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Aircraft Review : 727 Series Pro V3 by FlyJSim

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Aircraft Review : 727 Series Pro V3 by FlyJSim

 

The release of FlyJSim's Boeing 737 TwinJet v3 Pro earlier this year was a landmark moment for X-Plane11. This outstanding aircraft was really the very first large scale aircraft to really use all the full features and elements of the X-Plane11 simulator. You would note that there was already aircraft in X-Plane to take note and use the XP11 features, but the FlyJSim B732 TwinJet was really the first to do so from the ground up and not be converted across to or from one simulator version to another, and that difference was very apparent.

 

The original aircraft here for X-Plane is not actually new, as FlyJSim released their initial Boeing 727 Series just days before Christmas back in 2012, that is now nearly eight years ago. So it was for it's time a very advanced and certainly in it's modeling it was a very high quality aircraft. In the mean time to date the aircraft has had numerous upgrades, including collecting the status of being a "Study" style aircraft and in that the B727 was then designated as a "Professional" or "Pro" Series in the v2 upgrade. The last upgrade was just to allow you to fly the B727 Series in X-Plane11 was just last in March 2017, it was fine, sort of... but in reality it was just a few performance tweaks to make the aircraft behave correctly with the very different X-Plane11 dynamics. I flew the aircraft a lot, but you felt it was not quite, quite there, then the B732 TwinJet X-Plane11 comparison then made the point that the Tri-Jet was now feeling it's age a little. So to here is now the full (and  it flies only in) X-plane11 upgrade that is designated as v3 (Version 3).

 

First of all let us get one major point across early. This Boeing 727 Pro v3 Series does not have a cabin installed like the B737 TwinJet did...  that item was noted very early on by FlyJSim and they have re-enforced the position that no cabin is forthcoming, well not in the anytime near or distant future. I personally found that item a bit of a head scratcher, because the Boeing 727 has the same barrel size (Fuselage) as the already completed B737? So a conversion, in details like the internal barrel, panels, doors, galley and seating are all in all exactly the same and just needed to be a little bit longer to fit the longer fuselage of the B727 compared to the B737? But I do acknowledge that it would have taken time to do all three versions to cover the full series here which includes the original B727-100 (short fuselage), B727-200 (most popular) and the B727-200 F (Freighter). As all are different and all would require three different internal layouts... and that is a lot of work.

 

Boeing 727 Series v3 Pro

From the very start there was these three versions of the Tri-Jet  in the B727-100, B727-200 and the B727-200 F, and in the v3 Pro Series all those same three aircraft variants are still part of this v3 package, but are now not sold as separate aircraft.

 

B727-100 Airliner short version

 

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The 727 followed the 707 quad-jet airliner of with the same upper fuselage cross-section. The 727's fuselage has an outer diameter of 148 inches (3.8 m). This allows six-abreast seating (three per side) and a single aisle when 18 inches (46 cm) wide coach-class seats are installed. And could carry 149 passengers in one-class or 131 passengers in two-classes.

 

B727-200 Adv Airliner Long version

 

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The stretched version of the 727-100 became the 727-200, which is 20 feet (6.1m) longer than the −100. A ten-foot (3-meter) fuselage section ("plug") was added in front of the wings and another ten-foot fuselage section was added behind them. The wing span and height remain the same on both the −100 and −200 (108 feet (33 m) and 34 feet (10m), respectively). The original 727-200 had the same max gross weight as the 727-100. The MTW became 184,800 lb (83,800 kg) but the range was decreased to 1,700 nmi (3,100 km).

 

At that short range the aircraft then evolved quickly as a series of higher gross weights and more powerful engines was introduced along with other improvements, and then from line number 881 727-200s where then dubbed −200 Advanced (Adv). The aircraft gross weight eventually increased from 169,000 to 209,500 pounds (76,700 to 95,000 kg) for the latest versions. The range increased slightly to 1,900 nmi (3,500 km) (Standard) but if you loaded the aircraft carefully you could get 2,600 nmi (4,800 km) (Optional) range with 189 passengers (one-class) and 145 passengers (two-class) with a higher Cargo capacity which was the same for the standard -200 version. Ceiling was increased to 42,000 ft (13,000 m). The first 727-200 flew on July 27, 1967 and received FAA certification on November 30, 1967. The first delivery was made on December 14, 1967 to Northeast Airlines. A total of 310 727-200s were delivered before giving way to the 727-200Adv in 1972.

 

B727-200F Freighter

 

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A freighter version of the 727-200 Advanced became available in 1981 was designated the Series -200F Advanced and was powered by the Pratt & Whitney JT8D-17A engines. The F (Freighter) version featured a strengthened fuselage structure, with an 11 ft 2 inch by 7 ft 2 inch forward main deck freight door and a windowless cabin. This was the last production variant of the 727 to be developed by Boeing and 15 aircraft were built, and all for Federal Express. The last 727 aircraft to be completed by Boeing was the Series 200F Advanced for Federal Express in 1984. In all the total Boeing 727's built was 1,832.

 

Although only fifteen Freighters were actually built. Many Series -200Adv passenger versions were converted to -200F's. The 727 is one of the noisiest commercial jetliners in service and was categorized as Stage 2 by the U.S. Noise Control Act of 1972, which mandated the gradual introduction of quieter Stage 3 aircraft. Current regulations require that a 727 in commercial service must be retrofitted with a hush kit to reduce engine noise to Stage 3 levels. All current flying -200F's are stage 3 except for some flying in parts of Africa.

 

Other versions of the B727 were C's for convertible - passenger/cargo version. The C had an additional freight door and strengthened floor and floor beams, with three alternate fits:

 

    94 mixed-class passengers

    52 mixed-class passengers and four cargo pallets (22,700 lb, 10,297 kg)

    Eight cargo pallets (38,000 lb, 17,237 kg)

 

Detail

Even the earlier converted X-Plane10/11 727 version looked great in X-Plane11, but that version still used the original textures and older lighting dynamics. The new 727 v3 textures and developed X-Plane11 dynamics are a world away from the older versions, for one the scale is far bigger at 4096x4096, and printed out together in their real size they would cover a wall like with a large Beastie Boy poster. So certainly that large a scale you are going to get excellent detail and quality, but they also going to tax out your graphic power as well. I found I had to drop my texture resolution a notch to "High" to accommodate them, but the scale is so large that you lose nothing in the quality of the detail (you might lose slight detail with your airport scenery or A.I. traffic), but these big scale textures are the normal now.

 

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As with the earlier FJS B732 TwinJet the quality is now just astounding, jaw dropping...   as metal (in aluminium) is perfect with highly realistic reflections and are bringing in a realism that you could have only dreamed of when this aircraft was originally released, don't get me wrong the FJS B727 was always good in this area, but now it is levels again higher. Certainly the X-Plane11 dynamics do a lot of the work, but the right grading of metalness also brings out the shear realism.

 

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Boeing standard rivets are perfect and would pass the inspection. Engine inlets and external details of the T8D-15A engines are excellent.

 

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Exhaust outlets are highly realistic and detailed, and inner Cam-Shell thrust reversers work as required, and it is superb detailing. The series comes with different engines for different variants as with the JT8D-9 for the 727-100, JT8D-15 for the 727-200 and the JT8D-17 for the 727-200F.

 

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Cockpit glass is excellent with that rainbow effect that shows off the depth and strength of the glass. Side cabin glass is fake, and it is noticeable compared to the excellent B732 TwinJet cabin windows, as you lose all those reflections, the depth and the inner cabin detail.

 

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Wing detail is better with the higher grade textures, but overall all the detail here is all carried over from the original version.

 

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The animations of the complex systems are still one of the best in X-Plane, as the Boeing 727 flap system it is very complicated to allow the aircraft to land at very low speeds (130knts!). There are leading-edge devices (Krueger, or hinged, flaps on the inner wing and the extendable leading edge slats out to the wingtip) and trailing-edge lift enhancement equipment (triple-slotted, aft-moving flaps) are in a 0º, 2º, 5º, 15º, 20º, 25º, 30º and 40º selections, but the 40º is rarely used. They also create a lot of if a huge amount of drag.

 

Landing gear is also carried over, but it was excellent in the first place, again the higher graded textures bring out more of the detailing, and in flight the animations of retraction and extraction are again first rate. It is surprising on how low actually the Boeing 727 sits close to the ground.

 

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FlyJSim was always one of the best modelers in X-Plane, and the aircraft has lost none of that experience and quality in the upgrade, in fact everything is and feels more highly evolved, and in most areas have been touched upon and the quality has been enhanced.

 

Menus

The menu arrangement is upgraded to the same layout and system as on the Boeing 737 v3 TwinJet...  the only difference is the missing "Doors" panel. FlyJSim pioneered originally some of the best menu ideas in X-Plane like with their Vcard, Weights & Balance menus. This layout is now the new standard throughout all of FJS aircraft and replaces the older layout.

 

There are five panels accessed by the pop-up tabs on the left side of your screen. The five panels consist of  : Vcard, Weights & Balance, Options, Maintenance System and Pilot notes (Checklist)

 

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Vcard and Weights & Balance

The Vcard works in association with the Weights & Balance manager and so we will look at them together.

 

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The Vcard is your Vspeeds for takeoff and landing. These selections are reflected in the way you load the aircraft via the Weights & Balance panel. The Weights & Balance is powerful but a very easy way to set up the aircraft with fuel, passengers and cargo and it notes the aircraft CoG (centre of Gravity) of MAC (Mean Aerodynamic Chord). Most functions given are to load the aircraft in three options with F - Full. E - Empty and R - Random, of course you can add or subtract passengers and cargo via the blue containers or set the exact fuel required. The Red items denotes aircraft over weight or warnings.

The aim is of course to create the best balance on the aircraft to make it fly easier, the wrong settings on this aircraft can make it a very big handful of trouble.

 

Options

The options panel allows you to select certain general options for the aircraft.

 

On the panel you can :

  • Select the aircraft's time to be local or zulu...  the note system (arrowed) on the bottom of your screen will also tell you the various operations and tips for using the aircraft

 

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  • Have the Co-Pilot call out vSpeed's for you or not.
  • Yokes (below) can be visible or not. 

 

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  • Weights can be in Pounds or Kilograms
  • Weights & Balance, Enabled or Disabled - This will disconnect the Weights & Balance system for the use of FSE compatibility
  • Cockpit Windows can be Dirty or Clean (can be seen later in the review) 
  • TCAS VSI

 

A new feature in the v3 is the TCAS VSI (Vertical Speed Instrument). This instrument is a dual digital instrument that combines the TCAS (Traffic Collision Avoidance System) display and the Vertical Speed Instrument. This option allows you to have the new instrument or switch back to the older original VSI. The TCAS has full integration into the VSI including full TA/RA.

 

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There is the option to turn on the Ground Power Cart and Engine Start cart. The power can be selected on the upper Engineer's Panel and is registered power on, on the DC Dials...

 

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...   but there are no physical carts sitting outside the aircraft, which is disappointing considering the overall detail and quality of the aircraft? To get around the missing items I use the JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe (GHD) plugin (US$14.95) that will provide the power cart and other aircraft service vehicles as shown above.

 

Field of View, Exterior and Interior Sounds can all be adjusted.

 

You can have three settings of options for the FMC (Flight Management Computer) and first is the clear empty blank panel...

 

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Second option is the for the Delco Carousel IV-A Inertial Navigation System. Nicknamed "CIVA", CIVA Navigation System which is purchased as an add-on for $US10.00 and it is a basic navigation system that can give automatic navigation of up to 9 waypoints. (you can load X-Plane .fms plans) and it can also be used in the FlyJSim B737 as well as any other other aircraft of that 60's/70's era.

It is well worth the additional cost. (note the CIVA plugin is loaded into the "Aircraft's" Plugin folder and not the X-Plane/Resources/Plugin folder...  and you need to load it separately into each aircraft variant). NOTE. To use the CIVA in X-Plane11.20 or higher you will need to use the recently updated version v1.31, any earlier X-Plane version or X-Plane10 will still require the v1.20.

 

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Third option is the native X-Plane FMC. The X-FMC option has been dropped, which I think is disappointing as the X-FMC is far more powerful than the native basic version as was in the earlier v2 Boeing 727 which I find a little bland and not as versatile. At least you get the pop-out feature.

 

Maintenance System 

The aircraft comes with a built in Maintenance System that covers the Airframe, both engines and the APU. If you have used the FJS Maintenance System before you will know it is quite unforgiving and all repairs can only be done on the ground, but it is highly realistic. But if you can't handle the surprises then turn the system off.

 

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Pilot Notes

This is in reference a checklist...  or setup helper in both ways to get through the myriad of switches and systems. Easy to use and scalable...   You can also create your own notes and then add them into the book...   it comes with a max of 32 pages, which is very helpful and professional.

 

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Cockpit Overview

It is hard to imagine that this cockpit design is now six years or more old. So brilliant it was in the first place. But that is only really half the story, as yet over the years the cockpit has also changed quite significantly with more and more active systems being added in and more design items have also been included, as the original OverHead Panel (OHP) if you remember was actually quite blanked out and very empty compared to the comprehensive OHP version in this Boeing 727.

 

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One of the very best cockpits in X-Plane? as that point is always debatable, but certainly in a clockwork environment then the answer here is yes. As noted the aircraft went to a "Study" level in v2, but I felt compared to other study level aircraft it, if finely it just slightly missed the mark, but here and now in v3 then does this B727 now come up certainly to that required level of Pro skill. And so the question is to be put forth in the point "is the FJS B727 now a full Professional aircraft" The title notes that "Pro" moniker of course, but sometimes that title can be shall we say exaggerated a little bit to create sales.

 

But not here, the one thing that really strikes you with this v3 B727 like the with the companion FJS B732 TwinJet is the completeness of the aircraft, a single whole in feel, as systems wise this B727 was always a complicated aircraft, as it should be to reflect the 60's era design. But "Study" is now the point in question, remember you are doing the flying in this aircraft for three people?, The Pilot, First Officer and the Flight Engineer on the rear right panel, and that is a lot of workload, and a lot of systems to understand, so yes now the "Study" aspect is heightened certainly more to the fore than ever.

 

The cockpit could be called "simple - complicated" in that the era required a simple design but it looks complicated to the untrained eye.

 

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All these flight panels are completely active, every switch, knob and dial all work and are connected to the realistic systems to fly the aircraft. Only a few panels on the rear bulkhead are active, like the APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) panel and the fuel transfer panel, the rest are just perfectly matched images.

 

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Setting the texture quality to the lower setting of "high" does make the images a little if slightly blurry, but not enough to make them a visible annoyance.

 

Detail is beyond glorious, and now with the X-Plane11 dynamic PBR effects to highlight more the pure 60's feel and environment.

 

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You pay for quality and that uber detail....  well certainly you get your money's worth here, and more. Just the best of the best.

 

Cockpit Lighting

Cockpit lighting was improved in v2. And it was extremely good before, but is even more outstandingly brilliant now. You have that great collection of eleven dials and switches (four more dials and a dome switch are on the engineers station). Left and right flying instrument and centre engine instrument panels are all fully adjustable as is the OHP and the central throttle quadrant.

 

There is the choice of red or white cockpit illumination. This feature was on the v2, but just as a hidden colour, now in v3 you have the actual lighting domes on the ceiling for both the red and white illumination, the difference they make is excellent in lighting and also as a visual representation.

 

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Add in two fully animated reading spotlights and your life in the dark does not get any better than this. Another v3 new lighting feature is the amazing fluorescent lighting, there is one light over the main instrument panel (below right)...

 

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...  and the other fluorescent light is over the Engineers Station, turn either on and they flicker realistically and noisily as they  illuminate, just brilliant and perfection.

 

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You can change (or play?) around with the huge range of various lighting conditions that can satisfy even the most dissenting pilot for low lighting judgement conditions, but remember to fly the aircraft as you can become seriously distracted with all this extensive lighting knob tuning.

  

Main Panel & Instruments

The 727 cockpit is very different in that it is all gauges and dials (known as a "Clockwork Cockpit). There are no glass screens or menu driven tabs in here. There is also a third person to help you handle out with the aircraft systems as well with the Flight Engineer (FE) who is situated sitting rotated 90º behind the First Officer. His panel is bigger than the main panel and in today's modern aircraft as then most of his systems have been transferred over to the Overhead Panel (OHP).

 

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The instruments are all the basics that are required for flying. The Standard Six - Artificial Horizon (sometimes known as the attitude indicator) with built in turn indicator, Heading, Compass, Vertical Speed (both versions), Altimeter and Speed (in knots and Mach speed, added to the SS is the back up instruments of Artificial Horizon, Altitude, Radio Altitude, Clock and (outside) air-temperature, the DME 2 - NAV 2 (distance - in Miles) are also situated lower down.

The First Officer's set of instruments is very similar except they have a TAS (True AirSpeed) dial and DME 1 - NAV 1 (distance - in Miles). The landing gear lever is also on the right side of the panel.  The Flap indicators are here as well for Outbound and Inbound flaps (0º, 2º, 5º, 15º, 20º, 25º, 30º and 40º settings) dials. Lower down are the dials for Pneumatic Brake Pressure and hydraulic Brake Pressure.

 

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The center of the panel is dominated by the sets of three engine dials covering "Pressure Ratio (RPM), N1, EXH (Exhaust) Temp, N2 (RPM) and Fuel flow to each engine. To the left is the there items of the Altitude select panel, Total Air Pressure and upper and lower rudder trim pointers.

 

The detailing of these dials is breathtaking and simply eye-widening in operation and in fact the whole panel is exquisite in detail and great design from FlyJSim. I doubt you will never get a better 60's cockpit like this. Step out of a General Aviation aircraft and into this B727 and you would feel more at home than a current line pilot would in the way you interact with the instruments.

 

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The three red fire handles are on the top of the glare shield that twist and fire for each engine and the fire system can be tested. Left is the Flight Director (FD).

The full flight director system is worked together with the authentic Sperry SP-150 Block V autopilot that is situated in the middle of the throttle pedestal. The autopilot system is quite basic, and it does not pop-up either, so you have to set a point of view that where you can see the autopilot and the vertical speed Instrument at the same time, it is slightly awkward but you do get used to it. For a large airliner it is quite rudimentary. In fact your GA has probably a far more powerful AP than the Boeing 727. The AP may be rudimentary, but it is still highly effective in its simplicity.

 

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Radio Panel is also very authentic to the period. The frequency is set and then you just flip a switch over to activate the frequency that you require in all settings from COMM, VOR 1 and 2 and NDB (ADF or Automatic Direction Finder here). Below the radio are the large Rudder and Aileron "Trim" knobs.

 

New to v3 is a fully operating WRX weather radar. which has accurate cloud reflectivity, full simulation of energy dissipation and signal attenuation and simulation or radar returns and terrain interference. You can also tune the gain and tilt to scan through the cloud layers appropriately for your position in fight.

 

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The differences with the Overhead Panel are highlighted here with the original (left) and the v3 (right). One thing to note is that the aircraft's manipulators are new and clever. They come in two forms in half-moon for each side movement and a circle to drag (and turn) in the centre, and the ease that you can adjust knobs and switchgear is excellent and fast. There is a full Anti-Ice panel and Window heat, engine start and full external and internal lighting switchgear that are all now active on the OHP.

 

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One feature has however been deleted from the last version and now the same as the FJS B732 TwinJet is the is the pushback truck. FJS recommends now to use the BetterPushBack Truck as the alternative. The aircraft has been tuned so the BetterPushback works perfectly with the B727, and the same feature is also available in that if you press on the OHP the "Ground Call Button" on the OHP the BetterPushBack truck will answer your call.... great.

 

Flight Engineer's station is quite simply perfection...

 

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...   and it is quite complicated to use as all the major systems in : Electrical, Pressurization, Air-Conditioning, Oxygen, Air-Bleed, Heating, Fuel system, Hydraulics are all active in use and operation, yes you need to study the systems in depth to understand them all and the provided manual is a good place to start in explaining the systems, but in not confounding you in too much jargon...  it is called a "study" aircraft for a reason.

 

Flying the Tri-Jet v3

The flight today is from EDDL (Düsseldorf) to ESSA (Stockholm - Arlanda). I set my passenger and cargo loads to a ZFW of 126030lbs and a fuel load of 25710lbs for a total of 151740lbs GW, and I selected the native X-Plane FMC and I used the standard .fms file but adjusted the Departure (RWY 05R-Meve3T) and Arrival (RWY 01L - NiLU1J) routes to match the SimBrief routing.

 

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The rear stairs do work (sort of) but the view inside is quite weird with no internals? use the (shift) F1 key to raise or lower the stairs.

 

You can start the aircraft with the provided GPU and Engine Start cart, but I started up the APU on board to make my departure quicker. It takes about a minute to power up and settle.

The checklist is quite comprehensive and there is a lot of items to check off and test. The passengers are boarded and we are ready to start the engines. So first it is...  Window Heat "on" (OHP) and Beacons "on" (OHP).

 

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On the FE Panel right down low you turn on the hydraulics and then the eight boost fuel pump switches on the fuel panel. High right is the Air-Conditioning panel, but right now we are only concerned with the "APU Bleed" switches (magenta arrows) to start the engines. So the Air-Con (A/C) packs (green arrows) must be off and with the bleed switches open and then the PSI will show on the dial. As noted you know the APU is pushing power to the aircraft by the AC (centre) dials (It will show the same power output on the APU panel as well).

 

The three engine start switches are on the very top position on the OHP and are covered by black covers, flip each one open and the inner switch can go into two settings "Flight" and "Ground". Here we are starting on the ground so you would use "Ground" selection as the other setting is for restarting the engine in the air (Flight).

 

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Clicking the switch down on number 3 engine (Start sequence is 3, 2 (center) and 1) and the dial will start to move in the n2 gauge, when it reaches 17-20% you introduce the fuel by flipping up the "flow/cutoff valve" up.

 

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From here on the engine will power up to full idle and you can now start the other engines in sequence. The start up sequence still has that "oh wow" factor even after all this time, watching the dials turn and work, then settle down is highly realistic.

When done you can switch on the electrical power from all the three engines and close down the APU (before flight). In it is now not requiring the "Bleed" function, then you can set your Air-Con A/C packs to provide bleed to the aircraft's pressure and cooling systems. Easy to do? yes after a few run throughs it does actually get easier. In knowing what dial or switch does what easily helps you find your way around. The trick is understanding the bleed and A/C packs and that the required pressure is correct in starting the engines.

 

The sound of a Boeing 727 in idle is that loud whining squealing noise that was so familiar only a few years ago. The FlyJSim sounds are extremely good...  Noisy, but good. And they get better.

 

But I have a AC generator failure on Engine no.3...  damn? It shows if I turn the switch to Gen 3 and the low power is shown on the no 3 Bus Tie. So I now have two choices, fly with the fault (yes you can) or fix it now by shutting down almost every thing including the GPU and doing the required maintenance. I choose the latter, fix it now and so you don't have to worry about a broken generator all the way to Sweden.

 

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All restarted and we are finally ready to go....    As I am sitting on a remote stand, and so I don't need the BetterPushBack option. The B727 needs a bit of thrust to get moving but once it does, then you can pull the thrust back a bit...

 

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At the RWY 05R hold point there a few items to checklist... Flaps at 5º, Getting the right flap setting is crucial between lift and drag...  There is a hidden active area (arrowed) in the green area to set your current takeoff trim, this is one action you must not miss...  unless you want to end up a crash statistic.

 

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Use the Vcard to your Vspeeds (bugs) for takeoff, i also usually note them down and add 10+  to the v2 rotate. Power up and keep the power around 90% rpm, no need to go to absolute full throttle, and if you do you will regret it. Takeoff roll start is slow, but you build speed very quickly and you need some forward yoke to keep the nosewheel on the ground until the rotate point.

 

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Rotate at v2 is here around 150knts. The B727 may look dramatic, but in reality you have to fly it with skill. On rotate you keep the pitch at around only 5º-8º until the aircraft actually drags itself into the air and then has some space under the wheels before then gaining pitch to a more 15º or 2000fpm. You have a rear skid under the rear in case you mess it up, but that would be a sign of a poor pilot if you scratched it?...  The aircraft handles very smoothly under the climb and you can hold the pitch perfectly. The aircraft does have pitch hold system if you require it.

 

727-200Adv_Flying 18.jpg727-200Adv_Flying 17.jpg

 

727-200Adv_Flying 19.jpg

 

The aircraft is very hands on, you are working very hard in there and you have to be very disciplined in your actions, and procedures.

 

727-200Adv_Flying 20.jpg727-200Adv_Flying 21.jpg

 

Aircraft handling is very, very good. FlyJSim were always the masters of getting a lot of feel into their aircraft...  but now there is the added dimension of the X-Plane11 dynamics and performance. Compared to the v2 the B727 it does feel different, depending on your overall weight. So your focus is on really flying the aircraft via throttle control and with the balance of the controls, and to be honest your whole focus at this stage of the flight is just on doing all that, and even a simple thing like turning off the wing lighting and the passenger signs are usually left far later than you would usually do... Flap retraction for 5º is 189 knts, 2º 190 knts and all in just below 200 knts.

You have to maintain your vigilance and focus on your "Press (pressure) Ratio". Go above the marker at 19 and nasty things can start to happen. The B727 does not have any engine management systems, so you (the pilots) are responsible in keeping the engines within their operating limits. push those JT8D engines too far and they will burn out...  or you will be pulling fire handles.

 

727-200Adv_Flying 22 LG.jpg

 

You work with "aims". I set up to aim for a certain speed and altitude and more importantly aim for a certain position...   or waypoint. Once there you can activate the Sperry Autopilot to take over a lot of the workload, but have to know or set every thing up in advance to make sure you know in what direction you have to go (with the course needle), where you need to be when you get there. So following a set of headings to the flight-plan markers will help...

 

727-200Adv_Flying 23.jpg727-200Adv_Flying 24.jpg

 

...  as you simply you don't have any helpers in here, as there is no Navigation/Map display? the WRX says map, but it is only for the weather aspect, so you have absolutely no idea of where you are unless you plan it out before hand...  a bigger trick is locking into your FMS flightplan, because you can't see it or even know where it actually is? the earlier X-FMC option had a built in route map pop-up, but you now don't have that feature available in here.

 

Most departure SID's usually have a VOR point as their exit from the controlled airspace zone. Here in my case it is MEVEL, on track to the OSNABRUCK (114.30 OSN) VOR dial, so I set my VOR pointer to lock into and fly that radial that will take me to OSN via MEVEL, once close to MEVEL I do a "Direct-To" to lock in the flightplan and activate the waypoint as my next position on the flightplan...  as you can guess you have to work all this out before departure, so the procedure goes as smoothly as you can execute it, so you will need your charts, heading numbers and distances to make it all work, or you can cheat and use the built in X-Plane local map, but you don't do that... do you?

 

727-200Adv_Flying 25.jpg727-200Adv_Flying 26.jpg

 

These 60's jets are fast, really fast...  the B727 will cruise easily at m8.5 or if you want to even at m8.6, so you have to keep a sharp eye on the speed and adjust the throttles to keep the aircraft from going over it's limiter (warning), as at the same time to adjust the throttles for the lighter fuel load as you cover the ground speed rather quickly. There is not of a lot of automation in the B727 cockpit, so you have to take the notes and do the adjustments. range in the -200 adv is quite limited at 1,900 nmi (3,500 km), both the -100 and the Freighter have far more range at 2,250 nmi (4,170 km). Of course there is also the differences again with the different versions of the JT8D engines installed in each variant with each individual performance tuned to that type of engine.

 

Now and again you can look out of the windows at that incredible view.

 

727-200Adv_Flying 27 LG.jpg

 

There is the option to clean the aircraft's windows, but the "clean" option is that the window surrounds are darker than with the "dirty" option?

 

727-200Adv_Flying 27.jpg727-200Adv_Flying 28.jpg

 

The exceptional original wide range of sounds are still here, but the DreamEngine that has been on the aircraft since 2012 has been removed for the now standard native FMOD engine... like I noted, nothing really has been lost and in fact I found a more sonic change in moving around the cockpit (more realism) and the full 180º range around the external aircraft as well, and even down to the detail of the buzz of the fluorescent lights, and the APU is quite loud.

 

Arlanda

The trickiest part is getting the B727 down into the lower speed zones, the different markings on the Speed dial do show you where you can use which flap setting and when. But getting the aircraft down under the initial 200knt zone without putting your nose high is a bit of a skill, worse is that the initial 2º are just the forward edge flaps and not the nose leveling rear, so you need to get your speed down to the 15º flap to have that flap speed control, and it is not as easy as it looks. I have got to know the aircraft very well over the years, but the X-Plane11 dynamics have created a whole new ball game in the way the aircraft flies and you are having to relearn a lot of the differences between the new and the old, like I have already mentioned in that the FJS aircraft are very finely tuned, and this newer XP11 version now lift's your game again into that higher skill range.

 

727-200Adv_Flying 30.jpg727-200Adv_Flying 31.jpg

 

The Sperry Autopilot is very accurately modeled including the manual glideslope with intercept mode and altitude capture, which is available here with mode interlocks. Again even in auto mode or with your manual flying the pure thrust throttle control is highlighted on your approach slope...  you can see why older pilot's enjoy the purity of this era's aircraft, as your flying skills are highlighted.

 

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One bonus is that your approach speed can be quite low, almost GA speeds. This was to help with landing at remote airstrips that isn't done with aircraft this size anymore. So 140knts and 25º flap can be used on arrival, and this gives you a great steady platform to get your landing correct. But the thrust is high compared to the speed to overcome the huge flap drag.

 

727-200Adv_Flying 34.jpg727-200Adv_Flying 35.jpg

 

727-200Adv_Flying 36.jpg

 

Final approach and 130 knts with 30º flap is about perfect, and it is a total feel thing... speed, thrust and handling, as it should be.

 

The aircraft does have both Autobraking and Flare, but you don't really need either, as for one your approach speed is quite low and you sorta automatically use your throttle and lower the speed once you are over the threshold and create your own perfect flair as the speed rubs off.

 

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Like all rear-engined aircraft (MD-88) you need to watch the nosewheel doesn't get too high, it needs a firm hand to keep it under control and also keep tracking the aircraft directly. If you watch any videos of aircraft flying and landing like this you usually see some pretty violent yoke movements at these points to keep the aircraft steady.

 

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Even though the engines are a fair way back from the cockpit...  the huge roar of the reverse-thrust is still highly noticeable, and it is brilliant if seen and heard externally...  a note is that these era aircraft Autopilot and Flight Director don't disengage on landing, you have to switch them both off manually.

 

727-200Adv_Flying 41.jpg727-200Adv_Flying 42.jpg

 

Cleaning up the aircraft and taxiing to bay 38 is a doodle after all that, you certainly get a serious workout with these older aircraft. The B727 is fully VR (Virtual Reality) compatible for the very best immersive experience.

 

External Lighting

All external lighting is excellent. There are four landing lights, but the outer lights are covered by the forward leading-edge flaps if the flaps are retracted, front wheel strut taxi (moves), runway turnoff, wing/ice, navigation, strobe and beacons are all covered as is the logo light on the tail.

 

727-200Adv_Ext Lighting 1.jpg727-200Adv_Ext Lighting 2.jpg727-200Adv_Ext Lighting 3.jpg

 

All lighting reflects on the ground including the strobes.

 

Liveries

All the original liveries are available, but that huge B727 collection that you built up over the years is now useless, as the paintkit has been changed to accommodate the larger scale files and quality. The painkit is already available for use, and so it won't be long before they will start reappearing again... FlyJSim have also created a site for these liveries to be hosted and can be downloaded here...  FlyJSim Liveries  the Painkit (1.04GB) is on the same page.

 

Provided liveries are:

727-100

American (N1996), United (N7001U), Eastern Airlines (N8102N)

 

727-200Adv_Livery -100 AA.jpg727-200Adv_Livery -100 UA.jpg727-200Adv_Livery -100 Eastern.jpg

 

727-200

Alaska Airlines (N294AS), FlyJSim v3 House Colours (N727FJ), Lufthansa (D-AFBI), Pan Am (N4737), PSA (N533PS)

 

727-200Adv_Livery - 200 Alaska.jpg727-200Adv_Livery - 200 FJS.jpg727-200Adv_Livery - 200 LH.jpg

727-200Adv_Livery - 200 PanAm.jpg727-200Adv_Livery - 200 PSA.jpg

 

727-200F

DHL (N741DH), FedEx (N466FE),Kelowna Flightcraft (C-GWKF)

 

727-200Adv_Livery - F DHL.jpg727-200Adv_Livery - F FedEx.jpg727-200Adv_Livery - F Pur.jpg

 

Summary

To a point this review is preaching to the converted as this Boeing 727 Series from FlyJSim has been around since late 2012. Some of the basics are still here of that initial aircraft, but in reality this is a very different aircraft from that earlier aircraft in almost every way. Earlier updates mostly focused on systems including Electrical, Pressurization, Air-Conditioning, Oxygen, Air-Bleed, Heating, Fuel system, Hydraulics, Anti-Ice, and then the layout for both the FD-108 flight director that is fully independent from the Sperry SP-150 autopilot to bring it into the full "Study" paradigm. Even taken into account of the era of the aircraft it is at it's heart still very highly technical, if old school flying machine.

 

This v3 upgrade is more than simply making the B727 X-Plane11 compatible, as it has been totally revised in many areas, the details covered here are huge if only intimate in changes, it may not look so from the surface, but you know the difference when you fly it. Dynamically in texture quality and performance it is levels above the previous version and this is certainly in every way THE X-Plane11 version and delivers the overwhelming features that X-Plane11 has to offer, but that is also noticeable on your computer in the effect it has on your graphic power, a step up in all the sheer detail available here, this also means another step down in the way you have to absorb it. New v3 features include the custom weather radar modeling that simulates realistic cloud reflectivity, radar scanning, energy attenuation, and interference. and the full TCAS integration into a VSI instrument, including full TA/RA.

 

A few changes from the v2 with the removed X-FMC, which was better than the native FMC, and the older livery collection does not now work and the menu system is improved.

 

The release of FlyJSim's Boeing 737 TwinJet set the bar very, very high, to the point it could be even be one of the very best aircraft ever created for X-Plane. The Boeing 727 is overall a far more dramatic aircraft than the B737, and so the B727 Series should be even better again, but as the B737 was a totally complete airliner, then the B727 doesn't have it's cabin and rear internal features, including opening doors. But to compensate for that you do get in almost every area better and bigger systems and the best cockpit in X-Plane, but also the three different variants of the same aircraft.

 

FlyJSim is an exceptional developer, now not one but two of their aircraft with the release of the Boeing 727's v3 after the earlier Boeing 737 v3 TwinJet as they both sit at the top of the list or pile in their sheer dynamics and quality, both give you an extraordinary experience, but also come with the requirement that you have to study and fly them like a Pro or with the professional approach they both require, but at least you know you are getting your money's worth back with all that work you have to put in, and know in the knowledge that you have mastered and is flying the very best of the best old school airliners...  Highly Recommended

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________
 

X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

 

The 727 Series Pro V3 by FlyJSim is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here :


727 Series Professional V3

 

Your Price: $59.95
 
Currently the package is now for all three variants, the aircraft are now not sold separately.
 
The v3 upgrade is however not free but it is an pay upgrade and the deal is for those who bought the complete earlier 727 Series package can get this new aircraft package at 50% off the purchase price - Find your coupon code in your original 727 order.
 
Optional : The plugin for the CIVA Navigation System addon that costs US$10 is here: CIVA Navigation System
 
Features

Study Level Systems and Dynamics

Designed with input and testing by former 727-200 pilots and mechanics.

 

FD-108 flight director that is fully independent from the autopilot.  All modes accurately modeled and with accurate mode interlocks and animation.

SP-150 autopilot accurately modeled including MAN G/S intercept mode and altitude capture. Accurate mode interlocks and animation.

Altitude alert system acquisition and deviation modes and flaps 30/40 cutout modeled.

Autobrake system modeled to match real world data

Fully custom weather radar modeling.  We now simulate realistic cloud reflectivity, radar scanning, energy attenuation, and interference.

Full TCAS integration into a VSI instrument, including full TA/RA. Compatible with the Pilotedge network.

Accurate simulation of  an APU, ground power, generator paralleling and sync lights system.

Every annunciator light is push to test.  Bulbs burn out, so be sure to spot the burnt out bulbs during preflight!

Independent and functional navigation and communication systems, including separate nav radios, adf radios, VHF radios and more.

Bleed systems and performance physically modeled, and respond to temperature, altitude, wear, and humidity.

Pressurization and environmental cabin control systems faithfully modeled. Get the packs on before loading passengers on a hot day, and watch the cabin temp cool as the sun sets. Auto, Standby, AC and DC manual modes all faithfully modeled. Aft cabin zone heating system is modeled.  Duct overheats and pack trips and resets are modeled.

FMC and CIVA units realistically coupled to pilot HSI for improved situational awareness

Fully custom hydraulic systems and electrical busses

Instrument Comparator

GPWS including test functionality

Warning systems

Fire protection systems   

Weather radar  

 

Extraordinary Exterior

Incredible textures.  Revamped textures show every rivet, crease, dent and oil stain on the exterior of our aircraft. Watch as light realistically reflects and reacts with every corner of this aircraft

Detailed animations.  All exterior control surfaces animated accurately to real world behavior and smoothly driven even in replay using our enhanced custom replay system. Accurately animated control surfaces, landing gear, flap deflections, and wing flex all help immerse you when piloting the aircraft.

Detailed lighting.  Lighting is based off real 727 data. Landing, taxi, taxi turnoff, strobe, beacon, navigation lights, wing and even logo lights have been faithfully modeled using the real angles and dimensions from real 727 documentation. 

 

 

Sound

They called it the whisperjet… but the sounds are anything but quiet. Continuing from the success of the 732 Twinjet, FlyJSim has developed an accurate and immersive FMOD sound pack, which provides a fully 3D positional experience.  Experience the realistic screech of a 727 JT8D engine at full power. You will hear every engine, switch, and greased trim wheel. Definitely an experience you will want to keep the headphones on for!

 

Comprehensive Menu System

Redesigned and unobtrusive menu that dynamically appears only when moused over    

Weight and Balance Manager provides detailed loading of passengers, cargo and fuel to accurately and dynamically shift the aircraft’s center of gravity (CG)  

V-card popup provides dynamic V-speeds for landing and takeoff including improved flap schedule calculations for user selected takeoff and landing flap config   

Additional customizable options menu to configure the plane and navigation systems

Checklist and notes provided in sime with a 32-page fully customizable window that includes checklists and an overview of the aircraft. Have something you need to reference in the flight? Add it into the notes page!

Our menu system is now 4K ready and can be easily scaled and moved to best suit your screen resolution

 

X-Plane VR compatible

For anyone who is as excited as we are for the technology, the FlyJSim 727 Series Professional is now fully compatible with X-Plane’s VR system. Now with custom and interactive manipulators, teleport hotspots and magnetic surfaces.

 

 

 

Requirements:

X-Plane 11.20+

Windows, Mac or Linux
4Gb+ VRAM Video card
Current review version: 3.0 (August 10th 2018)
 

Installation :   Download file size is 1.4gb and is inserted into your X-Plane - Aircraft Folder. All Installed file sizes are 2.31gb

 

  • 727_Series_Pro_V3_-200Adv_C2 (847.40mb)
  • 727_Series_Pro_V3_-100_C2 (931mb)
  • 727_Series_Pro_V3_-200F_C2 (708.20mb)

 

Documents :  Four documents that cover almost everything you will need to fly the Boeing 727 Pro. The procedures manual is really well done.

 

  • 1. FJS 727 Series Manual.pdf
  • 2. FJS 727 Series Procedures.pdf
  • 3. FJS 727 Series Manoeuvres.pdf
  • 4. FJS 727 Series Systems.pdf

 

FJS - 727 Series - Support forum

FJS - 727 Series - Developer Site

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

 

Review by Stephen Dutton 
10th August 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)
 

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 11.25

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

 

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Nice review as always Stephen.

 

It's a bit surprising that they didn't model the cabin, not that its needed for myself but a minimum is always interesting.

I'm more a cargo hauler and I like when we can open the cargo doors to see some payloads.

 

Anyway, the most important thing is not in the trunk by the way...

 

I just made a first loop VOR-to-VOR Portland - Ketchikan - Juneau - Sitka - Kelowna and it's just marvelous.

I guess I'll have to add the CIVA in short term.

 

A lot of things to learn or habits to tweak if I want to drive the beast instead of she drives me 🙂

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