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Aircraft Update : Mcdonnell Douglas MD-88 v1.42 by Rotate

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Aircraft Update : Mcdonnell Douglas MD-88 v1.42 by Rotate

 

The Mcdonnell Douglas MD-88 has had another upgrade. It is a slightly different change this time around because both the main new features rely on 3rd party plugins, and so except for a few tweaks and bug fixes from Rotate the MD-88 is now just as good as ever, and even better.

 

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The new features are both plugins. One is WebFMC by Green Arc Studios and the second is TerrainRadar by DrGluck. Both are excellent plugins, but as we shall see in that the MD-88 certainly benefits even more so from their inclusion. We will start with the WebFMC plugin first.

 

WebFMC by Green Arc Studios

FlightFactor pioneered the tool of allowing a standard web browser to used as a platform to access the FMC (Flight Management Computer) for easier input of flight data. The use in this respect made the FMC or FMS as some call it a module on a tablet (iPad/Samsung Tablet) and the ease of being able to input numbers and text via your fingers instead of a using mouse or keyboard, there is also the functionality of being able to move the tablet away from the flying computer via WiFi that made it even more flexible. Mostly all FlightFactor aircraft come with this feature which was developed by Philipp Ringler. But what if wanted the same functionality in another aircraft other than a FlightFactor then that feature was not available...  welcome to WebFMC.

 

X-PlaneReviews did a full review of the plugin here: Plugin Review : WebFMC Pro by Green Arc Studios and an update here; WebFMC Pro v1.04

 

WebFMC is free for several aircraft including the default Boeing 737-800, but sort of look at this plugin version as a demo. The WebFMC Pro is the pay version and it is this version that is required for use in this Rotate MD-88..  and the cost is US$19.95. 

 

In reality it was for aircraft like Rotate's MD-88 that the WebFMC plugin comes into it's own. In most earlier aircraft on the plugin list, they did have mostly all pop-up FMC units, but the Rotate MD-88 does not...  so the really awkward full front console position and the wanting to also see the panel map display made it hard to set out a route in the aircraft on the built in FMC unit.

 

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The WebFMC is connected to X-Plane via the browser and a WiFi connection...  the address used is http://10.0.0.2:9090/. In an instant the WebFMC will appear and with the correct MD facia FMC face plate (Supplied by Rotate) for authenticity. I use it on an iPad below, but also for convenience also on my main Mac screen.

 

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Here I am using SimBrief on the left and the WebFMC Pro is shown on the right. I also have it set up on the computer, but WebFMC Pro can as noted be used on any browser with WiFi, although Google Chrome is recommended.

 

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The route today is KSLC (Salt Lake City) to KORD (Chicago).

 

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The ease of use is not to be underestimated...  You are now free to set up the map display in "PLN" (Plan) mode to see your route, but you can also look at the panel display in an front on angle and not the odd angle required before with the fixed FMC.

 

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Route data input is simply far easier. If using a tablet then direct finger input, if on a computer screen then either a mouse or direct keyboard input is also available... the time saved just to be able to type in the route is invaluable.

 

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Performance data input can be used with the remote pop-up panel browser display...

 

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...  because the WebFMC panel is that much larger and as it is easier to work with and it is easier get the data correct, as with sitting the WebFMC on a tablet or another computer also allows you that more freedom to now to set up the takeoff computer settings that much easier as well.


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Having the WebFMC open on the "Aircraft Management page" means it is always ready for instant use, so it is just a point/touch to hide the APU, and close the doors ready for departure, and so no pulling down menus or moving the view over to the cockpit FMC screen to do the job, this is excellent if you are closing up the aircraft from the external view as everything is just a click away.

 

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WebFMC is a tool, but a very good one for ease of use, more importantly it gives you a lot more functionality in setting up and getting the aircraft ready for departure. We will see a few more uses of the WebFMC Pro in flight.

 

You can use "BetterPushBack" with the Rotate MD-88, which another great addon feature... and it has been refined for use by Rotate for the aircraft.

 

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TerrainRadar by DrGluck

The second plugin feature is DrGluck's excellent TerrainRadar plugin. This plugin is free from the X-Plane.Org: Terrain radar + Vertical Situation Display 1.14

 

There is nothing I don't like more than a weak or blank display in the cockpit. And so it is with the weather display that relies on weather information of any sort of activity, and even then it is pretty useless. In the MD-88 it felt like it was an item that wasn't working, as there should have been a tape across it with a "Not Operational" sign. But with DrGluck's plugin inserted you get a far more realistic display and now a working weather radar function, it looks excellent. Only comment is that is far more grainy than in other aircraft, and maybe that is the type of display it is using... 

 

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...   You can test it, or select either the WX/TCAS or MAP function for a representation of the terrain around the aircraft, and vital if departing airports like KSLC - Salt Lake, with the high mountainous elevations around you.

 

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More than anything it looks great in operation when flying, no more blank boring panel, but now you have one with a use.

 

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Water and high ranges are shown and you can adjust the radar distance for advance areas.

 

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Four main menu selections cover; Color Scheme (Solid Colors - Grain Colors (Boeing style) - Regular Tiles (Airbus Style), Lines or Dot), Scanning SpeedBrightness and Options (Show Water - Peaks Mode - EGPWS Alerts - Range Arcs Options), and the radar install looks terrific set between the two outer FMC panels.

 

A full X-PlaneReviews review of DrGluck's plugin is here: Plugin Review : TerrainRadar by DrGluck

 

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In flight the WebFMC for the MD-88 is very handy. Certainly for following the flight's "Progress", as it gives you very a quick visual glance...

 

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Approach references are easier to see as well when flying the aircraft on the final approach, as there is no need to adjust your zoom or to move your forward view away to look at the remote panel FMC position with the angled data, instead just look over and glance at the other screen, or tablet.

 

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As you can gather I am a big fan of WebFMC Pro, not just because it is handy and versatile, but it seriously helps in the speed to input data in getting the aircraft ready for flight.

 

v1.42 Notes

Other areas that have had attention is mostly corrections, tuning and a few bug fixes. The FMC now has Improved trajectory calculation with/without PERF data being entered, there was a bug in estimated speed that was seen in some waypoints and a bug in the ARRIVALS page.

 

Systems covered are with the Stabilizer Motion alert times, that was a constant annoyance in the alarm going off has been thankfully now adjusted and feels far more realistic, another annoying bug was in Autothrottle switch logic, that is fixed as well. The LAND annunciator logic and TCAS electrical dependency have also had attention.

 

There has been a few nips and tucks around the aircraft 3d modeling wise, but otherwise it is the nice old MD-88 we all know and love.

 

Arrival at KORD was all very wet and showery, and why is it so wet in Chicago lately? its been like this for ages?

 

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The Rotate MD-88 is certainly one of my absolute favorite aircraft, and it is at a very mature situation now, my only note is the in flight wind noise? I pull the sound .wav file out because I find it a bit too annoying, it hurts my ears after a period of time as well. But that is the only comment.

 

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Summary

You are noticing on how small the update list each time around is getting now, and so unless Laminar Research makes a global X-Plane change, then there is not much wrong with the aircraft. Of course there will always be updates, but you can safely say the MD-88 is at a very mature stage now.

 

This update is focused on two new features, and both are external from Rotate and the developer themselves. The two additional features cover the plugin options of WebFMC Pro and Dr Gluck's TerrainRadar, and both plugin developers note the extensive work that Rotate has done with both of them to make sure both installations are perfect, and it certainly shows when they are both operating. The install of the WebFMC Pro is an even more useful tool as the FMC setup in the MD-88 cockpit does not have any pop-up panels, I would rate this situation and the plugin's use in this capacity as for the worth of just buying the Pro version of the WebFMC plugin alone. And Dr Gluck's Radar fills in a really blank space on the instrument panel, and in so making it more active and realistic.

 

A great and functional update, even better if you have the required plugins already. Note if the updated plugins are not yet available on the release of this this update review, then they will be very soon.

 

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Yes! the v1.42 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 v1.42 update.

 

Green Arc Studios WebFMC Pro plugin (US$19.95) is available here : WebFMC Pro v1.04

Dr Gluck's TerrainRadar Plugin (Free) is available here: Terrain radar + Vertical Situation Display 1.14

 

Developer Rotate - Rotate.Com

Developer Support - MD80 - X-Plane.Org

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Features:

Custom Flight Management System (FMS) and Automatic Flight
  • Route, departures and arrivals procedures (SIDs and STARs).
  • Custom LNAV and VNAV. Climb, cruise and descend management with altitude and speed restrictions. ARINC424 instructions support.
  • Save and load route to/from text file.
  • Performance management, with complete VNAV profile calculation, including T/C, T/D, and time, fuel and altitude predictions.
  • Takeoff and approach speed management.
  • Custom Navigation Display with curved transitions and MAG/TRU operation.
  • DFGC, Thrust Rating management (EPR modes) and Flight Mode Annunciator.
  • Aerosoft NavDataPro (2016) included (for updated database third party subscription is needed).
  • DIRECT TO page.
  • LEGS page with RTE DATA extension page.
  • CLIMB page with CLB DIR function.
  • DESCENT page with SPEED/PATH, DES NOW and DES DIR modes.
  • Complete HOLD functionality with entry pattern calculation and Present POS.
  • PROGRESS pages with pilot selectable waypoint. More accurate time and fuel predictions.
  • PERF page with BURN SCHED, WIND/TEMP corrections and calculated remaining fuel.
  • FIX page.
Detailed simulation of systems
  • WX/TCAS with TA/RA advisories.
  • Power plant: accurate PW-JT8D-219 model, Fuel Distribution, Heat and Quantity Indication, Automatic Reserve Thrust.
  • Electrical: Power Generating and Distribution, APU, Battery Charger, Emergency Power Supply.
  • Hydraulics: Rudder and Elevator HYD/MAN operation, GPS, Reversers and Brakes accumulators.
  • Air: Pneumatics, Air Conditioning and Distribution, Pressurization.
  • Slat/Flap controls with Dial-a-Flap control.
  • Takeoff Condition Computer.
  • Complete Engine Fire Detection and Extinguishing simulation.
  • Simulated Tests: DFGC, Altitude, Engine Fire, APU Fire, GPWS, Windshear, Flight Recorder, Voice Recorder, TCAS, Brake Temp, Stall, Anti-Skid, LED/Annunciators.
Pop-up Menu
  • Ground operations page, with GPU/GPS request, doors management, and fuel/cargo/passengers load functions.
  • Fuel & Load page, with load stations according to Weight & Balance manual.
  • Weight & Balance section, with accurate custom CG computing, and Weight/CG predictions for Takeoff and Landing.
 
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.
  • Wind and control surfaces sounds.
  • Cockpit ambient and custom alerts.

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Requirements

X-Plane 11
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: 1.42r1 (last updated Oct 5th 2018)
File Download is a huge 960.40mb

 

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Update Review by Stephen Dutton
12th October 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)

 

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