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Update Review : B 747-8 Inter Anniversary Edition v2.2.1 by SSG


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Update Review : B 747-8 Inter Anniversary Edition v2.2.1 by SSG

 

I love Boeing 747's, it was the original reason I wanted to get into simulation in the first place, to fly the "Queen of the Skies" or Joe Sutter's masterpiece. Oddly Boeing 747's have not been that big a focus in the X-Plane Simulator, there was the original XPFP (X-Plane Freeware Project) version (nice but 2d panels), another was the brilliant Gary Hunter 747-200F and of course the default Laminar Research Boeing 747-400 by JRollon, a really good 747 of say by PMDG never came across to X-Plane, so overall the current the pickings are light. I never really gelled with the default version either, for one it is a bit too basic, but now the aircraft is getting the Zibo treatment by "Sparky" so things might finally look up in that aspect... 

 

There is however the Supercritical Simulations Group's Boeing 747, but it is the -800 version and not the Classic -400 (A classic -200 is currently approaching beta testing by Felis). I won't go into the long and storied history of the SSG B747-8, but originally it was heavy and buggy, and too vexing to fly cleanly on my computer at the time. But the final "Legacy" version was actually not that bad.

 

Then SSG did a completely new from the ground up version of their B747-8 in v2 or the "Anniversary" version, on release it was a bit of a failure, but mostly it was the just simply a release that was just too early and it came with a lot of unfinished areas and bugs, but I did feel a huge advancement in the actual aircraft, but how can you stop developers releasing good products early and damaging their coda?

 

But things looked up quite quickly from there... the v2.1.1 (January 22nd 2020) release, a year ago was the breakthrough aircraft for SSG, it was very good, not perfect but still a very good deep study aircraft, then the excellent Cargo version v2.2 in August 2020 gave you a really outstanding simulation of both 747-8 variants in one.

 

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The howls of protest on the early v2 release was focused really on only one thing...  the missing lower main deck. SSG created the upper deck and a very nice stairwell to an entrance compartment that covered the second left and right doors.

 

It is to be noted on the dilemma that Supercritical Simulations Group is faced with. Because of the Boeing 747's actual physical size it uses up a lot of modeling resources, detail costs framerate and in this case a lot of frameweight. This is a heavy aircraft on your computer. So add in a highly detailed full deck cabin and you can see the issue, this was certainly a consideration earlier.

 

Now there is a full lower deck 747 cabin, and you can now add an airbridge to the forward door and access the aircraft...

 

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...  from the moment you step on board you realise this is a seriously basic cabin? really BASIC, with no detail. First class is not very luxurious at all, but at least they get a large video screen.

 

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Modeling is very blocky, and in reality not very realistic either. There are two trains of thought here...  my personal feeling is that these seats and detail are just temporary fillers to get the lower deck onto the aircraft ASAP. Second is the fact that it could also be a test as to see what the aircraft can stand without adding in anymore frameweight to the aircraft, and that is born out by the almost zero addition of frameweight between the two versions of v2.2 and version v2.2.1.

 

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Business class is slightly better, but again no detail. The side paneling and overhead bins are however quite good, but the same coloured separation dividers don't help in the breaking up the total blandness of it all, just texturising them in would have certainly helped in the breaking up the overall bleak feel.

 

The upper deck stairwell now fits in correctly, so that is welcomed...

 

SSG_B748-I_LD Cabin 11.jpgSSG_B748-I_LD Cabin 12.jpgSSG_B748-I_LD Cabin 13.jpgSSG_B748-I_LD Cabin 14.jpgSSG_B748-I_LD Cabin 15.jpgSSG_B748-I_LD Cabin 16.jpg

 

...  Economy Class is cattle class basic, I don't know if I could sit in here for thirteen long hours. When you reach the last rear row of seats, you can then also start to comprehend in how hugely big inside these B747-8's really are, the front (row) now seems miles away down in the distance. There are no galley facilities either, but just blank walls.

 

SSG_B748-I_LD Cabin 17.jpgSSG_B748-I_LD Cabin 18.jpg

 

One huge bonus is now you can see out of your favorite viewing windows to the external areas of the aircraft, and it looks really good from these aspects.

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So you get your lower deck floor and cabin, it is as noted a test basic layout and nothing else, but it still works even in that aspect.

 

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It is not exactly the best day for flying in Munich...  it is snowing hard.

 

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There has been in v2.2.1 some work done on the cockpit button/switch/knob animations and sounds, and many are new and improved...

 

SSG_B748-I_LD Munich 6.jpgSSG_B748-I_LD Munich 5.jpg

 

... there was the tendency for a lot of the manipulators to override each other, it feels a bit better, but this is a very crowded panel in both the overhead and certainly from the tight angle on the autopilot panel...  overall it is a nice improvement. The LibRain plugin has also been removed.

 

You need a white stick to find the runway today.

 

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The flight model has been adjusted to behave better in strong crosswind on takeoff and landing, but in this murk I have to be honest and say I couldn't tell, as I needed to use every bit of skill to get the aircraft up and out of the weather.

 

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Once clear this is certainly a glorious looking aircraft in X-Plane, even one of the best of all the airliners.

 

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The views from the cabin are worth the update alone...

 

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I wanted to get high and dark to check out if the cabin had made a difference to my biggest gripe on the earlier version... the results are a bit of both? I didn't like the over-bright false windows at night. Adding in the cabin does make a difference, but the lighting is a still a bit too bright at night, I think you need a bit of a different hue than this extremely bright context or at least some brightness control, worse there are two window panels that are blank white and stick out at night on the forward fuselage, they are just as bad in the daylight as well, so they need a fix? At least now the upper and lower decks match in lighting. Better, in a way, then overall yes.

 

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Again the window views are excellent...   turn on the wing lights for extra dazzle!

 

SSG_B748-I_LD Enroute 9.jpgSSG_B748-I_LD Enroute 10.jpg

 

Gear up and the tyres appears in the forward economy cabin floor? not very pretty at all...

 

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If you want to fly a 747, then this awesome SSG machine is still really the only flight in X-Plane.

 

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__________________

Summary

A really quick update in a .1 version to include a full lower deck cabin into the Supercritical Simulations Group's Boeing 747-8 Inter Anniversary Edition (passenger version).

 

The full lower cabin insert however is quite basic, but to X-PlaneReviews it seems to be more of test layer than the completed item. The side walls and overhead bins are quite good, but the actual seats are well... average and blocky and there are still no galleys or fit out either. So a work in Progress? more so a test in seeing how this extra large area affects the framerate, or frameweight, and in that aspect the addition is barely noticeable. But to have the cabin window views available are a worthwhile extra and so is the balance of the lighting and the removal of the painted cabin windows at night... but overall it is still a WIP at this stage in reality.

 

Other v2.2.1 notes are for both the Passenger and Cargo variants, and they include improved cockpit button/switch/knob animations and sounds, removal of the LibRain plugin effects and a tuned flight model to behave better in strong crosswind on takeoff and landing.

 

Basically as a simulation the SSG B747-8i and F "Anniversary" aircraft are both quite an impressive simulations, yes I would also note it as study grade as well, certainly the best by far the only quality Boeing 747 in X-Plane currently, and with the current sale price of only US$54.90 a total bargain as well, but note you do need a quality and powerful computer to run the aircraft...   Absolutely Highly Recommended.

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Yes! the Boeing 747-8 Inter v2.2.1 Anniversary Edition By Supercritical Simulations Group is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

 

Boeing 747- 8 Inter Anniversary Edition

 

Price is US$54.90 (discounted from US$80.00)

 

Features  

New: Passengers and Cargo Versions included
  • 747-8 Intercontinental Passenger version
  • New Freighter model, accessible under "Cargo" in the Main X-Plane Aircraft menu
EXTERNALS
 The entire external 3D model for v2 has been redone, including the following:
  • All new fuselage closely modeled on the real one with added details
  • Each door can be opened individually and is more detailed
  • Added animations and details (almost all parts that can open/move on the aircraft are modeled).
  • New external details such as a satellite antenna and tail camera
  • New cut passenger windows instead of textures
  • New vertical and horizontal stabilizers with added details
  • New nacelles and engines with more details and new animations
  • Reworked and more detailed landing gear/gear doors with additional animation
  • Improved and more detailed leading and trailing edge flaps and added flap mechanisms
  • Upper deck interior with seats/galleys and stairs to lower deck
  • New wing flex and nacelle animations 
The textures for the entire aircraft have been redone to match the new model, along with decals for certain detailed areas, right down to most of the external placards, working closely with our technical advisors to ensure all the main details are present and that we have gotten them right.
COCKPIT
  • The entire cockpit 3D model has been largely redone and completely retextured. 
  • New overhead panel and buttons/switches
  • New forward panel and buttons/switches
  • New pedestal and buttons/switches/handles
  • New miscellaneous panel and buttons/switches
  • Side panels and window frames completely redone
  • New cockpit seats
  • Various added details
SYSTEMS/FMC
  • Almost all switches function properly and independently 
  • IRS alignment process implemented
  • More realistic fuel system with different pumps and tanks along with FUEL TANK / ENG logic
  • Realistic AUTOSTART and RUNNING indicators on secondary engine displays
  • Improved and more realistic air conditioning system and logic
  • Better track representation on ND
  • Clock and chronometer on ND working like on the real aircraft
  • More realistic baro pressure logic (STD, preselected, transition altitude)
  • Captain and First Officer FMCs are now independent
  • FMC FIX page added
  • FMC Route 2 function added
  • FMC Diversion function added
  • Librain rain effects (currently not working on Macs)
Skuncraft Updater
  • Now with Skunkcraft updater. No need to download anything for updates, the plane will automatically be updated

 

Requirements:

X-Plane 11

Windows , Mac or Linux
4GB MB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended

Current and Review version : 2.2.1  (December 31st 2020)
Owners of the 747 v1 will see a discounted price once logged in into their account. No Coupon required.
NOTE: Framerate requires a decent graphic card, minimum of 8gb is RECOMMENDED, so I would also recommend a power machine as standard.
  
Installation : Download is 1.52gb which is unzipped and is inserted in your Heavy Aircraft  folder as: 1.72gb
  
Key authorisation is required. 
 
WebFMC Pro  and  "Ground Handling Deluxe" Plugin by JARDesign is highly recommended with this aircraft.
 
Documentation : includes 
  • SSG License Agreement.txt
  • V2.2.1 Change Log.txt
  • SSGCUSTOMLIST.TXT
  • librain license.txt
  • SSG 747-8 V2 Quick Start Guide.pdf
  • SSG 747-8 V2 FCOM.pdf

 

Changelog v2.2.1

Changelog Version 2.2.1.txt

 

   ______________________________________________________________________



Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton 

6th January 2021

Copyright©2021: X-Plane Reviews 

  

(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 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD 

Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.20

Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini 

Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : Traffic GLobal Plugin - US$52.99 : BetterPushBack - Free : Ground Handling Deluxe Plugin by JARDesign US$14.95 : WebFMC Pro  US$19.99

Scenery or Aircraft

- EDDM - Munich by ShortFinal Designs  (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$26.95

  

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