is connected to the CoG, which is obvious really in the way the aircraft is loaded will affect the balance of the machine. It is critical you get this right, and get it wrong it will mean a poor takeoff and an annoying "stabilizer" alert in your face. And it is not easy to get right. But that is one of the quirks and challenges in flying this MD-88 correctly and well. Flying the MD-88 APU and the aircraft start up process sounds are very good. In the DC-9/MD series you are a long way forward of the engine noise. But from the cabin or external areas those two 93.4kN (21,000lb) JT8D-219s are louder and sound wonderful. Overall the noises are really good. All lighting has been adjusted from those horrible blobs to almost perfect in v1.1. Taxi, beacon, wing lighting is now excellent and so are those drop down wingtip landing lights. If you watch a lot of MD Series cockpit videos on YouTube or whatever. You will know the aircraft is quite a handful on takeoff and landing (don't get me started on bad crosswind landings) and so it is here. This is one aircraft set up the A/P and AutoThrottle ready before flight. If you have correctly set up the A/P and AutoThrottle the realistic FMA (Flight Mode Annunciator) will be set up correctly with from left to right T: AUTOTHROTTLE MODE ANNUNCIATION. A: ARMED MODE ANNUNCIATION. R: ROLL MODE ANNUNCIATION. P: PITCH MODE ANNUNCIATION. In my case Speed 250knts SPD250, ALT 4500 (speed transition altitude), NAV TRK Armed (FMC) and VERT/SPD or V/S is set at 1800fpm In the update TO (TakeOff-Go Around) button now selects the necessary modes automatically when activated, and the FMS OVRD behaviour has been fixed with the SPD mode now only allowed. The takeoff alarm (there is a lot of alarms on the MD-88!) has been made less sensitive as is the flap handle positions that are now easier to use. You will do a lot of yoke and rudder movement to track the aircraft cleanly and rotate at the set 160 knt Vr (15 flap) on the PFD. These are now newly tuned up Vspeeds calculations and considered Temp/Alt corrections. You will still get that distracting "stabilizer adjustment" alert but that is normal and that has even been thankfully toned down a little, more annoying for me is that it sounds exactly like my door bell buzzer? It sounds like some idiot pressing my bell every moment or so and I keep getting up to check which one (door or aircraft) it actually is? So did you get that "stabilizer" alert on takeoff, not the "stabilizer adjustment" buzzer but the incorrect TO trim warning... not easy is it. It is very manual high work load aircraft to fly, but that is good thing in the higher satisfaction rating. In a strange contradiction, the MD-88 is also an olde school style aircraft to fly... you just have to fly it very well. There is great route detailing on the NAV (Navigation Display) in N-AID (Navaids), APRT (Airport), DATA (Data) and WPT (Waypoint) selected on the left wall panel. The data selection will give you great information on to all the waypoints shown (tight in this small screen) including distance and time to arrival. Fine adjustments have been made inv1.1 to the glareshield A/P and FGCP Flight Guidance Control Panel. This includes when selecting ALT HLD from VNAV mode the system will now enter SPD/MACH select A/T (AutoThrust) mode automatically, VNAV is only available if A/T and HNAV are engaged and SPD readout now shows FMS SPD while VNAV is in operation. If you have an add-on throttle system like I do (Saitek x52PRO the black version), then now the throttle handles are over-ridden when A/T is engaged, to avoid hardware controller glitches. In other words the throttle position now works as it should in the real aircraft. Flying m75 at cruise speed at an altitude of 31,000ft you cannot but help to love your surroundings as you power your way through the air. You can feel why the DC-9/MD Series was the perfect medium range regional airliner as it is supreme in that point to point role. If you have set up the FMC data correctly the ToD (Top of Descent) is shown on the NAV display, and it is absolutely correct to the point I calculated my own descent point (-2000fpm). On the FMC you get ECON (Economy) CLB (Climb), CRZ (Cruise) and DES (Descend) path information to give you the in this case the best DES descent speed, Vertical Speed, and target points for the best economy descent profile. The G/S (Glideslope) warning (alarm) has been adjusted not to activate above 1000ft (AGL), so that orange alarm should not now go off, but it still does in my earlier version. Like on takeoff in the MD-88, it is extremely important to get the CoG calculated correctly and the trim set to land on the landing weight. Get it wrong and you will get a very light nose and find it very hard to keep the nosewheel on contact with the hard stuff. Anyone who has studied the MD Series aircraft on live cockpit videos will note how very physical this aircraft is, you have to work really hard to keep this aircraft running smoothly on that takeoff or final run in to the runway phases but that also the major attraction of flying the "Mad Dog", it is a handful of an aircraft, but a rewarding handful of fun. Yoke full forward is always a certainty on takeoff or when landed to control that light nose. I certainly also recommend an add-on throttle to get the full experience, this is one aircraft that you just can't land well with the AutoThrottle (A/T) connected (For one it does not disconnect on landing!). Another MD Series quirk that is important and to avoid an annoying alarm is the setting of the "Altitude" when collecting the ILS beam. If you don't reset the ALT the alarm will go off as to note you are under the set altitude on the A/P panel. So the set procedure is to reset the Altitude to the Go-Around altitude (here 3000ft) and that will cancel out the alarm, watch the videos to see the correct time to do this action on the real flightdeck and burn it into your brain to avoid the warning noise. Getting the lowest possible landing speed is also an important point, here I am at around 140knts as noted by the FMC set landing bugs. Flap performance is very good, but slightly too low a speed and the stall point is sharp, and you will easily not recover from this height. A crosswind can make the MD-88 a handful on a manual throttle and yoke and pedal approach, the sweat will form, but get it right and a yelp of satisfaction will be your reward. Sounds are again very good, full reverse and the rumbling give you good and that I am hard down and losing speed feeling is great. Transition to taxi speed is good. Cornering manoeuvres sometimes need a quick push and then back off the power to keep the taxi speed constant, and you have to remember how far forward you are of the main bogies when turning and aligning up with the gate line. Shutdown and you start to prepare for the next sector and it starts all over again. String many sectors together and you will put in a pretty hard day's flying, but you will be one very contented soul at the end of it. Summary This v1.1 is a huge update and a very though one as well. Yes there are still things to be addressed as there is on any aircraft of this size and nature, but this release pushes the barrow a lot further down the road. For the price there are still too many blank buttons, but you now have the basics of what you need. The PROG page on the FMC is one I miss and use a lot when flying so I hope it comes in the next update. Other external features would be nice, but if one aircraft requires a dedicated "weights and Fuel" menu then the MD-88 is it. This setting up the aircraft is crucial to flying it well and you need a better visual guidance feature to achieve that correctly, that feature would be certainly the top of my most desired list. If you do a point to point flight in the MD-88 and don't get any alarms except the "stabilizer adjustment" alert then you can progress to masterclass or add your wings on to your uniform. A lot of route homework is needed to get the very best performance out of the machine and you work hard in the cockpit to get your results, even after months after the release this is still one of the most challenging aircraft I have had to process in X-Plane, but hugely rewarding and addictive as well. Externally there has never been any questions about the sheer quality of those huge texture liveries. The aircraft is excellent in its design and the overwhelming quality of the sheer amount of detail on the interior and exterior designs. The biggest surprise that I still can't believe is that how light the aircraft is with all these extremely heavy textures, certainly not light, light but more than usable with even my computer's modest performance. Overall with the wide arc of positive and negative comments on this aircraft there is no doubt it has shifted far more now to the positive point position than the negative with this update. My point is that if you struggle to get performance out of Rotate's MD-88 then you need to study the details and understand that the real MD Series aircraft was not an easy aircraft to fly really well either, but that flying challenge was why the aircraft was so well loved by pilots and why the aircraft is still working well past its replacement date in the real world operations.... It is a true icon of a machine by its enormous well earned reputation. I will not hide the fact I am a huge fan of this aircraft, of the MD Series in general. This aircraft is one of the best additions to X-Plane that could have happened in the last few years, I note it is not perfect, but then nothing is. Overall nothing else will give you such a huge sense of satisfaction when you perform well in delivering the skills required to understand it and fly it to its extreme performance preferences, and it is for that experience is why we love simulation for what it delivers to our desktops, an excellent immersion of flying one of the greatest aviation icons of all time. Yes! the McDonnell Douglas MD-88 by Rotate is NOW available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : McDonnell Douglas MD-88 Price is US$59.95 If you already have purchased the McDonnell Douglas MD-88 by Rotate, then go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account and download the free v1.1 update. Developer Rotate - Rotate.Com Developer Support - MD80 - X-Plane.Org Note: included in the update review is JARDesign's excellent TugMaster Deluxe and Ground Handling Deluxe plugins, these add-ons are not included with Rotate's MD-88 aircraft package. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Features: -> Precise flight model and fine tuned engine performance -> Developed with the advice and counseling from MD-80 licensed pilots -> Works great on all three platforms: Windows, Mac and Linux Custom Flight Management System (FMS) and Automatic Flight Route, departures and arrivals procedures (SIDs and STARs) Save and load route to/from text file Performance management, cost index and optimal altitude and speed calculation Custom VNAV. Climb, cruise and descend management with altitude and speed restrictions Takeoff and approach speed management Custom Navigation Display Improved autopilot with specific horizontal and vertical modes All EPR performance modes Flight Mode Annunciator Aerosoft NavDataPro (2014) included (for updated database third party subscription is needed) Detailed simulation of systems Power plant Electrical Pneumatic and pressurization Slat/flap controls with dial-a-flap feature Takeoff trim computer Customized alert and failures Hyper-realistic visuals Highly detailed 3D cockpit, passenger cabin and exterior model Normal and specular maps for enhanced detail Thorough HD day and night textures Accurate animations, including wing flex animation All external and internal lights\ Liveries: A set of ten ultra-high resolution liveries, including a paintkit Custom sounds 3D sound engine with stereo and doppler effects High quality multi-layered engine sounds Cockpit ambient and custom alerts _____________________________________________________________________________________ Requirements 64 bit operating system Windows Vista/7/8/10, OSX 10.8 and up, Linux Ubuntu 14.04 (or compatible) and up X-Plane 10.31+ (any edition) running in 64bit mode Processor: Multi-core Processor 3.3GHz 8 GB RAM -Hard Disk: 3.3 GB Graphics: 2GB VRAM (3 GB VRAM or more for best performance) Current version: 1.1 (last updated February 27, 2016) File Download is huge 960.40mb CoG Table jepg: CoG Table.jpg.zip _____________________________________________________________________________________ Full v1.1 Changelog Fixed and New in Rotate MD-80v1.1 - Beacons are now red, and ligh sizes adjusted to X Plane 10.42. - FMS route sequencer improved and compatibility issue solved. - CDU crash in route edition has been fixed. - DIR TO routine is now operative. - CDU function keys delete functionality added ("pick and move up"). - CDU ERASE option added, and corrected EXECute's logic. - CDU RTE activation logic functionality added. - CDU Candidates pages ordered by nearest to current position. - Transition altitude and transition speed restriction logic fixed. - Transition altitude and cruise altitude selectable from 1000 to 37000. - CDU altitude XXX format (without FL) now supported for input. - FMS route altitude and speed restrictions now available in all waypoints. - T/D calculation improved and available with DISCs in the route. - FMS route now support airports as waypoints. - DEP and ARR pages rebuilt and selection logic improved. - Missing STARs and SIDs issue has been solved. - Vector and unsupported terminator legs in SID and STAR procedures are shown as DISCs. - Baro knob manipulator more sensitive. - Altimeter light logic corrected. - APU and GPU lights logic corrected. - TO button now selects the necessary modes automatically. - Selecting ALT HLD from VNAV mode will enter SPD/MACH sel AT mode automatically. - VNAV is only available if A/T and HNAV are engaged. - SPD readout shows FMS SPD while in VNAV operation. - Corrected FMS OVRD behaviour. Only SPD mode is allowed. - Capturing ILS enters SPD SEL mode automatically. - VSPEED mode is automatically selected when wheel is adjusted. - Gear Door Open annunciator's logic corrected. - Throttle handles are overriden when A/T is engaged, to avoid harware controller glitches. - TAS indicator minimum value set. - Nose light is now off when gear is retracted. - TAT and RAT now show the correct readings. - Added GS reading to PFD (when IRS is in NAV and abouve 10000ft). - Altitude's warning logic corrected. - Altitude's FMA annunciator reading correctly. - Tuned up Vspeeds calculation considering Temp/Alt corrections. - Tuned up CI ranges and Economy SPD/MACH calculation. - Adjusted drag. - Customized airfoil data. - Tuned up pitch/lift/speed for CLB CRZ DES. - Corrected speed/attitude in final approach. - Below G/S annunciator logic corrected. - APU start up and EGT logic corrected. - Tuned up engine's N1, N2 and EGT readings. - Tuned up engine's fuel consumption. - CSD Temp indicators now simulated. - Changes in OAP annunciators related to start up and fuel. - Empty view now available. - Takeoff flap alarm is now less sensitive. - Aircraft management page added to plugin menu. - Adjusted flap handle positions. - Source selection switches (overhead panel) and corresponding annunciators now interactive. - Galley power switch now operative. - GPU toggle is now available through the plugin menu. NOTE: The command "Rotate/md80/electrical/GPU_power_request_toggle" will not work when assigned to keys or buttons. The access to this and other internal commands will be subject to a general solution in future updates. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Update Review by Stephen Dutton 28th February 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews
  6. Aircraft Release: McDonnell Douglas MD-88 by Rotate Rotate has released their version of the McDonnell Douglas MD-88. This aircraft is available on the X-Plane.OrgStore NOW!. This is not a review but a preview and my very first impressions of the aircraft to give you guide on what the MD-88 is actually like and what is available on the aircraft. One thing I will make clear is that the MD80-88 series is my holy grail aircraft (only the Vickers VC10 is above this series in desirability). I have watched countless hours of YouTube in cockpit videos of the MD-Series that have sent my family against me and would put me in court if they could... guilty as charged. So the release of an aircraft of this desirability could but won't make for a bias against the aircraft... in other words the aircraft had a lot to live up to, with almost impossible standards of what I wanted in X-Plane from this machine. And from the moment the first images appeared on Rotate's site (Rotate.Com) they drove me more and more delirious but also more and more worried of the amount of expectation of the aircraft matching my actual orbital expectations. My biggest morbid fear was that the MD-88 would have everything I wanted, absolutely everything... but I wouldn't be able to actually fly it? The aircraft textures are huge, in size and quality. Average size is around 200mb and first reports were as the aircraft was a frameweight killer, that would be a sink hole of pain for me. So the first big relief is that the MD-88 is very good on framerate and about the same as most other similiar sized and featured aircraft in X-Plane, so as to using it and flying the MD-88 I have only the same usual routine things to deal with that is just normal simulation use... a real phew! moment. Yes it is a heavy aircraft on your frameweight, but usability is still easily possible, and there is a few tricks as well that can take a little more weight out of the aircraft if you are pushing the framerate boundaries, overall for what you get it is extremely good. With that sort of quality large (I mean huge) livery texture files then the detailing here is off the planet, brilliant to excellent. So there is no doubt Rotate's MD-88 looks the job, it is very, very good. The cockpit is very highly detailed and has a sort of FlyJSim B727 feel about it, but that maybe because it is the same period design as the MD series was a follow on from the iconic 60's DC-9 aircraft. The cockpit is that sweet period between the old analogue world and the newfangled electronic glass panels design, which is mostly analogue with the PFD (Primary Flight Display) and MAP/NAV screen in glass panel instruments. but it is beautifully done. This is the MD-80 series cockpit you dreamed about, and here you are finally in the drivers seat... The overhead panel is a dream or a nightmare depending on which angle you to come to it on, Yes it is well laid out and functional, but boy there are so many switches and knobs that you will need a lot of time and focus to get the whole lot into your head, even now I am still feeling my way around the board, but the biggest advice I can give is that there is both a very good aircraft manual and excellent Tutorial Flight manual and I suggest you understand both well before doing any serious flying... The aircraft is complex, it has a lot of settings and switches and parameters to set up and adhere to, and you won't fly the MD-80 like a complete pro for many, many flights. It is complex and huge fun and a brilliant simulation. A note that not every single switch works, most aircraft systems are reproduced here so you are wanting nothing in that department, but some of the minor switches are just dummies, hopefully they will be activated in future updates. The MD-88 aircraft was called "Mad Dog" for a reason, yes the initials make up the name, but the reasoning behind the name is that if you press the "Go-Around" button the aircraft as quoted "The throttles go all the way to full power, the nose shoots up, the airplane rattles and roars like never before." it is known to scare the living daylights out of any seasoned pilot... I haven't had the nerve to try that one yet. Flight instruments are excellent, but the yoke hides the lower MAP/NAV display. The Autopilot is wonderful, but it is nothing like your standard Airbus or even Boeing standard layout... but in operation you will love its functionality. Start up and shut down procedures are long, complex and hugely enjoyable if you are a procedure freak like me. I want realism, and you certainly get that here, but the lead up to flight times are long... The FMC (Flight Management Computer is thankfully rock solid and very detailed and versatile. There is the odd SID/STAR editing, but that is par of course in most cases anyway, but there is no popup display. One thing you do notice is that it is a very noisy cockpit, not the actual sounds which are excellent, especially the engine start up which turns up hairs on your neck... but the alerts and alarms, they are loud and they are frequent and even off putting when you are in critical stages of flight. But they note that the real MD-80 pilots got used to them and edited them out, but if any pilot would end up in the loony bin with strange loud noises in their heads it is these MD flyboys. Full cabin is modeled and is very well detailed, very realistic. For the window-huggers (yes I am one) the view out is excellent. For external features you get opening front and tail doors (beautifully animated and detailed) and three side cargo doors, and a GPU (Ground Power Unit) all controlled from the MCDU. but no pushback truck, chocks, visual checklist (there is a good printout checklist provided) or special effects like rain or misting which would have greatly enhanced the package. Liveries As noted the quality of the liveries are outstanding. Rotate's own livery is default, with Alitalia, Air Liberte, Two Delta's in the "Wavy Gravy" or "Flowing Fabric" version which satisfy none one as the modern version is the "widget' version (odd choice), the old Delta "Classic", SAS, Iberia, American Airlines (metal classic), Allengiant, German Wings and an old BIA (British Island Airways) So did the Rotate MD-88 live up to my disproportionate even excessive exorbitant standards? Yes it did, in the end I am a realist in what it actually delivered. It is tricky to fly, noisy, lots of set up, lots of detail to get through, but isn't that the reason we fly these complex aircraft in the first place... I note it will take time to be totally immersed in this aircraft, but then again time is one thing that is free and let us note "it is the journey, not the destination" that makes it all worthwhile... even if it changes you slowly into a raving "Mad Dog". Yes! the McDonnell Douglas MD-88 by Rotate is NOW available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : McDonnell Douglas MD-88 Price is US$59.95 Developer Rotate - Rotate.Com Developer Support - MD80 - X-Plane.Org _____________________________________________________________________________________ Features Custom Flight Management System (FMS) and Automatic Flight Route, departures and arrivals procedures (SIDs and STARs) Save and load route to/from text file Performance management, cost index and optimal altitude and speed calculation Custom VNAV. Climb, cruise and descend management with altitude and speed restrictions Takeoff and approach speed management Custom Navigation Display Improved autopilot with specific horizontal and vertical modes All EPR performance modes Flight Mode Annunciator Aerosoft NavDataPro (2014) included (for updated database third party subscription is needed) Detailed simulation of systems Power plant Electrical Pneumatic and pressurization Slat/flap controls with dial-a-flap feature Takeoff trim computer Customized alert and failures Hyper-realistic visuals Highly detailed 3D cockpit, passenger cabin and exterior model Normal and specular maps for enhanced detail Thorough HD day and night textures Accurate animations, including wing flex animation All external and internal lights\ Liveries: A set of ten ultra-high resolution liveries, including a paintkit Custom sounds 3D sound engine with stereo and doppler effects High quality multi-layered engine sounds Cockpit ambient and custom alerts _____________________________________________________________________________________ Requirements 64 bit operating system Windows Vista/7/8/10, OSX 10.8 and up, Linux Ubuntu 14.04 (or compatible) and up X-Plane 10.31+ (any edition) running in 64bit mode Processor: Multi-core Processor 3.3GHz 8 GB RAM -Hard Disk: 3.3 GB Graphics: 2GB VRAM (3 GB VRAM or more for best performance) _____________________________________________________________________________________ Preview by Stephen Dutton 8th December 2015 Copyright©2015: X-PlaneReviews