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Aircraft Update : Mcdonnell Douglas MD-88 v1.40 by Rotate

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Aircraft Update : Mcdonnell Douglas MD-88 v1.40 by Rotate

 

Rotate has done another significant update to the MD-88. We all had a wish list for this aircraft and it seems the developer is ticking them off one by one, as every update brings us something new.

 

Weight and Load Menu

One of the main quirks of this MD-88 aircraft was setting out the CoG (Centre of Gravity) and takeoff trim. Get it wrong as you usually did and you would get that constant aural warning right through the takeoff phase of the flight. Yes it was annoying, certainly more so as you thought you had finally got the settings right to then again to find out that you had not...

 

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To help out with this issue and for other items we now have in v1.40 a Weights&Balance manager in the form of a pop up menu and reproduced as a sort of checklist book...   the pop menu is situated down on each side of the pedestal.

 

Rotate-MD-80-XP11_Load Manager.jpgRotate-MD-80-XP11_Load Manager 2.jpg

 

It comprises currently of two pages (but I am sure more will be added in later), in one page for "Ground Operations" (above) and one page for 'Fuel & Load" (lower below).

 

The "Ground Operations" covers the opening and closing of the passenger/cargo doors and stairs, basically the same as the ones in the drop down menu or on the "ACFT MGMT" menu in the FMC. Added to them is the Loading of the Fuel, Cargo and Passengers options... lower bottom is the request and the use of the native X-Plane Pushback feature...  But I use now the BetterPushback plugin which works fine.

 

The Fuel & Load page covers all the aircraft's fuel tanks in Left and Right Wings and the Centre Tank, and you can switch between Kg and lbs.

 

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You can also set the Passenger numbers in both the Forward and Rear (Aft) cabins... but there are no notes on what the Max Fuel and Loadings are, and so you have to sort of guess? Get it wrong and your MTOW is going to be over and then creating a red mark on the Gross Weight.

 

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If correct then you can load the fuel and Loadings (Passengers/Cargo) via the Load selections and it notes the loading time and starts to "Expedite" or load the items into the aircraft. The settings also show the Flight Time and Distance of these loadings.

 

When done you can then set the aircraft's takeoff trim...   The CoG (Centre of Gravity) is shown in the Gross Weight (centre) line and here 11.1%...

 

Rotate-MD-80-XP11_CoG  1.jpgRotate-MD-80-XP11_CoG  2.jpg

 

...  and this number is set on the "Takeoff Trim" calculator on the left side of the pedestal in the left CoG setting with your takeoff flap setting (here 11) on the right side, the result is shown above as "6" and you adjust the trim accordingly.

 

It is a nifty little tool, but you feel more could have been added in a weight and balance graph and the limits of what you can load by visual means. A small note in that to return to access the aircraft you have to press the background around the popup menu or close the menu.

 

I have always been impressed by the FMC in this MD-88, and Rotate continues to add in features. Now there is a new page for FIX INFO. This page can give you advanced information of the fix required. The FMC finds the right balance between you inserting data and giving you a hand in filling in Performance and References, so yes I like it a lot.

 

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Runways are now selectable in the ARRIVALS page and you will now also get a FAXXX fix which is created automatically along with arrival RWY selection. A FAXXX fix is the Runway number in FA (Final Approach position) - 24L (Runway XXX).

 

Rotate-MD-80-XP11_FMC 3.jpgRotate-MD-80-XP11_FMC 4.jpg

 

Tuning and Bugs

The rest of the v1.40 update consists of mostly tuning and bug killing. Most tuning is still concentrated still on the new(ish) X-Plane11 performance parameters. Engines now have more accurate EPR/N1/N2/EGT indications and there is improved pneumatic system logic and IRS routines. Hydraulic pumps times have been tuned along with the more finer tuned engine start parameters, but I will note the engine readouts do flicker on the ground roll and if that is a realism thing, then I don't know but they do match the revised the ground roll sounds.

 

Rotate-MD-80-XP11_Dep  1.jpgRotate-MD-80-XP11_Dep  2.jpg

 

On the sounds I will note that I have personally removed the "Wind" sound from the "weather" folder? Why, because it is too loud and after a time gives you a serious headache. The sound is non-adjustable and it overrides almost everything else you can hear, it conflicts also with the XPRealistic wind sounds as well, but that is not why I removed it. Other sound adjustments cover the cockpit-ambient source and the external compressor sound.

 

There are new custom minimum and altitude callouts sounds, were they there before? No they were not, but they are to be heard now...  and very good they are as well.

 

There has been a lot of bug quashing or fixing in v1.40...  Bugs have been fixed in fuel prediction (important) and FD (Flight Director) switch behavior. localizer sensitivity has been expanded (which means you can connect not only further out from the Localizer but from a wider band).

Two alerts in the HYD PRESS LOW and CTR FUEL PRES LOW have been adjusted and now work fine, but you will need to turn off the CTR Tank switch to hide the fuel alert.

 

FMC fixes include the DES NOW function not clearing restrictions at CRZ altitude and fixing the paging in the STEP function of the MCDU LEGS page. The optimum altitude calculation has also been addressed and is now correct.

 

The DFGC (Digital Flight Guidance Computer) self-test that includes the FMA test, is triggered after powering up the aircraft and after landing, there was a bug in the test that has now been addressed and on landing the "Autobrake" trigger needed adjustment as well as did the tiller animation.

The MD-88 is still awesome in the air...

 

Rotate-MD-80-XP11_Flying LG.jpg

 

...    but the Alitalia livery looked far flatter in appearance than I remember it, I am sure it had a deeper more glossy feel before?

 

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The v1.40 update is free to any purchaser of the Rotate MD-88, just go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account and update to the new version.

 

Summary

Although heavy on mostly X-Plane11 fine-tuning, this v1.40 update also brings you a better pop-up menu system. Could the menu be better, yes a little with better information on the aircraft's max load preferences and a graph to show the Centre of Gravity in a visual sense. But the tool to help you set the takeoff trim is invaluable on this aircraft and takes away a lot of frustration on a simple setup.

 

Overall a welcome update to a simply great aircraft.

 

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Yes! the v1.40 McDonnell Douglas MD-88 Pro by Rotate is NOW available from the 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 v1.40 update.

 

Developer Rotate - Rotate.Com

Developer Support - MD80 - X-Plane.Org

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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

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Requirements

X-Plane 11 or X-Plane 10.51+
Windows Vista/7/8/10, OSX 10.9+ , Linux Ubuntu 14.04 (or compatible) and up - 64 bit operating system
Processor: Multi-core Processor 3.3GHz - 8 GB RAM -Hard Disk: 3.3 GB
Graphics: 2GB VRAM (4GB+ VRAM or more for best performance)
Current version: 1.40r1 (last updated Jan 24th 2018)
File Download is huge 960.40mb

 

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Update Review by Stephen Dutton
25th January 2018
Copyright©2018: 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)
 

full v1.40 changelog:

- Pop-up Menu: Load Manager and Ground Operation pages.
- Custom CG location logic, derived from managed weight and balance.
- MCDU. Added FIX INFO page.
- MCDU. Runways are selectable in ARRIVALS page.
- MCDU. FAXXX fix is created automatically along with arrival RWY selection.
- Updated performance and prediction data to match the last changes in X-Plane 11.11.
- More accurate EPR/N1/N2/EGT indication.
- Improved pneumatic system logic.
- Improved IRS routines.
- Added custom minimums and altitude callouts sounds.
- Tuned up ground roll sound.
- Tuned up hydraulic pumps times.
- Added gravity effect on elevator while parked.
- Added copy-to-scratchpad functionality in LEGS restrictions/wind data.
- Included commands for ND range control.
- Removed hydraulic elevator (oops wrong model).
- Fixed a bug i fuel prediction.
- Fixed a bug in FD switch behavior.
- Fixed a bug in compressor exterior sound.
- Fixed a bug in autobreak trigger on landing.
- Fixed bug in HYD PRESS LOW alert.
- Fixed expanded localizer sensitivity.
- Fixed a bug in optimum altitude calculation.
- Fixed a bug in DES NOW function not clearing restrictions at CRZ altitude.
- Fixed paging in STEP function of MCDU LEGS page.
- Fixed a bug preventing the screens to be drawn in 2D views.
- Fixed a bug in CTR FUEL PRES LOW alert.
- Fixed a bug in DFGC test.
- Fixed a bug in the tiller animation.
- Fixed a bug in sound manager cockpit-ambient source.
- AP aural alert is now triggered according to AC availability.
- TRP Test now operative.
- Fixed bug that triggered spoiler-flaps alert on touchdown.
- EOAP default messages added.
- Fixed "remove flying surfaces" checkbox problem.
- Minor texture and model corrections.
- Adjusted lights switches manipulators in right glareshield.
- Fine tuned engine start parameters.

 
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