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Update Review - Boeing 707-320 by Mike Wilson

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Update Review - Boeing 707-320 by Mike Wilson

 

After devouring FlyJSim's excellent Boeing 727 Series and Boeing 732 baby Boeing then your Classic 60's appetite for these incredible aircraft will still want feeding. You love the feel of aircraft from the Golden Age of Jet travel and one aircraft (well three actually with the Vickers VC10 and DC-8) represented the era with sheer dominance, these were the great years of global domination and speed without all that earth warming and noise pollution restrictions that we are well regulated with today. The FlyJSim B727 and B723 were only medium range machines, if you wanted to go global then you needed the Boeing 707.

You could go to church and pray hard that FlyJSim would create a Boeing 707, but otherwise there was only one good option in Mike Wilson's version of the B707 aircraft.

 

Now Mike Wilson has been around X-Plane as long as X-Plane itself, In fact he was one of the very first payware developers on the simulator, so let us say he is an old hand at this aircraft building game.

 

So I wanted a B707 and so as a birthday present exactly two years ago (yesterday the 8th Nov) I bought myself the Classic Aircraft (Mike Wilson) B707 to go 60's global. It was not bad, but the aircraft was only available as a 2D cockpit design and I will note up front that this aircraft is an old design with a few good nips and tucks over the years. But it was still a B707, I liked it, I flew it, but the aircraft felt old compared to more modern designs with fully functioning 3D cockpits, but every now and again I would pull the old bird out of the hanger and do a few sorties in it, good, but not the full simulation I really wanted.

 

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So herald my surprise when a download was posted on the X-Plane.Org that a 3D cockpit had been created by Julien Brezel for my dear old venerable B707!...   gotta have that one people...

 

3D Cockpit Upgrade

 

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Putting my paws on a 3D B707 yoke for the first time was "Love this" and not bad a job it is either, it is certainly no FlyJSim and a lot of the areas in the cockpit are just flat graphic images, there is a engineer's seat but again that is just visual design and not a working panel either and there are a lot of basic X-Plane default instruments and switches...  but, but...  I simply love it.

 

Better is the 3D cockpit brings the Boeing 707 to life, makes it real and creates a good workable aircraft. The main important areas like the excellent four engined lever pedestal have been lovingly recreated by Julien Brezel, as have the great vintage yokes and the overall panel is very realistic.

 

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The Pedestal is certainly a highlight, lovely in design, but not as functional as it looks, you can't select the flaps, or speedbrake selections and the fuel flow levers are on off by the buttons only. I have all these operations in flap change, speedbrake, throttle on my Saitek joystick and throttle, so I didn't miss anything, but it would be harder to use manually.

 

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There is the same feel and look as the FJS B727 thankfully, but not the functionality, instruments are basic and so is the switch gear, but you will soon find yourself operating the aircraft as a pro, it works well...  even in this minor capacity.

 

Instruments consist of the Standard Six - Artificial Horizon (sometimes known as the attitude indicator) with built in pitch/turn indicator, Heading, Compass, Vertical Speed, Altimeter and Speed (in knots and Mach speed), added centre are the back up instruments of Radio Altitude, Altitude, Clock, Artificial Horizon and Altitude selector. The DME 2 - NAV 2 (distance) is also situated lower down right. The Co-Pilots set of instruments are very similar with just the Standard Six pack.

 

Centre panel is dominated by the four rows of engine parameters. Pressure Ratio (RPM), N1, EXH (Exhaust) Temp, N2 (RPM) and Fuel flow to each engine". Flap position indicators (two) are to the right of the engine dials.

 

The top glareshield autopilot is basic (X-Plane) but functional and easy to use, It does not look as bad as it should do, and it is well intergrated.

 

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FMC is standard X-Plane and uses your standard fms. files, it works but there is no red line to check if it is locked in?

Roof mounted switchgear is not completely realistic as it covers also for the blank engineers station, but it is still laid out quite well for use, not totally functional, you have what you need and nothing more.

 

You need your "texture resolution" set very high. In the usual mid-rage settings the cockpit text is very blurry and unreadable. I didn't need the "extreme" setting (here it is set to "very high") to get better usability and readability, and there is the huge bonus in the aircraft claiming almost no framerate penalty at all, X-Plane sees almost right through it, so with the "texture resolution" set at the top settings then framerates were still in the high 60's and 70's and at a few times even 100fr and it was as almost as the B707 didn't exist to my computers processing channels...  nice.

 

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It is nice in the 3D cockpit version at night, a dark yellowish glow gives the cockpit a 60's feel without the hallucinogenic effects of the period.

 

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Turn down the overhead lighting, and the dials glow, but they are more misty than they really need to be and can be hard to read and making them more darker would create a more realistic feel, but the overhead panel looks very nice. Overall though it works and feels very good.

If you are still feeling nostalgic for the full X-Plane v9 version, then the original 2D cockpit is still in there, but looks very outdated now compared to the lovely newer 3D version.

 

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External Boeing 707-320

First off before looking at the outside of the of the aircraft I will note a personal change.

 

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The aircraft comes with very light (or whiter) main cockpit windows compared to the top and side windows...  I personally didn't like that, as it looked "well odd" or even "awful"?  So I fixed up the front windows to match the others, and I think it is a visual major improvement...  to everyone's taste, and if you want the changed file it is located in the Install section of this review.

 

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The aircraft is not going to win any design awards, but where there has been a lot of attention in the design's translation to X-Plane10, like the fuselage, tail and updated (livery) textures it is very good (even brilliant if you compare it to the original poor resolution textures), I particularly like the battered tail fin, and the detailing there. Wings have flex as well.

 

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But the main comedown on the aircraft are the wings? For one they are so old they don't really match the rest of the aircraft. They feel v8 X-Plane and not the current v10 they should be...

Drop down the flaps and leading-edge devices and well?...   It is not good let us just say that, and both the sets of front and rear edge aerodynamic devices are not even connected to the aircraft?

 

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The undercarriage is not bad and is well detailed but the front gear is too fat, they also fold up through the fuselage and not into an open box.

Lighting are blobs of light on the aircraft X-Plane style but the wing navigation lights are not bad. There is very little detailing of this sort but the engine fans do rotate.

 

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But the Boeing 707 does sound and smoke like it was from the unregulated 60's era. All sounds are the JERA sound system and are recorded from a real 707, and they sound excellent outside and inside the cockpit at cruise, the dirty smoke is heavy and brings a smile to your face.

 

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The aircraft looks quite nice at night with the HDR lighting doing a nice job in illuminating the tail, I like the high porthole front door window.

Liveries

 

There is a huge selection of liveries from very good, to some average, the aircraft comes with Sara Air, Sudan, TWA (Mike's edit), Uganda Cargo, Air France, American, Lufthansa and Pan Am. White is default and there is a photoshop .psd paint kit in the package.

You can download 27 more B707 liveries (35 in all) here: forjets

 

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These are a few of the livery selections available, there is some great Retro versions and airlines that have gone to the great airport in the sky, and some need the odd touch up (mostly the glare paint around the front cockpit windows) to make them great. But the quality overall is very good...  a note the earlier liveries don't work with the updated fuselage.

 

Summary

 

Like a lot of its real world 707 counterparts, the Mike Wilson Boeing 707-320 keeps on flying on. A constant small stream of updates and development has kept this bird in the air and here this has been the biggest and best update so far...  a great 3D cockpit.

 

No doubt this aircraft will never be in the FlyJSim design or feature category, but that does not mean you won't love it, the style and feel of the this late 50's and 60's globe trending aircraft will still draw a crowd.

 

In the flight model, sounds it is very good, the real age of the design is only shown by the original wing and engine pod design in need of better graphics (better engine fans however have been added), and a future update with a better design in those areas would certainly benefit everyone.

But for now it is the best B707 in X-Plane, for myself, I flew the aircraft with the 3D Cockpit from LIRF Rome to LEVC Valencia and loved every single minute of it, this is still another great 60's aircraft and one that can cover global distances, yes that 3D cockpit makes a huge difference to the aircraft and it is certainly a fun place to be, overall the thought mostly in my mind was...  "There is still a hell of a lot of life in this old Girl yet"...  amen to that.

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Installation :   Download file size is 139.00mb to your X-Plane - Heavy Aircraft Folder. Installed file size is 169.30mb. This review ver

 

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Yes! the Boeing 707-320 by Mike Wilson is still available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : Boeing 707-320

 

Price is US$20.00

 

if you already own the B707-320 by Mike Wilson then the 3D cockpit upgrade is free, go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account, sign in and download the updated (v15) version.

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Installation :   Download file size is 139.00mb to your X-Plane - Heavy Aircraft Folder. Installed file size is 169.30mb. This review version is noted as the "Boeing 707-320 v15 wide panel - 3D cockpit" There is a standard 2D cockpit available as well.

Notes: As noted I updated the front windows of the B707, This is the "707_cockpit_OUT" file and you just unzip the file below and replace this png file with the older one in the main aircraft folder.

 

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Documents : There is a full original B320 AOM (Aircraft Operation Manual) that you can download: 707_Manual

 

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Tabbed and filled with very good information on the aircraft.

Developer Contact : Mike Wilson Aircraft

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Requirements :

X-Plane 10.30+
Windows, Mac, Linux
512Mb VRAM Video card

Current Review Version: v15 (last updated November 6th 2015)
 
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Update Review by Stephen Dutton

10th November 2015

Copyright©2015: X-Plane Reviews

 

Review System Specifications:

Computer System:  - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27”- 9 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 6970M 2048 mb- Seagate 512gb SSD 

Software:   - Mac OS Yosemite 10.10.4 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.42 (final)

Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini : WorldTraffic v2

Scenery or Aircraft

- LEVC - Valencia-Manises by DAI-Media - cost is  25.00 €  LEVC - Valencia Manises

 

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Guest Kfalken   
Guest Kfalken

No transponder in 3D cockpit. Is there a way to get one installed so I can use ATC?

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40 minutes ago, Guest Kfalken said:

No transponder in 3D cockpit. Is there a way to get one installed so I can use ATC?

 

Aircraft in the late 50's didn't have transponders, but yes you could add it in easily with Plane-maker and use the X-Plane default Transponder and place it on the 2d panel...  Note a totally upgraded version of Mike's Boeing 707 is due anytime, it has been comprehensibly upgraded to the DC-8 standard and better!...    SD

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