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Aircraft Update : Boeing 748i/8F Adv v1.9.1By SSG

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SSG_B748-UP 1.9_Header.jpg

 

Aircraft Update : Boeing 748i/8F Adv v1.9.1 By Supercritical Simulations Group

 

I am going to be honest about with the SSG Boeing 747-800i in both the Passenger and Freighter versions, in that we never really fell in love with each other. Which is a bit strange because the Boeing 747 Series is the aircraft that got me into simulation in the first place. Don't get me wrong I liked the aircraft and I liked it a lot, but the early versions were quite buggy and it had a hard impact on my frame rate (my Mac was just not powerful enough). Odder still is the fact that the 8F or Freighter version as part of this package is one of the very best freighters in X-Plane, so to not fly the aircraft and not fly it in it's excellent freighter variant is even more surprising again. But I do think the SSG B748 overall had a difficult birth in X-Plane.

 

For one it quite a complex aircraft, there is a lot going on in the cockpit when setting the aircraft up for departure, and in the flight itself, and then it has a lot of very clever but again complex features...  so I feel it sort of trip's itself up, and I think even looking back at the time that even SSG would admit the B748i was a very ambitious project, maybe it was all a bit too ambitious?

 

Now the aircraft is now over four years old, and that is a lot of development and experience time gone by, more so is the switch to X-Plane11 from X-Plane10, for some reason the aircraft is more at home in it's X-Plane11 environment than it ever was in X-Plane10, but mostly I think it is the computer power that has also caught up and passed the demands that the aircraft and it's modeling required, you could back then get away with small flights to certain destinations that were not over heavily taxiing on your computer power, but now the aircraft is finally fitting into it's main role as a long hauler, of which it is it's main aviation requirements.

 

The SSG 748i Advanced comes in two versions, the Passenger Intercontinental version, and the 8F Freighter version. And they can be purchased separately or as a combined package (recommended)

 

SSG_B748-UP 1.9_Pass_ 1.jpgSSG_B748-UP 1.9_Freighter_ 1.jpg

SSG_B748-UP 1.9_Pass_ 2.jpgSSG_B748-UP 1.9_Freighter_ 2.jpg

 

Although the aircraft does come with some great ground features like a really nice fuel truck and GPU (Ground Power Unit), however it really comes into it's own with the JarDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin. For the freighter version the GHD plugin is essential.

 

X-Plane11

Unlike a lot of aircraft in the X-Plane simulator the SSG B748i package didn't go through the upgrade process, in other words any original X-Plane10 version can be upgraded to the X-Plane11 standard free of charge, and with no repurchase cost involved, so that really helps with the original purchase investment.

 

To see where the aircraft now stands in its new current version I first flew the Passenger version from ESSA (Arlanda) to EDDL (Dusseldorf) and then returned back to ESSA in the 8F Freighter version.

 

SSG_B748-UP 1.9_Pass_Head 1.jpgSSG_B748-UP 1.9_Pass_Head 2.jpgSSG_B748-UP 1.9_Pass_Head 3.jpgSSG_B748-UP 1.9_Pass_Head 4.jpg

 

First thing that is striking is the new Lufthansa livery on the aircraft, and the added X-Plane11 PBR effects have certainly lifted the quality of the aircraft to new heights... it now looks simply amazing.

 

SSG_B748-UP 1.9_Pass_Head 5 LG.jpg

 

There are no branded freight company liveries with the freighter, but only the Boeing 8 promotion livery. but there are loads of brand liveries available (but just make sure they are the updated versions). I found this brilliant Lufthansa Cargo - Aktion Deutschland Hilft (D-ALCC).

 

SSG_B748-UP 1.9_Freighter_Head 1.jpgSSG_B748-UP 1.9_Freighter_Head 2.jpgSSG_B748-UP 1.9_Freighter_Head 3.jpgSSG_B748-UP 1.9_Freighter_Head 4.jpg

 

As you can see and feel, the aircraft HAS certainly come a long way in four years... as it just looks stunning.

 

SSG_B748-UP 1.9_Freighter_Head 5 LG.jpg

 

Those huge General Electric GEnx--2B67B engines rated at 66,500 lbf (296 kN) have been very well and beautifully modeled here (the Dreamliner uses the higher rated 76,100 lbf (339 kN) version of the same engine...

 

SSG_B748-UP 1.9_Freighter_Detail 1.jpgSSG_B748-UP 1.9_Freighter_Detail 2.jpgSSG_B748-UP 1.9_Freighter_Detail 3.jpgSSG_B748-UP 1.9_Freighter_Detail 4.jpg

 

...  the unique wingtip has also come into form in with the PBR reflections.

 

Update v1.9.1

I am covering both updates in v1.9 and v1.9.1 here as the earlier v1.9 was only a small change in details. Mostly the changes here are related to bugs, mostly small ones, but bugs nevertheless. 

 

Autoland never really worked really well, I found this out on a RWY 09R landing at Heathrow and promptly demolished the fencing and lighting at the other end...  as such neither did the autobraking system work that well either. Both systems have had attention with the autoland in v1.9 and the autobraking in v1.9.1, with the autoland it was a tailwind error and rollout behaviour, and with the autobraking it was the logic. Both systems now work far better and feel far more natural, but I did still find the autobraking didn't switch out when I touched the brakes to regain control at the end of the rollout? But overall it is miles better than before and there has been a small fix in the speed limit with flaps on the PFD and also changes to the MCP SPD dial. The autopilot now also can't be activated on the ground as per Boeing restrictions.

 

SSG_B748-UP 1.9_Freighter_Land 1.jpgSSG_B748-UP 1.9_Freighter_Land 2.jpg

 

In performance the changes are even more pronounced as the performance has now been tuned for better X-Plane11 fuel consumption and flight model dynamics, especially the engines so that now they are now far better and very close to that of the real aircraft based on performance tables. This was certainly reflected in the way the aircraft flew on the takeoff roll, climb and cruise parameters, again the B748 felt far better, the flight to EDDL was with a light 25% load (33.5kgs) and then a heavy 90% load (120.50kgs) factor on the return, fuel loading each way was the same 24467 kg as per SimBrief... fuel loading was inputted on the Pad/Menu on the pilot's left and right sides via the excellent fuel truck...

 

SSG_B748-UP 1.9_Freighter_Fuel 2.jpgSSG_B748-UP 1.9_Freighter_Fuel 1.jpg

 

...  only odd thing is I couldn't rehide the fuel truck? until I started pushback, even switching or turning off the Pad/Menu didn't do the trick either? There was a bug also in that if you tried to load the fuel in lbs, the fuel loading didn't work, it does fuel correctly now in v1.9.1.

 

SSG_B748-UP 1.9_Pass_ LG.jpg

 

The differences in performance with the different weights was very pronounced, very realistic, as was the approach and landing performance, the only thing I will note was that I wasn't sure of the flap degree performance and if it was perfect, perfect, the speeds felt fine, but the flap performance related to the speed felt a fraction off, maybe I just need more hours on the aircraft? The TOGA (TakeOff-Go Around) disconnect now also works as it should.

 

FJCC- FMC

The earlier versions of Javier Cortes FJCC - FMC were quite beastly, and they worked a bit like Quantum Mechanics in that you really didn't know the final outcome until you had actually finished all the inputting of the route data. But the latest versions (also in the SSG E170/E195) of v1.91 May 14, 2018 are now quite good and thankfully far more flexible. Yes the FMC does still tend to hesitate on a key input (mostly in Airways), and sometimes when inputting routes of the route on the screen it is nothing like the route you are actually inputting, it does now actually input and work very well, some route editing is still required, but now nothing more or less than any other high grade FMC, unlike as before when you spent as much time editing the route as setting up the entire aircraft for flight.

 

SSG_B748-UP 1.9_FMC 1.jpgSSG_B748-UP 1.9_FMC 2.jpg

 

There is a new navigation data installer (for Windows and Mac only) to facilitate first time installation of navigation data into the proper folders. A secondary requirement of this is for updating the nav data cycles from Navigraph or Aerosoft - NavDataPro, if the data folder arrangement is not correct the data won't load correctly, and it can only be done manually. And fix was also done to allow some  STARs (Standard Terminal ARrival) choices to be selected, and same for some DME waypoint selection.

 

 

SSG_B748-UP 1.9_FMC.jpgSSG_B748-UP 1.9_FMC 3.jpg

 

The FMC will popup for ease of use (F8 Win/Linux - fn/F8 Mac) It notes to use "Shift - F8" but mine just works on just pressing F8? And WebFMC is noted to be adding this B748 FMC panel to the plugin soon.

 

Cockpit and Lighting

The cockpit textures had an overhaul at the change over to X-Plane11 in v1.6, so the cockpit looks far better now than the bland original heavy dark textures of the earlier SSG B748.

 

SSG_B748-UP 1.9_Cockpit 1.jpgSSG_B748-UP 1.9_Cockpit 2.jpgSSG_B748-UP 1.9_Cockpit 3.jpgSSG_B748-UP 1.9_Cockpit 4.jpg

 

It is still a darkish place in here, but the quality does now really show, and the X-Plane11 PBR is a huge help as well. You can if you wish give the cockpit a more worn in appeal by using fscabral's worn textures, but this 748 is a relatively new aircraft, so a very worn look and older  747-400 feel is not really the look or right feel either.

 

SSG_B748-UP 1.9_Cockpit 5.jpgSSG_B748-UP 1.9_Cockpit 6.jpgSSG_B748-UP 1.9_Cockpit 10.jpgSSG_B748-UP 1.9_Cockpit 7.jpg

 

The cockpit lighting has had attention in v1.9.1, and it does look really nice at night, but it is still not adjustable enough. The missing items are the two overhead map lights for each pilot, they still don't work and would be a nice spot light filler, so you notice that. The main over head lighting is odd as well with the storm dark/light switch or the adjustable dome light, but in reality they both do the same thing only one is adjustable... but the setup on the real B748 is the same.

 

SSG_B748-UP 1.9_Cockpit 8.jpgSSG_B748-UP 1.9_Cockpit 9.jpg

 

External lighting now has the strobes and beacon lights that reflect on the ground...

 

SSG_B748-UP 1.9_Freighter_Lighting 1.jpgSSG_B748-UP 1.9_Freighter_Lighting 2.jpg

 

... but the navigation lights still don't ground reflect?  External lighting is excellent, the highlights here are the "wing" - ice lights

 

Liveries

There are four liveries with the Passenger version...  Lufthansa New (2017), BBJ, Orange Sunrise House and Boeing Blue.

 

SSG_B748-UP 1.9_Livery LH.jpgSSG_B748-UP 1.9_Livery BBJ.jpgSSG_B748-UP 1.9_Livery House Orange.jpgSSG_B748-UP 1.9_Livery House.jpg

 

Only one livery with the Freighter, the house Boeing 747-8.

 

SSG_B748-UP 1.9_Freighter_Livery.jpg

 

As noted there is a huge choice of liveries available on the X-Plane.Org for both versions of this B748, so what you want should be on there.

 

The Boeing 747 is one of the very great aircraft in aviation, it changed the world in almost every way with it's size and speed, but today VLA's (Very Large Aircraft) are going out of favor for efficient twins and only two in the Airbus A380 and this B748 are left to carry the flame alive, but they still have a place, as the world's population continues to grow then the VLA's and their huge lifting capacity will be the only machines to do the heavy lifting, and then there is cargo...   One thing that was very noticeable was the sheer size of this aircraft, it is a BIG machine, big in the air and huge on the ground.

 

SSG_B748-UP 1.9_Final_ 4.jpgSSG_B748-UP 1.9_Final_ 5.jpg

SSG_B748-UP 1.9_Final_ 1.jpgSSG_B748-UP 1.9_Final_ 2.jpg

 

SSG_B748-UP 1.9_Final_ 3.jpg

 

Summary

Ambition vs experience, small steps before large ones. This Boeing 748 Series was Supercritical Simulations Group banner project, but was it simply too much before it's time...  I feel that yes it was initially a too large a step to take as this aircraft is hugely complex, not only in size but in it's systems as well. X-Plane10 was not really kind to it either, but with time work and the newer X-Plane11 dynamics and better computer power have turned the aircraft into something now a far more mature if now even a great simulation of the Boeing 748, it's not completely there yet as there are still a very few minor bugs, but now it is nothing that lets you to really start to get immersed in to what is one of the greatest of Long Haulers of all time, and currently X-Plane is very dearth of really good long haul aircraft and certainly none in this class of quality and dynamics.

 

So this update v1.9.1 is another notch upwards, it is also now overall excellent, solid and thoroughly enjoyable, so for me I will be putting a lot more mileage under this aircraft, as a few long hauls now beckon and even to tantalise the spirit, Paris to Barcelona... "bah", more like Paris to Tokyo... "yeah".

 

______________________________________________________________________

 

X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

 

Yes! the Boeing 748i/8F Adv v1.9.1 By Supercritical Simulations Group is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

 

Boeing 747-8 Series (Both Passenger and Freighter) : Price is US$65.00

 

Boeing 747-8 Inter Advanced (Passenger Version) Price is US$55.00

 

Boeing 747-8 Freighter (Cargo Version) Price is US$55.00

 

Features:

  • Officially licensed by the Boeing Corporation.
  • Completely rebuilt from scratch, building on SSG's experience with its popular freeware 747-8 releases.
  • Accurate 3D external model based on 2D and 3D drawings supplied by Boeing, complete with animations and hi-res textures
  • Aircraft meets most of the real aircraft's performance data for consumption, AOA, speeds, flight dynamics, etc. in consultation with real world 747 pilots.
  • Manufacturer's performance data embedded as tables in the fully functional FMC.
  • Realistic 3D cockpit with high resolution, in all render settings.
  • Realistic displays (PFD, ND, EICAS, and MFD with system synoptics)
  • Many systems are implemented with realistic logic, such as electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic, engine fire extinguishing, fuel (with dumping capability), wing and engine anti-ice (including automatic mode), communications, and TCAS.
  • Electronic checklist system that can automatically detect certain aircraft configuration changes
  • Complete autopilot functioning in modes similar to the real aircraft
  • External lights and strobes operate realistically.
  • Display management similar to that in the real aircraft (information can be switched between displays).
  • First Officer's ND display is independent from the Captain's, and ND has a pop-up option
  • EICAS messages based on the real aircraft's with lists for multiple pages and recall capability.
  • Autobrakes with anti-skid system that works in all conditions and includes a realistic rejected takeoff mode.
  • Realistic wing flex and other animations.
  • Window rain effects and animated wipers (viewable from the cockpit).
  • Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) with payload management, fueling and pushback menus.
  • Ground vehicles include a tow truck, fuel truck, and GPU
  • 3D sounds with Dream Engine plugin.
  • TSS (Turbine Sound Studio)  real recorded sounds.

Custom built-in FMC and Navigation
 
  • FMC made by FJCC especially for the 747-8i with more than 100 interactions with the flight model, including SIDs, STARs, transitions, approaches, flare and rollout modes.
  • FMC is compatible with AeroSoft's NavDataPro and Navigraph navigation databases.
  • Option to use either a 2D pop-up (resizable) FMC or one within the 3D cockpit.
  • Custom radio communication and audio consoles with digital keypad optimized for on-line virtual ATC operations.
  • FMC performance information based on real aircraft data, including calculated V-speeds.
  • FMC includes capability for autotuning navaid frequencies.
  • Vertical Situation Display (VSD) on the ND (a first for X-Plane)
  • Airport diagrams displayed on the ND (a first for X-Plane)
  • Terrain display mode on the ND, which is a part of the Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) on the real aircraft.
  • Compatible with the AirFMC app to permit the use of an iPad as an external FMC
  • Ability to switch the displays between magnetic and true heading presentations.
  • Comprehensive Flight Crew Operation Manual (FCOM) and a Quick Start Guide.

 

Requirements:

X-Plane 11+

Windows 7,8,10; MAC OS 10.7+; Linux. 
2Gb MB VRAM Minimum- 4GB+ VRAM Highly Recommended
Current version : 1.9.1 - last updated  June 5th 2018
Framerate is pretty good, and a refined version is part of the v1.9.1 package, but I would recommend a power machine as standard.
 
JarDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin is highly recommended with this aircraft.
 
Installation : Download is 750mb which is unzipped and is inserted in your Heavy Aircraft  folder as:
 
SSG B748-Inter - 708.60mb file
B748-8F Freighter - 627.20mb file
 
Key authorisation is required.
 
Documentation : includes
 
  • B748-ChangeLog.txt
  • SSG 747-8 FCOM.pdf
  • SSG 747-8 Quick start Guide.pdf
  • SSGCUSTOMLIST.TXT

 

______________________________________________________________________

 

Plugin Review by Stephen Dutton

9th June 2018

Copyright©2018: 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 v1.07 US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9  effects US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free

Scenery or Aircraft

- EDDL - Airport Dusseldorf by Aerosoft  (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$27.53

- ESSA - Stockholm Arlanda by tdg (X-Plane.Org) - Free (A big thanks to ysfsim for making the ESSA WT3 ground routes)

 

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Very nice review! I have this module installed, but I haven't given her much attention, now I feel I have to give her another look.

 

Would it be possible for you to do an update-review on the 777 as well? It has been updated after the last review you did, and I want to get it, but everyone says it's terrible. I'm pretty sure a lot that is based on _really_ old information that is no longer true, but it's hard to know. It's really hard to get rid of a bad reputation once if has stuck, and people love to repeat the negatives instead of having a second look. ;)

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The problem with the FF B777 is that yes it is old now compared to the B757/767 Series, and a complete upgrade to v2 was promised but then everything went quiet? Does that mean v2 is coming or not? Personally I think so as both the B757/B767 twins are up to date and the FF A350 is still waiting on the FMS upgrade...  so the FF B777 is the only one standing out there. The last upgrade v1.9.12 made it X-Plane11 compatible and no it is not THAT bad either, but the earlier version was unflyable,  so the question to ask is "if I buy can I get an upgrade to the v2" It is only fair that you don't pay twice, but only an upgrade fee, or do you wait? One point is FF do usually announce in August (for release October), if anything is coming. But if you did buy the B777 you wouldn't be very disappointed either, it is still a great aircraft in X-Plane.

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Thanks for the feedback! I think I'll pick it up soon, no matter what. I mean, I got the A350, despite the lack of proper SID/STAR support (but I have a workaround), so the 777 can't be too bad.. ;)

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For those who are looking to control the aircraft from external tablet devices, I have now released support in my Android XPlaneCDU app to support the SSG 747-8. So you can control the CDU directly from any Android tablet/phone, and quickly enter in data without having to use the mouse. It is a native Android app, so runs very quickly and completely full screen, and works on really old devices so you can get them quite cheaply.

 

Also, I have updated XTextureExtractor so that it also supports the SSG 747-8. This plugin can extract the textures for the ND, HSI, EICAS, and CONFIG screens, and display them in separate movable windows on any of your monitors, exported to an Android device, or exported to a remote PC with a Java client.

 

These plugins and apps are all open source and completely free. Check them out at:

https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/42643-xplanecdu-for-android/

https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/42612-xtextureextractor/

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