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Aircraft Update : ERJ Series v1.1 by X-Crafts

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ERJ Series_v1.1_Header.jpg

 

Aircraft Update : ERJ Series v1.1 by X-Crafts

 

X-PlaneReviews is following the development of one of the most interesting and now very popular aircraft with the ERJ Series from X-Crafts. This series can be purchased as the full package of all five variants of the Embraer ERJ Family in the E135, E140, E145 and the E145XR and....  also the ERJ private jet version of the Legacy 650. It is a comprehensive package, but you can also if you wish purchase just purchase the E135, both E145 & E145XR, E149 or the Legacy 650 separately. X-PlaneReviews covered the release with an overview article here: Aircraft Overview : Embraer ERJ Family by X-Crafts

 

Although very good on release, there was areas of the ERJ Series that X-PlaneReviews thought was not totally up to the full complete standard of a full review, I have still no doubt in recommending the series at that point, but there was in our minds areas that still needed attention (all to common today).

 

One month ahead and here comes the first update in v1.1 and it is a very comprehensive update at that, and mostly covers a lot of the areas that needed attention, so if you look at this version as the release version you will not be then to far off the mark.

 

ERJ Series v1.1

The biggest area that was under developed was the internal lighting. And that thankfully this has had a lot of attention in this update. Working in the cockpit was a quite dark affair and the cabin felt dull as well.

 

Now even from the external view the ERJ looks far more well lit...  and the entrance is far more inviting.

 

ERJ Series_v1.1_Internal Lighting 1.jpgERJ Series_v1.1_Internal Lighting 2.jpg

ERJ Series_v1.1_Internal Lighting 3 LG.jpg

 

The cabin is certainly a more nicer place to be, and not so murky or even dull anymore....

 

ERJ Series_v1.1_Internal Lighting 4.jpgERJ Series_v1.1_Internal Lighting 5.jpgERJ Series_v1.1_Internal Lighting 6.jpg

 

The entrance door FA control panel now also works, with the left button switching the cabin lighting on/off and the right button doing a rise or fade of the cabin lighting, The lighting is excellent at night but still struggles more in the daytime to a sort of green tinge, it still however needs more adjustment, but the whole panel is still not completed yet either as also the side wall lighting is not yet adjustable or working separately, so put it down to a WIP at this point, but it is now far better lighting overall.

 

ERJ Series_v1.1_Internal Lighting 7.jpgERJ Series_v1.1_Internal Lighting 8.jpgERJ Series_v1.1_Internal Lighting 9.jpgERJ Series_v1.1_Internal Lighting 10.jpg

 

The only other button that now works on the FA lighting panel is the door button, you still use the red lever to lower the door manually, but press the button now to close it...  it is a great feature.

 

The Legacy private jet variant was the darkest inside with the dark brown outfitting...  it has now been highly improved, but as above you wish for just a bit more illumination in the daytime.

 

ERJ Series_v1.1_Internal Lighting 17.jpgERJ Series_v1.1_Internal Lighting 18.jpg

 

In the cockpit originally you needed the flashlight to start up the aircraft as it was so dull in here. All lighting off and it is still quite dark, all on and it is now a workable area, again you feel in the daytime like you would still need more...

 

ERJ Series_v1.1_Internal Lighting 11.jpgERJ Series_v1.1_Internal Lighting 12.jpg

 

...  two new lighting elements have changed the environment in here, one is the now working overhead "Dome" light, and the other one is the now better adjustable MAP lights over each pilot (each before were all fixed in together, but toned down)

 

ERJ Series_v1.1_Internal Lighting 15.jpgERJ Series_v1.1_Internal Lighting 16.jpg

 

Put them all together now and the cockpit lighting at night is now very good. The contrast of lighting the between the daylight and nightime is still not really balanced, but it is a major step forward on all the lighting in the aircraft, the external taxi and landing lighting however still needs refinement, but X-Crafts have noted that is on the list.

 

ERJ Series_v1.1_Internal Lighting 13.jpgERJ Series_v1.1_Internal Lighting 14.jpg

 

Those lovely Roll Royce AE 3007A1 engines have had attention as well...

 

ERJ Series_v1.1_Engines 1.jpgERJ Series_v1.1_Engines 2.jpg

 

....  both engines now spool the correct way, and start up and shutdown of the engines is now more realistic (slower on both counts). Throttles are now less responsive and there has been a modified fuel consumption to closer match real life performance, I haven't done a full SimBrief route yet, but I will verify that aspect.

 

Sounds

Sounds were of the biggest negative noise at the official release, nobody liked  the sounds...  I didn't think the engine sounds were that bad, as I have heard a lot worse, but anyway most of all the sounds have been redone. Startup sequence is now far more realistic and the process takes a fair while to full idle. 

 

First the full set of sounds are now encoded in 5.1 surround, with the RR AE's now being based on new recordings, with increased bass in the interior (cabin) of the engines and I can approve of that including the better APU sounds, and the modified reverse engine sounds are now excellent, with the lower bass helping out of that effect (not as good as the CRJ-200, but not bad in retrospect), switches now click, packs are noisy, the avionic fans can also now be heard buzzing away. 

There is now a triple-chime to the gear horn and checks for gear horn, gear bangs more on retraction (cabin) and nose gear (cockpit) and some warnings have been reduced while others have been increased and that annoying trigger point for speed warning has been changed from 250/320 to 252/322.

Another addition that was urged for was the "Landing Call" outs, that has been done with the 500ft, 100ft, 50ft, 10ft. calls now correct (can be a bit loud), and most of the cacophony of alerts or callouts have all had attention.

 

So the sounds have had a pretty comprehensive upgrade all round both on the ground and in flight, and yes I like them a lot.

 

FMS

If you click between the two FMS units then they will now switch to the other position for ease of use...  otherwise the FMS has had not much attention.

 

ERJ Series_v1.1_FMS 1.jpgERJ Series_v1.1_FMS 2.jpg

 

Flight

The odd peculiarities of flying the ERJ are still there, and did you worked out the Vertical Speed to the Speed palaver....   right, and it took me a few goes to master that operation but then it became just normal as the ERJ is all about automation and ease of flying, in that the ERJ is still a very physical aircraft to fly.

There was no doubt the release version of the ERJ was not totally right performance and handling wise, I had a few routes with the aircraft and in fact really enjoyed it, but if you are looking for some perfection in simulation then it would have needed some more fine tuning. As noted there already has been the modified fuel consumption, but one of the first things you notice is the engine response to throttle inputs are a lot slower, so you have to judge those speeds more in your throttle movements. 

 

ERJ Series_v1.1_Flying 1.jpgERJ Series_v1.1_Flying 2.jpg

 

Less tire friction means now the aircraft need less thrust to start moving, so ERJ also felt more wiggly on the takeoff run and the flight model is adjusted to fly at M0.78 with CRZ TRS mode engaged.

 

ERJ Series_v1.1_Flying 3.jpgERJ Series_v1.1_Flying 4.jpgERJ Series_v1.1_Flying 5.jpgERJ Series_v1.1_Flying 6.jpgERJ Series_v1.1_Flying 7.jpg

 

The flight model has also been adjusted to fly with nose up attitude (1-2 degrees up) on approach (around 120-115 knots), and it feels more natural...

 

ERJ Series_v1.1_Flying 8.jpgERJ Series_v1.1_Flying 9.jpg

 

....  but unless you are well practiced in flying the ERJ then speed adjustment on approach is more of an art than a procedure, but that sums up the aircraft as well. Gear down wind sounds are greatly improved, you feel the wind pressure from the cockpit.

 

ERJ Series_v1.1_Flying 10.jpgERJ Series_v1.1_Flying 11.jpg

 

A lot of attention has been put on to spoilers. The outer spoilers now deploy less than the inner ones and the speedbrake textures have been redone.

The spoiler will now auto deploy on landing and wheels must be spinning at a groundspeed of at or over 50 KIAS, spoliers will also auto retract when throttle advanced past 50%.  Speedbrake automation however will be disabled if the user has the speedbrakes assigned to a joystick axis.

 

Like on takeoff, with the landing rollout you have watch that extra less friction gear lightness, it will catch you out...

 

ERJ Series_v1.1_Flying 12 LG.jpg

 

Other details cover a lot of modeling fixes (gaps), issues on the belly normal maps and some minor tweaks to the cockpit textures to make them blend in better. ICAO signs for E145 XR and Legacy and the better and shorter Aircraft Descriptions (for JAR Design Ground Handling Plugin compatibility). And finally there has been a magnitude of small fixes and adjustments which are all listed in the v1.1 changelog (attached below)

 

Skunkcrafts Updater is required to update to v1.1...  and there is also a need to reupdate Dr Glucks Terrain Radar plugin to v1.17

 

Summary

You can look at this comprehensive update for X-Crafts excellent ERJ Series in one of two ways. A great updated that covers a lot of ground and fixes a lot of areas, including a big update to the internal lighting and sounds to 5.1 surround sound. Or you could say that this is what the release version should have been in the first place? But that is X-Plane today, in release and fix later, more than have the aircraft almost gold standard before releasing, either way it is a great update.

 

The update log is quite comprehensive, so it makes this ERJ now quite a capable simulation, and no doubt is that this aircraft series is hugely popular with the X-Plane community and you can see easily why.

 

If you want to nitpick then there is still a few areas that need another update or so, and the developers note that, but in this current state this ERJ is now already very comprehensive and well done. A final note in that you have to adjust to a point to the aircraft and not expect it to come to you, so time on the ERJ (and you have plenty of choice with the full series will pay off the more you fly it and practice it's slightly quirky behaviour, but that is all too the good.

 

_______________________________

 

X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

 

The Embraer ERJ Family v1.1 by X-Crafts is NOW available at the X-Plane.Org Store:

 

Embraer ERJ Family - Package Includes ERJ 135/ERJ 140/ERJ 145/ERJ 145XR/Legacy 650

 

Priced at US$89.95

 

Embraer ERJ 135 - Includes: ERJ 135

 

Priced at US$49.95

 

Embraer ERJ 140 - Includes: ERJ 140

 

Priced at US$49.95

 

Embraer ERJ 145/ERJ 145XR - Includes: ERJ 145/ERJ 145XR

 

Priced at US$49.95

 

Embraer ERJ Legacy 650 - Includes: Legacy 650

 

Priced at US$49.95

 

Features :

  • UPDATER - You can easily check for new updates right inside of X-Plane and you will automatically get the latest version. It literally takes 3 clicks of a button!
  • On-screen CHECKLIST plugin
  • On-screen HELP SHEET with FAQ and useful info which will get you going real quick and will solve 90% of issues that users usually ask on the forums.
  • On-Screen Control menu for door control, ground objects, GPU and engine covers.
  • Pre-configured systems like on the real plane
  • Realistic Avionics Startup
  • Realistic flight dynamics based on real pilot input and feedback
FMS
  • There are two FMS units installed on the pedestal: Custom TEKTON FMS© by Steve Wilson  (More details  below)  and the X-Plane FMS by Philipp J. Münzel 
  • Please note that these are not replicas of the FMS units usually installed on the jets.
3D MODELING AND TEXTURING
I'm a VFX artist in real life, so I'm used to creating photo-real assets. Although I am limited by the XP rendering capabilities and your hardware, I tried to make it look and perform as good as I could :)
EXTERIOR
  • 4K High resolution textures (more important is the resolution of the actual fuselage which is 75000pixels per on meter squared)
  • Highly detailed landing gears, Flaps, lights, gauges, antennas... everything :)
  • Realistic wingflex animation
  • Pilots in external view
  • All doors are animated and controllable from the plugin menu. Main and service doors can also be opened by clicking on the levers.
INTERIOR:
You'll find that there is an amazing level of detail, for example dust particles on the screens visible when light shines on them, finger prints on buttons, and if you zoom in really close to the screens you will even see individual pixels on the actual screens. I tried to make sure that the cockpit looks realistically worn out and used as it would based on how much these jets are used!
  • High resolution PFD, MFD, EICAS displays
  • All text around the cockpit is crisp and clear with any rendering options
  • Intuitive cockpit manipulation - I have always taken great care to make the cockpit as easy to use as possible. This means all clickable areas in the cockpit are very big so that you can easily click on any button, knob or lever in the cockpit
  • Each switch, lever, knob, and handle is animated
  • All cockpit lights are controllable exactly as on the real jets, even the screens shine light on their surroundings
  • Includes baggage bay door light
POP UP INSTRUMENTS
  • 3D (not movable, ideal for VR) pop-up panels of the FMS, Radio panel and Thrust Rating Panel.
  • The FMS also has a 2D pop up window mode that stays on the screen and you can move it around, so you can simply choose which one you want to be using based on your preference.
  • Pop Up screens of the PFD MFD and EICAS
OTHER FEATURES
  • Realistic Exterior Lighting: NAV, Strobe, Beacon, Left/Nose/Right landing lights, Nose taxi lights, Inspection lights, Logo lights, Courtesy lights, Baggage door light. They all cast light on the surroundings.
  • Audible Alert System
  • Awesome 3D sounds, many of which have been recorded on the real jets!
FULLY VR COMPATIBLE
These jets have been made, fine-tuned and tested for a flawless VR experience!
LIVERIES
There are 5 liveries included compatible with the ERJs (White, American Airlines, American Airlines Old, United Express, ExpressJet,and 3 for the Legacy. There are dozens of other liveries available on the forums.
 
TEKTON FMS© Features
 Custom MCDU Interface
  • Initialization page on system startup
  • Easy to navigate paging system
  • SID, ROUTE and STAR waypoint lists are treated as separate editable items
  • Color keyed data presentation
  • Scratchpad data entry
  • Interactive feedback messages
MCDU PopUps
  • Both 2D and 3D popups are available for easy access.
  • Direct Keyboard Entry (DKE)
Departure and Arrival Procedures
  • SID and STAR procedures from X-Plane stock or third party custom data
  • Zipped “Custom Data” folder provided
  • Altitude and airspeed constraints for procedures
  • Automatic procedure altitude calculation
  • Flexible STAR element selection and re-selection and editing
  • Default visual departure and approach waypoints
  • Ability to easily edit SIDs, Routes, STARS and the loaded FLT PLAN
AIRWAYS Selection
Progress Monitoring
Performance Flight Planning:
  • PERF 1 page providing preflight and takeoff data
  • PERF 2 page allowing route fuel planning 
  • PERF 3 page for approach data
Additional Features:
  • Thrust Rating Select page (TRS) accessed from PERF 1
  • FMS reset function
  • Simplified manual waypoint altitude entry
  • Company route load and save functions
  • FLT PLAN page now automatically advances with destination waypoint
  • 8.33mhz tunable radios
  • Comprehensive Status Page
  • The stock X-Plane MCDU is also provided as an alternative for users that prefer it.
FMOD
An amazing 3D sound package now withy 5.1 surround sound comes with the jets. Everything from different knob sounds, door sounds to realistic engine sounds. Many of the sounds have been recorder on the real jets which makes the experience extra immersive!

 

Requirements

X-Plane 11.30+ only
Windows, MAC or Linux - 
4GB VRAM Minimum. 8GB+ VRAM Recommended
Current release and review version: 1.1 (last updated July 5th 2019)
 
Update Log v1.1

______________________________________________________________________

 

Aircraft Update by Stephen Dutton 

6th July 2019

Copyright©2019 : X-Plane Reviews 

  

(Disclaimer. All images and text in this preview 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)



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